As RV interest and sales surged since the beginning of the pandemic, officials from the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) said their plates have been full for months.
John Demick of General RV Super Centers had first-hand experience on how big of an increase the rental industry saw along the way.
“My office is the main office for rentals for our five stores that rent and we were getting 80 to 120 phone calls a day, four months straight,” he stated.
Demick and his crew also had dozens of internet inquires and live chats requests, he said.
“Right now, most of October at all our stores is completely booked and I do not see the year slowing down in November and December,” Demick stated. “This really is the perfect way to travel.”
In addition to family vacations, Demick noted many of their renters used the RV to pick up family members and bring them back with them to Michigan for the summer. They now are starting the return trip back, or planning for the upcoming holidays.
Scott Krenek, of Krenek RV in Coloma, noticed families taking longer and farther trips.
“We’re seeing more 10- to 14-day trips,” he stated. “There was no weekend business because everything had been cancelled.”
Krenek said the most popular rental continue to be travel trailers and towables, as many vehicles on the road today have towing capabilities.
“It’s no surprise that towable RVs are popular,” he stated.
Demick and Krenek both said fall and holiday travel reservations looked to be filling up quickly.
“We had to turn down about 300 people and could have used hundreds more RVs,” Demick said.
In June 2020, reported sales of towables in Michigan were 3,074, an increase of nearly 50 percent from June 2019’s total of 2,057.
“The towables really tell a story of how the industry went from downturn to soaring,” MARVAC Executive Director Bill Sheffer stated. “People were trying to find a way around the quarantine and spending time outdoors at a campground was definitely more appealing than a hotel.”