Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV manufacturers set another shipment record in May

If you are one of those RVers awaiting the anticipated slowdown in RV manufacturing, you may have to wait at least a month longer.

The RV Industry Association just announced that manufacturers had their best May on record this year, shipping 50,529 units from factories around the U.S. That compared to 49,241 units shipped from factories in May 2021.

“The summer RVing season is off to an incredible start, with millions of Americans heading to their favorite outdoor destination to spend quality time with friends and family,” RVIA President and CEO Craig Kirby said. “Thanks to the work of RV manufacturers and suppliers, consumers looking to purchase a new RV have more options to choose from as inventory continues to be rebuilt at RV dealerships across North America.”

The May results come at a time when major manufacturers are still chipping away at tens of billions of dollars in back orders. At the same time, dealer lots are still being restocked with new units.

Thor Industries officials have said they plan to start putting the brakes on new manufacturing during the second half of 2022 as inflation and fuel prices begin to take their toll on RV buyer’s purchase intentions.

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, ended the month up 2.6% compared with May 2021, with 45,608 shipments. Motorhomes finished the month up 3.2% compared with May 2021, with 4,921 units.

RVIA said although shipment results the first five months of the year have been historically strong, the association expects the market to level off from 2021’s record numbers.

Earlier this year (before inflation had really heated up), the RV Industry Association forecasted that total RV factory shipments for the year could top 600,000 units. They’ve since backed off that lofty goal, now projecting somewhere around 550,000 new RVs will be produced this year.

Through May, manufacturers have shipped 279,038 units, an average of 55,808 a month. If the numbers slow down as expected, that monthly average will drop to about 38,670 a month for the rest of the year.


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.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Billinois (@guest_189758)
1 year ago

The RVIA is a useless organization, as far as the end user is concerned. They exist strictly as a trade group for manufacturers. If they really cared, they’d do something about the abysmal quality control RV manufacturers get away with.
I believe nothing that RVIA says.

Chuck Woodbury
1 year ago
Reply to  Billinois

The RVIA’s mission is very simple: To sell RVs. Everything it does is, ultimately, is to support that goal. Being short-sighted, it does not care about what happens with those RVs after they are sold. It measures success by its monthly sales statistics.

Spike (@guest_189729)
1 year ago

“The May results come at a time when major manufacturers are still chipping away at tens of billions of dollars in back orders.”

Mike … What % of May shipments are due to backlog and what is the aging profile of that?

You spit out data points heralded by the industry, but we all know those may be subject to the RV Industry Communications spin doctors only telling part of the story.

Being a “reporter” now, how about digging for relevant but “untold” facts so a judgement based on all the facts vs one data point can be made regarding what is really happening behind the scenes. Thor and Winnebago are cutting production, which means projections are down. Clearly there is more information these folks know about what actual “new” sales look like vs completing orders placed a year ago and unfilled until now.

Tom A B (@guest_189715)
1 year ago

“Thor Industries officials have said they plan to start putting the brakes on new manufacturing during the second half of 2022.” They know that a lot of their massive backorders will be cancelled by dealers, just not admitting it explicitly. When the current YOLO mentality wears off, the reality of high gas prices and high interest rates will take over. Who knows, maybe you will actually be able to get that reservation you want next year.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.