There’s a lot to be thankful for every year, but at Cruise America, we have more reasons to celebrate than ever. That’s because 2022 is the year our company turns 50. That’s half a century of helping people get out and enjoy North America from the comfort of the world’s most iconic road trip vehicles: RVs.
The 50th year in business is a big milestone, so it’s only natural that we would look back at the last five decades. And we’re not ashamed to admit we got a little teary-eyed as we reminisced. Why? Because we were thinking about you — our loyal and just plain awesome customers — and all the reasons we’re thankful for you.
50 Reasons We’re Thankful for You
We came up with 50 reasons we’re thankful for you — one for every year we’ve been in business.
1. You Helped Us Build a Family Business
Robert Smalley Sr. founded Cruise America in 1972, and his sons, Randall Smalley and Robert Smalley Jr., serve as CEO and President, respectively, today. Not every business can say it managed to stay in the family over half a century, but we can.
2. You Made Us the Biggest
With 132 locations, Cruise America holds the distinction of being the largest RV rental company in the United States and Canada. We never would have gotten here from our humble beginnings without our customers.
3. You’ve Kept Us Accountable
From the very beginning, Cruise America has been about raising the bar. That’s the mission we’ve applied to the RV rental business, and we’ve never lost sight of it. That’s due in large part to our customers, who have always demanded and received nothing less than the best.
4. You Brought Us To New Markets
We had a hunch RV rentals would be a hit in the United States, and you confirmed that hunch. That gave us the confidence and capital we needed to expand into Canada and make this wild ride even wilder.
5. You Helped Us See the Country
We got our start in Mesa, Arizona, where we’re still headquartered today. But because of your support, we have active rental locations in 33 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.
6. You Enjoyed Our Custom RVs
As many of our customers know, we don’t just buy and then rent out RVs. We build custom RVs to suit the needs of our customers’ exact specifications. We never would have gotten here if you hadn’t shown us what you loved about our vehicles over the years.
7. You Helped Us Evolve
A lot has changed in 50 years, and because of you, we’ve kept up. When apps became all the rage, we saw our customers wanted one, too, so we built the app we still use today.
8. You Partnered with Us
Over the years, Cruise America has built a massive network of affiliate dealers. That means hundreds of you bought in and decided to partner with us.
9. You Grew Our Family
Cruise America is a family business, but not everyone in our family today has the same last name. Through your support, our business has grown to more than 300 employees — each one of which is a member of the Cruise America family.
10. You Participated
We’ve been excited to put on photo and video contests to capture some of the memories our customers make, and you joined in the fun. We live for this!
11. You Brought North America To the World
As we gained a customer base in the United States and Canada, vacationers from around the world began to take notice of all the fun you were having. And they wanted in — people from across the globe enjoy North America’s beautiful sights in our RVs today.
12. You Showed Us How to Truly Care for Our Team
In 2014, we made the decision to become a 100% employee-owned company, and we’ve never looked back — thanks in part to your constant support.
13. You Connected Us To the Larger World of Travel
Cruise America started a highly successful travel agent program to help our customers with full-service travel — not just RV travel.
14. You Didn’t Just Rent
You bought RVs from us. Our RV sales have supported our expansion over these past decades in a big way.
15. You Trusted Us
You gave us your trust when you purchased RVs we have refurbished. You believed in our quality, and that made a huge difference.
16. You Fell in Love With Our RVs
The success of our rent-to-buy RV program tells us what we need to know: Once you try our RVs, you want to own one.
17. You Asked for World-Class Support
RVs aren’t something everyone is familiar with, and our customers have shown us that we have to provide the best-in-the-industry support if we want to succeed.
18. You Supported Us on the Stock Exchange
We traded on the American Stock Exchange for years, ending in 1997 when Budget Group purchased the company.
19. And You Supported Us Off of It
When Cruise America was no longer publicly traded, we still enjoyed your support.
20. You Came Back When We Did
And when Budget Group sold the company back to us, the founders, you still kept coming and renting from us.
21. You Helped Us Gain the Market
We’ve grown to hold around 52% of the recreational vehicle rental market share thanks to our loyal customers.
22. You Shared Your Pets With Us
We’re a team of animal lovers, and you have taken full advantage of our pet-friendly policies over the years — much to our enjoyment.
23. You Took the Tours
We have developed a brief tour to help newcomers understand motorhome operation, and you paid attention. That’s why we’re fully confident that anyone can learn to drive an RV with Cruise America.
24. You Kept Going
In the rare moments when a motorhome would break down, you took advantage of our 24-hour traveler’s assistance line to keep the trip moving.
25. You Had Faith in Our Reliability
We routinely sell RVs with more than 100,000 miles on them because you believe in the reliability of our campers. We do, too.
26. You Partnered With Our Partners
We have partnered with camping apps and deal finders to bring you the best experiences, and you have taken advantage of the discounts and promotions that come with those partnerships.
27. You Trusted Our Destination Recommendations
Our team maintains a huge inventory of camping destination recommendations, and customers like you have used these resources to plan unforgettable trips.
28. You Brought the Fun To RV Events All Over
We like to follow big RV events around the U.S. and Canada, and we love seeing our vehicles at them. We see customers like you making RV culture thrive every day.
29. You Came To Us for the RV Lifestyle
Our blog posts about the incredible RV lifestyle are some of the most-read resources on our site. We can’t tell you how happy that makes us.
30. You Built Our Community
We call our community members “Cruisers.” You’re one of them, and you’re among thousands of friends.
31. You Shared Adventures With Us
Participation in our #BeThereNow contest has been overwhelming. Countless Cruisers have shared their photos and videos with us. We look forward to seeing this stuff every single day.
32. You Made Our Specials Into Something Special
When we’re about to release a new RV sales special, it’s an exciting time. That’s because we know so many customers like you are going to jump at the opportunity to bring home an incredible motorhome.
33. You Stuck With Us
We were one of the first RV rental companies, but today, we’re far from the only one. But we still maintain a dominant position in the market. That’s thanks to your loyalty.
34. You Followed Us on Facebook
More than 72,000 people follow our Facebook page. Thank you for staying connected with us.
35. And on Instagram
And just about 46,000 people follow us on the ‘gram.
36. And on Twitter
Around 3,500 of you have even shown up on Twitter to support us.
37. You Gave Us Feedback
Cruise America has amassed thousands of customer reviews on dozens of customer review platforms. We read every single one to know what we’re doing right and what we could do better.
38. You Took Us To Big Bend
Read Gaby and Mario’s story.
39. You Showed Us the Grand Canyon
Read Dominic and Lauriane’s story.
40. You Did Spring Break the Creative Way
Learn how the Osborn family cruised to all of the “Springs” they could find.
41. You Took Us Fishing
Read HuntHikeHook’s fishing story.
42. You Showed Us America Through New Eyes
See how Australians Naomi and Luke enjoyed the United States in their Cruise America RV.
43. You Stuck with Us Through the Pandemic
COVID-19 hit every business and family hard, but you stayed with us through it all. Despite supply chain issues and illness all over, you kept our numbers strong and our locations in business.
44. You Turned To Us for Transportation
When COVID-19 prevented flying for cross-country travel, you trusted our RVs to get you there. Read more in this story from the Los Angeles Times.
45. You Blogged About Us
Cruise America has shown up on all kinds of travel blogs, and we get that same excited feeling every time we see a new post with our name in it.
46. You Crossed Borders with Us
Your support enabled us to open several international locations in recent years.
47. You Trusted Our Experience
As competitors came up with new and less customer-focused business models like RV sharing, our loyal customer base stuck with Cruise America because of our decades of experience.
48. You Shook Our Hands Hundreds of Thousands of Times
Every single year, we help hundreds of thousands of families plan their picture-perfect RV road trips. That’s a lot of handshakes, faces, and names, and it’s why we’re in this business.
49. You Asked So We Could Answer
Our customers’ ideas never cease to impress us. Each year, we incorporate your requests and suggestions into new user-friendly features on our vehicles. It’s why we’re the best in the business.
50. You Were You
We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing it for you. We want you and people like you to get out and enjoy North America. For 50 years, you’ve done exactly that. And that makes everything we do way more than worthwhile.
Here’s To 50 More Years!
It’s been an incredible 50-year ride, and we’re looking forward to 50 more years pairing people with adventure and the vehicles they need to make fun happen. We couldn’t have gotten to this point without customers like you, and we can’t thank you enough for supporting us as we work to bring leisure and recreation to North America’s families.
So, here’s to 50 more years. But we don’t have to wait that long to connect. We’ll see you on the road. And when you need a ride to make memories in, we’ll be here. Thank you for our first 50.