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Central Coast RV industry booming as more turn to road trips over flights due to pandemic

Posted at 7:23 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 11:29:01-04

As life begins a new normal, people are looking to vacation with RVs this summer. Sales and rentals are booming and local businesses are seeing a rekindling of the great outdoors.

"The Central Coast is always the number vacation destination," Cindy Giovacchini said. We're always very very busy." She owns Cindy's RV Rental in Pismo Beach that provides a fully furnished, boutique camping experience.

When the coronavirus brought life to a halt, RV rentals went down with it.

"I don't know how long everyone was going to last to be honest. Everyone has full fleets," she said. Our costs don't stop." Giovacchini still had insurance space leasing to pay. The she faced a mountain of cancellations.

Over in Nipomo, Trailer Hitch RV had layoffs for its workers as RVs waited patiently for purchase.

David Diener, a sales professional, says it was not long until laid off staff came back, and the hiring of more became necessary.

"Last month, in the 52 year history of the store, we had a record month," Diener said. "Record week, after record week, after record week. Typically I sell about 25 RVs a month. Last month I personally sold 70 units."

That trend is nationwide. According to market researcher, IPSOS which is funded by the RV Industry Association, 46 million Americans plan to take an RV trip in the next 12 months.

"It's a personal escape pod," Diener said. "If something else happens in the future, another pandemic, at least they have something to jump in, go to the mountains and get away from everything."

For many, that escape means a getaway to the Central Coast.

"Everyone is so excited. I can't even... If there was a way to measure the energy, it was just be off the charts," Giovacchini said.

Because of high demand, RV rental companies and resorts warn those interested in taking road trips and camping should book soon.