Coronavirus drives up RV rentals, sales

RV sales are on the rise as more Americans opt to hit the open road while traveling during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Recreational vehicle dealers throughout the country have had as much as a 170 percent increase in sales for the month of May compared to this time last year as Americans crave outdoor travel as coronavirus-induced lockdowns ease in states, according to the RV Industry Association.

More Americans will consider RV travel this summer. (RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

"We know there could be significant changes to how people travel post-COVID, and RVs provide an opportunity for people to continue to enjoy vacations with their families, while also adhering to social distancing which will likely be around in some form for the foreseeable future," a spokesperson for the RV Industry Association told FOX Business in an email.

RV INDUSTRY CREATES MOVES TO CREATE MORE JOBS

The trend toward RV travel to avoid public transit and air travel doesn't seem to be fleeting. One in four Americans intend to take a trip in a recreational vehicle in the next 12 months and will consider renting or buying, according to a survey from market research firm Ipsos in conjunction with the RV Industry Association. 

“In the last 30 days we were actually tracking the best month of our entire history. Our rentals are in the same boat they’re tracking the best year in their history,” Daryn Anderson, a manager at Olathe Ford RV Center in Gardner, Kansas, which has been renting out RVs for nearly a decade, told FOX Business' Jeff Flock on "Mornings with Maria" Thursday.

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Despite reduced RV production during the first three months of 2020, RV shipments experienced a slight increase of .4 percent compared to the same time period last year, according to the RV Association.

While more Americans have rediscovered the great outdoors as a result of being inside for a large part of the year, camping as warm weather hobby has been on the rise in recent years, particularly among a younger demographic.  An annual report from Kampgrounds of America last year estimated millennials and Gen X-ers comprised 77 percent of camper households.

WHY IS GLAMPING TAKING OVER THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY? 

Millennials particularly, the age group of those who are between 19 and 38, have been driving up demand for luxury camping vacations known as "glamping" especially as the older cohort becomes parents.

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