Dealers say RV sales going strong

Hitting the road in anything that gets near 10 miles to the gallon might seem out of the question with high gas prices

But as a big RV and camper show begins in Charlotte today, local dealers say sales remain strong.

There has been a slight dip in the market for large motorized campers, as people switch to smaller and lighter campers, said Richie Keller, a sales manager at Country Camping Corner near Matthews.

“But people are still camping,” Keller said. “The campgrounds around here are full.”

The Charlotte RV & Camper Super Show will be this weekend at The Park (formerly the Charlotte Merchandise Mart). In its second year, the show has seen the number of dealers expand from five last year to nine this year. The show will feature nearly 130 RVs and campers.

Greg Bobbitt, a sales manager at Tom Johnson Camping Center in Charlotte, said sales remain strong for higher-end motorhomes priced at more than $250,000. Motorized diesel coaches in this range usually average 8 miles to the gallon.

Taking a vacation in a camper can save money on hotel stays, eating out at restaurants and travel costs. A recent study found that RV family vacations can average 27 percent to 61 percent cheaper than other vacations, even when taking into account the cost of the camper.