NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Travel at airports is increasing as the pandemic slows. On Monday, TSA screened more than 1.6 million people at airport checkpoints.
However, some still feel more comfortable traveling by road, and it seems an increasing number are choosing to travel by RV.
RV sales and shipments are surging.
New data shows more RVs made their way to dealerships across North America in March than in any prior single month.
Unlike other aspects of the travel and tourism industry, Michael Spencer, sales manager at Bankston Motor Homes Nashville says the market for RVs has thrived amid COVID-19.
“There’s certinaly been an increase in RV sales,” he said Thursday.
A new report by Outdoorsy shows dealers in the Nashville Metro generate around $111.2 million in annual sales.
Spencer said he sees a few hundred customers a month.
According to the RV Industry Association, across the country, more than 54,000 wholesale RV units shipped this past March, contributing to a record-braking 148,500 units shipped in the first quarter of 2021, making it the most RVs ever shipped in a single quarter.
A recent study from Go RVing echoed this growth, reporting that 11.2 million households now own an RV, up 26% over the past 10 years and 62% over the last 20 years.
“We recently got a report how there were millions, or billions of dollars spent in the cruise industry. Now those people are spending money and buying RVs. There were billions of dollars being spent going overseas, and now they’re buying RVs,” Spencer said.
What’s more, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down, with experts predicting a 25% surge in RV shipments in 2021.
The problem is just like the housing market, consumer demand is outpacing supply.
“We have many on order that typically we expected them in 8-10 weeks, and now we arre 16 weeks out, and that’s not even a promise,” Spencer said.
He said it’s all due to a shortage on certain parts.
Knoxville, Tennessee ranked 7th among the largest metros with the most RV sales per capita with annual sales at RV dealers in that area sitting around $162 million.