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Alberta New RV Sales Trending Upward Ahead of Camping Season

The following is a report from CTV News.

Alberta remains strong when it comes to consumers purchasing new recreational vehicles (RVs) and fifth wheels for camping and other activities.

“[In] 2023, we saw a bit of a lull coming through the market. The cost of living went up, interest rates were up, the price of new RVs was up,” said Travis Weaver, business manager for Arrkann RV.

“Coming into 2024, we have seen it rebound as interest rates have started to stabilize.”

Weaver says Arrkann, Fraserway RV and Traveland RV are duking it out at RV Wars through the weekend, enticing folks to purchase a new RV, trailer or fifth wheel.

“We want to do this sale kind of right at the start of May. Gives people some time to get in, pick their new units up, get them home, loaded, so they can head out camping when their first trip comes around,” he said.

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada tracks sales of new units through data gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc.

President Eleonore Hamm says last year saw a significant drop in purchases due to high inflation and a spending crunch many Canadians faced amid the affordability crisis.

In 2019, across Canada, 45,693 new units were sold.

In 2020, 44,972.

In 2021, 53,183.

In 2022, 44,004.

And in 2023, it was 34,610.

“So while we were down in 2023 by about 21% [in sales], Alberta actually has always been very strong. Alberta only saw a drop of about 7% in 2023,” Hamm said.

“It used to be obviously an older consumer that was really going camping, whereas now, the demographic, the median age of an RV purchaser is in their 40s. It’s the young family.

“The focus has shifted a little bit, in terms of just being a vehicle for camping, in terms of now being a real lifestyle vehicle.”

Hamm says Alberta has fared well in the RV market, and almost one in five households owns an RV.

“Fourteen percent of Canadian households own an RV but in Alberta, it’s about 20% of the households, so a very strong market,” Hamm said.

“And it looks like it’s trending in the right direction.”

Read the story by Tyson Fedor from CTV News here.

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