Posts Tagged ‘second home’

Forest River Surveyor Travel Trailer

Forest River Surveyor Travel Trailer

After slumping during the recession, sales of recreational vehicles are on the rise as U.S. consumers give in to the lure of the open road — with amenities — and are once again able to get credit to buy what many consider an affordable second home.

Sales of RVs, which include travel trailers and motor homes, have been rising since 2010, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Today, RV owners number nearly 9 million in the United States — a record.

The increase comes thanks to more available credit, growing interest in RV travel, and a push by RV makers to load up the vacation homes on wheels with high-tech extras, the Reston, Va.-based association said.

And many people are just fed up with traditional travel hassles.

“We’re seeing a lot of first-time buyers who have traveled other ways and are tired of the air travel or questionable accommodations when they get where they’re going,” said Greg Merkel, owner and president of Leo’s Vacation Center in Gambrills.

Wholesale sales of RVs, which reached a 30-year high in 2006, began falling off the following year, hurt by plummeting consumer confidence and the tightening of credit markets, said Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

Sales from manufacturers to dealers dropped sharply in 2008 and 2009, the group says.

“RVs are discretionary purchases that are primarily financed,” Broom said, adding that would-be RV owners could not buy even if they wanted to during the credit crunch.

That has changed. National sales rose 4 percent last year, to more than 252,000 RVs, and are projected to grow as much as 6 percent this year.

About 90 percent of RVs sold are travel trailers, which cost about $35,000 on average and require towing. The rest are pricier motor homes.

“That’s incremental, steady growth, and what we anticipate happening is this steady growth,” Broom said. “There’s a substantial savings in RV travel, even including the purchase and ownership,” because RV travelers — who pay about $35 per night at campgrounds — can forgo hotel, restaurant and airfare costs.

“People want to get out and spend time with family and want the outdoor experience,” Broom said. “But they want comfort.”

Sales at Chesaco RV in Joppa are up more than 20 percent this year over last, general manager Rob Lentz said.

“Truly it’s a lifestyle choice to some degree,” Lentz said of the demand for RVs. “This is something people enjoy doing.”

RV owners, he said, share “a really strong feeling of community and loyalty.”

This year, the dealer, which also has locations in Gambrills and Frederick, has seen a bump in sales of travel trailers in the $20,000 to $30,000 range, Lentz said.

Financing with lower interest rates has helped sales, he said, adding that the interest on vehicles counted as second homes is tax-deductible.

Manufacturers, too, are trying to win over buyers by including more amenities, such as high-end audio and video systems, a homier feel in decor, upgrades in kitchens and bath designs, new floor plans — and power-everything, including the awnings, he said.

“A lot of the allure with the RV lifestyle is the ability to travel with a lot of the amenities from home, to have your own bed and your own bathroom,” Lentz said.

Some owners store their trailers at their homes and tow them on trips, while others keep a trailer at a permanent site. Some campgrounds will store trailers in the off-season and then tow them to a campsite for the owners.

Linda Abel and her husband, Frank, just bought a 33-foot motor home with full kitchen, bathroom with a standup shower, living room with leather sofa and big-screen TV, and bedroom with two wardrobes and another TV. They traded up after owning travel trailers.

Before their first trailer purchase three years ago, the Perry Hall couple considered buying a permanent vacation home.

The generation that grew up with “On the Road” is hitting the highway once again. Only this time, they’re leaving the bedroll and taking their granite countertops.

[SB70001424052702304066504576343670282924978]

The second home is out. The winter home is for the birds. Baby boomers and retirees are instead turning to luxury RVs — the behemoth land cruisers that promise the allure of travel without the indignity of airport security, plus all the comforts of home.

RVs are getting increasingly fancy. Buyers have gotten used to stainless steel appliances, flat-screen TVs and hardwood floors in their primary residence; now they want them in their motor homes, too. “Luxury is more in demand,” says Kevin Broom, a spokesperson for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. And as the economy picks up, consumers are getting more comfortable spending on high-end goods, notes Brad Schaefer, an analyst at Sageworks, a trend that extends from companies like Tiffanys and Porsche, both of which saw double-digit sales gains last year, to the luxury RV market.

RV lovers cite the ability to travel without airport lines or security hassles, to go “glamping” (imagine camping in Yosemite within feet of your flat-screen), and to see parts of America that are off the well-beaten path as reasons to hit the road in a motor home.

Full Story

 

RV Basics eMail Group

Join Our FREE RVBasics Email Discussion Group

Get current information about the RVing lifestyle, and the RV industry from your fellow RVers. You can also post your own questions. We never share your email address with anyone. Get more info about the RVbasics Discussion Group.
Enter your email address below.

Find a Post by Date
July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031