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 COVID outbreak and all its variants 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 the RV lifestyle will still be embraced post-COVID.
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 international destinations 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.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Chris Rodriguez says
My husband and I fully agree with all your points! We have been full-time RV’ers for 3 years and can think of no better environment than our awesome motor coach – we are leaving for Dallas tomorrow and love the freedom of knowing we will be riding, eating, sleeping and using all the clean facilities of our “home on wheels” without any concerns. We are so happy to have embraced this lifestyle!!!
mike turner says
We love fulltime RVing but have a place in northern Arizona where we can always come home to. We have full hook-up there but can take-off for the wilds anytime we want. For now, I think we will just wait out the cov-19
Ken S. says
I believe the comments made to be true. I’d like to add if there are kids involved, you’d prefer to keep them under supervision.
Emily Arner says
After being cooped up due to a reasonable cause, our 5’er is everything to us! Hopefully life settles down and we can travel in July!
We love camping in the state parks. We used to camp in Myrtle beach several weeks a year but the campgrounds become so expensive for a very small plot to rent we just rent a condo now.
We are full timers..luckily we aren’t having to fight for space with the local campers as we trudge to our home base (lot) in an RV resort. The local people in the areas where we are camping are deciding this is a great way to spend their “locked up” time..yup they hook onto their campers & head to the campground…the campgrounds in MS shut down the bathrooms, LA just closed all their parks, and now back in AR, the bathrooms are being closed…our summer plans may have to change, but hoping the govn’t comes to its senses..you can no more control a virus than the global climate..what big egos these wackos have.
The virus as well as climate change can not be fully controlled, but consequences of both can be lessened by what the government is doing now. Should have done it many weeks earlier.V
Rick Kirkpatrick says
We have an RV, but staying at home, we can buy & store more groceries than in our RV & if we are quarantined & need something our neighbours will pick it up for us. The bathroom argument is the same for houses. Communities don’t want outsiders coming in incase they are sick. If you ran an RV park, would you want new exposure every time someone comes into your establishment? Canada & some states are asking for mandatory insolation for 14 days without stopping at stores on the way. Can you do that now with your RV?
Don Griffin says
Good observations. The one downside for the RV industry could possibly be the devastation to the economy, which will cause people to tighten up on expenditures. This reaction will not be good for the RV market. The expensive discretionary expenditures tend to lag an economic upturn so new and used RV purchases may be delayed for several months. Time will tell.
Wishful thinking. The RV industry is in for a huge shock. Almost nobody will be buying RVs and many that currently full-time will be returning to their previous lives (or will try to).
RV pricing, both new and used, will be a fraction of what it is now. Dealers (and manufacrures) will be begging for a sale. I’ll be buying that $300k rig for $100k or less, late summer 2020.
That’s wishful thinking on your part Rain.
Good luck. That would be nice to upgrade again
Richard Hubert says
All good points – – But all dependent upon Federal, State and local campgrounds/parks reopening. After all – people have to have destinations to go to.
I personally do not expect to see the “economy coming roaring back” as many pols seem to believe..
IMHO high unemployment will continue for some time and recreational/discretionary expenses will come way behind rent, car pmt, food etc etc. The evolving rent strike + food shortages due to truckers not wishing to chance it ‘in the cities’ are just some of the possible unintended consequence folks need to watch….& which can devastate the retail markets. The economy is not an electric clock which can be turned on and off at will. I just hope all this has not been some political stunt.
Scott Wood says
Agree. Our campervan is something we use far more than we thought. Now restaurants are carry out only. No problem for us. Hop in the van head there. We can go anywhere and have a nice quiet dining area just for us. Same thing for bathroom facilities. Don’t need to be concerned about public bathrooms anymore. We love it more than we ever thought.
I totally agree except for #7. “where crowds are non existent” ?? Have you been to Quartzite and southern Arizona in January?
Dave Helgeson says
Haven’t been to Quartzite in January because I don’t camp where it is crowded. I find my own spots that are known by only a few, if any.
Love to get a camper and travel but now that I’ve read some reviews not sure.
Then that number seems pretty irrelevant to the general RVing population. The economy will not coming roaring back, debt load is huge and many will be focused on getting jobs or back to work.
You would love the camper life Linda. Don’t let anything get your Hope’s dashed. It is wonderful. You can find relaxation, joy, and new friends.
I would anytime travel in an RV over EVERY other option. I always have hated germs, but more important get disgusted by the icky, nasty ways people live. I built all 3 of my homes to avoid allergens, and my houses are kept incredibly clean. When I was ready to sell my home, each were sold within days as the biggest remark made was how clean the house is and that is what sold people. RV travel will always be the best option, hands down, literally! 😀
Rebeka Perrella says
We love traveling in our RV. We can take absolutely everything we need, it’s our own bed, a washer/dryer that doesn’t smell like rubber baby diapers, food we buy/cook exactly the way we want, our fur baby goes with us at no extra cost, the inside is cleaned without toxic chemicals and I know the sheets and bathroom is cleaner than any 5 star hotel room. If our neighbors get loud, we can leave. We stay at a top RV resort if we feel like having all the luxury’s, at a reasonably priced state park for hiking and outdoor activities and boondock for a cheap overnight. We RV for all the conveniences, none of the negatives that happen when staying in a hotel. Hands down, if you have the finances to keep an RV in good condition, the best way to enjoy time away from the norm.
If anyone in our family is to get sick they will be quaranteed to our RV. Social distancing so easy when out in an RV . Doesn’t matter if you are boon docking or at an RV park it is easy to keep your distance. I hope Alberta re opens the parks they were intending to close by the time summer comes.
Ray Shepherd says
My wife and I are just waiting for this coronavirus is over. We are just going to strictly travel in our RV. I think it would be the safest way to travel.
Jeff Mueller says
I don’t think we’re going to be in the market for an RV.
Spoke to my wife. The question we’re asking ourselves, where are we going to camp? Sounds easy enough… well, its not.
I’ve been trying to reserve camping sites at campgrounds we’d like to stay. An example, Gamble Rogers in Florida. I was up at 6:45AM CST this morning (the park opens for reservations at 8:00AM EST) trying to book site 21. This wasn’t for this coming weekend, the reservation is for 2021, 11 months in advance! We want to stay there over the first weekend in March, 2021.
Out of 4 attempts (3 other sites we’d like to camp) I haven’t been able to reserve a site, much less any site. Even the worst months in Florida – all sites booked.
This has been the case with every state and national park we’ve considered. Some take advanced reservations with varying time lines and policies, which adds to the mystery (its actually frustrating, aggravating).
We were able to book sites at a lake about an hour away from our home. None of them preferred sites on the lake, those sites are all ready booked to the end of the reservation period. Holidays, weekends forget it, they book as fast as state and national sites.
After being sufficiently aggravated by it all, I started asking questions. Turns out there is a pretty good chance hackers have developed programs which book these camp sites (faster than a human) and offer them to customers. Another “company” out there snatches up cancellations. They offer those cancellations to their customers. LOL! I had no idea. Quite a business. The state, national campground reservation systems appear to be rigged.
We had our identity stolen a few years back. The IRS called me and asked what was going on with our return. That is how we learned our identify had been stolen.
Needless to say, I’m not interested in offering my personal information to a shady, back alley, campground reservation hacker whose only address is a .com address on the internet.
Anyway, we are afraid we’ll wind up camping in our backyard more than campgrounds we’ve considered. I don’t have another camp site booked for the remainder of 2020. Aside from boon docking at a couple events coming up, those not canceled by the virus, my current rig will sit in the driveway a majority of 2020.
Until we are satisfied we’ll be able to camp at areas we want to visit (Walmart is not on the list) we are putting the purchase of a new RV off.
Buying a new RV is the easy part. The hard part is actually reserving a site at a campground you want to visit.
Tom Simpson says
live life like it is your last day, live your life with care as you never know how long you will be here, so do what you can while you can, when its my time the Devil is going to know he has a real SOB on his hands that lived my life to the fullest
Virginia Pierson says
We live full time in Florida & even we can’t go where we want when we want! In Winter that’s anytime after the Jewish Holidays in Oct. till about April 10 when some of those Snow Birds filling every campground in Florida go home to send their taxes in. It gets too hot here for me to camp here in summer so we need to go somewhere that it’s cool or cold in Summer. We were hoping to leave for Maine this year around the end of May.
We were hoping to purchase a “new to us” RV to possible live in full time for about 2 years. I start looking about 2 years out to find what I want. That worked fine for the last 2 Motorhomes we’ve owned. A couple months ago we saw an ad from Gander RV that had exactly what we were looking for. It was a 2010 Ventura with very low mileage & a huge counter in the kitchen. The whole back was a U shaped eating/sleeping area. It kept coming up for a couple months so we figured since we can’t go out (our age) it will probably still be there when this is all over! Who in their right mind would go out to buy an RV in this? Specially an old ’10 RV, we figured it would still be there when this is over. Gone! So people are still buying RV’s.
Let me preface the next with: I’m an Independent who voted for Ross Perot, I voted for Trump because I didn’t want another “politics as usual” in the White House. I was brought up in NJ right near NYC & had first hand knowledge of what a good person Trump was. Very giving, sincere man, I knew he’d do a good job. He has done a better than good job if you can get past the hatred or bitterness & admit that he won fare & square. We The People put him there & Congress isn’t helping him one bit.
He has already done much for us if you care to really look instead of believing what you hear. I know that this man is going to go down in History as one of the greatest Presidents we’ve ever had. Relax, he’s really taking care of everything & our economy will be better than ever! Pray for him & those that are working with & for him behind the scenes. If you look at his old interviews he has always said he didn’t want to be President but knew he could do a good job of it. He puts his very life on the line for us everyday, he’s not getting paid. He just loves America & ALL of the people in it. Had he not won, I saw the handwriting on the wall. I think you’ll be surprised about the economy when he eventually leaves office. More of you will be able to buy RV’s, mark my words.
Pelosi keeps saying “he doesn’t know how things work here” HE KNOWS & we didn’t want more of the same!
Joe Spidle says
Great article and I think very much on point. As far as sales and prices overall in the RV industry I think 2020 will be horrible, just like the rest of the economy. However starting in 2021 and beyond I think it will come back stronger than it has ever been. Many retirement age folks may take a huge hit on their 401K plans or any retirement stocks they were counting on. A lot of those same people may have friend(s) or family member(s) that die due to this virus. Thinking of their own mortality will convince many to plunge into RV travel and maybe even full time RVing IMHO.
The RV manufacturers are going to have to start building campgrounds if they expect to sell their product in the future!
Marc Rodstein says
I agree. You can’t keep building a half million new RVs every year with no place for them to camp!
Mark W. says
I think you’re probably right. People don’t want to
co-mingle too much and the confined spaces and ever shrinking seats on airlines is making traveling on them very uncomfortable.
Also, as opposed to driving your own car,
traveling in an RV means that you can skip hotels, sleep in your own environment and have more control over your situation. Traveling in an RV is like being in a cocooned environment.
william walker says
My wife and I are also considering a “staycation” in place of a multi-state trip. One question I have for those above that have commented on the independence of camping (which we love), how are you planning on emptying wastes and filling with fresh water if everything is closed?
Virginia N. Pierson says
After all I said above, I’m really thankful that I had this time at home where I could have groceries delivered, water stored & my normal toilet paper back up supply. I have not had to buy either during this. Not knowing if it was in the air, I’m glad I got to go through it in my own house. We really “camp” when on the road, no boon docking & no National Parks where people go missing everyday. No computer & cell phones only for emergency. Read instead of TV.
There are always dump sites by gas stations or elsewhere that are open. If you can go for 2 weeks in your RV without moving, then you are in a good place. That’s usually the top for most RVers. Then we start running out of food, need to dump and not even talking about many BLMs only allows you to stay for two weeks.
I stay in my RV when in the U.S. but I also travel internationally a great deal each year. Summers I usually spend in Europe which I won’t be able to this year. I guess I am staying in the RV visiting states I have not yet seen. Not bad at all, but it wasn’t the plan.
So this article was written in March. It’s now 2021, vaccines are being administered, and I already know MANY people booking cruises, flights, hotels, etc. for this summer, fall, and next winter. People are reverting back to their old travel ways. Many didn’t want in the camping life in the first place, but that’s all that was available. Sure, there are some that will continue to embrace the new lifestyle, but they’ll be in the minority. If you’re shopping for an RV, hang on another 6 months or so. I have a feeling there’s going to be a glut of used ones on the market over the following 18 months.