ANTHONY, Texas (KVIA) — The coronavirus pandemic has kept many families inside their homes for extended time for months. Now, as summer continues, many are aching to hit the road and get out of town.
The only problem? COVID-19 cases continue to spread.
The dilemma has led many to consider safer travel alternatives like RVs, which can allow for more social distancing and the touching of less surfaces that might be infected.
Lang Crawford, who owns Anthony RV Center, has been in the business for about 14 years. He told ABC-7 he has never seen demand like he is seeing right now.
“Generally we'll stock 50 to 60 units and I'm all the way down to 10,” he said.
Crawford said his business slowed down when the pandemic began, but sales have since skyrocketed.
“People wanted to kind of start getting out and doing something and they wanted to enjoy the great outdoors,” Crawford said. “What better way to do that with your family than to get an RV?”
At Anthony RV Center, prices to buy a trailer start at around $8,000.
RV travel has spiked nationwide. National online rental company RV Share reported in June that bookings had nearly tripled since last year.
“People are doing a lot of the RV (travel) because you do minimize that exposure,” said Dr. Armando Meza, an infectious disease specialist with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso.
Dr. Meza said all travel carries some degree of risk during the pandemic, but RVs can be a potentially safer bet.
“You are going to probably have to park at some place at some point, but the environment is more controlled,” Dr. Meza said. “It will be probably safer than traveling to a hotel.”
Crawford just has one problem.
“The manufacturers got behind because of COVID-19,” he said. “The demands are a lot higher than what we had anticipated. We’re fortunate from that respect, but unfortunate because we can't supply the demand.”
Crawford estimates it will takes weeks to catch up, but he’s hoping the demand continues.
“We’re actually pre-selling some of the stuff that we've got coming in,” he said. “We feel like it's going to continue that way for some time. No one has a crystal ball and no one knows what's going to happen.”