In the COVID-19 era, people are getting increasingly creative with their travel ideas, and settling for more domestic trips over those that require air travel. The travel industry might be shaky right now, but the RV industry is booming, according to a new report from the RV Industry Association. The report says that wholesale shipments of RVs hit their highest monthly total since October 2018 this past June.
Over 20,462 RVs were shipped in June, which marks a 10 percent increase from the same time last year.
Craig Kirby, RV Industry Association president, told Reuters, “We didn’t anticipate this turn being as strong as it has been. People don’t want to fly, they don’t want to stay in a hotel. In an RV, you can cook your own meals and sleep in your own bed.”
RVs are also adapting to the times, now coming equipped with dedicated workspaces to accommodate remote workers. Dealers estimate that between 50 and 80 percent of recent RV purchases have been by first-time buyers — a dramatic increase from last year, when the number was between 25 and 35 percent.
In a conference call last month, Winnebago Industries, Inc. CEO Michael Happe said, “We have seen an incredible rebound in retail demand and dealer demand since early May across all our businesses.”
The industry’s growing popularity is also reflected in the stock market. Shares of Winnebago are up nearly 11 percent this year, while rival Thor Industries, Inc. has seen an even more impressive increase of 38 percent.