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It seems as though more Albertans are enjoying the great outdoors in recreational vehicles. According to a report by the Global Edmonton, the province is leading the country in RV sales this summer.
Statistics from the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) of Alberta show towable sales are up significantly in Alberta this summer compared to last year.
“We’ve seen probably about an 18% to 20% increase in sales comparatively to last year,” explains Clayton Phillips, a sales manager at Woody’s RV World.
Phillips said while their average customer ranges in age from 35 to 59, he has seen an increase in the number of young people and young families buying RVs over the past few years. “You can get into a new RV in the low teens – $12,000 is where we kind of start – all the way up to $400,000 dollars, depending on what your needs or wants are,” he said.
Despite high gas prices, Phillips said an RV vacation is still anywhere between 25% to 59% less expensive than a typical vacation. Manufacturers are also making recreational vehicles lighter in weight, so they’re not as expensive to pull.
It seems as though it’s not just holiday or camping needs that are drawing Albertans to RVs.
“We’re seeing a growing trend to people that are retired that are going to full-time, live-in use of the recreational vehicle, as well as people that use them for work purposes,” Phillips said. “You know, the oil field consultant that travels around or the guy that does road construction in the summer time, that sort of thing.”
Then, there are the snowbirds who spend their summers in Canada and head south for the winter season. Plus, with features such as indoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and televisions, RVers can enjoy the outdoor life without leaving the comfort of your own home.
“Here in Alberta we work hard, we play hard. We’re outdoor enthusiasts and because of the seasonality of our business, when summer hits, people want to get outdoors,” Phillips say.
The forecast for next year doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either.
“It’s all looking positive right now,” Phillips adds.