***We don’t have to write everything ourselves to bring you interesting news. And because we love TRAVEL, we wanted to make sure you saw this! With all that’s going on in the world, it might be time to check out RV TRAVEL…. this article was written by Andrew W. Hait, an economist at the U.S. Census Bureau who recently purchased his first RV.***
Author Foster Huntington, who launched a millennial nomadic movement with his #vanlife Instagram account chronicling his travel experiences living in a van, is credited with coining the term “Home is Where You Park It.”
Scores of Americans have embraced his philosophy, hitting the road in Recreational Vehicles (RVs), many of them with bumper stickers quoting his mantra and garden flags that decorate their RVs and campsites. But is this a recent fad? Is the boom just a blip for the RV industry?
In a word — no. The U.S. RV industry has actually been steadily growing for years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 Economic Census, the nation’s 2,667 RV Dealers (NAICS 44121) generated $25.9 billion in sales in 2017 (the latest data available), up 81.5% from the $14.2 billion in sales in 2012.
In 2017, RV dealers generated an average of $9.7 million in sales, $571,822 in average sales per employee, and $11.80 in sales for every dollar in annual payroll for employees.
The average annual sales per-employee was significantly higher than the average $31,053 for all Retail Trade (NAICS 44-45) businesses but below the average annual sales ($777,174) per employee for New Car Dealers (NAICS 441110) in 2017.
RV dealers in Florida generated $2.6 billion in sales in 2017, the highest of any state, as well as the highest average sales ($788.325) per employee.
However, RV dealers in Maryland reported the highest average sales per establishment in 2017 ($16.6 million), while RV dealers in South Carolina reported the highest average sales per $1 of annual payroll ($15.75).
Jobs in RV Parks
RV parks employed 22,673 people in 2018, with an average annual payroll per employee of $30,628. There were fewer parks in 2012, 4,403 compared to 4,513 in 2017, with 19,354 employees and $25,913 in average annual payroll per employee.
Just like RV dealers, RV parks are typically very small businesses. More than 71% had fewer than five employees in 2018. These small RV parks employed 4,668 workers with an average annual payroll per employee of $44,329.
Texas had the most (376) RV parks but California had the most park employees (3,161) in 2018. Alaska again led the pack in pay: its 31 RV parks reported the highest average annual payroll ($91,611) per employee of any state.
The Joys of a Home on Wheels
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in the position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
This quote from author Bill Bryson, who often writes about travel, resonates with RV fans. RV vacations give Americans a chance to experience all our country has to offer while still having all the comforts and familiar things of home like electricity, drinking water, a kitchen and bathroom.
Whether the growing popularity of RVs in recent years will continue remains to be seen but, for many, home is now where they park it.
We only gave you a portion of facts and figures this article outlined, CLICK HERE to read FULL DETAILS on Census.gov.