Did you know that the number of RV-owning households has grown to a new peak of 8.9 million households, up from 7.9 million in 2005. Nearly one-in-nine U.S. households now own RVs, up from 8.0% in 2005, according to an RVIA news release I had recently read. I’ve heard a few times before that a good gauge of the strength of the economy can be partially judged by the RV industry.

RV ownership levels reflect the enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle despite recent economic challenges said RVIA President Richard Coon. In addition to showing that RV ownership rates have climbed steadily, the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile also offers promising news on future RV purchase intentions.

From everything that I’ve read and have been hearing, the survey results gathered this year clearly indicate continued strong demand for RVs in the years ahead. This has been especially noticeably at PPL Motorhomes. We are finding that a number of current RV owners plan to purchase another RV to replace their current unit. The is good news for the entire RV industry

Among new market entrants, defined as households that have never owned an RV in the past, 14% planned on purchasing an RV in the future with more than a third of them intending to purchase a new RV. Of all former owners, 27% plan to purchase another RV in the future. Here age was a determining factor with younger former owners (age 18-34) more likely than older former owners to purchase another RV. This underscores the need for the RV industry to stay in touch with recent former owners and to continue to present them ownership options.

I’ve also noticed that customers are looking for “more sensible” purchases in the $30,000 to $35,000 range. These tend to be lighter and easier to tow in order to get better fuel economy. What that tells me is that RV sales in 2011 are expected to show an increase compared with 2010 sales due to more baby boomers seeking New and Used RVs for leisure. Even better news is that there is a continuing rebound in the industry is great news in Elkhart County and surrounding areas, where thousands of workers are getting work done in the industry. Officials have had their fingers crossed that the rebound is lasting…so does RV Nana.

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