The RV and motorhome industry has been growing by leaps and bounds.
As more and more people become interested in RVs and motorhomes, here are some statistics that you should know.
RV and Motorhome Sales Numbers
According to Statista, 438,700 RVs and motorhomes were sold in the United States in 2018.
This is a jump of almost 250,000 units sold compared to 2008. However, 2008 was the year of the Great Recession, so this increase shouldn’t surprise anyone.
This being said, drop back two years, and you’ll see that in 2006, only 390,500 RVs were sold. As you can see, there has still been a large increase in the number of RVs being sold in the United States.
On top of this, recent events (2020) have led to people becoming even more interested in RVing. This has led to a large surge in RV rentals and RV sales.
The result of this could lead many more people to become interested in RVing, and sales could climb even higher over the coming years.
What Does This Mean?
As a consumer, this means you’ll have more people to RV with.
You’re also likely to have more RV options to choose from. This will give you more choices, but it could also make the buying process more confusing.
Luckily, this website is full of information on choosing, using, and maintaining an RV!
Additional RV and Motorhome Sales Information
While it might seem that motorhomes are more popular than towable RVs, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 88% of all RVs are towable RVs, while only 12% of all RVs are motorized.
Ironically, motorhomes are more popular among RV renters. This is most likely due to the fact that a towable RV requires a tow vehicle and all of the specialized towing equipment that comes with it.
You’ll have a much easier time finding a towable RV than you will find a motorhome. This is especially true if you’re looking to rent as the demand for motorhomes is much higher in the rental market than it is for towable RVs.
Towable RV and Motorhome Prices
A towable RV is usually a lot less expensive than a motorhome. While motorhomes usually start out at prices that exceed $50,000.00, a towable RV can start out at prices lower than $6,000.00.
If you’re looking to save money on an RV, you may be better off buying or renting a towable RV versus a motorhome. This being said, to travel with a towable RV, you’ll need to own or rent a vehicle that is capable of towing it.
In the end, the price of buying and using a towable RV should always include the price of the tow vehicle as well as the towable RV.
Combine the cost of $50,000 truck and a $30,000 camper, and you may find that the $70,000 motorhome is actually cheaper to own than the towable camper.
Where They’re Made
While RVs and motorhomes are made worldwide, most manufacturers are US-based.
Interestingly enough, most of these RVs are made in the state of Indiana. RVIA has found that 80% of the nation’s RVs are manufactured there.
Even more interesting is the fact that of this 80%, 2 out of 5 are made in Elkhart County. If you live in the United States, you may want to consider shopping for your next RV in Indiana.
There, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from, and you may even get to visit some of the RV manufacturing factories.
Where RVs Are Sold
RVs are sold all over the world and in every state within the United States.
However, California and Texas seem to sell more RVs each year compared to most other states. No matter which state you’re currently in, you won’t have any trouble finding an RV to buy.
However, if you can’t find the exact RV you want, it might be a good idea to see the look and see what the dealers in Texas and California have to offer you.
Are Tiny Houses and Vans Considered RV’s
Some tiny houses are RVIA certified when they’re made, and they are legally considered RVs.
They would be counted in the statistics we talked about above.
Professionally made conversion vans are also considered RVs. DIY conversions may be considered RVs as well, but they would have originally been sold as vehicles. This means they do not count as RVs.
If you’re buying a van or tiny house to use as an RV, you’ll want to check to see if it is certified. Otherwise, you may have trouble getting into some RV parks, and you may have issues with insurance.
If you’re building out your own van, you may need to talk to your state about registering it as an RV. Doing so will almost certainly lower your insurance rates, and it may give you more camping options.
On the other hand, if you live in an area that prohibits RVs, you may be better off with a DIY van build. In this case, you’ll have all of the benefits of a motorhome without officially owning one.
Campsites and Resorts
There are over 16,000 RV campgrounds and parking areas in the United States. This includes both public and private campgrounds.
Also, this number is quickly growing. Companies like Hip Camp are giving private landowners the ability to rent some of their lands out to RVers.
This makes RV camping easier, cheaper, and more convenient.
This means that RV camping is only going to get more popular. It may also mean that RV campground prices could change in the near future.
Which way the prices change is anyone’s guess, but typically the more supply there is of something, the lower the price.
RV and Motorhome Usage
According to the RVIA, the average RV owner uses their RV about 4 weeks out of each year. However, many report that they use their RV even less than that each year.
This means that for some people, it may be more economical to rent an RV or motorhome each year instead of buying one. For example, renting a motorhome for 4 weeks a year at $200.00 a day will cost you $5,600!
A motorhome might cost twice as much as that, and it won’t be worth much after 10 years of depreciation. Also, as an owner, you’ll have to pay for ongoing maintenance, storage, and insurance costs.
This also adds to the cost of owning a motorhome.
RV Rentals Are on the Rise
The market size for RV rentals is currently at about 282 million dollars a year.
There are currently about 182 RV rental businesses. This does not include private owners who rent out their RVs on websites like RVShare.com.
Industry analysts believe that the number of renters and rental companies will increase over the next few years.
This information is good news for both RV renters and RV owners. It means that if you’re looking to rent, you’ll have plenty of options for doing so.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy an RV to rent out to others, you’ll have plenty of people to rent to.
Some buyers rent out their RVs to help offset the cost of ownership. If you’re thinking about becoming one of these buyers, this is a good time to do so.
Conversely, if you’re looking to rent an RV each year, this might be a good time to do so as well.
It’s been reported that there are about 6,000 RV fires each year. Some of these fires occurred while the RV was on the road, and some of them occurred in campsites and parking areas.
RV fires tend to be more prevalent in motorhomes, but towable RVs can also catch fire.
This fact means several things. For starters, it means you should take precautions to reduce the chances of your RV catching fire. This means you should be careful when cooking, and you should learn how to use your propane refrigerator properly.
On top of this, you should have a plan in place for dealing with an RV fire. This includes a plan to get out quickly and a plan to quickly extinguish any fires that might break out. Get smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to help with this.
Finally, be sure you have RV insurance. This will help you get back on the road after the fire has taken your RV from you.
About 9 million people within the United States own RVs. This statistic surprised me as I thought the number was much higher than that.
There is a lot of room for growth within the RV industry.
This means that if you’re looking to become part of the industry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of over the upcoming years.
Somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000, people are living full-time in an RV at any given time.
Some of these people are traveling full-time, while others are simply living a stationary life in an RV. There are plenty of resources for the full-time RVer.
A person can go full-time during any season and can do so for as long as they like.
This being said, parking options and amenities may be limited in northern climates during the colder months of winter.
RVs and Pets
Over 50% of RV owners bring a pet with them when they travel.
Typically, this means they have at least one dog or cat, but some people travel with other pets such as rabbits, hamsters, and even snakes.
This means that there are plenty of pet-friendly campgrounds and campsites for pet owners to enjoy. In fact, many pet owners get into RVing because it allows them to bring their pets with them on vacation.
RV Loan Information
The average RV loan is priced out at about $45,000.00.
There are over 200,000 RV loans made each year, which means that banks lend out about 9 billion dollars a year to RV owners.
This means that RVs provide a substantial amount of money to the banking industry each year. At just a 5% interest rate, over $450,000,000.00 is generated in interest payments just on newly sold RVs each year.
When you buy your RV, you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to be a part of that revenue.
RV Age Demographics
There are about 40 million people who go RV camping each year.
Roughly 1/3rd of these RVers are millennials, 1/3rd are from generation x, and 1/3rd are baby boomers. These statistics show that RV camping is a steady activity that spans many generations.
While you might not see massive upticks in RV camping, you also won’t see large drops in RV camping either.
Class B Motorhome Demand is on the Rise
The demand for small class B motorhomes is rapidly increasing. Within the next few years, class B motorhome demand will be higher than both class C and class A demand combined.
This means that the depreciation rate for class-B motorhomes will most likely slow down over the next few years.
It also means that the depreciation rate of class C and class A motorhomes could speed up over the next few years.
RV Industry Employment Statistics
Almost 600,000 people rely on the RV industry for employment.
This includes mechanics, campground workers, RV manufacturers, and RV salespeople.
If you’re interested in a job that involves building, selling, or maintaining RVs, you’re in luck. The RV industry offers many jobs in many different areas of operations, and your personal knowledge of RVs could be invaluable to both you and any potential employer.
RV Trips and Their Cost
Most RV owners claim to save money vacationing in an RV versus staying in hotels and rental homes.
The RVIA says that a couple will save somewhere between 11% and 48% on their vacation, while a family of four will save somewhere between 27% and 62%.
Switch from hotels and rental homes to motorhomes and campers, and you could save a lot of money on your next vacation.
When People go RVing
Interestingly enough, the most popular month to go RVing in the United States is in April. June, July, and September are the second, third, and fourth most popular months, respectively.
The least most popular month for RVing is December. However, this does not necessarily hold true for places like Florida who see an uptick in RV visitors during this month.
If you’re looking to beat the crowds, you may want to avoid RVing in April, June, July, and September. Instead, you could choose the shoulder months of March and October or the colder months of November, December, January, and February.
August is also a good month for beating the RV crowds, but you may find it to be too hot in some areas of the country for RVing.
The hashtag #vanlife has been used over 6 million times on Instagram.
It’s also used quite frequently on sites like Pinterest, Youtube, and Facebook.
In general, this means that the use of small DIY motorhomes is trending and will most likely continue to grow in the near future.
The average RV is driven approximately 4,500 miles each year.
This could be a good number for you to use when planning out your new RV’s maintenance schedules and depreciation schedules.
A motorhome’s depreciation values will be significantly impacted by the number of miles you put on it. Its maintenance schedule will also change quickly, depending on its miles, so this number could end up being very important to you.
The most popular RV destination on the west coast is Yellowstone National Park.
The most popular destination on the east coast is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. In the south, the most popular RV destination to visit is Walt Disney World in Florida.
If you’re thinking about visiting any of the three RV destinations above, you may want to consider doing so during the slow season.
These places draw in a lot of tourists, and they can get quite busy.
The Popularity of RVing
RVing has never been more popular than it is today.
Some attribute this to baby boomers retiring and traveling while others attribute it to millennials opting to travel by RV rather than by more traditional means.
Still, others attribute the rising popularity of RVing to a cheaper gas and a booming economy.
Only time will tell what the real reason is for this phenomenon.
The statistics behind RVs and motorhomes are not just interesting.
They are useful tools that you can use to help make your dream of RVing a reality.
Use these statistics wisely:
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.