The demand for RVs is so high these days that the vehicles are doing something virtually unheard of: They are increasing in value. Every financial advisor in the USA, Canada, or anywhere in the world will tell you that RVs decrease in value, not increase. And they do so fast. The general rule is that when a brand-new RV leaves the sales lot, its value drops 25 percent.
Eric Lawrence at Black Book, a company that monitors values of used RVs sold at auction, reported recently that while motorhomes had decreased slightly in value in January from December, they had jumped over the past year from an average of $43,854 to $59,092. Towables increased in January by 4.1 percent from the month before, but increased in a year’s time from an average of $14,462 to $20,371.
A reminder: These are average prices of RVs sold at wholesale auctions
“Although the values of used RVs sold at wholesale auctions had dipped in December, they rebounded in January and actually reached all-time highs,” said Eric Lawrence, principal analyst at Specialty Markets. “With the exception of a few blips, the values of both motorhomes and towables have increased steadily since late spring, when RVing really caught on as a way to get out of the house and do something fun while still being safe and socially distant.”
According to the RVIA, the total number of new RVs shipped in January reached 45,930. This is a record for the month, and an increase of 39.2% over January 2020. Towables totaled 41,414 units and motorhomes accounted for 4,516. The latest projections forecast that total 2021 production will come in at 533,356. That would be a new annual record, topping the 504,600 units shipped in 2017.
Statistical Surveys reported that 29,958 RVs were registered in January, an increase of 26.1% year over year. Camping World reported fourth quarter 2020 revenue of $1.1 billion, up 17.5% over the same period in 2019.
Across the country, RV dealers’ lots are almost empty as RVs sell as fast as they arrive. And those are not just new RVs, but used RVs, too.
The RVIA reported that 11.2 million households currently own an RV, an increase of 26.1% over ten years ago.