Consumer confidence may be down, but RVer confidence remains high, according to the biannual Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Fifty-five percent of survey respondents intend to use their RVs more this spring/summer than last year, and 45% are considering another purchase, according to a news release announcing the results.
Only 4% say they’ll use their RVs less this year. Three-fourths said they planned to take more mini-vacations so they could escape stress, spend more quality time with family, and enjoy nature and other outdoor activities.
A primary reason why so many RVers will be traveling – and even buying in this economy – this spring/summer is that they appreciate the value they get compared to flying, driving and staying in hotels, according to the survey.
Eighty-six percent say RVing is an affordable way to travel. Three-fourths save at least 25% when they travel in an RV – more than a quarter save 35% to 50%. These results echo the findings of a study by international travel and tourism experts PKF Consulting, which found family RV trips are 27% to 61% less expensive than other types of vacations.
“RV travel continues to appeal to people looking to save money and cut costs,” says Richard Coon, RVIA president. “By having their homes-on-wheels with them, RV owners receive a bigger bang for their buck than other types of vacations offer.”
Other findings:

  • 68% of RV owners said they believe this is good time to buy an RV, with 94% of those respondents saying great deals are available. (RVIA notes that buyers who meet income requirements also will be able to take advantage of the new federal stimulus plan that provides for a deduction of sales and excise taxes on the first $49,500 of a new motorhome purchase.)
  • 45% of RVers are considering another RV purchase.
  • 24% are looking to buy in the next year; another 48% within two years.
  • 34% said they have attended RV shows this year, helping generate surprisingly robust attendance and strong sales at recent RV shows nationwide.
    When RVers hit the road this spring/summer, state and national parks will be among the most popular destinations:

  • 77% of the survey respondents said they will visit state parks.
  • 64% will visit national parks.
    Favorite activities while on the road include sightseeing, grilling/cookouts, hiking/walking, attending festivals and fairs, visiting theme parks and going to family reunions.
    RVers also plan to be on the move during major holidays, with 58% planning to travel over Memorial Day weekend and 60% over July 4th.