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RV sales increase as Cline Shale oil boom strikes West Texas region

Published On: Feb 07 2013 08:04:09 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 08 2013 07:40:23 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

RV businesses are reporting record sales in the past several months, and many attribute the boost to oil businesses.

The Cline Shale oil boom has caused hotels, homes and R.V. parks to fill up in parts of West Texas.

Randy Smits, president of Jerry's Campers in Abilene, said more customers are buying earlier than ever before.

"These are people that just don't have a place to live. There's no hotels, there's no housing, and this is just their alternative. So yes, I've seen quite an increase," said Smits.

Workers are looking for used motor homes, and he said it's a struggle to keep up with the demand.

"With the moving industry. the windmills, the roughnecks, everything associated with these two industries, RV's are a perfect alternative," said Smits.

Hanner RV Supercenter in Baird has seen a 50 percent increase in sales over 2011.

"They're out of housing so especially out west, all the hotels are all booked up, places for rent and sale are all gone so an RV is the next place to go," said Connor Sloan, business manager.

He said he gets daily calls and visits from people in the oil industry.

"It's either companies themselves buying up trailers or the individuals working for that company. So it's typically men working for the oil company," said Sloan.

He said RV's are convenient for work where being able to pick up and move quickly is part of the job description.

"A lot of the time with the oil it's moving constantly, with an RV it's just easier to pack up and move on to the next spot," said Sloan.

Hanner RV said their most popular models have been "bunkhouse," or campers that can fit up to a dozen people and "toyhaulers" the type that can haul lots of heavy equipment.