As summer travel season heats up, untold millions of Americans who’d love to visit the shore or a national park simply won’t do it because tent living just isn’t their idea of a vacation. But for Jon Gray, those people aren’t complainers—they’re potential customers.
Gray is the CEO of RVshare, an 8-year-old platform that’s basically the Airbnb of motor homes and trailers. Vacationers who pine for the great outdoors—but not for sleeping on the ground—can scroll through some 100,000 listings posted by recreational vehicle owners eager to rent their rigs.
And with Americans busy booking their Fourth of July getaways right now, RVshare’s business has doubled over last year.
As Adweek reported at this time last year, quarantine-crazed Americans, too afraid to fly, were choosing driving vacations in record numbers. And while RVshare’s bookings did surge last summer, Gray attributes the continued interest in RVs to forces that predated the pandemic.
“I don’t think Covid started any trends in travel—I think it accelerated trends that were already there,” he said. “We’ve been observing a desire of travelers to become more experiential in their travel, to stay local as opposed to in a canned hotel experience. And as the U.S. has become more urban[ized], the desire to get away from urban areas on vacation has become more intense.”
The numbers bear his observations out. According to the RV Industry Association, manufacturers are forecast to ship over 576,000 rigs by year’s end, which is nearly a 34% increase over 2020’s total.
“Even with other types of travel returning,” RVIA president Craig Kirby said in a statement, “the demand for RVs continues to climb.”
The association’s data also shows that, this summer, 56 million people say they plan to go RVing (yes, that’s a verb) in rigs they “rent, own or borrow.”
Check out the full article from Ad Week here.