Camping up in response to COVID concerns

Friday, June 19, 2020
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Shannon Ruckman of Central City Auto and RV is following all the CDC guidelines for ensuring a safe camping experience. 

Photo by Miriam Campan

As summer approaches and plans for the annual vacation are being considered, sales and rentals of RVs are spiking across the country. As reported by Bloomberg, the L.A. Times and Fox Business news, consumers are searching for a way to travel safely in the era of COVID-19. RVs offer a way to meet consumer demands for safe and sanitized vacation accommodations, preferably out of a crowded city and into the clean, fresh, country air.

Shane and Shannon Ruckman from Central City Auto and RV are seeing that same trend here in Central Montana. With an increase in sales, they want people who are considering renting or purchasing a RV for their vacations to make an informed decision.

Shannon said, “We encourage families to come and see the campers before they rent. Camping sites are filling up so fast. You have to make sure you have a spot to go to. Ackley Lake and the Belts public campgrounds in general are filling up faster than usual.”

If families are considering a short getaway, the Ruckmans also recommended booking a rental RV and a camping spot from Tuesday through Thursday to avoid the weekend crunch.

All of their RV’s (whether rental or for purchase) come with the standard package of a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom(s) and a seating area. Families, when planning a RV vacation, may want to look at floor plans best suited to the number of people in their family. 

A variety of different perks are available in modern RVs. Perks may include an electric jack, self-leveling, a slide-out for more space, bunk beds, along with a variety of storage options.

Shane is ready to answer and assist with technical questions.

He said, “We don’t want people to be unsafe out there. We can discuss weight capacity and look at the specification for their vehicle. A half-ton can pull from seven to eight thousand pounds. I’m going to ask, ‘what are you pulling with?”

To ensure customer safety beyond the mechanics and comfort of operating a RV, the Ruckmans are following all the CDC guidelines in relation to the pandemic in their rentals. 

“Everything gets wiped down following CDC guidelines. We stepped it up and every time a camper is used or even visited it gets sprayed. We’ve always cleaned them as if it were a hotel room, and this year we’ve added the disinfectant, which is getting harder to find,” said Shannon.

As with hotels and motels the Ruckmans provide a full service with their RV rentals.

Shannon said, “Go to our website at for rental availability. We provide everything from blankets and sheets to pillows and towels. We also provide soaps and kitchenware. All renters’ need is their food and maybe a sleeping bag or a favorite pillow. We fill up the RV with water and dump the waste as part of the cleaning fees.”

Should vacationers want to purchase their own RV for the Ruckmans suggest having their finances in order and to know and keep within their budget.

“It’s a good thing to know what your budget is and to work with your banker or ours,” said Shane.

The Ruckmans at Central City Auto and RV wants people to know they are here for them and are ready to answer questions regarding a safe camping experience.



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