The RV industry is shifting gears, focusing on sales to millennials who purchase smaller RVs and trailers, and the RV manufacturers have figured that out. Millennials are now a major target market for RV companies and are now driving RV sales to new records, reports CNBC.
Much of the growth is because of strong sales of trailers that can be towed behind an SUV or minivan, and as a result, RV shipments are expected to surge to their highest level ever, according to a forecast from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. What does this mean to existing RVers? One logical extension would be more RVs on the road and in campgrounds and fewer options open to on-the-road and fulltime RVers.
According to the 2017 North American Camping Survey from KOA, millennials make up 38 percent of campers – but 31 percent of the general population.
Two years ago, a KOA survey found younger campers valued having WiFi almost as much as access to toilet paper. The industry needed to keep up. Now, most people in RVs will have full access to TV, WiFi and whatever else makes modern life modern.
Private campgrounds like KOA and GoCampingAmerica.com have hopped on this trend by offering WiFi and full amp hookups at their sites. They also allow RVers to use their slide-out. That may sound simple, but it’s something public campgrounds don’t allow and a major deterrent for RVers.
“The typical RVer is staying outside the national park,” said Kevin Broom, director of media relations for RVIA. “The preference is most would much rather drive in and stay in the park, but the campgrounds haven’t been modernized.”
Other design improvements have emerged, as well. Companies have begun to make lighter but more durable trailers. Using laminated walls, for example, allows for more space in the trailer (because the walls are thinner); it also means customers can haul their trailer with a minivan or light duty truck.
Broom said most RVs are used for frequent weekend getaways, maybe five or six trips a year, with one longer trip mixed in.
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