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Report: Live-In RVers Are Trending Younger

The Kansas City Star has this report that is reflected anecdotally in locations all over the U.S.: The demographic shift in RVing is real and it’s happening everywhere.

Thomas Hoff was tired of living in a regular old house. He was fascinated with “tiny-living,” and often dreamed of moving into a recreational vehicle. When his roommates moved out of his Gardner Lake house in Johnson County in 2018, he saw his opportunity. He has been living in RVs ever since.

“I took it on a few trips, but I’ve just been basically living the tiny house life,” Hoff said. “I love it.” Hoff is part of a growing group of millennials who are ditching their traditional homes and exploring RV living. “It used to just be retired folks,” said Mark Atkinson, general manager and co-owner of Walnut Grove RV Park, in Merriam, where Hoff has been living. “Now, it’s becoming the working class.”

The Drop in Age

Of the 11.2 million RV-owning households, the median age of owners is 54 years old, according to Monika Geraci, a spokeswoman for the RV Industry Association.

“When we then surveyed people who had bought RVs for the first time in 2020, that median age dropped to 41,” Geraci said. “In 2021, that median age dropped to 33.” Though only 1.5% of owners live in their RVs full-time, many park managers such as Atkinson have seen this trend to younger residents.

“The ages of the people that are going full-time are just getting younger,” Atkinson said. “A lot of the people that can work out of the home are deciding to live in an RV, and that way they can travel and go anywhere.”

Hoff, 40, has a lawn business, which he now runs from his RV at Walnut Grove.

The reason he switched from a permanent residence was in part because of a bad experience. “I had bedbugs,” he said. “Once you have them, you can’t get good sleep because you’re afraid they’re going to attack you in the middle of the night. … I had to throw away all my furniture and all my clothes and start over from scratch.

“Now, if I end up with bedbugs, I can just turn off the AC and it’ll go up to 120 degrees in that thing and it’ll get rid of all the bedbugs,” he said.

Click here to read the full story from Ella McCarthy at the Kansas City Star.

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