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Toledo area retailer National Camperland Inc. didn’t share in last year’s national surge in the recreational vehicle industry.
According to a report in the Toledo Blade , RV sales haven’t been strong for three years at the Ohio dealership after a record 2001.
But business is booming so far this year, and the reinvigorated company is building a larger dealership about 1.5 miles west of its current home.
The economy and the election tempered RV sales in Ohio and other swing states last year even though shipments nationwide were up, said Michael Lieber, one of National Camperland’s owners.
“We’re far ahead of last year at this time,” he said. “We’re getting back up where we should be.”
He added, “This is supposed to be an excellent year, and so far it’s true.”
Lieber isn’t the only local RV dealer expecting a good year. Business started picking up recently at Kirk’s RV Sales & Rental north of Erie, Mich. Sales there jumped about 28% last year, said co-owner Kirk Shipman.
“The traffic is out there,” Shipman said. “They’re coming through the doors.”
At Town & Country RV Center Inc. in Clyde, Ohio, mid-range travel trailers priced from $12,900 to $20,000 and high-end diesel motorhomes topping $100,000 are the most popular, said Bill Tea, one of the owners.
“Sales are up this year compared to last year, and they were good last year,” Tea said. Sales have increased annually for five years, he added.
Gas prices that continue to flirt with $2 a gallon haven’t turned people away from larger travel trailers, Shipman said. Instead, people are camping within a three to four-hour drive throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, he said.
“I think people are still going to camp, they’re still going to travel,” he said. “I just think they’re maybe not taking as long of trips.”