Actions

As RV sales surge, RV resorts and campgrounds are trying to keep up with demand

Hitting the open road: RV tourism booming in 2021
Bay Bayou RV Resort.
Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 17:23:01-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The RV Industry Association estimates more than 500,000 new RVs will ship in 2021. That is a 20 percent boost from last year.

Now, RV resorts and campgrounds are scrambling to build more spaces for you to park your luxury coach or pop up camper.

You are safer outdoors, in nature, from COVID-19. And, people across the country are trading planes, trains and automobiles for RVs.

"We just built a park from the ground up in Summerfield, Florida, and that's Sunkissed Village RV Resort," Darla Sinnard told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska.

Sinnard is the Regional Manager for Jennings Realty. They own and operate Bay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa.

Sinnard says January, February and March are traditionally the busy seasons, but sales were up in 2020, and they are booked solid.

"We've got a heated pool, shuffleboard, bocci ball, we've got beautiful docks back here for fishing and viewing," Sinnard said.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers punched their ticket to the Super Bowl, Sinnard says her website lit up.

"Last night, I had 20 reservations come in for that weekend over our website, and we are already sold out for that weekend, so it's going to be very disappointing for people trying to come down and stay in their RV for the Super Bowl," Sinnard said.

The park recently expanded to 300 spaces. Sinnard says future campgrounds are in the works.

"Very safe considering you are in your own environment when you are inside your RV it's like being in your own home so perfectly safe there," Bobby Cornwell, the Executive Director of the Florida and Alabama Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, said. "It's the freedom and the security I think that goes along with it you don't have to worry about if your plane is going to be on time, delays, is it going to be a nice hotel? You know what you are going to get."

Cornwell said there are more than 800 RV parks across the state.

Prices can range from $30 a night to even higher for luxury resorts near popular attractions. As Florida continues to rebound out of this pandemic, more RVers means more tourism money flowing into the state.

"I think it's kind of unlimited right now. There are a lot of brand new parks being built currently across the state, Sinnard said. "The future for the RV industry right now is very bright, especially if we continue to offer a good quality product that's the most important thing."