Baby Boomers love RVing!
Baby boomers have long been recognized as a generation on the move and many of them have plans to pick up the pace even more in retirement.
They’re flying overseas for exotic African safaris, European river cruises and walks atop the Great Wall of China.
But they’re also staying closer to home, getting an up-close-and-personal view of the nation they grew up in, perhaps along two-lane roads, stopping for the night at some secluded campground. For those trips, many will use recreational vehicles.
RV sales have spiked in recent years due to several factors, including an improving economy and more boomers retiring.
“RV sales will benefit as aging baby boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership is highest,” noted the authors of a 2012 report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
Boomers are drawn to RVs because they have, in general, always been drawn to travel.
Baby boomers, in fact, are America’s most traveled generation, even to this day, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.
“When they were younger, baby boomers traveled more than older people, and now that they are older, they travel more than younger people,” according to a recent report from the institute.
The increase in interest by baby boomers has certainly been good news for RV dealers and manufacturers, but destinations, too, are adjusting to the influx of boomers.
RV travel is still camping, but many baby boomers are now accustomed to traveling in style so campgrounds are modifying their offerings as a result.
Many RV resorts have in recent years added wellness centers and exercise classes — two trends that have long been popular with baby boomers. Others offer concierge service, elegant dining halls and lighted tennis courts.
Some resorts have added live shows and musical acts to draw in boomers.
The Rocky Fork Ranch Resort in Eastern Ohio offers an indoor pool, fitness center and sauna.
Baby boomers also enjoy their technology so many campgrounds now offer cable TV and free Wi-Fi. It’s not exactly roughing it, but it’s certainly something many boomers don’t want to surrender while away from home.
“The baby boomers have arrived … and RV parks and resorts are responding by providing a greater variety of activities and entertainment,” Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds recently told RV Business magazine.
The RVs themselves these days also allow for luxurious travel. The big ones can be 40 feet long and cost $200,000 or more.
Some have maple cabinetry, satellite-fed LCD TVs, washer and dryers and even fireplaces. All in all, “camping” isn’t what it used to be and boomers are enjoying the change.