The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds Explores the Lives and Travels of Active Campers and RV Owners

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The United States' 29 million active campers and RV owners contribute billions to the national economy annually. A new study explores the unique lifestyles and leisure travel preferences/intentions of this segment of the population.

"The American Camper: Profiles and Perspectives", a research project of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), explores the unique lifestyles and leisure travel preferences/intentions of active campers and RV owners. The study was conducted by Orlando based Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell (YPB&R).

The study’s results are based on a sample of 1602 active campers and RV owners (those adults who have taken one or more overnight trips in which they stayed in a campground or RV park/resort in the past two years) that was divided into two segments. The first consists of a nationally projectable sample of 802 active campers who were targeted using a random-digit dialing survey. The second segment is a sample of 800 known RV owners obtained via a telephone interview.

Among the key findings in the study:

  • With over 29 million RV owners and active campers spending an average of $60/day (as a family) for 26.5 nights/year, the contribution to the United States economy from this segment of the population is over $20 billion annually.
  • Although nearly 40% of RV owners mention gas prices behind their intention to take fewer trips in the next year; one-quarter of RVers would NOT reevaluate their travel plans until the price of gasoline reaches $4 per gallon or more.
  • 50% of both RV owners and active campers have taken trips with extended family, including grandparents and grandchildren.
  • Boomers and Matures comprise nearly 90% of RV owners, while Boomers alone make up nearly 50% of active campers.
  • More than 50% of both RV owners and active campers would like to visit the western United States during the next two years.
  • Nearly 70% of RV owners are booking reservations via phone, as compared to a bit over 30% who book online directly through the campground or RV park/resort.
  • Based on one or more trips in the last two years, by far nearly 60% of RV enthusiasts are hitting the road purely for entertainment/enjoyment, though 41% of RVers do so to visit friends/family, 16% for class/family reunions, and nearly one in ten for work in the area.
  • Amenities sought after in both RV parks and campgrounds include larger sites (nearly 50%), high ratings in a national camping directory, attractive landscaping and cooking areas, and quick check-in.

“ARVC was reassured to find that outside factors, such as gas prices, have limited impact on the enthusiasm and dedication that RVers and campers of all ages have towards this form of recreation which encourages appreciation of nature’s wonders,” stated ARVC President Linda Profaizer. “The results of the study provide our industry with factual information to convey to the media and the public at large.”

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is the national association representing over 3900 parks and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada. The association is headquartered in Falls Church, Va. More information about the association can be found at Additional information about the association’s member parks, an online directory of parks and other camping services, and general information for camping consumers can be found at Additional information about RVs and RVing can be found at

"The American Camper: Profiles and Perspectives" was also sponsored by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), Affinity Group (owners of Woodall’s, TL Directory, Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast and Camping World), Leisure Systems, Inc. (Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp Resorts), Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), Kampgrounds of America (KOA), Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA), Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association (CCLOA), Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), and Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP).

NOTE: Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell (YPB&R) is a U.S.-based marketing communications company that specializes in serving clients in the travel and leisure industries. The firm has gained international recognition for its series of forward-looking syndicated marketing research studies, which include the YPB&R/Yankelovich Partners National Travel MONITOR, the YPB&R Portrait of Affluent Travelers, the YPB&R Portrait of Family Travelers, and the YPB&R Portrait of American Gamblers. Additional company information can be found at

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Amanda Jackson