Ottawa

Millennials drawn to RV life

Apparently RVs aren't just for retirees anymore.

Ottawa RV Expo and Sale seeing more and more millennials coming to buy or rent RVs

The Ottawa RV Expo and Sale takes place from Feb. 8-10 at the EY Centre. This is one of the smaller campers on display. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Apparently RVs aren't just for retirees anymore.

Organizers of the Ottawa RV Expo and Sale — taking place Feb. 8-10 at Ottawa's EY Centre — said they're seeing more and more millennials coming to their shows to buy or rent RVs.

"[It's] a much more affordable option versus taking a traditional vacation where you're booking flights and hotels," said the exhibit's show director, Natalie Conway.

RVs are also a good fit for travelers and "nomadic entrepreneurs" who want to work remotely, she added.

"[It's] definitely attracting a younger audience, such as your millennials and your Instagrammers and your influencers," she said. "They're really driving the changing landscape of how RVing is today."

Show director Natalie Conway says RVs have become trendy among millennials and young families. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

The appeal of living like nomads

Samuel Lapointe and his wife Line Ferland — both 33 years old — said they're interested in purchasing an RV because it would give their family of five the freedom to travel together affordably.

"We want them to see the world," Lapointe said.

Ferland added she'd eventually like to live in an RV year-round, working from home and homeschooling her children so the family could move periodically, rather than settle down in one community.

"I think it's just an amazing thing we can do for [our children] and for us," she said.

Samuel Lapointe and his wife Line Ferland, both 33, say they'd prefer to live and travel in an RV rather than settle in one community. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Renting a popular option

Outdoorsy is a company helping to connect RV owners with people interested in renting them.

"The RV industry is really helping to open up that experience economy that these younger generations are very interested in," said Outdoorsy's Stephen Sanna.

"You can park [an RV] in the parking lot of a provincial park, of a national park, and you're right there."

Many of his company's clients are millennials and younger families who aren't interested in simply booking a hotel to explore a region or city, Sanna said.

"We're connecting renters and owners ... very similar to Airbnb," he said. "Over 40 per cent [of our users] are under the age of 40."

Stephen Sanna of Outdoorsy says millenials are attracted to RVs because they offer a different kind of travel experience. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

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