RV rentals rise as Americans prepare for Fourth of July road trips

RV rentals rise as Americans prepare for Fourth of July road trips

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Linda Lejust decided that flying with her family to Yellowstone National Park from Florida was too risky. So they chose a shorter summer vacation closer to home. And they ditched the plane for an RV.

She, her husband and two teenagers were set to fly from Wellington, Florida, to the park in Wyoming this month. Now, because they're worried about COVID-19, they’re renting a campervan and driving to a nearby beach-front community.

“Taking an RV just feels safer,” says Lejust, 46. “It’s more self-contained. We don’t have to use public restrooms or share spaces with anybody else.”

Summer vacations look very different this year as many Americans avoid flying, taking cruises and staying at hotels. And while many people are canceling travel plans entirely, others battling cabin fever are renting RVs in unprecedented numbers.

And the trend is expected to continue through the Fourth of July weekend.

Car shopping: How to hunt down a used-car deal from a rental company like Hertz, Enterprise

'Keep this energy up:' Black-owned businesses see surge of interest amid racism protests

Jim Hogg, pictured outside his Eddie Bauer Edition Airstream, stopped to BBQ during a road trip from Tennessee to Texas.

The peer-to-peer vehicle rental company RVshare says that RV bookings have increased by more than 1,600% since early April.

“We continue to see record-breaking days leading up to the Fourth of July and expect to see this trend carry on throughout the holiday weekend,” said RVshare’s CEO Jon Gray in a statement. The RV rental movement is driven by travelers seeking greater control over where they stay and go, he added.

Even though some airlines are loosening restrictions, travel experts say people are still wary of taking a plane and booking hotel rooms, which could be boosting interest in RVs.

"People just feel safer taking an RV because they can really control their environment, unlike when you're in the air, at the airport in contact with a higher number of people," said Shay Sane, CEO of the travel group Black Girls on The Go.

The membership-based organization encompasses over 20,000 travelers, mostly in the U.S.

Jaci Cederberg (pictured) and her International Serenity Airstream in Laguna Beach, California.

Where are people going?

Instead of driving to crowded cities to watch fireworks displays, most RV renters are headed to secluded destinations and focusing on the great outdoors, according to RVshare.

Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park are among the most popular destinations, according to the RV rental company.

Myron Alexander, 35, put down a payment to rent an RV after the pandemic upended his plans to attend an NFL game in Los Angeles this fall.

On Sunday, the Dallas, Texas-resident canceled his flight and booked a motorhome to drive up the West Coast before heading East to see Mount Rushmore.

“L.A. is a very populated city and I just didn't want to risk getting sick,” Alexander said. “By taking an RV, I can still travel and see the sites, but not have to worry about being amongst the masses.”

In mid-June, Joe Smith and his wife, Melanie Wallschlaeger, rented an RV to maintain social distancing while taking the kids and dog over a thousand miles to visit relatives.

It cost the couple $3,000 to rent the RV for two weeks, but it was well worth the price because it gave them greater peace of mind than flying, Smith said.

“We had been pretty good at staying home and social distancing, but the change of scenery was nice,” Smith added.

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/07/01/rv-rentals-rise-americans-prepare-fourth-july-road-trips/3280548001/

News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »