Surge in Campsite Traffic Nationwide As People Make Alternate Summer Vacation Plans

CHARLOTTE, NC – There is a surge of interest in the great American tradition of packing up the car or RV and heading off for a road trip. 

Camping sites across the country are booking up and locally, families are opting for time on the road and in a camper rather than flying and staying in a hotel room.

“It’s just been crazy,” said Bonnie Traylor.

She is the office manager at Thomas RV rentals. 

“We haven’t been able to keep up with answering the phones. Most of our motorhomes are booked right now until the beginning of august,” said Traylor.

The summer season started off slow with the cancellation of NASCAR events and music festivals. Since then, people have been cooped up, not wanting to fly or stay at hotels. 

“Now they’re trying to find a different way to vacation,” said Traylor.

According to the North American Camping Report, prior to the pandemic, camping accounted for 11 percent of all trips. The report predicts that figure will jump 5 percent post COVID-19.

“It’s kind of been our only sense of normalcy the last couple of months,” said Melissa Sharpe.

She and her husband Jeremy have taken their camper on several trips. 

“Campgrounds tend to have sign up sheets to get into the pool and they kind of restrict the amount of people,” explained Jeremy Sharpe.

They say they’re able to find outdoor activities for the kids while social distancing. 

“People are still walking around in masks if they’re close together. Then when we’re back at our campsite, we can sit back and relax,” said Melissa Sharpe.

Traylor says some people are renting campers for business travel to avoid airports, and other high risk people are using the mobile homes for out of state medical treatment. 

“I do get a lot of calls from people that don’t want to have to stop anywhere along the way for trips,” said Traylor.

Traylor says they now use a fog machine to clean inside the camper after each use. 

If you’re looking to go camping, you’ll have to travel outside of Mecklenburg county. All county campsites are closed until at least early August.