Like many Americans I have wanted to spend as much time with my family as possible. As my children have gotten older, I have noticed how quickly time can get away from you, and to salvage what time I had left with my kids, it crossed my mind to search for an RV.
According to RVblogger.com, here are some interesting RV camping Demographics
RV Camping Consumer Demographic Data
- In the last year, there has been an increase of one million new camper households. Since 2014 there has been an estimated increase of 7 million camper households that consider themselves annual campers.
- Since 2014, the percentage of campers that camp three or more times annually has increased by 72 percent. This comes after there was significant growth between 2014 and 2017 in the number of new camper households. This influx of new campers largely comes from an influx of younger and more diverse campers.
- Half of all campers credit their love of the outdoors as the primary reason for their interest in camping. This reason has remained number one among camping enthusiasts for over five years of research.
- The momentum of camping can also be attributed to the increase in camper’s self-identifying as lifelong campers. Roughly one third of all campers now consider themselves to be lifelong campers. This is the highest it has ever been in the history of the report. It should also be noted that younger campers such as millennials (ages 22 to 37), and Gen Xers (ages 38-53) are more likely to identify themselves as lifelong campers than in previous years.
- 50 percent of millennials say life events enable them to camp more often. These life events include things like having children and getting an increase in income. Camping families with campers that are under the age of 18 have also been found to be the most devoted group of campers. With children in the household there is extra motivation to own camping gear whether it is something small like a tent, or something larger like an RV.
- For the first time in this report’s history, in 2018 the percentage of new campers from multicultural groups outpaced the percentage of new Caucasian campers. New campers remain more diverse than the actual population of the United States. Hispanic campers exceed what would be expected in the overall population by six percent (22 percent vs 16 percent). Asian Americans represent at a rate that is three times higher than their percentage in the United States population.
- Glamping and van life were not included in the 2019 North American Camping Report until recent years because it was not considered a camping category at the time. However, now more than half of all campers surveyed have expressed interest in glamping sometime in the next year
After talking to my wife, she also had some interest in looking, so the first place we ran off to was our friendly neighborhood Camping World. One thing I liked about camping world was the pretty much hands-off approach. They did not hound me like a used car salesman. Instead, they would only answer questions when I had them and they allowed us to jump in and out of all the RV’s we looked at like kids. My list of wants and needs and my wife’s list of wants and needs were completely different, and her list of wants and needs quickly became the forefront checklist of what we needed. I would think most husbands could agree. If you are going to bring your wife to a campsite, you better make sure she is comfortable.
So, what was our list of wants and needs?
- Privacy in the master bedroom area.
- Enough room for guests.
- Nice bathroom area.
- Thoughtful layout and flow.
- A fully functional kitchen.
- Towing weight under 8,000 pounds.
- Slide-outs for added space.
- Tow-hitch pull-behind.
With all those checklist items in mind, we quickly learned that you get what you pay for in the RV market. You can tell that everything in an RV is made to keep costs down and weight to a minimum. Do not expect the same quality craftsmanship as you would in a home…it just isn’t there. However, in saying that, you can get pretty darn close. With amenities like fireplaces, ice makers, leather recliners, center island kitchens, mood lighting…the list can go on and on…and so can the price tag. So, be careful not to overdo it…remember you are camping, just in style.
What types of RV’s are out there to consider?
Probably the lightest weight options would be small pop-ups. Pop-up trailers are super compact and extend upwards and outwards when you get to the campsite. They are easy to set up and easy to store when you are not using them. Disadvantages are pretty much all the separates you from nature is canvas, basic features, not a lot of room…pretty much a big cozy tent on wheels. Advantages include, usually a low-cost investment, easy storage, and easy to tow. If you do not like a lot of people, this one is perfect for you!
Travel trailers range in length from 8 to 40 feet. They can weigh between 1,000 and 10,000 pounds and usually sleep 2-8 people. You can find some for around ten grand, while others will run you upwards of $150,000. Remember what I said about adding up those amenities? Yeah, they add up quickly. The travel trailer, in my opinion is going to give you the most bang for your buck, and it will also provide the go to checklist for the wife. If you really want to start camping in style, the travel trailer is the way to go!
If you want a full listing of all RV Types and the manufacturers we recommend clicking here! www.rvbrands.org
Other things you may want to consider.
So yeah, I was super excited when I left the camper store, but as reality sank in and I thought about all the things you do not think about while lounging in the leather recliner of the camper, I had some additional thoughts. Before you rush off and make this investment, here are some the things you might not have thought of.
- Someone must clean the camper.
- Fuel for towing.
- Cleaning out the wastewater…eww.
- Site set up and break down.
- You still must pay where you stay.
- Are you going to invest in a permanent lot?
- Storage when not in use. Most homeowner associations do not allow them to stay at the house.
- Maintenance and upkeep
In the end, we decided to wait on buying a camper. For us, we were just not at the time in our lives where the pros outweighed the cons. My wife tends to enjoy a nice hotel, and for now, we will just focus on that. But for me, I think I will always enjoy the great outdoors and I do think one day, maybe after retirement a nice camper (with her checklist) will be in our future.
Best of luck, and happy camping!