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RV manufacturers set yet another shipment record in March

If you are one of those RV owners waiting for the bottom to fall out of the new RV sales market, you likely are going to have to wait a while longer.

The RV Industry Association just released its recreational vehicle factory shipment numbers for March, and they show that 64,454 RV units rolled out the big doors of manufacturing plants throughout the U.S. That’s an almost 19% increase in units shipped compared to March 2021.

Year to date, RV shipments are up 15.5% compared to the same period last year, with 171,466 shipped so far in 2022.

It appears manufacturers are making progress in delivering more unsold rigs to dealer lots, while at the same time working to reduce billions of dollars’ worth of RV backorders.

Consumer interest in RV ownership doesn’t appear to be waning, despite higher costs for RVs, fuel, and campsites.

“Summer is just around the corner and our RV manufacturers and suppliers have worked to ensure consumers have a variety of RVs to choose from on dealer lots,” said RV Industry Association President and CEO Craig Kirby. “More people than ever before are prioritizing their physical and mental well-being by living the active outdoor lifestyle that is synonymous with RVing.”

Towable RVs again led the pack, up 19.5% from March of last year with 58,902 units shipped. Motorhomes finished March with 5,552 units shipped, up 11.3%.

Park models weren’t as popular as traditional RVs, with 23.1% fewer shipped compared to March 2021, with just 379 units manufactured and shipped. Through March, park model shipments are down 14.8%.

##RVT1050b

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Michael La Belle
5 months ago

As a recently certified RV inspector and technician I look forward to working in the industry to assist new RV owners with their purchase. Buying an RV can be a stressful experience and myself and the rest of my fellow inspectors look forward to helping anyone that needs us.

To find a local inspector see the RV Inspectors Association website at http://www.rvtia.org

Bob p
5 months ago

The question is even though they push them out the door how many are being delivered to dealers? It’s my understanding that many delivery drivers have quit delivering due to delivery companies holding onto the fuel surcharges being paid due to high fuel prices. From the information I’ve heard a large percentage of drivers have stopped driving.

okispider
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

you are correct….my hubby and I were going to deliver rv’s when he retires in a few months but the companies are not paying the drivers enough compensation for the fuel…we would go broke….

Jesse Crouse
5 months ago

One small comment. What about quality of product.

1HasBeen
5 months ago

This too shall pass. For every boom, even artificially perpetuated ones, there is a bust. And it’s gonna be a dilly.

BILLY Bob Thronton
5 months ago
Reply to  1HasBeen

The stars have aligned my friend. This one will be for the ages. Fed meets later this week, expected to raise borrowing rate by 50ty basis points. Thats just financial speak for 1/2% rate hike. Lets see if this house of cards, built by the current ******* in Washington, can sustain this hike. Inflation is out of control, so the fed must act, before we turn into Brazil.

Bob
5 months ago

Don’t confuse shipments with sales. Manufacturers have boasted about record order files and many of the orders were placed by dealers trying to rebuild depleted inventories that resulted from the pandemic surge in sales. I am amazed at the huge inventories in dealer yards. My dealer has seen a decline in sales recently and said they are getting “no shows” and cancellations in the service department because customers don’t want to pay for the gas. Shipments will remain strong for awhile as producers work off their bloated order files. Watch the inventories at dealers and their sales to gauge consumer sentiment. Very likely dealers are or will, in the near future, be facing inventory and credit issues.

Thomas D
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

A dealer a half mile from my home has such a large inventory that they are expanding the lot. Id guess upward of 200 units. If you wanted one RIGHT NOW you’d have to wait a week while they move them around to get any particular unit.
I for one couldn’t sleep at night thinking about the inventory.

BILLY Bob Thronton
5 months ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Sign, Sign, everywhere a sign. They just didn’t listen to the next stanza. ” don’t do this, cant you read the sign….

They just crested the top of the rollercoaster, everybody raise your arms, its going to be a doozie.

Sharon Branson
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob, I agree with you. Every RV lot that we have passed appears to have a full inventory.

BARF
5 months ago

My neighbor is one of those new to RV camping’s and bought their first 5th wheel last fall. It’s been in the shop either waiting for slide repair parts or being worked on for the past 8 months. They have yet to use it and fear it won’t be ready for our first joint camping trip later in May. They are looking into an attorney to help them with a un-empathetic dealer. Hot RV markets lead to even worse customer service as manufacturers and dealers don’t need to be customer friendly as there is always the next person in line…. Doesn’t say much for the industry, unfortunately. What are they going to do when they’ve pissed so many people off and the current market cools down and/or folks get turned off from RV camping due to crowded destinations and rude campers? I think I’m best off keeping my 6-year old camper in good repair, updated and road worthy rather than invest in a ‘COVID-era’ RV!

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago
Reply to  BARF

I think your neighbors are indicative of many buyers now. It’s their first excursion into the RV world and they go blindly into it. As has been mentioned here many times, new buyers think a new RV is like a new car. New cars are almost always trouble free. Not so with RVs. Almost all new RVs are rife with problems. Problems that an unsuspecting ‘newbie’ would never notice or know to look for. “Buyer beware” has never been more important than in today’s RV sales world. Like BARF, we’re clinging to our 10-year-old (well maintained and working just fine) trailer with both hands!

Dave
5 months ago

The consumer is still fine. Prices have increased but only because cash printing has gone wild giving them more money. More money = more spending. Buying more stuff than can even get to the country and China supply chain shutdowns. Inflation high everywhere around the world. People’s checking accounts have never been higher (in aggregate realizing there are some hit harder than others in services businesses).

Prediction – prices maintain their new level with increases slowing in next few months. This will bring the excess savings down to normal by early 2023 and growth will slow. Then realization that these debt levels can’t continue – where the bottom falls.

Buy USA/Canada/South America. Break the China/India supply chain.

BILLY Bob Thronton
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Wow. I want some of what your pouring.

Bill T
5 months ago

I wonder how many of those units were actually 100% complete and ready for the customer to drive off the lot. I believe there are a lot of customers staring at the new RV’s on dealer lots waiting for parts while paying for their new purchases.

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