What is an RV?

  • An RV is a vehicle that combines transportation and temporary living quarters for travel, recreation and camping.
  • The two main categories of RVs are motorhomes (motorized) and towables (towed behind the family car, van or pickup).
  • There’s an RV for every taste and budget. Prices for new RVs are typically $6,000-$22,000 for folding camping trailers; $6,000-$55,000 for truck campers; $8,000-$95,000 for conventional travel trailers; $18,000-$160,000 for fifth wheel trailers; $60,000-$150,000 for Type B and C motorhomes; and $60,000-$500,000 for Type A motorhomes.

What is the RV industry’s economic impact?

  • According to a 2015 economic impact analysis, the RV industry has an economic impact of $50 billion.
  • The RV industry includes more than 22,000 businesses, provides nearly 300,000 jobs, and paid wages of $15.8 billion in 2015.
  • RV shipments are at record highs, surpassing 500,000 units for the first time in 2017, and are projected to reach 540,000 in 2018.
  • More RVs are manufactured in the U.S. than in the entire world combined. More than 80% of RVs are made in Indiana, 60% of which are manufactured in Elkhart County alone.

Who is the RV traveler?

  • U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels, according to a 2011 University of Michigan study commissioned by the RV Industry Association. Approximately 10 million households now own an RV.
  • The typical RV owner, according to the 2011 report, is 48 years old, married, and has an above-average annual household income of $62,000. RV owners are likely to own their homes and spend an average of 3-4 weeks annually, industry research shows.
  • The upswing in RV ownership is driven by strong interest from both younger and older buyers. RV ownership rates now extend across a 40-year span from age 35-to-75, the Michigan study found.
  • More RVs are now owned by those ages 35-to-54 than any other group, according to the University of Michigan study. 
  • More than 11% of U.S. households headed by 35-54-year-olds own an RV, exceeding the 9.3% ownership rates of those 55 and over. The 35-to-54 age group posted the largest gains in the 2011 Michigan survey.
  • New demographic research will be published later in 2018.

Where do RVers travel?

  • With more than 18,000 public and privately owned campgrounds nationwide, RVers are free to roam America’s roads for a weekend — or months at a time.
  • Privately owned RV parks and campgrounds are found near popular destinations, along major tourist routes and even in metropolitan areas. These campgrounds appeal to travelers by offering a variety of activities to keep the whole family happy, including swimming pools, game rooms, playgrounds and snack bars.
  • RV travelers seeking a resort atmosphere are attracted to the growing number of luxury RV resorts with facilities such as tennis courts, golf courses, gourmet restaurants and health spas.
  • Facilities at public campgrounds tend to be simple, but offer great scenic beauty. Public lands are popular for hiking, fishing, white water rafting and many other outdoor recreational opportunities enjoyed by RVers. The RV Industry Association is working with government agencies to modernize publicly-owned campgrounds to accommodate today’s RVs.

What does the future hold for the RV market?

  • Changes in the frequency and duration of vacations favor the RV industry. Americans are traveling shorter distances and on weekends with less planning, according to recent studies. For RV owners, this is a convenient travel pattern.
  • Both families with children and empty-nesters are strong potential RV buyers, and promising prospects are emerging among younger, ethnically diverse consumers, reveals a Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Go RVing Coalition. Interest in joining the RV lifestyle is strong across the ages from 30 years old and up.
  • RV manufacturers are innovating to give consumers an array of product choices. Manufacturers are producing lightweight towables and smaller, fuel-efficient motorhomes. Green technologies such as solar panels are appearing on an increasing number of RVs.

How can I learn more about RVs?

  • Surf the web — Check out the rest of this site, RVIA.org and GoRVing.com for information on RV travel trends, vehicles types, show listings and lists of RV dealers and campgrounds in your area.
  • Visit an RV dealer — Check GoRVing.com to find local dealerships.
  • Attend an RV show — A variety of RVs of all shapes, sizes and costs are displayed at dozens of RV shows around the nation.  Show dates and locations are searchable at GoRVing.com.
  • Rent an RV — There’s an abundance of RV rental and sharing options nationwide. Renting and sharing allows potential buyers to try RV travel and determine which vehicle types best suits their needs. Check GoRVing.com for the nearest rental outlet.

Who can talk about the RV experience?

The RV Industry Association offers expert RV media spokespersons. For information, call the RV Industry Association Public Relations Department, 571-665-5844.