Current RV Statistics, Trends, & Facts for 2023-24

Top RV Statistics

  • 61% of Americans report they are planning a road trip or vacation in an RV in 2023, which is a 13% rise from 2022, according to Wakefield Research.
  • There are 80 million+ campers in the US, with 50.9% of them camping in an RV or camper van.
  • 2023 RV shipments look dismal so far, as they are down by -42.8% for the year (through September), with a total of 238,121 units.
  • Travel trailers are by far the most popular RV type, with 154,513 units shipped through September 2023.
  • RV ownership has increased by over 62% in the last twenty years, with almost 12 million RV-owning households as of 2022, according to a 2023 KOA report.
  • The current RV industry has a $140 billion annual economic impact on the US economy, supporting roughly 680,000 jobs and paying out $48 billion-plus in wages.
  • RV prices are forecasted to decline into 2024 with the rise of economic inflation, lending rates, and diesel prices, with the exception of the more fuel-efficient Class-B camper vans.

Important RV Industry Statistics

RV Industry Statistics

The RV and camping industry continues to climb, with 80 million+ campers over the last year in the US, which is up from 66 million campers the year before, according to the 2023 camping report.

50.9% of those campers reported camping in an RV or camper van. That’s 40.7 million campers traversing the country in a recreational vehicle.

In 2022, 1 in 4.25 Americans went camping

This trend continues to rise, with an estimated 15 million Americans trying camping for the first time in just the last two years.

However, while the number of those partaking in RVing and camping is rising, RV sales have been on the decline.

Current RV Sales Statistics

Total monthly RV shipments
Total Monthly RV Shipments
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While 2022 was still one of the best years financially for RV manufacturers, 2023 shipments look dismal so far, with RV shipments down by -42.8% for the year (through September), with a total of 238,121 units. This sharp decline in shipments is reminiscent of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

That said, RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby reminds us that “RVing has remained a preferred way to travel for more than 44 million Americans planning RV trips this summer. Our latest RV shipment forecast shows that shipments should begin to recover later this year and into 2024 as consumer confidence increases and the ongoing interest in camping and RVing turns into increased RV sales.”

Through September of 2023, the RVIA reported 238,121 RV shipments, breaking down to:

Towables

RV TypeThrough September ’23YOY to Date
Travel trailers154,513-46.2%
5th Wheels41,206-43.3%
Pop-up camping trailers3,790-39.9%
Truck campers2,852-33.5%

Motorhomes

RV TypeThrough September ’23YOY to Date
Class-A motorhomes7,658-36.0%
Class-B campervans9,506-30.8%
Class-C motorhomes18,596-8.4%

Popular RV brands by type include:

  • The RV Dealers Association tracks the most popular RV brands for each class. For travel trailers, Jayco takes the lead. Fifth wheels are the second most popular RV class, and Montana comes out on top for market share, with Reflection trailing not far behind.
  • Class A RVs are a marvel among motorhomes, with the famous Winnebago holding the torch since 2017. Class B, or camper vans, are rising in popularity as people tighten their budgets. Winnebago dominates this segment as well, alongside the iconic Airstream.
  • Class C RVs, constructed on truck chassis, are another budget option growing in popularity. Four Winds is the top brand in this class.

RV Sales Statistics by State

StateRV Sales & Service
AK$28.8 M
AL$55.7 M
AR$34.2 M
AZ$174.4 M
CA$549.8 M
CO$119.9 M
CT$67.8 M
DC$6.9 M
DE$23.6 M
FL$306.2 M
GA$103.4 M
HI$3.5 M
IA$79.0 M
ID$40.1 M
IL$173.8 M
IN$129.4 M
KS$40.6 M
KY$67.8 M
LA$57.0 M
MA$69.8 M
MD$47.0 M
ME$15.9 M
MI$150.4 M
MN$187.4 M
MO$81.2 M
MS$38.9 M
MT$39.3 M
NC$104.7 M
ND$19.6 M
NE$30.2 M
NH$29.6 M
NJ$79.7 M
NM$61.2 M
NV$92.6 M
NY$225.9 M
OH$134.0 M
OK$63.4 M
OR$165.6 M
PA$170.6 M
RI$6.6 M
SC$41.7 M
SD$28.5 M
TN$65.1 M
TX$424.2 M
UT$55.5 M
VA$70.5 M
VT$13.0 M
WA$155.7 M
WI$89.6 M
WV$23.3 M
WY$18.4 M
*Data from RVs Move America, a subsidiary of RVIA, as of 2017

More State Sales Statistics

  • Indiana nearly corners the market for RVs and RV component national shipments, accounting for 67% of the $3.6 billion market. Elkhart, Indiana, the world’s RV capital, produces about 80% of all recreational vehicles.
  • RV dealers in Maryland reported the most significant average sales per company in 2017.
Average annual sales per RV dealer

How Many RV Dealers and Campgrounds are in the US? 

  • The US Census Bureau listed 2,667 US-based RV dealers that produced $25.9 billion in sales in 2017. 
Number of RV Dealers in the U.S.
  • The US Economic Census lists 4,513 RV parks and campgrounds with employees, producing $2.4 billion in revenue in 2017. Californian RV parks had the highest sales that same year, while South Carolina produced the highest sales per park. Texas claimed the most RV parks, with a total of 376.

The above numbers don’t include the thousands of parks operated by the National Park Service, state and local governments, and governmental organizations. 

The Census also leaves out free camping offered by some organizations (Boondockers Welcome) and services that pair RVers with homeowners and other types of businesses (Harvest Hosts). As an RVer, you genuinely have a smorgasbord of options.

How Many People in the US Are Full-time RVers?

  • Currently, about one million Americans live as full-time RVers.
  • RV life is gaining serious attention. The 2020 North American Camping Report found that four in 10 campers are more interested in going full-time after the pandemic. One in 10 infrequent campers is considering full-time RVing. 
  • The report also found that travelers are eager to spend time outdoors with their friends and family. Also, 60% of travelers think it’s now critical for their kids to experience the great outdoors. The sentiment suggests a long-term growing interest in the RV lifestyle.

RV Ownership Statistics

According to the Go RVing RV Owner Demographic Profile:

  • 18-34 year olds make up 22 percent of RV owners, up from 8.47% in 2018.
  • 9.6 million households intend to purchase an RV in the next five years.
  • The median annual usage for current RV owners is roughly 20 days, while those intending to buy an RV plan to use it roughly 25 days per year.

According to RVIA, a typical RV owner is 48 years old, married, with an annual household income of $62,000.

RV ownership has increased by over 62% in the last twenty years, with almost 12 million RV-owning households as of 2022, according to a 2023 KOA report.

RV Price Trends & Statistics

With lower consumer demand typically come lower prices, so expect the average RV price to drop throughout 2024. We are already starting to see it now.

Tory Jon, Owner of Camper FAQs

Here’s a look at the current average cost of an RV by type.

TypeAverage Cost (New)
Class-A$50,000 – $300,000
Class-B (Camper van)$70,000 – $150,000
Class-C$50,000 – $150,000
Travel trailer$20,000 – $75,000
5th wheel$35,000 – $125,000
Pop-up camper/Teardrop$10,000 – $20,000
Truck Camper$5,000 – $50,000

Tip: Buying an RV at the best time can also save you thousands of dollars.

Buying a used camper or RV is a good option if you’re familiar with all the warranties and checklists involved. Here’s a rundown of the average cost of a used RV by type.

TypeAverage Cost (Used)
Class-A$30,000 – $175,000
Class-B (Camper van)$40,000 – $115,000
Class-C$30,000 – $75,000
Travel trailer$10,000 – $50,000
5th wheel$30,000 – $100,000
Pop-up camper/Teardrop$2,000 – $15,000
Truck Camper$1,000 – $30,000

Many people opt to rent an RV before taking the plunge into full-time RV life. It’s a great way to roam the country in style and within a reasonable budget.

RV Rental Statistics

RV rental costs on average $81 to $129 a night for towable RVs and $209 per night for drivable RVs, depending on whether you rent through a rental company or a peer-to-peer rental service. Popular peer-to-peer options include RVshare and Outdoorsy.

The type of RV, extra services, and fees can quickly make RVing expensive, especially if you’re traveling short-term or not splitting costs with others. Weekly and monthly deals can often bring the price down. Pop-up campers, travel trailers, truck campers, and fifth wheels are the most affordable RVs to rent and own.

How does renting an RV compare to owning one?
A study by Go RV Rentals in 2020 shows that an $80,000 Class-C motorhome’s cost for 20 days of usage is $911 per day, factoring in the total cost of ownership. Compare that to an average rate of $215 per day for renting a comparable RV.

Many RV parks cost as little as $5 per night and come with laundry, electric hook-ups, gyms, and playgrounds for kids. Premium RV parks and resorts can cost you between $55 to $85+ per night, while state parks sell an annual pass for around $80 and $225. 

On average, expect to spend between $20 to $30 per night in a private RV park. However, RV and camping memberships usually offer discounts. There are also plenty of free or nearly free camping options. Check out Free Campsites to find options near you.

Before trying to rent an RV, ensure you are of legal age. The minimum age to rent an RV in some states is 21, while in other states, you must be at least 25.

RV Accident Statistics

In 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported 75,000 injuries due to RV accidents.

Common causes of RV accidents include:

  • Inexperienced drivers (most states do NOT require a special driver’s license or testing to drive an RV)
  • Senior drivers (14% of RV drivers are over the age of 65)
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Wind (High winds and sudden wind gusts)
  • Exhaustion from driving for long periods of time
  • Adding too much weight to the RV
  • Travel trailers rolling away
  • A High center of gravity causes rollovers
  • Not properly calculating a turn
  • Miscalculated stopping distances due to the vehicle being heavier and taking longer to stop

RV Service Technicians Employment Statistics

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 15,580 individuals employed as RV service technicians as of May 2019.
  • The mean hourly wage is $20.03
  • The mean annual wage is $41,660

Why the RV Industry is Growing Despite a Sales Slump

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, offer one of the most convenient ways to travel and camp.

In fact, according to RVShares 2023 Travel Trend Report conducted by Wakefield Research, 50% of survey participants revealed an RV or motorhome was one of their top travel accommodation preferences due to the following benefits:

  • 61% cite the benefit of having a kitchen
  • 60% cite the benefit of having less pressure to arrive and depart at a specific time
  • 60% cite the ability to add detours and stops

Pandemic Fueled Growth

Furthermore, aside from the recent explosion of people living in campervans (#vanlife on Instagram passed 14.2 million as of 2023), the pandemic fueled an RV vacation boom from mid-2020 to late 2021, as many vacationers opted to travel and stay in RVs instead of boarding crowded planes and staying in cramped hotels.

RVing provides a sense of control and safety while traveling, something unique to the Covid era, compared to living out of a backpack or staying in hotels. 

RV campers can easily socially distance themselves when they need space. The ability to set up camp near wilderness areas and less populated towns was a huge plus for many pandemic-weary travelers.

Another bonus is the option to prepare and cook meals independently while on the move (no need to eat at crowded restaurants).

Economic Uncertainty Fuels Camping Growth

While inflation, economic uncertainty, and a post-pandemic return to normal travel have slowed the sales of new RVs (more on that later), the camping outlook in 2023 and beyond is very promising, according to Campspot CEO Michael Scheinman.

“Despite, or even because of, current economic uncertainty, both current and new, younger campers are eager to take even more trips next year to experience the unique benefits that nature has to offer,” Scheinman said. “We are also seeing travelers turn to camping as a means of keeping costs down as other costs rise.

Economic uncertainty may also be the reason for a bullish outlook on RV travel, as it’s one of the more affordable ways to vacation.

News in the RV Industry

Let’s look at what’s happening around the RV and camping industry:

  • We’re seeing more and more ultralightweight campers hit the market as the demand for towable trailers that are easy on the gas tank and/or can be pulled by electric vehicles grows. Aliner’s hard-sided popup campers, starting at 1200 pounds, are an example of this new industry norm.
  • The RV show season will pick up steam again in January 2024, with roughly no more shows planned throughout the rest of the 2023 calendar year. Check out our RV show schedule to find an event near you.
  • A total of 24,095 RVs were shipped in June 2023, marking a decrease of 46.4% compared to the 44,942 units in June 2022.
  • With the downturn in RV shipments dominating the news since Q2 2022 on, RV Industry Association (RVIA) Chairman Jeff Rutherford reminded the industry that the 2023 year likely would finish as one of the five best financial years in history.
  •  RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby reminds us that “RVing has remained a preferred way to travel for more than 44 million Americans planning RV trips this summer. Our latest RV shipment forecast shows that shipments should begin to recover later this year and into 2024 as consumer confidence increases and the ongoing interest in camping and RVing turns into increased RV sales.”
  • The RV industry saw a few layoffs in 2023, with Grand Design announcing that they were laying off 170 employees in July and Tiffin announcing in a company email that they planned to do another round of layoffs last March.

RV Market Long-Term Economic Impact

RV Future Trends

The current RV industry has a $140 billion annual economic impact on the US economy, supporting roughly 680,000 jobs and paying out $48 billion-plus in wages.

The $140 billion annual economic impact includes:

  • RV manufacturers and suppliers – $73.7 billion
  • RV campgrounds and related travel – $35.7 billion
  • RV sales and service activities – $30.5 billion

Future RV Industry Trends & Forecasts

  • In 2023, forecasted RV shipments range between 409,000 to 429,000 units averaging a year-end total of 419,000, a roughly -16% decline from the 2022 total.
  • RV prices will continue to decline into 2024 with the rise of economic inflation, lending rates, and diesel prices, with the exception of the more fuel-efficient Class-B camper vans.

What are the Top RV Destinations? 

Data from Togo RV’s road trip planning app revealed the United States’ top destinations for planned RV vacations in 2021. The report includes the most popular resorts and campgrounds. It’s worth a look!

  1. California 
  2. Utah
  3. Arizona
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. Texas
  7. South Dakota
  8. Oregon
  9. New Mexico
  10. Montana

The top 10 national parks in 2021 include:

  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Grand Canyon National Park
  3. Arches National Park
  4. Zion National Park
  5. Glacier National Park
  6. Badlands National Park
  7. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  8. Yosemite National Park
  9. Sequoia National Park
  10. Grand Teton National Park

*Utah and Arizona had the most planned visits.

2024 RV Report Conclusion

To sum up the current state of the RV industry:

As RV sales gravitate back to pre-pandemic numbers, we will continue to see a drop in new and pre-owned RV prices. With that said, while sales may return to normal, the desire to travel and stay in an RV is expected to grow, especially in the RV rental industry and sales of smaller RVs like Class-B camper vans.

Tory Jon, Owner of Camper FAQs

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