Record RV Sales Amid Pandemic

Fake news. A term commonly associated with Donald Trump although the phrase has a more formal entry in places like Wikipedia:

Fake news, also known as junk news, pseudo-news, alternative facts or hoax news, is a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media. Digital news has brought back and increased the usage of fake news, or yellow journalism. The news is then often reverberated as misinformation in social media but occasionally finds its way to the mainstream media as well.

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership. Similarly, clickbait stories and headlines earn advertising revenue from this activity.

I check on the RV industry news every day. And every day I see headlines telling me that the industry is experiencing record sales. And yet I see no evidence of record output in production. Are the headlines and stories dishonest? Misleading? Or completely above board and accurate?

From RV Business:

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked havoc with the US economy, but the RV industry is one segment of the economy that appears to be untouched, according to a report by TruckCamperAdventure.com. In fact, one could say that the pandemic has been a boon to the industry with RV dealerships reporting record sales nationwide. Arizona-based Tom’s Camperland is one such dealership.

“Sales have been fantastic,” explained Brad Leach, CEO of Tom’s Camperland. “April, May, and June were company records, the best we’ve had in 43 years. It’s been talked about a lot. People aren’t taking airplanes, taking cruises, or traveling to Europe, people are looking for other ways to vacation. There’s no better way to do that safely than in a truck camper.”

If you aren’t familiar with truck campers, they look like this:

You put them on a pickup truck and then you head out to the wilderness for a few days.

The RVIA does track industry shipments of truck campers. In May of 2020 year-over-year shipments were down by 42.4 percent. The industry shipped 167 units that month. Cumulative year-to-date shipments were down 10.4 percent from 2019 with just over 1,000 units delivered to dealers.

Brad does provide some clarification in a different article:

“Stats are kind of tricky with truck campers because I can tell where we rank with travel trailers because they are registered. With truck campers you can’t really tell because they aren’t registered everywhere, but we’re usually ranked one or two with Lance, one or two with Eagle Cap, and one or two with NuCamp, so you can go off the numbers and when you sell every brand but for a couple, you can kind of figure out that we probably sell more than anybody in the country.”

Yes. Stats are kind of tricky but hey, trust me, sales have been fantastic! Come and get one before we run out!

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