The popularity of RVing was surging even before the coronavirus pandemic made it the ideal option for socially-distant travel.

Across the U.S., retailers and rental agencies are reporting inventory shortages and record demand for these homes-on-wheels, which can take travelers (nearly) anywhere they want to go.

“We don’t see this demand going down,” said Monika Geraci, with the RV Industry Association.

The association forecasts that RV unit shipments will be up 4.5 percent in 2020. (Note: The industry tracks growth in “unit shipments” from factory to dealer, which is different, although correlated, to sales.) That percentage growth would be significantly higher, if not for the nearly two-month shutdown of manufacturing and sales in the spring, as states issued pandemic-related lockdown orders.

Unit shipments in August were up 17 percent over August 2019, according to RVIA.

And shipments in 2021 are expected to set a new record, outperforming 2017, the previous record year.

Geraci attributes part of the growing popularity of RVing this year to the trend of remote learning and working. “We’re at a very unique time right now,” said Geraci. “Parents can be working from anywhere and at the same time, you have children who can be learning from anywhere.”

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