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Southern Illinois RV dealers see increase in sales

Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 5:42 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - Summer is here and the pandemic has many people opting to hit the road for vacations, and for two Heartland RV stores that means an uptick in sales.

People have turned to recreational vehicles to maintain social distancing and safety.

Shad Zimbro is the Co-owner of Black Diamond RV in Marion. He said, “Sales have doubled, it’s been great.”

In comparison to 2019, Zimbro said his company is selling twice as many campers as last year. Just last weekend, they sold ten campers.

“You don’t have to worry about going in hotels, you can do your thing there, you can cook, you can stay right there and stay away if you need to,” Zimbro said.

With the high demand of campers, comes inventory issues.“It’s making it a little bit harder to get inventory right now, the manufacturer were down for about three months,” he said. “Then you project how many your’re going to sale and then you start doubling in sales from what you thought, it makes it a tougher.”

Mike Crews is the owner of Adventure Time RV in DeSoto, Ill. His business was slow during the first couple of months of the pandemic, but now he said things are bouncing back.

“Sales were definitely down when we were all in lock and then we had a really big uptick in the last couple of months things have been busy again,” Crews said.

Last week, The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service announced the Shawnee National Forest will open some campgrounds - impacting the RV business directly.

“Yeah I think that will continue as long as we have a place to go. if the campgrounds are closed down, where are you going to stay,” Crews said.

Southern Illinois has a lot of offer families across the region. “You know what, stay right here,” Zimbro said. “There are some beautiful places in southern Illinois that you can come and camp at, it’s great around here.”

According to Black Diamond RV, a camper can run you anywhere from $20,000 to up to $200,000.

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