RVing is currently a trending way of taking vacations. After spending long periods at home during the last couple of years, many people are looking forward to getting out on the road again. And they are joined by newbie RVers who find working from home is even more fun if that home is a comfortable recreational vehicle that can use good internet connections and WiFi all over the country.

To get a better idea of where RVing is heading right now we picked the brains of around 70 seasoned RVers, all more than eager to share their views on the RV lifestyle. While the lifestyle certainly still suits retirees, it turns out RVers are getting younger, mostly due to the increasing popularity of remote working.

The preferred destinations are spread across the country, but the most sought-after attractions are activities and views, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains. Another interesting trend is that, according to our survey, around 40% of RVers have worked online while on the road. And confirming reports that the RV storage industry is gaining strength, the majority of respondents said they use RV self storage to keep their vehicles safe when not on the road.

The typical RVer: younger, heading for the hills…. and often working

The traditional image of RVers has been of retirees enjoying their pensions and life savings. But our survey found a somewhat younger trend, with 46% and 23% of respondents being Gen-Xers and millennials, respectively, and only 31% being boomers. This chimes with the findings of the RV Industry Association that 18-to-34-year-old RVers are now an increased 22% of the market.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the increasingly youthful demographic, around a fifth of our survey respondents said physical activities were the best things about their preferred RVing destinations. This was only exceeded by the number who opted for great views — which can be enjoyed by young and old alike, but more readily from adventurous locations than from suburban campgrounds.

In addition to recreation, around 40% of those who answered our survey said they had worked online while RVing, most of them in IT, marketing and business services, while others were employed in the arts and in other sectors. Mark Koep, Founder and CEO at CampgroundViews — who provide information about RV campsites and their facilities across the country — has noticed that with shifting work-from-home and remote-schooling trends, young families traveling for longer periods are altering the demographics of RVing and “it is no longer ‘weird’ to work from anywhere.”

The Appalachian Mountains score highest among RVers’ favorite destinations, with Pigeon Forge leading the way

We asked the people in our survey which states they enjoyed RVing in, which destinations they particularly liked there, and which other places in the US they hoped to visit in their rigs. From the Mid-Atlantic region to California via the Southern States, the options are limitless, but one area that cropped up more often than most was the Appalachian belt of mountains that runs from northern Alabama right up to New England.

Tennessee is in fact one of the most recommended bucket list destinations for RVers and for good reason. The Great Smoky Mountains national park is the US’s most visited, and Dollywood is also clearly a great attraction, with Pigeon Forge a place ranking high in people’s preferences. This destination has in fact won third place in our recent study of the country’s best destinations for RVers — nearby Sevierville also scored a top-50 position.

Pigeon Forge Tennessee
Pigeon Forge Tennessee

North Carolina, on the other side of the Appalachians, is also praised among RVers. The ‘Smokies’ are one of the top attractions in this state too, and our new young RVer would certainly enjoy the stunning views and hiking opportunities here. Franklin, situated up in the hills, has many trails for outdoor enthusiasts, while nearby Bryson City is also highly regarded for RVers.

Franklin North Carolina
Franklin North Carolina

The Appalachians cut through Pennsylvania, a state much travelled by the people we surveyed, both for its mountainous destinations and its historical locations such as Gettysburg. New York is another state that attracts the outdoor-orientated people responding to our survey — the Appalachians shade into the Southern Tier region of New York state and the Catskill Mountains, famous for having been New Yorkers’ playground for many years.

Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Texas and Arizona attract RVers with traditional Southern warmth

Mountain destinations draw the active vacationers, but other RVers often long simply for warm weather and some well-earned relaxation. Our recent study of the US’s best places for snowbirds confirms RVers’ approval of southern, warm-weather states, with Texas and Arizona having five and two locations in its list of the top 20 snowbird destinations, respectively, while Florida had no less than eleven.

Vacationers among our survey respondents with several decades of RVing experience express satisfaction with Texas which in fact had no fewer than seven locations in our study of the best US RVing destinations. Rockport, known as the ‘Texas Riviera,’ scored second place overall for campground facilities. Houston, Austin and San Antonio followed close behind, having good-value campsites with a high proportion offering the convenience of ‘pull-thru’ parking.

Rockport Texas Gulf Coast
Rockport Texas Gulf Coast

Arizona, with its winter warmth, is another state favored by the older RVers. Yuma and Tucson are counted among the top destinations, with great campground amenities and reasonable costs of both local campsite rates and groceries. Both cities have access to stunning desert scenery: the former is situated near famous dunes and the latter — which was counted a top-100 snowbird destination — has Saguaro National Park.

Yuma Sand Dunes
Yuma Sand Dunes

Not surprisingly, Florida, with its year-round good weather, was also mentioned as desirable by the baby boomer contingent of our survey respondents. Highly-rated Zephyrhills is near to Tampa and some great Gulf Coast places such as Honeymoon Island, while Naples is famous for its huge array of golf courses.

Fort Myers Florida
Fort Myers Florida

Today’s RVers often work from their rigs

For those who wish to work from their RVs, whether they are young IT professionals, businessmen or creatives, conditions for doing this vary across the country. High average local internet speeds give an indication of how rapid your connectivity would be in any given location, and good WiFi provision at campsites also is a big advantage.

Rockport, Houston and Tyler are all popular RVing destinations and a large majority of their campsites offer WiFi. Tyler offers something extra with its gardens that host the annual Texas Rose Festival.

Tyler Texas Rose Garden
Tyler Texas Rose Garden

Tucson, Arizona, also has many campgrounds with WiFi provision. Many locations with the Phoenix Metroplex — the Valley of the Sun — also offer good WiFi provision, and favorite destinations here include Mesa and Apache Junction, especially for winter warmth.

Motorhome in Saguaro Forest Arizona
Motorhome in Saguaro Forest Arizona

Top tourist destinations such as Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Branson, Missouri Foley, Alabama, and Biloxi, Mississippi, all tend to ensure that visitors get WiFi at their campsites. Working online from your rig in a place with excellent tourist options is clearly very possible.

Ozarks Valley
Ozarks Valley

Self storage helps RVers look after their rigs

With the increased interest in RVing by a wider cross-section of the population, sales of the vehicles have been strong. The RV Industry Association reports that 2021 was a banner year for the industry, with more than 600K vehicles shipped, and it forecasts that 2022 will be similar. With more motorhomes, caravans and fifth-wheel trailers out there, spaces need to be found for when they are not on the road — you may find your garage is too small and parking on the road or driveway may be either not advisable or not allowed.

Self storage facilities provide ideal solutions for keeping RVs, whether on outdoor parking lots or in indoor units. More than half the RVers responding to our survey say they use the service for keeping their vehicles safe and sound when they are not being used. For example, to visit the Appalachians regularly from The Big Apple, owners could make use of one of the more than two dozen New York City self storage facilities offering RV parking. Further down the coast, in Philadelphia, PA, there are almost as many spaces on offer, and Texas’s RV storage sector is thriving.

Mountain locations are popular, providing healthy outdoor adventures and scenery. In addition, beaches and warm weather will always attract RVers, and Texas and Arizona provide some of the best bang for your buck. And if you are able to work online remotely, RVing could be a lifestyle option, with many campsites across the country assisting with this. Just choose the scenery that suits you best, find campsites with the amenities you need, locate a storage facility near your home for the off-season and you’re all set to go!

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Francis Chantree is a former programmer and researcher who has exchanged computer language for his greatest passion, human language! When not writing and proofreading text, he spends his time gardening, reading and singing.

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