Embarking on the journey of RV ownership is more than just acquiring a vehicle; it’s an investment in a lifestyle filled with adventure, memories, and the cherished feeling of home on the road. Whether your members are seasoned RV enthusiasts or first-time buyers, understanding the dynamics of the RV market and the diverse needs of RVers is key to providing tailored financial support.
The Growing RV Market
The RV market in the US has witnessed remarkable growth, surging by 62 percent in the last two decades. 11.2 million households own an RV, growing in popularity with Millennials and Gen Z buyers as their purchasing power grows each year. Another 9.6 million households anticipate buying an RV within the next few years. This upward trend spans across generations, making RV ownership a pursuit embraced by individuals of all ages, genders, income levels, and education backgrounds.
This growth signals ongoing reliability and investment in the RV market. As more people consider RV purchases in the near future, lenders can help determine affordability, provide preapproval, and recommend trusted dealers to buyers.
Understanding RV Owner Demographics
The RV Industry Association’s RV Owner Demographic Profile Report categorizes RV owners into seven distinct groups, each with unique usage patterns and preferences.
Primarily members of the Baby Boomer or Gen X generations, this group represents a small three percent of RV owners, but a dedicated one. They use their RV around half the year, approximately 180 days per year on average.
One of the largest segments of RVers, this group most often uses their RV for short getaways and the occasional week-long trip during warmer months, averaging 16 days per year.
The smallest group of them all, these RV owners use their RVs as a bridge from one adventure to the next. They span all age ranges and sport a range of interests, from skiing and canoeing to hiking or swimming; they’re likely also the types most interested in other recreational vehicles and hobbies. These adventure seekers use their RVs a whopping 200 days on average.
Somewhere between Casual Campers and Full Timers, the Avid RVers group see RVing as a life staple, but one enjoyed seasonally. This group goes RVing whenever they can as they tend to have fewer children at home and more expendable income.
This group often includes families who use their RVs as a vacation home-away-from-home throughout the year. Their average usage spans two to three months, used regularly for week-long vacations and destination trips.
As the name may imply, this group uses their RV as their full-time, primary residence. In recent years, this group has grown to over one million RVers1 as a result of Covid-19 distancing and remote work flexibility, as well as an affordable alternative to traditional housing at a time of high interest rates and rising home costs. It’s important to note: RVers intending to use their RV as a primary or secondary residence may need to finance it as such, instead of a recreational vehicle loan.
While many of these demographics involve traveling and camping with family, this group specifically sees RVing as an opportunity to bond with their family and pass on the love of RVing to future generations. Because most of these RVers are still actively employed and have children in the home, they are limited to an average 30 days of RV usage, most often during summer vacations.
From the dedicated Happy Campers to the adventurous Adventure Seekers and the growing community of Full Timers, RVers utilize their vehicles in diverse ways. Recognizing these distinctions allows financial institutions to tailor their offerings to the specific needs of each buyer, providing targeted support for a range of RV lifestyles.
Addressing Varied Financial Needs
The wide spectrum of RV prices and purposes calls for a nuanced approach to financial support. RV buyers come from diverse demographics, including varying income levels, existing expenses, and credit scores. As a lender, being attuned to these factors positions you as a valuable advisor, guiding buyers through the financial landscape of RV ownership. By understanding your members’ budgets and offering preapproval, you empower them with the confidence to explore RV options within their means, fostering a smoother purchasing process.
In the dynamic landscape of recreational vehicle ownership, providing financial support goes beyond transactions; it’s about enabling a lifestyle that embodies freedom, exploration, and adventure. By staying informed about the evolving RV market, acknowledging the diverse needs of RVers, and offering tailored financial solutions like RV loan preapproval, you play a pivotal role in helping fund that lifestyle. As the RV community continues to thrive, your institution can be a trusted partner that drives their adventures forward.