Business View Magazine | January 2021

127 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JANUARY 2021 THE RECREAT ION VEHI CLE INDUSTRY ASSOC I AT ION (RV I A) members, is the leading source of research, data, and analysis about the RV industry, and seeks to grow and expand the RV consumer market while cultivating a positive experience for current and future RVers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as people eagerly seek out ways to leave the house for a change of scenery while maintaining a safe social distance, all thing recreational have soared. That holds especially true for the RV industry, where sales have been booming. Craig Kirby, RV Industry Association President, reports, “At the beginning of COVID, the industry was shut down for two months and no one knew what to expect when things improved and places began to open back up. But, surprisingly, we are on track to end 2020 with about 424,000 units – which is what we estimated at the beginning of the year. So for having been shut down for two months at the manufacturing and the dealer end, to finish at that level is quite amazing. During the shutdowns, a number of manufacturers also started producing PPE, and units were donated to hospitals and others for various uses. So impressive.” It all comes down to people loving the fact that an RV offers the freedom to go where you want, when you want, while also controlling your environment. When you travel, you can use your own bathroom, cook your own meals, bring your own bed…“And they’re just a lot of fun!” says Kirby. “Getting out in nature, hiking, fishing, it’s a great way to pursue your passions. We are thrilled that people are able to use our product to escape the stress of the pandemic and experience the outdoors.” From a manufacturing perspective, there have been some supply chain shortages because the demand for RVs came back so fast and so strong. And the lack of skilled tradespeople continues to cause challenges for industries across the board, including the RV sector. But the manufacturers are still producing a high volume and expanding. Interestingly, 55 to 70 President, Craig Kirby Courtesy of Go RVing