Time was, RVing was mainly the domain of families and snowbirds. For families, RVing made both curious parents and adventurous kids happy by combining curiousity, camping and comfort. For snowbirds, the proposition was a little different. With time on their hands, and a set-budget, RVing gave snowbirds the perfect opportunity to plan how to spend their free time and finally get to striking things from that bucket list they wrote 30 years ago.
In recent years, a new demographic has taken a fresh look at RVing and decided it might just be for them: millennials. Fuelled by the drive to break loose during the pandemic, more millenials than ever are buying RVers, for both part-time travel and full-time RV living.
A Booming Market
According to Thor Industries, one of the biggest RV manufacturers in the US, 21.18% more millennials purchased a Thor travel trailer in 2020 compared to 2019. It’s not just purchases but rentals that are also booming, with RV rental company Outdoorsy stating that half of all their RV customers are now under 45 years old.
Class B camper van sales have also exploded with a 56% increase in shipments versus 2019.
So millenials are making the jump to the nomad lifestyle, but what is it that truly appeals to them about RVing?
Experiences over Material Items
Unlike Gen Xers who were mostly set on following in the footsteps of their parents, (working to buy a comfortable home, car and settle down with 2.4 kids), millennials are driven to explore the world around them before it changes or it has gone.
In a study by Deloitte, millennials’ biggest priority was to “see the world,” ahead of becoming wealthy, buying a home or having a child. Another priority for them is to make a positive impact on society.
As Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler put it “[For millennials] it’s not about the stuff you collect, it’s about experiences, travel, and who you meet.”
Working On The Road
“Digital Nomad” is a term we have all become familiar with in recent years. Thanks to the proliferation of the internet and complementary technologies, endless posssiblities have opened up to earn a living while traveling. social media marketers, graphic designers, web developers; accountants, teachers, therapists, are just a few of the viable job options for young RVers.
Nationwide, affordable housing is on the decline with it now taking an average of 14 years to save up a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home with a median income. This is making RVs an increasingly attractive and affordable option for millennials travelers, especially those who are also carrying a considerable amount of student loan debt.
With the freedom to move according to your budget, choosing between short-term stays at well-equipped parks or even boondocking, RVing offers millenials more flexible options to adapt according to available funds.
Freedom of Four Wheels
Millenials are drawn to the ultimate “money-can’t-buy” element of RVing – the total freedom to explore. There is no place too near or too far when you can just stick a pin in the map and point your wheels. Cosmpolitan cities, great ocean roads, national parks; canyons, craters, cowboys; native reservations, great rivers and planes; history, art, gastronomy, the United States offers everything that a young, curious person could ever wish to see or experience.
The opportunity may not last forever, which is all the more reason to get out and do it now.