4 RV Trends and What You Need to Know

1. RVing Is Still a Popular Activity

Today, the RVing community continues to gain momentum as more and more people look for alternative ways to recreate, and to use these amazingly comfortable alternative housing options.  In 2020-2022, when the pandemic limited travel and recreational activities, interest in RVing skyrocketed.  People suddenly recognized that the new RV trends would give them the safe social distance they needed to protect themselves and to conform to government recommendations, but also allowed them some freedom from being locked up in their houses, plus they could continue to travel without boarding a plane or cruise ship.  

A large inventory of RVers was available at the beginning of the pandemic but that inventory was quickly depleted and eventually long lists of back orders for many popular brands and styles delayed deliveries.  Those back orders have been filled (and even though people now have more options to travel internationally) RV sales in the US continue at a brisk pace now that more people are aware of the joys and opportunities of traveling domestically in an RV.  An industry survey confirms that over 25 million people plan to go camping in 2023 and a large percentage of them will be camping in RVs.  

2. RVs Aren’t Just for Weekend Camping Trips

Weekend camping trips are not the only reason people continue to be enthusiastic about RVing. Of course, it’s fun for the whole family and can be a wonderful bonding experience to pack the kids in the RV and take a cross country road trip, but there are a huge number of people who buy RVs for more than weekend and vacation camping.

 Full Time RVing is Becoming More Popular

As a larger percentage of the population reached retirement age the number of people in a position to act on their life-long dream of becoming full time RVers is growing.  Many of these folks have dreamed of the day they no longer need to cut the grass and clean the gutters.  They have planned and saved for the day they can sell their house, load the pets in the RV, and head out on a whole new life adventure.  Like kids, they happily wave goodbye to the neighborhood and drive out into the unknown.  Most of these people start with a larger than normal motorhome, trailer, or 5th wheel, but some minimalists also full time in truck campers, pop-up trailers, and vans.  It doesn’t matter what type, size, or age of RV they use, as long as it matches their expectations, camping and lifestyle needs.  

Rving can be more than just a weekend of fun here and there.

Full time RVing has some challenges, like where to establish a domicile address, how to get mail forwarded timely, how to maintain personal health continuity (if you’re managing a chronic health challenge) and keeping in touch with family and friends.  But all these challenges are worth the extra effort because full time RVing opens the door to the entire continent where you can see and experience a vast array of new and unique adventures.  It’s this opportunity for invigorating new experiences that pulls a huge number of people into this lifestyle every year.  Additionally, retired people are not the only people who are going full time.  As the internet connects us all, more and more young people are giving up their fixed addresses for a life on the road where they can work remotely but still take advantage of all that full time RVing has to offer.  We frequently meet young people working at a picnic table or in their rigs during the day and folding their work schedules around their travel itinerary. Some of these folks also have young children who are home schooled on the road.  

Attending Festivals and Tailgating Events

Another use for RVs other than just camping or full timing is the use of an RV in support of sporting activities, festivals, or tailgating events.  Horse shows, off the road
ATV competitions, motor cross, BMX racing, dog events, car racing, football games, rodeos, music festivals, burning man, and motorcycle rallies, all attract massive numbers of RV users.  The RV serves as the living space during these events, but also provides the transportation to get the gear and/or animals back and forth to the events.

Remote Workers Use RVs as a Base of Operation 

Another huge number of RVers are using RVs as traveling homes and offices.  These are a class of working folks who need to travel to their place of employment and stay for extended periods of time. These include traveling nurses who typically sign contracts for 3 or 6 month stretches, in hospitals that may be thousands of miles from their home.  Construction workers building new energy plants, manufacturing facilities, or working on public works projects, may also use an RV as temporary housing while they complete the project.  And finally, a whole host of people use an RV as their base of operation when providing security to isolated and remote secure properties.  An RV is the perfect solution for this class of worker because they are affordable, convenient, well appointed, and mobile. 

RV rentals are a way to try what works best for you.

3. RV Rental Popularity Continues to Increase

Interest in RV rentals continues to increase as more and more firms build out the online infrastructure to make this process more convenient. Additionally, more RV owners are beginning to understand that renting their RV when not in use could be a viable source of added income. It’s like renting your vacation home as an Airbnb and it helps more RV owners offset the costs of owning and maintaining their RV. 

Additionally, RV rentals offer new RVers an opportunity to try out different sizes and styles of RVs to see which ones meet their camping needs.  These rental experiences give newbies the confidence to shop for just what they need when the time comes for them to purchase their own RV.  You might think a van conversion would be the perfect RV for your camping needs only to discover that they are just too small for comfortable camping in inclement weather.  Without renting one and spending some time in it you might make the mistake of buying one only to discover that it just doesn’t meet your needs.  The RV rental business is giving RV buyers more clarity and certainty about what will and won’t work for them, which in turn, creates a more confident knowledgeable, and eager, RV buyer.

4. Electric RVs Becoming a “Thing”

The RV industry has been working on electric RVs since 2007 but has only recently been able to bring a few of these concepts to market.  The entire market for electric vehicles is expected to swell from 3 million to 125 million globally over the next 10 years, and as zero emission vehicles hit critical mass, the technology will penetrate the RV industry, as well.  

Some of the current concerns related to electric RVs are the range (driving distance before recharge), weight to battery ratio, limited size, and cost.  But Rivian (an American EV manufacturer) is currently building mid-size electric delivery vans for Amazon, which are larger than the typical RV van, so it’s well within the scope of future development for electric RVs to gain in both size and range, while the overall price of these RVs falls more in line with fuel burning RVs.  There are currently about 5 different models of electric RVs in production, but some are being built to specifically fill a corporate niche and will not be available for consumers any time soon.  However, like all new technology, manufacturers will eventually overcome the roadblocks listed above, and we’ll be able to purchase quiet, emission free RVs for our RV adventures.

About Peggy Dent

Peggy Dent is an author, writer and full-time RVer, currently traveling in the US and Canada. She's driven a motorhome more than 130,000 miles and learned the secrets, delights, and pitfalls of RVing through her own experiences. She shares her knowledge and insights in numerous RV industry publications. You can contact her through her website at www.apeninyourhand.com