Upscale motor coaches, along with popup tents, travel trailers and accessories – everything from travel coffee mugs to golf carts – enjoyed strong sales at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., during last week’s America’s Largest RV Show, hosted by the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA).
“They’re cranking. Business is booming in every aspect,” said Frank Davis with Camping World RV Sales.
The Patriot News reported that show organizers saw a record turnout Wednesday (Sept. 12) with more than 6,000 people through the gates. Davis said in two days he sold 29 motor coaches and a total of more than 200 items including trailers and campers.
Shoppers were out in full force, despite higher gas prices, checking out the latest models and taking advantage of interest rates as low as 3.9% for a 20-year loan, according to Davis, adding that he hadn’t heard anyone say gas prices are not preventing them from making a purchase
“It’s like buying a Corvette and asking about fuel economy,” he said.
Mario Pelletier of Annapolis, Md., said his motor coach gets about seven to eight miles per gallon but the trade-off is he and is wife, Denise, save money by pulling into camp grounds where it costs about $30 to $40 a night versus $200 for a hotel room.
He was canvassing the show in search of accessories, things like a GPS designed for Winnebago owners listing camp sites, service stations and restaurants. He was also checking into electrical isolation systems and tire sensors.
“Camping is a lifestyle. You have to love it,” he said.
“Sold” signs decorated several trailers at Grumbine’s RV lot at the show. The company is based in Harrisburg.
“This by far has been one of the best shows in three years,” said Steve Jablonski, sales manager. “I really think it’s kind of a renewed confidence in the economy. It seems to be a lot stronger than the past couple of years.”
He said he has noticed everyone from retirees to young families making purchases. They are spending $20,000 to $30,000, and not just on any one type of travel trailer.
“It’s all over the board. I can’t nail down a trend. It’s everything,” Jablonski said.
Rick and Beth Roberts of Columbia, Md., Were eyeing a Starcraft travel trailer at Grumbine’s. The couple , with two young boys in tow, said they are considering trading up from their current travel trailer.
Rick Roberts was especially enticed by the deals.
“They come here ready and willing to deal. They’ve already marked down a lot of their product line,” he said.