RV sales took a huge jump during the pandemic. Prices of RVs went through the roof. Not only was demand going up, supply chain issues and lock downs made it tough to build them. A lot of RVs were built with unskilled labor using substandard materials. One would be wise to check when a RV was built when shopping for a used one.
Prices are coming down. It will take a while for the real market values to stabilize. Most new RVs are financed and banks are in no hurry to lose money on them. However, eventually they’ll have no choice. Banks can only hold onto repossessed property for so long. The used market has had some serious drops as people get hard up for funds. Prices will drop more.
Even if the price is right, should people buy into the lifestyle? While the RVs might be a better deal, the cost of camping in general has gone up. Mom and pop campgrounds have been bought out by large corporations. Even though there are fewer campers, profits for those companies have gone up. That’s mostly due the price of camping sites going up.
There was a nice little campground in the Keys we really liked. They were bought out. Campsite sizes were cut in half to add more sites and the price of a site tripled. The new owners also added a lot of new restrictive rules and were no longer dog friendly. Let’s just say we’ll never stay there again.
There are also fewer places to camp for free. Fewer Walmarts allow overnight parking. Free Federal dispersed camping has been banned in a number of places. Sadly, that’s the fault of campers who had no respect for the land. Vegetation was destroyed. Trash and even human waste was left behind. Nasty.
Fuel prices have taken their toll. While gas is a bit more expensive, diesel prices are outrageous. Motor homes and tow vehicles get poor fuel mileage. People are traveling less and staying in one place longer to save fuel.
Now security is a growing problem. People are more worried about personal safety. As times get tough people are more likely to get violent. Theft, always an issue, is getting worse.
There are ways to keep costs under control. Instead of big RVs or giant 5th wheels with big tow vehicles people have downsized. Smaller towed trailers and vans are more popular. That last time I went camping we used a tent and an economy car. There are good state and Federal campgrounds that are still reasonably priced.
If my lovely wife and I hit the road we’ll use the tent and car again. Right now we are thinking of maybe traveling late winter or early spring. By then we should have a better idea of conditions on the ground. With the current conditions we are happy that we never became full time nomads. It’s nice to have a home base.