RV shipments continue to decline

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The RV Industry Association’s November survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments ended the month with 29,644 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 10.2% from the 33,023 units shipped last November.

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 26,297 units for the month, a decrease of 8.9% compared to last November’s total of 28,868 units. Motorhomes finished the month with 3,347 units, down 19.4% compared to the November 2018 total of 4,155 units.

Through November, RV shipments have reached 378,554 units, down 16.9% from the 455,309 units at this point last year.

Park model RVs finished the month up 16.7% compared to last November with 308 wholesale shipments.

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Paul Terry
6 months ago

To think that you can haul or drive many of these new large RVs down our highways without problems is foolish. It is like hauling or driving a house with all the goodies and thinking all is fine. Also I believe there needs to be a review of what qualifications a person needs to operate the larger units. The latest I saw was a large motorhome towing a flatbed trailer with a full size truck towing another boat trailer. Really?

Ray Leissner
6 months ago

I wonder if a monthly production chart, for the facility building the brand and model you are shopping for, is available? Such a chart may indicate fewer chances of a lemon coming off the line in months of lower output. Conversely, higher output would likely increase chances of lower quality.

Jeff
6 months ago

RV Travel reports on this situation about every month!
It is good to see that perhaps the RV industry has reached its saturation point. Looking around the small community I live in, we have several RV dealers, whos lots are filled to capacity with new RV’s, just sitting there!

This is one of the main reasons you should consider buying a Good, well cared for, used RV. Don’t buy from an RV Show either. RV shows are places dealers take their prior years inventory and try to unload them on unsuspecting buyers!

The RV industry is a constant “BUYER BEWARE” situation!

And as always, NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM CAMPING WORLD!

kevin parker
7 months ago

I’m thinking a saturation point has been reached. I’m speculating there are simply fewer new buyers as parks, campgrounds, and other rec sites are so crowded that the camping mystique is gone. Existing owners are finding repairs, storage, poorly built RV’s, dedicated vehicles, rapid depreciation, homeless usage, and insurance costs start to exceed one’s price point when compared to alternatives. There are still a lot of RVs traveling but it seems there is a switch to alternatives such as Airbnb or VRBO rentals are way up. Hotels get a premium and often booked far in advance. Sure there is a significant population that will continue the RV life, but that slice of the population most likely will decline. If it continues that may present those that love the RV life with lower costs and better built RVs as the used ones go unsold and the manufacturers find that profitability comes for quality and not mass production.

Terry Moseley
7 months ago

Its not hard to see why RV sales are down. So many people are moving into vans and cargo trailers where they are building their own homes the way they want them and know they will last longer. Most RV’ers want to save money, not spend more every 5 years or so on a new rig. My choice is a cargo trailer for my living quarters for this very reason. It pulls great and does the job I intended for it very comfortably. I don’t know for sure ofcourse, but I am thinking it will last me at least 10 years, and if I need to change something on the inside of it, its ok cause its my work to begin with.

Vickie L McClellan-Benson
7 months ago

If they would stop listening to “accountants” telling them how to save money and started listening to actual people who live in and use RV’s, they would probably have higher sales. The biggest factor, in my opinion, is that the quality of new units is dismal, at best. Many of us are buying older models that were manufactured before Thor took over nearly all of the companies and the quality has decreased in every single one of them. I personally dislike their trend of eliminating rear & front windows I won’t buy an RV that I can’t see my tow rig from. Nor one that I can’t see in all four directions when something goes bump in the night.

Marvin Kirschnik
7 months ago

You get what you pay for! Let’s federally regulate these “monster..money thieving companies”..and then shut them down..hah..then you can complain about the job losses in America..I purchased a used hartland launch 18 fbr..less than a year old..for 10k$.previous owners used it one time,locally..I feel I got a great deal..low price and low weight..with all I need in it to spend a weekend at my favorite campgrounds..how are you worried about reservations? What with a little Internet and some early planning..you can reserve and prepay almost anywhere..also by reading campsite reviews on Google maps.you can choose a campsite to suit your needs and avoid mistakes by camping in substandard campgrounds..Hey..!Have you heard of the Internet..? Its an invaluable tool to help make your camping experience great..BTW my local dealer just built a new facility last year and is already adding a 3 highbay building for showroom and maintenance of rvs..tell me something he knows about the future of sales…m

Mark Wilson
7 months ago

Living in vans and buses is better

Frank Cicero
7 months ago

Speaking of class B s , The Ram promaster is junk , the sprinter is overpriced the transit is better then junk but not reliable. I would rather buy modular kits which is much more affordable and have a good warranty. Rv builders are overpriced with the exception of New West in Canada which offers a seven year warranty .

Don
7 months ago

Having been an RVer for 40 years and in the RV industry for the last 10, I agree with many of the posts. The manufacturers have a long ways to go. It is hard to produce a light weight home on wheels that holds up to constant vibration. Would your home hold up on a trailer doing 55 mph? I’m guessing many of these posters would rather spend a week in Las Vegas, where their money is well spent. Owning an RV is like having season tickets to a ball team. At the end of the year all you have is memories and enjoyment. If crowds, cheering and traffic after the game is what you enjoy, then stay away from RVing. If the quiet of a mountain campsite with the grandkids is your joy, then RVing is the right choice. As for the sales numbers, the industry has been on a roll much like the housing market. The market always corrects itself. Here in the Phoenix area, we had an increase in sales this year. With the summer being very good. Our entire family enjoys RVing. It’s a life style. Just remember, if you get into RVing bring along a tool box and a sense of humor! Enjoy!!

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Don

Good points. Thanks, Don! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ryan
7 months ago

200% mark up, wonder why??

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago

Tis a mere adjustment in supply and demand.

Ron melancon
7 months ago

Karma. Like Boeing the industry is producing dangerous RVS.

Liz Cress
7 months ago

I believe that more and more people are looking for good used RVs rather then putting their money into new versions. The odds are much less hassle with a used because it has been through any factory issues and the bugs have been fixed. Aside from the fact that they automatically depreciate 10,000 or more as soon as you leave the lot. The big company dealers out there could care less once you have bought you are on your own…

Jan
7 months ago

My RV is 1 year old. I bought brand new. The workmanship is horrible. The shower head came off the wall, the medicine chest fell off the wall in the bathroom while on the highway. Headboard fell off. Heater has had 2 boards replaced and has only worked less than 50%. The repair time has taken more that 6-8 weeks each time it has been brought in. It is an Estrada, is it any wonder there is a decline.

Silas Longshot
7 months ago

In Trump’s amazing economy, people seem to be going for other issues than RV’s, like perhaps houses, new cars, etc that they think they can now afford with the new job, maybe better pay with the old job where the company is now doing better. Then there’s the quality issue of typical RV’s…..I’ve had one of those ‘sticks and staples wrapped in a cola can’ units made by Gulf Stream, which rotted to pieces because of endlessly chasing water leaks. I would assume they (Gulf Stream) would brag in the same way that Jayco does with their similarly constructed crap.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLHux4SuXbY
I’ve been researching the ‘new style’ vacuum bonded Azdel aluminum wall construction types. I may be deluding myself with this type, but at least the construction looks better and seems superior to sticks and staples. Then there’s the warranty issue….maybe 1 dealer in 20 actually gives a crap about service after the sale, it seems.

Tom
7 months ago

The $10k limit on tax deductions on the Federal tax returns that became effective in 2019 also play a part. The total of your real property taxes, state/city income taxes, sales taxes and personal property taxes are limited to $10k.

James
7 months ago

I don’t see why you keep reporting these numbers in a negative light. They are compared to last year which you were complaining were too high. Maybe shipments are becoming more reasonable and just might be sustainable which would tend to stabilize the industry. You are being negative when the numbers are high and negative when they are lower. Do I see a trend there?

Sink Jaxon
7 months ago
Reply to  James

I didn’t read anything negative at all. The article stated shipment amounts, that was all.
It was clear and concise. May YOU read something else into it??

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  James

Hi, James. The “trend” is that we’re reporting the facts, as reported by the RV industry. On this news story, there was no added editorial comment or opinion. Sometimes Chuck, or someone else, will add their opinion, but it is clearly stated as such. Most of the time it’s just the actual numbers supplied by the industry that we pass along for those who might be interested. But we appreciate your weighing in on this topic. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

TeeCee
7 months ago
Reply to  James

I’m not sure what article you may be talking about…but it sure cant be this sterile recitation of nothing more than the facts supplied by the industry. So, what trend you’re referring to?

KellyR
7 months ago
Reply to  TeeCee

Amen. Nothing negative. Facts posted by the industry.

Paul
7 months ago

I hope alot of the RV manufacturers go out of business. This will help reduce the number of shoddy manufacturers even though 83% are either forest River and The evil Thor brand. It is time for people to wake up to the horrible manufacturing process and lack of quality RVs being built. Legislation needs to happen to put these businesses in line and start building RVS that are not made in 1 day.

Silas Longshot
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

You’re quite right on the quality issue. Would you be surprised that Jayco actually seems to be bragging that it takes less than 7 hours from a naked frame to a ‘finished unit’, making 32 roll out the door in a day? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLHux4SuXbY

KellyR
7 months ago
Reply to  Silas Longshot

I don’t get the youtube video at all. Why in the world you show how pushed the employees are? They are built so fast on an old fashioned “assembly” line that there is no time for quality control. Who thought that the video would help sell their product?

Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

But you keep buying!

Ann
7 months ago

Not surprising. Tariffs have added an average of 5% to the price of an already expensive product. People are price sensitive when it comes to their toys.

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago
Reply to  Ann

With due respect, tariffs have not had any effect on importation prices. As a matter of fact, the amount of tarrif revenue has increased by billions of dollars. How about you reference the “5%” statement with reputable sourcing. Then ill eat a plate of crow.

Tim
7 months ago

“Tariffs have so far translated into a 5% increase in RV sticker prices for consumers, estimates Gregg Fore, chief revenue officer at trade magazine RV Business and the former owner of an RV parts supplier, based on anecdotal reports and proprietary sales data he has seen.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-rvs/trumps-tariffs-trip-up-the-all-american-rv-industry-idUSKCN1UD18L