I saw a “staycation” ad on the TV today which brought back memories of both the Great Recession along with 9/11 and how people dealt with the aftermath of those two disturbing times in our country and abroad. As I pondered the advertisement and the knowledge that the current COVID-19 outbreak will eventually pass, I began to think about what the post public response was to both those events and how the RV industry will most likely be the preferred mode of vacation travel in the months to come.
Here are 8 reasons why I believe the RV lifestyle will be widely embraced post-COVID-19.
1. Just like we witnessed after 9/11, people may be reluctant to return to the confined space of an airplane after practicing the safety of social distancing for so long and opt for RV travel instead.
2. People that may have planned to take a cruise are likely to opt for an RV vacation as an alternative as they will not be confined to a small enclosed space with thousands of others where the virus may still be lurking.
3. The thought of traveling abroad to foreign countries may still be a concern for many.
4. Traveling by RV allows people to prepare their own meals consuming them in their own space or outdoors, not in restaurants where they were banned from during the outbreak.
5. You can camp out in the boondocks where you don’t have to interact with others during the check-in process, touch hard surfaces like water faucets and electrical hookups, and minimize the risk of encountering any lingering virus.
6. Sleeping in your own bed every night and using your own bathroom is always preferred over the alternatives, especially after an infectious outbreak when you questioned every surface you came in contact with.
7. RVs lend themselves to outdoor activities where crowds are nonexistent like hiking, biking, fishing, geocaching, photography, off-roading, rockhounding, exploring back roads, kayaking, etc.
8. You know when the interior of the RV was last sanitized and by who (you)!
There are potentially many more reasons that haven’t come to light yet but are likely to emerge as this crisis passes. In the meantime, feel free to share the reasons you are likely to RV after COVID-19 and the adventures in RVing you have planned.
As COVID-19 seemingly begins to wind down and the clutches the coronavirus has on our lives start to loosen, it’s evident that RVs are about to take over the world. There seems to be a palpable, measurable pulse that’s rising in the RV community.
With over 2.2 million RVs sold in the last five years alone and tens of millions more on the road already, the anticipation has risen to a fever pitch. Camp Corona looks to finally be closing and real RVing may actually begin.
That pulse is rising with excitement however, not chaos. While scenarios playing out in the daily news picture cooped up quarantiners shouting Let Our Beaches Go! and We Need Haircuts, RV owners have been carefully biding their time watching YouTube videos about RVing and learning about RV maintenance and upgrades in anticipation of release day.
You’ll find these laid-back RVing refugees checking on campground closures and more importantly, reopenings. Facebook is awash with new RVers yet to try their new camper or motorhome, save for brief driveway camping stint to learn about the features of their new toy. Driveway camping is not just for the newly initiated either. Veteran RVers can be found across the country setting up their driveway camps with the efficiency of an Indy pit crew, ensuring they are ready when their corner of the world reopens.
As daily news reports outline which businesses and government entities will reopen, RVers flock to online sources to confirm the latest information and gobble up any available campsites that may have opened up. Like digital locusts, RVers are swarming top campground sites like Campground Reviews in hopes to locate an open campground near them.
A recent campground in Pennsylvania booked all 155 campsites just three hours after being allowed to open again. It’s not just campgrounds either. RV dealers are expecting a deluge of purchasing and service requests while biding their time with online chats, Zoom meetings, and video walk-throughs in preparation for that moment when they can reopen their doors.
It seems RVing is and will be for the near future, the best alternative to traditional vacation options. Throughout the RV industry, prudent optimism is providing the background noise to an escalating buzz that is starting to permeate all aspects of the RVing community.
Few Americans are interested in getting on a cruise ship, and traveling abroad holds little appeal, much to the dismay of Expedia and the airlines. Standard road trips might still entice those looking for adventure, but finding a pandemic-free hotel room and safe restaurants will be a concern to those who just spent two months locked in their own homes and are unwilling to risk exposure again.
That leaves the wonderful, magical world of RVing. Yes, there will still be the occasional Robin Williams moment with your RV. At the end of the day, however, it will be you and your family in an RV that is yours, knowing where it’s been and who has been in it. You’ll sleep in your own bed every night, knowing who put the sheets on and when they were last washed.
You’ll know who cooked your meals and where the food came from. You can spend time outdoors, burning off that pent-up summertime energy. Kids that have routinely been up past midnight playing Animal Crossing on their Nintendo Switch, will now be exhausted and asleep by 9:00 pm, leaving some quiet campfire time for the parents.
Whether you visit that national monument you’ve always wanted to see, or simply take your crew to a family-oriented RV park that has every activity imaginable, you can vacation on your terms. Perhaps you just want to hit the road with no real destination in mind.
Plan a trip, find campgrounds, and drive. Go RVing, the allure of the open road is real. When your RV vacation is over, you’ll have more than just great memories, you’ll still have that RV. Just clean it up and get ready for your next adventure. You thought lather, rinse, repeat was just for shampoo?
Get ready for it
It’s coming. You can feel it. Spend any amount of time on social media or a popular RVing forum like iRV2 and you can feel the restlessness. Camping will start late this year, but it will have a long burn. RVers won’t be so quick to store their rig for the winter, and they won’t be quite so expeditious to winterize. Many will extend their camping season into the cold season.
It may take years for vacation travel to return to normal—if it ever does. Expect RVing to build on the growth it has seen in the last several years and become the new vacation normal. RVs will continue to become more popular, more valuable, and have a higher resale value. It may not be quite the same as a chicken in every pot, but an RV on every lot is not out of the question.