Chilled droplets of water trickle down your sun-kissed skin with the distant giggles of delight tickling your ears. The warm breeze blows your hair wildly about as you cruise down the baked asphalt weaving your way through the treelined mountains. Warm waves rhythmically roll on the sugar-covered beach, the sound washing over you like a warm bath. Summer is full of life and excitement. It’s as thrilling as it can be calm and serene. But 2020 has been a year unlike any we’ve ever experienced, and this summer is expected to be a summer unlike any we’ve experienced before. The new reality we find ourselves in prompts new questions and new challenges, but it also creates the opportunity for fantastic new adventures. Everyone at Coach-Net is preparing for our busiest summer yet, and we’re ready to be your connection to carefree RVing.
RVing Is More Popular Than Ever Before
RVs seem to be everywhere lately. Whether you’re watching a local news piece or reading through features in popular media like Forbes or Fox – everyone seems to be talking about RVs. RVing has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years, but in the fallout of COVID-19, the interest in RVing has absolutely skyrocketed.
The global pandemic forced us to quarantine indoors for several months leaving many with cabin fever; RVing is proving to be the perfect solution. With many popular summer vacation plans no longer an option due to closures, restrictions, and safety concerns more and more people are turning to camping and RVing. A recent survey published by the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) reported that 47% of all Leisure Travelers plan on replacing one of their canceled vacations this summer with a camping trip.
But it’s not just experienced campers turning to the outdoors; among All Leisure Travelers, Campers, and Prospective Campers surveyed, camping ranked by far as the safest type of travel. KOA says 46% of prospective campers are considering camping because they want to spend time in the outdoors after staying home for so long; GenZ and Millennials being at the top of that list. Right now, many people seem to agree that camping is the best way for people to enjoy the thing they want most right now (the outdoors) without compromising their safety. The study also reports that post-COVID-19 more than half of all campers surveyed are now interested in owning an RV with 39% interested in RVing full-time. People who are foreign to camping are seeking new experiences diving head-first into the outdoor lifestyle, and even experienced campers are seeking the thrill of new camping experiences.
Every major news outlet and numerous studies are reporting that camping and RVing have both seen a sudden surge in popularity. CarAndDriver reported that some RV rental companies have seen a mind-blowing 650% increase as states have begun to steadily re-open for business. And The RV Industry Association announced that an astonishing 46 million Americans are preparing to take an RV trip sometime during the next 12 months. RVing is suddenly more popular than ever and everyone at Coach-Net can confirm this to be true. Our call volume has already picked up, seeing a huge jump just over the last couple of weeks. And we don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon. We’re prepared and excited for the summer camping season and it seems our members are just as eager to hit the open road.
On The Road Again
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or brand new to the RV lifestyle, there are a few post COVID-19 changes you will want to prepare for. You have multiple options for where you want to set up camp, but protocols are likely altered due to our “new normal.”
The State and National Parks were closed due to Covid-19, but they are beginning to slowly re-open. Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks are all scheduled to open for limited attendance in the second week of June, but their campgrounds will remain closed until a later date. If you’re wanting to visit a national park this summer, be sure to visit the national parks website at www.nps.gov for each park’s operating status. If you’re looking to visit state parks, many states have similar resources. For example, if you’re wanting to visit a Texas State Park, the Texas State Parks Alert Map will detail the operational status of each park and any special alerts they have posted. Many parks, both national and state, are reopening, but they are still operating under limited capacities and limited amenities so be sure to research before heading out.
The same is true for privately-owned campgrounds. Some states have declared campgrounds non-essential and they are instructed to remain closed indefinitely, some have labeled them as essential leaving them open for business subject to the owner’s discretion, and some states are allowing local governments to determine the operational status of campgrounds and RV parks.
If you’re looking for something a bit different and looking to support individual families and small businesses, Harvest Hosts is a fantastic resource for unique camping experiences. Harvest Hosts connects members to over 1,000 wineries, breweries, farms, ranches, and more allowing for more personalized camping experiences and the opportunity to support small businesses. Many of the available camping sites are home to small businesses producing wine, beer, fresh produce, and numerous other hand-crafted items. Once you are a Harvest Hosts member, you’re able to camp at these locations for free and, in exchange, encouraged to put your money into supporting these small businesses hosting you and your family. Harvest Hosts is a great way to enjoy a personalized camping experience as you embrace the outdoor lifestyle while simultaneously supporting small businesses. But again, every state and region is experiencing different government-imposed limitations and many of the host sites double as small businesses also affected by the Covid-19 restrictions, so be sure to call ahead to confirm their operational status.
Make Reservations ASAP
While many places are re-opening for business, most are operating at a limited capacity. This can be felt even harder now due to the massive increase in demand. With so many people wanting to camp and RV this summer, camping and RV spots be in high demand and limited supply. Do your research and make your reservations ASAP. And don’t forget, if you do make reservations and ultimately decide to not go camping or simply choose a different location, please don’t forget to cancel your reservations so that another family can have the opportunity to reserve that camping spot. Remember, even long before Covid-19, we are RVers – we all love the outdoor lifestyle and we’re all in this together.
- Wash Your Hands
- And when you’re out hiking, swimming, or just riding your bike, be sure to take hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
- Sanitize And Clean Your RV Regularly
- Your RV can be your travel safe-haven, but even with regular hand washing, you can unintentionally bring back germs when you venture out. For example, If you wear gloves when stocking up on supplies in the grocery store or filling your truck or RV up with gas, be sure to remove the gloves prior to touching your truck or RV door handle.
- Campground Protocols
- Call ahead to find out your campground’s specific rules. Do they require face masks for certain areas? What communal areas are open and are there any that remain closed? And don’t be afraid to ask how what actions they are taking to keep their guests safe. How are they sanitizing their facilities? What is their capacity and what are their protocols for social distancing? Are they offering “No Contact” check-in/check-out services?
Don’t be afraid to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. There are tons of social distancing approved activities campers can engage in. And many agree RVing is probably our safest option for a vacation this summer. We’re all having to be more vigilant in this post-COVID-19 world, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy life. Everyone at Coach-Net has been working hard to make sure we’re prepared to help you and your family enjoy carefree RVing this summer. You can still have a great summer enjoying the outdoors, it just may take a little extra preparation to ensure you have a happy camping experience. We could all use a little bit of sunshine in our lives right now, so go out and spread that RV joy.
Steve S. ~ “We were stranded in our motorhome along I-75 in south Georgia. I called Coach-Net and the representative went to work arranging a tow and a repair shop. Both the tow and repair went smoothly and made a very unpleasant situation as good as it could have been. Thank you!“