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

If you are eagerly awaiting the restocking of RV dealer lots around the country, take a seat. This is going to take a while. And the same goes for improved quality of new RVs.

A recent RV Dealer Survey conducted by the Thompson Research Group and reported by RV News found that RV dealers aren’t expecting an end to RV inventory shortages anytime soon. An earlier survey conducted three months ago found dealers more optimistic. Back then, they thought the “big restocking” would happen in mid-2022. Now, dealers are a bit more pessimistic, saying they don’t expect to see enough RVs to adequately stock their lots until very late 2022, or even early 2023.

The inability to get RVs on their lots is beginning to impact dealer sales. Some dealers reported sales declines specifically linked to the lack of RVs on their lots.

The lack of inventory has forced many dealers into the role of order takers. That tactic is being complicated by a broken supply chain for RV parts to manufacturers. Buyers with RVs on order are being told they will be waiting longer than originally expected for their new rig.

DEALERS ARE ALSO REPORTING that RV factories send often-weekly notices of price increases of rigs that haven’t even been manufactured yet. Price increases are often linked to the supply chain issues or rising freight delivery costs. The price boosts are passed along to consumers, one way or another. Some dealers say they have stopped quoting sale prices to shoppers because they simply have no idea what the final delivered cost will be.

The recent RV dealer survey also pointed out that dealers are showing “concern” about the quality of new RVs being produced. Dealer concerns over manufacturing quality have also been covered in an earlier story in RVtravel.com.

“While not the same quality issues as the previous RV boom saw, it is still quality control challenges that work their way through the supply chain and are addressed at the OEM or dealer level,” the latest report stated. “Many dealers reported dealing with these issues on the lot as the units come in or by educating customers that if you want a unit faster you might need to be a little flexible on certain items.”

Thompson Research Group CEO Kathryn Thompson said dealers reported RV parts issues, such as rigs being delivered to dealerships with different colored cabinets or different furniture than what was ordered. She did say, however, that those manufacturing issues aren’t unique to the RV industry and have shown up in other industries her company tracks.

To read the full story on the RV Dealer Survey on RVNews.com, click here.

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sue
26 days ago

As we drive through the country, we really don’t see RV dealer’s lots empty….as a matter of fact we comment to each other often how many trailers are sitting in those lots. Shortage? It doesn’t really look like it to us!

J J
1 day ago
Reply to  sue

Those dealer lots probably are full of the RV’s waiting for repairs.

Rich
26 days ago

We just drove from Nebraska to South Carolina, I didn’t see much of a shortage of new units on dealers lots. Dealer lots looked full to me.

PaulE
26 days ago
Reply to  Rich

I love the line stating that Price Increases are due to supply shortages. That is so false. As I shop for new travel trailer and see the price increase from the factory going up over $15K on a small 22 foot trailer in less then a year, I cry foul. This is just another way for the RV industry to boost their bottom line. What is just as bad, is the used market which has seen increase that are hard to believe. I see used 2 year old trailers on the market for more then what they sold for new. And this is not a function of supply shortage. At this point I might just drop out of the RV market and wait till things cool down.

Neal Hamilton
26 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

The matket will crash in a few months.

Jesse Crouse
26 days ago
Reply to  Neal Hamilton

I believe in more than a few months. Some of the newbies are already turning last years units in to get out from under the loans and dealers are taking them on consignment just to have something to fill in the spaces between new units and listing them as leftovers or rentals now being cleared out for new units. All of these “shenanigans” including price increases means that a sharp rv buyer should take their time and possibly wait all this out. But the “I have to have it now” crowd will help to extend this crap.