The news for custom shops that tap into the RV market just seems to get better. Shops that connect with this group of ardent road enthusiasts could enjoy a comfortable niche—and a boost in sales of their services, according to a report by Specialty Fabrics Review.
For every new RV that lands a home, two used RVs are sold, says Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). And those previously-owned RVs are just begging for a facelift — which often translates into an extensive refurbishing, either accomplished all at once or, more commonly, over several years.
Says Josh Skiller, general manager of Countryside Interiors Inc. of Junction City, Oregon’s largest RV store, “Many of our customers bought a used model at $30,000 and then proceed to put in $10,000 in upgrades—better than paying $200,000 for a new vehicle. They remodel the interiors to look like new, using pretty much all types of fabric applications.”
Dave Ast, co-owner with his brother, L.J., of Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design in Woodland, Wash., agrees. “The oldest vehicles we see were made 10 years ago, so they’re ready for an update,” Ast says. “Before the recession, folks bought a new coach every two or three years, but since the downturn, they’re not spending that kind of money. They refurbish it instead.”
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