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RV sales down in face of economic troubles

Retailers said sales have suffered the most for RVs priced between $75,000 and $150,000.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — An estimated 5,000 people are expected to attend an RV show at the Raleigh Convention Center this weekend. Retailers for the typically high-priced items said the recent economic downturn has affected sales.

“Gas prices are not impacting sales for RVs as much as the credit crunch,” said Melanie Atkinson, of RV Expo byDesign.

Retailers said sales have suffered the most for RVs priced between $75,000 and $150,000.

Rex Creech, owner of Wilmington-based Rex & Sons RVs Inc., said sales are down slightly. He believes they haven’t dropped more because consumers don’t want to stay home.

“They’re not going to stay cooped up in their house,” Creech said. “They’re going to get out sooner or later and we’ve seen that happen.”

Economic uncertainty left some visitors on Saturday window shopping. Others said they were finding bargains at the show.

“Some of them were actually in range of an automobile and I was surprised at that,” Tony Wade said.

The show runs until 9 p.m. Saturday night and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The RV show is the first trade show held at Raleigh’s new convention center.

Nearby, Steve Hunt, owner of The Big Easy restaurant, said he is hoping the center's opening will bring in more customers.

The first convention at the center was held last week. Hunt said business doubled the day the event started as a result of the convention's crowds.