Dave Davidson finally broke down and bought a motorhome last year, American Demographics magazine reports in its June edition.
The Glendora, Calif.-based electrical contractor says the RV makes it easy to spend quality time with his wife and three kids.
“We use every excuse to get out in it,” said Davidson, 40.
He heads one of 6.9 million households in the U.S. that own RVs. Last year, Americans spent some $11 billion on RVs, up 150% from $4 billion in 1992, according to the Reston, Va.-based Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
And the number of households with RVs is projected to rise to 7.8 million in 2010, up 13% from 2001, according to Crowe Capital Markets Research, a Chicago-based investment bank. The growth will be fueled by Baby Boomers like Davidson as they enter their prime RV-buying years.
As buy-rates among Baby Boomers rise, within the decade close to one in 10 Boomer-headed households (9.2%) will hit the road in an RV.
RV owners tend to hail from rural counties, where campgrounds and parking are plentiful, the magazine reports.
States such as Florida, California and Arizona, which are rich in natural resources and home to strong state park systems and swelling retirement communities, are particularly fertile spots for RV dealers.
Today’s typical RV owner is white, 50 years old and married, according to Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI). With a mean household income of $71,900, they are more affluent than average household and tend to own their homes. They spend approximately 19 days a year in their rolling homes.
On the way, they’re more likely than average to listen to country music or all-talk radio. They also prefer Velveeta to ricotta or feta cheese. But their rustic tastes didn’t stop Western Horizon Resorts, an RV resort operator, from developing the first RV park inside a winery at Pahrump Valley Winery in Nevada. It’s one way to lure Baby Boomers, the fastest growing segment of the market.
As Boomers take to the road, they’ll likely travel in comfort. High-end motorhomes, which can easily run up to $500,000, come loaded with amenities, including surround-sound entertainment systems and satellite dishes. For them, half the fun seems to be getting there.
Eight in 10 RVers count camping among their favorite activities, while only three in 10 say the same of outlet mall shopping.