From time to time someone asks me this question and up until today, I didn’t have a good answer. But now I do. Well, sort of, anyway.
I went to the Escapees Forum where I asked the question and got some good estimates.
One member of the Escapees Organization reported that in 2008, USA TODAY said that 8 million U.S. households own at least one RV. Now that is interesting, but still doesn’t answer my question.
One of the more knowledgeable Escapee members is Kirk Wood. Kirk said:
“One major problem with any kind of accurate numbers is that RV owners do not agree on just what a full-timer is. Every time that question comes up there is a big fight over who is and who is not. There are even those who claim to be "part-time, full-timers!”
“I hear many talk of 1 million or more full-timers and have heard numbers that large now for most of the time that I have followed that, which is about 15 years now. The most documented report that I ever saw was from Texas A&M and about 7 or so years back. It estimated that there were no more than 250,000 people who owned an RV as their only home and had no permanent parking spot for it.. But do you have to move the RV to be a full-timer? That depends upon the rules! And in what they wrote (working from memory as I don't have the report now) that about 20% or so of those that they found were considered to be itinerant while most were retired. Even they agreed that it is difficult to track just how many people live in RVs because the population is so fluid and changes rapidly.”
Clay L chimed in to say that “In the 2000 census there was a category called "other non-standard housing" defined as boats, recreation vehicles and other such residences which have no permanent physical address. Based upon the 2000 census that number was estimated to be 260,000 people.
How many in that category are full time RVers is unknown. My best guess would be maybe 3/4 are. That would mean that there are about 200,000 of us.”
So there are probably one quarter of a million of us out here. I’ll go with than number from now on.