AUSTIN, Texas — Kurt West is his name, renting and selling RVs is his game, and recently the game has been really good.

What You Need To Know

  • More people in the market for RVs

  • Coronavirus canceled many summer plans

  • One RV shop is seeing a lot of business

“This is one of my favorite layouts,” said West, showing off one of the dozens of recreational vehicles stored and rented at American Dream Vacations on E. Ben White Boulevard in Austin. “It’s got double-slide, bunk beds, oversized refrigerator, power-awning canopy, TV’s everywhere - it’s a good rig.”

West said business over the last month has been surging. Not only are RV sales up, but the number of RVs he’s renting have quadrupled what they were this time last year. 

“This is the busiest we’ve been in about four years,” said West.

West said the people renting the vehicles are renting them for longer periods of time; some renting for a month or two.

While lower gas prices are helping fuel some of the demand, the driving force behind the increased RV rentals and sales appears to be continuing concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who normally wouldn’t do the RV thing,” said West. “They’re going to take a cruise, they’re going to take a flight to Europe-- well now they’re doing RVs. They’re staying close to their family, but social distancing - that’s what we’re seeing.”

Worries over of social distancing drew Daryle McGinnis to West’s lot to check out a RV. For the last two years, the retired Air Force and commercial airline pilot has crisscrossed the globe with his wife via plane, but not this year.

“When you get there, you’ve got to stay in a hotel, and then you have to rent a car - there’s just a lot of question marks,” said McGinnis. “You’re just touching and being around a whole lot of people that normally you would not mind touching and being around.”

While McGinnis left the dealership without buying but, West knows as concerns of a second wave spread there will be plenty more people inquiring about an RV.