More than 20 million Americans will travel in RVs throughout the summer months, heading to our country’s 16,000-plus campgrounds and enjoying time outdoors with family and friends, according to a recent Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Cvent.
According to the new survey, 66 percent of RV owners intend to use their RVs more this summer than they did last year, and 28 percent will use theirs the same amount. Just 4 percent said they’ll use their RVs less.
“RV ownership is at an all-time high because it provides families with a comfortable and cost-effective way to get away from the day-to-day grind and spend time together,” said RVIA president Richard Coon.
“RVs allow families to take whatever kind of vacation they want — and not break the budget.”
Top reasons for increased RV use include taking more mini-vacations (76 percent), enjoying outdoor activities (72 percent) and escaping pressure of the daily routine (52 percent).
While fuel prices continue to fluctuate, just 30 percent of RV owners (down from 58 percent two years ago) said fuel prices will affect their RV travel plans. Those who say their plans will be affected still plan to travel with their RVs, but will adjust their plans by traveling to destinations closer to home (71 percent), driving fewer miles in their RV (51 percent) and staying longer at one location (52 percent).
One reason so many RVers will be on the road is the built-in cost savings of RV travel. A 2011 study by travel industry experts PKF Consulting found that a family of four can save 23-to-59 percent when they travel in their RV, even when factoring in purchase price, maintenance costs, and gas prices. RV owners agree — 86 percent of survey respondents said RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel even when fuel prices rise.
“Millions of Americans travel in RVs every year because of the unmatched freedom and flexibility they provide when traveling,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.
“RVers can adjust their plans to take a long road trip or a quick weekend getaway. An RV is perfect for what many people want most: more quality time outdoors with loved ones.”
The summer holidays are a big time for RV travel, according to the survey. Nearly three-in-five RV owners will be on the road over July 4th (62 percent), and Labor Day (58 percent).
Many families are taking shorter, more frequent getaways in their RVs to accommodate busy schedules. According to the survey, 76 percent of RVers plan to take more one-four day mini-vacations this spring/summer.
Approximately 26 percent of RV owners are engaging in “seasonal” or “destination” camping, according to the survey. Destination campers leave their RV parked at one location for the entire spring/summer (or longer) and travel back and forth to it using a family car.
RV owners appreciate the control RVs offer in today’s travel climate. Unlike air travelers, RVers can bring anything they want on vacation — including pets. According to the survey, 65 percent of RV owners bring pets along on trips. Most RVers traveling with pets bring dogs (93 percent) and cats (14 percent). Three-fourths of survey respondents cited flexibility as a favorite benefit of RV ownership.
RVing is a great way to stay active while on vacation, according to RV owners. More than 75 percent said they’re more physically active on an RV trip — 82 percent said their children are more active. RVers cite the ability to enjoy outdoor activities (80 percent), and escape everyday stress and pressure (71 percent) as primary benefits of RV travel versus other types of vacations. Other favorite benefits include being on the open road (62 percent), and bringing pets (60 percent).
America’s state and national park systems are popular destinations for RV trips this spring/summer, according to the survey — 77 percent will visit a state park, and 74 percent plan to visit a national park. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) plan to visit historic sites this spring/summer.
RVers enjoy an array of activities while traveling in their RVs. Favorites include:
Sightseeing — 79 percent
Grilling/cooking out – 76 percent
Hiking – 63 percent
Visiting family and friends – 58 percent
Fishing – 55 percent
Attending festivals and fairs – 50 percent
Other popular activities include antiquing, biking, festivals or fairs, visiting museums, and attending family reunions and events.
Escape to the open road…life is calling!