The popularity of motorcoaching has been soaring in the United States. This recreational pastime is seeing an explosion of interest because of a number of factors — from disinterest in taking long-haul flights, to the leisurely pace of life on the road.
Motorcoaching was very much for the well-to-do historically and remains so. Buying an recreational vehicle (RV) that qualifies for entry into the nation’s most prestigious results costs tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it is now becoming more mainstream. The industry continues to grow by double digits every year, with the trend expected to continue until at least 2030.
But what’s driving this?
Part of the explanation has to do with flexibility. Restrictions on flights are making first-class travel less appealing to successful business people and celebrities. Paying substantial sums of money for tickets that don’t guarantee a stress-free experience, or the ability to travel at your own pace, is not what wealthy people want. Many still find themselves on the same crowded flights as everyone else while paying a premium.
Another reason motorcoaches are becoming more popular is the feeling of being “close to the ground.” For many wealthy people, this quality is what makes travel worthwhile. Being able to touch, see, and smell locales, and experience the journey close-up is what really counts. Efficiency and speed are significantly less important. Traveling 40,000 feet in the air dissociates them from their travel experiences.
To make this point clear, when people take motorcoaches, they can stop off at numerous points along the way. Individuals can gather around popular joints and water holes en route, bringing them nearer to the culture. For many, it’s being able to experience the environment that offers real value and opportunities for connection.
The various types of motorcoaching available are also drawing new people to the activity. Wealthy individuals want to experience the tremendous range of activities that RV life makes possible. For instance, some enjoy the fact that they can go to luxurious resorts and enjoy high-brow activities like sailing and fishing. These locations provide everything enthusiasts require on-site, letting them enjoy the fresh air and take in the sounds and sights of their surroundings.
Others love the way RVing facilitates their hobbies. Going fishing all day knowing a mobile home is nearby lets anglers relax and take their time on the water. With RVs, individuals don’t have to rush home before it gets dark.
Another reason for motorcoaching’s soaring popularity is the space it provides everyone. Instead of taking a cramped car journey, RVing makes passengers feel like they have the same space as in their regular, non-wheeled homes.
On this point, passengers can stop at the side of the road when they want and relax. Most motorhomes have enough space for everyone to lie down and take a break after a long drive across the country. There are also toilets on board and plenty of room for children and dogs.
Financial and practical concerns are also driving motorcoach ownership. Thanks to various services, taking ownership and running vehicles is substantially easier for drivers and their families.
NoRepairCost, an industry expert and long-standing brand, says things are changing fast in the sector. According to the company, fewer inconveniences are also driving the activity’s popularity.
For instance, it is now easy to get an RV extended warranty. According to NoRepairCost, these let RV owners extend the cover on their vehicles and get longer protection against faults.
Naturally, for many motorcoach owners, this is a significant issue. Lack of warranty on broken-down vehicles can mean significant expenses at the repair shop. But NoRepairCost says that people can solve these problems by simply upgrading existing warranties on their vehicles and ensuring they have the proper coverage. RVs come with some expenses, the firm says, but they shouldn’t be excessive.
NoRepairCost provides some interesting data on how much fixing an RV usually costs. Their figures suggest US$10,000 for an engine repair, US$3,000 to correct a faulty fuel system, US$7,500 for a new transmission, and US$4,000 for a generator. These sums are not trivial for most drivers, which is one of the reasons individuals are looking to reduce their risks. Unforeseen expenses can crop up at any time, potentially turning a relaxing trip into a financial nightmare.
Other types of cover are also available, of course, not just financial protection against mechanical faults. NoRepairCost says that towing and trip interruption can save drivers up to US$100 a day. And people can make multiple call-outs in the event that a system on their RV fails, such as the fuel or battery.
Finally, there’s the fact that RVing is just something that helps people get away from it all. For some, the price wouldn’t matter at all. It’s simply the ability to get out on the open road and enjoy what the country has to offer that makes it so appealing.
According to data from Dream Big Travel Far, RV ownership increased 62 percent between 2001 and 2021. Most of the new people were family campers, but there was a high proportion of wealthy clientele joining the ranks, too. In 2022, manufacturers shipped more than 53,290 RV units, which was a 16 percent increase from the year before.
Despite news articles to the contrary, the RV craze is not over. Current data suggest that it might just be getting started. Millions of people want to experience the freedom that comes with owning a home on wheels.
Some media outlets report that the RV craze might be slowing down, but data don’t support this. Despite a slight lull since the height of the pandemic, more people are enjoying homes on wheels today than in the past. It’s growing in popularity.
With that said, now is a good time for people to buy RVs. Prices are rising steadily each year ahead of inflation as manufacturers cram even more features into their vehicles. This trend is also driving resale prices higher, meaning depreciation on new RVs is lower than many owners realize. While it might be a loss-making investment, it does give people the opportunity to take their homes, and their lifestyles, with them.
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