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Great Lakes RV Center in Elkhart, Ind., sold 30 RV units in April, just five shy of last year’s April sales. Strong demand and loosening credit are reasons for higher sales after a dismal start to 2009, according to the company’s president.

In the past year, Great Lakes RV — like so many dealers in Elkhart — has downsized, reported WNDU-TV, South Bend.

“Beaten down, beaten down, nothing going on all winter,” said Rob Reid, company president.

But after the RV industry’s coldest winter yet, signs of a spring thaw are emerging.

“A week ago Monday we sold six in one day,” said Reid. “Those numbers we haven’t seen for a year, year and a half.”

March sales were decent, said Reid. But to sell nearly as many RV’s this April as last April is “tremendous news,” said Reid. The company also hired four people in the past two weeks.

For those with good credit, loans are easier to come by, he said. But credit is not as loose as Reid says would be ideal.

If April sales are any indication, though, the local adage could ring true: as the RV industry goes, so goes the economy.

“Once we start doing good, these are luxury items that people are buying, I think that’s a good sign the economy’s starting to churn, and maybe go back up again,” said Reid.