When you think of recreational vehicles, you probably think of baby boomers hitting the road in retirement. But RV sales are now spiking, thanks to millennials.
One of them is Kyle Millard. He’s just 32 years old and is already on his second RV. Millard grew up camping and takes his young family on the road every month in the summertime.
"We picked this one because it has a bunk house system in the back, as well as an outside kitchen, so it’s something we can grow into family-wise,” Millard said.
And he’s not alone. A record nine million U.S. households now own an RV, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. The industry has traditionally relied on retirees to drive growth, but now more younger buyers are getting behind the wheel.
"It just allows us to come together in a different way-- just as you can see, just be how we are in a fun way,” said Nichole Walsh. “We also save money, so we can go do some things that we might not otherwise get to do if we stayed at a hotel."
Now campgrounds are investing in Wi-Fi and communal areas for millennials to mingle.”
"For the millennial generation, we're looking up for space here on the campground, which was set up for potlucks and bingo halls 30 years ago, and we're setting it up for what we call third spaces - similar to your Starbucks and stuff,” said Chris Wood, a campground owner.
Millennials aren't just driving the sales of big RVs, but pop-up trailers too. Their sales have jumped 20 percent in just the last year.
"It's upgrading electronics. It's just adding the features that they're used to,” said Bob Martin, Thor CEO. “So a lot of the RVs are compatible to the iPhone."
Analysts warn that while millennials are showing interest in RVs, it’s too early to know if those young buyers will drive the industry like the baby boomers did.