The Memorial Holiday weekend is usually a kick off to the summer travel season for many families, but this year the pandemic is changing some of those planned vacations, but one method of travel is still seeing a big boom.
“Here we are guys, what do you think? Did you see your bunk bed back there?”
The Giedd family is exploring their brand new camper. This weekend will be the first of many family camping trips with their new RV.
“They’re very cooped up and bored and ansy,” mom Tricia Giedd said. “We’re ready to get out.”
“I say it’s the only safe vacation left. You have your bathroom, your kitchen, your bed and you can bring your food with you,” Rachelle Schaap said.
Schaap, one of the owners of Schaap’s RV Traveland, says this time of year is always busy, but because of the pandemic, they’ve seen a lot of new faces coming in.
“People are looking for somewhere safe to quarantine at. Either their summer plans have really changed, the pools aren’t opening, playgrounds are closed down, things like that,” Schaap said. “I think a lot of people who would never have considered it before are really kind of getting their eyes opened.”
The pandemic is not only causing people to buy more RVs to head out with their families for leisure travel, they’re also buying campers during this pandemic to try and keep their families safe, creating a second home right outside their own home.
“They want to stay on the driveway, they want to be close to their family and the kids, but they just don’t want to bring that into the house,” Schaap said.
Many families on the front lines of the pandemic have turned to campers to help keep their loved ones safe.
“We just sent one out the door to northern Minnesota to a doctor, so he’s going to be doing that in his driveway with his wife and small children staying at their house,” Schaap said.
And when this pandemic is over with, Schaap says those health care workers will have a new way to travel with their families.
“I think that’s one of the things from the pandemic, we’ve kind of had a new view of our lives, a new view of our families, a new view of what home and what recreation looks like,” Schaap said.
Schaap says several RV manufacturers did have to pause production during the pandemic, so some orders on new campers or parts are back logged right now. They hope those orders will start coming in again soon.