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COVID-19 safety concerns driving up big demand for RV industry

The Rebound Detroit
Renting an RV for the first time during the pandemic? Follow these tips
Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 19:38:20-05

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — COVID-19 case numbers are trending down. Those vaccinated are trending up, but the CDC still only recommends travel for essential reasons. Some are ignoring that advice but most travelers are looking for a more cautious route.

“I know we’re all dying to get away especially in Michigan where it’s cold, it’s nasty,” said Dr. Allison Weinmann from Henry Ford Health Systems.

With a traditional Michigan winter intact and another spring break season upon us, the trip booking is on our minds.

Today, 58% of Americans who have gotten the vaccine or plan to say the one thing they’re most excited to do is travel.

The question of travel safety is still driving anxiety. Over 60% of you telling me in a recent survey that you don’t plan to book a trip anytime soon, despite the vaccine rollout ramping up.

“If everyone in your immediate pod is vaccinated, that is reassuring but it shouldn't change too much what you do outside your home,” added Dr. Weinmann.

Dr. Allison Weinmann, an infectious disease specialist with Henry Ford Hospital cautions that there's still too much we don’t know about newly spreading variants and your ability to carry the virus to someone else.

When it comes to traveling, each leg of the journey presents a risk from the airplane its definitely almost impossible to socially distance, to the airport rideshare am I going to trust someone else to drive me, the worry, are they going to be masked?

Those uncertainties pushing Metro Detroiters to explore a new road to safer traveling - in some cases, leading them to Kline’s RV Center in Warren. “COVID 19 has changed the world,” said Carl Kline owner of Klines.

it’s changed this dealership’s world as well.

“Since the pandemic, business has been better than it’s ever been,” Kline said.

All of it, supported by COVID-conscious Metro Detroiters.

"They don’t want to expose their children to any COVID risks so they’re camping in their little cell,” Kline added.

Your bathroom, your bed - your peace of mind!

“RV trips give you a tremendous amount of control around your surroundings,” said CEO Jon Gray of RVshare.com

Of course, for those not wanting to buy, they can always rent. RVshare.com operates much like Airbnb or Vrbo.com, offering everything from affordable pop-ups to luxurious motorhomes.

Jon Gray says the bump in interest is projected to continue well into this year’s spring, summer and fall travel season.

“There was such a dramatic demand and a big focus of our off-season now has been to make sure we’re having enough supply for the demand,” Gray said.

Now infectious disease specialists do say RV traveling is one of the safest ways to go about it but because of that, the demand is causing a shortage. So if you’re interested in one, the best thing you can do is to start shopping or booking as early as possible.