18M households set to camp Memorial Day Weekend
Fox Business’ Grady Trimble takes a closer look at the camping craze.
Millions of Americans will be happy campers this Memorial Day weekend as the country opens back up.
Campgrounds are preparing for what could be their busiest summer ever, with outdoor destinations among the most popular travel spots.
"People want to vacation outside and away from other people," FOX Business’s Grady Trimble told "Varney & Co."
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Kampgrounds of America says nearly 18 million households will camp this weekend, and that bookings are up drastically from KOA’s best year on record, 2019. Throughout the summer, 4 million people will try camping for the first time.
One owner says that the site is fully booked for Memorial Day weekend, a stark contrast to what last year’s turnout looked like.
"This year we will be fully booked, and a lot of returning campers and exciting new faces," Chicago Northwest KOA owner Sylvia Weber told FOX Business.
Even though the campground saw its best year in 2019, bookings have surged 30% since then. The growth reflects what the entire KOA system is seeing, according to Weber. New York, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Texas are among some of the top states for Memorial Day weekend camping trips.
In addition to a renewed interest in camping trips, rentals and sales for recreational vehicles and camper vans have also revved up over the course of the past few months and are expected to continue on a path of growth this summer.
Much of the growth within the sector has come from younger families and millennials. Outdoorsy, dubbed as the "Airbnb of RV rentals," reported that millennial RV bookings grew 70% from 2019 to 2020.
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Rick’s RV Center in Illinois is also seeing its demographics shift younger, as people embrace the bright spot that RVs have to offer in a year of gloom.
"I do believe that people are doing this, and once they get into camping they realize how much fun it is and how you can do what you want, when you want and where you want and it’s all socially distanced," general manager of Rick’s RV Center, Jeff Pilon, told FOX Business's Grady Trimble. "There’s nothing like s’mores every night."
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The general work-from-home trends and remote work capabilities have also allowed the camping industry, from campgrounds to RV rental companies, to expand their possibilities of offerings from cell phone signal equipment to in-vehicle Wi-Fi.
"A lot of customers are coming to buy an RV because they can work from home, kids can do their school work from inside the RV, and they can pretty much be anywhere in the country while working, Trimble said. "This is obviously a welcome change for a lot of families who want to hit the road in an RV."
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