RV sales surge as coronavirus upends summer travel plans

RVs can easily provide temporary housing for families to self-isolate

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While the U.S. economy sinks into its first recession in more than a decade due to the coronavirus pandemic, RV sales are thriving.

Across the nation, Americans are seeking to escape the confines of their homes and fulfill their desires to travel. However, they must do so while abiding by social distancing guidelines meant to curb the spread of the virus.

RVs, which can easily provide temporary housing for families to self-isolate, are become the go-to option with sales outperforming industry expectations at the start of the year, according to LCI Industries' CEO  Jason Lippert.

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LCI Industries is a subsidiary of Lippert Components Inc., which supplies highly engineered components for the leading original equipment manufacturers in the recreation and transportation product markets.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LCIILCI INDUSTRIES119.77+2.17+1.85%

"RVs and boats provide attractive alternatives to vacation more safely as families are eager to get out of the house," said Lippert. "At the same time, RVing and boating offer a great solution to social distancing for families that want to travel the country and experience the great outdoors."

A manager inspects a row of travel trailers at Motor Sportsland RV dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, April 6, 2020. (George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images.)

The trend is likely to continue as social distancing guidelines continue to alter summer travel plans.

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For most consumers "air travel, cruise ships and hotels are likely going to be less popular, at least in the near term," he said. "As a result, the outdoor recreational products business is expected to accelerate."

Pamela Argostino, president of Camp-Land RV in Indiana, told FOX Business on Thursday it is fielding a deluge of calls and texts from customers looking to set up appointments.

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Unlike other forms of travel, RVs offer a lifestyle where travelers are privy to their own bathroom, kitchen and living quarters, Robert Martin, CEO of leading RV manufacturer Thor Industries, told FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

And gas prices are only adding to the appeal. "Gas for us, people typically don't go as far so even when it spikes, it's not that big of a factor," Martin said.

Even celebrities are jumping on the trend.

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