The RV Industry Association made it official Tuesday. The overall RV factory shipments for 2021 did in fact set a record of 600,240 units. That passed the previous record set in 2017 of 504,599, an increase of 19%.
“For decades, the RV industry has been growing with more and more people turning to RVs as the perfect way to experience the great outdoors. While the demand for RVs has been amplified over the past two years, the pandemic also created several obstacles and challenges for our industry,” said RV Industry Association President & CEO Craig Kirby. “But through their hard work and innovation, our manufacturers and suppliers are rising to meet these challenges, building a record 600,000 RVs this past year, sending more RVs to dealer lots across North America than ever before, and allowing more people to experience the joys of RVing.”
Total RV shipments for 2021 increased 39.5% over the 430,412 units shipped in 2020. Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, ended 2021 up 39.6% against 2020 with 544,028 wholesale shipments. Motorhomes finished the year up 37.8% compared to 2020 with 56,212 units. Park model RVs finished the year up 5.7% compared to 2020 with 3,923 units shipped.
RV shipments in December 2021 were actually slightly down compared to December 2020 numbers, with 40,347 units shipped in December 2021 compared to 40,382 in December 2020.
Agreed with Butch, Bill, Bob and Tommy, quality before quantity please, unfortunately with just 2 leading groups (Thor and Forest River) I think we need more innovative competitors like Tesla, Rivian or Lucid, best quality value for me, please 🙂
Of the 600,000 plus, how many were sold
Just an opinion, but how many of those 600,240 units actually made it to the street? Those “out the door” numbers leaving the factories, to become dealership headaches, may pacify the shareholders but don’t indicate the true “on the road” numbers. New RV buyers need a lot of patience to wait for their actual “100 % completed” rigs to be ready and not just be placeholders on dealer lots waiting for third party supply issue parts to complete them. I hope folks take the time to thoroughly check these rattle trap trailers before they sign. In this issues cover story about the 70% of last years campers trying again to camp in 2022, I wonder how many of them bought their units in 2021, hoping to camp, but having to wait until this year to start camping with them.
My thoughts also, of that 600,240 units how many will be able to make the first camping trip a positive memory? If I were a CEO I believe I would concentrate on building a quality unit, it might take a couple of years for the word to get out but in the end that manufacturer would be outselling their competitors. The old saying “A satisfied customer will bring you 3 more customers but a dissatisfied customer will cost you 10 customers” applies anywhere in any business.
I think it only takes a couple crummy initial camping trips for the shine to come off. If you have trouble with your new rig, it can quickly become an eyesore parked alongside your house, or a financial burden as it sits in a storage lot somewhere. I just don’t see all these starry-eyed newbies becoming dyed in the wool, hard core RV’ers if they have nothing but headaches with their new rigs. I think this initial flood of newcomers to RV’ing will wane in a couple of years.