Illinois Dealer Sees Camping Renaissance
RV camping is enjoying a renaissance.
Marvin Oetjen, owner of Kamper’s Supply in Carterville, Ill., said a number of factors, including the costs and hassles associated with air travel, are driving interest in recreational vehicles. Oetjen also noted that RV camping is a lifestyle, according to a report by the Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale,
“A lot of younger families are finding out the RV lifestyle is great for family life,” he said. “They are doing things in nature. They are enjoying the things they should be enjoying.
“My wife and I started camping in 1968. Our boys grew up in a campground. They still communicate with some of the kids they met back then. It’s a great family thing. When you’re in a campground, you know your kids are in the campground. They’re not running the streets somewhere.”
Oetjen said anyone who enjoys the great outdoors is a potential RV camper.
“I’d say for someone to really enjoy RVs and camping, they would have to first of all like nature and the outdoors and being around people,” he said. “When you go to a motel room and close the door, you don’t see anyone until the next morning. That’s not the case in a campground.
“It’s totally different than going to a restaurant every night, or going on vacation and going into a motel every night. This is a totally different environment. “
Kamper’s Supply has been in business 38 years. The size and quality of campers has changed dramatically over the years. Oetjen said most families can find a vehicle that suits their taste and fits their pocketbook. Intermediate range trailers have been the best sellers in the past couple years.
“You can go from a very primitive camping unit to a very luxurious, full-time living vehicle,” he said. “We have washers and dryers. We have fireplaces. They aren’t wood burning, but they produce heat. They have changed a lot since we started in the business.”
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