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If one were to compile a list of the hottest automotive trends going right now, it would likely include electrification, self-driving technology, car sharing and … RVs?

The Globe and Mail reported that recreational vehicles are indeed surging in popularity, especially with younger buyers, a trend that’s surprising even industry experts.

“Over the past few years, we’re finding there’s strong demand for the RV lifestyle,” says Russ Small, head of marketing at Calgary-based dealership chain Woody’s RV World. “Younger people are the fastest-growing segment in the business, which is somewhat unexpected.”

Globally, the RV industry is expected to nearly double in value to US$64-billion by 2024, from US$38-billion in 2017, according to Zion Market Research.

In Canada, a historically advanced and mature RV market, analysis firm IBISWorld expects annualized growth of 0.4% to 2023, to $3.6-billion in revenue. That would follow strong annual growth of 3.2% between 2013 and 2018. About 2.1 million Canadian households, or 15% of the total, own an RV, according to a 2018 report by the Portage Group consultancy.

More campgrounds are being constructed or upgraded to accommodate this boom. Kampgrounds of America (KOA), which has 520 locations across North America – 36 in Canada – has 13 new facilities planned.

Historically associated with retirees who have lots of disposable income, RVing is now appealing to a younger demographic in large part because of lower barriers to entry.

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