|Above, The Beast at home. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Are motorhomes and other RVs a barometer of economic conditions?
Financial Times takes a look at what motorhomes tell us about modern marketing. It appears that some marketers have "erroneous assumptions".
They begin with:
Driving a rented RV is a bit like being at the helm of a poorly fitted 1980s kitchen on wheels. Every extravagant turn, sudden stop, or highway pothole dislodges an unstowed frying pan, discarded spoon or the four mysterious screws we found rolling around the floor of our recreation vehicle when we returned it at the end of a recent 1,300-mile tour of California.
Hiring a motorhome in the US also buys you a temporary berth in an economic, social and historical phenomenon. Beating noisily west to San Francisco, a copy of The Grapes of Wrath stuffed into the cupholder, you do not have to be a romantic to think of pioneers and fortune-seekers in their wagons.
These days, wagon sales are still a crude index of the health of the modern US economy. Between 2006 and 2009, shipments of RVs — everything from tiny pop-up camping trailers to all-the-comforts-of-home “big rigs” — plummeted by 57 per cent.
Now the open road is beckoning again. Shipments in May were 20 per cent up on the same month in 2016, according to the RV Industry Association.
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