Jon and Tara Yoerg of Fenton are looking forward to this summer when they can hop in their travel trailer with their two young sons and hit the road for affordable family fun.
“I love it, it’s our ‘home away from home,’” she said. “I grew up camping so I wanted my kids to enjoy it as well.”
The Yoergs will pack their used 26-foot Springdale by Keystone travel trailer for as many summer camping weekends as they can. Usually, they’ll stay close to home, often at Outdoor Adventures, a members-only club in Davison, so that Jon can still work.
“We love biking, hiking, swimming, play structures and just hanging out in the trailer,” Tara said.
Recreational vehicles (RVs) have been around for 100 years, but are enjoying a new surge in popularity as people of all ages find that
RV travel is an affordable way to get out of the daily grind and get closer to nature and family.
“Most of our customers are the older generation of RVers but the next wave is coming up with younger people looking for new experiences,” said Pam Rush, owner of Rush RV Repair in Holly.
Younger millennials pushed RV sales to record highs in 2017, according to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), but most RV owners are slightly older. More RVs are now owned by those aged 35 to 54 than any other age group.
Brook and Kathleen Smith of Tyrone Township, ages 54 and 53, respectively, have been RV owners for five years. “We just bought a new toy hauler for our four-wheelers, Harleys, kayaks and snowmobiles,” Kathleen said.
Their new 32-foot Coachmen Adrenaline can sleep six, a handy feature since the Smith enjoy camping with friends. They belong to a camping group on Facebook with 10 other couples.
The Smiths visit state parks just about every other weekend, to popular campgrounds like Port Crescent State Park in Port Austin, Wilderness State Park in the Mackinac Straits area and Ludington State Park.
“You meet many nice people at the state parks,” Kathleen said.
Baby boomers Rich and Vera Ross of Davisburg have owned their Holiday Rambler fifth wheel for many years, and take it as far as Texas for three months in the winter. In the summer, they visit Outdoor Adventure locations, and also meet up with like-minded friends through a camping club, Michigan Buddies.
“Being with other people, having campfires with your friends, that’s what we both love about camping,” said Vera, 64.
Kathy Dawson of Clarkston, who had her vintage 1976 Airstream Argosy painted and restored at Rush RV, is 64 and single and enjoys taking her dogs to dog shows throughout the sate. “Dog shows are way more fun with a camper,” she said.
What most RVers have in common, no matter what their age, is that they started out tent camping, moved to pop-up trailers, then stepped up to an RV for a more comfortable experience.
“No matter where you are, you’re still sleeping in your own bed,” Dawson said.
There’s an RV
for every budget
Prices for new RVs are typically
• $6,000-$22,000 for folding camping trailers
• $6,000-$55,000 for truck campers
• $8,000-$95,000 for conventional travel trailers
• $18,000-$160,000 for fifth wheel trailers
• $60,000-$150,000 for Type B and C motor homes
• $60,000-$500,000 for Type A motor homes
Source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association