Feds Buying Up RV's for Gulf Coast Housing

Feds Buying Up RV's for Gulf Coast Housing

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Alex Cabrero ReportingThis is the time of year where RV sales start to drop off, but dealers across Utah had a major buyer this past week -- the federal government.

We know the federal government likes to buy things in surplus, but hundreds of RV's across Utah isn't surplus. FEMA needs all of them for those who are rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

Usually this is the slow season at Tip's RV in Farr West. Mona Johnson spent all summer selling RV's, she just never expected her biggest sale to come in September.

Mona Johnson, Tip's RV: "They bought everything we had on the lot. So everything is being shipped as we speak."

All her RV's 26 to 30 feet long are gone. FEMA bought them all to send to the Gulf Coast. That way volunteers and contractors helping to re-build the area will have a place to stay. Tip's RV sold 22 of them and gave FEMA a big discount.

Mona Johnson: "I just think it's doing our part to help the economy as well as the victims of this hurricane."

Rob Terry at Ardell Brown RV in Sandy said FEMA bought about 80 of theirs. That's a big order in a short time, but workers stayed extra to get it done. Besides a big sale, what they saw on TV gave them inspiration.

Rob Terry, Ardell Brown RV: "You'd think it'd be in a third world country and not in your own country. It's horrible."

And it's not just Utah. FEMA is buying between 100 to 150-thousand RV's all across America because sleeping in one of these, is a lot better than sleeping out in the open.

Mona Johnson: "All they have to do is step inside and turn a switch on."

It's something of a luxury in the Gulf Coast these days.

Rob Terry: "It's pretty sad to see that."

FEMA is spending millions of dollars to do this and some RV plants have stepped up production to meet the need.

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