You know the RV life is great, but you’re probably accustomed to only sharing your love for the RV life with peers of a certain age. After all, retirement is the perfect time to hit the road with your tow vehicle to see all of the great sights, sounds and scenery this country offers. But a new study from the RV Industry Association, in partnership with Ipsos, indicates that you may be seeing younger folks at the RV park in the coming months.
The Kids are Coming
Last month, the RV Industry Association conducted what it’s calling the industry’s most comprehensive RV owner study ever and it found that, of the record-breaking 11.2 million RV owning households in the United States, those households are split almost equally between those over and under the age of 55. And those that are 18 to 34 years old now make up 22% of the RV market!
You probably could’ve guessed that RV ownership has increased over the last two decades (by more than 60%, the report states), but who knew that so many millennials and Gen Z-ers are interested in the RV life! The RV Industry Association says that, among current RV owners who plan to buy another RV in the next five years, 84% of the 18-to-34-year-old crowd plans to buy another RV in the next five years, with 78% of them planning to upgrade to a new model.
Is the Pandemic the Cause?
The RV Industry Association seems to think that the increase in RV interest, as well as the increase in the number of days per year RV owners are using their RVs, could be traced back to changing attitudes about work-life balance and working from home. After all, when you can work from anywhere, why not? And with more employees working remotely following the last year of the pandemic, more people are getting the idea that they could easily work from their RV.
In other words, many of your children and grandchildren are discovering that there’s no need to wait for retirement to enjoy the RV life.
But What Did the Study Find Out About YOU?
The RV Industry Association study didn’t only look at the growing number of millennials and Gen Z-ers that are getting in on the RV life. They also looked at RV owners across the board, to better understand their evolving habits. They split RV owners into seven different “groups” according to their preferences (see below). Which group do you fall into?
Happy Campers: These RV owners are more likely to be over 55 and empty nesters. They love to camp, fish and hike and use their RVs, on average, up to 180 days per year.
Casual Campers: These RV owners are also more likely to be over 55 and empty nesters and, in addition to camping and fishing, they also like gardening. They use their RV 30 days or less per year, about 16 days per year on average.
Adventure Seekers: The adventure seekers like to see a big, impressive destination when they go RVing (like the Grand Canyon!) and love to hike, swim and canoe. They’re usually 35 and up and use their RV up to 200 days per year.
Full Timer: The full-timer is serious about the RV life, and lives in their RV 24/7/365. They’re not necessarily of retired age, though. The study found only 43% of full-timer RV owners are retired and only 35% are over 55 years of age.
Escapist: The escapist is more likely to be your big spender when it comes to their RV and travel. They’re mostly over 55 and they like to head out on long vacations to destinations like the beach.
Avid RVer: The avid RVer is most likely to own a Class A motorhome. They use their RV between 61 and 150 days per year and are mostly over 55, but about a fourth of them are still working full-time. Their hobbies usually include cooking, gardening and going on long walks.
Family Campers: Lastly, the study found that about a third of RV owners are family campers. They usually have kids at home and are millennials, but they’re also the least likely to own a Class A motorhome.
Do You Think the Study Got it Right?
What are the trends that YOU see in the RV industry? You are, after all, the one that’s out on the road, living the RV life. Are you seeing more young RVers at the RV parks? Are your kids and grandkids more interested in the RV life than they have been in the past?
Let us know your thoughts on the survey by emailing [INSERT ADDRESS] and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Motor Home News!