It looks like campgrounds will remain crowded in 2022, according to Kampgrounds of America’s Monthly Research Report for January.
The monthly report looks at camping trends via input from campers throughout North America. The report includes feedback from all camper sources, not just KOA campers.
The January KOA Monthly Research Report projects that 70% of those who camped in 2021 plan to do so again in 2022. With most campers (22%) booking their trips three to five months in advance, the outlook is for another year of growth in the camping industry.
“Camping has become the preferred way to enjoy the outdoors over the past year, and our research indicates that will continue,” said Whitney Scott, chief marketing officer of Kampgrounds of America. “It’s encouraging to see intent to camp remaining strong in 2022 with both veteran and new camping markets.”
As campers begin planning for another year of travel, most are booking their trips at least one month in advance. The majority are booking three to five months before they plan to travel (22%), while 20% of campers book one to two months prior. Another 17% prefer to book their camping trip a full six to 12 months in advance.
“It’s no surprise that more campers mean more advanced bookings,” Scott said. “Our advanced reservations are up over 51% over 2021 numbers. While it’s certainly possible to reserve great campgrounds on short notice, we are seeing the booking window lengthen. As an organization, KOA.com is adapting to the demand by making sites in regions easier to find and easier to book.”
In 2022, factors impacting camping plans – whether positively or negatively – include surging COVID cases (33%) and weather conditions (28%). However, it is notable that 29% of campers say nothing is changing their plans for the year.
Top travel destinations for the year include Colorado, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Campers plan to spend the most camping nights at national parks, state parks and private campgrounds.
To start off the year, 4.24 million households plan to camp in January.
I have booked all but one of our trips for this year a minimum of six months in advance. I haven’t booked the last one yet because state parks here don’t let you book greater than 6 months in advance. One time I tried to book in Estes Park, CO. On the day they opened reservations for our time period I waited until afternoon and could not find a spot. I book as soon as they will let me.
I’m not following this math. If 70% of people who camped last year plan to camp again, isn’t that a decline? Like, a pretty big decline? Or was the initial increase in 2020-2021 so large that a 30% decline will still be an increase? My head hurts.
I can’t believe that there are any RV’ers out there on the road when you look at the number in Rockport, TX. There is a new RV- park opening every other day here and filling up in weeks.
I’m trying to justify the 30%. On average I suspect maybe 10% will quit yearly due to age/health if nothing else. It’s hard to believe newbies make up any of the 30% as they just spent a sizable amount on the hobby. I wonder if KOA did not boost the number hoping to encourage more to try and get out there. 30% is a nice round number.
So, 30% *won’t* try again? That’s *good* news!
I guess we’re just lucky out here in the west. No reservations. We just go. But then, where we go there are no pools, tennis courts, paved roads, or site delivered meals.
When we bought our first trailer back in 1996, we thought we had to go to RV parks all the time. We stayed at every RV park within a 100 miles of here (Reno area), never making any reservations. Slowly that began to change. We no longer look for RV parks. We look for places to ‘camp’, and that means public lands, state parks (even that’s beginning to be a little rough), and other non-commercial places. While many of you have no other choice, I think if I had to book months and MONTHS in advance, I’d have to give it up. But, that’s just me.
Camping is now pretty much dead to me. Your “the sky is falling in” predictions are part of it. I wanted to pull my 5th wheel down to the Miami Beach Boat Show next month. 6 weeks before I called no less than 12 campgrounds within a 45 minute drive. Every one, no vacancy. I booked a hotel in 5 minutes. We will be buying a bigger boat we can live on while traveling. If it were not for Boondockers Welcome the 5th wheel would be for sale. The spontaneity and freedom of camping are a thing of the past. “I booked my favorite spot in Florida for next November” is ridiculous.
Join the club.
Last week we booked a campsite for an October trip to Watkins Glen state park in NY. I was able to get one of the few sites remaining for that week. I’ve become quite adept at using Trip Wizard and a plethora of on-line reservation systems. It is very crowded out there.
Funny – when I see that headline, what I think is “30% of campers in 2021 don’t plan to try it again in 2022”. You can obviously spin it as you wish, but you really should take off the rose colored glasses before you do…
We already made reservations for this November for our winter spot in Florida. This Campground has never had this many RV’s.
4 and quarter million camping in January??? Lordy!
We already made three reservations in November of last year for June, July and September of this year. Two of the campgrounds said that they were filling up fast. All three of these are within 350 miles from home. That way we didn’t have to worry about finding an overnighter along the way.