RV Park Use Reflects State of Economy
You often can gauge how the economy is doing by the number of RVs parked at the Oak Plantation Campground near Charleston, S.C.
Nestled under a canopy of oak trees along U.S. Highway 17 near Johns Island, the family-owned business caters to the motorhomes of snowbirds and transient workers, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
Whenever there’s a big job in town, the spaces are full of workers who live in RVs.
Most pull down decent salaries at manufacturing and construction jobs and could afford to rent a house or apartment. Instead, they use their per-diem job pay to lease RV sites and make payments on their RVs.
When the jobs end, they simply pack up and drive away.
Recently, workers laid off from Vought Aircraft Industries Inc., which makes rear fuselage sections for Boeing’s new 787 passenger jet, are pulling up stakes at the campground and driving off in search of new work.
“With jobs today, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Dirk Kuznik, co-owner of Oak Plantation.
He estimated that his monthly leases are down by as much as half this year because “we are not seeing as many workers.”
He also saw business drop off when gas hit four bucks a gallon earlier this year.
The business trends also reflect the power of money. Massive, 45-foot RVs that can sell for as much as $2 million arrive regularly in spite of the economic meltdown.
“You’ve got these Baby Boomers now,” he said. “They’ve got the money. The economy doesn’t stop them.”
Lately, snowbirds heading south for the winter are propping up Kuznik’s bottom line.
He’s looking ahead to spring when an RV club is expected to roll into town onboard a few dozen high-end travelers. “That’s my busy month.”