Millennials are ruining everything… at least that’s what the articles say. But there’s one industry where the business is actually booming with millennials: the RV industry. According to the North American Camping Report, millennials make up 38% of all campers. This generation, born anywhere between the early 1980s to the late 1990s, now makes up the majority of the population, so where they are spending their time and money has a huge impact on trends and the economy. So why is RVing where young people are choosing to invest it? There are plenty of reasons. Allow us to explain.
Draw to the Adventure
Millennials love to travel. They travel more days a year (35) than any other age group and prioritize travel in their budgets. So it would stand to reason that an entire lifestyle of travel would be a draw for this portion of the population. In fact, millennials tend to value experiences over things compared to their baby boomer counterparts, so downsizing to living or vacationing out of an RV compared to more traditional means plays to their interests. Instead of staying at isolated resorts or overcrowded tourist attractions, they’d rather be in the middle of the adventure. Seeing more of the country and doing it on their own terms? Count them in.
While the McMansion dream is rather ubiquitous with Boomers, millennials are far more open to a more minimalistic lifestyle. The Tiny Home movement is real among millennials, and RVing kicks it up a notch: living in a no-fuss space, with the mobility to see and experience new parts of the country while you’re at it. It’s the best of both worlds. The allure of minimalism can often be due to altruistic desires to consume less, spend less, and take less. Regardless of why there’s no better excuse to Marie Kondo your life than to downsize into an RV. Not to mention, homeownership is not as high of a priority for millennials, often because it’s become increasingly difficult for them to afford. Sometimes, an RV lifestyle just makes more sense for them.
Workforce Trends Towards Working Remotely
Another reason millennials are spending more time on the road is simply because they can. Trends in the workforce are allowing them to work less traditional 9-to-5 jobs and more on their own terms. A hefty 43% of American workers spend at least some time working remotely, and millennials are great at creating those opportunities for themselves. Entrepreneurship is a popular career path for this generation as 66% of millennials say they have a goal to start their own business. The rise of digital influencers, online writers and content creators has made work mobile for many in this tech-savvy generation, and there’s no need for them to stay rooted to one location. If they have the freedom to live on the road or leave the office for weeks at a time, why not do it?
Ability to Travel with Pets
Not everyone can get their therapist to sign off on the emotional support animal paperwork for the airport, and not every animal qualifies (sorry, you can’t bring your emotional support peacock). On the road though, you make your own rules. And millennials love their pets – in fact, they are more likely to be pet owners than to be parents. According to one study, 75% of Americans in their 30s own a dog! In an RV, Fido and Fifi can tag along no matter where you travel – in fact, there are several traveling pets like sukiicat and henrythecoloradodog whose owners make a living off of taking their furry friends on outdoor adventures with them. The worry of separation anxiety for both owner and pet is eliminated when you can just load them up into the RV and take them with you on your next hike.
This might be a stereotype, but for some travelers, it applies. People are posting more photos online of their vacations than ever before, and millennials want to share the best of the best of their travel (and for some, their content creator jobs depend on it!). The popular vacation stay sharing site Airbnb even rents out RVs in some locations as they’ve become such a popular social media trend. Even some mobile boutiques and food trucks operate out of RVs and promote their aesthetic on social media. The revival of love for all things vintage has also influenced the RV’s popularity. It’s not uncommon to find millennial RVers paired with a picture-perfect old-fashioned RV that looks like it time traveled right out of the 1960s. And of course, they’re posting pictures of it.
Community with Other Travelers
This reason applies to RVers of all ages, but it’s true for millennials as well. Connection is important for this generation – and we don’t just mean the internet kind. Millennials want to create meaningful experiences and want to do so alongside other people they feel connected to. Those of us in the RV community know the incredible sense of belonging and friendship that comes with joining this lifestyle, and millennials want in on it. We can’t blame them.
RVing Millennials: Why Young People Are Hitting the Road
If you’ve noticed an influx of young travelers at your favorite campground, this list should help explain why. One thing is for sure, no matter their reasons for starting, RVing Millenials are incredibly passionate about the RV lifestyle. RVing is certainly alive and thriving with this generation and we couldn’t be happier about that.