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RVs Are Increasingly Popular Among…Millennials?

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Camper Van in the Woods
Photo: Matheus Bertelli | Pexels

Last month we reported that the recreational vehicle market was set for rapid growth, and as it turns out one of the primary and perhaps unlikely markets driving that growth is millennials.

According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, a trade group based in Washington DC, the average age of RV owners is now 45, down from 48 in 2011. This is caused by an increasing number of young couples in their 20s and 30s buying RVs, reigniting an industry that has traditionally been the domain of retirees.

“Very few people are waiting until 50 to buy their first RV,” said Scott Byrne, chairman of the Houston RV Show. “People want to get outside instead of waiting until they retire.”

Related: What did you miss at America’s largest RV show?

Camping appears to be the main driving force pushing millennials to buy RVs. According to the national RV park network Kampgrounds of America, millennials make up 37 percent of RV campers. Furthermore, six out of every 10 millennials households have gone camping in 2017, and nearly a quarter of these used an RV.

“With an RV, we can just go. We don’t have to rent a hotel. It gives us more flexibility and freedom,” said Ashton Cortez, a 27-year-old stay-at-home mother who drove over three hours to the Houston RV Show earlier this month to buy an RV that she, her husband, and her two young sons plan to use to camp and go on family vacations.

Additionally, some millennials have been turning to RVs and camper vans as an alternative to home ownership, the cost of which continues to rise rapidly. “A lot of young people are looking at RVs like tiny houses. They’re like fancy condos inside,” said Communitron Management’s Larry Coffen, adding that millennials have realized that thanks to the internet, RVs allow them to work remotely while on the road.

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