RVs Move America Study Shows Staggering Total US Economic Impact Of $114 Billion

Jun 3, 2019

The new RVs Move America Economic Impact Study, released today at the annual meeting of the RV Industry Association, revealed that the RV industry has an overall economic impact to the US economy of $114 billion, supporting nearly 600,000 jobs, contributing more than $32 billion in wages, and paying over $12 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. The announcement was made by Garry Enyart, chairman, RV Industry Association, and Director, Mobile Generator Sales & Coach Care at Onan/Cummins.

“What the study reveals is that RVs are not just the familiar highway scene of an American summer,” said Mr. Enyart. “Indeed, RVs are the heart of an industry that has become an American juggernaut, a business that has tripled in size since the Great Recession of 2009.”

The $114 billion total annual RV industry economic impact includes:

  • $68 billion generated by RV manufacturers and suppliers;
  • $25.6 billion by RV campgrounds and related travel; and
  • $20.1 billion by RV sales and service activities.

In 2018, 482,389 RVs were made in the US, with towable vehicles accounting for 88 percent of shipments to dealers, and motorized vehicles the other 12 percent.

The 25 million Americans who go RVing each year contribute not only generally to the US economy, but specifically to the outdoor recreation economy, which according to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis represents 2.2 percent of the US Gross Domestic Product. Camping and hiking, and even boating and fishing, are often not just activities in themselves, but start and end with a destination reached in an RV.

The RVs Move America Economic Impact Study includes all companies involved in the manufacture, sale, rental, repair, storage, and service of recreation vehicles, as well as the aftermarket industry and the financing and insurance of RV purchases and the economic impact of recreation vehicle travel. 

Not surprisingly, the greatest economic impact of the RV industry is felt in states with the presence of significant manufacturing facilities and robust RV sales. Indiana – where the RV manufacturing industry was founded – tops the list of states with its more than $32 billion in total economic activity, followed in order by California, Texas, Oregon and Ohio. A total of 29 states each accounted for at least $1 billion in total economic activity.

The economic impact of each state and congressional district can be found at www.RVsMoveAmerica.org.