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New RVers opting out of lifestyle, some selling their rigs

EDITOR’S NOTE: RVtravel.com is regularly invited to participate in nationwide conference calls with large RV dealers and others involved in the sales and servicing of RVs. We won’t be directly naming those on the call, nor the dealerships involved. While the situation is unusual, we feel the value of the candid comments and information that we can share with you outweighs the lack of the usual attribution. This time, you’ll just have to trust us that the quotes come from trusted, vetted sources.

Longtime RVers have speculated for months that many of the millions of new RVers would soon tire of their new outdoor toy and put them back up for sale. Now we’re hearing that the long-anticipated flow of slightly used RVs back to sales lots may have begun.

“I’m getting phone calls from people who want us to buy their RV back,” said one RV dealer during a recent nationwide conference call of RV dealers and others connected with the RV industry. “We don’t know how many of those calls are coming from actual newbies, and we really don’t even know how many of our recent customers are new to RVing, but I’d guess about half of our customers are new.”

Why are the new RVers giving up?

Those on the call didn’t speculate as to what may be driving some new RVers to give up on the lifestyle. They may be exhausted from the effort involved to find available campsites in popular locations. They may also be disenchanted that they can’t seem to find the bucolic, secluded camping locations that may have drawn them to purchase rigs in the first place.

“There are definitely fewer first-time buyers lately,” said one dealer on the call.

On the upside for the RV industry, dealers said they are starting to see more experienced RVers return to dealerships looking to upgrade their equipment.

“I’m getting a lot more trade-ins,” said one dealer. “The rate of customers with trade-ins a few months ago was about 13 percent. Now, about 50-60 percent of customers have a trade-in RV. We are starting to see our core customers come back. We haven’t seen that in a long time.”

Traffic is great, inventory is not

One East Coast dealer said while traffic at his dealership was “great,” his inventory of RVs on the lot was about 40 percent of what it should be at this point in the year. “The product mix is all over the board,” he said.

Even with low inventory, the dealer said sales margins on rigs that do move are good. “Consumers are still willing to pay an awful lot,” he said. “But if there is a bump in the economy, it will be a different story.”

Many in the industry lamented the fact that wait times for factory deliveries of back-ordered RVs seems to be getting longer. “The good news is that retention rates after the sale are good,” said one. “People seem to be willing to wait.”

One New England dealer said while sales volume at his dealership was down 20 percent year over year due to a lack of inventory, his margins were more than double those of a year ago. “Everyone is making more money than before,” he said. “We just can’t get inventory.”

##RVT1018b

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Dude
5 months ago

The problem is: too many humans. The poorest countries are creating the most humans.

Mark W
5 months ago

What does it really mean….”the RV Lifestyle”….this is a serious question….

We travel and enjoy our RV…. but, we don’t live in it and will never do that….it is not a “lifestyle” for us…… And, I’d be happy if I sold it……

Maybe it’s a lifestyle for “full timers”….. but, I wish people would stop asking me the question about how would I feel selling my rig and giving up the “RV Lifestyle”….

Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

I agree 100% it good to travel in and enjoying the time but never full time. Kind of waiting for the day it’s sold I do not think we would ever get into RVing again.

Carson Axtell
7 months ago

I am one of those who predicted this RV boom was just a temporary fad that was doomed to follow the trajectory of all fads. Once folks buy into the hype and confront the reality of groupthink fantasies, they usually lose interest and glom onto the next fantasy in the hope of “belonging” to another shared happiness. The work involved in realizing the vision usually pops their bubble.

CCintheOC
7 months ago

Instead of purchasing an RV, I purchased, back in 2018, a 2018 RAM 3500 Extended Length High Top Van. I paid several people to do what they do best, solar, insulation, walls, bed, kitchenette, etc… that cost me approximately $20K more or less. Overtime, I’ve added a few things like a diesel heater…etc. The only problems I’ve had were the batteries for the solar. Of the 4, 2 were duds…purchased off Amazon. I wanted a 31′ Class C because it was absolutely beautiful inside, but I’m so happy that I didn’t go that way. I read so many comments about how badly RV’s were built and decided to go with a van build out. Mine is very pretty inside with cedar ceiling and pretty birch paneling walls. The bummer(s) are that I purchased a van with bench seating instead of two bucket seats, and I don’t have a seating area in my van in the back area. No shower either. Composting toilet – yes. I am disabled on a fixed income, and I can tell you that the gas prices have affected traveling.

Donna
7 months ago

You really can’t figure this out? Here, I’ll give you some hints: Gas prices are double what they were last year and inflation is making paychecks smaller. The quality of new RVs is poor, and owners can’t get their unit into the shop for all the warranty work until the season is over. On top of that, many people have a hard time downsizing from a 4-bedroom house and become overwhelmed trying to fit the kids and all their stuff into a bunkhouse Class C.

People who are coming with trade-ins have already figured it out and/or have a source of income they can bring with them on the road.

It’s not rocket science.

MikeinAz
7 months ago

I’d like to upgrade, but there’s no way I’m going to purchase a new RV that will turn into a dinosaur if this administration pushes through their green new deal boondoggle.

Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  MikeinAz

The President of the United States doesn’t set fuel prices….as a point of information, some of the highest prices during the George W. Bush tenure in 2006….

As far as electric vehicles are concerned…you should be glad they are here because it will make more oil reserves available for internal combustion engines. Oil is not an infinite resource and while it takes energy to produce electricity, a lot of this power comes from hydroelectric power and solar.

This is the 21st Century, it’s a good idea to be open to all sources of energy. It’s not just a single source.

The “green new deal” is a blueprint for the development of alternative power and address climate change. Just look around and you can see climate change is everywhere… That’s why the polar ice caps are melting… It’s really happening…. this is a serious situation…..

Finally, everyone knows that RVs use a lot of fuel. That’s why I purchased a Class B Mercedes Benz Sprinter with a small 3 litre turbo diesel that gets 18 to 20 MPG on the road.

If it were not for range problems, I would welcome an electric RV… Heck, they now make an electric Sprinter… it’s sold in Europe. They will eventually expand the range….A few cars now can go over 300 miles on one charge.. And, they are looking at developing electric trucks on the highway… it’s coming……

I have little sympathy for people who purchased a gas guzzling 6 MPG rig knowing that they are hauling their entire house around with them and are now complaining and looking for someone to blame. People, that’s your choice, no one else. I understand that the large Class A coaches are beautiful and offer a lot of space and amenities. If I need extra space, I just stay home.

We don’t live in our motorhome, we live out of it. And, I would never consider being full time. They break down too much.

Yes, it can be very relaxing or not… depends on equipment failure and it’s definitely happened to us. That’s why…I tell people sometimes “RV” stands for “ruined vacation”.

Your mileage and experience will vary…. stay safe and good luck.

Kurt B
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

I’ll start with it’s never a democrats fault.. the President has a significant amount of control over the the price of fuel.

Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  Kurt B

Kurt,

We live in a capitalist economy; and it’s supply and demand that controls prices.

Just recently President Biden has tapped into some of the “oil reserves” to mitigate the situation and increase supply, but, that’s all he can do.

People really traveled a lot this past summer and more driving equals more demand and consumption of fuel.

Also, I’d like to point out that there’s a special blend of fuel in California and other states where fuel is more expensive to deal with air pollution. Air pollution in California for example has greatly decreased since the 1960s. This is partly due to the fuel blend and catalytic converters and better technology.

Fuel in Oklahoma and Missouri is at least $1 or more LESS expensive… Fuel in those areas are under $3 per gallon.

Fuel pump prices are very dynamic and set by companies and local suppliers.

In the middle of the Mojave Desert, I saw a gallon of unleaded fuel selling for $6.39 per gallon….

Gasoline fuel prices depend on research and development, refinery costs and transportation to local gas stations.

So, aside from tapping “oil reserves”…. what exactly are you talking about when you said that Biden had “significant control”?

When George W. Bush was in office back in 2006…. diesel fuel was $6 per gallon…. and gasoline was around $5…..

I don’t recall what he did, but, it didn’t make a significant difference then either.

That was 15 years ago…..by the way…. and inflation alone has a tremendous impact on prices…. people easily forget that in 1970 gas was around 50 cents per gallon…. that’s 3.81 cents today.

Petroleum is a finite resource… this is why there’s so much interest in developing alternative sources like hydroelectric, solar, wind and nuclear power….

Sure, there’s places where you can find coal burning plants but they are dwindling… the air pollution in these places are not good for the environment.

It’s a problem for all of us on the planet…I won’t live long enough to see this resolved…. A lot of other people won’t either, but, we have to start somewhere. All of this activity is part of the reason we’re seeing climate change and the warming of temperatures…. it’s all connected, in my opinion.

I don’t know if you or many of the other people who have commented realize that if something is not done to reverse this trend soon polar bears will be extinct…. the polar ice caps are melting very quickly…..

I hate to bring this up, but, Al Gore was right 21 years ago…..his book “An Inconvenient Truth” was absolutely correct…. Climate Change is real!

I hope it’s not too late to reverse this very dangerous hole we find ourselves in today……

At least Biden is trying to get a handle on this and make constructive changes… with alternative power, infrastructure and rebuilding the USA….

The foreign wars of the past two decades have spent trillions of dollars for what?
Answer……”Nothing”

Very sad…..

Jesse Bruce Masten
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Al Gore …… sad that anyone would believe anything that he would write about. It is amazing how they can tell everyone that Climate change is real and how the earth will be destroyed in 10 years or less then come up with a 12 year plan to fix it Wake up see the bs your being feed. Maybe by not shutting down pipelines and not banning coal gas wouldn’t be so high

BUT what do I know I drive a class A

Anna A
6 months ago

It’s really interesting how there are so many climate change disbelievers. My own father was one of those disbelievers as well. With all due respect to him and may he rest in peace but I am not one of those disbelievers. I also do own a class “A” motorhome so I am just as guilty as anyone, but I am also aware that the changes to our earth’s climate is not a natural phenomenon and that this is in fact caused by man-made greenhouse gases. If the cycle of the earth’s heating and cooling is a natural occurrence, then how is it that the glaciers are melting? The glaciers have withstood the test of time with the exception of the past ten years. What do you think that they are just going to magically reappear again? No sir they are not!! The damage is permanent as well as to the wildlife affected by the disappearance of the glaciers, it’s called extinction.

Mark W
5 months ago
Reply to  Anna A

Anna, I agree with you completely; that’s exactly what Al Gore told people in 1999 and 2000…..An Inconvenient Truth….this is no joke, unfortunately, there’s a lot of tone deaf people out there who refuse to hear it. It’s so gradual that the only time they’ll notice is when it’s gone and by then it will be too late. I’m afraid that it might well be already and sadly we probably will see the extinction of polar bears….many people just won’t care…. and this is very sad…… It goes far beyond the polar bears I’m afraid….. We’re ruining the rainforests in the Amazon and plants are not lungs of the Earth….I know many people are going to rail against this, but, we’re all to blame… I recently challenged a friend of mine asking ….”are you going to start being a vegetarian now”? Because, the raising of cattle and all the methane gas is causing environmental problems…. This actually might be a larger issue than internal combustion engines.. .

Look, there’s no one solution to any of this and most of us won’t live long enough to see the solution….I know I won’t.

People don’t like change….. that’s it… and telling them they are contributing to the problem will only dig in deeper. Why I decided to get an RV I wanted something small…. So, we got a campervan with the highest fuel economy… I’m not perfect….I know it’s a tradeoff. We take trips and live full time at home.. There’s no way I would ever live full time in any RV no matter how large or small it was.

I can’t believe people who actually like doing this. They are constantly on the road or living in a static place like Quartzite for 6 months…. and they have limited access to medical care….

When you get older having abundant services and easy access to medical care and hospitals is very important.

Just my opinion.

Wally
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Opinion 1) an expert, formal judgement based on experience, training, and education. 2) an uninformed utterance.

Crowman
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

The oil the President took from the reserve, the 50 million barrels is what the industry calls sour crude that refineries in the US will NOT buy as it takes too much energy to refine to our pollution standards ALL of it was sold to China and India because they don’t care what they burn or how it pollutes.

Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

We need understand that shutting down oil fields and all natural gas in this USA so we can beg the Russians and opec to pump more oil to help our energy problem which was created by mr.Biden decision making ,I can’t imagine how short our memory has been.or what we will believe in the name of Climate Change

Bethany
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

If releasing some of the reserves is ” all the President can do”, how in the world did we ever achieve energy independence and prices half of what they are now under President Trump???

As far as global warming, in the 1970s the scientists were saying we were all going the way of the dinosaurs in the next ice age that was on its way.

Might want to check with Texas about how well those alternate forms of energy work during ice storms.

BTW, that smartphone or laptop or whatever you’ re spouting your self righteous wisdom from is composed of petroleum derived plastics and chips mined from minerals. Its assembled in a factory overseas, loaded onto a ship or plane that burns fossil fuels, sent half way around the world. From its entry point, its then moved via train or 6mpg diesel guzzlers to its final destination, before being delivered into your tree hugging granola crunching hands.

Speaking of granola, I suggest you font even attempt to contemplate the amount of finite fossil resources used in the production, processing, and transportation of your ( most likely) organic gluten free paleo plant based lifestyle. Facts dont compute well with sound bites. Acceptance of reality may lead to a dangerous condition known as logical reasoning and critical thinking, which is heavily frowned upon in politically correct circles.

Jenna Bondurant
3 months ago
Reply to  Bethany

Bethany, they’ve worked had to fool citizens enough to believe we achieved energy independence under Trump. Nonsense. Oil and gas are world markets and the US absolutely kept buying and selling energy through out his administration, as one Trumpy writer above pointed out, that’s not about to end.
Please, for the sake of our nation’s future, really work to source your news and reading more broadly. It will likely pain you to listen to NPR or read the Washington Post, but trust me, you will survive. Yes, I’ve listened to folks like Limbaugh, Carlson and Dobson. They are using you. Unlike in Russia, we have a choice to not eat up the authoritarian “conservative” party line.

Mack
3 months ago

NPR and Washington post ? That explains it. Lol. The sheep will never learn.

Downhillblur
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

I continue to thank you.

Jenna Bondurant
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Mark,
Thanks for trying to add some sanity to this discussion. Its clear some folks cannot even give a fair listen to reason. Fox News has been a very sad “entertainment” for too many in our nation.

Donna
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Yes, let’s take the fully recyclable gas-driven car and put in a power source that can’t be recycled. Then let’s kid ourselves that the electricity we use to charge that car comes out of thin air. Let’s also pretend that the cost of electricity won’t skyrocket once everyone starts pulling off the grid.

Get used to those rolling blackouts when you need to get to work. Living in an apartment complex is going to be a lot of fun, and if you are one of the many people who need to park on the street you’re screwed. I can’t wait to see how that works in NYC with its alternate side parking!

Not everyone can afford a Class B, by the way. The $100k saved by driving that old rig will buy a lot of gas, even at 6mpg. The virtue signaling loses clout when you factor in the environmental benefits of not manufacturing a new vehicle.

Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  Donna

Donna,

There’s certainly a long way to go to “level the playing field” and people living in an apartment complex are going to be challenged to charge up their electric cars….

I’m seeing a lot of public charging stations going up in the city and many employers are now installing charging stations.

It’s true that $100k will buy a lot of gas, but, over time fuel is the most expensive thing you put in any vehicle. So, as the price increases, the length of time gets shorter to reach that $100k ….at $5 per gallon and 6 MPG…. you’d spend that $100,000 in just 120,000 miles…. that’s a lot of money…..

At 18 MPG going the same distance of 120,000 miles and $5 per gallon.. your fuel cost would be $33,500

Not to mention that electric cars are way less expensive to maintain… their MPG equivalent is close to 80 to 100 MPG in the cost……I know people who have electric cars and they have concluded that the cost is 5 cents per mile.

It’s true that I have a Class B Sprinter, but, let me tell you it’s pretty expensive to maintain… heck, I’d love to have an electric Sprinter… they sell them in Europe….

I figured my cost for fuel is at least 25 cents per mile…… your RV getting 6 MPG is costing 75 cents per mile…or more depending on road conditions…. that’s WHY you see so many vehicles like this with “low mileage”…. people just don’t want to drive them anywhere….

I initially thought about getting a Class A motorhome… they are beautiful, lots of space and amenities…. but, I thought… I’ll never be able to take it out on long distance trips…..

At least with my Sprinter I’ve taken two cross country trips and it was great….

As far as keeping a vehicle for a long time….I completely agree with you…

People often trade in their vehicles every few years…. for whatever reason… it’s ridiculous and the most expensive thing you can do…..

All of my vehicles are over 10 years old and I usually keep them for 15 to 20 years… it’s the only way to get the maximum value from any large purchase….

Trading in for a new model, in my opinion, only makes sense for better fuel economy, performance, and safety….

Electric cars and trucks are definitely coming… and the technology for developing the grid for the infrastructure is coming too…. you’ll see…

It’s not immediate, but, we have to start somewhere.

Bob p
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Gas wasn’t that expensive until biden was sworn in and started shutting down pipelines. By the numbers in this newsletter gas is now over 58% higher than before biden was inaugurated, how do you not associate that with biden? Global warming? As a senior citizen I recall back in the 70’s we were headed for another ice age because of GLOBAL COOLING! A very well respected climatologist then explained the earth goes through a 100 year cycle of heating and cooling. It will heat up for about 50 years then start cooling off for 50 years, and this has been documented ever since records have been kept. Too many people listen to the fake news media of CNN and MSNBC which are controlled by the reigning political party, open your minds to the truth, insist on your school systems to return to teaching history, it’s important! You can’t tell where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been!

John Hedderman
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Did you walk to school uphill both ways in a snowstorm?

S.P. D.
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Pipelines… I still can’t find anyone who can explain on how stopping the construction of a pipeline that never transported a drop of oil, caused prices to rise. You can’t effect the price of something when you weren’t actually part of the process.
I also know that there are plenty of refineries thousands of miles closer to the Canadian oil fields that produce this very dirty natural product. They don’t need to ship it across the continent to refine it, but they chose to to unnecessarily transport it thousands of miles. Some of those areas are environmentally sensitive and watershed areas that would be destroyed by even a small pipeline malfunction.
As we look to a transition away from internal combustion engines, it also doesn’t make much sense to construct new pipelines that will be obsolete in the relatively near future.
The problems that Texas had in the big freeze is that they refused to properly insulate process piping in the plants. I’m a 30 year plus electrician in the utility industry and have worked in Texas. Their lack of following “best practices ” and regulatory standards, using the excuse of not being part of the power grid regulators. The state has it’s own regulatory body that has continued to fail its customers and fails to prepare for the next hundred year event. The problem is that it also happened about 20 years ago.

Jenna Bondurant
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Who created the phrase “fake news” and why? Know your history about how Hitler took control of Germany and lied to its citizens. Read an old book called “It Can’t Happen Here” (there is even an abridged version for your pleasure). It’s an old and wise book. This website is only reminding men that it can and came far too close to happening here.
This is an RVing site, yet some have repeatedly used it to spout a party line that ignores facts. Can we get back to coming here for fun?

Downhillblur
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

It’s futile, Mark, but thanks for trying. These deniers are everywhere and are probably in the campsite next to you grinding away on their generator making everyone miserable because they feel solar panels are stupid.

Derek Peck
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Quality explanation .

Old Coastie
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Yep your right the POTUS doesn’t have any bearing on fuel prices. But since he has the power to shutdown a pipeline and change the US from Independent on fuel to dependency to other producers that have no concern for the US interest in the economy of our Great USA.

Crowman
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

The President DOES affect fuel prices here in the US. By canceling Keystone, Leases, Fracking has turned us from energy independent and exporter from 2 years ago to begging Opec+ to pump more oil for us. By the way Opec+ told the President to pound salt, twice.

Carol Forrest
5 months ago
Reply to  Crowman

Thank you for commenting. It is Biden’s fault, all of it.

Annie johnson
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

We have been rving for more than twenty years. love it. we spend the winter in Florida at the same campground for more than ten years. look forward to seeing the same people. we also know people who live outside the campground. it’s like going to our other home each year.

Downhillblur
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark W

Thank you for that

SANDIE BOCK
7 months ago

My opinion, RVing is a wonderful, relaxing way of life. OR it should be but lately it is more heartache with buying new or almost new rigs that are falling apart as you drive out of the dealers’ lots. People are buying them dreams of traveling our beautiful country and seeing all that it has to offer in sights and adventures. Instead, they are seeing more of the inside of repair shops of dealerships or on the road shops due to defects of manufacture and lack of good workmanship with their new rigs. Such things as slides that fall out, or will not go out or come in, furnaces that will not light, roofs that leak from day one, roofs that were not sealed out of the dealership day one which means was not sealed at the factory and has been soaking up rain since day one, axles that are defective, electrical system problems and even fires, propane system problems and leaks and I could go on but these are how the rig is delivered to the customer on day one. Shame on the dealerships!!

Marilyn
7 months ago
Reply to  SANDIE BOCK

Don’t blame the dealer. They can only sell what is provided to them. If anything, blame the manufacturer for building shoddy products. They turn out vehicles so fast to keep up, there is no quality check before leaving the factory.

Carson Axtell
7 months ago
Reply to  Marilyn

I blame the consumer. If buyers would educate themselves and “kick the tires” before plunking their money down on social media driven pipe dreams, a lot fewer dealers would be able to get away with passing on the junk they get from sloppy RV manufacturers. I doubt our grandparents would have been as gullible buying RVs as today’s consumers are…

SANDIE BOCK
7 months ago
Reply to  Marilyn

WRONG, the dealership should be checking out the rig before delivery and making sure all systems work, the roof is totally sealed up and no defects that they can find are present when the customer is taking delivery. AND if there are serious defects found, the dealer should not accept the delivery and turn it back to the manufacturer!!! WHAT is coming back to these dealers are mostly defective rigs that people are sick of, and these dealers are going to perpetrate onto new customers. Dealers are totally at fault for allowing people to buy defective rigs. Dealers are responsible to inspect merchandise to make sure it is not defective before it is sold, these dealerships are not doing so, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE.

Mrs worley
6 months ago
Reply to  SANDIE BOCK

Agreed as a seller you are responsible for quality of the product you are selling or you are equally a con it’s wrong to sell a defictive product if you sell a heater that starts a fire because it’s defective and someone is killed you are responsible

Mrs worley
6 months ago
Reply to  Mrs worley

After all your supposed to get a Warranty right then you need to honer. It

Bill Macy
7 months ago

I was a tent camper for many years starting as a boy scout in a pup tent and then many years later with a wonderful LL Bean full stand up head room tent with a floor and screen room front “porch”. Retired at age 60 and bought my first Rv. A 30ft 5th wheel plain Jane basic unit. As new rvers we headed out on our fantasy trip from our home in Florida on a 2 and a half month journey to every state west of the Mississippi. And saw most of the big name national parks and lots of smaller ones too. There were few crowds back then and no problems finding nice camp sites. Things began to change long before covid. Covid just made things worse. In 2002 a nice camp sight with full hookups cost 30 to 40 a night. Even close to Glacier, Yellowstone or Grand Canyon. Our second rv was a bigger 5ver. Our third and 4th rvs were Motor Homes. the last being a 38ft nice quality home on wheels. We sold that in 2016. Prices to stay in popular locations were already getting high and crowded.

Bill Macy
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Macy

Oh, we now have an extended 1 ton high top 11 passenger van that I converted to a camper. Total cost about 15k total. Lots of free or low cost sites. Fully self contained prefer spring and fall trips when it is easier to travel.

Bob Weinfurt
8 months ago

We bought an old motorhome seven years ago for $300, fixed a few things, and have enjoyed it with no major problems. Last year I was offered a lot more than I had into it, $5K. I asked the person why they offered so much for a 43 year old unit that wasn’t in the greatest of shape. His reply was “back then they were simple and well made, not like some of the overpriced junk that always needs something repaired/replaced. I want something we can use, not to park at a repair shop”. That’s why I kept it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Bob Weinfurt
Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob Weinfurt

Bob, I guess it really depends on what “older motorhome” you’re talking about.
If you’re talking about a Prevost, yes, I can see how well they’re made, but, finding parts for anything 40 plus years old unit can be extremely challenging…. plus, fixing anything this old is going to be insanely expensive.

A 40 years old Winnebago is still an old coach and it doesn’t have the modern safety features like the newer ones today. You can’t put a price on safety.

Plus, newer units will certainly get better fuel economy.

Remember that over time fuel is one of the most expensive things you put in any vehicle….

Daycruiser
8 months ago

We’ve been RVing for almost 50 years, but since the Pandemic started we’ve not done any at all, first due to all the lock-downs, then newbie “Covid Campers” flooded the campgrounds as the only outlet for vacation or entertaining the cooped up kids. Our RV is parked for the time being, maybe in 2022 or 2023 things will right itself again when the Covid Campers figure out they can travel again at will and owning an RV is a big financial and maintenance investment for something that will sit in their driveway or storage yard. I think the novelty is already wearing off for the Covid Campers and we’ll see many more “For Sale” signs on RVs over the next 24 moths.

Thomas Kelly
8 months ago

As a retired long-time RV owner with good planning and mechanical skills, beginning with tent campers to a very large diesel pusher and now to a 2021 32 ft gas motorhome, I have not been surprised at the negative comments regarding poor quality,service, RV resort issues and fuel prices. Although my wife and I have been very happy and satisfied with our new Forest River FR 30 DS puchased from Lazydays in Oct. 2020 for price, service, features and few minor repairs in the 10,000 miles and two major and several minor trips this past year, I am surprised that few, if any, negative comments I have seen deal with, what are our recent major complaints, which are the condition of our major highways and the much larger amount of big rig truck traffic and the speed at which they are driving these days. I am a very healthy senior and an experienced RV driver and have to think of how new RV owners are dealing with these two issues in addition to the other negative industry issues they face.

R and B
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Kelly

We so agree with you. The state and condition of our roads is awful. The potholes shake the heck out of your rig. People drive way too fast and don’t respect one another on the roads. If everyone just showed a little courtesy our travels would be much safer and enjoyable.

SANDIE BOCK
8 months ago

One New England dealer said while sales volume at his dealership was down 20 percent year over year due to a lack of inventory, his margins were more than double those of a year ago. “Everyone is making more money than before,” he said. YA that is because the dealerships are charging all outdoors for these rigs to people who are new to the hobby and ripping people off!!! SHAME on the dealers for doing this but no surprise really. Also the crap that is being manufactured today it is no surprise that people are coming in to get it bought back and not wanting to buy anything else, they got a snoot full of junk being sold today. I just sold my 2002 Fifthwheel and it was in better condition than any fifth wheel sold today that I have seen, and I still own a 2003 Newmar motorhome and would not sell for $200,000 I was offered believe it or not. YES it is a 2003, in GREAT shape and is a gas engine with about 60,000 miles on it. A newbie offered me $200,000.
THAT says it all.

Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  SANDIE BOCK

Hmm, I don’t know what model you have? I presume that it’s a diesel pusher and I’m sure it’s beautiful, but, if it were me….I would have gladly taken the money they offered….. for a 2003…..

I guess it really depends on the model and how you use it?

No matter how you look at RVs, they are a rapidly deprecating asset… they do not appreciate like older homes.

In my opinion…low mileage like your 60,000 miles matters less than the age of the vehicle. My 2 cents.

Mark W
7 months ago
Reply to  SANDIE BOCK

I just re-read your original post.. and see that you have a gasoline engine…..

If someone offered me that kind of money ….I would have definitely taken it…

Earl
9 months ago

That’s funny. RV transporters are slower than ever. And wow at the markup on units, I would never purchase one.

George Mindling
9 months ago

While my wife and I are not superstar RVers by any means, we have slept in our travel trailer five hundred and thirty six nights, and traveled over 31,000 miles in our East Coast journeys from Florida to New York in the last eleven years. And we can tell you why we have traveled only once in the last year and a half, and not in the last eleven months. Simply put, we have no place to go.
We still have our twenty-one foot Sportsmen trailer parked nearby and keep it in tow-ready condition. Unfortunately, we haven’t found a place to tow it to. We aren’t into the expensive, sardine-can commercial layouts where you sneeze at ten o’clock at night and forty-two people around you say “Gesundheit.” We camp to escape the crowds, not to be part of them.
Being over 65 years old gives us a financial break when staying at federal campgrounds such as the great US Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds – open to everyone – and many state parks, but they are filled from now until the end of next year.

Lori
9 months ago

“Amen” and “amen” again, George. I have the impression that “newbies” are becoming disenchanted with the new “normal” of not finding satisfactory places to either sleep or stay-awhile. It’s changed old-timers who loved the freedom of not hearing anything when sleeping and of saying “Oh, let’s stop here.”: That’s what RVing is all about, to me.

Kima B.
9 months ago

I’m relatively new (only 4 yrs in my first RV) and it’s turning into madness. I am fairly spontaneous and don’t make hardcore plans weeks (let alone months, and even years) in advance. It’s next to impossible to reserve a spot on the fly. Anywhere at any cost. I guess I’m going to have to adjust how I travel if this is the new normal. I do not enjoy how things are transitioning.

Sam
9 months ago

People are fed up with the quality issues that come with the last 5 years of manufacturing. I own a 2017 jayco travel trailer rocky mountain and its been the worst investment I’ve made. What a piece of crap. Been in the shop more than the road. Then you have to deal with the rv service which wants 249 bucks an Hour to fix items that should be covered. I love rving just not the hassle of owning one. Also prices at rv resorts are getting way out of hand. Cheaper just to drive car and stay. Imoho.

chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Sam

Is Jayco known for quality, or price?

Roger Spalding
8 months ago
Reply to  chris

Jayco has one of the best reputations in the industry for engineering, assembly, pdi and after sale service. Post warranty service can vary from dealer to dealer. If you want confirmation, watch any Haylett RV YouTube vlog on any Jayco product. You cannot get a higher recommendation than one from Josh Winters. He doesn’t pull punches.

SANDIE BOCK
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger Spalding

Jayco USED to be a well made unit, NOT SO any more. IT is part of the THOR ownership now and now Jayco and Keystone and about 11 other companies owned by THOR are coming through for the most part with many defects. It is very sad to see a brand name go down the tube due to lack of workmanship and pride in work from the number of complaints.

Johnny Rock
9 months ago

That’s why my RV was only 15K used, and is now [PAID] for. I knew it was a depreciating asset, but SHTF scenarios are getting frighteningly real at this point.

Greg
9 months ago

This story is a bit early. This will happen for real in months ahead. RVs have always been white elephants.

That 2 year old class B with 5000 miles on it? It’s worth about $30k. That’s it’s core worth. They are hugely expensive to own if your not a capable mechanic who does a lot of your own work.

If you owe over 100k then your going to have to eat it.

That’s straight up

It’s a gonna get bad. Really bad. RV dealers and factories will be bankrupting by the thousands. RVs will be in foreclosure and unsellable.

Give it another year. Then, if you are a person who actually will use an RV, you can pick up a foreclosure. Know that it will not have been taken care of… So better be a mechanic. For real.

No garage wants to work on RVs. Especially not now. You will not be able to get something as simple as a starter replaced without months of waiting. I would not take them into my shop, were I in the business. Too much t

The outdoors in a machine is a tool using hominoids world.

Daniel McDonald
9 months ago

When you trade it it means you’re upgrading not getting out of it. When trade INS were 13% that was the in rush of new people, now half of those people are realizing the one they bought isn’t right for them and they’re trading it in. Sorry this guise of an article to make you think you’re used camper is worth less than it actually is isn’t fooling anyone

James
9 months ago

The largest volume seller of rvs in country is just 20 minutes from me. Seriously. 8 years in a row. 6 of there sales people have been physically attacked in last year. I know because my nieghbor is one and was in hospital for 2 days. I’m serious it’s bad. People will punch your lights out in Texas you rob them of 100 grand and don’t make it right quick. That’s just how it is. People still live by there word here especially the over 50 crowd. All this talk is legit and true. It’s actually worse than the articles stats.

DJames
9 months ago

So what about the returns? I didn’t open this article because I wanted the footnotes on an rv dealers conference call. What ever happened to the returns?

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