Business is booming for island RV dealers as COVID-19 limits summer travel
COURTENAY, B.C. -- The pandemic may be creating problems for air travel, cross-border shopping and international cruises, but RV dealers on Vancouver Island are reporting a booming business.
At Comox Valley RV, sales manager Kevin Kozlowski says those staying closer to home are helping to drive business.
"(It's been) a great month for us. May was the best month ever, selling a ton of motorized, especially the B-classes," he says.
Kozlowki says retirees are leading the buyers, and families are expected to follow in the coming months as they plan for staycations.
"Everything that you need is in B.C.,” Kozlowski says. “Why not take advantage of this? Especially with the borders closed and no Americans coming up, we can actually camp in our own campgrounds.”
The situation is similar at Courtenay's Galaxy RV. Sales associate Richard Caissie says while automotive sales slumped, RV sales haven't.
"It's been steady, very busy, we've been struggling to keep up really, just with the information and people stopping in to check everything out and ask lots of questions," Caissie says.
He says sales normally pick up in March, but there has been extra attention this year from those looking to travel while still self-isolating.
"What we're noticing with people motivated by COVID-19 is a lot are just starting out, so they're looking at the entry-level RVs," Caissie says.
RV rentals, which took a hit during the early months of the pandemic, are also on the upswing, according to Island RV Rentals co-owner David Robertson.
"Once the pandemic hit and everything got shut down, the phone and the emails just stopped completely, but now it's been a flood, I'd say since they announced that the campsites will be open again," Robertson says.