RESTON, Va. — As the country’s health care system grapples with surge capacity amid the coronavirus outbreak, recreation vehicle manufacturers have offered to donate RVs to help hospital and other providers combat the growing pandemic.
In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the Coronavirus Task Force, the industry group for RV makers said it planned to donate RVs for use in the most critical health care settings in the country, as determined by the Coronavirus Task Force.
“During times of disaster, state and local agencies have used RVs to aid as local command centers, portable offices, temporary housing and other critical uses,” said RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby. “Now, when our national needs are great, RV Industry Association members, in conjunction with the RV Dealers Association, plan to proactively donate RVs to the most critical health care settings in the country.”
The RV letter stated that the same units that provide temporary housing for recreation and camping use can also serve a critical role in times of national emergency. The industry pledged to donate 20 RVs to the most critical health care settings in the country, as determined by the Task Force, as well as provide an additional 100 RVs, at below market cost, to the settings deemed most critical by the Task Force.
“We understand the immense strain that the COVID-19 outbreak is placing on our health care system,” said Winnebago CEO and RV Industry Association Board member Mike Happe.
Happe said RVs can help by serving as temporary living quarters for doctors and nurses, office and lab trailers, bathroom and shower trailers, or temporary quarantine units at a time when the country is concerned about hospital capacity.
Just this week, Louisiana purchased RVs for such surge capacity; additionally, California has purchased over 1,300 RV trailers to provide emergency isolation for the homeless to contain the spread of the virus.
“America’s RV dealers provide essential services such as vehicle repair and maintenance, generator repair, LP gas service, and when necessary, temporary emergency housing,” said RV Dealers Association President Phil Ingrassia.
Kevin McArt, GM at Forest River, said, “there are motorhomes and RV trailers located in all 50 states and we will work with RV dealers at the Task Force’s designation on critical needs.”