Saturday, June 3, 2023


New RVers aren’t going to let a little cold weather stop their camping

Cold-weather camping is apparently going to be a “thing” over the next few months.

The KOA Monthly Research Report – December Edition projects that 8.69 million camping households are planning a cold-weather camping trip this year. Whether traveling to winter destinations or warmer locales, more than 22 million households plan to take a camping trip during the remaining holiday season. Bolstering findings from the April release of Kampgrounds of America’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report, research indicates the increased popularity of camping will continue through the end of the year.

High interest in winter camping for new RVers

Those that camped for the first time in 2021 are particularly interested in trying a winter camping trip. It is estimated that 69 percent of new camping households are considering a winter camping trip. RV trips are the most popular form (51 percent) of winter camping trips though first-time campers are also interested in hut-to-hut winter camping (31 percent) and overlanding (26 percent).

“Camping is increasingly becoming a year-round activity regardless of climate,” said Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America. “We are seeing that new campers are really enthusiastic about the camping lifestyle and the options and variety it offers. This isn’t just a trend, camping’s popularity will continue to increase across locations, seasons and experiences.”

A strong indicator of camping in general, 22.47 million camping households – 44 percent of campers – plan to camp over the holidays in cold or warm weather locations. Popular states for December camping trips include California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New York.

Snowbirding also remains popular with 2.9 million households planning to spend three or more months on a campground. Public (43 percent) and private campgrounds (35 percent) are the top choices for snowbirds.

No canceled trips this year

Overall, there is increased optimism for all types of off-season camping. In addition to the increased number of guests, only 3 percent indicate that they have canceled trips. While COVID-19 concerns and increases in gas prices and the cost of goods and services have some impact, it has decreased drastically.

“Not only are people camping, they are less resistant to outside forces when considering trips,” said O’Rourke. “Other sectors of the travel industry are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and inflation in a way that is not impacting camping. People are eager to vacation and they’re choosing to camp.”

According to KOA’s latest projections, over 56 million households are projected to camp in 2021, compared to 48.2 million in 2020 – a 16 percent increase. An estimated 9.16 million households will camp for the first time this year. When added to the 10.1 million first-time campers in 2020, over 19.2 million households will have joined the camping lifestyle in the last two years.


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


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Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I hope RVTravel has some classes for winter RVing.

1 year ago

It’s a mess out there. I participate in several RV forums and these newbies are freezing up all over the place. I guess that is one way to learn….

Rich E
1 year ago

The headline is clearly wrong! All the RV’ers are not “new”.

donald schneider
1 year ago

I wonder how many “new campers” understand that cold weather can freeze pipes and cause the use of all the on board propane for the heater in their RV.

1 year ago

Projections are for 2021?

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Traveler

Hi, Traveler. I think that since the report from KOA was produced before the end of the year, they’re projecting the number of households who would camp through the end of 2021 (at that point). I wondered the same thing, so went back to look at KOA’s report to make sure. Have a terrific 2022! 🙂 –Diane

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