According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA’s) biannual Campfire Canvass, 36% of RV owners plan to travel more this fall and winter than last year, 38% plan to travel the same amount and just 9% plan to travel less often, according to a news release.
Top reasons for taking more RV trips include enjoying outdoor activity (76%), escaping stress and pressure (67%), and spending more time with family (51%). Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they plan to take more mini-vacations (2-4 days).
“RVing is the best way to see our great country, spend time outdoors, and reconnect with family and friends,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “No other travel option offers consumers the freedom, flexibility and value that RVs do.”
Along with getting outdoors, escaping stress and spending time with family, another primary reason why millions of owners will be traveling and enjoying the RV lifestyle this fall/winter is because they appreciate the value that RV travel delivers. Nearly 90% said that RVing is an affordable way to travel. Three-quarters said they save at least 25% when traveling in their RV compared to other types of travel, while 34% save 35-50%. This echoes a 2011 study by PKF, an international travel and tourism consulting company, which found that RVing is 23% to 59% less expensive than other types of vacations for a family of four.
In addition to saving on rising hotel costs and airfares, RV owners also avoid the expense of eating most meals in restaurants as other forms of travel require. According to the RVIA survey, 92% of RV owners said they eat at least two meals a day onboard their RVs.
Despite these uncertain economic times, 47% said that they’re considering another RV purchase, with 79% of those respondents citing the availability of “great deals” in today’s RV market. More than 57% will attend RV retail shows this fall and winter.
Of those not considering another RV purchase within the next two years, 85% said it’s because they’re happy with their current RV.
Owners surveyed will use their RVs in a variety of ways during the fall/winter travel season:
- 73% of the respondents said that they plan to sightsee.
- 64% visit state parks and 57% national parks.
- 53% plan to visit friends/family.
- 50% will attend festivals or fairs.
The survey also reveals that owners are physically active on their RV trips. For example, 54% said they enjoy hiking, 48% fishing/hunting, 31% biking and 14% canoeing and kayaking. Approximately 14% of RVers plan to tailgate at football games this fall — 53% will tailgate college games and 39% NFL.
Results also show that holiday travel remains popular with RV owners. Among the respondents, 48% said they plan to travel in their RVs over the Thanksgiving weekend and 25% over the Christmas/Hanukkah season.
Empty nester couples are planning to hit the road in a big way, as well. Nearly 80% said they’re planning to travel with schools back in session. With children in the classroom, empty nesters enjoy smaller crowds (64%), more peace and quiet (59%) and lower cost because of off-season discounts (52%).