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August 4, 2021

In Maine and elsewhere, camping businesses are already booked for fall

aerial view of lot with RV's parked Courtesy / Lee's Family Trailer Lee's Family Trailer sold 1,000 RVs from its Windham dealership last year, and was recently acquired by a national camping product company.

While Mainers and Maine park officials have seen a surge in recreational camping during the pandemic, a new survey predicts the growth won't be letting up anytime soon.

A recent poll of 2,100 campgrounds and recreational-vehicle parks nationwide found that nearly two-thirds of the locations predict reservations in late summer and early fall will be at least 20% more than the level in the same period last year. The survey by website also found that one-quarter of the sites expect bookings to be up more than 50%.

At Loon's Haven Family Campground in Naples, General Manager Billie McNamara said in a news release, "We are up 36% in forward bookings, with many still booking for this September and October, and for 2022 already. Our weekends are fully booked until the week after Labor Day and hardly any weekdays are available, as well."

The continuing growth in camping is tracking directly with the record RV sales and shipments reported by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, the release said. Even prior to COVID shutdowns, the industry was experiencing rapid growth in participation, and the pandemic has super-charged that increase, according to

That conclusion jibes with the experience of Lee’s Family Trailer, a recreational vehicle seller in Windham that had sales last year of nearly $40 million — a sixfold increase from 2017. The business was acquired in the spring by Camping World Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CWH), which had 2019 sales of $4.9 billion. provides a search engine for identifying and virtually touring campsites nationwide. Founded in 2012, the Wyoming company itself is a sign of the growing interest in camping, after adding "tours" of 16,000 parks across the U.S. within five years. In Maine, profiles 26 parks.

"In an uncertain world, the outdoor hospitality industry has served as a viable escape for hundreds of millions of travelers around the world," founder and CEO Mark Koep said in the release. "We expect the industry to continue its record pace well into 2022."

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