RV Living: Are Trailers and Motorhomes a Trend That Will Last?

RV Living: Are Trailers and Motorhomes a Trend That Will Last?

It’s been a few years now since the small-house movement really took off in the U.S, especially among young people who often cannot afford a conventional home or simply don’t want one. The ethos behind the movement was founded on the idea of controlling how much you consume and living simply. Naturally, RVing hipsters went hand-in-hand with this movement. Surprisingly, the trend has not died down but has seen an upswing instead. Yet, people are still asking if RV living for young people is here to stay.

Clearly, the trend of owning and renting RVs keeps growing. Celebrities who own motorhomes have greatly contributed to the motorhome craze. The list of famous people who own RVs includes Johnny Depp, Matthew McConaughey, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert, who even wrote a song about her trailer, called “Wanda the Wanderer.” There’s also Kate’s Lazy Desert Airstream Park, near Joshua Tree, which is owned by Katie Pierson, the behived frontwoman of the B-52s (remember the song, “Love Shack?”).

Airstream trailer

Pierson is the poster-child of all that is retro, and like her, hipsters have fallen in love with the refurbished aluminum Airstreams over most other types of RVs. The number of sales Airstream has seen in the past few years is staggering: Sales have gone up over 26% from 2013 to 2014, and the numbers keep growing.

Certainly, there are still lots of retirees who still appreciate the Airstream models and buy them for the nostalgia of an earlier era they experienced firsthand, but these sleek rigs, which are reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s, are also adored by younger people who don’t want to deal with fresh-water tank pumps and grey water.

All across California, more and more Airstream parks and other trailer parks, like the popular Auto Camp in Santa Barbara, have been opening over the past couple of years. People even have the option of renting an Airstream at some of these locations. There are also big plans for Auto Camp to expand into a chain in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Ventura. If that’s not proof that the trend keeps growing, all you have to do is visit the Burning Man festival at Black Rock to see how many hipsters own RVs.

How’s that for a dying trend?

While hipsters overwhelmingly prefer the Airstreams, these rigs don’t come cheap. Used and restored Airstream trailers and motorhomes are much more affordable but new ones can cost anywhere between $40,000 and $150,000, depending on how big they are and what kind of amenities they offer. Renting one of these rigs often costs as much as $100 to $200+ a night! These are hotel fares, but young people are flocking to these parks regardless.

One of Helene Cornell’s several RVs at her hipster trailer park in Balboa Park, San Diego.

At many trailer parks, the Airstreams’ interiors are remodeled to appeal to the wandering hipster. For instance, at the Flying Flags RV Park in California, each Airstreams has a unique look and feel, including a Marilyn Monroe themed one, which is very popular with younger RVers.

Many young people are just as interested in owning other retro-style trailers, especially the teardrop campers, which are often much more affordable and can be towed behind most mid-size cars. In San Diego, for instance, photographer Helene Cornell, started off collecting trailers five years ago and has recently opened her own hipster trailer park. With names like “Canned Ham,” “Bonsai Beach Bubble,” “Love Zen,” and “Mobile Love Den” how can her unusual venture fail with youngsters?

Indeed, Cornell has met with great success after refurbishing the old trailers she found on ebay and Craigslist. She’s been renting these RVs out on Airbnb, too, for about $50-$60 a night. How can a hipster look away from these adorable spaces and affordable rent? It also doesn’t hurt that she’s parked these beauties in Balboa Park, one of San Diego’s coolest neighborhoods.

Happier Camper trailer can be towed by smaller cars too.

There’s also a new company called Happier Camper that designs new and stylish trailers that are modeled after vintage ones, but with a modern facelift and a more reasonable price-tag. These trailers are ultra-light and made of fiberglass and are very eco-friendly. The base models run at about $14,000 and weighs 650 pounds, which is great news to many happy campers. What’s great about these lightweight trailers is that young people can tow them behind smaller cars, too.

So, if you want to jump on the RV bandwagon but want to buy a new vehicle that can be towed by a fairly small vehicle, this may be the option for you.

Whether you’re a hipster or a retiree looking into buying an RV, keep in mind that insuring your investment is very important. Most states require specialty insurance for RVs. Contact an Auto Insurance Specialist, at 866-501-7335, with any questions you may have about insurance costs and variable time frames for when you plan to use the RV and when you plan to store your vehicle. In fact, you can even start an online quote by clicking here.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.