After years of record sales of RVs, manufacturers’ champagne bottles are still packed away as shipments to retailers continue their slide over 2022. Results for the RV Industry Association’s April 2023 survey of manufacturers determined that total RV shipments ended the month with 31,216 units, a decrease of 45.4% from the 57,192 units shipped in April 2022. Through April, RV shipments for the year are down 52.1% to 109,816 units.
Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, ended April down 48.6% over last April with 26,860 shipments. Travel trailer shipments were about half what they were last year.
Motorhomes finished the month down 12.4% compared to last April. Fewer than 1,000 Class A motorhomes were shipped. Motorhome shipments in April totaled 4,356, down about 600 from last year. A bright spot: Class C motorhomes were up this April to 2,118 units compared to 2,007 last year.
RV Industry President and CEO Craig Kirby spun the bad news with this statement: “RV ownership remains one of the most economical ways for consumers to travel while also maintaining control over their costs, which is more important than ever for consumers right now.”
We have a 2013 Newmar MA and have been perusing new units for a year now. The prices shot up so tremendously over the last three years that we’ve just stopped looking. When I look at how much we would have to give in trade, we could instead buy 60 to 80 acres of wooded land and develop our own private family camping getaway.
Hmmmm….keep a well maintained unit we know and get an appreciating asset the kids & grandkids & we can use vs flushing the money down the depreciating RV toilet.
I’m still see sales of Rv’s on the internet that I watch. Since I’m interested in a new RV. Don’t see many used RV’s for sale on internet like before covid. RV trader don’t seem to have many I’m interested in.
So shipments are down. What does that mean as far as sales at retail. There are 2 dealers within a mile of me. Both have a hundred or more rv’s in stock. Probably a year of sales. I dont see the pile going down. With all the bad news about crapy manufacturing,why would anyone buy. I certainly wouldn’t . And with higher interest rates and camping rates and fuel, only the richer are going to afford it. Glad I had the opportunity to travel but all good things must come to an end. I can see a few more years but crowded parks mostly will close the door for our travels
Would you compare the RV sales numbers to say 2019, before the shutdown of everything? Last year was catchup year.
I would assume the market is somewhat flooded after the pandemic. I’d be afraid of getting a lemon after all I’ve read the last couple years.
Tremendously rational fear. Anything built after 2019 is lower quality. That’s just fact. I’m hoping quality issues get squared away in 23 or 24 but it’s still a pretty fragile mix of units for quality right now. The high profit low quality business model took hold and has an unrelenting grip on upper management. It will take some bad years in a competitive market for this to change.
As fun as it is to blame management, I can’t.
You can install a screw straight and secure or you can run it in at whatever angle, leave it sticking out or strip the hole. It takes the same amount of time and nets the same amount of profit.
Wiring routing can be clean with proper tension between tie points or wadded and dangling in one spot and connector straining tight in another. It doesn’t take more time or cost in profit to terminate tank sensors right either.
Nothing but a bad name is lost setting the compartment latches where they’ll latch locked versus not hold and open up on the highway.
I bought a 2023 Forest River Georgetown in April and I was dumbfounded to experience every single item listed above.
The wiring has been the worst.
Yep, brand new coach getting the house batteries charged with jumper cables while I study a schematic because the assembler misrouted some mission critical wires. Generator fuel lines installed loose enough to suck air, leveling jack wiring routed through sharp holes stripping the insulation leaving them lowered and dead. I doubt billions are saved skipping grommets.
Being a mechanic and a hoarding “over-loader”, I’ve been able to slowly fix everything at the campsite but to be 100%, I’ve encountered no material defects, just assembly. It’s like the workers in Indiana either have no pride or prison workers are being forced to build coaches.
TLDR: Apathy is a personal choice. If management can turn your pride off, you don’t have any.
The fish stinks from the head.
Maybe good news. Less RV’s might make it easier to book a spot.
Hey if OEM sales are down, maybe RV component manufacturers (perhaps through OEM manufacturers and their dealers) do a better job of offering replacement parts at retail? Can’t tell you how many RV dealers and RV parts dealers I contacted this past winter/spring looking for specific parts. This includes online and phone calls. “Thank you for your interest; we will get back to you.” Still waiting for 90% to respond.
As the unwilling owner of a 2022 TT (bought one of the last 2021 units and it was destroyed in delivery; replaced with a 2022 version), I am pretty sure a number of mis-assembly defects on my new TT were deliberate by disgruntled/overworked employees. While poor construction complaints go back a lot longer than a single year, I suspect complaints about poor construction and overcrowding were numerous enough to be heard by potential buyers and jaundice 2023 sales. When I drive by full RV dealer lots, I often see no one wandering those lots. Could the 2023 sales decline be partly the fault of RV manufacturers themselves?
In a word, yes. Like Alec Baldwin selling antique weapons and throwing in first aid kits with every purchase.