On their first summer vacation since the pandemic, Bay Area residents Pete and Gina Danford and their daughter, Sam, loaded up their RV for a trip across the country.
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“With family and health issues, we decided to get something self-sufficient, so that we could be in our own little bubble, we could travel safely,” said Pete Danford.
The Danfords are far from the only ones to think so. The RV Industry Association says growing demand for recreational vehicles is driving a record year of production.
“We’re actually seeing more people going RVing this summer than last summer,” said spokesperson Monika Geraci.
One-third more recreational vehicles will be manufactured this year compared to last year. Currently, more than 11 million American homes own an RV, up 26% over the past decade and 62% more than 20 years ago.
The pandemic has helped accelerate a national holiday trend.
“People have rediscovered the great outdoors,” said Geraci. “And at the same time, people are discovering VR for the first time. Geraci explained.
Santa Rosa RV general manager Razi Hyder said he has never been so busy in his 30-year family business.
“It was just crazy,” he said.
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Normally there are up to 125 RVs filling up its lot, but as of Monday there were only about 20 in stock. Hyder said waitlists last three to four months and buyers are making down payments on vehicles out of the blue.
How long do they stay in his lot?
“In some cases, for hours,” he said. “In other cases, a few days. “
When Danford did his research he concluded that the RV rental prices were too expensive for his family’s trip and that buying a new motorhome was out of their budget, so they looked for an RV. second hand. But they weren’t prepared for the tough trials of a booming market.
“No idea,” Danford said. “It was shocking. “
Their four-month search led them to five sellers, from Sacramento to Monterey, and long lines of buyers.
“We would contact someone to get a used one, we would go to see it, they would say, ‘Well, you’re second on the list, third on the list, fourth on the list,” he recalls. .
The Danfords have finally made a deal for their house on wheels, and now they’re ready to go.
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“We are really looking forward to it,” he said.