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RV Lots Could Be Next Big Thing in Midwest Residential Real Estate
June 13, 2022

RV Lots Could Be Next Big Thing in Midwest Residential Real Estate

by The CE Shop Team

Investing in RV Parks Could Be Lucrative  

With the real estate market being impacted by higher mortgage rates and high demand for housing, some Midwesterns are thinking outside the box — or 'burbs, if you will — and looking to RV lots outside large urban centers to park and live.  

The RV Industry Has Exploded  

The recreational vehicle industry has done extremely well in the face of COVID-19, with Winnebago Industries Inc., one of the largest producers of RVs in the country, reporting a 50% increase in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019.  

In 2021, demand for RVs grew month-over-month for the entire year, breaking previous shipment records. A total of around 602,000 RV units were sold in 2021, a 40% increase from 2020’s sales of 420,412 units.  

Recreational Vehicle Market Overview

Source: Global Market Insights

“Over the past two years, many Americans have rediscovered the great outdoors and all the health benefits that come with living an active outdoor lifestyle. This seems to have ignited a nationwide quest to discover all the natural beauty and adventure our country has to offer,” said Craig Kirby, RV Industry Association President, and CEO. “Travelers are finding that an RV enables them to see and experience these while enjoying the comfort and convenience of a ‘home away from home.” 

According to Kirby, the freedom of RVing has fueled a surge in travelers exploring the great outdoors, and during COVID-19, it sparked an interest to explore the beauty of the U.S. in owner’s new toys.  

The Midwest Dominates the RV Industry in the U.S. 

The RV industry is big business in the U.S., adding over $114 billion a year to the economy and averaging $18 billion in sales revenue annually. The impact on the economy and outdoors industry cannot go unnoticed, and the industry employs around 6,000 people in the U.S.  

The Midwest runs the RV market, both from a manufacturing standpoint and total sales volume. Below is a list of the top RV manufacturers in the country

Company 

Headquarters 

Annual Estimated Revenue 

Forest River, Inc.  

Goshen, IN 

$2.41 Billion 

REV Group 

Milwaukee, WI 

$2.4 Billion 

Winnebago Industries, Inc.  

Forest City, IA 

$2.36 Billion 

Tiffin Motorhomes 

Red Bay, AL 

$252.4 Million 

Pacific Coachworks, Inc. 

Perris, CA 

$43.22 Million 

Thor Industries, Inc. 

Jackson Center, OH 

$42.19 Million 

SPEVCO, Inc. 

Pfafftown, NC 

$14.99 Million 

 

Trailmanor 

 

Parkston, SD 

 

$9.4 Million 

The RV Factory 

Wakarusa, IN 

$6.63 Million 

Creative Mobile Interiors, Inc. 

Grove City, OH 

$3.51 Million 

From this list, it’s easy to see that the Midwest is home to the top-producing manufacturers in the RV industry. Not only is the Midwest the top producer, but Midwesterners are the biggest customers. 

State 

RV Sales by State  

Minnesota 

$187.4 Million 

Illinois 

$173.8 Million 

Michigan  

$150.4 Million 

Ohio  

$134.0 Million 

Indiana 

$129.4 Million 

Wisconsin 

$89.6 Million 

Iowa 

$79.0 Million 

Investing in RV Properties Can be Lucrative 

With the amount of money being spent on RVs, and Americans’ thirst to explore the great outdoors, real estate agents in the Midwest have a prime opportunity to cash in on this growth. Investing in RV parks or campgrounds is not your typical real estate investment, however, there can be a huge payout if pursued correctly. Investing in RV parks can be extremely lucrative, with returns ranging between 10 – 20%.  

If you’re considering investing in an RV park or campground, be sure to look for properties that already have infrastructure such as electricity, plumbing, and water. If you can find properties amenities like  pools, tennis courts, and dog parks even better. By doing this, you can eliminate spending that money up front, and focus on developing the park around the existing infrastructure and amenities it provides.  

Beyond these two factors, the key to any good real estate investment is location, location, location. 

RV Lots Could Be Next Big Thing in Midwest Residential Real Estate

Remember to do your math before investing in a property and calculate your capitalization rate, as well as your operating expenses to understand what your expenses will be, and most importantly your ROI.  

Most experts and successful investors in the industry will tell newcomers to niche down. Is investing in RV parks your new niche?  

The CE Shop readers: Have you considered investing in RV parks or campgrounds? Why or why not? Tell us your thoughts about investing in this uncommon real estate property! 

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