20 Camping Trends in North America
North America’s camping industry is growing by leaps and bounds, driving the emergence of new trends. More people are taking to the road than ever before, advanced RV technologies are popping up every day, and campers are inventing new ways to experience the outdoors in their rigs.
But which of these camping trends in North America are here to stay? Which ones will continue to shape the way we travel this year and beyond? Read on to learn the key RV camping trends in the US and Canada.
1. RVing is at an All-Time High
RV sales and RV travel are experiencing a boom as more people embrace the joys of life on the open road. According to the 2022 North American Camping Report by KOA, 11 million RV owners went camping last year, and 77% of RVers now own their rigs. This trend has been the norm since the onset of the pandemic, and it’s not about to slow down.
2. Glamping Goes Mainstream
Glamping or glamorous camping is now thriving in North America. This form of camping involves accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. More campers are looking to upgrade their comfort levels by camping in yurts, teepees, or luxury motorhomes. In 2021, 36% of campers went on a glamping trip for the first time, and 50% of all campers are looking to experience the glamping lifestyle in 2022.
3. A Shift Towards Local Camping
In 2021, 56% of campers traveled less than 100 miles for their trips, as noted in the KOA camper report. This trend is expected to gain more steam this year due to the recent rise in fuel costs, coupled with inflation. The record-high gas prices will accelerate this camping trend, as RVers will prefer to travel shorter distances to reduce fuel expenses.
4. The Rise of the Overlanders
One of the biggest RV trends in 2022 is overlanding. Put simply, it’s a vehicle-based journey where you explore remote places and rely solely on your own preparation and resources. In the past few years, it has evolved into a popular hobby and way of life for off-grid enthusiasts. Even RV manufacturers are now creating off-road-ready rigs that can help you remain self-reliant for longer in the wild.
5. Worklife Hits the Road
One of the few positives of life during the pandemic was that companies finally started allowing employees to work remotely. And the RV industry is helping attract more people to work on the road, thanks to technologically advanced rigs and WiFi-equipped campgrounds. In fact, 23.8% of campers worked from a campsite in 2021, up 49% from before Covid, according to The Dyrt’s 2022 Camping Report.
6. Long Term Travel
The ability to work remotely is triggering new camping trends in North America and beyond. We’re seeing an increasing number of people quitting or changing jobs in order to spend more time traveling full-time. Most of these individuals are now opting to work for companies with flexible work arrangements. Virtual schooling is also another factor helping families to travel away from home for longer.
7. Diversity and Representation Among Campers Continues to Improve
The recent RVing upswing has been buoyed by different demographics taking up this travel lifestyle. Noting a continuing trend, the report found that campers are becoming younger and more ethnically diverse. Actually, in 2021, more than half of the people who camped at least once came from non-white groups.
8. Rise of the Urban Camper
Urban dwellers have been the most active campers in the past year. And in 2022, 58% of all urban campers are seeking to experience the RVing lifestyle. This segment of campers is also more likely to camp often and go on extended trips. Moreover, 36% of urban campers indicated that the pandemic and avoiding crowds pushed them to seek natural spaces.
9. Small RVs Gain New Popularity
Small RVs, like campervans, lightweight trailers, and teardrops, are seeing a surge of interest from campers. And there are many reasons behind this. Compact rigs usually cost less to buy and maintain, so they appeal to those with smaller bank accounts, such as Millennials. They also have a small footprint, making them better for the environment—a trait many value. In addition, high fuel prices mean people want a smaller, lightweight rig that has excellent fuel economy.
10. Camping Still Considered the Safest Travel Option
Traveling is not risk-free as new COVID variants are still being reported. For most travelers, safety is still at the top of their minds. The KOA Camping Report notes that over the last year, 55% of all campers have felt that camping was a safer option compared to other forms of travel and accommodation. Being outside, especially in a self-contained rig, allows campers to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing.
11. Uptick in Off-Season Camping
Off-season camping is becoming mainstream. Today, a large number of campers are braving the winter cold than they did pre-pandemic. Winter camping has increased by 40.7 percent since 2019, and this trend is still gaining momentum. Some reasons for off-season camping include the search for solitude in uncrowded natural spaces.
12. The Camping World Adopts Apps
Campers are no longer just relying on search engines to find trip-related information. The Dyrt Camping Report notes that first-time campers are nearly twice as likely to use camping apps and websites than search engines. Now, there’s an app for anything from finding cheap gas stations, free camping sites to unique spots to plant your mobile abode.
13. Campers Increasingly Looking for Pet-Friendly Places
Another RV camping industry trend to watch out for is traveling with pets. According to the RV Industry Association, more than 65 percent of RVers bring a pet on their excursions. And when hunting for the perfect campgrounds, The Dyrt’s industry research discovered that 38% of campers want a place that’s pet friendly. An increasing number of RV owners are marking their rigs as pet friendly to attract renters.
14. The RV Rental Market is Experiencing Healthy Growth
Another of the major camping industry trends in 2022 is the steady growth of the RV rental market. In the last one year, there have been over 2 million new renters, according to the KOA Camping Report. Furthermore, a recent survey of Outdoorsy renters reveals that 91% are planning to take a road trip in 2022. One of the reasons behind the popularity is that an RV rental allows you to enjoy trips without the burden of ownership.
15. RV Rental Price See a Slight Increase
According to Go RV Rentals, the preeminent source for RV rental pricing analytics, the cost of renting an RV has risen by 3.6% in the last one year. Still, RV renters have a reason to smile as the rental price growth rate has remained significantly low. This is due to the increasing number of rental RVs flooding the market and other forms of traveling opening up post-pandemic.
16. RV Delivery Gains Momentum
Another camping trend that’s flourishing is RV delivery. Not every renter is enthusiastic about driving or towing a massive rig down the busy highway. Indeed, more than half of Outdoorsy renters noted that delivery is an important factor when renting an RV. With new campers getting onboard with RVing, demand for RV delivery and setup services is expected to skyrocket.
17. There Aren’t Enough Campgrounds to Keep Up With Demand
The Dyrt’s Camping Report reveals that it was nearly three times more difficult for campers to find bookable campgrounds in 2021 than in previous years. The growing number of campers is also ruining the experience for others. The KOA findings reveal that 44% of regular campers went camping less often due to overcrowding. Many felt the new wave of campers is affecting the experience.
18. Rise of Dispersed Camping
As campground availability continues to be scarce, alternative ways of camping are cropping up. One option that has risen in popularity is dispersed camping. Also known as dry camping or boondocking, this style of camping is about staying outside of a designated campground to enjoy the simplicity of nature without the crowds. In 2021, people went dispersed camping two times more than in 2020, as noted in The Dyrt’s report.
19. The RV Industry Jumping on the Green Bandwagon
As campers look for ways to keep their adventures eco-friendly, RV companies are coming up with solutions to help them with this quest. They are now creating highly efficient RVs. This modern crop of rigs is built with lightweight, sustainable materials, and features green amenities like solar power, high-efficiency appliances, LED lights, and smart water use.
20. The Future of RVing is Electric
Earth-friendly RVs might, in fact, be the future of RV camping. Leading RV manufacturers are already developing all-electric-powered RVs. On January 18th this year, Winnebago unveiled an all-electric concept Class B motorhome. Other major companies, such as Airstream, Thor and Winnebago also have electric RV prototypes. This is one of the main RV industry trends to keep an eye on.
Stay Up to Date With the Latest RV Camping Trends
Before you start planning your next adventure, take some time to familiarize yourself with the latest camping trends sweeping the industry. Fortunately, this post will give you all the 2022 RV industry intel you need. With it, you’ll know exactly what to expect this year when you finally decide to buy an RV, rent an RV, or hit the open road in your trusty rig.