RV and boat businesses seeing surge in sales during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we travel.

A number of families are now turning to RV's and boats as a way to safely vacation and spend time together this summer.

Boat sales are booming right now.

At Bohner Lacefield Marine in Madera, boats are being sold faster than the dealership can keep up with the demand
"At the end of June, our year-to-date numbers were up 60% year-to-date," says Ryan Lacefield, Owner of Bohner Lacefield Marine. "And really just out of boats now and we have nothing to sell."

For a dealership that's been in the Valley for 80 years, Lacefield says business has skyrocketed to never before seen levels.

"It's everywhere, it's all the dealerships in the Fresno market, its a nationwide thing. Everywhere in the country, they're running out of boats," said Lacefield.

At the beginning of May, Lacefield's dealership had about 100 boats on its lot. Those have all seen been sold, leaving Lacefield with no inventory

The pandemic has prompted new ways for families to get out and spend time together rather than being cooped up indoors

"The big thing is people are looking for something to get them out of the house and doing some sort of activity," said Lacefield.
RV sales are on the rise as well.

Jim Tuck, owner of Epic RV Liquidators in Madera, says business has more than doubled since the summer began

"At Epic RV Liquidators we normally sell 35 to 40 a month. We've been selling about 100 a month the last two months," said Tuck.

According to Tuck, the average pricetag on an RV or trailer he sells is about $32,000 and many of those buyers are first-time RVers with coronavirus concerns

"A lot of our customers are coming in telling us they're not interested in staying in hotels or getting on airplanes," he said. "So recreationally, the travel trailers allow them to go to campsites to social distance and it gives them plenty of family time. They have recreational things to do during the day and they can stay in the trailer, cook in the trailer at night time."

Travel experts believe the sudden surge in boat and RV sales will continue well into next year.
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