Families Save Money When Owning, Using RVs Compared To Other Types Of Vacations

new study conducted by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group has found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. According to the study, commissioned by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association, there are cost savings of 21-64% for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves 8-53%, depending on factors such as the type of RV and type of vacation.

“The study reaffirms that RVs are a great way to save on family travel, and it’s equally important to remember that RV ownership provides benefits that go well beyond affordability,” said RV Industry Association president Frank Hugelmeyer. “To take an RV trip is to experience togetherness with family and friends, along with the flexibility to travel whenever and wherever you want.”

The CBRE study analyzes vacation costs using two sets of hypothetical travel groups: a four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults. CBRE analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers incur traveling to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations lasting 3, 7 and 14 days.

The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer; a lightweight travel trailer; a compact motorhome; a type C motorhome; a type A motorhome; traveling in a personal car, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in a restaurant; traveling by airline, renting a car at the destination, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in restaurants; and traveling in a personal car or airline (as appropriate), staying at a rental house/condominium, and eating the majority of meals in the rental unit. The type A motorhome, typically the largest and most luxurious RV, was compared to travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

RV vacations show a clear family budget benefit over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. According to the CBRE analysis, a four-person travel party can expect to save (by unit type):

  • Folding camping trailer: 50-64%
  • Lightweight travel trailer: 31-50%
  • Compact motorhome: 31-50%
  • Type C motorhome: 21-43%
  • Type A motorhome – 41%

A two-person travel party saved, according to the CBRE analysis:

  • Folding camping trailer: 43-53%
  • Lightweight travel trailer: 20-34%
  • Compact motorhome: 20-34%
  • Type C motorhome: 8-24%
  • Type A motorhome – 19%

The study included analysis of how fluctuations in fuel prices could affect the economic advantages of RV travel. Researchers found that for a four-person travel party it would take a rise in fuel prices to nearly $13 per gallon for a Type C motorhome vacation to more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation. None of the fuel increase scenarios for a four-person travel party resulted in other RV vacation types being more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation.

For a two-person travel party, fuel prices would still need to rise significantly (from $5.50 to more than $13 per gallon) from current levels for RVing to lose its economic advantage.

“While fuel costs are a component of the overall vacation cost, they aren’t significant enough to materially affect the outcome of our analysis,” said Kannan Sankaran, managing director of CBRE’s Advisory Services, and lead researcher.

Research by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association shows that when fuel prices are higher, RVers save on fuel costs by driving fewer miles, taking trips closer to home, and staying longer in one destination.

CBRE Hotels Advisory was commissioned by Go RVing to provide an objective comparison between the cost of a summer vacation using recreation vehicles (RVs) and the cost of other types of vacations during that same timeframe. CBRE factored in an estimated cost of ownership of the applicable RV equipment that was based upon published data regarding average ownership periods, residual values, annual days of utilization, insurance, and other costs of ownership, as well as any applicable tax benefits.

Contact: Kevin Broom, Go RVing; kbroom@rvia.org; 571-665-5844

Nearly 15 Million RVers Hit The Road for Memorial Day

Millions More to Travel By RV in 2019

Reston, VA, May 28, 2019 — Nearly 25 million Americans will travel in recreation vehicles this spring and summer, heading to the country’s 18,000-plus campgrounds to enjoy the benefits of an active, outdoor lifestyle with family and friends, according to the latest survey of RV owners by Go RVing and Cvent.

The annual survey finds that 88% of RV owners plan to use their RVs as much or more than they did last year. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day are the most popular trip times, with Father’s Day RV outings also popular. This Memorial Day holiday, nearly six million RVs and 15 million people are expected to be on the road.

“RVing is more popular than ever and the market remains hot as younger and more diverse people learn how RVing can fit their lifestyles,” said RV Industry Association president Frank Hugelmeyer. “RVs offer unparalleled flexibility to enjoy many different kinds of vacations and outdoor recreation activities. Whatever the activity, RVs are comfortable and convenient way to escape stress and spend time with friends and loved ones — without breaking the budget.”

Affordability is a key reason for increased usage with 87% agreeing that RVing is a cost-effective way to travel and 79% saying that RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel even when fuel prices are higher (86% said fuel prices will not affect their spring/summer plans). More than 81% of respondents agree that traveling by RV can save 25% or more over other types of travel.

Other top reasons for increased RV journeys include:

  • Flexibility to take more mini-vacations (69%)
  • Opportunity to enjoy outdoor activity and nature (61%)
  • Chance to spend more quality time with family (53%), and
  • Escape stress/pressure (47%)

When they venture out, 68% of RVers bring a pet along. Most are dog people (92%); 14% bring cats.

Favorite RVing Activities

Being active is a major benefit of the RV lifestyle for both adults and children. More than three quarters of the respondents said they and their children were more physically active during RV trips. Here are some of their favorite things to do:  

  • Sightsee (79%) – especially natural sites and attractions
  • Visit state or national parks (73%)
  • Grill/cookout (72%)
  • Visit historic sites (66%)
  • Hike/walk (63%)
  • Visit friends/family (54%)
  • Attend festivals/fairs (49%)
  • Fish (48%)
  • Swim (44%)

While RVers seek an active, free-from-stress experience, they enjoy the flexibility to bring along electronic gadgets, including smart phones (91%), laptops (74%), iPads or tablets (66%), GPS devices (54%), e-readers (27%) and satellite TV systems (26%). They’ll be using these devices to post pictures, videos and share stories and ideas using Facebook (85%) and Pinterest (32%) as their go-to social media sites.

Campgrounds have adapted to the digital age by offering services popular with RVers. Favorite campground amenities include WiFi (86%), pool (65%), cable TV (62%), and laundry services (56%). Of those surveyed 20% were destination or seasonal campers (meaning they keep their RV parked at one campground for a season or longer and use the RV at this one location specifically). Of those who destination camp: 59% said they use a towable RV, 34% use a motorhome and 7% use park model RVs.

According to the survey, top reasons for purchasing an RV within the past three years included:

  • To see America (88%)
  • Best way to travel (82%)
  • To keep active (80%)
  • Most affordable way to travel (72%), and
  • Bargain pricing (64%)

Forty-one percent said they’re considering another RV purchase. Of those potential buyers, 30% are considering a purchase within the next year; and 36% in one to two years. Among those not considering another purchase, 85% say they’re happy with their current RV.

The online survey of 426 RV owners was conducted by RVIA and Cvent and has a margin of error of 4.7%.

Contact: Kevin Broom, Go RVing; kbroom@rvia.org; 571-665-5844