The RV industry in America is huge. Anyone who has driven on the nation’s highways in the summertime can tell you that RVs are pretty much everywhere. But many people still might be surprised by the actual size of the industry.
According to current estimates, RVs represent $140 billion in annual economic activity, and the industry supports about 680,000 jobs in the United States, and generates $13.6 billion in Federal, state and local taxes.
California is the biggest RV market, with $2.4 billion in annual sales. Texas and Florida are also big RV states. RV sales in 2022 were up 16% from 2021, with 53,290 vehicles delivered. RV ownership has risen 62% during the past 20 years, and family campers make up 33% of all RVs, with 1.5% of RVs used as full-time housing.
But here’s the thing: the median usage of RVs by their owners is 20 days per year. With a large number of full-time users, that means most RVs sit idle the vast majority of days. This is prompting a growing industry in peer-to-peer RV rentals, challenging the dedicated rental RV industry made up of players like CruiseAmerica. Verified Market Research projects that the RV rental market is set to reach $810 million by 2028.
The peer-to-peer RV sharing industry has a number of players, including Outdoorsy, RVShare and Good Sam RV Rentals, among others. These services facilitate a connection with RV owners who will RVs of all kinds for short-term vacations.
Wallabing makes a play for market share
Now a newer player launched in 2021 called Wallabing.com, and it is campaigning to increase its market share. The company invested big in a marketing and awareness campaign and claims to have added 20,000 users in the past few months, and about one new available RV for rent every day. Overall, Wallabing has experienced a 162.9% increase in users over the past year. On the supply side, the company offers RVs for rent in 32 states, and has increased its available inventory by 682% in the past six months.
The company says, “Owners make more, renters pay less” is the concept at the core of their business model. Wallabing is now generating revenue, and averages about $2,500 per transaction, and has recently launched a Wefunder campaign to attract additional investors.
“Wallabing’s exponential growth speaks to the ongoing fascination and love for RV adventures,” said Jason Carlson, founder and CEO of Wallabing. “Our unwavering focus has always been to simplify the RV renting experience. The demand is undeniable, and with over 72 million Americans planning on RVing this summer, we’re in a prime position to redefine vacations, making them more exhilarating, affordable, and accessible than ever before.”
The company’s business model is to charge renters 10% of the nightly rental rate, which Wallabing says will saving clients 20% to 25% per trip compared to competing companies. Wallabing does not charge RV owners a fee to list their vehicles and charges no commission or percentage of RV owner earnings, making this company an attractive option on the supply side. Renters are required to purchase comprehensive insurance coverage, including liability and physical damage, ensuring peace of mind for both parties.
The presence of multiple RV-sharing companies indicates that the nation’s passion for RVing is not likely to fade any time soon. According to industry statistics, 84% of millennials and Gen Z RV owners plan to buy another one at the end of their RV’s life, and people aged 18-34 already make up 22% of RV owners.