Study: A lot of Americans want to hit the open road in an RV …

According to a University of Michigan study, that is. It found that 20 percent of US households are planning to buy an RV at some point in the future.

Although this study came out in the end of 2011, I just came across it while updating First Research’s Recreational Vehicle Parks industry profile.  I found it so intriguing because my first response was skepticism. In this time of high gas prices, is the idea of owning an RV so alluring that one in five American households are expecting to buy one? Who’da thought it?

Turns out that it’s not so farfetched. As the study goes on to show, nearly 9 million households already park an RV in their driveway (hidden behind a big fence in most neighborhoods). Seventy percent plan to upgrade to a newer model at some point.

While gas and diesel prices are probably the biggest deterrent, the industry is addressing that issue. Smaller, more lightweight towables are finding a market, though large luxury rigs are still most popular. Solar panels can even be added to some vehicles. But it’s not as if RV owners are indifferent to environmental concerns. Since many RV parks are near national parks, RVers are regular visitors to national treasures such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Many RV parks offer recycling, and sewage and waste are disposed of carefully.

All together, RV Parks, RV Manufacturing, and RV Dealers generate more than $25 billion revenue. So clearly, it’s more than just snowbirds who are buying recreational vehicles and hitting the open road. It could be you and me.

For more information about RV Parks, RV Dealers, and RV Manufacturing, go to First Research.

Patrice Sarath

Patrice Sarath is a writer and editor for First Research, covering the health care, insurance, and construction industries.

Read more articles by Patrice Sarath.

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