Enticing A Younger Generation For RV Life




The Road To A New Existence From First Timers To Full Timers


The allure of the RV lifestyle spans across all age demographics, but current reports and experts agree RV living is drawing a younger crowd in record numbers. In a recent report by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the typical RVer was 48 years old in 2011, one year younger than the 49 years old recorded in 2005. The same report showed that RV owners aged 35 to 54 posted the largest gains in ownership rates rising to 11.2% in 2011.

So why is the younger subset choosing the RV lifestyle now more than ever before? Kevin Broom, Director of Media Relations for RVIA, attributes this growing subset to a number of factors, including the family friendly nature of RVing.

"RVs are family friendly that offer the appeal to get away with your family with flexibility and cost effectiveness. You have space, you can stop whenever you want, and you have privacy" said Broom.

Sheri Fuller, owner of Fuller RV Rental and Sales in Boylston, Massachusetts, has been in the RV business with her husband since 1984. Fuller agrees the family friendly nature of RV living is a huge factor in attracting the younger crowd to both RV rentals and ownership. She explains, "We see younger people starting to rent and go on to buy RVs. The parks are gearing lots of activities toward the kids."

The appeal of making s'mores by the campfire,  getting back to the basics and just enjoying good old fashioned fun are drawing families to the parks, without giving up the creature comforts and luxuries an RV can offer.

A second factor drawing in the younger crowd is the dream of hitting the road while being young, healthy, and active enough to enjoy it. "We're now seeing a lot of folks in their 40s and 50s who want to get out of the cold, who want flexibility, freedom, and who don't want to be stuck in one place" said Fuller.

Fuller goes on to say "some people are getting out of the traditional lifestyle of paying off the mortgage for thirty years and opting to travel while they're young."

"People are asking how can we simplify and see America in a way that won't cost a fortune. The RV lifestyle offers that" said Broom who echoes the sentiment that RVers have freedom and flexibility in a cost effective manner that allows them to travel before hitting the "typical" retirement age.

Marianne Edwards, and her partner Randy, made those very dreams a reality when they hit the road for the first time in 2000 at the respective ages of 48 and 49. On her blog, "Frugal TV Travel,", Edwards explains "when we both decided to make that first trip happen in 2000, Randy was 49 and I was 48 years old—not ready to retire yet, but also not willing to wait until retirement to get out there and live a different adventure every day. I’m still always amazed at how big a secret this is—that this type of traveling adventure in North America can be so accessible and affordable. And that so few people are aware how easily they too can experience living in nature's splendor for long periods at a time with all the comforts of home—like a turtle with his home on his back." Marianne and Randy have not looked back since that first adventure in 2000.

Also not to be forgotten are lifestyles and RVs better designed to handle life on the road. Many folks hitting the road need not wait for retirement and putting away that nest egg to fund their adventures. People are finding ways to make a living on the road, whether it being working remotely, blogging, or freelancing. Others stop on their journey to work as supplies and money get tight.

"Since coming out of the recession, with gas prices down, more and more people are trying out the RV lifestyle. People opt to set up in a certain town for awhile and replenish money and supplies when they get low" said Fuller.

With so many RVs out there and many different styles to select from, Fuller finds the younger crowd often rent first to ensure the RV lifestyle is for them. From there, they often go on to buy as they find the elasticity of RV travel suits them and their families.

People ask how can we simplify and see America in a way that won't cost a fortune. The RV lifestyle offers that!

- Kevin Broom (Director Of Media Relation/RVIA)

The numbers support RV ownership is alive and well across all age demographics with record breaking ownership reports hitting the industry. In the same report by RIVA, the number of RV-owning households has grown to a new high of 8.9 million households in 2011, up from 7.9 million in 2005. That means 8.5% of U.S. households now own an RV.

The RV lifestyle offers a lot of something for everyone. We see the younger pack jumping onto the RV bandwagon in record numbers as they see what RVs and the RV lifestyle has to offer. "However people want to go out on the road, there's an RV made to do it" said Broom.


Jamie Chase Galvin

With an undergraduate degree in English and a masters in Counseling Psychology, Jamie works as an academic advisor and has also written for various publications including Sterling Meetinghouse. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and her very talkative 4-year-old daughter

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