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RV Ownership Statistics

survey by Ipsos states that RV ownership is at a record high, with 11.2 million households owning an RV. With the pandemic fueling online education and remote working, the demand for RVs as a travel vehicle is simultaneously on the rise. The same survey found that 1 out of 4 respondents plan to travel by RV in the coming 12 months. Notably, 18% intend to travel by RV, and another 18% intend to do more internet research about RVs. 13% of the respondents plan to rent an RV, and 11% intend to buy one. Regardless of which category you fall into, we have compiled some key RV ownership statistics to help you make better decisions.

RV Owner Demographics

Here are some insights on the demographics and ownership habits of former RV owners, current owners, and intenders based on a study by Go RVing:
  • RV ownership has increased by over 62% in the past two decades, with a record 11.2 million households owning RVs. Additionally, 9.6 million families plan to buy an RV within the next five years.
  • 84% of the current RV owners planning to purchase another RV in the next five years are aged between 18 to 34. Moreover, 78% of them would prefer to buy a new model.
  • The average yearly usage for current RV owners is still steady at 20 days. However, intended RV buyers plan to use their vehicle for a median of 25 days annually. This increase reflects the changing perspectives towards remote working and going on trips without taking time off work.
According to a demographic study by RVIA, RV ownership varies widely across different age levels, genders, education levels, and household income. Of the 40 million people that go RV camping each year, approximately 22% of campers fall into the Millennial and Gen Z category. This stat is surprising, considering that the average age for RV owners in the US is 48 years. The same demographic study also reports that an RV-owning household typically earns around $62,000, with the families spending 3-4 weeks on average in a year on their RVs.

RV Usage Statistics

From Class As to Teardrop Trailers and Camper Vans, there are a variety of RVs available for different lifestyles and budgets. The cost for purchasing towable and motorized variants can range from $9,000 to a million dollars. Here are some statistics on the type of RVs popular among buyers:
  • According to a study by RVIA, 20% of RVs in the US are classified as conventional travel trailers. Around 14% of households own a Type A motorhome or a fifth-wheel. In third place is PMRVs, making up 12% of RVs owned.
  • The same study shows more than 94,000 shipments of fifth-wheel RVs annually. Compared to that, there are just 62,000 wholesale motorhomes shipments.
  • According to the RV Dealers Association, Jayco takes the lead for travel trailers, and the second most popular is Fifth-wheels. Montana comes out on top in market share, with Reflection being a close second.
  • Class C RVs are growing in popularity for budget-friendly options, with Four Winds being the top brand in the category.
Now let’s look at some interesting statistics for how people are using their RVs:
  • 90% of RV-owning households report that they take at least three trips with their vehicle or trailer in addition to regular yearly vacations.

RV Manufacturing and Sales Statistics

According to RVIA, the RV industry generates nearly $114 billion annually and sees sales amounting to $18 billion. The RV industry has a significant economic impact, contributing $6 billion in taxes and employing around 600,000 people in the US. The Wall Street Journal states that approximately 80% of these recreational vehicles are produced in Elkhart, Indiana. Data from the RV industry association (RVIA) show that 98% of recreational vehicles sold are manufactured in the US. Moreover, the highest number of RV sales are from Indiana ($6.8 billion), California ($2.2 billion), and Texas ($1.8 billion). Indiana leads in RV sales because it is the home to most RV Headquarters- Forest River, Thor Industries, Avion International Llc, etc.

RV Living Costs & Savings Statistics 

study by CBRE compared differences between hotel/motels/condos, eating out vs. eating in, flying vs. staying in different RV models. The study found that RV vacations can be over 60% more affordable than a traditional holiday, with trailers costing as little as $6000. That said, RV owners can definitely reduce their expenses in various degrees depending on the number of people and the type of RV. Here is a list of the percentage of savings a couple can expect based on the type of RV:
  • Folding camping trailers: 43% to 53%
  • Lightweight travel trailer: 20% to 34%
  • Compact motorhomes: 20% to 34%
  • Type C motorhomes: 8% to 24%
  • Type A motorhomes: Up to 19%.
In the case of a family of four, the percentage of savings will be as follows:
  • Folding camping trailers: 50% to 64%
  • Lightweight travel trailers & compact motorhomes: 31% to 50%
  • Type C motorhomes: 21% to 43%
  • Type A motorhomes: Up to 41%
While fuel costs vary based on the type of RV, it was not deemed substantial enough to affect the study’s findings and cost savings. The prospect of cost savings from RV living is further supported by the fact that many have chosen to live full time in their vehicles. Lower rental costs, lower bills, and the freedom RVs offer are all reasons why over a million Americans opt for this lifestyle. While the initial down payment can be expensive, it won’t be more than a house deposit or rent (that can cost anywhere between $13-$15 a night on average).

RV Safety Statistics

RVs have a lot of blind spots and long braking distances, which leads to a lot of RV accidents. So safety is one of the most important concerns people have before purchasing an RV. According to Fifth Wheel Street, here are some things to consider to judge the safety of your RV:
  • RVs have a fatality rate of roughly 1/3 of all other vehicles, implying that they are safer.
  • On average, 1.48 deaths occur for every 100 million vehicles. But the fatality rate is approximately 0.44 fatalities per 100 million for RVs. Since RVs’ fatality rate is about a third of all other motorized vehicles, they are three times safer than other vehicles.
While RVs are statistically safer than other vehicles, injuries from RV accidents are pretty standard. According to RV and Play, head injuries are the most common damage caused by RV accidents. Besides that, other common injuries include minor fractures, wounds, and facial injuries. Although spinal cord injuries are less prevalent, they do still occur.

RV Demand Statistics

The RV Owner Demographic Profile Study took a survey to determine why interest in RVs increased during the pandemic. Here’s what they found:
  • People buy RVs because they make camping more accessible and safer for families than traditional camping options. A 2021 report states that approximately 60% of new RV owners believe that an RV is the safest mode of transportation during the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • In the US, RVs also provide benefits to families. A regular vacation in a hotel, bed & breakfast, or similar lodging might cost over 60% more than an RV trip.
  • It is easy to set up mobile offices in RVs, making them perfect for bringing the office with you on vacation. Due to the increased popularity of remote workplaces, interest in RVs will continue to grow long after the pandemic has ended.
  • RVs are also ideal for families who want their children to experience the country firsthand. With school systems operating online and parents already working from home, RVs offer families the perfect opportunity to travel without exposing themselves to any risk.

Final Thoughts

According to ITR Economics, the RV sector is buoyed by high consumer interest and good RV sales. Moreover, this projection is backed up by numerous individuals across the country. These factors have turned RVs into the perfect option for enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle while regulating their surroundings. As a result, we expect its popularity to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. So if you are on the fence about purchasing an RV, this might be the perfect time to hop onto the RV bandwagon!

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