Central PA Camping Statistics and Expenditures

Central PA Camping Statistics and Expenditures
July 2015
Category: Retail

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Have you headed out into the great outdoors this summer, or have plans to? If so, you will be one of 38 million Americans to do so. Camping is a part of tradition for a lot of families, whether sleeping in a conventional tent, pop-up camper, or an RV.


In Central Pennsylvania, about 30% of the households have taken an overnight camping trip in the last 12 months.


Camping Fees and Equipment Spending


Recent statistics show that Central Pennsylvanians have spent $28.8 million on camping fees (which could include any lodging/campground fees). The Lancaster County population spends the largest amount of camping fees (approximately $6.5 million), however Cumberland County is the only Central Pennsylvania county whose Spending Potential Index is higher than the national average. (The Spending Potential Index, known as "SPI" or "index", is based on households and represents the amount spent for products or services as it relates the national average. An index of 100 represents the national average).  Cumberland County's SPI for camp fees is 110, while Lancaster, York, and Berks County all fall just below 100.


Central Pennsylvanians have also spent roughly $12.7 million on camping equipment (which could include tents, lanterns, coolers, sleeping bags, etc). Lancaster and York Countians spend the most on camping equipment (Lancaster-$2.9 million; York-$2.4 million). While Cumberland County still has a higher index for camping equipment sales than all of the other Central Pennsylvania counties, its  SPI falls at 95, just below the national average.

 The graph above displays total consumer expenditures for camping fees and camping equipment in the Central Pennsylvania Counties.

Purchasing RV's and Campers


According to the numbers, Central Pennsylvanians have spent $144.4 million on purchasing RV's or boats and $6.7 million on renting RV's or boats. While Lancaster, York, and Berks County lead the region for the highest dollar amounts spent on purchasing or renting RV's and boats, each has an index of just below 100 (Lancaster-96; York-96; Berks-90). Both Cumberland and Perry County are higher than the national average with SPI's greater than 100.


Central Pennsylvanians financed approximately $43.2 million  for campers and RV's. When financing campers, more loans were taken out on those with motors than without. Approximately 64.9% of the total debt on campers are for RV's or other campers with motors, while 35.1% of the debt are on campers without motors. Area residents have paid $15.2 million in interest on debt for campers and just under $28 million in principal on debt for campers.


The graph above displays the total principal and interest paid on campers that were financed. The information is broken down by Central Pennsylvania County and displays total interest paid vs. total principal paid compared to the total overall.


The map above displays the total dollar amount spent to purchase RV’s and Boats by zip codes.  The darker the color, the larger amount of money spent.  Lighter colors represent areas where less money was spent. The blue markers show the location of Pennsylvania campgrounds.

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