When the first RV debuted in 1910, no one could have known where the RV industry would be 110 years in the future. Over the past century, RVs have transformed from simple trailers to luxury homes on wheels, complete with all the modern conveniences one would find in a traditional home. Each year, the RV industry rolls out a series of new editions to their favorite motorhomes and trailers. These tend to include changes based on trends and what sold best and was more popular in the previous year(s). Here, we have compiled a list of the top predicted RV trends for the year 2020. Of course, these are just guesses and estimations, but they will shape the sales and models that will be available this year. Continue on for a list of all the predicted trends this year.
1. More full-time use
The first predicted trend of 2020 is that there will be more full-time RV use than ever before. This is certainly believable, considering that the number of people living in their RVs (both traveling and stationary) has steadily increased over the past decade with the rise of minimalism and tiny home popularity. With the increasing trend for full-time RV living, there have been changes made to the functionality and design of standard RVs. Some sources claim that they are now being built to withstand more constant use, as opposed to the previous designs that were built for an average of fifteen days of use per year. In addition, some companies have adopted a different RV shape that tends to denote the appearance of a ranch style mobile home. This tends to promote more of a stable feeling to a lifestyle that can otherwise tend to feel a bit chaotic.
2. Larger kitchen spaces
In addition to changes in functionality and shape, the floor plan priorities have also shifted. Since more folks are living in their RVs full time, kitchen designs have begun to shift to more closely resemble kitchens seen in traditional homes. This means more counter space, more cabinets, and larger refrigerators and ovens.
3. Increased pet functionality
Because many hotels and vacation rentals are not pet friendly, many people who wish to travel with their pets do so by RV. For this reason, RV accessory retailers are marketing to pet owners more than ever before. Some RVs themselves are even being made with pet functionality in mind, a trend that will likely only continue in years to come.
4. Vehicle size
For those who mainly use their RV recreationally, there has been an increased interest in smaller models. These smaller RVs are more maneuverable, better on gas mileage, and easier to heat and cool. However, those desiring smaller quarters still tend to want the same amenities available in their RVs, leading to increased efficiency and more features available, even in the smaller models.
5. State and national parks
It is predicted that in 2020 state and national parks will see more visitors and campers than traditional campgrounds and RV parks. This is due to an increase in awareness for America’s beautiful parks and an overall desire to see and experience more during one’s vacations.
6. Off-grid use
Due to the increase in popularity of boondocking on public lands, dry camping in national and state parks, and RV camping with no camping fees, using RVs off-grid is more popular than ever. Because of this, there is more demand for off-grid supplies, such as solar panels, generators, composting toilets, and larger freshwater, gray and black tanks. In addition, more RVs are coming straight from the factory with built-in generators and hardwiring for solar. It’s expected that in 2020, these trends will only grow increasingly popular.
7. RV sharing increase
Because of the state of the economy, the ability to afford one’s own RV has lowered significantly in recent years. However, this does not necessarily mean a decrease in RV use. Some people have begun to purchase and share RVs amongst family and friends, which is especially popular for those who only use their RVs a few times per year. It makes more sense for some folks to share the cost of RV ownership and maintenance, getting more use out of each RV at a lower price point to each individual.
In addition, RV sharing companies and rentals have also increased. These allow people to get a taste for the lifestyle without purchasing their own rig and paying taxes, insurance, and other fees on it. This is also lucrative for RV owners, who are able to turn a profit off of an investment that is otherwise just just sitting in their driveway for eleven months out of the year.
8. Fewer sales and decreased fulfillment
The increase in RV sharing has led to a decrease in RV purchases. This means that manufacturers are fulfilling less RVs each year to avoid waste and excess. RV retail sales have dropped, and 2020 will likely follow this decreasing trend that began in 2016.
9. Increase in competition
With a decrease in RV sales and fulfillment has come an increase in competition for retailers. Big RV companies are vying for the attention of those who will buy more than ever before, as the numbers are lower and every sale needs to count more. For this reason, the more expensive RV companies are actually seeing fewer sales than those with more affordable prices and a lower barrier to entry. This means that, as a trend, RVs are being made with more practicality and less luxury, as everyday folks begin to also enter the world of RVing.
Overall, the year 2020 should be an exciting one for the world of RVs and RV camping. Only time will tell where 2020 takes the RV industry, but these predictions should serve as a guideline. One thing is for certain, and that is that we hope to see you out on the road, enjoying the RV lifestyle this year.
What RV trends do you predict for the year 2020? Which of these predictions are you most excited about? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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