Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Military veterans impact camping industry

If you compare the numbers, camping veterans make a significant impact in campgrounds today. That may also explain how a large number of campground owners are themselves military veterans.

Greater percentage camp out

The information surfaces from a survey from The Dyrt, a camping information and booking app outfit. The survey found that 14.8 percent of all campers are veterans or active military personnel. Compare that to the U.S. population. Veterans make up 6.4 percent of the U.S. population, and active duty folks less than 1 percent.

Camping veterans make a significant impact
Sheila and James Cook. Photo via thedyrt.com.

For campground and RV park owners, it should be a significant finding. Camping veterans make a significant impact on their bottom line. Dovetailing with that, another survey run at the same time showed that across the U.S., 13.4 percent of campground owners said they had served or currently serve in the military. One veteran campground owner, James Cook, owns Gasconade Hills Resort with 54 RV and tent sites in Richland, Missouri.

Cook’s wife, Sheila, says James’ military experiences lend themselves well to the family-owned RV park. “He’s a jack of all trades, and much of that comes from the military,” says Sheila of her Air Force veteran husband. “(It) prepared him for what he does today: Fast, critical thinking; maneuvering and managing things; operating large pieces of equipment; and all the little odd jobs. He’s the IT guy, the plumber, the electrician, the landscaper, the float operator. That’s just to name a few.”

Many vets camp with RVs

In addition to being more likely to be campers, the survey also found that veterans tend to be fairly avid campers. Veterans and active military folks who took the survey camped 22.8 percent more nights in 2023 than the survey average. Surely, camping veterans make a significant impact. Those with a military history were also more likely to use RVs as their primary type of camping. It amounted to 33.1 percent more than the survey average.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Joucye (@guest_260565)
16 days ago

It would be swell if all of our states gave vets discounts.I’m from Washington, but when I go to Idaho, the only discount is for vets living in Idaho. The same with other states, I’m sure.
I served in the U.S. Army, 1969-1971…That’s U.S., not just Washington.
I don’t get it….

Diane McGovern
16 days ago
Reply to  Joucye

I didn’t realize that was the case, and I agree with you 100%, Joucye. Those who have served or are serving in the military are protecting the United States and its citizens (as well as freedom everywhere), not just one particular state. Maybe someone can enlighten us on this topic. Thank you for your service, David.🤗 Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane at RVtravel.com

DonB (@guest_260500)
16 days ago


Diane McGovern
16 days ago
Reply to  DonB

Thank you for your service, Don. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Neal Davis (@guest_260451)
16 days ago

Thank you, Russ and Tina! Interesting stuff. The husband of our closest RV friends is a retired Air Force chief master sergeant. I don’t think that any other of our RVing friends have military ties. Guess we need to get out more, huh?

Ramer (@guest_260426)
16 days ago

Former campground owner here. After serving in Vietnam, Germany and stateside I worked for a company for 25 years, got tired of it and bought an existing 60 site campground. Built it up to 110 sites without over crowding and still had many open acres. Owning a campground was the best thing I ever did!

Gary W. (@guest_260476)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ramer

Welcome home.

Bob P (@guest_260423)
16 days ago

The reason most veterans use RVs is because they’ve done their time tent camping! Lol

Johnm405 (@guest_260413)
17 days ago

It would be nice if all veterans on this site would sign in today!!

Herman (@guest_260416)
17 days ago
Reply to  Johnm405

Agreed! USAF retired here!

Bob P (@guest_260422)
16 days ago
Reply to  Johnm405

USMC Vietnam

Herman (@guest_260411)
17 days ago

We camped in every state where we were assigned (CO twice, TX, CA, MT, AK) as well as lived in the RV at most bases while trying to find appropriate housing. We have continued to camp in retirement, visiting every US state (except HI) and many of the Canadian provinces.

Last edited 17 days ago by Herman
Tom (@guest_260393)
17 days ago

If you did not go, you will never know.

Bill Byerly (@guest_260363)
17 days ago

Another good reason to give a shout out and salute to our active duty and retired military!!🫡

Gary W. (@guest_260478)
16 days ago
Reply to  Bill Byerly

Just active duty and retired? You left out a lot of Veterans.

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