How Millennials Are Changing The RV Industry - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2018, 09:10 PM   #1
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How Millennials Are Changing The RV Industry

Article from RV Life ...
Manufacturers are expecting to ship nearly half a million RVs in 2018. Even more encouraging though, is the age of the buyers. Younger enthusiasts looking for a cheap, versatile vacation are largely driving sales growth. It is no longer just retirees looking to cross-country travel in giant Class As. Lower gas prices and better interest rates mean more Americans than ever are looking to buy an RV.

Millennials travel 30% more than previous generations and view vacations as a way of life, not a treat. Having an RV makes it easier to take more frequent trips and disappear on weekend getaways. Most RVs are used for numerous weekend getaways, maybe five or six trips a year, with one longer trip mixed in.

Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce with a massive spending power of around $200 billion dollars a year. Our economy has come a long way since the Great Recession. Consumer confidence is improving and multiple industry markets are reaping the benefits.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:18 PM   #2
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Camping, enjoying nature, and meeting fellow campers is one of the great joys of life as far as I am concerned. Having grown up as a "city girl" in San Francisco and discovering backpacking as a young "Twenty Something" in the '70s I can attest that this nature-loving pursuit is a lifelong joy. I'm delighted to hear "Millennials" are discovering the joys of camping whether backpacking, tent camping, RVing, or whatever. It's a joy to share our love of the outdoors with people young and old. Personally, I'd like to see our great American "salad bowl" more highly represented in campgrounds throughout the U.S. I have to say, recently I've seen more people of diverse backgrounds enjoying the outdoors.

One can see that RVs such as the Happier Camper https://happiercamper.com/ and the Airstream Sport and Basecamp are targeted toward the Millennial market. (Check out their videos on their websites) https://www.airstream.com/travel-trailers/sport/ and https://www.airstream.com/travel-trailers/basecamp/ Our FGRVs, for the most part, (except for Happier Camper) do not do attempt to market to the Millennial population. As an example, take a look at www.ScampTrailers.com which features retirees and families with several kids and then look at the The Happier Camper website which, definitely, has a young, fresh appeal.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:03 PM   #3
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Here's an article I came across that explains reasons for Millennials' interest in RVing. https://www.jayco.com/blog/notes-and...ing-than-ever/
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:22 AM   #4
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And don't forget that folks of all ages choose camping so they can bring Fido or Felix along. Seems more and more campers come with their pets, maybe cause motels make it more and more difficult.

John

Pic of Yosemite Valley with snow, a few weeks ago.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
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As a generation Xer ('71) I think the reason for the millennials larger interest as a whole in the camping/travel trailer/rv lifestyle has a lot to do with reality TV...have you looked at all the shows on TV now and over the last 5 or so years geared to the RV lifestyle? They do a pretty darn good job of making it look like a glamorous way of life. A few that come to mind are Flyte Camp (one of my personal favorites) about restoring rv's, RV, Going RV, Extreme RV, Bigtime RV. And then there are the tiny house shows like Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House Living, Alaska Off the Grid, and a number of others. And then there is the Robin Williams movie classic by the way titled "RV". Throw that in with all the vacation destination shows on the Travel Channel and it would make a hermit want to hitch up a trailer and hit the road...

As a Gen Xer my desire for camping came from childhood tent camping including in the back yard, and the love of the outdoors as I spent most of my younger year fishing, hiking, etc. The only tv show or movie I can think of that I seen growing up was an old black and white called "the Long Long Trailer" which I am sure most baby boomers probably seen growing up.

As I think of my own vision of what the perfect trailer/rv is (and everyone has their own idea of this) you now have me thinking of if and or how I might need to include the Millennials' generation mindset into my idea of that perfect trailer (geared towards gen Xers) as I prepare and plan to bring my idea to market, more specifically the fiberglass one. With an expectation of half a million RVs being delivered in 2018 I have decided I need to get my concept to a finished prototype if I want to take advantage of this cycle of the RV boom before it goes bust again.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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This is part of the reason campsites must be reserved months, maybe even a year in advance. The other reason is that tourists from other countries are visiting major parks and it is very difficult finding even a parking place on a trailhead.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:07 AM   #7
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This is part of the reason campsites must be reserved months, maybe even a year in advance. The other reason is that tourists from other countries are visiting major parks and it is very difficult finding even a parking place on a trailhead.
Maybe slightly off topic but I think instead of the Interior trying to increase fees maybe they need more parks/campgrounds and try the more revenue based on more volume approach instead of steep increases. I would support a small increase though for updates and maintenance, but I don't think the funds collected need to go anywhere but right back into the parks systems. See to much of stuff in local government use money for one thing to support something else it was never intended for.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:30 PM   #8
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Gas Prices Could Make This the Most Expensive Summer for Driving in 4 Years. Gas Prices May Make This the Most Expensive Driving Summer in Years | Fortune
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:53 PM   #9
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And don't forget that folks of all ages choose camping so they can bring Fido or Felix along. Seems more and more campers come with their pets, maybe cause motels make it more and more difficult.
I'm a millennial, and this was probably the biggest factor for my family. We don't board our dogs, so when we go on vacation, finding hotels and VRBO's that a) will accept our dogs and b) aren't dumps was difficult and very expensive. I'll never forget staying at a not-so-cheap La Quinta in Albuquerque that was highly rated and accepted dogs. My son's white socks turned black within 5 minutes of taking off his shoes. Asked for a different room, and changed his socks, same thing. Had to throw both pairs away; the funk would not wash out. We used the little suitcase fabric strips they put on the beds as carpets to walk on. Should have left but we had made a non-refundable reservation, (another lesson learned the hard way) so.... Anyway that was just the most egregious example. It seemed like every trip we had at least two accommodations that were very sub par.

For the price we spent on dog-friendly lodging for one two-week vacation we can pay the monthly payments on an RV for 6-12 months depending on the RV. I know that's not the full cost of ownership, and saving money was not a realistic goal with us buying a camper, but I'm just throwing that out there to put it in perspective.

Our other factors included more comfortable/convenient accommodations for camping (which we already enjoyed doing), which would mean more frequent (weekend) as well as longer camping trips.

John that photo is beautiful. I'm a native of California and never get tired of the Yosemite valley. The crowds I can live without though.
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Old 05-01-2018, 03:24 PM   #10
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My 2 kids are millenials, I guess, one born in 1990, the other in 1994. they are both still in college (the older is finishing his PhD). they both camp quite a lot, the younger daughter backpacks and tent camps, while the older son has built his own RV out of an old ambulance (1995 Chevy 3500 4x4 dualie diesel, after having a VW Vanagon Westie), and his camping tends to be more 4x4 adventures and desert parties.

neither of them is in a place where they could dream of affording a newish camper/RV, be it fiberglass or otherwise. my daughter does lust after our Casita 16 (not yet sold) but has no way to possibly pay for it, all of her part time income goes to survival and school).
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:28 PM   #11
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Camping expanding ?

Certainly camping is an expanding activity, probably due to the expanding (since 2010) economy and population . But bigger is not necessarily better, and more expen$ive RVs are not necessarily more trouble free. Many times these articles are put out by RV magazines that are no more than advertisements or mouthpieces for the RV industry. But the Internet is filled with accounts of disgruntled owners of big Rvs that spend much of their time in the shop. Or they are sold bigger and more complicated RVs that drop in value the minute they drive out the door. . . and into the door of the repair shop. Parks and resorts are getting better. . . and more expensive, to the point that many people cannot afford them. Many of us worry about the 'expanding' future of the RV Industry and the costs that go along with it. And like in my hometown of Fresno, 3-4 huge dealers sit with unsold inventory spread out over many acres . . .and the same in most cities. The article can cite 'falling gas prices' but the fossil fuel industry is a limited resource that is not doing our environment any favors. Nor are many politicians . . . David in Fresno and Sonora
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:47 PM   #12
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More. . . .

As I finished the above post about one of the RV articles talking about growing popularity of the RV industry and falling gas prices, the National news on my TV was reporting rising gas prices for the future. No matter your political or economic views of fossil fuels and coal, they are not the power source of the future, and even with political pressure to expand them, we need to be supporting renewable or alternate sources of fuel. David in Fresno and Sonora, CA
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:49 AM   #13
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yeah, i expect to see $5/g gas in California within the next few years.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:29 AM   #14
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John that photo is beautiful. I'm a native of California and never get tired of the Yosemite valley. The crowds I can live without though.
Thanks Mike. I have visited Yosemite for nearly six decades, but no longer go in the Summer months. Too many folks. We usually go in February, March or October. This March there was a recent 12 inch snow in the valley (see pic above) and we saw Yosemite in "Winter" for the first time. Delightful! The only downside of our off season visits is that the high country is closed. Still it fits our no reservation travel style.

Cheers, john

Same pic as above, same time of year, and as usual without snow.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:53 AM   #15
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I think the industry and its spokespeople may also be missing (or ignoring) that not all seniors buying RVs are "moving up" to a larger unit. Some of us are only now getting our first (and hopefully, though possibly not realistically, forever) RV, or are choosing to downsize. With no prospects of expanding families at this point in our lives, buying smaller makes sense, just as buying better built makes more sense with aging bodies. There are also plenty of us who are early adopters, and want the same connectivity which young people expect, it was just easier to write us off when we were in the minority.

I'm happy that RV sales are up among younger adults. In addition to all the other reasons, an expanding market, especially in that age range has resulted in manufacturers's starting to wake up to the fact that they have to become more innovative. Although the Airstream remake of the Nest design to be more American mainstream than the original creation, they do seem to have figured out that some of the design is more attractive to entry level buyers.

It also means that we should have strength in numbers when it comes to resisting the monetization of our public lands in ways which make them less accessible to all of us, or may destroy the natural beauty which they were meant to preserve.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:39 PM   #16
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The article can cite 'falling gas prices'
I have to laugh whenever these journalists contribute changes in consumer activity to fluctuating gas prices. For people who have big RVs (including tow vehicle/trailer combos) that get <9 mpg, I can see how gas prices could impact their travel plans. But most of the time they're talking about how more or less people traveled for Thanksgiving, or whatever, where the vast majority of them are driving a family car without a trailer.

If a tank of gas costing $8 more than it did last year is the deciding factor in whether someone visits their family for the holidays, they are probably in desperate need of a lifestyle adjustment. I think it's more of a convenient excuse not to see the in-laws.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:10 PM   #17
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It also means that we should have strength in numbers when it comes to resisting the monetization of our public lands in ways which make them less accessible to all of us, or may destroy the natural beauty which they were meant to preserve.
Many parks are already less accessible and natural beauty is definitely threatened. Why? Massive crowds! We’ve been visiting Zion NP at least once a year since 1979. We visited twice in 2017. First in May. Shuttle buses were so full you couldn’t get on them and had to wait through multiple buses to get on one. Trails were packed I don’t think they have the capacity to handle the crowds which threaten the entire system.

Our second trip was in mid November. By then the shuttle buses are shut down and you park your car inside the park and drive to each trail. Every day we were there the park gates were closed by 1pm due to no parking left.

And imagine the family right now, driving all the way across the US to visit Zion only to find the gate closed!!

And the park system last I read had a $13billion maintenance backlog. Sad the last $800billion stimulus couldn’t have taken on these shovel ready jobs!!


Sadly our park system just doesn’t get much support. Talk to people you know, most of the people I know don’t go to any of the parks so they are not pressuring for improvements. Meanwhile one day at Disney costs $120 per person.

I would be more than happy to see the parks monetized to the point they can control crowds, do all maintenance. Most trips to visit national parks, the entrance fee is a very small amount compared to the cost of the trip. I’ve spent more on snacks and water on those trips. Just let the parks keep the money to use in the parks.

Watch for more gate closures to control crowds.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:31 AM   #18
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How Millennials Are Changing The RV Industry

What's good for the RV industry, may not be good for the Millennials. My folks grew up during the depression. Debt was something to be avoided. From this I became a saver. Work, save, pay cash when ever possible. Retirement is great when you're debt free. Ask any retiree who isn't.

College debt, car loans, mortgage or rent, food, utilities, kids, and $500 in the checking account. . Now add trailer payments. I hope it works out for them. Bagging groceries at 75 can't be much fun. Raz
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:36 AM   #19
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I agree Raz,
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:03 PM   #20
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I find no joy in the prospect of half a million more RVs being on the road and in the parks/campgrounds this year. With reservation windows opening up 6 to 9 months before the date you've got to be on your computer with finger poised over the "go" button at the stroke of midnight or you miss out. True story: A few years ago a small group was planning an excursion together to a group of National and State parks. Grabbing reservations as described above we all managed to get the days we wanted. Just out of curiosity I checked again at 20 minutes after the hour. Reservations were closed! Already all filled.

One of the parks we visited was Zion. One day we took a day trip out of the park's south entrance. Returning through the small town of Springdale mid-to-late afternoon we could have walked the last two miles faster than drive it. One great traffic jam trying to get into Zion.

Inside the park:
Ride the shuttle bus - expect to wait in line for at least two or three loads ahead of you.
Attend a Ranger presentation - get there half-an-hour early or stand in the back - way back.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

I'm sorry. It's no longer fun. Bigger numbers does not necessarily indicate progress.
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