A new study by the Outdoor Foundation, in partnership with the Coleman Company, found that the number of RV campers increased last year to 16.5 million, up from 16.2 million the previous year, but still down from the 16.9 million recorded in 2006.
The Outdoor Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created to promote outdoor activities, said that when you add in other campers to the RVers, the total number of campers reached 42.4 million last year, up from 39.8 million in 2007.
The foundation said the recession has stimulated new interest in camping.
“In today’s economy, people are returning to simpler lifestyles—the less is more ethic,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Reservations for campsites and sales for camping gear are up. Camping provides fun, affordable opportunities for families to enjoy time together.”
The study, which was based on 41,500 online interviews, found that camping was most popular in the Pacific region, composed of California, Oregon and Washington. Hiking and swimming were the most popular outdoor activities for RVers, followed by bicycle riding and bird watching.