Motorhomes are back in favor this year at the Milwaukee RV Show after their sales stalled out amid high fuel prices and the recession.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the state’s largest RV show opened Thursday (Feb. 26) at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis, and continues through Sunday with more than 90 exhibitors.
Motorhomes have made a comeback after having largely been absent from the event in past years as the U.S. economy stumbled and fuel prices soared. Large fifth-wheel travel trailers also have returned to the show in bigger numbers.
“Our industry is thriving again. It’s gradually come back to the point where it’s profitable for dealers to stock motorhomes, so we are going to see more of the drivable RVs out there,” said Tim Wegge, president of Burlington RV Superstore, in Sturtevant.
Nationwide, sales of travel trailers and boats are at some of the highest levels in years as consumers feel better about making large discretionary purchases.
RV industry shipments are expected to total 361,400 units this year, up 4% from 2014 and more than double the industry’s recent low point in 2009.
“If you had asked people in 2008 and 2009, they would have thought the RV industry was going to die off and blow away. But there’s nothing further from the truth. The people who own RVs see this as a lifestyle, much like Harley riders,” Wegge said.
“One thing we weren’t expecting was this $2.25 per gallon gas price. That’s an unexpected plus for this show,” he added.
In addition to the big rigs, the RV show has plenty of smaller travel trailers on display, including units that can be towed behind a car, minivan or sport utility vehicle.
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