Recreational Vehicles: On the road
An all-American product finds new takers.
Early spring is the main selling season for recreational vehicles (RVs) and the phone on Tom Troiano's desk has been ringing incessantly.
The owner of Continental RV, a dealership in Farmingdale, a village on Long Island, Mr Troiano is on track to sell more RVs this year than in any othersince the early 2000s.
Tom Troiano是在美国长岛一个村庄——法明代尔(Farmingdale)的大陆房车(Continental RV)的经销商，Troiano先生预计今年出售的房车可能会比从21世纪以来任何一年卖得都要多。
Buoyed by cheap financing, rising wages and inexpensive gas, travellers are once again splurging on big-ticket camper vans.
RVs are a quintessentially American invention: more than two-thirds are made in the United States.
Nationally, sales surged to 430,000 units last year, a 40-year high.
At the inexpensive end they sell for as little as $5,000 for a caravan; deluxe versions cost up to $1m and are typically equipped with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom that are bigger than in many European flats.
The share prices of Thor Industries, the biggest RV-manufacturer in America, and Winnebago, the third-largest, have risen by 43% and 17%, respectively, in the past year.
That is a big change.
During the 2008-09 recession, notes Mr Troiano, RV dealerships everywhere closed down, leaving his shop among the very few left serving the New York metropolitan area.
The current rebound is mostly owing to the economy's recovery, but it also springs from the fact that new types of customer are embracing the lifestyle.