While last year’s RV sales boom has shown signs of pumping the brakes, road trippers’ interest in buying or using a recreational vehicle in the coming years remains strong – and now companies are looking to make a rebound.
"People are just looking to travel, maybe shorter distances, but there's still demand for the outdoors," Winnebago brand manager Bobby Hensinger told FOX Business’ Madison Alworth Wednesday. "It's still very high, and it remains to be that for the rest of the year."
Though Winnebago's RV sales are down 15% year-over-year, the iconic American automaker reports historically strong sales compared to 2018 and 2019 first quarter numbers, according to Hensinger.
A recent survey also found a 67 to 69% increased likelihood of buying or renting a recreational vehicle in the next five years among those who have camped since 2020.
The data comes amid record-high gas prices and nationwide flight cancellations during one of the year’s busiest travel seasons, making road trips an attractive option for travelers.
Hensinger noted the iconic RV brand has seen markets and the economy drive change in consumer demand.
"Certainly the demographics of the customers has changed," Hensinger explained. "We're seeing more of the Gen X and the millennials that are able to not only get out of their home and want to travel after being cooped up for two years, but they can work from anywhere."
Many of the RVs on Winnebago’s Millstone, New Jersey, sales floor had just been recently delivered due to supply chain delays coupled with 2021’s surge in sales, the brand manager also pointed out.
"Normally, it would be any particular model could be [delivered] from 60 to 90 days. You knew that it would be here," Hensinger noted. "But a lot of the RVs that you're looking at today, we ordered in the fall of 2020, and that's why they've just recently come in, which is certainly interesting."
The Winnebago rep remained confident that despite supply disruptions, strong interest will keep its RVs rolling off the company’s lots.
"We see that sales for the RV sector will certainly remain strong," Hensinger said, "and for the rest of this year."