RV industry revs up in economic turnaround

RV industry revs up in economic turnaround

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by Joe Smith, KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 8:00 PM

PORTLAND -- The RV industry has begun to rev up as the Great Recession’s turnaround continues.

This year's RV Show at Portland’s Expo Center is the biggest one yet, covering the entire facility.

The face of the typical RV customer is changing as well, according to industry leaders. Customers now include retirees, young families and single people.

The RV industry as a whole was one of the hardest hit during the recession. Many dealers closed or went bankrupt and several big manufacturers called it quits.

But the past three years have brought new success, with a gradual climb in sales. Last year, RV makers saw a 13. 3 percent increase in shipped units from 2011. It marked the highest total since 2007.

“The prices on trailers are actually the same as seven or eight years ago or even less then what they were back then, for the same model. The difference now is they've got a lot more equipment on them,” said Trevor Curtis with Curtis Trailers.

Low interest rates have helped drive the sales, along with more creature comforts requested by customers and improved fuel economy.

Oregon is the third-largest maker of RV's, behind Indiana and California.

Anyone wanting to do a little shopping or just see what RVs are like these days can do so at the Expo Center, where the RV show runs through Sunday.

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