Sales in RVs are seeing major gains, as sales efforts pivot away from older consumers and successfully target young adults who are starting to form families and have excess cash to spend on non-essential splurges, reports Yahoo Finance.
Wholesale RV shipments reached its highest annual level in 2017 at 504,600 units, a 17.2% increase over 2016, according to the RVIA (RV Industry Association). The trade group predicts that shipments will reach 521,700 units in 2018, marking nine straight years of growth. In June, Winnebago (WGO) reported an 18% increase in sales for the quarter, boosted by its growth in travel trailers.
After RV shipments dropped to a 30-year low in the downturn of the late 2000s, demand is stronger than ever, according to Pete Reeb, principal at California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The demand for RVs is expected to continue to increase as real per capita net worth improves and the prices of homes keep appreciating.
The popularity of RVs can partially be explained by the evolving — and shortened — definition of vacation. As Katie Denis of the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off told NPR, “The partial week [vacation] is gaining in popularity.”
Americans are cobbling together days here and there, making long weekends, rather than taking long stretches of time off for vacation.
“With the rise of house and apartment rental websites like Airbnb and VRBO, suddenly baby boomers have access to way more vacation properties than you’ve ever had in the past. Instead of buying a second home somewhere and being locked in, you have the option of being mobile,” said Reeb.