This category covers establishments primarily engaged in daily or extended-term rental of utility trailers and recreational vehicles (RVs). Establishments primarily engaged in renting motorcycles, bicycles, golf carts, go-carts, or recreational boats are classified in SIC 7999: Amusement and Recreation Services, Not Elsewhere Classified, and those engaged in renting airplanes are classified in SIC 7359: Equipment Rental and Leasing, Not Elsewhere Classified. Establishments primarily engaged in the rental of mobile homes on site are classified in Real Estate, SIC 6515: Operators of Residential Mobile Homes Sites.
Truck, Utility Trailer, and RV (Recreational Vehicles) Rental and Leasing
The utility trailer and recreational vehicle (RV) rental industry is comprised of two distinct operations. Utility trailers generally are rented by establishments that also rent trucks for the consumer market, such as U-Haul International. Most of those establishments are automotive service centers or centers affiliated with a major truck rental company. Recreational vehicles (RVs) generally are rented by establishments that focus exclusively on renting RVs for the vacation market or by RV dealers for whom the rental market is a sideline to RV sales and service. Some establishments rent utility trailers and camper-trailers, considered the low-end of the RV rental business. In 2006, an estimated 2,200 establishments rented utility trailers, recreational vehicles, or both. These establishments had sales of $1.1 billion and employed 11,000 people.
Most of the larger establishments renting recreational vehicles belong to the Recreation Vehicle Rental Association (RVRA), a division of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). According to a survey conducted by RVRA, RV rentals were on the increase, particularly as baby boomers continued to seek out RV vacations. Overall rentals increased 24 percent overall in 2006, with camping trailers and small units seeing the most growth.
L. S. Schoen, the founder of U-Haul International, generally is credited with turning the haphazard rental of utility trailers into an organized industry. In 1945, Schoen, then in the military, rented a beat-up trailer from a service station to move his family's belongings from Los Angeles to Corona, California. That night he made an entry in is his diary: "I am intrigued by the...