By Craig Kirby
As we head into Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, millions of Americans will celebrate by packing their RV to head off with family and friends to their favorite outdoor destination. As an industry, we will continue to work together to navigate the slowdown from our record-breaking numbers in 2021 and 2022. While there are certainly challenges that remain ahead, there are many bright spots in the RV industry that we should be focusing on.
To start, data shows that RV vacations save families money. A new study conducted by an outside, independent firm found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. According to the study, that was commissioned by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association, there is an average cost savings of up to 60% for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves up to an average of 46%, depending on factors such as the type of RV and type of vacation.
Consumers continue to place a priority on traveling, spending time with family and friends, and creating lifetime memories. This study confirms the fact that RV vacations are one of the most economical ways to travel, and they provide freedom from many of the traditional hassles of travel, while also providing greater control over your budget.
The Memorial Day weekend is just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a busy season for RV travel, as another piece of research we recently conducted on America’s leisure travelers found that 44 million Americans are planning to go RVing this summer.
Asked their reasons for considering RV travel, the respondents cited more flexible work schedules, a desire to travel more with kids and family, wanting to travel in comfort, and exploring the great outdoors.
The survey also showed that RVing is a year-round activity with 72 million Americans planning to take an RV trip in the next year and 32% of leisure travelers saying they would like to buy an RV in the next 12 months.
Couple all this with the younger and more diverse buyers we saw enter the RV space during 2020-2022, as well as strong RV bookings at our campground partners, there are so many positive data points that illustrate the RV industry has a very bright future.
As I opened, this weekend signifies for many the start of summer, and we know that campgrounds across the country will be filled with families and friends gathered around their RVs. But this weekend also carries tremendous significance for our Nation. Memorial Day itself is about commemorating the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
As many of us get together this weekend with our families and friends, please take a moment to honor the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our great country.
Here’s to a great RV summer everyone – and thank you for your support.
Craig Kirby is RV Industry Association President and CEO.