Millennials are helping the camper and RV business thrive. In 2018, more than 1.4 million households started camping for the first time, and 56% of them were millennials, according to the 2019 North American Camping Report from Kampgrounds of America.
In a way, it makes perfect sense. Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiential purchases rather than expensive consumer products, meaning they would sooner splurge on traveling and fine dining than on a fancy designer handbag. And few purchases open them up to more experiences than a new camper or RV.
Some millennials who can't afford to buy their own are renting camper trailers through Airbnb, spending a few nights in a cozy camper perched in a scenic setting. Many document their adventures on social media platforms, using hashtags like #vanlife, #homeiswhereyouparkit and #campervan.
The millennial affection for all things vintage appears to be extending to old-fashioned campers, motorhomes, travel trailers and the VW Bus, which Volkswagen is bringing back as an all-electric model in 2022. Collectors of all ages who appreciate the classic camper look are finding other enthusiasts in organizations like the Tin Can Tourists, which in 2019 is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
"It's cool to see the trailers restored," 26-year-old TCT member Lauren Albrecht of Holly, Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press. "That's the most fun aspect of our group besides the people we camp with. Everyone is so creative, and they really care about preserving the history of these trailers."
The demographic shift and taste for throwbacks is being recognized by RV brands, which have begun designing trailers geared towards people in their 20s and 30s, or incorporate old school style elements.
Airstream, known for its iconic silver bullet appearance, enjoyed its fifth consecutive year of growth in 2018, and has seen a remarkable 218% increase in sales over the past five years. Some of that success can be credited to the Nest, a mid-size trailer that weighs 3,400 pounds and features a two-stove burner, microwave and bathroom. Millennials appreciate not only the compactness and cute, rounded design, but also the more modern touches, like the ability to change the colors of the interior lighting with a smartphone app.
Offering financing programs is a great way to help grow your own business and enable more millennials make their camper dreams come true. Contact Aqua Finance today to learn how to make these financing opportunities available to your customers.