The survey comes from the latest Campfire Canvass, a biannual survey of RV owners by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). It shows that 45.4 percent of the more than 8.2 million U.S. RV owners expect to travel more this summer than they did last year, while 41.9 percent say they’ll travel the same amount.
“For a century, Americans have enjoyed exploring what’s over the next hill and around the bend,” says Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. “That pioneering spirit is still alive and well today.”
“Our number-one goal was to visit our daughter in wine country in Northern California,” says survey respondent Bob Jaffe. “During our trip, we visited 13 national parks, five national monuments and many historic sites, and we didn’t even get wet.”
Among the survey respondents, 75 percent cited the flexibility of RVing as a major benefit of owning an RV.
Dennis Kiegel, 59, of Tampa, Fla., enjoys the freedom and control that RVing offers.
“Whenever my wife and I feel like it, we can just get up and go,” says survey respondent Dennis Kiegel. “What we like best is the freedom to come and go as we please. With our RV, we can travel at our own leisure. We don’t have any set plans for the summer. For us, it’s more interesting to wake up in the morning and make a spur-of-the-moment decision.”
According to the survey, a primary reason so many RVers will be traveling this spring/summer is that they appreciate the value they get compared to flying, driving and staying in hotels. Almost 82 percent percent of owners say they save anywhere from 15 to 75 percent by traveling in their RVs. This is consistent with a study by international travel and tourism experts PKF Consulting, which found that family RV trips are, on average, 27-61 percent less expensive than other types of vacations.
“RV travel continues to appeal to people looking to save money and cut costs,” says Coon. “RVers get a bigger bang for their buck than they get from other types of vacations.”
State and national parks are among the most popular destinations for RV trips this spring/summer. Seventy-seven percent of the survey respondents said they’ll visit state parks, while 71 percent will visit national parks.