ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Campgrounds in the time of COVID has become a popular vacation destination in 2020. The business showed record sales from May to July.

“We have seen a surge in business,” explains Warren Patton, general manager of Byerly RV in Eureka.

Even with the warmest months of the year behind us, heading outdoors continues to be the hot travel destination.

“We have rental bookings that are pretty substantial going into the fall,” Patton explains.

The change of the season provides its benefits.

“The best thing about camping in fall is it’s cooler,” says Wheaton. “That’s the biggest draw. It’s just easier to fall asleep, you’re not worried about sweating, and if you go past the first frost ticks shouldn’t be as bad.”

Don’t let your guard down, ticks can survive even past the first frost and freeze.

“Ticks can be out all year, it depends on the weather. Lots and lots of snow it provides a blanket for them so it can mean higher numbers the next year,” Wheaton explains.

Before you hit the trails, start creating a list of what you’ll need to stay safe and healthy.

“It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared,” Wheaton warns.

Remember, in the fall months you can still get sunburnt, so pack the SPF as well as the DEET. Permethrin is another essential to keep the ticks away. If you’re going overnight camping pack extra layers and blankets for those chilly nights.

“If it gets too cold that’s what surprises a lot of people. It feels great kind of like in the 80s as a high, and then it gets down into the 50s at night and people aren’t expecting that,” Wheaton says. “And they don’t realize how cold the 50s really is. Or how chilly it is.”

For those taking out the RV, it may be time for an annual checkup.

“The thing they want to get ready for the fall, it’s preparing your camper, doing some of the things that they may have missed,” Patton explains. “Checking all the roof seals, check your wheels, check your tires, check your bearings. Just make sure everything is safe and ready to go.”

And remember to book your spot, early.

The Missouri State Parks website shows campgrounds booking out through October. To make your reservation visit this website.

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