Campers’ Intent to Purchase RVs Rises

A picture of a motorhome parked at a campsite looking at an empty picnic table

The Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Monthly Research Report – June Edition indicates 21.5 million camping households are planning Fourth of July camping trips this year, representing an 8.6% increase in campers over the same holiday in 2021. KOA said the camping outlook continues to grow despite external uncertainties like gas prices.

According to the report, campers’ intent to purchase an RV, which fell in May (30%), increased to 34% in June’s report. Campers are also indicating a higher threshold for gas prices before changing plans ($4.72 per gallon in May versus $5.74 per gallon in June), indicating there is a reluctance to change plans, the report said.

“Despite economic shifts, campers are proving to be very resilient and eager to explore,” said Whitney Scott, chief marketing officer of KOA. “We know that most campers are still planning one or more camping trips and, rather than simply not traveling, the outdoors offer an escape and are often more reasonable than other forms of travel.”

Looking closer at the Fourth of July, many campers are looking to extend their trips. More than one in four (26%) Fourth of July campers plan to camp the entire week before or after the holiday, while 27% indicate they will extend the weekend by one or two days.

“Our monthly research reinforces what we are seeing in our own business,” Scott said. “Advanced deposits for Fourth of July are up 5% in camping nights over our record-breaking year of 2021.”

Looking ahead, nearly three-fourths (74%) of campers who camped in 2021 say they intend to do the same this year. Projections show 11.95 million households will enjoy a camping trip in June.

Campers are taking changes to gas prices and economic shifts in stride by traveling shorter distances (34%) or taking fewer trips (33%), some of which are simply staying longer at destinations. The report found campers are pivoting from other types of travel, with four in ten indicating they have opted to camp in place of other travel or vacation options.

Focusing on the subset of campers who are likely not going to camp this year, economic uncertainty was the most significant contributing factor. Of these households, 30% said financial concerns would keep them from camping, while 25% cited gas prices. Overcrowding at popular campgrounds also presents a barrier impacting one-fourth (26%) of campers.

When asked about the outlook for the year, 65% of camping households said they plan to camp in 2022. Of those, 32% indicated that they would not change their plans due to increased fuel costs, while some will take fewer trips (30%) or camp closer to home (29%).

Click here to view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – June Edition.

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