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Peeking Inside the RV Industry Association’s Annual Report

Working with the wider outdoor recreation industry to improve the RVing experience is a core focus for the RV Industry Association. As the outdoor industry continues to grow and expand, younger and more diverse consumers are now flocking to campgrounds to explore the great outdoors. This has led to a shift in both demographics and consumer expectations. According to the Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile, 22% of RV buyers are between the ages of 18 and 34. In addition, nearly a third of the respondents in the study (31%) are first-time owners, underscoring the growth of the industry in the past decade. 

“The Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile gives our team a great insight on our consumer’s demographics and ownership habits,” says Karen Redfern, Go RVing’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The comprehensive information gathered in the study indicates trends of increased diversity. It’s clear that RV ownership is now spread widely across age levels as well as gender, household income, and education.” 

In response to these recent trends, the Association conducted new research on how to meet the needs of these new RVers, completing the first-ever Campground Industry Market Analysis in 2022. This comprehensive report details the availability of campsites and campground amenities at federal, state, municipal, and private campgrounds across the United States. The study was completed by CHM Government Services and supported by industry partners including Kampgrounds of America, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, and Cairn Consulting. Data has previously shown that campground availability and the amenities offered at campgrounds are key factors to the retention of RVers. 

This data is backed up by the 2021 North American Camping Report, which found that full-service hookups are one of the top ten amenities sought by campers (29%) making campground selections. However, this new campground report shows that only 8% of public campsites and 51% of private campsites have full-service hookups. During the peak camping season of June, July, and August, 76% of all campsites are booked, making it difficult for RVers to find a campsite that meets their needs.

The analysis also found a disparity in amenities between private and public campgrounds. This is especially apparent in the availability of Wi-Fi in public campsites versus private ones, as well as with other available amenities. Research also indicates the need for increased pull through RV sites within both private and public sectors. Altogether, these results indicate that increasing campsite amenities should be a priority of the campground industry, ultimately improving consumers’ overall campsite experience. 

The findings in this campground research play an important role in understanding and elevating the campground sector within the wider outdoor recreation industry. With this new information, the RV Industry Association’s Government Affairs team has the necessary data to work with the campground industry and policymakers to address challenges going forward and, ultimately, contribute to a more enjoyable experience for consumers across the country. 

“Having all this new data and information, especially when combined with the Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile and the upcoming Path to Purchase Study, is a great way for the industry to learn how to best meet consumers’ needs,” says Bill Baker, Vice President of Membership and Research. “Going into 2023, we have a much better understanding of how to improve RVers’ experiences when they visit parks and campgrounds.” 

To read the full report, visit https://www.rvia.org/system/files/media/file/RVIA_2022_Annual_Report_Final.pdf

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