Don’t be surprised if you see more recreational vehicles — from pop-up camper trailers to Airstreams — on the road this summer, the Traverse Ticker of Traverse City, Mich., reported.

The RV industry — nearly wiped out by the economic recession of the late 2000s — is back and finding new fans among the younger set, with assists from low interest rates and low fuel prices.

A recent national report highlighting the robust $14.5 billion industry also finds local RV dealerships reporting incredible business.

Larry Kelsey is the general manager of Nature & Me R.V. in Traverse City. On a chilly late March day, he reported being “swamped … but I’m not complaining.” Kelsey said the industry has seen an incredible bounce back since 2010. Sales more than doubled at Nature & Me R.V. between 2010 and 2011 and business has continued to increase “tremendously” since, said Kelsey.

“We’re doing between 200 and 220 units … that’s five times what it was,” he said. His staff has grown from seven to 17 employees. And it’s everything from entry-level pop-ups to the $100,000 Airstream. A new line added this year, Little Guy travel trailers, is generating considerable interest. “We’ve sold four or five this month,” he said.

The story is much the same down U.S. 31 at TCRV.

“Last year was a record year,” said Sales Manager Jeff Belanger. “And this year is on track to be even better.” Belanger has been at the local Jayco dealer for more than 20 years and has ordered and stocked more recreational vehicles than ever. “We’re expecting it to be a wild year,” he said.

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