Over the weekend, the Houston RV Show at NRG Center provided more than just a look at the latest in recreational vehicles and accessories.
The show also allowed Houstonians who lost their homes to damage from Hurricane Harvey to find a new lease on life.
While many families took in the sights of these homes on wheels, others reportedly looked at the hardware as a potential alternative to buying or renting a new home in a flood-prone area.
A number of RV dealers told the Houston Chronicle they are seeing increases in sales since Harvey; attendees at the show also reported heavier traffic than the previous year.
Communitron Management, Inc., the organizing firm of the five-day event, described traffic on the floor as “shoulder to shoulder” at one point in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
Employees with Topper’s Camping Center, an RV dealership in Waller, said they saw a highly visible presence on the show room floor.
Larry Trout III, the general manager at Topper’s, told the newspaper his business is reporting a 10 percent increase in profitability since Harvey.
Trout, who also serves as president of the Houston RV Dealers Association, said other dealers are seeing even larger increases in their sales.
With more than an estimated 150,000 homes destroyed by the floodwaters from Harvey, many families are reportedly considering the option of purchasing and RV over buying a new home or rebuilding their damaged structures.
“They’re looking for something they can call their own,” Joe O’Masters, road manager for Ron Hoover RV & Marine dealership, said in an interview.
Many dealers offered additional services to Harvey victims, as well, with at least one dealer offering free delivery; others spoke to prospective buyers about discounts, financing and upgrade packages.