June '18

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rv-pro.com June 2018 • RV PRO • 75 Outdoorsy and RV Share, but O'Rourke says it's a market that's rising. "We expect it to continue to grow, but beyond that, it's introducing people to RVing that haven't done it before. Whether they're renting from Cruise America or Outdoorsy, that's a major takeaway." She says the insights from the report paralleled what KOA found last year: That about four in 10 RVers don't own their RV, with a quarter borrowing from family and friends. O'Rourke says KOA sees the value in peer-to-peer RV sharing, even forming a marketing relationship with Outdoorsy. Michael Gast, vice president of commu- nications for KOA, says the rise in peer-to- peer sharing is a natural result of inventory coming out of the Great Recession. "Because of it, they came out with smaller, lightweight RVs," he says. "Whether that's just a chance thing or product it's popular with young campers who aren't going to invest in a 2-ton pickup to tow it and opened up ownership for others." Campers opting to upgrade or make a new purchase of several types of accom- modations have dropped off since 2016, with 57 percent of all camper households stating they would consider an upgrade or purchase, compared to 78 percent in 2016. The only type of accommodation that saw an increase in campers considering as a new purchase was a truck camper. The report noted, "As campers experi- ence their preferred accommodations, as well as the increased availability of peer- to-peer rentals (and rental companies), younger campers especially may be opting out of high-end purchases." Can Campgrounds Keep Up? While the report's findings are over- whelmingly positive for the campground and RV industries, it does raise the ques- tion: Where are all of these people going to camp? "We're now starting to talk about: What does 750,000 units a year look like? At what point do you run out of places to put these?" Gast asks. "It's changed the reservation behavior of people. They're making them a lot earlier now. "We've backed up opening registrations to January and we've had a crazy amount of advance reservations booked earlier and earlier. We're also seeing new campground development." Much of that campground develop- ment is coming from KOA itself. In the state of Texas alone, one campground just opened and two more are underway. "It's promising; it speaks to growth and the state of the business," Gast says. "We're seeing more parks being built, which will help with some of this inventory issue. People are trying

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