Whether you’re just curious about campers or a seasoned motorhome owner, there’s no denying that RVs are fascinating.
They provide an irresistible balance between the wonders of the great outdoors and the comforts of home. RVers around the world agree that they open up a massive amount of opportunities for exciting exploration and relaxing vacations.
And as we’re about to see, the result of this fanfare is quite mind-blowing!
Here are the top 20 RV facts and statistics — let’s roll!
General RV Industry Statistics
1. The RV Industry Was Worth $114 Billion in 2019
According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), the U.S. RV industry had an economic impact of $114 billion in 2019.
Over half of that value, $68 billion, was generated by RV manufacturers and suppliers. $25.6 billion came from RV campgrounds and travel, while RV sales and service were responsible for $20.1 billion.
2. The RV Industry Employs Nearly 600,000 Workers…
RVs aren’t just fun — they’re responsible for an astonishing number of employment opportunities. As of 2019, the RV industry supports 596,355 jobs in the U.S.
This figure includes RV salespeople, mechanics, manufacturing employees, campground employees, makers of RV accessories and many other workers.
Combined, these employees make $32.2 billion in annual wages.
3. …And Pays Over $12.2 Billion in Annual Taxes
There are 30,363 RV businesses in the U.S. that pay a total of $12.2 billion in taxes every year.
Much of that tax money goes towards the nation’s highways, parks and travel destinations. As a result, RVers are better able to enjoy their travels and make excellent use of their RVs.
4. Indiana Is the Heart of the U.S. RV Industry
Though residents of other states buy more RVs, Indiana is considered the “RV Capital of the World.”
That’s because several of the world’s biggest RV manufacturers — Thor Industries, Forest River and Avion International — are headquartered in the Hoosier State. Indiana’s RV companies are worth a total of $6.8 billion, the highest of any state.
Source: Condor Ferries
RV Sales and Pricing Statistics
5. 98% of RVs Sold in the USA Are Made in the USA
In 2019, 482,389 RVs were manufactured in the U.S. Though some were exported to other countries, most remained in America.
That’s because American RVers love American-made RVs: 98% of RVs sold in the U.S. were also made in the U.S. Clearly, RV owners understand the importance of supporting American businesses — and trust the quality of American products!
6. Over $29 Billion Worth of RVs Were Wholesaled in 2018
RV wholesales have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2018, RV dealers received vehicle shipments worth a total of $29.11 billion — up a whopping 45% from the previous year’s $20.02 billion.
And these figures have been steadily climbing since 2009, when RV wholesales were valued at just $5.15 billion. That’s a 565% increase in just 10 years!
7. 88% of RVs Sold in the U.S. Are Towable
In the U.S., towable RVs far surpass motorhomes in popularity. Just 12% of RVs sold are standalone motorhomes, with the remaining 88% made up of fifth wheels, travel trailers, truck campers and folding trailers.
Consumers seem to prefer the versatility and convenience of a detachable trailer to the bulk of a true motorhome. We can see why — being able to drop the RV at a campground and take the truck on a sightseeing excursion saves fuel, time and energy!
8. Travel Trailers Are the Most Popular Type of RV in America
Within the category of towable RVs, travel trailers are by far the most popular. RV dealers received 274,630 wholesale shipments of travel trailers in 2019.
By contrast, dealers received 74,875 wholesale shipments of fifth wheels and 6,530 wholesale shipments of folding trailers in 2019. Truck campers were the least popular with just 3,400 shipments received.
9. Canadians Spent $8.74 Billion CAD on RVs in 2018
The U.S. may be the biggest RV-loving nation in the world, but its northern neighbor, Canada, isn’t far behind.
In 2018, Canadian RV dealers sold $8.74 billion CAD worth of RVs. That figure doesn’t include private party sales or RVs imported by Canadians from U.S. dealers.
Expect to see many more RVs with Canadian license plates cruising around North America’s highways in the future!
10. $8.4 Billion of RV Loans Were Generated in 2017
RV dealers in the U.S. financed over 200,000 loans in 2017, totaling $8.4 billion. The average loan amount was $45,000.
Source: Condor Ferries
11. California, Texas, Florida and New York Sell the Most RVs…
Every U.S. state sells several million dollars of RVs each year, but the four states with the highest sales are California ($549.8 million), Texas ($424.2 million), Florida ($306.2 million) and New York ($225.9 million).
That’s no surprise: they’re also the four most populous states in the country.
Source: Condor Ferries
12. …And Hawaii Sells the Least
No state sells fewer RVs than Hawaii. RV sales in the Aloha State total just $3.5 million annually.
This comes as no surprise, either. You can only travel so far by RV when you’re confined to a tiny island!
Source: Condor Ferries
RV Ownership Statistics
13. 25 Million Americans Go RVing Each Year
Across all use cases — family camping trips, hunting or fishing expeditions, cross-country moves and full-time living — 25 million Americans go RVing in any given year.
During their RV trips, they patronize businesses like gas stations, truck stops, repair shops, camping supply stores, campgrounds and specialty recreation areas.
In total, outdoor recreation makes up 2.2% of the U.S.’s GDP, and that’s due in no small part to RVers.
14. Over 10.5 Million American Households Own at Least One RV…
There are 128 million households in the U.S., and over 10.5 million of them own at least one RV.
That’s over 8% of American households! Nearly a tenth of the population owns an RV — a testament to the versatility and value of these vehicles.
Source: Washington Post
15. …And Nearly 17.2 Million Households Are Looking to Buy an RV
If you thought RV ownership levels were high, wait until you see the number of aspiring RV owners out there!
Nearly 17.2 million U.S. households are interested in purchasing an RV. This includes households that don’t own an RV as well as those that are looking to upgrade their existing RV or purchase an additional one.
If you one of them we have more information in our article “Buying an RV: 10 Ways to Get a Good Deal.“
Source: Mordor Intelligence
16. RVs Are Becoming More Popular Among Millennials
The stereotypical RV owner has always been a well-off retiree, but the stats show just how wrong that is. In fact, the RV ownership share of younger generations is increasing by the year..
In 2018, 20.75% of RV owners were older millennials, aged 35 to 44. That’s up from 18.42% in 2015.
Younger millennials, aged 25 to 34, also increased their RV ownership share from 5.03% to 8.10% over that same time period. And even those in the 18 to 24 age range grew their share from 0.15% to 0.37%.
What’s more, 55% of millennials wish they owned an RV, and 26% consider themselves highly likely to purchase one.
But RV ownership rates have actually fallen slightly among those aged 65 to 74. Still, those aged 55 and up are expected to own a total of 79 million RVs by 2025.
RV Lifestyle Statistics
17. 1 Million Americans Live in RVs Full-Time
Americans are starting to view RVs not just as vehicles but as actual homes. Around 1 million Americans currently live full-time in an RV.
It’s not just retirees and lone wolves, either: young couples, friend groups and families with small children are switching to the RV lifestyle, too. They demonstrate how living in a small, mobile space can benefit just about anyone.
Source: Washington Post
18. Over 80% of RVers Say that RVs Are the Most Frugal Way to Travel
An RV may seem like an expensive purchase, but in the long run, most RVers say that it saves them money. Over 80% of RV owners say that their RVs save them more money than any other form of vacation travel.
And studies have shown that a family of four can save 27-62% on travel costs by vacationing in an RV, while a family of two can save 11-48%. Those savings even account for fuel and RV ownership costs, perhaps the biggest expenses when traveling by RV.
19. 93% of RV Owners Travel with Their Dogs
Finding pet-friendly hotels isn’t always easy or cheap, which is why 10% of dog owners say that they’ve hidden their dog in luggage to sneak them into hotels. And 37% of Americans say that they’ve outright skipped a vacation to stay with their dogs at home.
Maybe that’s why RVs seem to have a particular appeal to pet owners: 93% of RV owners with dogs bring their pups with them on vacation. What’s more, 14% of RV owners with cats bring their kitties along on the road.
For a pet, having an open, familiar space makes travel so much easier. It’s no wonder that pet owners have switched to RV travel to keep their furry companions close, even when they’re far from home.
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20. Over 90% of RVers Take Three or More Vacations a Year
RVs make it easier to travel, whether it’s an impulsive weekend getaway or a meticulously-planned month-long road trip. The numbers say it all: over 90% of RVers take three or more vacations or mini-vacations in their RV a year.
By contrast, just 40% of Americans in general go on vacation even once a year. Of those, 53% plan to make their vacation a road trip.
RVs make road tripping more accessible, affordable and comfortable. It’s no wonder, then, that so many RVers have made travel such an integral part of their lives.
Charles Joseph is one of the original authors of Camper Smarts from when it first started.
Product data was last updated on 2023-02-04 at 19:49.