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Facts about RVs

The term RV stands for “Recreation Vehicle.” Also known as motorhomes, RVs are vehicles that serve as traveling homes. Most RVs come equipped with rooms akin to those in a house including a kitchen, a bathroom, bedrooms and living quarters. RVs are especially popular among people who wish to travel across the country by land.

RV riders often camp out near each other.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Mostly everyone has seen RVs—also known as campers—on the road, few know the history and facts behind them. Below are a few interesting pieces of information concerning RVs:

• RVs were inspired by caravans, the old wagon/carriage-like vehicles that gypsies and circus shows used to travel in during the 1800s and early 1900s.

• During the car craze of the early 20th century, RVs started to appear on the market. In the 1920s RV camping clubs were established even before many roads were fully paved.

• In the 1950s, RVs became very popular in the United States. Many families started using them to take summer vacations with their families. In the 1960s, RVs became even more popular when hippie culture emerged and used the vehicles to travel around.

• RVs are the inspiration for many state of the art tour buses that are used to transport bands and famous singers.

• There are more than 12,000 RV-related businesses in the U.S. with combined annual revenues of more than $37.5 billion.

• Today's typical RV owner is 48 years old, married, with an annual household income of $62,000; higher than the median for all households, according to a University of Michigan study. RVIA research shows that RV owners are likely to own their homes and spend disposable income on traveling; an average of three weeks annually.

• A leading force behind RV ownership's upswing is the enormous baby boomer generation, supported by strong ownership gains among both younger and older buyers. In fact, high RV ownership rates now extend across a 40-year span from age 35-to-75, the Michigan study found. More RVs are now owned by those ages 35-to-54 than any other group.

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