Jessica and Jim Vaglica are giddy with excitement this weekend after their recent purchase of a 21-foot recreational vehicle.
As reported by the Detroit News, the new, $20,000 2013 Palamino Puma Unleashed toy hauler RV provides lots of features designed to accommodate the Wyoming, Mich., couple’s extreme sports hobbies that include motorcycling and power golf carting — messy pursuits that their 43-year-old 24-footer could not quite accommodate.
“The whole back end of this RV opens up to a big ramp, so we can just ride everything straight out the back,” said 35-year-old Jessica Vaglica, a college student-accounts manager. Her 37-year-old husband is a warehouse manager. “Right where the toys go are two queen-size beds that lift hydraulically to the ceiling to make room for them. And a nice outside feature is a water nozzle so you can spray off your (hobby vehicles), an outdoor shower, and a 15-gallon fueling station.”
And as far as creature comforts are concerned, the new digs have it all over the used RV that the couple is selling. The Puma Unleashed sports a microwave, a freezer and a digital audio system with built-in speakers that can integrate everything from an iPod to Bluetooth.
No wonder recreational vehicle sales and RV camping are surging in Michigan despite occasional $4-a-gallon gas and intermittently wet weather that might have washed out vacation visions. The solid boom has helped create more business at many of the state’s RV campgrounds as well.
Sales of RVs in Michigan through May this year are up strongly over a pretty good 2012 at the state’s 90 dealerships. Michigan dealers sold 5,142 towable RVs, by far the most popular type, or about 2.3% more than a year ago, according to the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVC), which represents the dealers. They sold 383 typically more costly “motorhomes,” up 36.3% over a year earlier.
Nationally, according to the Michigan association, RV dealers sold about 128,000 towables through May, up 11.1% over a year ago, and about 16,000 motor homes, up by 30.4%.
“There’s been a lot of pent-up demand from people who have discretionary income who decided to make the investment in a motorhome,” said Bill Sheffer, director of the Michigan association, based in Okemos. “The economy, in their minds, is fairly stable, and they feel they can make that commitment.”
Dennis Anderson, marketing manager at General RV Center in Wixom, said that so far, “This is the best year in company history. And last year was actually very good as well.”
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