The RV industry has been consistently growing year after year. In the last few years, the industry has seen millennials living in RVs, retirees swapping to the RV life, and the age 35-55 crowd taking a larger market share than the typical 60+ buyers.
And that’s just the beginning.
The RV industry has steadily grown to record highs over the last 12 years, hitting a projected 577,200 units shipped in 2021. What does that equate to in dollars? And how has this impacted the U.S. economy?
- In 2019, the RV industry had an overall economic impact to the US economy of $114 billion, supporting nearly 600,000 jobs, contributing more than $32 billion in wages and paying over $12 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. (RVIA)
- In 2017, the RV industry celebrated its eighth straight year of sales growth. During this 8-year span, the recreational vehicle industry has grown more than 200%. (RVIA)
- However, 2018 and 2019 ended this streak with slight declines. But 2020 finished the year with 430,412 units sold, up 6 percent since 2019 and representing the survey’s fourth-best annual shipment total. (RV News) (RVIA)
- The U.S. isn’t the only nation affected by the RV industry. In Canada, the industry is responsible for over $3.8 billion in retail sales each year. (CRVA)
- In comparison, the U.S. RV industry generates almost $20 billion in retail sales annually from over a half-million wholesale shipments of RVs. (RVIA)
- Over 200,000 indirect loans were generated at retail locations offering recreational vehicles for sale in 2017. These loans totaled $8.4 billion from households purchasing RVs. (CRVA)
- Of those 200,000 loans, the average amount financed by a household purchasing an RV is over $45,000 USD. (CRVA)
- There are affordable RVs available today for around $10,000, but the average price of a motorhome is much higher. Class C and Class B motorhomes retail anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000, while a Class A motorhome can retail for more than $500,000. (Camper Report)
- The RV industry contributes almost $12 billion in taxes to the U.S. economy every year. (RVIA)
Who is buying RVs and how many buyers are there?
Go to any campground in America, and chances are very good you’ll encounter a younger demographic sprinkled in with the typical Baby Boomer RV’er. That’s bringing new energy and enthusiasm to many RV destinations. Here are some interesting stats about who is out and about in their RV:
- Americans are the largest market segment for the RV industry to-date. Roughly 40 million people in the United States go RV camping. (This includes backyard and car-based camping.) (2021 Topline North American Camping Report)
- Of those 40 million, Millennials and Gen Z’ers make up approximately 22% of campers, according to a 2021 demographic study. (RVIA)
- However, the average RV owner in the U.S. is 48 years old. (RVIA)
- Although Millennials are discovering the RV industry, Generation X and Baby Boomers are still the biggest segments of the industry. Households in the 35-54 age demographic are the most likely to own an RV in the U.S. right now. (RVIA)
- Other studies back this up. According to the University of Michigan, more RVs are owned by people in the 35-54 age demographic than any other age category. (University of Michigan)
- More than 11 million families in the U.S. report ownership of an RV. Additionally, there are about 18,000 campgrounds and parking facilities throughout the country, both public and private, which support RV camping. (RVIA)
- The typical household income for RV owning households is about $62,000. These families spend an average of 3-4 weeks each year using their RV in some way. (RVIA)
- There has been a 62% increase in household ownership of recreational vehicles in the United States since 2001. Additionally, 124% more households own an RV now compared to 1980. (RVIA)
- About 65% of RV owners bring their pets with them when they travel thanks to how their RV is designed. (RVIA)
Why do people say they buy RVs?
The decision to buy an RV has similar motivations behind all demographic segments.
- The main reason people purchase RVs is because it allows families a way to go camping that is easier than traditional camping options. About 60% of new RV owners state that they believed an RV was the safest way to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2021 Topline North American Camping Report)
- Another reason RVs are popular in North America is the cost-savings they offer families. An RV vacation can be over 60% cheaper than a traditional vacation at a hotel, bed and breakfast, or similar type of accommodation. (RVIA)
- About 1 in 4 Americans say they prefer to take a hiking/trekking vacation that involves RV camping. (RVIA)
How do RV’ers use their RVs?
- The average RV owner drives around 4,500 miles each year in their RV. (University of Michigan)
- 90% of RV-owning households report that they take at least 3 trips with their vehicle or trailer each year. This is in addition to their regular yearly vacation. (RVIA)
- About 30% of recreational vehicle owners say that they take advantage of camping locations outside of a traditional campground, such as boondocking or staying at a Walmart. (2021 Topline North American Camping Report)
- The most popular RV vacation destination in the United States has consistently been Yosemite National Park. (National Parks Service)
- On average, approximately 250,000 visitors come to Yosemite every year with their recreational vehicle. (National Parks Service)
- However, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic saw Great Smokey Mountains National Park as the most-visited destination. (National Parks Service)
- One million Americans live full-time in RVs. (Washington Post)
If you’re on the fence about buying an RV, there’s never been a better time to jump into RV ownership.
If the lure of the open road is calling, you’re not the only one hearing it. We can help you find the perfect RV for you and your travel desires like the fifth wheel shown above all the way up to a fully-equipped, Class A luxury motor coach, and get you out there to experience new adventures and make new friends along the way. To view our hand-picked and ever-changing inventory of luxury motor homes, visit https://motorhomefinders.com/inventory/.