Commuters in four-wheelers aren’t the only people excited about the recent reprieve in fuel costs.
As reported by the Detroit News, the recreational vehicle industry and devotees of the RV lifestyle also are licking their chops over those lower numbers at the pump. When your rig gets single-digit mpg, as do many truck-trailer combos and motor homes, saving a buck or more for every 10 miles the odometer clocks can add up pretty quickly over the course of even a short jaunt.
The big dip in fueling costs is the icing on the cake of an industry rebound that has dealers and manufacturers revving up for what they hope will be a pretty good 2015.
Signs of the upbeat industry mood abound. According to a forecast published by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), 2014 sales were up nearly 9% and that new units shipped are expected to total 349,000 once the final tally is in.
That’s double the dismal figures from the post-recession low in 2009, the RVIA said in a press release — and total sales in 2015 are forecast to reach pre-recession levels.
Airstream Inc., the Ohio-based maker of the shiny retro trailers, has announced a factory expansion that will increase its manufacturing capacity 50%. And at the retail level, the Michigan-based dealer General RV has just moved into its new 83,000-square-foot showroom and service facility on the grounds of the former Ford Motor Co. plant in Wixom.
“We just finished our first group of shows in Grand Rapids, Tampa and Cleveland — the crowds were tremendous,” said Dennis Anderson, vice president of marketing at General RV. “Motorhomes in particular are posting a very strong uptick.”
If you’re getting the fever, touring these warmer-weather getaway vehicles is a good antidote to the snowy, slushy vistas on the other side of your windshield. You can daydream through more than 275 models ranging from about $7,000 to more than $400,000 week after next at the 49th Annual Detroit Camper and RV show, which runs Feb. 4-8 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
Bill Sheffer, director of the Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles and Campgrounds , the trade group and RV expo promoter, said all indications point to a robust year for Michigan dealers.
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