An Emerging Real Estate Asset Class: The RV Park & Campground Market

June 3, 2024

In this edition, we will share our insights on the RV asset class, a large and dynamic asset class that has remained relatively “untouched”. We will highlight key takeaways from our recent visit to a RV park and campground conference in Orlando and share our strategic outlook. We believe the RV market is growing momentum with many under-optimized assets. In other words, this market is ripe with opportunity!

During the conference, we were fortunate to enjoy a round of golf at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill in Orlando, FL. It was a beautiful day on the course and safe to say the course record wasn’t in jeopardy.

Arnold Palmer's Statue on the 1st hole

RV Market Overview

There’s no question that interest in the outdoors and RVing has exploded over the last few years. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, RVing has been the top contributor to the conventional outdoor recreation economy for two years running.

RV ownership stands at ~11.2 million households, or 8.7% of the US and over half of them are 55 and over. Studies show another 9.6 million households intend to buy an RV within the next 5 years. Online searches for RV parks have doubled over the last decade with 77% of campers consisting of Millennials and Gen Z’ers. The median age of new RV buyers has dropped to only 32 years-old and these buyers are more diverse than ever before.  

Overall, we believe the long-term outlook for the RV market remains extremely favorable. Camping is a fundamental part of American culture and RVs offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional vacations.

The 2024 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL:  We’ve been so interested in this market that we flew down to Orlando to attend the 2024 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo. Over the 2.5-day conference, we had many productive meetings with owners, operators, property managers, reservation software hosts, marketing consultants, lenders, and many more. During the conference, we observed the impact of demand growth on RV companies. Many vendors at the trade show reported challenges in keeping up with demand and expressed plans to support their company’s growth. One booking Software vendor mentioned “we’ve had more guests sign up on our search platform in 2024 than any other year in our history!”

Following the conference, it was clear to us that the long-term outlook for the RV market is favorable, the market is heading for a boom, and the space will most likely become institutionalized over the next 5-10 years. Here are 5 key reasons why we believe there is tremendous opportunity in this market:

1. Ripe for Consolidation

  • Highly Fragmented Market: The RV Park and campground industry primarily consists of small, independently owned businesses. Unlike heavily institutionalized asset classes such as the Manufactured Housing Community market, about 80%-90% of RV parks are owned by individuals or "mom and pop" operations. These independent owners are our target for various strategic reasons, which we will explain shortly.
  • Long Standing Businesses: Most RV parks have a long operational history. According to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), 77% of parks have been in operation for at least 20 years, with 39% operating for over 50 years. On average, RV Parks in the study have been in business for 40 years. This longevity suggests that these are cash flowing assets with potential for rent growth, as long-time owners often keep rents below market rates due to established relationships with guests.

Given the highly fragmented market and growing demand, we see significant opportunities for new entrants to optimize these assets. By leveraging economies of scale, professional management practices, advanced technology, and strategic marketing, stakeholders can greatly improve RV parks' operational efficiency and profitability, especially those currently owned by individuals or small businesses.

2. Favorable Demand & Supply

The industry faces a growing supply-demand imbalance which became particularly evident during the pandemic. There are simply not enough suitable sites to accommodate the increasing number of RVs. According to the Go RVing, approximately 11.2 million households own RVs, representing about 8.7% of all U.S. households. This percentage has increased from 7.4% in 2011.

In contrast, there are 1.6 million RV sites and 2.1 million campsites across the United States. It is estimated new supply of RV sites only increases by fewer than 10,000 annually (0.6% of the market).

This is significantly lower than RV sales. The availability of RV sites has lagged behind RV sales for decades, and many older sites are outdated and unable to meet the demands of newer vehicles. In 2023, according to RVIA, there was 313,174 new RV wholesale shipments with a retail value of $20.27 billion in 2023, a year that saw the RV industry contending with economic headwinds such as stubborn inflation trends and high interest rates that impacted both the wholesale and retail market. Our estimate is that the supply would need to increase by 7% per year to keep pace with current levels of demand growth.

3. Strong 2024 RV Sales and Shipment Data:

In a recent publication by the RV Industry Association, as highlighted in the chart below, every month in 2024 showed year over year growth in RV sales. April 2024 Year over Year RV shipments grew by 9.5%.

4. Expanding Demographics

The RV market is primed for growth with the increasing number of retiring baby boomers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire daily, a trend projected to continue into the 2030s. This presents a significant opportunity for the RV industry, as retirees seek travel and leisure options offering freedom and flexibility. As mentioned previously, half of RV owners in America are 55 and up, however, that is changing.

The rise of remote work post-COVID-19 has further fueled the growth of the RV market within the millennial generation. According to recent studies, nearly 30% of the U.S. workforce now works from home at least part-time, allowing more people the flexibility to travel while maintaining their employment. According to the RV Industry Association, the median age of new RV buyers has dropped to only 32 years-old and RV-goers are becoming more diverse than ever before.

This change presents a significant opportunity for RV parks to appeal to a new higher income demographic of working travelers. We intend to capitalize on this trend by enhancing amenities, prioritizing reliable internet and comfortable workspaces, and marketing strategies to cater to the growing number of remote workers embracing the RV lifestyle.

5. Introduce New Technology & Marketing

Many RV Park owners fail to fully leverage technology and effective marketing strategies, missing out on opportunities to optimize their operations, reach more customers, and provide superior customer service. Despite the availability of advanced booking software, customer communication tools, professional websites, SEO, and digital marketing tools, many parks persist in using outdated methods. Technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data analytics, and mobile-friendly websites are underutilized. For instance, simple actions like sending automated text messages to customers, and allowing them to extend their stay via mobile platforms, can significantly boost revenue at a property. We plan to implement an operational value-add strategy at the resorts we purchase to modernize operations, enhance customer experiences, and increase profitability.


We're excited about the opportunity presented by the growing demand in the RV space, which remains largely untouched by institutional investors. Our focus lies in acquiring 'mom-and-pop' owned RV parks, particularly those with below market rates and a stable ownership history of at least 15 years. Over the past few weeks, we've toured several parks and pinpointed several promising opportunities. We have found many long-term owners that are open to seller financing at competitive rates, allowing them to sidestep capital gains tax while maintaining a reliable income stream as they near retirement.

Our ideal parks feature seasonal operations, exceeding 100+ sites, consistently achieving over 95% occupancy (often with waiting lists), ensuring they can support full-time management. We prioritize strategically located parks, including those near lakes, rivers, and highways, as well as areas poised for future growth. As a bonus, RV parks offer accelerated depreciation benefits as referenced in a prior newsletter. To capitalize on these opportunities, we plan on establishing a fund tailored to investments within this specific criterion, exclusively available to accredited investors.

Thank you for reading. We appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more insights and updates. Stay tuned!

Greenside Gazette

High Demand for Affordable Travel

According to an article by RV Business the RV Industry Association's April 2024 survey revealed a 9.5% increase in total RV shipments, reaching 34,197 units compared to 31,216 units in April 2023. RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby attributed this growth to the budget-conscious trend among consumers seeking affordable travel options, with over 45 million Americans choosing RVing this summer for cost-effective, memorable vacations. Towable RVs saw a 14.2% rise in shipments, while motorhomes experienced a 19.4% decline. Year-to-date, RV shipments are up 9.4%, totaling 120,138 units through April 2024.

Source: RVBusiness. (2024, May 28th) RVIA: Shipments See 9.5% Year-Over-Year Jump in April.

Birdie Basics

RV Parks: RV parks cater to guests with recreational vehicles, offering stays that can be overnight, weekly, monthly, or seasonal. The operation of RV parks varies by region across the country. There are transient RV parks serving daily and weekly customers, monthly RV parks that rent by the month, and seasonal RV parks with annual leases for summer or winter stays. Some RV parks have residents who live there full-time, with options for monthly or annual leases.

RV Resorts: RV Resorts are RV parks. However, most RV Parks focus on providing essential facilities and services at a lower cost, as opposed to RV resorts which offer a luxurious experience and a wide range of high-end amenities. As a result, their pricing tends to be higher.

Full Hookup Site: Full hookup sites include sewer, electricity, and water connections at the site. Most newer RVs require 50 AMP electrical hookups.

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