GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — While most tourism-related sales are slumping right now, one industry is booming: RV sales.
Millions are unemployed. People have been told to stay at home.
It’s not the time you’d probably want to work in sales based commission in the auto industry or anything related to travel tourism.
So the general sales manager at Lifestyles RV in Grain Valley didn’t expect to see every parking spot in their lot taken up by customers when the dealership reopened last month after a brief shutdown.
“Not really, it was a surprise,” Wayne Brown said.
But it’s stayed that way ever since, with the RV industry as a whole reporting shattered sales records.
“Right now we are doing three times the normal deliveries we do in a week,” Brown said.
We asked Dan Barrett, who plans to travel this summer, why he wasn’t planning to fly and stay at a hotel?
“You have to sit next to people,” he answered.
The matter-of-fact tone of Barrett’s answer seems to the very reason sales have been so strong this spring.
Options from travel trailers to fifth wheels vary.
“We do have lower price new stuff, you can get them down as low as $12,000, and if you want to, you can spend $135,000 to $140,000 on a 5th wheel,” Brown said.
On the pricier models, you’ll find several living areas and big screen TVs, one or two bathrooms with showers, and full kitchens for those who don’t want to eat out right now.
“All of them have microwaves, most of them have ranges so you can actually cook in an oven if you want to,” Brown said.
Most RV manufacturers shut down by COVID-19 returned to the assembly line early this month to try to start replenishing dwindling inventory.
But with decreased supply and increased demand Brown said if you’re planning on traveling, you should know it will probably take about two weeks to get your RV.