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Travel restrictions push RV sales through the roof

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Many Albertans are being forced to spend their summer close to home but they’re making the most of it.

Sales of RV’s, campers, and trailers have seen a huge spike at local dealerships in the last couple of months.

Neil Freidenberg with Arrkann Trailer and RV says he has seen new customers ready to experience the wilderness in comfort.

“Camping is truly an activity you can do with your loved one and your friends, from a distance, out there safely. I think for a lot of people if it was on their radar maybe in the next few years, they just upped the timeline and said let’s go camping this year.”

Freidenberg says there could be many reasons for the sales spike including more people not at the office, schools closed for the remainder of the year, along with a drop in gas prices.

He says business is so good at Arrkann, they’ve been able to call back all employees who were furloughed because of the pandemic.

The same numbers are being seen at RV rental places like RVezy which says its business has jumped drastically.

“The pent up demand for RV and summer travel has started to hit us. Just looking at May compared to April, our bookings are up 700 per cent.” said founder Mike McNaught.

When comparing the rental numbers to last year, his business has seen an increase of 50 per cent.

Not all rental companies are experiencing the same boom.

Calgary-owned CanaDream relies on foreign travellers who can’t come to Alberta because of ongoing travel restrictions.

“We’ve just had mass cancellations, unfortunately,” said Kathryn Munroe with CanaDream.

“We were looking forward to a record booking summer and at the minute, all we’re doing is breaking records of how quickly we can get those bookings cancelled.”

Munro says the business is hoping to attract outdoor enthusiasts from Calgary and surrounding areas.

Camping reservations for Alberta parks are open for the season with national parks expected to open in June.