Valley RV businesses say business still going strong despite gas prices, shortages
STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Since the pandemic began, people have looked to different ways to travel and get outside with one of the most popular choices being RVs. According to data from the RV Industry Association, 600,000 travel homes were sold in 2021, up 19% from 2020.
Local businesses have seen the interest, saying the last few years have been some of their busiest. Charlie Obaugh RV and Outdoors have seen a specific spike in new and first-time buyers.
“I’d say a good 30 to 40 percent of the people we see are either new or they’re trying to figure it out to what their capabilities are with what their vehicle is that they currently own if they can tow something if they can buy something motorized that already has a motor,” General Manager of Charlie Obaugh RV and Outdoors Ben Puckett said.
For Dove’s Campers in Harrisonburg, sales have also been steady during the industry boom, but they’ve also been impacted by recalls and shortages. The store’s parts and in-house service department has been hit with unknown timelines for items like propane fittings and accessories.
“There were also recalls on certain products as well so on top of a shortage there was a recall so we experience that a lot with a lot of our parts so it was hard to tell a lot of our customers, ‘Sorry we just don’t know when this is coming in,’” Salesperson for Dove’s Campers Bethany Lowe said.
Gas prices and inflation have also impacted parts of the RV industry, but 79% of RVers say their travel plans are not impacted by gas prices.
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