With 2022 coming to an end, we thought we would take a look back at what the RV industry was up to this past year. Overall, RV interest has slowed slightly since the uptick in 2020 and 2021, and prices have gone up. The COVID pandemic has certainly impacted the RV industry, and we continued to experience this impact in 2022. In 2020, quarantine encouraged people to get outside, sparking an increased interested in RVing. This interest has naturally leveled off somewhat, but RVers are certainly experiencing the current economic effects.
Although there were some interesting—and even surprising—trends and changes this year, many factors remained the same despite changing conditions. Here is Wholesale Warranties’ year in review of the RV industry!
Millennials in the RV Industry
First, let’s talk about some shifting trends that may or may not come as a surprise to some people. The typical RV demographic is represented by older adults with above-average household income. The typical RVer is 48 years old and married, as folks have had more time to acquire wealth. Married folks have combined incomes and are more likely to take family vacations. This year, however, millennials were the largest group purchasing and renting RVs. There has been significant growth in RV owners between the ages of 18 and 34. According to data compiled by The Wandering RV, this group now comprises a whopping 22% of the market.
During the pandemic in 2020, many folks saw the circumstances as an opportunity to explore the outdoors. With high cost of living under consideration, many millennials decided it was a better financial decision to opt for a Class B RV, or campervan, rather than a house. They get to save money and cater to their youthful adventurous spirit.
In conjunction with this pattern, the “van life” trend blew up on social media, appealing to wanderlust and inspiring others to abandon stationary homes in favor of adventure. Young folks used their time in quarantine to renovate and transform old vans and buses. Some even built businesses on customizing Class B RVs. On Instagram, the van life hashtag (#vanlife) has garnered over 14 million posts.
Remote Work and Content Creators
The pandemic has had a significant impact on how we approach work. This shift in workplace dynamics has presented many with the opportunity to work from home. Many jobs now offer permanent remote positions. This flexibility is a huge advantage for RVers, especially those who are on the road full time.
Additionally, thanks to the widespread popularity of social media, many RVers turn to content creation, such as vlogging, to fund their adventures. People sometimes choose to document their adventures and provide helpful information for other RVers, posting content to blogs, YouTube, and other platforms. The “van life” trend is a popular example of this.
Inflation and Gas Prices
As you are likely aware, 2022 saw significant inflation and a huge leap in gas prices following the aftermath of the pandemic’s economic recession. According to data from the United States Bureau of Transportation, regular motor gasoline skyrocketed 49% between January and June of this year. Diesel also saw a significant increase in cost per gallon. This record-breaking increase far exceeded those observed during the 2008 recession.
RVs have big tanks, and they are certainly not famous for having good mileage. Nevertheless, people continued to RV despite inflation and high gas prices. They did however opt to travel closer to home and were much less likely to RV full time.
RV Warranties for “Near-cationers”
You have probably heard the term “staycation.” Staycation is a portmanteau of the words “stay” and “vacation.” A staycation is a cost-effective way to enjoy the luxuries of a vacation without having to travel. People will remain in or very near their home cities, taking time off to stay in either a hotel or bed and breakfast to enjoy their local scene and a little break from life.
As stated previously, people wanted to continue RVing despite inflation and gas prices. The RV industry has observed that “near-cationing” was the best way to approach this. This year, RVers preferred to have a “home base,” and generally traveled within 300 miles of their sticks-and-bricks. This is a little less limiting than a staycation, and people seemed to be content with this happy medium.
However, when RVers are part-time like this, that means that their rigs usually spend a lot of time in storage. It’s important for RVers to keep in mind that the longer an RV sits, the greater the likelihood of an unexpected mechanical breakdown. Proper storage and routine maintenance, will help prevent this, especially during the winter. However, you still run the risk of mechanical and electrical failures. The best way to protect your wallet from expensive repair costs is to secure an RV extended warranty. A warranty will cover the costs of unexpected repairs, potentially saving you hundreds or even thousands on out-of-pocket expenses. For a free RV warranty quote, fill out the form below: