Friday, September 22, 2023


Investors like what they see in RV manufacturing; stock prices soar

What happens when RV sales are soaring, dealer lot inventories are down, and rig prices are climbing? The stock prices of publicly traded RV manufacturers go up, that’s what.

The Motley Fool – a private financial and investing advice company – said last week that it’s a great time to be in the RV industry. We all know what’s happened to RV sales, inventories, and pricing of late. All of those factors have led to, according to Motley Fool, “a brighter picture for the market than most investors had expected,” at least for manufacturing giants Thor Industries and Winnebago.

Thor’s recent update reports sales for the period ending in late July were up 54 percent, and customer “enthusiasm” was at record levels. CEO Bob Martin said in a press release that demand was “continuing to exceed maximum production output.”

That promise of future riches led Thor to be named “Bull Stock of the Day” on Tuesday by Yahoo Finance, and received a Zack’s Rank #1 “Strong Buy” recommendation.

Winnebago has an even brighter investor outlook than Thor – if that’s possible. The well-established manufacturer is nibbling away at Thor’s and Forest River’s market share (up 0.4 percentage points last quarter), thanks in part to its largest range of premium products across boating, motorhomes and towable RVs. Soon, Winnebago should own at least 13 percent of the RV manufacturing industry.

Thor continues to have a $16 billion backlog of RV orders. Dealer inventories are about 44 percent lower than normal, and the company is forecasting continued growth in demand through most of 2022. That means Thor will be busy making pre-sold RVs and operating at – or near – capacity through all of 2022.

This is all good news for investors, who tend to focus on investment metrics that don’t include buyer satisfaction, supply chain woes and unhappy dealers.

As long as pre-purchased RVs keep rolling out of the factories at record rates, you can expect Thor and Winnebago stocks to keep climbing too.


Don’t expect to see RV dealer lots filling up anytime soon


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


  1. Though RV sales are at an unprecedented high there are pressures forming in the RV industry that may have a negative effect on future sales.

    People that control the RV industry have done little to solve the lack of RV camping sites and quality control issues being experienced by new RV buyers. That coupled with the expectation that most people have of getting back to a prepandemic life will likely slow new and used RV sales.

    Some long term RVers seeking a newer RV will see this as a benefit as disillusioned new RV buyers place their late model RV’s, now without issues after waiting a year or more to fix quality control issues, as a time to take advantage of a glut of late model used RV’s on the market.

    • Agreed. But personally after seeing what is on the dealers lots….I’m not purchasing anything manufactured from 2020-2022. The quality is atrocious. Wanted a new Class A, but now only considering used models built before the pandemic.

  2. Just wait until we reach herd immunity to the virus there will be a glut of used RVs on the market and stock prices will drop like a rock. People are already fed up with not being able to get a spot to put their RV

    • True. Investors are all short haul money makers. As soon as the industry goes bust, again, Thor and other industry stock will become a liability and fickle investors will move on. The only ones who suffer are the owners, dealers and those whom their livelihood depends on the industry.


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