28 April 2021
28 April 2021, Comments Comments Off on 2021 North American Camping Report Points To Greater Diversity,
First-Time Buyers
2021 North American Camping Report Points To Greater Diversity,
First-Time Buyers

By Craig Ritchie

Changes in the RV market are among a number of new trends identified by Kampgrounds of America Inc (KOA) in the organisation’s 2021 North America Camping Report.

The annual review of the recreational camping industry by the largest campground operator in the US, released earlier this month, notes that RV buyers are changing rapidly as increasing numbers of millennials enter the market, highlighted by growing numbers of first-time buyers and greater diversity among RV campers.

According to KOA the number of first-time campers in 2020 was five times higher than that seen in the previous year, with 10.1 million households having taken their first camping trip last year. The organisation found that 26% of millennials and 28% of Gen Z campers surveyed in 2020 identified as being new to RV camping within the previous 12 months, compared to just 15% of baby boomers.

Coincident with the rising number of younger campers, KOA found 54% of campers in 2020 were families with children, compared to 46% five years ago. According to the current US Census, households with children represent just 34% of all households in the US.

Beyond increases in first-time and younger campers, the KOA study also revealed the ethnic makeup of US campers is also changing and falling more in line with overall population profiles. According to KOA’s study, a full 60% of first-time campers in 2020 are from non-white ethnic backgrounds, the highest rate since the inception of the report. Among first-time campers last year, 39% identified as Caucasian while 24% identified as black, 15% identified as Hispanic/Latino and 14% identified as Asian. By comparison, in KOA’s 2015 survey a full 60% of first-time campers identified as Caucasian, followed by 18% black, 11% Hispanic/Latino and 10% Asian, respectively.

Most promisingly for the US RV industry, the study found that more than one-third of first-time RV campers utilised a rental RV for their 2020 camping experience, with 47% of them indicating firm plans to buy a unit in the next six months.