LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Brandon Rough and his family were visiting Leo Carillo State Park, north of Malibu.  

"This is the first overnight, yeah," Rough said.

His family made the trip from Lancaster with their RV for some fresh air and a change of scenery.

What You Need To Know

  • RV sales, rentals have seen an uptick recently

  • One RV provider says sales up 50 percent

  • Many families are attracted to RV trips as socially distant getaway

  • Campgrounds are reopening, further fueling appeal of RVs

"It gives you that freedom to just kind of be able to get out on the road and go," Rough said.

The campground is one of several that reopened on Friday, June 12 – with limited capacity.

"They’re only allowing so many people in these spots. You’ll see every other spot is kind of shut down," Rough said. 

After spending months indoors, the longing to spend time outdoors has made RVs a hot item. 

At El Monte RV Headquarters in Santa Fe Springs, business is booming.

"We haven’t seen anything like this in a while," said General Manger Tim Rutledge.

He says they’re seeing three to four times more rentals than this same time last year, and sales are up 50 percent.

"You can do your own cooking. You don’t have to go anywhere else. You’ve got your own restroom, shower, all self-contained," Rutledge said.

No hotels. No flights, just a desire to get back out and explore. Rutledge says he’s seen a good mix of experienced campers and first timers.

"They’re getting out for the weekend. They’re hitting the national parks, the state parks," he said.

As for safety, Rutledge says the vehicles are disinfected at least three times from the time they’re dropped off until they get handed off to the next customer.

"We put stickers on the door showing nobody else has entered it and the next person that goes in it is the customer," Rutledge said.

He says since coronavirus hit, the average trip has increased from a simple weekend get away to trips that last anywhere from a week to 10 days.

"I’ve seen a lot of cross-country, going from here to New York to Miami, Orlando, Texas."

And now that California State Parks have begun reopening campgrounds, RV owners and renters have more options.  

"It’s a chance for us as a family to get out of the house and do something fun," Rough said.

Wide open spaces make it easy for some to stay safely apart while bringing Rough and his family closer together.