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The New Generation of RVers: Breaking the Mold on an American Tradition

    4 minute read

    If you think that millennials are just sitting at home on their iPhones all day—think again. Interestingly enough, the younger generation of 18 to 34-year olds are very into exploring the great outdoors. Campground spaces and RV sales have steadily increased over the past few years, with millennials making up 38% of campers in the U.S. This has also caused a huge growth in the RV industry. In fact, RV shipments are expected to surge to their highest level ever according to a forecast by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Typically, baby boomers, or those ages 51 to 69, are considered the largest group of RVers. But watch out RV world—millennials might be taking over.

    A Shift in the RV Industry

    Airstream Basecamp

    For example, leading companies like Thor Industries and Winnebago Industries have started catering their motorhomes to fit millennial needs. Why? Because more and more millennials are starting to live and work out of their RVs full-time. Features like Wi-Fi connection, solar power, stainless steel appliances and even retractable TVs are on their RV must-have list. A survey done by KOA found that younger RVers value Wi-Fi almost as much as toilet paper.

    Long gone are the days of giant motorized homes with few amenities. Instead, young RV buyers are looking for easily towable trailers that are eco-friendly and fuel efficient. They also require options that are more affordable than large motorhomes. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association currently accounts “towables” as 87% of the RV market. That percentage will probably continue to increase. This may also explain why Airstream is opening three new plants in Ohio to create even more of those iconic aluminum trailers trendy RVers love. You no longer need a pick-up truck to haul your trailer. RVs are now lightweight enough to be pulled by most small SUVs. Not only are trailers more compact and towable, they also have more affordable base prices.

    Check out a few of the best-selling trailers below.

    Airstream Basecamp

    Airstream Basecamp

    A popular model for millennials right now is the Airstream Basecamp. The base model starts at about $36,000. It can also be towed behind a small SUV. The RV comes with one giant panoramic window, solar power, Italian cabinetry and a Bluetooth speaker system. It’s basically a millennial’s dream tiny-home for an even dreamier price. It also comes with redrock seating and wood accents inside, providing RVers with a modern interior. Made by Thor Industries’ Airstream brand, the Basecamp is a great starting trailer for the young traveler.

    Airstream Basecamp by Thor Industries

    Key Features:

    • 12V tank heaters
    • Pop-up charging ports
    • Sliding door screens
    • Solar pre-wire kits
    • Outdoor shower
    • Removable tables

    Winnie Drop

    Winnie Drop by Winnebago

    Another camper that tends to catch the eye of millennials is Winnebago’s Winnie Drop. It is an adaptation of their first travel trailer built in the 1950s, which you can see from the exterior’s retro vibe. The Winnie Drop features an aerodynamic, easy-to-tow design, optional slide outs and several floorplans to choose from. The best part? The base price is only a little more than $24,000. This leaves first-time RVers with a larger budget for customization and travel options. There are six exterior colors you can choose from to really make the trailer match your style. Overall, it’s a great beginner’s model if you’re not totally ready to invest in the digital nomad lifestyle.

    Winnie Drop by Winnebago

    Key Features:

    • Two burner cook-top
    • 6-gallon gas/electric water heater
    • Interior LED lighting
    • Exterior speakers
    • Outside shower
    • Refrigerator and convection microwave
    • USB charging ports

    Micro Minnie

    Micro Minnie by Winnebago

    Another compact camper with a similar price point is the Winnebago Micro Minnie model. It’s lightweight, has plenty of galley space and includes a fully equipped kitchen. What’s better? It starts at only $24,000. It can also be customized to fit your needs with several floorplan options and six exterior colors to choose from. This model seems a little more luxurious than the Airstream Basecamp or Winnie Drop, as it fits a queen bed and double door refrigerator.

    Micro Minnie by Winnebago

    Key Features:

    • AV system with Bluetooth
    • Bathroom skylight
    • Stainless steel sink
    • Patio speakers
    • Roof ladder
    • Outdoor shower

    Modern Features For Young RVers

    Like RV manufacturers, private campgrounds have also started to step their game up by adding millennial desired amenities. For example, many campsites now offer free Wi-Fi, full-amp hookups and slide-out access. Most young campers are working from their RV while traveling from destination to destination, so they need Wi-Fi to run their business from remote places. This work-as-you-go trend may be due to the fact that as millennials head into the workforce for the first time, they discover that RVing is a great way to travel, save money and eventually figure out where to settle down.

    While baby boomers are still a key target market for RV manufacturers, millennials are definitely becoming a main focus. This is because true RVers tend to make several purchases throughout their lifetime and RV companies know that catching customers when they’re young is important. A young RVer’s first purchase will usually be a smaller, less expensive model. As they start having children, they might purchase a larger unit to fit family and friends. Once they retire, couples tend to down-size again for weekend getaways and road trip vacations.

    Insurance on Travel Trailers

    Millennials are already known for taking the less traditional path when it comes to joining the workforce. Maybe your college student will be asking you to help them buy a new RV instead of a new car after graduation. If they do, make sure they have the right insurance coverage. Similar to a full-size motorhome, a travel trailer also needs Specialty RV Insurance coverage. Auto Insurance is simply inadequate if you want to protect your asset, which is what any trailer or motorhome is. Speak with an experienced RV Insurance Specialist about your budget and how often you plan to use your trailer. For multiple quotes call an agent today at (855) 919-4247.

    The information in this article is obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. Such policy will be governed by the language contained therein, and no warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.