Wall Street is “Hijacking” the RV Industry
It’s official: Wall Street is hijacking the RV industry.
We knew this day would come eventually… we just weren’t prepared for it to happen so soon.
So what does this mean for RVers? Are RV camping and the RV lifestyle as we once knew them gone forever?
Let’s take a closer look.
The RV Industry Is Booming; Wall St and Corporate America Taking Notice
COVID-19 had a major effect on the RV industry: it’s booming. RVing and RV life were becoming more and more popular every year before the pandemic, and during COVID, it reached a literal fever pitch.
RVing exploded as quarantined families with cabin fever took to the roadways in RVs and campervans, with international travel halted and social distancing guidelines in effect.
And this boom isn’t going unnoticed.
Wall Street and Corporate America have officially noticed the boom in RVing. And all they see is dollar signs.
Profits Over People
Major corporations have one primary objective: profits. And for many major US corporations, profits matter more than the people do.
So what does that mean for the RV industry? It means that RVers are now viewed as a chunk of change instead of humans and families making memories from the road.
Fact: We saw this coming – that’s why we quit full-time RVing after 5 years.
RV Odd Couple RV Rally Postponed Without Notice
In a recent video shared to YouTube, RV Odd Couple shared a heated video about a rally they had planned for their subscribers in New Orleans. This rally for their subscribers, called the RV Odd Squad, was planned at Pontchartrain Landing for 73 families in October 2021.
The couple recently received an email notifying them that their event and reservation has been moved and postponed for an entire month, with no notice. This postponement affects the RV Odd Squad and the 73 families that had already made travel arrangements.
The park was recently acquired by a company called Athena Real Estate LLC. Athena Real Estate is a company focused on a National RV Park expansion. According to their website, Athena is “a real estate investment firm focused on specialty collateral properties, including RV parks… the company’s operating philosophy is to obtain premium returns”.
The RV Odd Couple later learned that the postponement was so that the RV park could host the New Orleans Jazz Fest attendees in October for higher overnight rates: a prime example of profits over people. In the video, they claim that corporate America is “hijacking” camping.
We think there’s a lot of truth in their statement.
Thor, Camping World, and More
It’s not just random real estate investment companies dominating the RV scene these days. Major companies like Thor, Camping World, and more are expanding rapidly.
Thor, the RV manufacturer, recently purchased the RV social media platform RVillage (through it’s majority stake in Togo Group), and Camping World recently purchased and rebranded Gander Mountain.
From apps to RV blogs, it almost seems like nothing is safe from corporate America in the RV industry anymore.
It’s Not Camping Anymore; It’s a Monetized Parking Lot
When corporations care more about profits than they do people, the actual experience of RVing falls to the wayside.
Soon, we might see more and more campgrounds that look more like parking lots. A great way to maximize profits is to pack as many RVs as you can into a small space, add an electric pedestal, and charge a fee! That doesn’t feel like camping… that feels like a monetized parking lot.
What Does This Mean for RVers?
So what exactly does this mean for RVers?
On one hand, the boom in popularity of the RV lifestyle can be a good thing. This means that we are seeing and will continue to see more resources to make the RV life better and easier. This might include better technology to connect to the internet, more places to camp, and an emphasis on consumer needs in RV manufacturing.
On the other hand, if companies continue to put profits over people, we might see many unhappy campers! This could come from bad customer service, sub-par manufacturing, or less-than-stellar camping experiences. Only time will tell.
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It’s not only camp sites going up in cost, but people living in houses destroyed by hurricanes opting for RVs to live in on the gulf coasts and RV sites. You can move an RV where your house and all your belongings will get flattened. The sardine parking spots are no longer fun. RV spots have become over crowded parking lots at a cost per month the same as renting an apartment. You use to get a spot for $200-$250/month that now has doubled or more. Not impressed!!!!
Hopefully all those that went out and bought RV’s during the pandemic will soon be selling them once life returns to normal. We already see flights, hotels and such coming back. I don’t think the boon is here to stay imho.
I agree. Right now it is a seller’s market. I think by fall or early winter there will be a “pile” of used RVs for sale. It will then be a buyer’s market.
Have one to sell? Now is the time. Then when the crush hits you will be able to buy an almost new RV for pennies on the dollar.
Might even be worth losing a summer of camping.
I also think that many of the overprices “campgrounds” (parking lots?) will go out of business shortly after. No loss as far as I’m concerned.
BTW: We’ve been RVing since the 70s.