ELKHART — The phenomenal rebound in the sale of recreational vehicles, especially motorized units, was evident at the 2nd Annual Spring Hall of Fame RV Show this week.“I don’t have any,” said Blake Beard, general manager for Indiana RV Connection of Middlebury. He was talking about the top line Class A motor homes made by Jayco and sold by his dealership. “I have one at the factory and they were trying to finish it off this morning (Friday).”
Sales of motor homes are brisk industrywide. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reported Friday that shipments of motor homes rose 33.5 percent in March over March 2013. For the first quarter, motor home shipments rose 30.9 over the same quarter in 2013.
Beard said he also scrambled to get Class C motor homes to the show because his dealership had sold its inventory. The ones on display had been driven out of the Jayco factory in Middlebury to the show.
“I have no complaints,” Beard said of his brisk business as he looked down his display of 34 RVs for customer activity. “It’s a lot of fun.”
He remembers the recession years when RV sales were severely slowed and factories shuttered.
“It was a real hard time in the RV industry. It is great to see things come back, Beard said. “It is good for everyone. It is the latest sign the economy is improving.”
Show director Matt Rose agrees.
“People are not only buying more RVs, they are buying larger and better RVs,” Rose said.
The show grew to seven dealerships this year from six last year. The show is sponsored by the Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council.
Rose said the show is becoming an important event for local dealers, who want an event between the Fort Wayne and South Bend indoor shows and the start of the spring selling season.