RV Travel Surges as Americans Seek COVID-Safe Ways to Feed Wanderlust

RV travel surges in the US

U.S. RV sales and rentals are expected to be off the charts this summer as American families and remote workers look for safe ways to travel during the pandemic.

According to data from LendingTree, interest in motorhomes, camper vans, trailers and other types of recreational vehicles increased by 162% during the pandemic. In June 2020, the number of people who completed purchase query forms shot up by 303% compared to the same period of 2019.

Experts believe RV travel could be even more popular in 2021.

A recent survey by Harvest Hosts found that 76% of respondents plan to travel more this year than they did in 2020. In fact, more than 60% plan to travel more in 2021 than they did before the pandemic, suggesting that months of lockdowns and restrictions have afflicted Americans with an acute case of wanderlust.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Despite this strong desire to hit the road, the survey found that more than 80% of respondents have no plans to travel internationally in 2021.

That means RV sales and rentals should be hot over the spring and summer.

The Harvest Hosts survey found that 99% of respondents feel it’s safe to travel in an RV, and 53% plan to travel exclusively in RVs this year.

“After the rough year we had in 2020, people are itching to hit the road,” said Harvest Hosts CEO Joel Holland. “For many, travel is a basic human necessity. What we’re seeing is that you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to scratch this itch.”

Holland said that the survey respondents’ preference for domestic road travel “may seem extreme,” but many people are still nervous about air travel during the pandemic.

“The data shows that people will continue opting for the safety of road trips, leading to a boom in backyard exploration and growing interest in RVing,” he said.

The remote working trend is also expected to fuel RV sales and rentals in 2021.

Photo by Daniel J. Schwarz on Unsplash

With millions of Americans now working remotely, more people are free to take their jobs on the road. They’re also able to travel further and stay longer than they were as office workers.

RV manufacturers are taking steps to attract the growing digital nomad market. Airstream has introduced a spiffy 30-foot travel trailer with built-in office space and onboard WiFi. Meanwhile, Nissan is developing a caravan with a mobile workstation that can slide out of the vehicle’s rear doors, allowing workers to catch some rays from behind their desk.