(WKBN) – COVID-19 has left most travel and tourist industries like airlines, hotels and resorts struggling for business. But one is doing surprisingly well, the RV industry.
Some Americans are ready to get back to normal and travel.
“I think spring fever or cabin fever is a real thing,” said Matt Greenawalt, owner of Homestead RV Center in Hubbard.
Triple A predicts more Americans will hit the highway instead of the skies this year.
A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found 68% of people feel safe traveling in their own car but only 18% feel safe taking a flight to somewhere in the U.S.
It’s good news for the RV and camper industry.
“I mean, the attraction to the campers is that no one’s slept in that bed except you, you’re using your own private bathroom and you can still be outdoors. It’s hard for a virus to jump across a campfire,” Greenawalt said.
Greenawalt said he has been selling RVs like crazy at his store.
“With this, you can kinda know, you really know what you have. You can clean it the way you want to, you let the people into it that you want to. You just have a lot more control and yet you still can be outside enjoying recreation,” he said.
It has been the same case for Brunk’s RV Sales in Salem. Owner Joe Brunk said he has heard it from customers and others in the industry — people want to stay safe and close to home.
“You know, industry-wide, they’re seeing that. People are going to camp and control their families and stay separated a little bit,” he said.
Brunk thinks it’s good for people to be getting more of a taste of this kind of vacation because camping is so much different than hotels or resorts.
“That’s what RVing is all about. It’s a lifestyle that you never can get going to a hotel or resort as far as camaraderie with other people and that sort of thing,” he said.
Both business owners agree that social distancing away from home for families can be easier with something like an RV.
“You have your own fire, you have your own food, you have your own place to sleep. So you’re really not interacting in that way,” Brunk said.
“So you get the benefit of being outside and enjoying the great outdoors but you also have kind of your own private, sanitized place to stay,” Greenawalt said.