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HOUSTON (CW39) – Unlike other parts of the economy, the market for recreational vehicles is thriving in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.  For many, traveling by RV makes it easier to maintain physical distance and lower the risk of exposure to coronavirus. According to a new survey by Outdoorsy, industry experts are anticipating a nearly 25% surge in RV shipments in 2021.  In the Houston area, RV dealers generate annual sales of $447.8M, which breaks down to $63 per person, per year.  Most of the cities with the top RV sales are in Florida.  Some of the factors driving up the sales includes the state’s high concentration of retirees, who are traditionally one of the strongest segments for the RV industry.

The jump of the RV industry is not new.  In fact, from 1981 to 2020, the RVs shipments rose from around 133,000 to 430,000.  In that time frame much of the growth was seen during the country’s last recession in 2009.  In that same year, shipment levels dropped to their lowest level since 1995 at around 165,000. Since then, RV shipments have increased by approximately 160%.

The rise in demand is also helping dealers get into the RV industry.  According to data from the Census Bureau, 2012, the industry had 2,625 U.S. dealers and that number grew to 2,703 in 2018.  For more Outdoorsy’s report on RV sales across the nation click this link.