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10 Jun 2024

Ninja Demographics - RV Parks


James McLean

Union Realtime

Counting the RV demographic accurately is crucial for self-storage facilities since they can easily cater to their unique needs. Understanding this "Ninja Demographics" group—those underrepresented in traditional counts but significant in number—presents a valuable opportunity for self-storage businesses to cater to a growing and predictable market, ensuring steady demand and customer satisfaction.

The traditional census methods hardly qualify as thorough, predictably face challenges in capturing this transient population. With over 13,000 privately owned RV parks, For our purposes - possible self storage user base - the most obvious question is: How is this group counted in the first place?

According to the Census Bureau RV parks fall within the Transitory Units category which is then divided into:

Occupied vs. Unoccupied Transitory Units:

For the 2020 census, area census office staff conducted an outreach effort to transitory locations that were then informed about and prepared for the census enumeration process. This involved initial phone calls to administrators and follow-up in-person visits when necessary. If administrators could not be reached by phone, staff members visited the location in person. Basically, phone calls and then visits to tally residents with the above criteria of “Occupied” versus “Unoccupied” units being taken into consideration.

It’s not a stretch to realize that this process is not only time consuming and cumbersome but also wide open to under-reporting the RV demographic group. Not pointing fingers at the Census Bureau, but slicing and dicing mail boxes, short duration, long duration etc. into clearly defined numbers would be next to impossible.

Ninja Demographics: A section of the US population that is camouflaged because of census inadequacies, but a sizable population nonetheless. A group of people that can predictably feed a nearby Self Storage facility with plenty of business because, well because I’ve never seen an RV with a walk-in closet or a basement.

The rise of RV living has created a distinct demographic that is often underrepresented in traditional census counts. Recognizing and addressing the needs of this "Ninja Demographics" group presents a significant opportunity for self-storage facilities. By understanding the unique challenges and preferences of RV residents, storage businesses can effectively cater to this growing market, providing essential services that enhance the RV lifestyle while boosting their own customer base and revenue.

Strategies for Self-Storage Facility Owners:

  1. Market Research:
  1. Outreach and Engagement:
  1. Customized Services:
  1. Community Building:
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