What Are The Top RV Rental Industry Statistics?
Whether you own an RV or are thinking about renting one for your next road trip, it’s helpful to know some important RV Rental statistics about RVs in the US. More specifically, you should get to know who’s using RVs the most, where they’re going, how long their trips last, and more.
Come look at the latest data on the RV rental industry according to several reports. Then, start browsing the RVs available to rent so you can travel in style for your next road trip, or get an idea of what others are offering and charging in your area.
How many people use RVs to camp?
According to the 2021 North American Camping Report, about 13 million households in the US own an RV. And this number keeps growing, with 2020 the perfect example. That year alone saw an increase of 1.9 million households with RVs compared to 2019.
Of course, buying an RV is not the only way to experience camping in this type of vehicle. You can also rent one—whether to try out the RV life before buying or to start a long-running tradition of hitting the open road in an RV rental at least once a year.
Sure, far more people bought an RV than rented one in 2020. The above RV Industry Statistics Report states that 74% of RV fans purchased one that year compared to 62% the year before. But many people opted to rent, with 8% renting from a private owner through a peer-to-peer service in 2020. This represents a slight increase from 6% the year before.
Whether people bought or rented an RV in 2020, very few had any regrets about their choice. Just over 13,000 said they preferred RVing to camping in tents, compared to about 11,300 who said the same in 2019. Buying or renting an RV pays off according to several RV Rental Industry Statistics Reports.
What’s the average age of RV owners?
People of all ages enjoy the benefits of recreational vehicles, so don’t worry about being too young or too old to travel by RV. If you’re wondering how many people around your age are buying or renting RVs, here’s what to know.
The age of the average RV owner is 48 years old. But there’s a wide age range that most RVers fit into, with 35 to 54 years old being the most common one. While Baby Boomers and Generation X still make up the bulk of RV campers, the Millennials are moving in on this trend. After all, the oldest Millennials are turning 40 now, so they’re approaching the average age of an RV owner. Millennials now make up 38% of RV owners.
Younger generations are getting in on the RV fun, too. About 25% of RV campers in this country are 18 or younger. Many start by going on trips with their parents—90% of RV campers say this is the best way to spend holidays with the kids—and they keep it up well into adulthood. Expect Generation Z to be the next age group to buy and rent RVs.
How much time do RV owners spend camping?
RV owners take about three trips per year, sometimes more, and they drive about 4,500 miles annually in their RV. They spend about three to four weeks total on these trips.
Some people use their RV full-time, and about one million Americans claim to live in their RV. It’s no wonder #vanlife has been trending on Instagram in recent years (having been used over 6 million times).
Granted, full-time RVers are in the minority and only make up about 1.5% of RV owners. About 35% are over the age of 55, and 43% are retired. Younger RVers are not looking to live in this type of vehicle full-time—not yet, anyway. If this describes you, renting an RV a few times a year might be your best option until you’re ready to hit the road 365 days a year.
How many RV dealerships are in the US?
If you’re thinking of buying an RV, you want to know how readily available RVs are in your area. Overall, note that a trip to an RV dealership is the most common way to buy an RV, compared to buying from a private owner.
You have a lot of choices if you’re thinking of buying from a dealership. The U.S. Census Bureau says there are 2,667 RV dealerships in this country, and together, they generate over $25 billion in RV sales per year.
Some states have higher RV sales, with Florida topping the list with $2.6 billion in 2017 alone. Maryland also does well with RV sales, generating $16.6 million per dealership on average in just one year.
What’s the RV 10-year rule?
People may hit the road hoping to get away from the strict rules an HOA enforces at home. However, you might be disappointed to find out about the 10-year rule at many RV parks. What does it mean, and how might it affect you?
In short, the 10-year rule is a code that many RV parks enforce, meaning you can’t park an RV there that’s older than 10 years old. The reasoning is that they don’t want RVs that look old and weathered—and that might be too broken down to even move—at the RV park.
Not every RV park enforces this rule. Sometimes you can get away with parking a 12- or 15-year-old RV without getting hassled, as long as it looks younger than its actual age. But be prepared. If your RV is over a decade old, you might not have as many options for parking as you would with a newer vehicle.
This is one benefit of RV rentals, as you can rent a new vehicle every time you camp. Renting an RV might be the right move for you if you want to avoid rules that might reduce your RV park options.
How long do RVs last?
Speaking of older RVs, how long can you expect to keep yours? The answer depends on the quality of your RV when you buy it and how good you are at regular RV maintenance.
An RV can last roughly 20 years, or up to about 200,000 miles. While it’s impressive if yours has lasted longer than 20 years, now may be a good time to look at buying a new one. You can get a feel for what vehicle may be right for you by first trying out a few RV rentals.
Where do people camp with their RV?
Now you know who owns RVs and what RVs they’re most likely to buy. But where do they go once they have the recreational vehicle of their dreams? Here are the details on the most common RV destinations across the US.
First, note that the most common RV vacation spot in the country is Yosemite National Park, which gets 250,000 visitors in RVs every year. The other most popular parks in 2020 include:
- Grand Canyon
- Great Sand Dunes
- Crater Lake
You can also check out our list of America’s Top 20 National Parks for Your Summer Vacation for more ideas on where to go. In 2020, the most popular states for RV travelers to visit included:
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
Be prepared to head west on your next RV road trip if you want to see what all the fuss is about. After all, that’s where you can find most of the more popular destinations. Perhaps people are trying to escape winter by flocking to these warmer areas in their RV.
Should you rent out your RV?
If you own an RV and don’t live in it full time, you could make some money on the side by renting it out. You do have some recurring costs when you own an RV—such as tires, oil changes, and insurance—and it would be nice to offset those costs through RV rental.
The million-dollar question is, how much can you make from renting your RV? The answer isn’t one million dollars, but it’s not a small sum, either. RV owners can make anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 per year by renting it out, with $30,000 the average.
It all depends on the vehicle you have, what kind of shape it’s in, and how often you want to rent it out. We can help you estimate your earnings if you want to know more about what you can make with RV rentals.
What are the growth expectations for RV rentals & purchases?
As of 2021, the growth expectations for RVs are higher than ever, largely thanks to the pandemic. After all, people considered RV vacations the safest way to travel in 2020 since social distancing in an RV was extremely easy to achieve.
About 68% of current RV owners have said they plan to buy another RV in the next five years. Even 47% of former RV owners said they plan to get back into the game by buying an RV in the next five years.
Of the people planning to buy an RV soon, 84% of them are between 18 and 34 years old, showing that members of the Millennial and Generation Z age groups have greatly increased their interest in RVs. Considering the sheer size of these generations, that’s a good sign for the RV industry.
Interest in RVs is not going away anytime soon. If you’re thinking about buying one, check out our RV rentals to test different models. And if you already have an RV that you’re not living in full-time, consider renting it out to families who want to travel safely and comfortably this year.