12 Reasons to Retire in an RV

RV-loving retirees talk about the upsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle.

a collection of recreatonal vehicles and tents on a grassy field surrounded by pine trees at night beneath a starry sky and a vertical milky way
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Motoring toward retirement, dreams of wide-open blue highways might be stoking your passion to hit the road. With no job to tie you down, the kids grown and gone and maybe having kids of their own, why not sell the house, buy a recreational vehicle and see the country (or countries)?

You wouldn’t be alone. In the last 20 years, RV ownership in the U.S. has shot up 62%, according to a recent study by the RV Industry Association. RV ownership is at a record 11.2 million households, half of which are 55 and over. Another 9.6 million households plan to buy an RV in the next five years, the study found. Roughly 1 million Americans are living full-time in them.

Sales at some RV dealerships have been blazing. 2021 was a record year for the industry, with 600,240 units sold according to the RV Industry Association. While this year is forecast to see a 8.4% decline to around 550,000, that would still make 2022 the second-best year ever for sales of RVs.

“Our forecast shows another very strong year for the RV industry which is being driven by continued consumer demand and inventory restocking at dealerships across North America after a record-breaking 2021,” said RVIA President and CEO Craig Kirby. “Despite the economy as a whole facing headwinds with continued supply chain issues and rising inflation, RV manufacturers and suppliers are well-positioned to meet the ongoing demand for RVs as consumers continue to desire ways to get out and experience an active outdoor lifestyle.”

So are you ready to ride? We spoke with retirees who spend much of their time in recreational vehicles for their guidance on the pros of RV living in retirement. Here’s what they had to say about the upsides of life on the road in an RV.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.