In today’s post, our friends at the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association share their insights into the latest RV trends, and invite you to the Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show (a free online event).
Many industries have taken a hit during the pandemic, but the Canadian RV and camping industry was an exception.
More and more consumers — unable to embark on their traditional spring and summer vacations — turned to the RV lifestyle as an alternative way to spend their leisure time away from home safely.
The ability to take your bedroom, washroom, shower facilities, and kitchen right along with you eliminated many safety concerns, and led to a huge number of buyers entering the RV lifestyle for the first time.
The assurance that your mobile living space is safe for your family proved to be an ideal way to enjoy the great outdoors while maintaining physical distancing.
We’re encouraging everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to ourselves and to others by ensuring we continue to follow all public health advice.
The biggest surprise for us was just how strong the desire for travel obviously is for so many people.
With planes, cruises, and hotels generally requiring shared spaces and close interactions with strangers, a concern for personal safety has led more people than ever to RVing.
According to a report by the Canadian RV Association and the RVDA of Canada in 2018, there are just over 2.1 million households in Canada (approximately 15%) with an owned RV. This is slightly up from, but in line with, the 13% to 14% from previous studies (2012 and 2005).
With RV shipments in North America projected to be over 500,000 units in 2021, this stat is surely to increase.
So what trends can we expect to see?
We expect that the RV industry will look to manufacturer “greener” units that will provide consumers more ability to “get off the grid,” a term referring to the need to connect to services be it electrical or water. Solar panels are more popular today and are becoming much more affordable to purchase.
With more companies now seeing the benefits of a remote workforce, many believe that people will see an RV as an ideal way to travel while working.
There will be greater demands for RVs with a workspace or flex space, and people renovating RVs to suit their needs.
RV manufacturers will (hopefully) recognize the need to create new floor plans and improved layouts to cater to this fast-growing market segment.
Retaining first-time buyers
The challenge of the RV and camping industry, though daunting, is to make sure that first-time buyers are not one-time buyers.
Collectively, RV dealers, manufacturers, and campgrounds work to increase the education of the consumer at every level of our industries – whether it is the initial walkthrough, service and technical support, learning all about RVs and the RV lifestyle, or enjoying the experience of a campground with family and friends.
We also saw a tremendous increase in the demand for RV rentals for consumers looking at the RV lifestyle for the first time.
We suspect this will remain very strong for the foreseeable future and be a big area of growth.
Continued popularity among pet owners
Three-quarters (76%) of RV owners have pets, which is significantly higher than Canadians in general (58%). Dogs are the most common, while cats are a distant second.
Emphasizing the pet friendliness of an RV has the potential of attracting a broad subset of vacationers navigating recreational living options, such as hotels and resorts, that may not always welcome pets.
Are you dreaming of the RVing lifestyle?
We don’t expect the increased interest in RVing to go away any time soon. Many people who had never RVed before may now choose it as their primary form of vacationing.
But purchasing or renting an RV for the first time can be a daunting task.
We recommend that you take in The Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show, which has gone virtual: February 25-28, 2021.
Registration is free!
The show is a great chance to:
- chat online with RV dealers at the show
- virtually explore and “visit” campground booths
- purchase RV parts and accessories on-line at the Great Canadian RV Superstore
- take advantage of special deals
- learn about the RV lifestyle and attend virtual seminars
Ontario Parks thanks corporate partners like the Canadian Recreational Vehicle Association for their support.