MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Don’t be surprised if you notice more RV’s and motor homes out on the highways. While recreational vehicle sales dipped during the recession, buyers are now back.

In fact, the RV Industry Association says more than 300,000 RV’s are expected to be sold this year, the most since 2007.

“For us, it’s kind of like home,” said RV owner Johnny Papenfuss. “It’s our home away from home.”

The tug of the open road brings thousands to RV parks around our state. There are reportedly anywhere from 600 to 700 parks in Minnesota.

Owners say it’s nice to enjoy the comforts of home but remain on wheels.

New numbers show many are choosing RV’s as their go-to vacation. Baby boomers are helping to lead the force as they now move into retirement.

“That’s mostly what you see is a lot of retirees,” Papenfuss said. “There’s quite a few younger families like us.”

Jonathan Giberson with Minneapolis Trailer Sales in Rogers says with 60 years in the business, this year is one of their strongest. There is so much demand, they simply can’t keep up with it.

“Normally, our lot’s a good 20 percent, 25 percent fuller than this,” Giberson said. “We’re selling trailers like crazy.”

And you can forget those outdated notions of one fixed table and maybe a coffee maker. RV’s are now more spacious than ever. Conversely, increasingly packed lots do mean you have to sacrifice views of wide open spaces.

“I can’t complain. It’s better than a hotel room,” Papenfuss said.

According to Giberson, another reason for the bump in sales is that, with the economic recovery, financing is easier to get. The prices of motor homes and RV’s range from $12,000 to $130,000.


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