RVIA predicts 22 million traveling RVers this summer

RESTON, Va. — Nearly 14.4 million Americans will travel in recreation vehicles over Memorial Day weekend, heading to America’s 18,000-plus campgrounds to enjoy the benefits of an active, outdoor getaway with family and friends, according to the latest survey of RV owners by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

More than 22 million Americans will travel in RVs throughout the summer months.

The Campfire Canvass survey finds that 83 percent of RV owners plan to use their RVs more than, or as much as, they did last year. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day are the most popular trip times, with Father’s Day RV outings fast gaining in popularity.

Expect to see 5.8 million RVs on the road this Memorial holiday, RVIA noted.

“RV ownership is at a record high and will continue to grow as younger and more diverse consumers embrace the lifestyle,” said RVIA president Frank Hugelmeyer. “RV vacations provide people with the freedom and flexibility to adjust their plans. They’re a comfortable and convenient way to escape stress and spend time together and they won’t break your budget.”

Affordability is a key reason for increased usage with 88 percent agreeing that RVing is a cost-effective way to travel and 81 percent saying that RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel even when fuel prices are higher (88 percent said fuel prices will not affect their spring/summer plans). Nearly 85 percent of respondents agree that traveling by RV can save 25 percent or more over other types of travel.

Other top reasons for increased RV journeys include:

  • Flexibility to take more mini-vacations (67 percent)
  • Opportunity to enjoy outdoor activity and nature (59 percent)
  • Chance to spend more quality time with family (52 percent)
  • Escape stress/pressure (48 percent)

When they venture out, 67 percent of RVers bring a pet along. Most are dog people (93 percent); 14 percent bring cats.

Favorite RVing Activities

Being active is a major benefit of the RV lifestyle for both adults and children. More than three quarters of the respondents said that they and their children were more physically active during RV trips. In order, here are some of their favorite things to do:

  • Sightsee (78 percent) – especially natural sites and attractions
  • Visit state or national parks (76 percent)
  • Grill/cookout (74 percent)
  • Visit historic sites (68 percent)
  • Hike/walk (61 percent)
  • Visit friends/family (56 percent)
  • Attend festivals/fairs (47 percent)
  • Fish (47 percent)
  • Swim (46 percent)

While RVers seek an active, free-from-stress experience, they enjoy the flexibility to bring along their electronic gadgets, including smart phones (89 percent), laptops (71 percent), iPads or tablets (64 percent), GPS devices (56 percent), e-readers (29 percent) and satellite TV systems (30 percent).

They will also be posting pics and sharing stories and ideas using Facebook (88 percent) and Pinterest (29 percent) as their go-to social media sites.

Campgrounds have adapted to the digital age by offering services popular with RVers. Favorite campground amenities include WiFi (84 percent), pool (65 percent), cable TV (63 percent), and laundry services (55 percent). Of those surveyed 20 percent were destination or seasonal campers, meaning they keep their RV parked at one campground for a season or longer and use the RV at this one location specifically.

Of those who destination camp: 56 percent said they use a towable RV, 38 percent use a motorhome and 6 percent use park model RVs.

According to the survey, top reasons for purchasing an RV within the past three years included:

  • To see America (89 percent)
  • Best way to travel (85 percent)
  • To keep active (81 percent)
  • Most affordable way to travel (71 percent), and
  • Bargain pricing (68 percent)

Forty-four percent said they’re considering another RV purchase. Of those potential buyers, 33 percent are considering a purchase within the next year; and 39 percent in one to two years. Among those not considering another purchase, 86 percent say they’re happy with their current RV.

The online survey of 421 RV owners was conducted by RVIA and Cvent and has a margin of error of 4.8 percent.

SOURCE: RV Industry Association press release

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

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