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Cruel Summer Ahead for RV Parks (and the Entire RV Industry)

Cruel Summer Ahead for RV Parks (and the Entire RV Industry)

Cruel Summer Ahead for RV Parks (and the Entire RV Industry)

Less than one month ago we surveyed 400 RVers regarding the affects of COVID-19 on their travel plans. At the time, 95% of the participants said they “have not canceled RV travel plans due to the coronavirus.”

Boy, how the times have changed.

This week we surveyed over 800 RV enthusiasts and one fact is clear: it’s going to be a cruel summer for RV parks, campgrounds, and the industry as a whole.

Let’s see the results.

RV Park & Campground Cancellations Skyrocket

In 28 days, the percentage of RVers who’ve cancelled RV park or campground reservations (voluntarily or involuntarily) has grown from 5% to 53%.

According to Modern Intelligence, 10 million households owned an RV in 2019. When we apply our findings to this figure, the number of RV households that potentially cancelled reservations rose from 500,000 to 5.3 million.

That’s a staggering number.

The financial implications are huge. Even if each of those reservations were only for two days at $30 a night – the financial loss is $318,000,00 as an industry.

Uncertainty Going Forward

The tourism challenge with COVID-19 is knowing how and when the epidemic ends.

Will the government give certain regions the green light before others? Will national parks re-open simultaneously? Will travelers accept the risk of infection?

Due to the many unknowns, 76% of the RVers we surveyed said “COVID-19 has affected their summer travel plans.”

Multiple State Parks Close Campgrounds

RV Park Forced Closures

The federal government has implemented social distancing through the month of April. However, some local communities are taking bigger steps.

For example, Oneida County located in New York has closed local campgrounds completely until July 1st.

Moab (UT) and Durango (CO) are two RV destinations that have closed to non-residents.

The inconsistencies of regulations across the USA adds to the confusion of booking summer reservations.

The RV Industry Won’t Be Unscathed

In addition to cancelling RV park reservations and putting summer travel plans on hold, RVers are postponing the purchase of RV accessories. Of the 800 RV enthusiasts we surveyed, 34% have put off RV related purchases.

Camping World stock has plummeted over the last month. Over the last 30 days the stock has lost 67% of its value. As of April 4th it has a value of $4.54 a share.

Manufacturers Close Shop

Many of the major RV manufacturers have halted production. This will have an acute affect on Elkhart (IN) – the RV manufacturing capitol of the world.

Financial Stability of Nation in Question

Adding to challenges, the future of our nation’s financial stability is in question. Once we collectively overcome COVID-19, will Americans have disposable income to recreate?

It’s hard to foresee how any of this will play out. Here’s the hard reality – the RV industry should brace for a tough season.

More importantly, RV parks and campgrounds should be ready to adapt and edit their old-school business models and marketing strategies for a new future.

There’s Always Free Camping on Public Lands

Many public lands (BLM, National Forest, etc) remain open. These areas don’t require many employees or social contact.

Once given the green light from local and national governments, free camping might be the first trip many RVers take.

If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

Charity Dotts

Thursday 31st of December 2020

I agree, I’ve found the west to be so formidable to outsiders. They spend their lives looking For Ways to keep Every asset, every piece of land to themselves. Look what has happened to Glenview Springs Colorado. Used to be 3 free hotsprings surrounding the big one. Billionaires came in lobbies against the ‘hippie dips”. Shut them down. Even Went as far as repippingthe natural springs A mile away to open up yet another super super expensive spa. Not local people that have been there forever. Who deserve something free I the mountains but now they have to $25 each visit !!! Outside billionaires coming. In to eat up all the free land

As State COVID-19 Rules Change, These RV Park Resources Show Who’s Open (and Who’s Not) – Anywhere RV

Monday 20th of April 2020

[…] Despite restrictions being lifted in the near future, this will be a cruel summer for RV parks. […]

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[…] Despite restrictions being lifted in the near future, this will be a cruel summer for RV parks. […]


Monday 6th of April 2020

You seem to be forgetting about full time RV'ers. We are a community all our own & traveling from & to different campgrounds. Of course we are not the majority & full timers don't make up what the vacationers do but we do contribute to the bottom line. Also, several campgrounds are opening their gates to us because we have our own restrooms, showers, etc. However, tenters, small campers without facilities & such are the ones being left out. I would agree that spending of unnecessary accessories can certainly & will wait until things improve. It's a difficult time for everyone (except the rich) & everyone will have to adapt & modify their situation. That's called life.


Monday 6th of April 2020

I have great confidence in America and Americans. Again we will boldly lead the world back into prosperity. This the birthright of all Americans. Born here or not. Once you are here you have joined the family of the world uniting in this land. We are experimenters, we are pioneers, our forefathers new and old got here by grit. It’s not supposed to be easy to get to the best. Once you are here you have a responsibility to God, family, and country. I look forward to the creation of a vaccine for this disease. We will put the wheels back on the great engine of the economy. This is a time for boldness. That is all. I’m retired so I will be doing my part greasing the wheels of the RV industry. Thankyouverymuch.


Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Here! Here! So very well said!! Americans love their Country, believe in their Country.. We will rebound and all will be right with the World once again. We have spunk and determination...This is a War that we were fighting and we will win...of that I have absolutely no doubt!!

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