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RV sales, RV park use are up in Montana

RVs in Great Falls
Posted at 9:07 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 11:07:55-05

GREAT FALLS — While many businesses are in the process of recovering amidst supply chain issues and inflation, RV sales have been soaring.

According to the RV Industry Association, more than 11.2 million American households own an RV. That’s an increase of more than 25% from 10 years ago and more than 60% from 20 years ago.

And the effects are being felt in Great Falls — both on the sales side, and the RV park side.

"The RV industry has been great! We definitely saw a big pick-up in business. We had a big RV show last month, and we ended up selling right around 30 RVs in just a matter of three days," Bish's RV manager Sam Bickle said.

While most people tend to gravitate toward used RVs, Bickle said they have been selling new RVs more often.

"It definitely leans more towards new, but for the most part, it's really close. Pre-owned RVs are definitely a staple in our line-up here. We want to have a good variety for every customer. We really just want to make sure we have basically a wide array of models, both A's, B's, C's travel trailers, fifth wheels, anything that a customer could want."

Sam Bickle, the manager of Bish's RV Great Falls

With up to 210 RVs and 40 holding lots, Bickle says that he has high hopes for his businesses to bounce back, after facing challenges from the pandemic.

"We made a lot of changes. We were really trying to buy RVs off the street. Purchase and consignment was a big deal because the new ones, we weren't getting them in," Bickle explained. "Now, we've had a large influx of inventory come to us, and it's really already starting to feel like a thing of the past. It's starting to feel like our industry at least is getting back to normal, which feels great."

And it's not just sales that have made an impact on the RV industry. Dick's RV Park says that they have seen an increase in the number of drivers entering their park for several reasons, the housing market playing a major role.

"A lot of it has to do with work, a lot of it has to do with moving," explained Trisha Dailing, who helps operate Dick's RV Park. "Due to the increase in the market right now, for housing, people are having the fear of maybe losing their houses and that kind of thing, so with that being said, they're able to sell their houses for more and paying for an RV. As more people are resorting to RVs, local businesses predict a bright future as the third month of 2022 is approaching.

Trisha Dailing, who helps operate Dick's RV Park

"We made a lot of changes. We were really trying to buy RVs off the street. Purchase and consignment was a big deal because the new ones, we weren't getting them in," Bickle told MTN News. "Now, we've had a large influx of inventory come to us, and it's really already starting to feel like a thing of the past. It's starting to feel like our industry at least is getting back to normal, which feels great.

As more people are resorting to RVs, local businesses predict a bright future as the third month of 2022 is approaching.