Recreational Vehicles Embraced by New Categories of Buyers

Recreational Vehicles Embraced by New Categories of Buyers

EARLY spring is the main selling season for recreational vehicles (RVs) and the phone on Tom Troiano’s desk has been ringing incessantly. The owner of Continental RV, a dealership in Farmingdale, a village on Long Island, Mr. Troiano is on track to sell more RVs this year than in any other since the early 2000s. Buoyed by cheap financing, rising wages, and inexpensive gas, travelers are once again splurging on big-ticket campers.

The current rebound is mostly owing to the economy’s recovery, but it also springs from the fact that new types of customer are embracing the lifestyle.

A decade ago the average age of an RV-owner was 49, and over 90% were white, says Kevin Broom of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), an industry body. That didn’t bode well for the future. But anecdotal reports suggest that ethnic minorities now make up around a sixth of all new customers, says Mr. Broom. The fastest-growing recreational vehicles customer demographic is 35- to 44-year-olds. Another boost comes from affluent immigrants, who are keen to experience long, self-planned road trips in America.

Rrecreational vehicles manufacturers are also marketing the idea that motor homes can be commercial as well as leisure vehicles. They can allow traveling salesmen, businessmen, and university admissions officers to save on food and hotel costs, for example, when they hit the road. The office, as well as home, can be wherever you park it.

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