There’s an old expression that says “better lucky than smart” and that’s been holding true for RV park owners for years no as all American megatrends are fueling continually higher demand for RV park lots and there is nothing on the horizon to reduce this phenomenon. So what are the trends pushing RV park occupancy ever higher?
10.1 million Americans “camped” for the first time in 2020
This has been a continual trend that accelerated following the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic: the simple fact that Americans are appreciating the benefits of an outdoors lifestyle, particularly in their recreation time. When we were told that we were safer from Covid in an outdoors setting, this offered many Americans a first exposure to nature and they found they really like it. With more people desiring RV park lots, the occupancy and rates at RV parks naturally increase proportionally. Of course, even before the pandemic was a new story, RV park demand had already been increasing. It’s just that the trend is now accelerating.
The number of RV’s sold in the U.S. went up 12% in 2020
RV sales in the U.S. have been going strong for years now. Part of this is due to the drastic improvement in the quality and design of RV options, as well as attractive pricing. Another part of this demand is the simple fact that Baby Boomers are retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day, and many are choosing RVs as their preferred means of travel and recreation. But the Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – are one of the strongest segments of RV purchases. Who would have ever thought the younger generation would be so strong on RV demand? This credit must go to the industry’s excellent public relations platform “Go RVing” which has sponsored many events and shows that Millennials favor, augmented by the simple fact that Millennials enjoy outdoor sports and recreation, and prefer living small and focused on friends and family activities.
60% of RV owners plan to upgrade to a more expensive unit
It’s one thing for people to try something new, but entirely something else to have them stick with it. RV parks are seeing customers come back year after year because the demand is not a fad but a new reality that Americans just enjoy the privacy and healthy nature of RV park travel. The simple fact that 60% of RV owners are so satisfied that they are going to increase their financial commitment is a sign that strong RV park occupancy is here to stay. Of course, it also goes without saying that those RV’s that will be used as trade-ins will then foster even more demand, as they will offer first-time buyers a chance to get an RV at a discount price, further fueling the demand for RV park lots and occupancy.
RV parks have been around for nearly a century, with the first RVs made of campers attached to Model T Fords. While demand for this product has always been favorable, it has risen dramatically in recent times, with the Covid pandemic serving as the catalyst to one of the greatest rises in RV park occupancy and rates in American history – and a trend that is gaining momentum on an annual basis. This is great news for all RV park owners and an important observation for those that are looking at buying one in the future.