Camping World Holdings rises 3% after IPO

Camping World opens for trading
Camping World opens for trading

Shares of Camping World Holdings rose more than 3 percent Friday, their first day of trading.

The recreational vehicle dealership's stock traded at around $23 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, opening at $23.75 after pricing at $22 a share, the middle of the expected range of $21 to $23.

With 11.4 million shares, the initial public offering raised $251 million. Camping World's chairman and CEO, Marcus Lemonis, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"on Friday that the IPO proceeds will be used to reduce the company's debt — since debt is one of the things he hates most.

Marcus Lemonis
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Camping World, known for selling recreational vehicles, sits at the nexus of several trends. Millennials are drawn toward lower-end RVs, and the Federal Reserve may be mulling an interest rate increase, which could affect the cost of financing vehicles for consumers.

But rather than focus on motor homes, which don't have as high a margin, Camping World is looking toward warranties, insurance, roadside assistance, parts and other services, said Lemonis, who also stars in CNBC's "The Profit."

Plus, Lemonis said Camping World has driven down the average price point on its RVs toward $15,000 to $20,000. He said the availability of credit, not the cost, is the one macroeconomic factor he's eyeing.

"People like to believe that the RV business is really cyclical," Lemonis said. "There are parts of it that are. But it was the right time for us."

The pipeline for the company's continued growth includes acquisitions and new store openings, as well as the installed based of RV owners. Shares of RV manufacturers Winnebago and Thor Industries are up about 40 percent and 50 percent over the past year, respectively.

"I've had this business for 13, 14 years, and it was important to me to take the next step," Lemonis said. Though he has other endeavors, including his CNBC TV show, he added, "The bulk of my net worth is in the company, so there should be no confusion where my focus is."

Correction: Camping World's IPO raised $251 million. An earlier version mischaracterized the amount.

Disclosure: Marcus Lemonis of CNBC's "The Profit" is chairman and CEO of Camping World. Reuters contributed to this report.