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Active Older Americans Embracing RV Travel

Primary Contact:
Courtney Robey
Public Relations Manager
(703) 620-6003 ext. 306
  Secondary Contact:
Kevin Broom
Director of Media Relations, RVIA
(703) 620-6003 ext. 304

A new generation of active older Americans is embracing recreation vehicles (RVs) as the ideal way to travel conveniently and affordably.

A study by the
University of Michigan confirms the growing popularity of RVs among people in midlife and beyond.  Nearly nine percent of U.S. households headed by those over age 55 now own an RV.

As more baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of RV-owning households is expected to soar.
  The Michigan study forecasts 8.5 million RV-owning households by 2010?an eight percent increase?outpacing overall U.S. household growth. 

“RVing is a fun and economical way to see this country and meet new people,” says former AARP spokesperson Hal Norvell.  “Midlife and older adults want to expand their experiences through travel, and RVs are a very convenient and hassle-free alternative in today’s travel climate.” 

Seniors find today’s RVs make travel and camping comfortable and extremely accommodating, even for those with physical restrictions.
  RV travelers enjoy home comforts like queen-size beds and central air and heat.  Many of these “condos-on-wheels” have slideout rooms that expand the interior space by about one-third at the push of a button.  On-board closets and storage space eliminate the need to pack, unpack and carry bulky suitcases.  Fully-equipped kitchens help older RVers follow special diets and vacation more economically by avoiding fast-food eateries and high-priced restaurants.

RV travel fosters a sense of community, offering mature travelers a valuable network of friends who share common interests.
  Especially popular among seniors are camping clubs, which provide an active social network on the road.  Camping clubs hold annual conventions, regional rallies, campouts and other events to bring RVers together.  Examples include the Good Sam Club; Family Campers and RVers; Family Motor Coach Association; and Escapees RV Club.

Whether it’s for impromptu getaways or “snowbird” trips to warmer climates, older RVers enjoy RV parks and campgrounds with expanded facilities offering activities like golf, tennis, exercise classes, crafts and social events.
  While on the road, many seniors use their RVs as guest houses while visiting friends and family, as well as pursue hobbies ranging from antiquing to sightseeing.

In addition to the comfort and flexibility of RV traveling, seniors appreciate the affordability factor, especially those on fixed incomes.
  According to a vacation cost comparison study by PKF Consulting, RV owners can spend up to 74 percent less on RV trips compared to similar vacations involving planes, cars, hotels and restaurants—even factoring in ownership costs.  Average nightly campground fees of approximately $26—significantly less than the $88 average nightly hotel room cost—account for much of the savings.

For first-time RVers, renting is a good way to get started.  Vacationers interested in renting an RV can check the Yellow Pages under “Recreation Vehicles—Renting and Leasing.” Or visit for the Recreation Vehicle Rental Association’s (RVRA) searchable online RV Rental Directory of more than 340 rental companies.

Download a “getting-started” video at
  Surf the website for lists of Go RVing dealers and campgrounds in your area, as well as RV shows, publications, rental sources and clubs.

RVIA ( is the national association representing more than 550 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

Category: Lifestyle

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