RV sales spike in light of pandemic

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Local RV dealerships are seeing an uptick in sales and local campgrounds are seeing an increased number of reservations as people plan for summer vacation during a pandemic. 

RV Connections co-owner, Neal Stewart, said on Thursday that the locally-owned dealership has seen a rise in sales over the last two to three weeks and their Dothan location had a record high day in sales last Saturday, completing eight sales in one day. 

“We’ve had a great increase in sales,” Stewart said. “It’s been kind of crazy here the last two or three weeks.” 

Stewart attributes the rush of sales to people preparing for the summer and looking for safer ways to travel.

“RVing is a way of naturally socially distancing,” he said. “RVers have already kind of done it any way you know? You don’t go to a campground and see a big you know herd of 10 or more people at a campsite.”

RV Connections isn’t the only dealership seeing record high sales. Dealerships across the country are seeing a spike in sales as well. 

Jill Randolph, the manager of the Racoon River Campground, said that since the beaches have opened, they have been overrun with incoming phone calls from customers looking to book a spot. 

“You have to look at it like campers are like the perfect social distancing,” said Randolph. 

With an RV, families are able to use their own bathroom, sleep in their own beds and cook their own food. Randolph said another reason why RV ownership may be going through the roof is because of cost. Larger families are finding it to be more cost-efficient to vacation in an RV rather than stay in a hotel. 

While the Racoon River Campground is receiving more calls about potential bookings, the Bay County Tourist Development Council is seeing a similar trend. 

Jayna Leach, the vice president of marketing for the TDC, has noticed more people calling to ask about campgrounds in our area. 

“Our visitor services team has seen quite the uptick in calls and inquiries about campgrounds in our area,” said Leach. 

For first time buyers, now is a good time to begin shopping. RV manufacturers are reopening, beginning to fulfill orders and are offering incentives on purchases. To learn more about campgrounds in our area, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

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