Spring renewal doesn’t just apply to flowers and trees. RV dealers in Utah are learning it’s a time of rebirth for them as well, according to KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rob Jensen, manager of Ardell Brown RV Sales, a Camping World/Freedom Roads store in Draper, Utah, says winter’s usually slower for RV dealers, but this winter was especially so.
The good news: with the return of spring came the return of sales. “People start thinking, they get that itch to go outside and stop hibernating indoors,” Jensen said, “and they go camping again.”
Jensen said people still aren’t going as far away for vacations as they did before the recession, but that’s actually helping RV dealers. “If someone actually did the math, it’s actually quite cost-effective to own an RV and to use it, take your family camping,” he said.
It doesn’t hurt that prices are lower than they’ve been in years. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reports RV shipments fell 63% from last year to this year, prompting manufacturers to offer huge markdowns to dealers in hopes of reducing their inventory.
In exchange, dealers are able to keep prices lower, according to Jensen. “They’re selling things at 30% to 40% off of what we normally even buy them for direct from the manufacturer.”
Jensen says sales were definitely lower this winter than they normally would be in the off-season, but things this spring are much closer to an average year. If you consider 2007 as an anomaly because it was a peak sales year, 2009 is looking a lot more like 2005. Ardell Brown delivered 82 RVs this April compared with 92 in 2005.
It was never as bad in Utah as it was in some other states. Jensen says Ardell Brown was one of the top two sellers in its ownership group. He believes that could be, in part, because Utahns have more ready access to vacation spots than people who live in other states, therefore making an RV a bit more attractive here for someone wanting to vacation closer to home.