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RV facts

21 Weird RV Fun Facts (Travel Trailer Trivia)

Published on December 6th, 2021
Updated on February 10th, 2024

You love your RV… but how much do you really know about these versatile vehicles?

Well, you’re about to know a lot more!

These mind-blowing RV facts will make you the master of RV trivia and teach you a little more about your beloved home on wheels.

21 Incredible RV Facts You Need to Know

RV Ownership and Demographics

1. Over 25 Million Americans Go RVing Every Year

According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), those 25 million people help account for 2.2% of the US GDP.

2. More Than 1 Million Americans Live in an RV Full-Time

An American family in full-time RV living

Of the 11 million Americans who own RVs, over 1 million call their RVs their year-round homes.

3. 11% of Households Headed by a 35-54-Year-Old Own an RV…

35-54-year-olds are the most likely age group to own an RV.

Seniors are the next most likely: 9.3% of those 55 or older own an RV.

4. …But 53% of Millennials Are Interested in RV Ownership

The younger generations don’t want to be left out, though: over half of the Millennial population is interested in buying an RV.

And they’re not just dreaming! 26% of Millennials say that they’re highly likely to purchase an RV.

RV History and Development

5. The Very First RV Was Built in 1904

It was constructed by hand atop an automobile and could sleep four adults in individual bunks.

Other amenities included a radio, an icebox, and incandescent lighting.

6. In 1915, the Country Was Wowed by Roland Conklin’s Motorhome

Roland Conklin, an engineer from New York, was responsible for kicking off RV fever in America way back in 1915.

His custom-built “Gypsy Van” could sleep his entire family and featured an electric generator, a full kitchen, a phonograph, various small appliances, and even a roof garden.

The Conklins drove their van from New York to San Francisco, inspiring individuals to construct their own motorhomes — and companies to mass-produce them for the first time.

7. RVs Took Off After the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, many families started living in RVs and trailers because they could not afford permanent homes.

However, after the Great Depression, Americans took an interest in using RVs for leisure travel.

This sparked the rise of manufacturers like Winnebago, Airstream, and Ford, who began selling full-featured RVs and trailers in the 1930s and ’40s.

RV Prices and Financials

New camper vans for sale

8. The Average Motorhome Costs Between $50,000 and $100,000…

If you’re buying a new Class A, B, or C motorhome, expect to pay upwards of $50,000 for the most basic models.

9. …But Towable Trailers Can Cost Just $8,000

But if you have a heavy-duty truck, you can save big by towing a fifth-wheel RV trailer, which you can find new for as little as $15,000.

And if you’re willing to go small, consider a travel trailer or pop-up camper, which starts at just $8,000 (though fancy ones can cost as much as $60,000).

10. The RV Industry Has an Annual Economic Impact of $114 Billion

That includes over $20 billion in RV sales and service, plus over $25 billion generated by campgrounds and recreational sites.

11. Over $548 Million Worth of RVs Are Sold in California Each Year…

The next most profitable states are Texas ($424 million) and Florida ($306 million).

12. …But Hawaii Brings In Just $3.5 Million

There just aren’t that many opportunities for road trips when you live on an island!

13. RVs Depreciate the Most In Their First Year

Most new RVs of any type, brand, or class will depreciate on average 20% after the 1st year; afterward, depreciation continues at a much lower rate of between 5 and 8% every subsequent year.

14. The Most Expensive RV in the World Costs $3 Million

Marchi Mobile’s EleMMent Palazzo Superior is a mansion on wheels — and it has a price tag to match.

The RV is 45 feet long and features an expandable roof deck, a king-size bed, a rainfall shower, ultra-modern appliances, a wine cabinet, and a glamorous lounge.

Its spaceship-like exterior matches its out-of-this-world price: nearly $3 million!

RV Travel and Maintenance

An RV traveling and maintenance

15. Class B Motorhomes Get the Best Gas Mileage

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Fuel expenses are a big part of RV ownership, and class B motorhomes (also known as camper vans) are the most efficient option when it comes to maximizing MPG.

The average class B motorhome gets 18 to 25 MPG — on par with many regular passenger vehicles.

Class C motorhomes get an average of 14 to 18 MPG, while mega-sized Class A RVs get just 7 to 13 MPG.

16. Class A RVs Get the Worst Gas Mileage on Average

RV TypeAverage Miles per Gallon (MPG)
Class A (worst gas mileage)7-13 MPG
Class B (best gas mileage)18-25 MPG
Class C14-18 MPG

17. The Average Lifespan of an RV Is 15 Years

If you buy your RV new, you can expect it to last around 15 years with average use and maintenance.

With attentive care, your RV could easily last 25 to 30 years.

And if you own an Airstream, it’ll likely be around for 40 years or longer — they’re known for their durability and build quality.

18. 20% of RVers Use Solar Panels to Power Their RVs

The open road and the blazing sun go hand-in-hand, so it’s no wonder that 20% of RV owners equip their RVs with solar panels.

19. 54% of RVers Bring Their Pets — and 90% Bring Their Kids

It’s clear that RVing is the best way for families to travel: over half of RV owners travel with their pets, and 90% say that it’s their favorite way of traveling with kids.

20. There Are Over 14,000 RV Campsites in the US

RVers have plenty of options for travel destinations, including 13,000 privately-owned RV campgrounds and over 1,600 state parks with RV campsites.

These offer amenities like utility hookups, mail services, and even WiFi.

21. Utah, California, and Texas Are Among the Most Popular RV Destinations

These locations are popular among RVers for their natural beauty and RV-friendliness.

Also on the list are Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver, Colorado.

11 Crazy Weird RV Facts (Video)

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