RV sales soar amid the Coronavirus

Camping is becoming the go-to vacation for many Americans coming out of lockdown. With RV sales skyrocketing, expect crowded roads and campgrounds for the July 4 holiday. NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

(NBC News) — This year, more Americans are finding their motor home away from home, with record-setting RV sales at many dealerships across the country.

At Carolina Coach and Marine in Claremont, North Carolina, inventory is rolling out faster than they can restock.

“We’re begging the manufacturers to get more product in here to us,” said owner John Cathey.

Demand, they say, is driven by Americans looking for a safer option to travel this summer.

According to the RV Industry Association, 46 million Americans say they plan to take an RV trip in the next year. Some, like Pam Katz and her family are opting to rent instead of buy.

“Now that I have this experience, and we are in this pandemic where I’m not seeing myself on a plane anytime soon. I’d do it again,” said Katz.

RV sales show no sign of slowing down. Winnebago beat expectations this quarter, Airstream is up 11 percent and Marathon expects to be up 30 percent over expectations this year. But that demand could mean less availability for renters, and up to a two-week waiting period for buyers.

Road trips will make up 97 percent of summer travel according to AAA, and with July 4 around the corner, experts say you can expect busy roads and campgrounds. As states phase reopening, many attractions have limited capacity and require reservations, with some campgrounds booking up months in advance.

Low gas prices are no doubt helping the camper surge. The peer-to-peer rental site RV Share says they’ve seen a 1000 percent increase in site traffic since the start of the pandemic.

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