The majority of RV dealerships responding to an RV Dealers Association (RVDA) survey are open for business, providing essential services under state and local stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“RV dealers who are remaining open for business are doing everything they can to operate in a responsible manner during this pandemic,” said RVDA Chairman Ron Shepherd of Camperland of Oklahoma in Tulsa. “The Mike Molino RV Learning Center has outlined steps that RV dealers are using in the fixed operations department to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.”

In several states, RV dealership service departments remained open as essential businesses even if the dealership’s sales department was closed. Essential services provided by RV dealers include in-transit service for people who must travel by RV; service for those sheltering in campgrounds; providing essential sales and services for quarantine units for medical staff and first responders; support services and sales for essential industries using RVs, such as utility companies; and service for safety recalls.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is having a major impact on normal sales and service operations, according to the 145 dealers who responded to the survey, which was conducted April 10-13.

A total of 26 percent of dealers reported their fixed operations/service business was down 75 percent compared with the level of business they had prior to the declaration of an emergency in their area, while 35 percent said it was down 50 to 74 percent. Another 18 percent said their service business was down 26 to 49 percent. Seven percent reported that their fixed operations department is closed.

Forty-four percent of dealers said their new unit sales volume was down 75 percent or more. Another 21 percent reported their new RV sales were off 50 to 74 percent, and another 11 percent said they had closed their sales department.

RV dealers are applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans administered by the Small Business Administration. The survey indicated 93 percent of dealers said they either had—or planned to—apply for the PPP loan program.

Photo courtesy RV Dealers Association