They typically have 80 vehicles for sale, but were down to 11 last month. Their 32 rental units have been in constant rotation to families no longer tethered to home by Little League games or dance recitals.
The RVs are on and off the lot before the engines get cold, said Hall, whether they are $9,500 foldout trailers built for two or souped-up motorcoaches that top six figures.
“No matter what, we’ve got something you can afford,” he said.
Or at least he will, when production catches up. Delivery lags orders by up to two months.
Byerly RV in Eureka is more than double the size of M.B. Thomas, but its lot looks much the same: mostly bare.
“We went from completely dead to crazy busy in May,” said assistant sales manager Dave Hubatka.
The company, founded in Kirkwood in 1948, had three record months in a row, with August shaping up to be the fourth.
“We sold out of everything under $20,000 and have been trying to catch up ever since,” said Hubatka, who scrambled in May to bring back 15 staffers who had been furloughed.
For RVers, social distancing is not a new concept. The first recreational vehicles debuted in 1910, just two years after Ford’s Model T. Shipments of RVs nearly tripled in the decade after the Great Recession before flattening out last year, according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.