Going local: Summer travelers opting for RVs, camping this year

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — As states slowly open up across the country, Americans are rethinking their summer vacation plans and staying closer to home. Locals are hitting the roads and exploring their own backyard during this pandemic, according to AAA.

“I’ve never experienced sales at the numbers they’re at now,” said All RV Needs General Manager Brad Strawn. “Southern Oregon’s a great place to use RVs and a lot of people don’t have much else to do.” Strawn said early in the pandemic, sales slowed and RV manufacturing stopped. Now, sales are up about 60 percent. “The whole nation is definitely going towards RVs,” Strawn said. “We have a little bit of a shortage, we normally have quite a few more units in inventory than we have now.”

The trend isn’t limited to RVs. Jackson County Parks said its campsites are booked and facilities are seeing more activity now than in the past couple of years. “Our campgrounds are pretty well-booked for the next couple weeks,” said Jackson County Parks Program Manager Steve Lambert. “For this summer I am fully expecting our parks to be a little busier than normal.” Lambert said they’re seeing more crowded day-use areas but people are sticking to the rules. “They’re socially distancing and we haven’t had any issues, we’re just seeing a lot of folks out in the facilities.”

“It’s just gonna start the generations of using RVs and camping,” Strawn said. “There’s gonna be a lot of good memories had, a lot of kids are gonna get to go out into the southern Oregon woods and go camping. Whether you plan on purchasing am RV or taking one to the great outdoors, experts for both say to plan ahead.

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