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RVs Now Adding Work-Focused Amenities for ‘Digital Nomad’ Lifestyle

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Photo: Heath Vester via CC

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in recreational vehicle sales and camping trips across America, and now RV manufacturers are responding by adding amenities that cater to the “digital nomad” lifestyle.

Earlier this summer, Stanford researchers found that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time, while only 26 percent were working on their business premises. In other words, the U.S. is now a working-from-home economy.

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This has put a spotlight on the digital nomad lifestyle with which 4.8 million Americans identified in 2018, per a study by MBO Partners. Today, that number may well have skyrocketed. Certainly, many RV manufacturers and camping grounds have been reporting a massive surge in customer interest.

For example, Leisure Travel Vans’ Dean Corrigal claims that 30 to 40 percent of emails the company has been receiving have come from customers asking about their vans’ mobile office capabilities. This rising demand has not gone unnoticed, and many RV makers are hard at work to include more features that would enable customers to use their RVs as mobile offices.

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This could include anything from adding stronger Wi-Fi routers and improved sound proofing to providing more ergonomic seating and carving out entire sections dedicated to office work. But to create space for a desk and other features, these RVs have to make adjustments to pre-existing amenities.

“With COVID, we’re ramping up the pace and really trying to look at the product and say, ‘Okay, how can we not take the traditional RV and make it into an office, but maybe start designing the office and make it into a traditional RV’,” Winnebago vice president Brian Hazelton told Business Insider.

“Work from home is now one of the big boxes that product development has to check when they’re considering a new product.”