DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The pandemic has forced everyone to get creative in how they work, how they connect, and even how they vacation.
Instead of flying to a destination and staying in a hotel, many people are opting to bring their homes with them out on the open road.
“Normally this time of year we have 125 units in inventory. I counted this week and we’ve got 24,” said Jeff Zimmerman, the president and owner of Country Roads RV in Welcome.
He just can’t keep anything in stock.
“75-80 percent of our inventory right now is pre-sold before it even hits the property,” explained Zimmerman.
2020 was a busy year for them.
“Our sales would have been up 50 percent if we could have gotten all that we wanted. But the problem is, we couldn’t get all that we wanted,” he said.
Now, just a few months into 2021, production at RV manufacturers still can’t keep up with the demand.
“When COVID first started and we were all under lockdown, everything pretty much stopped for 6-8 weeks,” said Zimmerman. “There are [now] shortages at any given time for air conditions, hot water heaters, sofas, windows…”
That isn’t stopping buyers.
Zimmerman said people still want RVs no matter what the wait may be like.
“We’re taking deposits on units that are inbound to us… I mean that’s the only way anyone can buy anything right now,” he added.
Zimmerman believes the pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in RVing.
“Everybody was just tired of staying at home, I think. Everyone wanted to find their own little space, their safe space to be able to isolate themselves, but still be able to get out and do things,” he said.
The ability to travel during restrictions and lockdowns, while staying safe is appealing, and many families are opting to pick out a new set of wheels to take them wherever they want to go.
“Getting back outside, getting back to nature, and getting out from behind the desk,” explained Zimmerman. “It’s opened a whole new world of possibilities to a lot of people that haven’t thought about it.”
He told FOX8 that about 40 percent of their sales over the past year were new RV buyers.
Zimmerman thinks it’s possible that RV stock and inventory won’t go back to normal until next summer.
Country Roads RV is located at 2609 Enterprise Road.