Historic demand for RVs – from family campers to luxury RVs – continues

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Christina

The demand for RVs is being described as unprecedented. More and more people are seeing the numerous advantages of all types of recreational vehicles – from affordable popup campers to luxury Class A motorhomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to re-evaluate how they travel, and RVs are proving to be mighty popular. With the U.S.-Canadian border restrictions beginning to ease, people are eager to hop in their RVs and head out on the highway. Motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers are in such high demand, industry experts do not foresee an off-season this winter.

A large metal display marks the entrance to the General RV section at America's Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
General RV Center exhibited at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Penn., on Sept. 14-18, 2021.

Demand is high for all types of RVs

In a recent interview, Geoff Radke, Sales Director of General RV, said the company is seeing constant demand instead of the usual seasonal swings. “Who would have thought that after being stuck (at) home, cooped up amongst family, that the wonderful byproduct would be people choosing to spend more time with their families on the road, creating lifelong memories?”

A mother reads to her two daughters while they lay on a bunk bed inside an RV.

More affordable, family-friendly trailers and motorhomes were the most popular models early on in the pandemic. However, as 2021 has progressed, demand for RVs has equalized across the range of options. The RV Industry Association says approximately 300,000 RVs were shipped from factories in the first half of the year. This breaks the previous first half-year record set in 2018. 2021 RV sales are also on pace to shatter records for the full year.

“It has been remarkable what the industry has accomplished over the past year. From shutdowns to soaring demand in the manufacturing, retail, and campground segments, the RV industry has met these challenges to deliver record shipments, sales, and campground stays,” said RVIA President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Kirby.

Additionally, RV shows have come back roaring! Many consumer events – including RV shows – were cancelled last year due to the pandemic and supply chain issues. But last week, RV manufacturers and dealers welcomed huge crowds at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The show organizers reported the second largest crowd in its history, and Winnebago set RV sales records during the four day event. It’s clear proof that RVers are ready to get back to life on the road.

New buyers, young families embracing the RV lifestyle

A family consisting of a man, woman, and three children stands in front of a travel trailer RV parked near a picnic table.
Industry surveys show that younger families are helping drive demand for RVs.

Not only are RV sales soaring, but the industry seems to have attracted a new generation of customers. Speaking to Ed Coury with Bloomberg Money Minute, Radke said younger families are embracing the RV lifestyle. “It’s a much younger demographic that’s participating in the market, which is wonderful. Part of it is a by-product of coming out of the pandemic.”

An RV Owner Demographic Profile Study from Ipsos showed Millennials and Gen Zers are becoming RVers for life. An impressive 84% of 18-to-34-year-olds plan to buy another RV in the next 5 years.

Lastly, demand for RV rentals has also proven to be pandemic proof. The RV rental marketplace Outdoorsy saw booking revenue skyrocket 4,000% between April 2020 and October 2020. Growth is expected to continue into next year.

Add it all up, and anyone thinking about vacationing in a new RV in 2022 had better start planning right away.

Ready to start your own RV adventure? Let General RV help you discover the RV lifestyle. We offer a huge selection of new motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers as well as used RVs for sale. Need RV parts? We’ve got those, too. And our highly trained technicians can help with all your RV service needs. Visit our RV Virtual Showroom to start browsing now. Or find a General RV dealer near you. Whether you shop online or in store, our experts will help you camp with confidence.