RVers are changing and the industry is paying attention. As many Baby Boomers eagerly jump into retirement years by hitting the road in RVs, another group of people is doing the same – only these nomads are much younger. A recent report by the Recreational Vehicle Industry of America reveals:
The fastest growing segment of new RVers are people 35 to 44 years old.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, but it’s great to see the industry is finally recognizing that so many of my peers are hitting the road, often for good.
According to this March 28th CNBC article, “The RV industry, thriving, is getting younger,” everyone from RV manufacturers to resorts is responding to this trend with enthusiasm. And as much as I hate to admit that market researchers know what my peers and I are thinking (how creepy that we can be so transparent!), these demographers nailed it when describing us as a group of people who would rather spend money on experiences than things. It’s so true.
To add to this recent report, here are a few young full-timers trends I see out there on the road:
Van dwelling. The van dwellers segment of full-time RVers is growing fast. Some choose to live in a van because they lack the funds to buy something larger. Others thrive on the excitement of getting away with stealth camping and living as free from monetary attachment as possible. Many of them work odd jobs and seasonally, whenever they need more funds. Jim and I actually know a young couple who downsized from a truck bed camper to a van because they thought the camper was too big.
Technomads. This is the box that Jim and I check when describing ourselves. We work from the road thanks to mobile Internet connectivity. We and our peers tend to be child-free, tech-oriented couples and solos who run Internet-based businesses from wherever our hearts take us. Since Jim and I invested in a mobile satellite Internet system, we tend to do it from really remote, solitary places like Big Bend, Texas. But I see lots of young full-timers running their remote businesses while camped in RV parks near hip cities like Austin or Asheville. Doing so allows us to take advantage of all the great music, eats and entertainment that our peers get to enjoy – at half the cost of living that they pay.
Road Schooling. One of the fastest growing segments of young full-timers that I’ve noticed over the last few years are families with young kids hitting the road – some with as many as eight kids in one RV! These families are connecting with one another through groups like Fulltime Families (pictured above). The Internet allows them to share home schooling (aka “road schooling”) tips and curricula, meet up for educational family RV rallies and more. Based on what I’ve seen in social media and the kids and parents we’ve met, this group is probably split evenly among devout followers of one religion or another, while the others are completely agnostic.
While we might all have different reasons for turning away from the default life, one thing we all share is a passion for sharing this fabulous lifestyle with others. We’re doing it from our blogs, from social media, and even from GoRVing’s newest micro-site targeting young travelers by featuring active young travelers with kids and without.
This is an exciting time for “young’uns” like us (and I’m really not that young anymore!) to be living a life outside the box. If you fall into this category and are thinking about doing the same, I’d love to hear more about your plans.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.