December, 2023 – Love That RV, a leading RV design and lifestyle website with popular social media platforms focused on providing RV owners with design inspiration for renovating and repurposing outdated RV interiors, has taken a page out of their own inspiration guidebook by completely overhauling their website design and user experience while adding features like a peer-to-peer marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect, network and buy or sell renovated RVs.
After nearly two years of planning, design iterations, research and interviews with RV sellers and prospective RV buyers, the new website was successfully launched in at the end of December.
The marketing team at Love That RV gathered feedback from dozens of individual RV owners as well as professional RV renovation companies to inform their decisions. Following modern web development and design standards coupled with the team’s extensive marketing experience, the new vision of Love That RV is three-fold:
History of Love That RV
Founders Marcus and Megan Wickes (https://instagram.com/so.wickesited) renovated their first 5th wheel trailer in 2019 after selling their home and most of their belongings. With plans to homeschool their 3 children while they explored all 50 states, they wanted to have a cozy home on wheels. At the time they purchased their new RV in early 2019, it was nearly impossible to find any sort of RV with an interior that wasn’t brown, beige and lacking in modern design aesthetics. RV dealers and sales people generally didn’t understand or listen to their design requests while insisting that “RVs are built as weekend getaway campers. There’s no reason to change designs because they’ve worked for the past couple decades.” (literally a quote they heard on multiple occasions while RV shopping!) Design options even when ordering a new RV direct from the factory were limited to very minor details like fabric choices on window valences.
The concept of living and traveling full-time in an RV as a “home on wheels” was still a relatively new concept in 2019. So the Wickes family bought a brand new RV with the intention of renovating and making it a comfortable home on wheels they could use full-time as they traveled the country.
Love That RV was launched in early 2020 during the early weeks of the “stay at home” orders of the COVID pandemic. As Marcus and Megan were confined to an RV campground in Virginia with their travel plans temporarily suspended due to local and national lockdowns, they turned their attention to finishing some of the renovations they had started but hadn’t yet completed when they started traveling a few months prior. While scrolling through various inspirational Pinterest boards and social media posts showing RV renovations, they started saying, “I LOVE that RV!” They bookmarked favorite blog pages, saved Pinterest boards, and even clipped pictures out of magazines. But that wasn’t a very efficient method of organizing inspiration for their RV renovation projects, and the idea for the first version of the Love That RV website, inspiration blog and social media channels was born.
Why an RV Renovation Marketplace?
The most requested feature that Love That RV social media followers and website visitors ask for is a renovated RV marketplace. In fact, just a couple weeks after starting the Instagram account at https://instagram.com/lovethatrv in 2019, multiple users sent direct messages asking for suggestions on where to buy and sell renovated RVs.
There are many options for listing an RV for sale online, including large marketplaces like eBay, specialty sites like RV Trader, and classified websites like Craigslist and geographically local classifieds. Leaning on their own experience when selling their first renovated RV, our owners Marcus and Megan found that it was difficult to stand out from the crowd using these traditional online options. Many potential buyers didn’t value the added benefits and associated costs of a renovated RV. In short, these types of buyers weren’t the target audience and a lot of time (and money) was wasted in trying to sell a renovated RV to buyers who didn’t really want or need it.
Some popular online websites for buying and selling RVs are littered with advertisements, from the standard annoying pop-up ads to sidebar or inline ads and even full-page takeover ads. Interviews conducted with many RV owners and RV buyers revealed that these advertisements were a distraction and even a source of frustration when trying to research RVs. While website monetization is obviously an important aspect of an online business, the management team at Love That RV has minimized the amount of advertisements shown on the new RV marketplace in order to improve the quality of the user experience.
With more than half of the current daily website visits at Love That RV coming from visitors using a mobile device, attention to even the smallest details was necessary to create a smooth user experience. And with limited advertising cluttering the small screen space on a phone, user retention numbers are already showing that it was a wise choice to focus heavily on design decisions that maximized the user experience on smaller screens.
Plans For Future Growth
The team at Love That RV is perfectly situated to manage a quickly growing inspiration content website and online marketplace. Collectively the team has managed more than $75 million of advertising spend in the past decade across all digital channels and ad networks: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Amazon, Snapchat, and TikTok Ads. The management team also has extensive experience with online marketplaces after helping build a popular online marketplace from early stage startup stage to an established household brand with over $200 million in annual sales, winning numerous local and national awards and recognitions along the way.
The addition of a marketplace is a natural extension of the first version of the Love That RV website that launched a few years ago. Inbound site traffic and on-site keyword search queries show that a marketplace is the top requested feature to add to the already popular website.
The pandemic and subsequent need for safer, more socially distant experiences meant travelers (including many families) have been flocking to campgrounds, state parks, national parks and other recreational sites in rented or newly purchased RVs. RV sales in the past few years have seen record numbers with the RVIA reporting that RV shipments from manufacturers reached new records in 2021. Forecasts for RV shipments in 2024 are below the peak records of 2021, but they still remain historically higher than ever before.
In short, a record number of people are turning to RVs as the perfect way to experience travel and the great outdoors and it doesn’t appear that trend is slowing down any time soon.
And while more RV manufacturers and brands are starting to produce RV interior designs that match consumer demands, there is still a huge market demand for renovated RVs with upgraded aesthetics. Buyers and even just weekend renters want to travel in style and it can be hard to find renovated RVs online.
Love That RV is perfectly situated to capitalize on that market demand by providing an online marketplace experience unlike any competing service offered in the market today.
About Love That RV
It can be difficult to describe al the reasons why you might love a picture or video of an RV you see online. Many design aspects such as the paint colors, floorplan, wallpaper on the walls, decor, and lighting can combine to create a feeling of comfort and excitement. That’s why Love That RV shares a wide variety of design styles to inspire creativity and show that tiny homes on wheels can be beautiful. We love seeing unique and beautiful RV designs, and we love sharing that inspiration with our readers and our followers.
You can find us actively posting on our Inspiration Blog and on the following social media accounts: