Friday evening, August 30
By Chuck Woodbury
Camping World is promoting a super down payment deal now through Labor Day on its website and in emails to customers. On certain RVs a buyer can purchase an RV with a down payment of 99 cents, or at least that’s the come-on.
At RVtravel.com we advise would-be buyers to put at least 20 percent down, as the moment the RV rolls off the lot it will depreciate by at least that amount, probably more.
Camping World is on the ropes, according to some industry insiders. Its stock closed Friday at $7.60 a share, very close to an all-time low. It had been as high as $23.60 in the last 52 weeks.
This sale looks like a move of desperation to me. Just earlier today, Reuters reported that U.S. RV shipments are now expected to be far worse in 2019 than the RV industry has been saying, off more than 17 percent from last year. Industry analyst Richard Curtin expects shipments to continue to drop. He projects they will decline 3.5% next year to 387,400 units. Until recently, the RV industry was booming. It shipped 504,600 units, a record, in 2017.
Camping World accounted for 20 percent of RV maker Thor’s annual sales last year. Thor manufactures nearly half the RVs made in America.
Related article from Reuters.