RV sales have been red-hot over the past few years, growing roughly 10 percent annually since 2011 and on pace to hit an all-time record of 411,000 units shipped in 2017. So what exactly is driving this growth and what trends can RV enthusiasts look forward to in the coming months and years?
To answer these questions, we are turning to two leading authorities in the RV space – RV Lifestyle magazine and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Citing a Harris Interactive study, RVIA notes that the top factor in RV purchases is the ability to take advantage of nature and outdoor activities while spending quality time with loved ones. In the study, RVers also cited healthier eating on the road, sleeping in their own beds, and having their private bathrooms as advantages of RV travel.
Another major factor in the continued growth is the high value traveling by RV provides. As RVIA’s October “RV Business Indicators” report notes, a family of four can save 27-62% on vacation costs by traveling in an RV, even when factoring in ownership costs and fuel. For a two-person traveling party, savings are 11-48%. Even when fuel prices rise, more than 80% of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel*. The RVIA report also shows that RVers spend more time settled in at a home base such as San Diego RV Resort and less on the road to save fuel and time.
As for the RVs themselves, RV Lifestyle magazine’s special “Shopping the Shows” story published last year (you can read the entire article here) highlights several current trends. At the forefront of advancements is technology, including “LCD TVs, sound systems that are more sophisticated than ever before. Many RV models will also have exclusive apps that enable you to control and monitor systems from your smartphone.”
The RV Lifestyle report also notes numerous advances on the engineering and construction side. “Advances in manufacturing and materials have made the vehicles more colorful, more durable, and lighter – all promising to increase long-term viability of the vehicle and enhance resale values. The most notable advances have come in the redesign of key chassis components like slide-out systems, entry stairs, and pull-out cargo access systems.”
As for Class A motorhomes, RV Lifestyle notes that consumers can look forward to larger slide-out sections “thanks to advances in construction materials and slide mechanisms.” Engines will be more fuel-efficient and emissions will continue to become cleaner as manufacturers seek to make them more eco-friendly. Also worth keeping an eye out for is an increase in electronic dash components.
In total, it’s simple to see why interest in RV travel has been and will continue to be, so strong. There is no greater thrill than being able to set out on an adventure without months of planning flights and hotels, instead simply turn the ignition and hitting the open road.
Equally, 5-star destinations such as Naples Motorcoach Resort & Boat Club offer RVers the ability to own and customize their own piece of Florida paradise. On-site amenities and activities offer a bit of something for everyone, while excursions to nearby attractions are made easy when operating from a home base at the resort.
* Stats according to a 2014 Vacation Cost Comparison prepared by PKF Consulting USA