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RV Industry Asks for Essential Status Ahead of Potential Lockdown

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Cottonwood Campground at Joshua Tree National Park, a small part of the RV industry
Cottonwood Campground, California
Photo: Joshua Tree National Park via CC

The RV Industry Association has urged all 50 United States governors as well as the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which establishes federal guidelines on essential businesses, to consider the RV industry as essential.

The move comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are once more spiking all across the country, leading many governors to consider a new lockdown that would include stay-at-home orders and the closing of all non-essential businesses.

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The RVIA’s urging came in the form of a letter signed by Craig Kirby, Phil Ingrassia, and Paul Bambei — respectively, the president of the RVIA, president of the RV Dealers Association, and president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

The letter argues that all aspects of the RV industry should be considered essential businesses and allowed to remain open, including the manufacturers and suppliers, dealers and service centers, and RV parks and campgrounds.

According to the letter, the RV industry is essential for many reasons such as the role of RVs in providing isolated spaces for medical workers and their use as mobile clinics and operating rooms. Additionally, RVs provide millions of Americans with a responsible way to practice social distancing.

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From there, it follows that if people are going to use RVs, then the RV support industry — such as businesses providing critical maintenance or campgrounds offering electrical, gas, and other services for RV owners — are also essential.

These arguments are not without merit, and since stay-at-home orders expired earlier in the year, RV sales and activity at campgrounds have surged massively as Americans took to RVs to cope with the pandemic, many of them transforming RVs into mobile offices. However, after the March-June shutdown, it took some time before manufacturers were able to meet demand again.

If new stay-at-home orders are issued, should the RV industry be deemed essential? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!