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ToddF

This is not good news for fulltimers

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https://rvbusiness.com/woodbury-consequences-of-rvings-unprecedented-surge/

 

I'd be very concerned if I was a fulltimer without a guaranteed place to park.

With the extreme heat waves, hoards of snowbirds, fires out west, and armies of bloggers blogging about "their unique lifestyle", not good for hard core boondockers either.

All the escspee parks are full with multi-year waiting lists.

Hang onto your S + B if you still have one. (It's value has soared in the past 5 years in many parts of the country.)

 

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Once the virus settles down I would expect to see tons of RVs sitting on the used lots for sale.  I would guess a lot of young buyers put themselves into unforeseen debt.  Maybe I wrong. . will be interesting to see.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with boondocking in the national forests and BLM lands.

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46 minutes ago, 2gypsies said:

Once the virus settles down I would expect to see tons of RVs sitting on the used lots for sale.

I am thinking along the same lines. And if Chuck proves to be wrong, it won't be a first. 

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I am thinking along the same lines. And if Chuck proves to be wrong, it won't be a first. 

I'm a lot more worried about resale value in 2-3 years than continued crowding. I doubt any of this year's RV newbies are having wonderful experiences. If they are, indeed, experiencing difficulty finding places to stay that would make it that much less likely we'll see them again next spring. Especially the renters. I'm betting most newbies will get the urge out of their systems and disappear.

At least I hope...

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4 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Once the virus settles down I would expect to see tons of RVs sitting on the used lots for sale.  I would guess a lot of young buyers put themselves into unforeseen debt.  Maybe I wrong. . will be interesting to see.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with boondocking in the national forests and BLM lands.

I would agree. If your thinking of selling, strike while the iron is hot.

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9 hours ago, dixonge said:

I'm betting most newbies will get the urge out of their systems and disappear.

If you look at the market history for used RVs, I think that you will find that some of that has been around for a long time. I can't find any data to know for sure, but by observation it seems to me that every time the RV sales experience a big increase, availability of used RVs in the 1 - 3 year group also goes up soon after. It is the source of all of these "gently used" RVs that so many advice people to buy rather than new. 

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And most of these newbies who bought without a second thought will be shocked at the depreciation when they try to sell.  I predict there will be plenty of upside down sellers.  This will lead to many units that are seldom used and not maintained.  There will be good buys out there but unfortunately many will not be.

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This year It seems to me that there was a lot more promotion of RVing than I recall from past years. As mentioned, what those advertisements did not say was that reservations in popular places need to be made well in advance. What was also missing was information about the many popular destinations like Yellowstone, Disney, etc. that were closed for much of the summer season. Many attractions like museums and historic sites were also closed. If my memory is correct, New Mexico State Park campgrounds are still closed to nonresidents. Some activities/amenities in RV parks were closed or limited.

Experienced RVers know how much maintenance an RV can require and how expensive repairs can be if not done yourself. They also know the challenge and cost presented by trying to maintain internet connectivity and TV reception, which I think is more important to the younger generations. All of these factors might contribute to dissatisfaction with RVing among those that never RVed before.

When the Covid restrictions are finally lifted, those with children will likely find that extra curricular activities like sports, music, etc. will once again limit the number of weekends and even summer days that they can travel. Another unknown is how many older RVers that sat this year out because of the pandemic will not return to RVing.

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My daughter and son-in-law purchased a "gently used" trailer (82 yr old seller used 4x/4 years) this summer and they invited us to join them for a couple of outings. They stayed in very full and expensive (to us) MN state parks and county parks near Mpls/St. Paul in consideration of their 3 yr old. Of course to secure spots we booked well in advance and avoided weekends made possible by them working remotely. They definitely found lack of high-speed internet and reliable cell service were obstacles for them and were relieved to have our mobile internet connections available without cost to them. I'm hoping they stay excited about camping and hope to get them to some COE, Nat'l Forest and other less expensive, more remote places in the coming years but with their preferred parks being not much less costly than a decent motel it remains to be seen if the reward will be worth the effort for them. 

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20 hours ago, podwerkz said:

The sky is falling.

Exactly.

We've seen a lot in our 14 years as full-timers without a S&B. Yes, it's busy out there. But like the pandemic, my gut instinct is that this is a temporary situation. Because if there's one thing I've learned when it comes to this lifestyle, is that most people, tenters, RVers, whatever, will predictably flock together to the same spots close to home, pandemic or not. 

Since the majority of new RVers are dependent on Internet access, the key to getting away from the hordes is to get into the outback away from good cellular connectivity. This is one thing that hasn't changed, and from what I can see, there's still plenty of outback in North America for all of us.

Also, it really is a good thing for more people to get outside and go RVing! We want more people to know about the magic that waits for them in nature. There's never been a better opportunity to educate newcomers about how to take care of the great outdoors, ecosystems of our fragile planet, climate change, etc.

As I mentioned in our blog recently, I could be wrong, but then again, maybe not. I prefer to think positively about the industry growth.

 

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2 hours ago, LiveWorkDream said:

We want more people to know about the magic that waits for them in nature. There's never been a better opportunity to educate newcomers about how to take care of the great outdoors, ecosystems of our fragile planet, climate change, etc.

If they do stick, and I'm sure at least some significant share of them will, then we should also start to see an increase in the number and size of RV parks. We aren't likely to see much improvement in the campsites number of quality in state or federal parks in the near term due to the backlog of maintenance that must come first. Something needs to change in the budget/tax area before that begins to change. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

If they do stick, and I'm sure at least some significant share of them will, then we should also start to see an increase in the number and size of RV parks. 

Yes! There are so many positives to that outlook. How many of us wished that more RV parks had better amenities, sites that can accommodate newer RVs, etc. The market will respond accordingly and eventually we can all enjoy more creature comforts out on the road. It's a win-win.

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51 minutes ago, LiveWorkDream said:

Yes! There are so many positives to that outlook. How many of us wished that more RV parks had better amenities, sites that can accommodate newer RVs, etc. The market will respond accordingly and eventually we can all enjoy more creature comforts out on the road. It's a win-win.

Plus, I would expect an uptick in the membership of Xcapers as people realize working from home can mean working from the road. Those are the people who will keep Escapees relevant as us older folk leave the road.

Linda

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12 hours ago, sandsys said:

Those are the people who will keep Escapees relevant as us older folk leave the road.

I wish that we could attract more of them to join into these forums as well. Over the years that I have been active here, I have watched the average age here steadily increase. I think that I first visited the forums in the mid 90's and at the time there were still quite a few contributing members who were working and part-time RVing. Over the years it has become mostly a forum of retired people with very few who still work. My own son who is an RVer has not felt welcome here for many reasons. The common negative views of weekend RVers is a sore point with many of the younger RV crowd today. 

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The forum is not as pleasant as it once was either. But concerning growing rvers, I can see it. Lots of parks are full or near full that we go to. I just got an offer for a job in Port Arthur. No rv sites to rent. No hotels to rent. Hotels are full  of people without electricity due to the recent hurricane. Be staying with a friend in his rv. Job just a weekish. Those are great pay though.

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

The common negative views of weekend RVers is a sore point with many of the younger RV crowd today. 

Yet how many of us started out as weekend and vacation RVers? One of my favorite campgrounds sounds is kids giggling. So, while I preferred not to move on a weekend, I enjoyed having families as neighbors. 

Linda

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Let's face it...many of us have too much time on our hands. 😊 A guy with a wife and 2 kids and a FT job, isn't going to have time to hang out here.

I hope we somehow find an equilibrium with all the new folks buying RVs and camping. We try to book Sun-Thurs trips when camping around homebase in Minnesota. It's still busy, but not at 100% like on the weekends.

The rest of our travels are after Labor Day thru Dec 31 - non-peak in most areas.

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8 minutes ago, ToddF said:

Let's face it...many of us have too much time on our hands. 😊 A guy with a wife and 2 kids and a FT job, isn't going to have time to hang out here.

Why shouldn't he be encouraged to do so? And our son who came for a time and left has 2 kids and a job, but one of his kids in in his 3 year in the Army while the other is working and has her own apartment. He is retired from the Army but is in a second career as many choose to do and looking forward to retiring in a few more years. He is just a few years younger than I was when I started here, still holding a job and wanting to learn more about going fulltime. 

A few years ago this forum was far more active than it is today and the main reason is that we are not attracting the younger people to replace those who leave due to age or selling the RV. The problems we have here are the very reason that X-scapers came into existence. Unless we can find some way to attract the younger folks to these forums and to encourage them to be active here, these forums will eventually die. The fact is that there are other RV forums that have already died away and a few that continue to thrive. I want to see this one make a comeback, rather than disappear. 

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Perhaps social media sites are attracting the young ones more than forums such as this.  Or maybe they go to sites like yelp, etc. I don't know..... I don't do any social media sites.

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

A few years ago this forum was far more active than it is today and the main reason is that we are not attracting the younger people to replace those who leave due to age or selling the RV. The problems we have here are the very reason that X-scapers came into existence. Unless we can find some way to attract the younger folks to these forums and to encourage them to be active here, these forums will eventually die. The fact is that there are other RV forums that have already died away and a few that continue to thrive. I want to see this one make a comeback, rather than disappear. 

Internet forums in general are a dying thing, simply because there are different forms of social media that have overtaken them.  I am a member of a Texas Birder internet forum that has been around for a long time, but has been in a steady decline for years. One of the reasons is a "parallel" Facebook group that is affiliated with the same interest group. In a relatively short period of time membership and participation in the Facebook group has overtaken the internet forum and is now a far more popular way to access similar information. Why?  Instant content that is pushed out to members, allowing quick response, likes, shares, etc.  There are still some oldtimers lamenting the fact that the internet forum isn't more active and wanting to revitalize it, but that ship has sailed. 

I've seen the same thing with every other interest group that I am associated with. And for younger people, even Facebook is a "old persons" format. They are far more likely to utilize Snatchat, Instagram, and TikTok than Facebook or an internet forum. 

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