RV ownership, including rigs purchased as new and as used units, is expected to grow by 1 million units during the remainder of this decade, reaching 7.9 million units by 2010, according to the latest survey conducted by the University of Michigan’s (UofM) Survey Research Center.
To reach 7.9 million units, RV ownership will need to increase by 110,000 units a year for the remainder of this decade, according to Dr. Richard Curtin, director of the Survey Research Center.
To develop its estimates, the Survey Research Center conducted 3,000 interviews from January to June of last year. It was the sixth survey for the RV industry conducted by the UofM since 1980, and its first since 1997.
Not all of the additional units will be purchased as new units. The UofM found that two-thirds of current RV owners purchased their rig as a used unit and that the average age of a used RV when purchased was 11.6 years old.
The UofM estimates RV ownership will grow because the “baby-boom cohort,” the age group most likely to own RVs, will grow by 6.4 million households between 2001 and 2010, to 20.7 million householders between 55 and 64 years old.
The Survey Research Center also assumes that RV ownership rates within age groups will remain unchanged between now and 2010. But because the baby-boom cohort will grow so rapidly, it assumes the RV ownership rate among vehicle-owning households will inch up to 7.8% in 2010, from 7.6% in 2001.
RV ownership growth could exceed 1 million additional units if programs intended to raise RV ownership rates among boomers are effective, Curtin wrote. Efforts to convince more boomers to buy RVs has “the greatest potential to raise overall demand for RVs,” he added.