As Baby Boomers age and travel becomes more difficult or less appealing they will become a smaller percentage of the RV buying market. “Boomers are the largest demographic of RV owners,” said Mac Bryan, Vice President of Administration for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. “But those age 35-54, the younger consumers who want to be active and outdoors, are the fastest-growing demographic (of owners)”.
According to a study conducted by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) age is not the only aspect of the RV buyer and owner demographic that is changing. The percent of Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans who are investing in the camping lifestyle has doubled in the past 3 years, accounting for 1 in 4 campers. In a recent interview with RV Industry Association President Richard Coon conducted by RV Business, Coon was quoted as saying “the demographics are changing.”
Changes in the target market demographics of RV buyers means that RV suppliers, like ITC Incorporated, will need to closely follow the trends and key-in on the amenities that are most important to the emerging target market of buyers. Being on top of the trends with suppliers gives RV manufacturers the ability to proactively provide the newest and most desired after amenities. Some of the trends that could become more popular are contemporary styles and colors for decors and an increase in technology requirements that allow the whole family’s electric needs to be accommodated. This increased demand means more energy efficient decorative and functional lighting products will be imperative in order to reduce the electrical loads carried by the RV. Patrick Weiss, ITC Incorporated’s RV Sales Manager believes “ITC’s product designers and develop team have an edge in bringing new and exciting, energy conserving LED products to the RV manufacturers quickly and with great value”.
Progressive Insurance discussed the 2015 trends with key influencers last fall. Andrea Kovacic, RV Product Analyst believes that outdoor kitchens will be a big trend in 2015. Outdoor kitchens require lighting and amenities the same as indoor kitchens but exposure to the elements will require products with corrosion resistances and water proof seals such as ITC’s watertight side emitting flexible linear lighting product LEDA (RBLL1263). Another key influencer, Melissa Geric, RV Underwriter/Appraiser sees the side entry toy-haulers becoming more sought after for their versatility. Geric points out that the toy-haulers can provide appeal for families when the hauling areas are converted to kid’s suites full of technology that the millennium generation and their kids require.
But no matter who emerges as the the new Target Market of RV buyers, “ITC will design and develop the right products to satisfy their needs” states Weiss.