Are you caught up in RV mania? You know, the urge to get out of the house and go anywhere after being stuck at home for months now. If you’re considering buying or renting an RV this year, you aren’t alone. A record number of people are planning on taking their RV and going for their first trip this year.
COVID-related travel rules and restrictions, along with an increased risk of exposure, have caused many people to forego uncomfortable air travel and expensive hotel rooms for the comfort and cleanliness of their own home on wheels. A recreational vehicle lets you travel and enjoy the outdoors while still social distancing. It also lets you maintain almost complete control of your own environment.
There are a record number of RVs hitting the road this year
Indiana RV makers cranked out a huge number of RVs in 2020. According to the RV Industry Association, that number totaled 423,628. They’re estimating that the number of new recreational vehicles in 2021 could possibly hit 502,582. That’s a remarkable 20 percent or more increase in one year.
RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby says that the industry will potentially hit half a million units for just the second time in its history. That’s despite being shut down for nearly 2 months because of COVID-19. That is a pretty amazing 4.3 percent gain over pre-pandemic 2019 totals.
Some surprising carmakers are getting in on the camper action
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Even Hyundai is getting into the act with its interestingly named ‘Porest’ camper. The Hyundai Porest is a compact, moderately priced recreational vehicle with the basics needed to satisfy most people just easing their way into the RV lifestyle.
This small RV (it’s just 223 inches long) offers a surprising level of comfort inside with a kitchenette and wet room bath. It can actually sleep up to six people too. Not bad for a first foray into RVs.
Size and convenience matter
According to a poll by RV Travel, 72 percent of RVers need to plug in regularly. This is especially true with the large, well-equipped motorhomes and fifth wheels that are becoming increasingly popular.
A residential fridge may make your model feel more like a home but it also needs electrical power to keep it running. So do washers and dryers, multiple air conditioners, ceiling fans, big-screen TVs, electric fireplaces, and all the other features that make these mega RVs feel more like houses.
If you are someone for whom these conveniences are actually necessities, you may be out of luck trying to find a space to park your new home on wheels. These massive recreational vehicles are often too large for admittance to State and National Park campgrounds. Many commercial RV parks have only a limited number of spaces long enough to accommodate them, too.
Finding RV parking spaces is becoming a problem
Finding a great RV parking space is already a fairly common problem. With so many more rigs hitting the road this year, finding a place to park could become an even more serious problem. After all, recreational vehicle campgrounds haven’t had a chance to catch up with the growing demand yet.
The RV Travel poll also asked owners if they’re having more trouble finding a camping space without a reservation. A resounding 91 percent said it was more difficult now than it was 5 years ago. If it’s difficult now, imagine what it will be like next year when 20 percent more RVs are competing for those same spaces!