RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby shared his weekly letter with RVIA members this past Friday, May 29.
Kirby called attention to widespread reports of increased RV sales and the rush of new customers many dealerships have seen in recent weeks. He said he expects the upward trend to continue across the industry, even after concern over the coronavirus recedes.
“I believe what we are seeing today is part of a longer-term growth trend for the RV industry,” Kirby wrote. “In talking with dealers over the past couple of weeks, we have heard that a large percentage of the sales have been to first-time buyers.”
Read Kirby’s full letter to RVIA members below:
Good Afternoon Members,
As communities across America continue to open up, more and more consumers are looking for ways to get outdoors and recreate responsibly. With that, many Americans are rethinking their travel plans. We are blessed to produce a product that speaks to America’s heart, especially at a time when all of us have a need to reconnect with each other and nature.
Over the past month, the RV industry has received tremendous positive coverage across all media and Go RVing has launched a new creative campaign that will further push the appeal of RV travel to families and adventurers (see latest Go RVing video below). Despite the recent uptick in coverage, there is still the question of “is this a blip on the radar or a longer trend around camping and RVing?”
I believe what we are seeing today is part of a longer-term growth trend for the RV industry. In talking with dealers over the past couple of weeks, we have heard that a large percentage of the sales have been to first-time buyers. That is not surprising because a recently released omnibus travel study from Ipsos shows RV camping leads in consumer confidence and interest across all age groups – with the highest rate of interest among those 18-34 years old. Even our research prior to the pandemic showed us that younger age groups are the fastest growing segments. Why? Consumers are looking for ways to take more control over their travel experience, and there is such a variety of RV products available there truly is an RV for every consumer at every price point.
If we want to keep this momentum, we must continue to be vigilant in delivering a first-class experience for RV buyers. It is the responsibility of the industry to do its part to ensure RVers have the experience they expect and deserve. For that to happen we need to continue our progress in recruiting and training service technicians through the RV Technical Institute, build on our progress in reducing repair event cycle times and ensure that campgrounds have the facilities that modern day RVers are seeking.
With the influx of new RVers, campgrounds will play a huge role in our future success. It is more important than ever to have top-quality private and public campgrounds to recreate and camp. That is why the RV Industry Association and our outdoor industry partners have been pushing so hard for passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which includes a lot of input from the recreation industry. The Great American Outdoors Act provides for modernizing and expanding federal campgrounds and addressing the significant deferred maintenance backlog on federal lands. We are optimistic we will see movement on the bill in the coming weeks.
These past months have strengthened our industry’s unity, and we must continue working together to create unmatched life experiences for today’s and tomorrow’s RVers.