RV shipments drop in December; motorhomes plunge 33 percent

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Maybe the bubble is about to burst. The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) December survey of manufacturers found that total RV shipments finished the month with 28,363 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 21.7% from the 36,227 units shipped last December.

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 25,207 units for the month, a decrease of 20.1% compared to last December’s towable RV shipment total of 31,541.


Motorhomes ended December with 3,156 shipments to retailers, down 32.7% compared to last December’s total of 4,686.

Wholesale shipments ended 2018 with 483,672 units, down 4.1% compared to the 504,599 units in 2017. The shipment total for 2018 was the second highest on comparable record.

Towable RVs are down 3.6% at 426,087 units for the year while motorhome shipments fell 8.1% at 57,585 units, compared to 2017 shipment totals.

Park model RVs ended the month with 252 wholesale shipments, a gain of 15.6% compared to last December. The sector ended 2018 down 4.1% with 3,859 shipments for the year.

SOURCE: RVbusiness.com

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Tony

As far as I’m concerned the industry DESERVES WHAT IT GETS by adopting the attitude of knowingly churning out CRAP at the expense of their user base. The folks who own a run these major corporations coudn’t have cared less about what quality of RV they were selling. They just chased the dollar. I knew it would eventually catch up with them and the bubble would burst! I’ve been fortunate to own a travel trailer and a fifth wheel with relatively few problems but there were problems and they were totally unnecessary. Let this be a lesson to any industry. You can’t keep screwing people while pocketing their hard-earned money without bad karma chasing and finally catching you. To the few manufacturers who give a care about their product. I APPLAUD you! You will be left standing when the dust clears and your black line will continue to prosper.

Doug

I hope it continues to decline and especially that Camping World eats a ton of their low quality rigs sitting unsold on their lots.

Steve

I was reading some of the comments, some saying we are getting older, some say it is the time of the year, but my opinion is this is a sign of the times. I do not think the younger generation has the wonderlust of the boomers. The prices affect this also as 70-90K for a weekend travel trailer is a lot of money. Also, people do not travel on weekends as much because their children have activities ALL weekend, every weekend. Add to this the quality (or lack of it) of units being built may be keeping people from buying new and keeping their current unit which they have everything fixed already.

I also think the RV industry (like mountain bikes of the past) is becoming saturated.

As strange as this sounds, this may be a good thing for the RV industry.

Mike

Sold my 2005 Motorhome in 02-2018. After a brief recharge of missing the open road I was thinking of buying another, but after taking into consideration RV campgrounds are now putting a age limit of an RV, i.e., 10 years, limited space in campgrounds especially on the weekends (retired so if I wanted to stay a week or so I’d have to move because someone reserved the two day weekend), the high cost of a new/used RV, the poor quality of workmanship of a new RV, registration fees, insurance costs, campground costs, repair costs, etc…, decided to buy a stick home. Yes, there are costs also associated with stick homes, but they normally “appreciated in value”. And if I wanted to hit the open road I would seek a rental home(s) etc for my home base.
Those of you still on the road I wish best of travels and stay safe and healthy and enjoy the RV space that I am not renting.

donald wagner

Maybe so many park models are being sold because more folks find it cheaper to lived in a park model RV that has all the items any house would have if not more! Then if you consider the cost of buying a stick and brick house, maintenance cost, and taxes, it makes a lot of sense. Having lived in an apartment where the rents start around $500 per year and goes up $100 dollars every year, paying rent of a couple hundred dollars a month on a park model site at some great location is a not brainer.

Donald Schneider

Some of the park models may be going to deeded lots in RV parks like the Escapees campgrounds around the US. As we get older its time to park the RV on your DEEDED lot or put a park model on it.

Happy Trails

martlin c chambers

I think that there are two reasons for this.

No one mentions what the trend has been this time of year is for sales to slow down after the first of the year. People are getting the bills for the holidays and are thinking about having to pay taxes. Spending big money on an RV is down the list of things to do right now.

And I think that RV buyers are starting to shy away from many RVs or Rvs in general. I have heard people say that RVs are a waste of money and most of them are crap. Thanks to greedy manufacturers like Thor people have been getting burned buying RVs that are plagued with issues that should never have left the factory.

On the downside of all this is that manufacturers will continue their practices until the whole market for RVs goes to hell and their solution is to fire workers and go out of business. Greed beats pride in workmanship every time with rich people desiring more wealth.

Captn John

So far this is a slightly good trend. Lets hope the trend grows and grows as sales sink.

Roy

Breaking it down … the Park Model RV’s were (give or take) 4,000 units for the last two (2) years alone. If only 3,500 of those were placed on sites, that’s 7,000 units now occupying many of the previous spots available for transient RV’s. Adding to the appeal of the ‘Park Model’ is the lower cost of both the unit and the space it occupies for use as a residence. Some areas allow this, others do not.

But meanwhile, a few of the 7,000 units were placed on ‘new’ spaces’ (instead of new “RV camping spaces”), but the remaining units now occupy spaces that reduce available transient spaces by well over 2 MILLION camping nights. Is there a pattern here … ???

Jeff

The Dealers around the ENTIRE USA are OVER STOCKED and CHOKED with RV’s just sitting on the lots. NO One is buying right now, still paying off Christmas bills.

Combine all this with the absolute POOR Quality coming out of these factories and the lack of support from manufacturers. The Industry may have just shot themselves in the foot, (plus other areas)!

fred ford

right on. poor quality, poor dealer service, slow warranty work, to high priced. i am not surprised at all. i have been wondering when this would happen. happy trails.

Bob p

Priced themselves out of business with poor quality units.