New Research Shows Record Level of RV Ownership
Edited by RVDA staff
The latest RV Consumer Demographic
Profile shows RV ownership has reached a new peak and also offers
promising news on future RV purchase intentions.
The research, conducted for RVIA by Dr. Richard Curtin, RV industry
analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan,
reveals the number of RV-owning households has grown to a new peak of
8.9 million households, up from 7.9 million in 2005. According to the
report, 8.5% of U.S. households now own RVs, up from 8.0% in
"The data indicate that the basic appeal of the RV lifestyle remains
as strong as ever," said Dr. Richard Curtin, who conducted the study.
Curtin, an economist, is director of consumer surveys at the University
of Michigan. "Consumers want to enjoy the same cherished experiences of
RVing while staying within new budget constraints."
The RV industry is addressing consumer needs by "right-sizing" RVs to
offer the mix of amenities and price that consumers want.
In addition to showing that RV ownership rates have climbed steadily,
the new RV Consumer Demographic
Profile also offers promising news on future RV purchase
When RV purchase intentions are combined across current owners,
former owners and new market entrants, a total of 21% of all U.S.
households stated intentions to purchase an RV at some point in the
future. This represents only a slight decline from the 23% rate in 2005,
and is ahead of the 16% rate in 2001.
These purchase intentions expressed in the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile are very encouraging for
the industry," said Sid Johnson, chairman of RVIA’s Market
Information Committee, and Director of Marketing at Jayco. "These survey
results were collected in a challenging financial environment yet they
are very close to the 2005 data when the economy and consumer outlook
was much brighter. Overall, the results indicate continued strong demand
for RVs in the years ahead."
Seventy percent of current RV owners plan to purchase another RV to
replace their current unit in the future. When compared to the purchase
intentions of owners in prior surveys, the 2011 data indicates current
owners have a stronger intention to purchase a new RV when they do buy
Among new market entrants, defined as households that have never
owned an RV in the past, 14% plan a future purchase with more than a
third intending to purchase a new RV.
Among former owners, 27% plan to purchase another RV in the future.
Here age was a determining factor with younger former owners (age 18-34)
more likely than older former owners to purchase another RV. This
underscores the need for the RV industry to stay in touch with recent
former owners and to continue to present them ownership options.
Fast facts about RVers from the Profile:
• The typical RVer was 48 years old in
2011, one year younger than the 49 years recorded in 2005 and 2001.
• Median income of RVers: $62,000
• 39% of RVers had children under 18
living at home.
• RV owners aged 35-to-54 posted the
largest gains in ownership rates, rising to 11.2% in 2011 from 9.0% in
• Ownership also edged higher among
those aged 55 or older, rising to 9.3% from 8.6% in 2005.
• Among those under age 35, ownership
rates were flat — 4.9% in 2011 vs. 5.0% in 2005.
The RV Consumer Demographic Profile
summarizes the findings from the eighth national survey of RV owners
sponsored by RVIA. The 2011 survey included 4,903 completed surveys
conducted from February to May 2011. The sample was selected to be
representative of all U.S. households.