RV tourism rebounding in the US
One hundred years ago, in 1916, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone helped popularise life on the road when they hit the road in a modified Model T. One can argue if this was the first recreational vehicle but it did have a built-in stove, cooler and custom areas for tents, beds and chairs.
The US is the country where the recreational vehicle lifestyle is the strongest although there are very strong communities in other parts of the world such as Europe, Australasia and Brazil - Argentina. In the US, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association estimates that 8.9 households have an RV.
In the US, there are more than 12,000 RV-related businesses, employing more than 250,000 people, generating revenues of more than USD37.5 billion. More than 60% of recreation vehicles are made in Elkhart Country, Indiana, the home of Winnebago.
As a sign of the recent upturn largely due to a better economy and lower fuel prices, Forest River Manufacturing, based in Indiana, plans to open three RV plants and add nearly 400 jobs in White Pigeon, a southwest Michigan village.
In the US, California is the state where most RVs are sold followed by Texas and then Michigan.
Whereas these figures are impressive, the most impressive is the amount of money the RV industry brings to local communities as motorhomers tour and there are no figures to say how many tourist related jobs are thus created.