2022 Year In Rearview: RV Travel Trends

Josh SchukmanDecember 13, 2022

2022 Year In Rearview: RV Travel Trends

The results are in! If you’ve gotten to know us for very long here at Outdoorsy, you’ll know that we dig digging into our stats every year to see what our RVing folk are loving. 

We’re talking things like the most popular rigs, the most popular places, and more to give you a rearview picture of what travel trends looked like this year. 

But why should our year in rearview matter to you? Because these stats will tell you things like the most affordable spots we’re seeing for RV rentals, why now is one of the best times to rent an RV, and how RVing vacations get you more bang for your buck than any other vacation type.

That’s why we think you oughtta read on 🙂

VW Westfalia

2022 Year In Rearview

You can get the full skinny on all our 2022 stats by scrolling down OR you can click one of these quick links below to jump straight into stats you’re curious about:

Revenge Travel Is Still Happening

Revenge travel happened big in 2021 and 2022. That’s where we all took it out on 2020 lockdowns by going on all the trips we didn’t take (and then some) during the pandemic. Here’s what we’re seeing on that front:

  • Double it. RV rental bookings on our platform have doubled from January – April 2021 to January – April 2023. To us, this says that revenge travel hooked people into a love for RVing that’s only growing.
  • 37%. Bookings for 2023 are up 37% from 2021 and up 8% from 2022.

Positive Traveler Sentiment At All-Time High

People are digging RV travel. We know this because 95% of our reviewed RV rentals were rated 5 stars by our renters in 2022. That’s compared to:

  • 93% in 2021
  • 92% in 2020

For us, this is incredibly gratifying because it signifies that peer-to-peer RV rental is truly becoming a top-quality way to vacate — able to compete with virtually any other vacation type.

RV Rental Supply Is At Its Highest Ever

We’ve seen 59% more hosts (and RV rentals!) added to our platform since 2020. That translates into scads more options and available RV rental nights for you.

So if you want to roll around in anything ranging from a VW Westfalia Campervan to an Ultra-Lux Class A, there’s bound to be something for you on Outdoorsy.

And 70% of our owners offer RV delivery as an add-on, making it easier than ever for you to roll in the rig of your dreams.

Class C camper by the mountains

Urban locales with close proximity to things like national parks, monuments, and other outdoor attractions continue to top our list. People tend to rent RVs at these locations and then trek about these regions in search of adventure:

  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metro Area — The ocean, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Angeles National Forest are just a small sliver of the spots you can see when you rent a rig here.
  2. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ Metro Area — Whether you crave the red rocks of Sedona, the sunny days of Tucson, or easy access to all the Southwest, Phoenix is the place to launch an RV vacation.
  3. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro Area — This one’s an understatement… The Rocky Mountains, raging rivers, and epic hiking trails are just a few of the reasons people rent RVs like mad ‘round here.
  4. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA Metro Area — Southern California is known for beautiful beaches and weather that’s regularly 70s and sunny. The area also has some of the best food in the country — making it a popular RVing destination for decades.
  5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metro AreaAs a gateway to the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is a splendid jumping-off point for things like Mount Rainier, the Oregon Coast, and so so much more. 
Seattle Skyline
  1. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metro AreaAs another gateway to Southern California, it’s little wonder that this region made our list. Rent here for easy access to mountains, lakes, hikes, and skiing.
  2. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metro Area — It’s tough to beat this location if you want easy RVing access to spectacular points in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area — Texas is a perennially popular RVing state because it has so many fun sites on tap. Check out San Antonio for historic sites, great food, and a mild climate. Then there’s South Padre Island for awesome ocean camping. And Big Bend National Park is a must-see spot anytime you RV through South Texas.
  4. Salt Lake City, UT Metro AreaSLC is a jumping-off point for places far and wide in the Southwest. You could check out Utah’s Mighty 5, zip up to The Tetons in under six hours, or even head up to Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains — to name just a few.
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro AreaAs another gateway to Northern California and the Oregon coast, this spot makes our list year after year as a top place to rent an RV. 

The Most Affordable Cities To Rent An RV

We also crunched our numbers to see where you can get the most bang for your buck with an RV rental. Here are the places with the most affordable RV rentals for 2022:

Lake Superior shoreline
The Great Lakes are some of the most affordably accessible locales when you rent an RV

Based on the #vanlife trend, we kinda thought campervans would be our most popular RV rental pick.

And while people dig campervans, it turns out that travel trailers of all types and stripes are our most popular rentals. This might be because you can so easily have a travel trailer delivered and set up at your campsite.

Class C RVs nipped at the heels of travel trailers and came in a close second as our most popular RV rental type for 2022. 

Top RV Rental Search Filters For 2022

Search filters are a terrific way to understand what RVing folk want most in the campers they rent.

We found these to be our most common search filters in 2022:

  • Pet-friendly RVs (67% of guests use this search filter when looking for an RV rental!)
  • Festival-friendly RVs 
  • Rigs with AC 
  • Rigs with a toilet
Dog in campervan
Pet-friendly rigs are where it’s at.

Average RV Rental Trip Length In 2022

The average RV trip length in 2022 was 5.8 days — close to the 5.9-day average we found in 2021 and a 6.2-day average trip length in 2020. 

It looks like folks are planning longer trips in 2023 with 7 days being the average booking length for 2023 trips that are currently on our books.

Average Total Trip Cost For 2022

Folks spent an average of $1,270 for a rented RV trip in 2022. This compares to $1,185 in 2021 and $1,175 in 2020. 

This means that RVing continues to be the most affordable, cost-saving vacation type. It generally beats out plane trips, hotel trips, cruise trips, and even train trips in terms of cost-effectiveness.

New Versus Repeat Renters In 2022

We found that 82% of our renters this year were first-time renters on Outdoorsy. This is compared to 86% from last year. 

What this says to us is that RVing vacations are continuing to grow at a rapid pace. 

Which Age Groups Are Renting RVs The Most?

35 to 44-year-olds represent our largest segment of renters by clocking in 32% of our bookings. 45 to 54-year-olds are next in line at 26% of our bookings. 

Who Is Traveling In 2022?

On par with years past, couples travel seems to be our most popular because 61% of RV rental searches on our platform are for ‘sleeps two’ rigs.

This is followed up by folks searching for ‘sleep four’ rigs to accommodate a couple and 1-2 kiddos.

A couple RVing with a campervan

With 2023 upon us, we can already see a few themes that’ll likely shape the year. Here’s what we’re seeing so far: 

People Are Booking RVs Far In Advance

Renters are renting rigs an average of 232 days out for 2023. This is close to the 234-day-out average for 2022.

When revenge travel was in its early days in 2021, folks reserved their RV 278 days ahead of the vacay, on average. 

Average Trip Length For Bookings In 2023

This is tracking around 7 days on average — a bump up from years past.

Average Trip Cost For Bookings In 2023 

Because renters seem to be booking longer RV trips for 2023, this overall cost has gone up to $1,813. That’s compared to a $1,270 average for 2022.

Nightly RV rental rates haven’t necessarily gone up for 2023 but the length of trip has, resulting in an increased average trip cost. 

Booking Growth 2023 Versus 2022

We’re showing 8% more bookings for this period versus the exact same time period last year. 

Last year at this time, we were showing a 27% year-over-year increase in bookings. 

What that all means is that more and more people are continuing to get into RVing — something we love seeing.

Campervan window view with mountains

If 2021 was the year of revenge travel, 2022 is the year of revenge-on-revenge travel. Scads of people in 2020, 2021, and 2022 discovered just how refreshing, restorative, and rejuvenating RV travel could be and they’re sticking with it.

RVing is growing in popularity because it continues to be one of the most affordable, efficient, fun, and flexible ways to travel. Our 2022 year in rearview is looking exceedingly bright — and 2023 is looking even better.

Thanks for joining us on the ride and jump here to start planning your next trip.  

Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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