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RVers Will Be On the Road In Record Numbers

Reston, VA, May 22, 2013 — During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, 5.8 million recreation vehicles will be on the road and in the nation’s more than 16,000 campgrounds, according to a new survey by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and Cvent. An estimated 14 million Americans will enjoy the holiday weekend in an RV.

Recreation vehicle owners will be on the road in a big way throughout the summer to enjoy time outdoors with family and friends. According to the new survey, 71% of RV owners intend to use their RVs more this summer than they did last year, and 21% will use theirs the same amount. Just 5% said they’ll use their RVs less.

“RVing is becoming more and more popular because it’s a convenient, comfortable and affordable way for families to spend quality time together and build memories that will last a lifetime,” said RVIA president Richard Coon. “RVs provide families with the ability to take whatever kind of vacation they want — and it won’t break the bank.”

Top reasons for using their RVs more including enjoying outdoor activities (78%), taking more mini-vacations (72%), spending quality time with family (62%), and escaping the stress and pressure of daily life (51%).

In a significant change from previous surveys, just 34% (down from 58% a year 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 (80%), driving fewer miles in their RV (63%) and staying longer at one location (59%).

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 rising gas prices. RV owners agree — 80% of Campfire Canvass respondents said RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel even when fuel prices rise. More than half (56%) said they save 35% or more when they vacation by RV instead of using other forms of travel.

“More than nine million Americans own RVs 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. What’s most important for RVers is the opportunity to spend quality time outdoors with loved ones.”

Emerging Trends in RV Usage

Approximately 19% 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.

Many families are taking shorter, more frequent getaways in their RVs to accommodate busy schedules. According to the survey, 72% of RVers plan to take more 1-4 day mini-vacations this spring/summer.


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, 64% of RV owners bring pets along on trips. Most RVers traveling with pets bring dogs (94%) and cats (10%). Others bring along pets such as birds, ferrets, snakes and horses. Three-fourths (76%) of survey respondents cited flexibility as a favorite benefit of RV ownership.

Health Benefits

RVing is a great way to stay active while on vacation, according to RV owners. More than 79% said they’re more physically active on an RV trip — 84% said their children are more active. RVers cite the ability to enjoy outdoor activities (80%), and escape everyday stress and pressure (69%) as primary benefits of RV travel versus other types of vacations.

RVers Plan to Visit State and National Parks

America’s state and national park systems are popular destinations for RV trips this spring/summer, according to the survey. More than 7-in-10 (71%) of RVers plan to visit a national park this year; 81 percent say they’ll visit a state park. Two-thirds plan to visit historic site this spring/summer.

Favorite Activities

RVers enjoy an array of activities while traveling in their RVs. Favorites include:

• Sightseeing — 80%
• Cooking out — 79%
• Hiking — 58%
• Fishing — 57%
• Visiting friends and family — 54%
• Hiking — 57%
• Fishing — 50%

Other popular activities include antiquing, biking, festivals or fairs, visiting museums, and attending family reunions and events.

RV Market Continues to Grow

America’s wholesale recreation vehicle (RV) shipments shot up 11% in the first quarter of 2013, fueled by strong consumer response to the versatility, affordability and innovative designs of new models, according to market data collected by RVIA. Shipments for 2013 are expected to rise 7.5% from 2012.

According to the survey, 73% of current RV owners believe now is a good time to buy an RV because RVs are the best way to travel comfortably and conveniently (64%), and great deals now available (58%).

The online survey of 378 RV owners was conducted by RVIA and Cvent and has a margin of error of 4.7%.

RVIA is the national association representing approximately 400 manufacturers and component suppliers producing 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

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