For the RV industry, 2009 was a bit of a struggle. As was true in most U.S. industries, the poor economy drove down new RV sales during the first half of the year. Buyers still reeling from portfolio collapse and loss of savings and nervous about job security were reluctant to make major purchases. Exacerbating the problem were tight-fisted bankers who refused to grant loans to potential RV buyers.
Despite these problems, consumer interest in RVs remained high. Instead of buying a new RV more consumers turned to the used RV market. Sales in used RVs, particularly on online RV sales sites like RVT.com, were brisk. Economic pressure encouraged online RV sellers to offer some great bargains on their used RVs with plenty of RV buyers ready to put their money down.
The cost of maintaining a traditional home and the economic need to cross the country in pursuit of work spurred even more people to purchase RVs and embrace the RV lifestyle. The low cost and supreme flexibility of RV living helped grow the RV Nation as more people sold their homes and turned to RVs as a primary residence.
New developments this year in green RV technology, the introduction of hybrid RVs, and innovations in sustainable RV construction drew a new group of RV enthusiasts to RV living. It may have started out shaky, but 2009 turned out to be a good year for used RV sales and a turn-around year for the RV industry. More about that next time.