LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - You've seen the gas prices - They're not budging. They're still really high. And the economy! How frustrating as it continues its all too tepid recovery. I feel sorry for certain industries, like RV Sales.
They've got to be suffering, right?
"Craig, overall, our business is up 34 percent from last year," said Bill Shirey of Crain RV Sales. He went on to point out that Class C sales - ranging anywhere from $50,000 to 100,000 - are up 47 percent, and the top of the line Class A motor homes, are up 52 percent.
He showed us the top of the line, $420,000 Allegro Bus, built by Tiffin out of Red Bay Alabama. Even this Luxurious motor home was being sold to a couple from Denver, Colorado.
Also seeing the revolution first-hand is the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau. Their RV Park at the foot of the Clinton Pedestrian Bridge on the Arkansas River is staying booked year round. This week a couple from Tampa, Florida, the Feders, were enjoying the scenery despite the heat. Ed Feder gave us his take on what's causing this RV Revolution.
"One, people are feeling more comfortable about the economy than they were a few years ago, so the other thing is, in my case, RV'ers tend to be retired, that means you've got a limited window of time in which you can travel."
Feder doesn't seem to mind that the motor home gets just 8 miles per gallon.
"I think we'll just get on with it, and enjoy the country because it's got a lot to offer."
River City RV in Sherwood, Moix in Conway, and Ken Griffey - the promoter who puts on a big RV Show every year - say the same thing: RV Sales are way up. Each of them point to Arkansas having outstanding parks, low interest rates on the purchases, baby boomers, and young families. They also noted that air fare and hotels have gotten more expensive, so an RV includes both travel and lodging.