The Numbers Don’t Lie: RVs are So Hot Right Now



The RV lifestyle continues to appeal to a wide range of adventure-seeking consumers.

The RV lifestyle allows for a special kind of freedom. With an RV, you can explore the road less traveled, stop when you please and connect with family, friends and nature in a comfortable setting. It’s the only travel option that truly offers the best of both worlds — direct access to the great outdoors, plus all the modern conveniences of home. With all the benefits that the RV lifestyle has to offer, it’s no wonder that RV ownership has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

Those leaps and bounds look like this: from 2009 to 2018, wholesale RV shipments to North America increased a whopping 204.5%. The first quarter of 2018 saw a 13.4% increase in shipments over the first quarter of the previous, record-setting year.

What’s the reason for this incredible growth?

Part of it has to do with a more diverse group of consumers embracing the RV lifestyle. Baby Boomers have driven the RV industry expansion since the 1990s and this generation will continue to be a big contributor to RV sales, but younger generations are catching on, too. In fact, younger buyers helped drive the most recent (from 2009) expansion of the RV market. RV retail registrations data collected by Statistical Surveys, Inc., found that the share of RV ownership by age range increased in the younger age brackets while rates remained level or decreased somewhat in older age ranges for the 2015 – 2018 period.

This “RVs for all generations” trend will likely continue in the coming years, with Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials reaching ages traditionally having the highest rates of RV ownership. This mix of generations will also make up a substantial amount of potential customers in the future — the number of consumers between the ages of 55 and 74 will total 79 million by 2025, 15 percent higher than in 2015, and the number between ages 30 and 45 will total 72 million by 2025, 13 percent higher than in 2015.

While the RV lifestyle has gained popularity across the country (and in Canada), it was California that took the top spot for number of RV shipments. The Golden State also held onto its position as the leading destination for motorhome deliveries. This isn’t so surprising, given that the Southern portion of the state is known as “RV central.” This area lures RV travelers with its spectacular surroundings — including the awe-inspiring Joshua Tree National Park, beachfront campgrounds at Carlsbad and Cardiff-by-the-Sea and mountain hideaways like Big Bear Lake and Idyllwild. You’ll also find the largest consumer RV show on the West Coast here, making it the ideal place to get on the road to happy camping.

If you want to see what the RV lifestyle is all about, join us at the California RV Show, October 4-13, 2019, at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.