More than 5.8 million American RVers used their RV during the Memorial Day Weekend, according to Go RVing’s 2018 RV Owners Insights survey, conducted by Go RVing, the RV Industry Association (RVIA), and Inquisium.
Furthermore, as the summer travel season shifts into high gear, 92% of RV owners say they expect to use their RVs as much as or more than they did in 2017. A record 25 million people are expected to vacation in an RV this year.
RVers say they’re going to use their RVs to get outdoors and enjoy nature (65%), take more mini-vacations (64%), and spend more quality time with family (50%).
“The RV lifestyle has come to be embraced by a wide cross-section of Americans who work hard and want to enjoy the fruits of their labor,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, RVIA president. “RVers enjoy the convenience, comfort and flexibility RVs offer, as well as the savings RVs provide.”
While fuel prices remain unpredictable from year-to-year, 81% of RV owners say this year’s fuel prices will not affect their travel plans. In fact, 80% of survey respondents in this year’s study say RV vacations cost less even when fuel prices are higher, with 77% saying they save 25% or more; and 55% saving 35% or more.
Over the past three years in the US, RV shipments from manufacturers to dealers have spiked to record levels, and consumer purchases from RV dealer lots have risen steadily. According to the survey, recent buyers were motivated by a desire to see America (90%), the travel advantages offered by RVing (83%), and innovative features and designs on new RVs (74%).
Two-thirds of RV owner respondents (67%) said an RV is the “most affordable way to travel.” These findings were echoed by research conducted by CBRE Hotels Advisory, which found savings of 21-64% for a four-person travel party, and 8-53% for a two-person travel party, depending on factors such as the type of RV and the type of vacation.
While 63% of 2018 RV owner respondents cite the “escape of everyday stress and pressure” as a “top benefit of RVing, these same RV owners want to stay connected while on the road — 89% bring their smartphone, 69% their laptop and 62% their tablet PC. The most-used campground amenity is wifi (84%).
RV owners are staying connected and active. Favorite activities include:
- Sightseeing: 72%;
- Visiting state and national parks: 71%;
- Grilling/cookouts: 69%;
- Visiting historic sites: 66%;
- Hiking: 58%; and
- Fishing: 42%.
More than 70% of RVers say they’re more physically active when vacationing in an RV than on other types of vacations, and 81% say their kids are more active.
Another important benefit of RV travel: bringing the family pet. More than 65% bring a four-legged family member on their RV excursions. Dogs dominate at 93% with cats next at 8%. The 101% total means that some RV owners bring both, yet another reason why RV owners love the “controls” that RVs offer.
The Go RVing 2018 RV Owners Insights survey included 562 respondents and has a 4% margin of error.