For eight years, the recreational vehicle market has been steadily growing. This year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association expects RV shipments to reach their highest levels yet. The two major RV manufacturers in the US, Thor Industries and Winnebago Industries, each saw remarkable growth of more than 50% over last year. This is largely due to recent major acquisitions by both companies. But even so, what’s driving more buyers to purchase RVs?
The Millennial Market
The trend toward living small has been gaining popularity among young people in recent years, which could be a factor in RV growth. With real estate values continuing to rise, mobile housing options provide a unique alternative.
The Millennial generation also seems to be fond of outdoor living, comprising 38% of campers, though they only represent 31% of the general population. Having an RV makes planning a vacation relatively simple – pick a destination and drive there. No need to squeeze into a tight-fitting car, or set aside most of your vacation budget for a hotel. For people who travel frequently, bringing your own accommodations is a major cost savings.
Among the trends driving this sector forward, smaller, towable models are seeing increased popularity. Trailers are now being made with lighter materials which often serve a dual purpose – thinner walls cut down on wasted space while reducing weight. This allows them to be hauled with a standard minivan or truck rather than a heavy-duty vehicle.
RV water systems have also come a long way in providing a more home-like experience for travelers. With three types of water systems included in modern vehicles (potable drinking water, gray water from sinks and showers, and black water systems from toilets), the experience is much more hygienic today.
WiFi and cable accessibility is another factor manufacturers and campgrounds must consider to attract buyers. People have a hard time disconnecting from their devices, so it’s important they won’t have to sacrifice these services on the road.
New buyers are more likely to purchase a smaller, less expensive model to start. As their families grow with children and friends, owners are likely to upgrade to a larger option, before eventually downsizing during retirement. One RV owner may therefore purchase multiple models throughout their lifetime, making it ideal to hook them while they’re young.
With demand for recreational vehicles continuing to rise for nearly a decade already, the industry is showing no sign of slowing down. Flexaust supplies multiple products that are used in RV manufacturing, which will need to keep up a brisk pace to support increased orders.