RV shipments dive for May, but retail sales perk up

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(June 24, 2020) — May was the first month back for the RV industry following the large-scale shutdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with some manufacturers opening in early May, some not until later in the month, and none opening at full capacity.

As the economy began to reopen, RV manufacturers and suppliers adapted to a “new normal,” including supply chains that were still ramping up, limited production days, and modified manufacturing processes. These challenges impacted production capacity early on but eased considerably as the month continued. By month’s end, wholesale shipment totaled 27,999 units, down 29.7% from the 39,838 units shipped in May 2019, according to the RV Industry Association’s survey of manufacturers.

“While numbers compared to last May show a 30 percent decrease, the reality is the RV industry is very strong right now. Many RV dealerships that were able to reopen their showroom reported record sales, but RV sales were heavily dependent on whether or not state stay-at-home orders had been lifted, something that varied state-by-state throughout the month of May,” said RV Industry President Craig Kirby. “Now that all states have reopened, coupled with continued media attention on RVs as a way to travel and maintain social distance, the outlook for the RV industry this summer is extremely bright.”

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 24,790 units for the month, a decrease of 29.1% compared to last May’s total of 34,952 shipments. Motorhomes finished the month with 3,209 units, down from 34.3% compared to the May 2019 total of 4,886 units.

Park Model RVs ended the month down 28.7% compared to last May with 281 shipments.

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Ed H.
2 months ago

In CA, good luck getting an RV into anything. Federal campgrounds (CGs) are closed & the state parks (last time I checked) had 28 of < 300 open. That's < 10% open & supposedly occupying E/O site which equates to < 5%. Also, the county & private CGs are with playgrounds, pools & restrooms/showers closed.
I recently spent 4-days on the internet & phone trying to get a site to take my grandkids. I found a KOA site for around $150/night for a gravel spot with picnic table, water & electricity (all amenities closed). So I kept looking before finding an RV resort & CG (full hookups & really nice for < $50/night). We had lots of fun kayaking, hiking & camping, all very easy to do with social distancing times a lot.
The RV industry is promoting "go anywhere at anytime" with an RV but you can't. The sheer number of RVs manufactured & sold is huge & the number of new RV campsites is almost negligible.

Troy
2 months ago

We need more transporters. Right now on just the Horizon Transport lot there are 230 motorhomes And 540 towables ready for transport to dealers. Manufacturers will be doing their midyear shutdown this week, so we will catch up a little, but they will crank them out again next week.

Roger
2 months ago

Class B’s are clearly the bright spot in this data.

bobhhoy
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Yes. But why?