Global Recreational Vehicle Market Latest Report 2023 | COVID-19 Pandemic Impact and Future Outlook by 2030

Global Recreational Vehicle Market Latest Report 2023 | COVID-19 Pandemic Impact and Future Outlook by 2030

Global Recreational Vehicle Market was valued at USD 58.04 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 69.94 billion by the year 2028, at a CAGR of 2.7%. Analysis Period 2023 – 2030.

A recreational vehicle (RV) is a vehicle that is meant to provide temporary housing and is typically used for camping, seasonal use, pleasure, or travel. The majority of RVs have only one deck, while some customized RVs have two decks. Towable (truck campers, folding camping trailers, and travel trailers) or motorized vehicles are available (motorhomes). Caravans, motorhomes, and campervans, for example, are sometimes referred to as camper trailers and travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers, and truck campers.

Leading Key Players Covered in Recreational Vehicle Market:

ADRIA MOBIL d.o.o, Airstream; Chausson, Coachmen RV a Division of Forest River Inc, Erwin Hymer Group, Forest River Inc, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk Ing. Harald Striewski GmbH, Hymer GmbH & Co. KG, Jayco Inc, K-Z Inc, Lunar Caravans, Nexus RV, Niesmann + Bischoff GmbH, Northwood Manufacturing, Palomino RV, Pilote, Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd

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The latest research on the Recreational Vehicle market provides a comprehensive overview of the market for the years 2023 to 2030. It gives a comprehensive picture of the global Recreational Vehicle industry, considering all significant industry trends, market dynamics, competitive landscape, and market analysis tools such as Porter’s five forces analysis, Industry Value chain analysis, and PESTEL analysis of the Recreational Vehicle market. Moreover, the report includes significant chapters such as Patent Analysis, Regulatory Framework, Technology Roadmap, BCG Matrix, Heat Map Analysis, Price Trend Analysis, and Investment Analysis which help to understand the market direction and movement in the current and upcoming years. The report is designed to help readers find information and make decisions that will help them grow their businesses. The study is written with a specific goal in mind: to give business insights and consultancy to help customers make smart business decisions and achieve long-term success in their particular market areas.


The Report Will Contains A Crucial Chapter:

·         Patent Analysis

·         Regulatory Framework

·         Technology Roadmap

·         BCG Matrix

·         Heat Map Analysis

·         Price Trend Analysis

·         Investment Analysis

·         Company Profiling and Competitive Positioning

·         Industry Value Chain Analysis

·         Market Dynamics and Factors

·         Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

·         Pestle Analysis

·         SWOT Analysis

Segmentation Analysis Includes,

By Type:

·         Towable RVs

·         Motorhomes

By Class:

·         Class A

·         Class B

·         Class C

By Application:

·         Domestic

·         Commercial

By Region:

·         North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)

·         Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Rest of Eastern Europe)

·         Western Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Spain, Rest of Western Europe)

·         Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Rest of APAC)

·         Middle East & Africa (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Israel, South Africa)

·         South America (Brazil, Argentina, Rest of SA)

Introspective Market Research offers comprehensive market research studies, providing valuable insights and strategic guidance to businesses worldwide. We ensure reliability and accuracy in our reports for informed decision-making.

The Recreational Vehicle market research study ensures the highest level of accuracy and reliability as we precisely examine the overall industry, covering all the market fundamentals. By leveraging a wide range of primary and secondary sources, we establish a strong foundation for our findings. Industry-standard tools like Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and Price Trend Analysis further enhance the comprehensiveness of our evaluation. Our study also discusses the complete Recreational Vehicle market ecosystem, explaining the various market stakeholders, their functions and interdependencies between them. Further, with an emphasis on comprehensive segmentation analysis and geographical coverage, the study enables a profound understanding of regional trends. Moreover, we explore external factors providing a comprehensive view of the market dynamics.

If You Have Any Query of Recreational Vehicle Market Report, Visit:

Table of Content:

Chapter 1: Introduction

 1.1 Research Objectives

 1.2 Research Methodology

 1.3 Research Process

 1.4 Scope and Coverage

  1.4.1 Market Definition

  1.4.2 Key Questions Answered

 1.5 Market Segmentation

Chapter 2:Executive Summary

Chapter 3:Growth Opportunities By Segment

3.1 By Type

 3.2 By Class

 3.3 By Application

Chapter 4: Market Landscape

4.1 Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

  4.1.1 Bargaining Power of Supplier

  4.1.2 Threat of New Entrants

  4.1.3 Threat of Substitutes

  4.1.4 Competitive Rivalry

  4.1.5 Bargaining Power Among Buyers

 4.2 Industry Value Chain Analysis

 4.3 Market Dynamics

  4.3.1 Drivers

  4.3.2 Restraints

  4.3.3 Opportunities

  4.5.4 Challenges

 4.4 Pestle Analysis

 4.5 Technological Roadmap

 4.6 Regulatory Landscape

 4.7 SWOT Analysis

 4.8 Price Trend Analysis

4.9 Patent Analysis

 4.10 Analysis of the Impact of Covid-19

  4.10.1 Impact on the Overall Market


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Source: Global Recreational Vehicle Market Latest Report 2023 | COVID-19 Pandemic Impact and Future Outlook by 2030

$48 Billion U.S. Recreational Vehicles Industry Boosted   by The Pandemic

$48 Billion U.S. Recreational Vehicles Industry Boosted by The Pandemic

Industry undergoes a reset for future growth


RVs are as American as apple pie.”

June 28, 2023: Marketdata LLC, an leading independent market research publisher since 1979, has released a new study, an 87-page report entitled: The U.S. Recreational Vehicles Industry: Manufacturers, Dealers and RV Parks. The study traces the industry from 1980s to 2027 Forecast, examining the markets size, growth, structure, buyer demographics and competition.

The industry posted record revenues and RV shipments (600,000 RVs) in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers sought ways to vacation safely. This was a major turning point and stimulus for the industry, as a new and younger demographic was introduced to the RV lifestyle.

However, this pace was not sustainable and recreational vehicle shipments and sales began to decline in 2022. This decline continues into 2023, as RV prices and demand fall, but this is being mitigated as customers are now pursuing RV rentals, used vehicles, and RV sharing.

Major Findings:

Market Value Marketdata estimates that the RVs industry had record revenues of $52.6 billion in 2021, a 33% increase over 2020. This was atypical, fueled by the pandemic. Sales moderated to $48.5 billion in 2022. The 9-year growth rate for RV dealer sales was 26.7% from 2012 to 2021. The industry is returning to more historical growth rates and is forecast to grow 6.2% per year from 2022 to 2027.

Demographics As of March 2021, 11.3 million households owned an RV — a 26 percent increase over the past ten years. Generation X and Baby Boomers make up the majority of RV owners, and those ages 35-54 are the most likely to own an RV. The average owner has an income of $68,000.

2023 Outlook Sales of RVs are declining as prices fall and dealers work through their large inventories. Rising interest rates and economic uncertainty will continue to act as headwinds. The RV sector relies heavily on consumers affordability. A 10.3% sales decline is forecast for this year.

Competitive Market The industry consists of 2,800 retail RV dealers and nearly 4,900 RV parks and campgrounds, that employ a combined 76,700 workers. RV manufacturers employ another 11,373 workers.

Metrics The average RV dealer retail establishment (office, branch, physical site) had estimated receipts of $12.78 million in 2020, up 32% from 2017. The average RV park establishment had estimated receipts of $840,000 in 2020, up 22.8% from 2017.

Geographic In 2020, the states with the largest number of RV dealer establishments included: California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and Pennsylvania, in that order. In the United States, about 85 percent of recreational vehicles sold are manufactured in Indiana, with most of that production in Elkhart County, which calls itself the RV Capital of the World.

The industry is susceptible to boom and bust cycles, as RVs are discretionary purchases that can be postponed or cancelled. However, the outlook over the next four years is good, as RV parks grow in number and younger buyers embrace RV travel., according to John LaRosa.

About The Report

The U.S. Recreational Vehicles Industry: Manufacturers, Dealers and RV Parks, published in June 2023, is an independent off-the-shelf market research study. The study is 87 pages in length, with 30 tables and charts and 7 competitor profiles. It is priced at $1,295. A $99 Executive Overview is also available. A free Table of Contents is available by email or at Contact: Marketdata LLC, 7210 Wareham Drive, Tampa, FL 33647, (813) 971-8080. John LaRosa is available for interviews and presentations.

About Marketdata LLC

Marketdata is a 44-year old market research and consulting firm with a specialty tracking a wide variety of service sectors (commercial, personal services). It provides custom research projects. consulting, and phone consultations. Marketdatas ubiased reports are used by trade associations, banks, private equity firms, start-ups, ad agencies, consultants, entreprenuers, and industry competitors (Fortune 500).

( Press Release Image: )


Contact Information
John S. LaRosa
Research Director
Marketdata LLC
(1) 813-971-8080

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Source: $48 Billion U.S. Recreational Vehicles Industry Boosted by The Pandemic

Are these hydrogen-electric RVs the answer to emissions-free holidays?

Are these hydrogen-electric RVs the answer to emissions-free holidays?

Are these hydrogen-electric RVs the answer to emissions-free holidays?

Linnea Ahlgren

Story by

Linnea Ahlgren

Not too far in the future, camper lovers could be going on holidays that are much kinder to the very nature they are looking to enjoy. At the beginning of this week, London and Vancouver-based startup First Hydrogen revealed the design for its next-generation zero-emission Recreational Vehicle (RV). 

The concept has been developed in collaboration with Switzerland-headquartered EDAG Group. Its introduction follows the presentation of First Hydrogen’s next-generation light commercial vehicle (LCV), also a result of a partnership with the global mobility expert.

The company states that the first generation of its fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) have already entered road trials with members of the UK Aggregated Hydrogen Freight Consortium (AHFC), starting with fleet management company Rivus. 

They will be tested for several different use cases, including delivery of groceries and parcels, health care and roadside assistance. First Hydrogen will then use data and feedback from the road trials to inform the development of its Generation II vehicle. 

Hydrogen fuel cells superior to battery EVs?

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First Hydrogen’s vehicles are powered by high performance Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks supplied by Ballard Power. This generates electricity by converting chemical energy stored in hydrogen fuel into electrical energy, using a proton-conducting polymer membrane as the electrolyte. They operate at relatively low temperatures (50 to 100 °C) and can quickly vary output to meet shifting demand, which makes them a good fuel cell choice for the automotive industry. 

The company says this gives it a leg up on regular EVs as the hydrogen FCEV can carry heavier payloads. Furthermore, it takes much less time to refuel the hydrogen than it takes to recharge an electrical battery. The next-generation LCV range is projected at 500+ km. 

“These concept vehicles provide a glimpse of our company’s future and give a clear indication of our brand direction within the LCV space,” said Steve Gill, CEO of Automotive for First Hydrogen. 

First Hydrogen’s next-generation fuel cell LCV will be informed by data from Generation I vehicles currently in road trials. Credit: First Hydrogen

While the quest to decarbonise road transport is admirable in and of itself, there is also a solid financial foundation for the product: the global LCV market is projected to reach €686 billion by 2030. For the RV market, the corresponding prediction for the end of the decade is just under €107 billion. 

In Europe, RV sales hit an all-time high in 2021 with 260,000 new vehicles sold, very likely spurred by restrictions following the global health crisis. Here, First Hydrogen identifies particular opportunities with an often eco-conscious campervan crowd. 

“The First Hydrogen campervan is an example of how we see hydrogen fuel cell and other electric vehicle technologies having wider applications,” Gill added.

Looking to increase green hydrogen production

As with most startups working with hydrogen, First Hydrogen has to ensure that there will be enough to supply its products. No one will purchase a vehicle that cannot be powered after all, no matter how zero-emission it may be. 

Furthermore, the hydrogen needs to be green, meaning produced using renewable energy, otherwise the eco-friendly concept goes out the window. In summer last year, First Hydrogen applied for funding from the UK Government’s £240 million (€272 million) Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF). 

The company’s two green hydrogen production projects will have an initial capacity of 40MW each and be situated in the Greater Manchester area and the Thames Estuary. The second round of NZHF competition is currently underway for both development and capital expenditure.

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Source: Are these hydrogen-electric RVs the answer to emissions-free holidays?

Shop employees rally to extinguish nearby RV fire

Shop employees rally to extinguish nearby RV fire

Shop employees used water to extinguish a recreational vehicle and some pallets that had been on fire near the building, Saskatoon Fire Department said.

Saskatoon Fire Department was called to a fire in the 900 block of Valley Road on July 9, 2022.
Saskatoon Fire Department was called to a fire in the 900 block of Valley Road on July 9, 2022. Photo by SUPPLIED /Saskatoon Fire Department

An RV was burned in a fire in the 900 block of Valley Road in Saskatoon on Saturday.

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Saskatoon Fire Department said in a news release that crews were called to attend a shop around 7:15 p.m. and arrived to find employees had used water to extinguish a recreational vehicle and some pallets that had been on fire near the building. The fire had extended to the exterior of the shop.

The department said that fire crews had turned the scene over to the RCMP and if a fire investigation is to be conducted, it would be performed by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.

No further details were available.

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Source: Shop employees rally to extinguish nearby RV fire

Clark County deputies respond to shots fired in Hazel Dell

Clark County deputies respond to shots fired in Hazel Dell


A 27-year-old man was taken into custody by Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies after firing multiple rounds from a firearm while inside a recreational vehicle (RV) Friday in Hazel Dell.
A 27-year-old man was taken into custody by Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies after firing multiple rounds from a firearm while inside a recreational vehicle (RV) Friday in Hazel Dell.

Deputies determined that the suspect unlawfully obtained two firearms from his father’s secured cabinet within a RV

A 27-year-old man was taken into custody by Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies after firing multiple rounds from a firearm while inside a recreational vehicle (RV) Friday in Hazel Dell.

On Friday (June 8) at 10:09 a.m., deputies responded to 7603 NE 13th Avenue (Vancouver RV Park) after a 9-1-1 caller reported he was being threatened by an unknown person. The caller, later identified as Washington resident Andrew James Ziegler, stated he was now alone and that the person threatening him was not there. Ziegler stated that he had armed himself with a gun. 

While deputies arrived, multiple gunshots were heard from Ziegler’s RV. Ziegler surrendered to deputies after firing multiple rounds from a firearm within his RV.  

The initial investigation showed that the firing of the rounds were not intended to harm deputies, but were to solicit a police response by Ziegler. Deputies were unable to substantiate Ziegler’s claims of being threatened, and found that Ziegler unlawfully obtained two firearms from his father’s secured cabinet within the RV.  

No other persons were harmed during this incident, and the investigation is still active. Ziegler was booked into the Clark County Law Enforcement Center for Aiming or Discharge of a Firearm and two counts of Theft of a Firearm. 

This investigation is still active.

Information provided by Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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Source: Clark County deputies respond to shots fired in Hazel Dell

‘Still going’: Some RVers say high gasoline prices could keep them closer to home

‘Still going’: Some RVers say high gasoline prices could keep them closer to home

Bucars RV Centre general manager Jeff Redmond with new recreational vehicles on his lot in Balzac, Alta. on Tuesday, May src7, 2022. With gasoline prices hitting all-time highs, Redmond says he's planning to stay closer to home when RV camping this summer. But he adds recreational vehicles are still one of the most affordable ways to travel as a couple or with a family once other costs are factored in.

By Colette DerworizThe Canadian Press

Sat., May 21, 20224 min. read

With gasoline prices hitting all-time highs, Jeff Redmond says he’s planning to stay closer to home when RV camping this summer.

The owner and general manager of Bucars RV Centre in Balzac, Alta., says recreational vehicles are still one of the most affordable ways to travel as a couple or with a family once hotels, gasoline prices or airline costs are factored in.

“We laugh that RVers are the ones that are winning,” Redmond said in an interview this week.

The cost of gasoline declined slightly before this May long weekend, the unofficial kickoff to summer camping season, but analysts say summer demand in coming weeks has the potential to send prices even higher.

Redmond said that could influence where he travels this year.

“The Okanagan Valley is a place I like to go … and that’s a seven-hour drive, so maybe I am going to go to Pigeon Lake or Gull Lake (Alberta), which is an hour-and-a-half drive,” he said. “The good news is that I am still going.

“We’re able to alter our plans and to work within our budget.”

Redmond said he has heard a similar sentiment from customers. Some are staying closer to home. Others are planning to stay longer at one campsite.

“You park the larger trailer at a permanent campsite, or at your friend’s cottage, or at the old family farm, or at a winery in the Okanagan — and you don’t tow it,” he said. “You hop in your family car and you go back and forth. You have a built-in, very affordable … off-the-grid cabin that is extremely efficient once you get there.

“Lots of people are no longer towing.”

Rob Minarchi is vice-president of sales at ArrKann Trailer & R.V. Centre with outlets across Alberta. He said there’s been a lot of demand for RVs since the start of the pandemic and it hasn’t slowed down this year.

“Most (people) are upgrading, as crazy as that sounds,” he said from Edmonton. “Some people are selling … because circumstances have changed but, for the most part, they are just trading in for different units.

“There’s a lot of new RVers who came to the market when COVID first hit … but they didn’t know exactly what they wanted.”

Those customers, he said, are trading in for units that better suit their needs.

Minarchi said he hasn’t heard about anyone getting rid of an RV due to high gas prices.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of people are just camping a little closer,” he said. “If they were going to do a five-hour trip, now they are going to do a one-hour trip … I think it actually ties in a little bit with COVID and staying close to home.

“They found so many hidden gems locally … in the last couple of years that they are OK to do that.”

Some campgrounds are starting to notice some changes.

“I’ve had a few people cancel,” said Scott Kast, owner of Tomahawk R.V. at Lake of the Woods in Ontario.

But, he said, gas prices are a minor factor in those cancellations.

“We do get a lot of Americans here. One thing holding people back is vaccine mandates,” said Kast.

Another campground manager told CKPG radio station in Prince George, B.C., that some people travelling from farther away have cancelled.

“A lot of people are wanting to stay local,” said Bobbie Carpino, who runs the Salmon Valley campground.

“We’ve seen cancellations from folks coming in from the States heading up to Alaska, as well as folks coming in from the Lower Mainland.”

The price of fuel could add $100 or $200 to the cost of an average camping trip, Minarchi said.

“It feels like a lot when you are at the pump but … it’s still affordable to do it,” he said. “One less restaurant that you eat out at pays for the difference in your fuel for the whole camping trip.”

Some RVers, he said, are adding solar panels and buying generators to make it easier to camp off the grid — including on Crown land. Others are parking their RVs at permanent sites for the entire summer.

“They are still camping, so that’s good.”

Redmond said the pandemic encouraged many people to get outdoors in their RVs, on a mountain bike or with a set of golf clubs.

“I am a guy that went and bought a new bicycle and there’s no way I’m selling my bike. It’s been awesome to get on the trails and get reintroduced to that,” he said.

“There (are) lots of people, their lives got in the way of our great outdoors. They are stepping back now and saying, ‘Wow, that was great’ and they are going to keep doing it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2022.


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Source: ‘Still going’: Some RVers say high gasoline prices could keep them closer to home

Best RV Rental Companies in 2022     – Roadshow

Best RV Rental Companies in 2022 – Roadshow

There’s something special about hitting the open road and all of the endless possibilities it might have in store for you. Ever since cars became a popular mode for transportation, road trips have been a staple of pop culture. Many would-be-travelers have been discovering the joys of RV travel, including all the convenience it brings. There’s no need to worry about crowded buses, overbooked hotels or delayed flights when you’ve got your own large RV to travel and relax in.

With the recreational vehicle, aka the RV, you have a completely self-contained home on wheels. The only schedule you need to follow on a RV vacation is your own. And, yes, you can rent an RV, campervan, motorhome or travel trailer just like pretty much anything else in this use-before-you-buy world.

Read more: Essential Camp Cooking Gear Makes the Great Outdoors Delicious

If you’re willing to drive something big, you can have almost all the comforts of home in a RV.


Even smaller companies are feeling the love. “We’ve seen a huge bump in US web traffic and calls,” says Carley Clegg, Marketing Content Coordinator of Escape Campervans.

Never mind if you’ve never set foot in a camper. We’ve got you covered. Scroll on for the basics of RV life, some planning tips and a list of the best RV rental companies — based on user reviews and our own research — for when you decide to dip your toes into the RV waters.

What type of motorhome should you rent?

The term RV is rather generic and even misleading. The image of a massive motorhome probably comes to mind. But consider campervans, fifth-wheel trailers, pop-up campers and the like falling under this catchall. However, for this list, we’ll focus exclusively on motorized vehicles.

Class A motorhomes are the largest and most spacious

Class A motor coaches are the prototypes, being the largest and most expensive that can replace a home and car for a truly nomadic experience. They range in length from 30 to 45 feet and exude the sexiness of a bus. Because of their size (usually fitting up to six people) and built-in accommodations (like a washer/dryer combo), brand-new Class A RVs start around $70,000 and can price upwards into the millions for high-end, fully customized vehicles.

Class B motorhomes are perfect for couples and easier to park

Class B RV vehicles are built on a van chassis and this is where campervans fall in. Thanks to their shorter length (20 to 25 feet), Class B RVs are more flexible in terms of parking at the RV park or campground and are surprisingly garage friendly. But there are compromises in terms of space (four people will be snug) and amenities (think pull-out kitchens and no bathroom). Class B vehicles are generally the go-to RV for solo travelers and couples.

Pricing for a new Class B RV varies greatly, because unlike a Class A or Class C — which are manufactured for use specifically as motorhomes — Class B vehicles can start off as a run-of-the-mill minivan with a few added amenities like a pop-up tent and hot plate, to a large cargo van customized with a galley, cabinets and toilet. For reference, a 2022 Chrysler Voyager starts at $32,115 and a basic conversion kit from companies such as Titan Vans start at $44,995 — vehicle not included.

Class C motorhomes are smaller and more affordable

If you’re looking at a Class C RV, that means it’s a truck-based vehicle that looks the part. While Class B vehicles can be as simple as a converted high-roofline cargo or passenger van, Class C RVs are purpose-built. They have that distinct “cab-over” design. Although much smaller than a Class A, Class C motorhomes offer many similar amenities, like built-in kitchens, showers and storage. New ones range from $50,000 to $120,000 at RV dealerships. Class C RVs are best suited for families or small groups.

Life on the open road would be quite comfortable in a rig like this.

Escape Campervans

Where to start in terms of finding the right RV rental? Most will be peer-to-peer rentals, of which RVshare is the largest marketplace and has been around since 2012. But there are fleet direct motorhome rental companies like Cruise America, which has been in operation since 1972 and is the largest of its kind. Kampgrounds of America has a great directory for finding RV rentals near you, with listings that include local, single-location businesses and large nationwide networks. But if you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to the camper rental world, check out the following list of recommended RV rental companies, based on what our research yielded about various kinds of travel plans. 

Note all starting prices are rates based on reservations made in June for one-week rentals out of Los Angeles during the week of Aug. 1-8 (peak summer season). Cost per night does not include taxes or additional fees and will fluctuate based on shorter or longer rental periods. Vehicles are subject to availability.

Cruise America

Cruise America offers Class C motorhome rentals for RV camping that range in occupancy from three to seven people. Some peace of mind for groups and families is that all rentals come equipped with a shower, fresh water toilet, refrigerator and microwave. Beds are fixed, rather than Murphy-style pulldowns, so there’s always a comfortable place to rest. Combined with Cruise Canada, the employee-owned company has 132 locations in North America, includes insurance with every rental, and provides 24-hour renter’s assistance via the mobile app, online or by phone. You can contact the company for everything from campsite locations to vehicle troubleshooting.

Details: Best RV rental company for families/groups

Company Cruise America
Locations 126 across the US and Canada
RV type Class C RVs
Starting price per night $299
Minimum stay Three nights
One more thing… Cruise America offers a number of special deals, including free nights

Escape Campervans

With 12 locations across the US and Canada, Escape Campervans offers a selection of rental options with capacity for two to five people. As its name suggests, the late-model fleet (vehicles are 2012 model year or newer) consists of Class B vehicles, but with a Jeep Wrangler Sahara and Class C cab-over Ford F-150 thrown into the mix. While there are creature comforts available like a queen-sized bed and kitchenette with a pull-out stove and refrigerator, only the Class C option has a bathroom. But as a couple of buds or significant others, highway rest stops and overnight campsites are easier to manage than with a larger RV. 

Escape Campervans rentals include insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Note that its vehicles are wrapped in unique artwork, so if you’re looking to stay under the radar while you travel, the rooftop tent-equipped Jeep is your only option.

Details: Best RV rental company for couples

Company Escape Campervans
Locations 12 across the US and Canada
RV type Class B RVs
Starting price per night $95
Minimum stay Three nights
One more thing… Escape Campervans is the largest such rental company in North America


Rolling solo? RVshare has a network of 60,000 owners that you can filter through to enjoy RVing as cheaply or extravagantly as you like. There are Class B RV campervans available for as little as $69 per night — or go nuts with a Class A penthouse on wheels for $1,200 per night with delivery included. RVshare vets both its owners and renters. Insurance, 24/7 customer assistance and a rental-replacement guarantee are included in every rental RV. Whether you’re making a last-minute trip or planning ahead, RVshare provides the ultimate selection in flexibility and availability.

Details: Best RV rental company for solo travelers

Company RVshare
Locations All 50 states and Washington, DC
RV type All classes of drivable and towable RVs
Starting price per night $89 for Class C RVs, $69 for Class B RVs
Minimum stay Three nights, but variable up to seven nights based on owner discretion
One more thing… RVshare is the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace

Vintage Surfari Wagons

Many RV rentals have minimum stays, usually between three and five days. For those short on time but eager to experience RV living, Vintage Surfari Wagons is worth considering. Based in Costa Mesa, California (and only there), the company has been renting out classic Volkswagen campervans for more than 14 years. Although the majority of its fleet hails from the 1970s and ’80s, there are some late-model vehicles available to rent as well. Some campers do come with certain restrictions, though, like 100-mile daily maximums and road-access limits (some can’t handle steep hills). Keep your rental period brief and better planned, though, and it’ll be no less memorable.

Details: Best RV rental company for short/weekend trips

Company Vintage Surfari Wagons
Locations Costa Mesa, California
RV type Class B RVs
Starting price per night $159
Minimum stay Three nights standard with a limited fleet of single night options
One more thing… Vintage Surfari Wagons offers unique group camp tours

Cruise America

For extended vacations or even as temporary housing, Cruise America has a separate team that specially caters to long-term camper rental requests. With the ability to tap into the 4,000-vehicle fleet, but with dedicated service regarding mobile housing needs — leisure, corporate and reasons in between — Cruise America will work with renters’ expectations with regards to RV size, amenities and budgets.

Details: Best RV rental company for extended trips or housing

Company Cruise America
Locations 126 across the US and Canada
RV type Class C RVs
Starting price per night $299
Minimum stay Three nights
One more thing… Cruise America RVs are all equipped with kitchens, bathrooms and a receiver hitch for towing


RVnGO is another peer-to-peer RV campervan rental marketplace, but with a simplified and easily customizable rent search. For example, there is a dedicated checkbox for one-way rentals via the website’s inventory search. Because listings will be sparse, select the maximum 300-mile range to increase available RVs within your rent pick-up location. Other companies offer one-way rentals, too, but they either are not as clear cut (i.e., pending owner approval) or limited to a specific class type. Keep in mind that RVnGO charges a daily rent insurance fee that varies from $25 to $70 based on motorhome class and another $15 per day for 24-hour roadside assistance.

Details: Best RV rental company for one-way trips

Company RVnGO
Locations All 50 states plus Washington, DC
RV type All classes of drivable and towable RVs
Starting price per night $112 for Class C RVs, $228 for Class B RVs
Minimum stay Three nights, but variable up to seven nights based on owner’s discretion
One more thing… RVnGO is a truly free service for RV hosts to list and process rentals

Details: Best RV rental company for pets

Company Outdoorsy
Locations All 50 US states plus Canada
RV type All classes of drivable and towable RVs
Starting price per night $68 for Class C RVs, $58 for Class B RVs
Minimum stay Two nights, but variable up to seven nights based on owner’s discretion
One more thing… Outdoorsy has pet-friendly and ADA-accessible filters built into its inventory search

Lost Campers

Boasting rates as low as $35 per night and with unlimited mileage to boot, Lost Campers appeals to the budget-minded RV renter. Plus, returning customers will receive additional discounts and perks. A family-owned business since 2007, Lost Campers has a fleet of inconspicuous, no-frills Class B-converted passenger vans. Basic insurance is included with the option to add extra coverage. Located near Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salt Lake City airports, Lost Campers offers flexible after-hours pickup and drop-off times as well as free 24-hour roadside assistance.

Details: Best cheap RV rental company

Company Lost Campers
Locations Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco
RV type Class B RVs
Starting price per night $79
Minimum stay Three nights
One more thing… Lost Campers includes unlimited mileage as well as kitchen kits and camping gear for all rentals.

Adventure Travel Sport Rentals

Want to really escape from civilization? Opt for Adventure Travel Sport Rentals, whose tagline is “RVs are for sightseeing; rigs are for adventure.” Although its rental location is based out of the greater Denver area, a plethora of national parks and rugged locales are easily within a day’s drive. In addition to airport delivery and returns, Adventure Travel Sport offers campervans and converted SUVs that are fully equipped for off-the-grid exploring. This means in addition to beds, bathrooms, kitchens and storage, its “rigs” are also 4×4 beasts. And if you’re lucky, you might find one with a manual transmission.

Details: Best RV rental company for going off the grid

Company Adventure Travel Sport Rentals
Locations Denver
RV type Class B RVs
Starting price per night $275
Minimum stay Three nights
One more thing… Adventure Travel Sport Rentals specializes in fully equipped off-road-capable vehicles for truly off-the-grid living

Know before you go

The biggest thing to remember when RV renting? The RV lifestyle does not come cheap. “One thing first-time RV renters don’t ask about, but should, is budget,” says Cruise America’s Smalley. “People don’t do that with hotels, even though in addition to the room you’re also paying for meals, parking, etc. With an RV, you need to budget for gas mileage.”

In addition, fuel economy is going to be dismal. Although a Class A motorhome can have an 80 to 150-gallon fuel tank, it’ll also return about 6 to 8 mpg. Class C RVs have tanks that average 40 to 80 gallons in size with a return of about 8 to 15 mpg. Class B are the smallest at about 25 gallons, but have roughly the same fuel economy as Class C vehicles. Keep in mind that RVs can be equipped with either a diesel or gasoline engine, which will not only affect mileage, but prices at the pump as well.

Speaking of mileage, as mentioned above, not all rentals include unlimited miles. Especially when renting from peer-to-peer sites like RVshare and RVnGO, don’t skim over the owner-listed details too quickly. Some may offer a maximum daily limit (usually 100 miles), which may or may not be included in your rate. Excess mileage is usually a minimum 25 cents per mile, but will increase based on the RV class type. But discounts may be available during slower travel months. This isn’t a nickel-and-dime-scheme, either, but necessary revenue to cover the costs of maintenance and, to a smaller extent, minimize abuse.

Rolling around the country in a giant, plush RV will create memories, but be prepared for pricey gas station visits.

Cruise America

Things you’re less likely to fret about are rent insurance, customer assistance and licensing. Most RV rental companies have basic insurance included in the price of the rental. But it’s not a bad idea to check with your personal auto insurance provider regarding your coverage, either. And 24-hour support is a given as well. Renters can contact their rental company for all kinds of RV support from troubleshooting, campsite locations and roadside help.

As for driving the RV, the threshold for any special certification like a commercial driver’s license is 26,000 pounds. Because the vast majority of RV rentals weigh less than that, a valid standard driver’s license will pass muster throughout the US. “Many people think that when renting a Class A RV you’ll need a special license, however, you can rent any RV on our site with a standard driver’s license,” says Vija Viksne, RVnGO marketing director. It’s worth noting, though, that some Class A RVs can indeed weigh as much as 30,000 pounds. If you’re renting something that big and that fancy, you’re going to need the matching license to boot.

Currently, states requiring a CDL to drive a 26,000-pound-plus rig are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico and Wisconsin, plus Washington, DC. A noncommercial special driver’s license is required in California, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming. Thinking of driving an RV through Canada? As long as you meet the licensing requirements of your issuing state, you’re free to move about the country.

Unless you’re renting a RV that weighs more than 26,000 pounds, your normal driver’s license will be sufficient.

Escape Campervans

RVshare spokesperson Maddi Bourgerie recommends conducting a detailed walk-through with the owner. “Things like operating the generator, electrical hookups and dumping the water tanks are all crucial to using the RV and need to be done properly,” she says. “Even things that seem simple might be a little tricky. It’s important to read carefully any manuals provided by the owner and ask as many questions as you have.”

The RV lifestyle offers almost unlimited freedom to explore without limiting who can take part in the adventure. Wheelchair accessible and ADA-compliant RVs are available and can be indicated using inventory search filters.

With many of us eager to get out of the house and just go somewhere, an RV can be that foreign yet familiar escape during these stressful, uncertain times. “The great thing about an RV is that you can rent the exact type specific for your trip,” adds Viksne. So, make a budget, pack your bags and hit the road.

Written for Roadshow by Beverly Braga.

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Source: Best RV Rental Companies in 2022 – Roadshow

Stir-Fried Udon With Pork and Scallions

With chewy noodles, well-browned ground pork, and crunchy cabbage, this take on yaki udon (stir-fried udon noodles) gets its flavor from an umami-rich punch of soy sauce and mirin, a sweet Japanese rice wine. (You might recognize the combination from teriyaki recipes.) It also has green onions for a fresh bite and a drizzle of sesame oil for nutty depth. You can easily make it vegetarian: Simply omit the pork and sub in 8 oz. shiitake or crimini mushrooms instead.

If you don’t have mirin in your pantry already, it’s easily found in many larger grocery stores, East Asian markets, and online. Some brands may be labeled “aji-mirin.” This common product is an imitation of true mirin (the name translates to “tastes like mirin”). Whatever you find will be delicious in this recipe, but if you spot hon-mirin (a.k.a. true mirin, which is quite a bit more expensive) it makes the dish even more special.

This is a weeknight-ready, quick-fire udon noodle recipe, so prepping your ingredients before you start cooking is a smart move. See the step-by-step instructions here.

If you want to serve with a vegetable side, a plate of greens like bok choy or yu choy pairs well. For more udon recipes, check out the boxy noodles in a buttery tomato and soy broth or tossed with kimchi, gochujang, and butter.

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in March 2017.


4 servings


tablespoons vegetable oil, divided


cups very coarsely chopped green cabbage (from about ¼ medium head)


7-ounce packages instant udon noodles, flavor packets discarded


teaspoons toasted sesame oil


ounces ground pork


scallions, white and pale-green parts coarsely chopped, dark-green parts thinly sliced


teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (from a 1-inch knob)


teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

cup mirin

cup soy sauce


tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

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Source: Stir-Fried Udon With Pork and Scallions

My Money: ‘Our alternative quarantine holiday’

My Money: ‘Our alternative quarantine holiday’

Image copyright
Alyssa Hulme

My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here Alyssa Hulme from Heber City in Utah, US, takes us through a week in her life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alyssa, 31, is a freelance writer and educational consultant. She and her husband Randy have four children: Ellie, eight, Max, seven, Amethyst, four and Josie, one. She has been homeschooling her children for a year, months before the pandemic started.

She says her week started out mundane but ended up awesome! She had no idea on Monday where she would be by Sunday.

Presentational white space

Over to Alyssa….

I started the day nursing my one-year-old, passed her off to her dad for breakfast and settled down for a solid 45 minutes of private time before spending the rest of the day homeschooling three kids and caring for a baby. After prayer, meditation, and setting my To-Dos for the day, I purchased a course, the 30-day Money Cure with Carol Tuttle for $297 (£242). The course is on gaining financial affluence by clearing out limiting belief systems that don’t serve me and replacing them with healthy practices. I have been looking forward to this course for months and have set aside money for this specific purpose.

After that I moved on to begin my day with my family and set everyone to their beginning tasks of piano, chores, and math. We’ve been homeschooling for a year now, so it’s been a pretty typical day. But at lunchtime instead of transitioning to a play date, my husband took our eldest out for one-on-one time to help supplement the loss of activities and outings that has come with Covid-19 lockdowns.

We’ve been isolating since the end of February and the loss of friends is wearing on us all. During our midday quiet time I taught two online vocal training lessons virtually to students who live in town. Typically they’d come to my home, but we are all still isolating. After that we settled into our evening routine: I made dinner, we ate together and then held our weekly “family night” – an evening of talent shows, games, treats and fun.

Total spend: $297 (£242)

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Alyssa Hulme

I continued with the money course. I am starting up a homeschool consulting business and really want to get on the correct and mentally healthy track for the sake of my business. The course has helped me identify several limiting beliefs I can clear up to allow space for more growth. Then, as every weekday for months, we did homeschool, lunch and quiet time in the afternoon.

During quiet time I had a virtual occupational therapy appointment for my one-year-old in order to evaluate her for possible gross motor delays. This is free through our state. Next I had a virtual appointment with my therapist. This costs $110 after insurance and is withdrawn from my Health Saving Account, an account we pay into monthly through my husband’s pay check and is tax free. Therapy always really takes it out of me and today it was compounded by some new business issues I’m working through, so my husband picked up dinner from a fastfood Chinese restaurant for $40. It ended up being a lot of food and will last a good two and a half meals for the six of us.

I took the evening to work more on my business and work on my personal goals. Normally I’d go out with friends or go to the gym, but everything is closed, so I get to save more money and get to know my bed a little better.

Total spend: $150 (£122)

Our big outing today was a trip up the canyon near our home. We spent two hours hiking in the woods, building fairy houses and crossing streams.

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Alyssa Hulme

Later in the evening I started making plans for next year’s homeschool and bought some notebooks and stationery through I really dislike online shopping, especially for something as personal as a notebook. As a writer, the size, weight and binding of a notebook really matters to me, so buying from an online shop is very disorienting.

I also bought a summer dress through, something I can easily nurse in and hope to be able to wear out and about someday here soon when the quarantine is lifted. Our county just moved to a low-risk status, so hopefully my husband and I can start up our weekly date nights soon.

Total spend: $110.52 (£90)

Late last night my husband discovered that he will not be returning to work in his office until the end of 2020. We discussed buying a motorhome, living in it for the next six months, renting out our home, and working and doing homeschool on the go. This has been a dream of ours for 10 years, but it never worked out with our careers. Now is the time.

Today we decided to rent an RV (recreational vehicle) – $1,160 for four nights – and start testing out different configurations and living quarters. We decided to head for Yellowstone National Park. Two of the four entrances are now open! I found an RV site and started packing up.

I normally would have gone grocery shopping last night but our travel plans halted that. As a result we were out of food today, so I grabbed lunch from a local shop for $33.50 and dinner from a restaurant for $45. This is not a normal thing for us to just pick up and drop a ton of money on travel, but we have now been in isolation since the end of February and we are all so ready to have a new experience.

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Alyssa Hulme

This money is coming from the allotment my husband and I had set aside to celebrate our 10 year anniversary tomorrow, but all our kid-free-for-the-first-time-in-five-years international travel plans were squashed by the virus. This will be an interesting substitute.

We parked the RV along our path to Yellowstone at a Walmart. Anyone can park there overnight for free, so it’s a great backup to have in mind when travelling.

Total spend: $1,238.50 (£1,005)

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Alyssa Hulme

Happy 10 year anniversary to my husband and me! We celebrate the day by first getting groceries from Walmart and starting the trek to Yellowstone. I bought groceries for the week for $233. Not too bad for a family of six with limited fridge and cupboard space. We stopped to fill up the RV with gas for $213. After several hours of driving, we arrived at the spot I had reserved online yesterday for two nights, a total of $180, including water and electricity plug-ins. It’s a little high for an RV site, but it’s the closest I could find to the park entrance online and we decided to value time in the park over the cost of the campsite. (All the sites inside the park are closed due to Covid-19.)

Total spend: $626 (£510)

Image copyright
Alyssa Hulme

My Money

More blogs from the BBC’s My Money Series:

We woke early and headed to the park today, but it was closed due to a snowstorm. The road ended up getting 12 inches of snow in some places! Instead of exploring the park we explored the National Forest just outside.

Total spend: $0

Image copyright
Alyssa Hulme

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Alyssa Hulme

We got up early again and were able to enter the park! We used our National Parks Pass to get in, so no cost today. We did everything that was open in the park, the big attractions for us being the Upper and Lower falls outlooks, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and Old Faithful.

We saw so much wildlife on this trip, far more than my husband or I even saw here as children. We drove by and hiked next to elk, bison, deer, egrets, and even several bears including a baby and mama bear. We attribute this expanse of wildlife to conservation efforts in the park as well as the closure of the park over the last several months.

The snow also allowed us to see all the animal tracks throughout the park which our kids loved! Old Faithful had the largest crowd, but still very small even for this time of year. We watched with a small, social distancing crowd for the big event, and then headed out. We were tempted to get take-out from the lodge near Old Faithful, but decided to continue eating the food we’d already purchased knowing the lodge food prices are really marked up.

We packed up and exited the park through the South Entrance and drove through Grand Tetons National Park and got gas in Jackson Hole for $176. Wyoming has lots of open land for free parking, but with a new vehicle and dark terrain, we decided to stay overnight in a National Forest campsite a half hour away for $15 for the night. We pulled in about 23:00, paid via cash in a drop box, and enjoyed sleeping next to a river and under a blanket of stars.

Total spend: $191 (£156)

Total spent this week: $2,613.02 (£2,125)

How does Alyssa feel about her week?

Thanks for coming with me on my 10 year wedding anniversary trip! This is not the trip we’d planned, but it’s been wonderful for our family. We’ve seen two more National Parks, taken a break from quarantine in a way that feels safe for us, and enjoyed our beautiful nation.

This is an unusually high week for us because we went on our trip. But considering $2,000 of that was spent on our trip and only $613.02 spent on our normal life, I feel good about that. We had $2,000+ saved for months now to go to Barbados later this summer, but we have given up all international travel until the virus settles down. All in, I feel like this was a successful trip. We would not be moving forward with purchasing an RV had we not had the real life experience of travelling in one for an extended period of time.

The remaining $613.02 also reflects an unusual cost in the money course I am taking. I haven’t purchased class tuition in probably five years, but being home all the time has me under-stimulated and needing a project.

I think like many families these days, our spending in many areas has decreased (no extracurriculars, less shopping and self-care purchases, almost no gas purchases), but in other ways expanded. I don’t bring my kids into any grocery stores anymore, so when my husband is too busy at work to be with them and we run out of food, I get take-out meals. When our mental health is being run down by monotony, we rent RVs, buy our kids bikes, and online shop for anything to help the kids make it through the day. This is survival for us.

I feel very privileged to be financially secure and have a very stable income. While the world is in chaos we will continue to use money as a tool to support our mental wellbeing and try to take advantage of the new opportunities opening up to us.

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Alyssa Hulme

We’re looking for more people to share what they spend their money on. If you’re interested, please email or get in touch via our My Money (World) Facebook group, or if you live in the UK, please join our My Money (UK) Facebook group and we’ll aim to contact you.

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Source: My Money: ‘Our alternative quarantine holiday’

‘Dinosaurs walked through Antarctic forests’

‘Dinosaurs walked through Antarctic forests’

ArtworkImage copyright
AWI/James McKay

Image caption

An artist’s impression of what it might have looked like in West Antarctica 90 million years ago

Scientists drilling off the coast of West Antarctica have found the fossil remains of forests that grew in the region 90 million years ago – in the time of the dinosaurs.

Their analysis of the material indicates the continent back then would have been as warm as parts of Europe are today but that global sea levels would have been over 100m higher than at present.

The research, led from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany, is published in the journal Nature.

It’s emerged from an expedition in 2017 to recover marine sediments in Pine Island Bay.

AWI and its partners, including the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), used a novel cassette drill-mechanism called MeBo to extract core material some 30m under the seafloor.

When the team examined the sediments in the lab, it found traces of ancient soils and pollen and even tree roots.

SedimentsImage copyright

Image caption

Team-members Tina van De Flierdt and Johann Klages inspect the sediment cores on the RV Polarstern

The interpretation is that this sector of West Antarctica, in the geological period known as the Cretaceous, featured temperate rainforest and swamp conditions – the kind of vegetation you will find on New Zealand’s South Island today.

“We have a really nice X-ray movie through the sediment core,” said AWI’s Prof Karsten Gohl, who spearheaded the expedition on Germany’s Research Vessel Polarstern.

“It’s like we’ve drilled into a modern swamp environment and you’re seeing the living root system, small plant particles and pollen – but this is all persevered from 90 million years ago. It’s amazing.”

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Media captionThe fossil root material shows up (green) in this 3D X-ray movie of a sediment core

Modelling work suggests average annual temperatures in this Cretaceous environment would have been in the mid-teens Celsius; summer averages would have been in the 20s.

But the vegetation must have been pretty special because, being so far south, it would have had to endure three to four months of polar darkness.

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Media captionDr Johann Klages: “There would have been no large ice masses on Antarctica”

The Nature paper’s first author is AWI’s Dr Johann Klages. “Probably these plants, they had a much more effective way of shutting down for a much longer amount of time and then come back successfully,” he speculated.

“That was quite an interesting adaptation, which is not present right now on the planet, but which can evolve,” he told BBC News.

Ice cliffImage copyright

Image caption

The RV Polarstern working next to an ice cliff in Pine Island Bay in February 2017

Seeing the White Continent as we do today with its kilometres-thick ice covering, it’s a challenge to the imagination to think of such productive conditions. But BAS director, Prof Jane Francis, says there have been several periods in Earth history when Antarctica’s great glaciers were absent.

This study, she says, represents the first evidence for Cretaceous forests so close to the South Pole – just 900km away, at what would have been about 81-82 degrees South latitude.

“And, yes, there probably were dinosaurs in the forests,” she explained. “If you go to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll find a whole range of fossils – things like hadrosaurs and sauropods, and primitive bird-like dinosaurs. The whole range of dinosaurs that lived in the rest of the world managed to get down to Antarctica during the Cretaceous.”


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To sustain the warmth these animals and the forests enjoyed, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – like carbon dioxide – must have been three or four times current levels. If today the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is just above 400 parts per million (ppm), back then the figure was certainly above 1,000ppm and maybe as high as 1,600ppm.

BAS co-author Dr Robert Larter commented: “The world was a different place in other ways that would have contributed to the climate differences at this time. In particular, the positions of continents and the patterns of ocean currents were different.

“However, there is no doubt that the biggest factor leading to such a warm climate was the extremely high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere at that time. It is worth noting that if the current rate of CO2 increase continues (44ppm increase over past 20 years), we will reach a CO2 level greater than 1,000ppm in less than 300 years.”

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The MeBo seafloor drilling system

MeBo drillImage copyright

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The MeBo drill system was lowered to the ocean floor, 1,000m below the water surface

Presentational white space

  • “Meeres­boden-Bo­hr­gerät” is Ger­man for “seafloor drill rig”
  • It’s lowered to the seabed with a specially designed cable
  • This also delivers power, and carries commands and video
  • An operator drives MeBo remotely from the deployment ship
  • System has a magazine of pipes to lengthen the drill string
  • Mebo can penetrate mud and rock to a depth of up to 80m

Presentational grey line and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos

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Source: ‘Dinosaurs walked through Antarctic forests’

‘Astonishing’ blue whale numbers at South Georgia

‘Astonishing’ blue whale numbers at South Georgia

Blue whaleImage copyright
M.Collins/BAS South Georgia Whale Project

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To see so many blues back in the waters around South Georgia is tremendously encourgaing

Scientists say they have seen a remarkable collection of blue whales in the coastal waters around the UK sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

Their 23-day survey counted 55 animals – a total that is unprecedented in the decades since commercial whaling ended.

South Georgia was the epicentre for hunting in the early 20th Century.

The territory’s boats with their steam-powered harpoons were pivotal in reducing Antarctic blues to just a few hundred individuals.

To witness 55 of them now return to what was once a pre-eminent feeding ground for the population has been described as “truly, truly amazing” by cetacean specialist Dr Trevor Branch from the University of Washington, Seattle.

“To think that in a period of 40 or 50 years, I only had records for two sightings of blue whales around South Georgia. Since 2007, there have been maybe a couple more isolated sightings. So to go from basically nothing to 55 in one year is astonishing,” he told BBC News.

“It’s such good news to see that they might be further rebounding and coming back to places where they were formerly extremely abundant.”

Dr Branch was commenting on the survey which was led by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) with the support of the University of Auckland.

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Copernicus Sentinel data/Esa

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South Georgia’s wildlife feeds on the train of krill moving up from the Antarctic

The institutions put together an expert team that toured the island’s near-shore waters in the Research Vessel Braveheart.

The scientists identified whales of various species both visually and acoustically through their song repertoires.

In a number of cases, they even managed to retrieve skin and breath samples to understand more about the health of the various animals they encountered.

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P.Ensor/BAS South Georgia Whale Project

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Whale science: Not just counting but getting health data as well

Blue whales are the most massive creatures ever to roam the Earth, and the Antarctic sub-species contained the very biggest of the big at over 30m.

This population was also the most numerous of the 10 or so discrete populations across the globe, carrying perhaps 239,000 individuals prior to the onset of industrial exploitation.

But the marine mammals’ physical size made them a profitable catch, and around South Georgia more than 33,000 Antarctic blues were documented to have been caught and butchered, most of them between 1904 and 1925.

By the time a ban was introduced in 1966, a sighting anywhere in Southern Ocean waters would have been extremely rare indeed.

The last official estimate of abundance was made in 1997 and suggested Antarctic blues could have recovered to about 2,280 individuals. When the next assessment is released, probably at the end of 2021, it should show a further increase – as reflected in the encouraging activity at South Georgia in recent weeks.

“This is definitely a pattern,” said Dr Branch. “All of the Southern Hemisphere whale species – the populations for which we have data – are increasing. So, for right whales – several populations are going up very consistently every year. Humpback whales – several populations are going up consistently every year. And blue whales – we think they’re going up. Which is super-good news

“The exception is Antarctic minke whales; we do think they’ve gone down quite a bit.”

Image copyright
Danny Buss

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The RV Braveheart circled the whole island to sight and catalogue whales

What is clear however is that the moratorium on commercial whaling is working. And whatever other pressures these whale species may face today, they are gradually edging back from the brink.

South Georgia is a place they should congregate.

The territory sits in a highly bio-productive zone that is supported by a copious train of krill drifting up from the Antarctic on strong currents.

These crustaceans are the favoured diet not just of the big whales but also of the island’s many penguins and seals.

Some might question whether the growth in numbers of blue, humpback and other whales around South Georgia is simply a bump that’s been driven either by a short-term bounty of krill at the island or maybe by a paucity of the prey elsewhere.

But survey project leader Dr Jennifer Jackson from BAS doubts this.

“The preliminary data does not suggest it has been a particularly unusual krill year. Not this year, nor last year. It seems quite normal,” she said.

“So, I think this is positive. We know that 100 years ago, South Georgia was a good place for blue whales and now, after decades of protection, it seems the territory’s waters are a good place for them once again,” she told BBC News.

The RV Braveheart voyage this year was funded by the Darwin Plus programme, the South Georgia Heritage Trust and the Friends of South Georgia Island. It was dedicated to the memory of the late Prof Peter Best, an English marine biologist who pioneered whale study in South African waters.

Dr Branch tracks all science on blue whales whenever it is published on the Twitter account @BlueWhaleNews.

Image copyright
M.Collins/BAS South Georgia Whale Project

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Southern right whale: Most populations’ numbers seem to be moving in the right direction and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos

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Source: ‘Astonishing’ blue whale numbers at South Georgia

Antarctica’s big new iceberg: Up close with B49

Antarctica’s big new iceberg: Up close with B49

B49 icebergImage copyright
Robert Larter

Image caption

B49 was pictured from the deck of an American research vessel

A US research ship is the first vessel to encounter the giant new iceberg knocked off the edge of Antarctica.

The RV Nathaniel B Palmer passed within a few kilometres of B49, as it’s been designated – the largest of a group of ice fragments ejected by Pine Island Glacier (PIG) over the weekend.

B49 itself covers just over 100 sq km; the other pieces total about 200 sq km.

Dr Robert Larter took a picture of the big berg from the deck of the Palmer, which he then posted on Twitter.

The British Antarctic Survey scientist is part of a major US-UK expedition that is investigating the nearby Thwaites Glacier.

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Image caption

The Palmer was just a few km away (Ship position from @BigOceanData)

Both streams – PIG and Thwaites – move enormous amounts of ice off the west of the continent into the Amundsen Sea.

The fronts of these glaciers actually float where they meet the ocean, even though they are hundreds of metres thick. And every so often, the leading edges will calve great chunks of ice.

Researchers have become concerned at the speed with which the PIG and Thwaites are losing ice.

Satellite records show the glaciers have speeded up in recent decades. They’ve also thinned and their fronts have pulled back towards land. Warm ocean water is said to be infiltrating the glaciers’ undersides and melting them.

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B49 is the largest among a group of fragments ejected at the weekend

In addition, the PIG appears to be calving bergs at an accelerating rate.

Dr Larter said B49 and its “PIGlets” represented the seventh large tabular iceberg calving event from Pine Island Glacier this century. A tabular berg is big, wide and flat.

“The interval between them is decreasing,” he wrote on Twitter. “Sequence since November 2001: 71 months, 73 months, 22 months, 25 months, 15 months, 14 months.”

The Palmer ship is trying to learn about the history of Thwaites Glacier on its present cruise.

It’s collecting seafloor sediments, which, when they’re inspected in the lab, should reveal details such as the past position of the front of the glacier and the climate conditions that persisted at the time.

This is work that can help scientists forecast how much the likes of the PIG and Thwaites could contribute to future sea-level rise if they continue to lose their ice.

As massive as B49 seems, it is dwarfed by a 5,000-sq-km colossus known as A68.

This broke away from the continent in 2017 and is now moving alongside the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It’s being monitored closely by the Sentinel satellites, which are owned by the EU and operated by the European Space Agency.

All the major tabular bergs have to be tracked because of the risks they could pose to shipping.

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At just over 5,000-sq-km, A68 is the biggest such object currently in Antarctica

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A high resolution view of the edge of A68

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Source: Antarctica’s big new iceberg: Up close with B49

Climate change: Polarstern icebreaker begins year-long Arctic drift

Climate change: Polarstern icebreaker begins year-long Arctic drift

Akademik Federov and PolarsternImage copyright
Esther Horvath

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RV Polarstern (left), aided by the Russian icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, has found the right floe

German Research Vessel Polarstern has found a location to begin its year-long drift in Arctic sea-ice.

The ship, which will head the North Pole’s biggest scientific expedition, will settle next to a thick ice floe on the Siberian side of the ocean basin.

The precise location is 85 degrees north and 137 degrees east.

Hundreds of investigators will use it as a base from which to probe the impacts of climate change at the top of the world.

“After a brief but intensive search, we’ve found our home for the months to come,” said expedition leader Prof Markus Rex, from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI).

“It may not be the perfect floe but it’s the best one in this part of the Arctic and offers better working conditions than we could have expected after a warm Arctic summer.”

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Esther Horvath

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Scientists hope to glean valuable information about climate change in the Arctic

RV Polarstern set out on itsMOSAiC(Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) mission two weeks ago.

It travelled from the Norwegian port of Tromsø, supported by other icebreakers in search of a suitable piece of ice where it could set up a camp.

Sixteen possible locations were scouted with the aid of satellite imagery and helicopters. A metres-thick floe measuring roughly 2.5km by 3.5km was eventually chosen.

The international expedition considers itself lucky to have identified its home so soon after departing Tromsø. This summer’s warmth has produced the second smallest Arctic sea-ice extent in the satellite era. As a consequence, the ice capping the ocean surface is very thin.

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Markus Rex

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The ship has been enjoying some of its last direct sunlight until next year

The floes, though, are now succumbing to the winter freeze-up. The Sun no longer rises above the horizon at the ship’s location and it won’t be long before the 24-hour darkness of “polar night” descends on the MOSAiC expedition.

RV Polarstern will soon be locked solid in the ice.

The vessel won’t break free again until September or October next year, by which time it will have drifted past the North Pole and be in waters somewhere in the Fram Strait. This is the passage that runs between northeast Greenland and the Svalbard archipelago.

MOSAiC’s objective is to study all aspects of the climate system in the Arctic. Instrument stations will be set up on the ice all around the ship, including some up to 50km away.

The ice, the ocean, the atmosphere, even the wildlife will all be sampled. The year-long investigations are designed to give more certainty to the projections of future change.

Image copyright
Esther Horvath

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The ice needs to be thick enough and strong enough to support scientists and their instruments

Prof Rex told the BBC before departure that the Arctic was currently warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet but that the climate models were highly uncertain as to how this temperature trend would develop in the coming decades.

“We don’t have any robust climate predictions for the Arctic and the reason is we don’t understand the processes there very well,” he explained.

“That’s because we were never able to observe them year-round, and certainly not in winter when the ice is at its thickest and we can’t break it with our research vessels.”

Something similar to the €130m (£120m/$150m) MOSAiC mission has been tried before, but nothing comparable in scale.

About 600 scientists are expected to spend months at a time with the Polarstern.

They’ll be brought in by the support icebreakers.

When that’s not possible at the height of winter, when the sea-ice is at its thickest, aircraft and long-range helicopters will have to deliver the necessary supplies and relief teams.

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Source:Climate change: Polarstern icebreaker begins year-long Arctic drift

Climate change: Arctic expedition to drift in sea-ice for a year

Climate change: Arctic expedition to drift in sea-ice for a year

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionJulienne Stroeve: “It will be brutal if the wind speeds get up”

It’s being described as the biggest Arctic science expedition of all time.

The German Research Vessel Polarstern is about to head for the far north where it intends to drift in the sea-ice for an entire year.

Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.

TheMOSAiC(Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project is expected to cost about €130m (£120m/$150m).

Its scale means it must be an international effort. RV Polarstern will be supported by icebreakers from Russia, Sweden and China.

In deep winter, when these vessels can’t pierce the floes to reach the German ship, aeroplanes and long-range helicopters will deliver the supplies and relief teams.

MOSAiC’s objective is to study all aspects of the climate system in the Arctic. Instrument stations will be set up on the ice around the Polarstern, some of them up to 50km away.

The ice, the ocean, the atmosphere, even the wildlife – all will be sampled. The year-long investigations are designed to give more certainty to the projections of future change.

Prof Markus Rex from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam is the expedition leader. He said the Arctic was currently warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet but that the climate models were highly uncertain as to how the temperature trends would develop in the coming decades.

“We don’t have any robust climate predictions for the Arctic and the reason is we don’t understand the processes there very well,” he explained.

“That’s because we were never able to observe them year round and certainly not in winter when the ice is at its thickest and we can’t break it with our research vessels,” he told BBC News.

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Media captionMarkus Rex: “We’re going to build a small research city around Polarstern”

The RV Polarstern is picking up its first tranche of scientists in Tromsø. From the Norwegian port, it will cruise to the Russian side of the Arctic.

Embedding in the sea-ice will be done close to 85 degrees North and 130 degrees East.

Precise positioning will be important. Modelling of the winds and currents suggests the ship should drift across the top of the planet, getting to within a couple of hundred km from the North Pole, before then being ejected from the frozen floes between northeast Greenland and Svalbard – the Fram Strait.

But there is a critical point in this 2,500km journey where, if the ship meanders too far to the west, it could get pulled into the Beaufort Gyre – the great clockwise movement of water and ice in the Arctic. Once caught in this gyre, it would need a huge effort to escape.

Something similar to MOSAiC has been tried before.

The expedition has definite echoes of the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s attempt in the 1890s to be the first person to reach the North Pole by drifting in a ship locked in ice.

TheCanadian Coast Guard vessel Des Groseilliersmounted a drift mission in the late 1990s which became known as Ice Station SHEBA.

TheNorwegian Polar Institute’s Lance vesselundertook a drift expedition in 2015; as didthe scientific schooner Tara, which traversed the frozen ocean – again, from Siberian waters to the Fram Strait – in 2006/7.

But none of these previous ventures can be compared to the German mission for size and international input.

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The RV Polarstern is due to leave port late on Friday

BBC Future’s Martha Henriques in Tromsø

It’s the culmination of a decade’s work, as Polarstern prepares to embark tonight from Tromsø, northern Norway, alongside its companion Russian icebreaker, the Akademik Federov.

Scientists are heaving their personal belongings up the rickety metal gangway from the harbour to D-deck to board, while crew throw bags of rubbish from unpacking back over the side of the ship into a skip in the dock.

As one of the lead scientists, Matt Shupe of the University of Colorado, boards – a duffle bag in one hand, an orange spade, presumably for shovelling snow, in the other – scientists and crew immediately descend on him to get his last-minute input on final decisions before departure.

The ship is loaded with many millions of pounds’ worth of scientific equipment, and the questions about how it should be stored and prepped are non-stop.

Earlier in the week, one shipping-container-come-laboratory was loaded into the hold the wrong way around. Half a dozen other containers that had been stacked on top – weighing several tonnes each – had to be lifted back off the ship by crane so the error could be corrected, and then restacked. No-one wants to make a mistake like that again.

The air of excitement and anticipation of the past week in the dock has shifted into one of urgent efficiency, as people make last-minute changes to their packing, track down forgotten items and prepare themselves for the long trip to the north.

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Stefan Hendricks

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The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the planet as a whole

The conditions faced by the scientists over the coming months will be harsh.

For half the year the Sun will not rise above the horizon and temperatures will dip down to minus 45C.

And the teams working on the ice will have to be on constant alert for predatory bears.

“Various scientists have been trained on using night-vision goggles to stand guard for polar bears,” said Prof Julienne Stroeve from University College London (UCL).

“You can’t ever go out on the ice without someone being there with a rifle. [The bears] could eventually smell the ship and if they get curious enough they’ll come and check us out.”

Prof Stroeve is in the seven participating teams from the UK.

She will join the Polarstern in mid-winter. Her experiments will assess the accuracy of the radar satellites that are used to map the thickness of the sea-ice from orbit.

These spacecraft work by bouncing a microwave pulse off the floes, but there is some uncertainty over where exactly this reflection occurs in a column of snow and ice.

If the UCL scientist’s suspicions are confirmed during the MOSAiC cruise, it would have implications for our current assessment of the status of Arctic sea-ice.

“It would be thinner than what we’ve been estimating so far,” she told theBBC’s Inside Science programme.

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Source:Climate change: Arctic expedition to drift in sea-ice for a year

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