RV Sales Boomed Because of COVID-19: Top Reasons It's a Problem - Trending Vibe Trending Vibe

RV Sales Boomed Because of COVID-19: Top Reasons It’s a Problem

The pandemic made people, especially those living in cities who traveled rarely or primarily via mass public transportation, more interested in starting their lives over and spending time with their loved ones or alone in nature. Many people decided that they wanted to see the nation’s parks, monuments and other historic places and rarely visited regions without bus, train and plane SARS-CoV-2 exposure risks. With this in mind, they decided to invest in motorhomes, also known as recreational vehicles or RVs, to leave behind their sedentary lives and rent or mortgage responsibilities or merely for seasonal vacations.

Yet, the RV boom caused everyone interested in this lifestyle a wide range of problems:

Prices for RVs and Parts Skyrocketed

High demand for RVs in addition to manufacturing delays caused by COVID-19 infections, quarantines and hospital surges and shipping issues resulted in part shortages and backorders for new parts, replacement parts and even complete RVs. As with other vehicle and home price increases seen during the pandemic, the RV demand made costs reach an all-time high.

As proof of demand, experts this year note that nearly 90,000 people attended the first day of the 2022 Tampa Florida RV SuperShow in January. They also note that the market for RVs benefits sellers more than buyers at this point. Buyers can only expect the costs to continue to increase because of demand for the rest of 2022 and possibly 2023 as well.

RV Life Cost Amateurs Too Much

RV enthusiasts understand the impact that the RV lifestyle can have on their financial and physical health. Vehicle upkeep, maintenance and repairs require that an RV owner have excellent financial health to cover fees related to using the RV and hiring professional assistance as needed for emergencies. RVs cost more than regular motor vehicles.

It’s not only a matter of paying higher fuel, oil and other costs related to keeping an RV working well on the road. If an owner buys an older RV, they may become stuck with outrageously high repair bills to make it roadworthy and procure necessities and conveniences like insurance, air conditioning, heating, internet access, camping and cooking gear, home supplies and roadside breakdown repair and emergency tools.

Many neighborhood and community associations also don’t allow owners to park their RVs in their driveways, which then means they may need to pay extra to keep their vehicle in an RV park or elsewhere. RV owners who want to travel with a smaller vehicle or storage trailer need a hitch to tow it. They also must pay for water to refill their water tanks and dump their waste water and sewage holding tanks. People who want to stay at campsites for an entire season can expect to pay several thousand dollars for campsite fees starting at approximately $3,000 to $5,000.

New Owners Learned Hard Physical Lessons

Popular home RVs can range in size from 25-to-45-feet in length. Most people have difficulty managing a 10-foot or 15-foot moving truck. To keep the RV from swerving, a driver must possess upper body physical strength and excellent hand-and-arm mobility and control. Drivers can become stiff from trying to keep their RVs on the road for too long. Regular vehicle drivers rarely drive more than an hour or two before they take a break. RV drivers usually feel like they can drive longer. They also need physical strength to make repairs. People who have arm, shoulder, back, spine, pilonidal or similar health problems often experience exacerbation of their symptoms from sitting locked into position stiffly and in one place for too long or attempting to work on a large motor vehicle.

Physical lessons extend beyond these issues to hidden threats as well. Used RV owners have discovered long after exposure that they bought vehicles with hidden water damage that caused dangerous mold growth that adversely impacted their respiratory and immune system health. Owners who decided to repair their recreational vehicles on their own soon discovered a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that caused them extreme health problems and medical bills from physical strain and exposure to toxic materials in addition to time and financial losses.

Congested Highways, Byways and Other Spaces

Preexisting and new RV owners experienced a lot of additional headaches because of the pandemic. As more people gave up their homes or decided to take isolated vacations and turned to recreational vehicles and the home-travel way of life, America’s roads became more congested from the traffic. As delivery and shipping increased with more people staying at home, RV drivers experienced even greater travel congestion from an increase of big rig and delivery trucks on the road. In RV parks, retailer parking lots and other areas where drivers often park recreational vehicles, the surge of owners and families on the road also made living in RV parking areas more difficult because of light pollution and noise.

RV Enthusiast Frustration Over Surge

A lot of RV enthusiasts who have enjoyed the open roads now experience growing frustration. They’re not happy about paying higher costs for much-needed parts and other items related to using recreational motorhome vehicles. They’re also frustrated by road congestion and disrespectful beheavior at parks and campsites by some amateur RV owners. Additionally, demand for camping and parking spaces causes a backlog of reservation requests, which means that enthusiasts must now wait longer to access the sites they visited seasonally on an annual basis in the past without difficulties.

Although the RV sales boom means that many of RV-friendly sites can expect a high number of sales, these businesses and local tourism sites and commercial properties also struggle to retain old clients who decide to go elsewhere because they don’t feel like they’re valued for their loyalty. Even some RV dealers and sales representatives are unhappy because they can’t meet demand and receive a lot of anger from current clients and potential buyers about higher costs, reduced access to parts and the feeling of betrayal about the promised “ease” and “fun” of RV life.

2022 and Beyond

Lovers of recreational vehicles know that the lifestyle gives people everything they could possibly want when seeking the freedom of the open roads and opportunities to explore the natural and manmade world within the borders of the country. RV ownership can provide people with a truly memorable fantastic adventure.

Yet, they also know that the lifestyle requires research and dedication along with no small amounts of determination, physical capability and financial backing. Current conditions with the pandemic have made RV life less than pleasant for many owners except for the ones who realized that they can double or even triple their initial investment by selling their RVs right now.

For these and other reasons, people considering the purchase of a new or used RV need to also consider all the pros and cons so that they can make informed decision to prevent later regrets or, worse, damage to their health and finances while attempting to make the RV life work for them. Some experts believe that potential RV buyers should wait at least another year to see how the pandemic and other world-changing events impact the costs associated with RVs and the lifestyle before making an investment.

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