RVs and camp grounds see a boom during the pandemic

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Since the beginning of the pandemic people have been trying to figure out creative ways to get out and do something, safely. As a result, many people have been buying or renting RV’s and visiting local and National parks for a change of scenery.

Harrison Bankston, Owner of Bankston Motor Homes, is one of the most trusted and largest providers of RVs in the southeast and he said since the pandemic sales have rocketed.

“As a result, they came here and our sales went from just mediocre to doubling overnight,” Bankston told News 19.

Since many are opting for a more socially distant way of travel, Bankston said it’s no longer a generational buy, there are more first-time buyers than ever before.

With the influx of buyers, he said there is just one small bump in the road. “Replacing the RVs that we’re selling because we’re selling them at such a rate, that they can not replace them as fast as we’re selling them,” Bankston said.

According to him, now is the time to buy an RV for the summer, “And if you’re on the fence, we have a lot of people renting, those numbers are just as high and then they’ll really know if they want an RV after a weekend.”

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If you’re looking to adventure close, but don’t want to drive far, the always popular and now busy Monte Sano State Park is always a great choice.

Park Manager, Emma Lansdell said there really was no off season last year at Monte Sano.

“It’s been non-stop for us pretty much since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Of course, we’ve had full weekends almost every single weekend,” Lansdell said, “Normally we start getting busy in May, but because of the pandemic we were busy all year.”

Lansdell said she doesn’t see that stopping any time soon, especially with so many safe outdoor activities.

“The residents of Huntsville really keep us going, they’re our number one supporters as far as our locals. They give us the opportunity to serve our local folks and have return customers,” Lansdell said.

Both Bankston and Lansdell agree that there has been a silver lining during the pandemic and it has been beneficial for both industries.

With low fees, Lansdell said it’s important to come and visit to keep funding state parks.

“Continue to do it, you know support us, get out, support your national parks you know, just try to venture out and stay out of your comfort zone,” Lansdell said.

Bankston concluded, “Almost everyone has a childhood memory associated with camping or RVing, ” he said it brings back nostalgia, “The American people like to travel but they also like to take their families out and enjoy life as well.”

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