GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Recreational vehicles in high demand in Northeast Wisconsin for leisure travel during pandemic

Local News

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) Summer is a time to travel and during the pandemic lots of people are looking to experience the great outdoors in an RV. But as Kris Schuller reports finding an RV to purchase, might take some extra time.

At Kunes RV in Suamico – these recreational vehicles are in high demand.

“Some of them are sold literally days after or the day they land on the lot,” said J.J. Weimer, a sales professional at Kunes RV Green Bay.

Purchased by people looking to navigate the many issues caused by the pandemic.

“People want to get out, they’ve been cooped up with Covid, I’m sure as we all have been the last year,” Weimer said.

Weimer says last year when the pandemic started, RV sales took off. Craig Carriveau jumped in and made a purchase.

“We wanted to do some traveling and it’s a comfortable way to travel,” said Carriveau.

And according to the RV Industry Association, dealers expect sales to remain high. As manufacturers shipped a record-breaking 149,000 units to RV dealerships in the first quarter of this year.

“They are tired of board games, they are tired of being in the house, they want to get out there,” Weimer said.

But that demand is also causing problems, like a shortage of units for RV dealers, like Van Boxtel RV.

“We currently have about 50 units in stock right now. This time of year pre pandemic, I’d have 150 in stock,” said company owner, Tom Van Boxtel.

Van Boxtel says with RVs in demand nationwide, dealers can only receive so many and like other industries, some parts for RVs, like plumbing or electronics are in short supply – stalling production.

“The manufacturer has what they call rolling parts shortages,” Van Boxtel said.

It’s a shortage expected to last though next year. And if you find an RV you want to buy, Van Boxtel has some advice.

“Buy it because it probably won’t be there in two or three days,” said Van Boxtel..

Van Boxtel says his RV rental and RV service businesses are both doing tremendously. He just wishes he had more inventory.

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