JANESVILLE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- For families across Wisconsin, summer vacation will look very different this year. More families are ditching air travel and hotel stays and choosing to take the comforts of home on the open road in recreational vehicles.
“I’ve seen increase a lot of new camper buyers, people who haven’t owned campers before or have just tent camped. People are realizing that the products we offer allow people to get out in the woods and still feel the comforts of home while still social distancing,” says Pat Schenck, a marketing specialist at Quietwoods RV in Janesville.
With summer camps and family trips cancelled because of COVID-19, RV dealerships across the state are experiencing a rush of new customers. It is part of a growing national trend; according to the RV Industry Association, RV sales in some areas have jumped 170% over the same time period last year. The RV rental company, RV Share, claims that bookings for this summer are up 650% from a month ago and 93% of people renting RVs say their first priority is avoiding crowds and crowded vacation spots. These aren't all weekend trips, with half the people renting so far planning to be on the road for a week or longer.
“Usually people rent for one week, but the common people are renting for the weekend and a couple extended days,” says Michael Tearman at Quitewoods RV.
Travel trailers will run you about $679 for a week at Quitewoods RV. Employees there encourage newcomers to consider RV travel as an option this summer because it allows families to take a vacation on their own terms.
While many communities across Wisconsin emerge from the now expired Stay-at-Home order, families need to be mindful of where they can and cannot park their RV. Resorts may be closed or have limits for how many visitors can stay on the property. All campgrounds at Wisconsin State Parks and Forest are closed through June 7th and the DNR will begin taking campsite reservations on June 8th online or by calling 1-888-947-2757. Campers should call ahead to learn what safety measures are in place at their chosen vacation spot.