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Quick Facts About RVs

All Of Your RV Questions Answered

As families head out on their vacations this summer, many will fly, drive or take a train. The rest will be hitting the highways and byways in true road trip fashion…RVing in style. Here's a list of helpful facts and tips to get you on the road in your own RV.

What is a recreation vehicle (RV)?

  • An RV is a vehicle that combines transportation and temporary living quarters for travel, recreation and camping.

  • Two main categories of RVs are motorhomes (motorized) and towables (towed behind the family car, van or pickup). Type A motorhomes are generally the largest; type B motorhomes, or van campers, are the smallest; and type C motorhomes generally fall in between. Types of towable RVs are folding camping trailers, truck campers, conventional travel trailers and fifth-wheel travel trailers.

  • The annual retail value of RV shipments is $14 billion.

  • There's an RV for every taste and budget. Prices for new RVs are typically $4,000-$13,000 for folding camping trailers; $4,000-$26,000 for truck campers; $8,000-$65,000 for conventional travel trailers; $48,000-$140,000 for type C motorhomes and $58,000-$400,000 for type A motorhomes.

Who is the RV traveler?

  • U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels, reveals a 2001 University of Michigan study commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Nearly one in 12 U.S. vehicle-owning households now owns an RV. That's nearly 7 million households, a 7.8 percent gain during 1998-2001 and a 38 percent gain during 1980-2001.

  • Today's typical RV owner is 49 years old, married, with an annual household income of $56,000-higher than the median for all households, according to a University of Michigan study. RV owners are likely to own their homes and spend their disposable income on traveling, an average of 4,500 miles and 28-35 days annually, RVIA surveys show.

  • More RVs are now owned by baby boomers than any other group, according to the University of Michigan study. This is also the fastest growing segment of the RV market.

  • Nearly 10% of those 55 and over own an RV, exceeding the 8.9 percent ownership rates of those 35-to-54.

  • Approximately 7.2 million RVs are on the nation's roads, says the U of M study. RVIA estimates nationwide there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts, including RV renters.

Why do people choose and use RVs?

  • Flexibility and convenience - RVs offer a convenient, hassle-free way to see America. RV travelers enjoy the freedom and flexibility to go where they want, when they want, without the worry and stress of inflexible schedules, advance reservations, airport lines and luggage restrictions.

  • Comfort - With fully-equipped kitchens and baths, rooms that slide out at the touch of a button, central air and heat, TVs, stereos and more, today's RVs provide travelers with the amenities of home while on the road or at a campground.

  • Family appeal - RVing is a uniquely enjoyable way to travel as a family. In fact, families that frequently vacation by RV say it fosters an increased sense of togetherness and helps improve communication. RV owners say that strengthening family relationships is important for their pleasure trips.

  • Affordability - RV vacations are more affordable than travel by personal car, commercial airline or cruise ship, according to vacation cost-comparison studies by PKF Consulting. Even factoring in RV ownership costs, and considering resulting tax benefits, a family of four can spend up to 70 percent less when traveling by RV.

  • Lure of the outdoors - RVers can enjoy the mountains, beaches, parks, popular tourist attractions and small towns whenever they want, without giving up the comforts of home. With the new sport utility RVs, RV travelers can easily haul their ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles or other outdoor vehicles right on board.

  • Versatility - In addition to travel, camping and outdoor recreation, RVs are being used year-round for a wide variety of other purposes, like shopping, tailgate parties at sporting events, pursuing special interests like horse, dog and antique shows and other hobbies.

  • Rentals available - Renting an RV is a popular way to "try before you buy." The RV rental business is a $191 million industry and growing, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Census of Retail Trade.

Where do RVers travel?

  • With more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds nationwide, RVers are free to roam America's highways and backroads for a weekend or months at a time.

  • Privately owned RV parks and campgrounds are found near popular destinations, along major tourist routes and even in metropolitan areas. These campgrounds appeal to travelers by offering activities to keep the whole family happy, including pools, game rooms, playgrounds and snack bars.

  • RV travelers seeking a resort atmosphere are especially attracted to the growing number of luxury RV resorts with facilities such as tennis courts, golf courses and health spas.

  • Facilities at public campgrounds tend to be simple, but offer great scenic beauty. Public lands are popular for hiking, fishing, white water rafting and many other outdoor recreational opportunities enjoyed by RVers.

What does the future hold for the RV market?

  • Changes in the frequency and duration of vacations favor the RV industry. According to recent studies, Americans are traveling shorter distances and on weekends with less planning. For RV owners, this is a convenient travel pattern.

  • Primary RV demand remains very good, and the potential for future sales is bright, according to a 2001 University of Michigan study. Among all U.S. households, one in six intend to purchase an RV in the future.

  • Baby boomers, both parents and empty nesters, are strong potential buyers of RVs, and promising future prospects are emerging among younger, ethnically diverse consumers, reveals a 2001 Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Go RVing Coalition. The study found Generation Xers exhibit interests in activities that are compatible with RVing.

  • Demographic trends favor substantial RV market growth, according to the University of Michigan. As baby boomers enter their prime RV buying years, the number of RV-owning households is projected to rise to nearly 8 million in 2010, a gain of 15 percent between 2001-2010, outpacing overall U.S. household growth of 10 percent.

How can I learn more about RVs?

  • Surf the web - Find websites for information on RV travel trends, vehicles types, show listings and lists of RV dealers and campgrounds in your area.

  • Order a free DVD or CD-ROM - Call 1-888-Go-RVing for an RV getting-started DVD or CD-ROM and list of dealers and campgrounds. Or order the DVD.

  • Visit an RV dealer - Check the yellow pages or the website of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association for local dealership listings.

  • Attend an RV show - A variety of RVs of all shapes, sizes and costs are displayed at dozens of RV shows around the nation. .

  • Rent an RV - More than 460 RV rental outlets are located across the country. Renting allows potential buyers to try RV travel and determine which vehicle type best suits their needs. Check the yellow pages under "Recreation Vehicle-Rentals" for the nearest rental outlets.

  • Obtain an RV buyers' guide - Visit a bookstore or library.

For more infromation visit, Recreation Industry Vehicle Association.

Source: RVIA