Wed Jul 10, 2019
A few months ago, the RVIA surveyed over 4,000 verified outdoor retail store owners across the country to gauge their understanding of the growing RV market. What they found was interesting. Increasingly, RV shoppers and outdoor shoppers are becoming the same consumer.
Nearly 58 percent of those surveyed were aware of what is happening in the RV market, noting that U.S. sales have grown by more than 150 percent over the last 10 years and are expected to remain strong. A similar percentage of those surveyed also know this growth is fueled by the sale of small, towable campers.
However, most outdoor retailers surveyed were not as familiar with the RV lifestyle itself, with less than half considering themselves well-informed on details and demographics, even while more than half of them have experienced RV trips themselves. Less than half of outdoor retailers are familiar with the range of camping accessories sold to RV enthusiasts to outﬁt their vehicles and experiences. Few felt they could effectively promote the RV lifestyle due to barriers such as store space and lack of knowledge.
With more education, a signiﬁcant opportunity exists to convert retailers and help grow RVing. Of those surveyed, 38 percent believe that a new wave of RVers is coming and they expect one third of their customers to try RV camping in the next 24 months.
The market is ripe for outdoor retail and RV crossover experience and there is a real revenue opportunity. While more than 80 percent want to learn best practices from industry experts about marketing to RV enthusiasts, only 38 percent have been taking advantage of the RV boom by oﬀering products or teaching about the lifestyle in their stores. Additionally, 80 percent of outdoor retailers would like to carry aftermarket RV products such as awnings and components. They just need to be guided to the best product choices.
While a significant education gap exists, outdoor retailers want to learn more and develop their own strategies on how to merchandise outdoor shops to cater to RVers.