On the Road Again: The Return of the RV Lifestyle


RVNorth Americans are traveling the highways and byways again. And doing it in style. After the halcyon days of RVing in the 70s, the industry declined. The 2008 financial crisis practically destroyed it, but now vehicles ranging from small trailers to high-end products (like the $400,000 Winnebago camper “that looks like a fancy, spacious apartment,” according to an NPR report) are once again “on the road.”

As RV sales rep Renèe Hinson told NPR: “Having seen the business since the ’70s forward, it’s back to like the ’70s. … We’ve seen astounding growth.” Why the popularity? Seems there’s a new wave of RV fans: millennials.

Traditionally the largest group of RV enthusiasts has been retirees, staking out a place in the sun or just traveling the country. But according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, the average age of an RV owner is now under 50. And Hinson says she’s selling campers to 30-year-olds “like never before.”

As a CBS News report from last summer says: “Images of millennials on RV road trips and outdoor adventures have filled social media all summer long, and #Camping posts on Instagram are now over 14 million.” As Allison Lago Leonard, general manager of the KOA campsite in Mystic, Connecticut, notes in the CBS article: “There’s 75 million campers out there, and one third, 38%, of us are millennials. So, I mean, we’re catching up and we’re catching on.”

Concludes CBS’s report: “… you can live just about anywhere. And for the millennials now driving RV sales, that’s the point.”