Values of used RVs doing something hard to believe!

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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.”

Maybe it’s a good time to sell your RV if it’s spending most of its time in a storage lot.

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.

Related:

Study shows millions more Americans will soon own RVs

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Jason Epperson
18 days ago

I simply do not understand why every time someone like myself or RV Travel or whoever reports on the low inventories on dealer lots so many people are enraged and feel the need to comment about how they “drive past dealerships all the time that are full to the brim.” They aren’t. Period. None of them. If they look full, they’re parking them further apart to look fuller. Their back lot is empty. They’re parking them sideways. They’re parking used units with the new stuff. They’re parking RVs that need service with the ones for sale. Many of them are already sold. Some dealers are not allowing people to buy units and showing them as “display model only” so you can order one inventories are so low. Inventories are recovering, yes, but dealers that would normally have 500 RVs for sale right now have 100. There’s nothing made up about it (and why would there be?).

Dustin Smith
22 days ago

Do any of you readers remember the part of this article where the author mentioned the whole premise of their article? It was in the title…??? Ok, let me help you out Granny! The author said there is an market phenomenon in the “used” rv market where over the past year, values on used Towables and RVs have gone up.

Which is not to say that the Rv dealerships in the 55 and older gated community called Florida are not brimming with new RVs— the concept was that old raggedy RVs are worth more than they were 6 months ago, and that’s a market anomaly.

Bob Weinfurt
22 days ago

Here in northeast NY, RV dealers lots were pretty bare by the end of the summer. I was offered 5K for my 43 year old motorhome, even though it has some water damage and is far from pristine. I paid $300 for it 6 years ago and decided to keep it and run the wheels off it. Still having fun RVing with it.

Bill N Stacey
22 days ago

Here in Florida, RV dealers have a FULL lot of product.. I drive the state monthly and do NOT understand this article! (Fake News)…..

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
22 days ago
Reply to  Bill N Stacey

Thank you for your opinion, Bill N Stacey. This article was based on many, many reports we’ve read, as well as observations from many of our readers. If we learn that the information is inaccurate, we will certainly correct the story and offer our apologies for inadvertently passing along “Fake News,” as you called it. Take care. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Jon W
21 days ago
Reply to  Bill N Stacey

Obviously if the lots are full in FL, then they must be full everywhere. Unfortunately too many people experience this form of cognitive distortion in every walk of life. I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the US during the last year and, while I can’t say anything directly about prices, I can say that in I’ve noticed too many dealer lots with significant open space. In some areas, I’ve spotted lots that were under 50%. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with a few dealers and most admit that they can’t get inventory in quick enough.

If a person has any concept of how the free market works, they’ll understand that even a perceived shortage can cause prices to increase dramatically. However, I think the most interesting thing is yet to be seen: what will happen when life attempts to go back to normal and people start wondering what to do with the RV sitting in their yard. Will peple continue to expand on their RV experiences or will they go back to how it was?

John
22 days ago

Drove from FL to western VA, then eastern VA, then back home thru eastern NC, etc. in Nov. 2020, saw lots of RV Dealers with what seemed to be the usual full lots. Again from FL to San Antonio and back in Jan. 2021, same, lots of units on almost every dealers lot we passed. Doesn’t seem like a shortage to us.

Jennifer R Willner
22 days ago

We live in Bellingham, WA, which is pretty close to the closed to non-essential travel border. There are several RV dealers along I5 heading to Seattle. The lots are packed. When we bought our used Class C from RV Country last July, there were noticeable empty dealer lots all around because we were there. Doesn’t seem like it now. Despite a seller’s market last July, we lucked out and our 2020 Class C Coachmen Leprechaun “Lucy” has been just terrific. Just dumb first time buyer’s luck.

Last edited 22 days ago by Jennifer R Willner
Bob
22 days ago

We are on the West coast and class B’s and some smaller class C’s are in great demand and hard to get.

Philip Sponable
22 days ago

There is NO shortage… maybe a ‘style’ or ‘type’… but NOT quantity… never has been…!@#$%^&*

Jim vaughn
22 days ago

I am in the process of selling my Newmar class a canyon star. The value has dropped in the sale for class a , the class b and c has risen higher taking a great bite in the shorts for the class a

Ron T.
22 days ago

There are several RV dealerships near our home and for a brief time last year their lots were characterized by the wide open space between a very few trailers. Once the RV factories got back to work this quickly went away. So yes there was a shortage of RVs at dealerships, but not any more.

David Blomberg
22 days ago

Got me confused too! Here in central Florida, just north of Orlando, vacationland & snowbird wonderland, the RV dealership lots seem to be brimming with units of all shapes and sizes. I don’t know where this shortage is, but it sure isn’t here!

Tommy Molnar
22 days ago

I wonder where this “shortage” stuff comes from as well. We have three RV dealers in our town and they are all so packed you can barely walk between them. If you decided to buy one in the back of the lot it would probably take days to get it out.

Don
22 days ago

Fascinating, but certainly not true in the Pacific Northwest. Local RV sales lots around here seem to be almost normally full of rigs. If demand is that high elsewhere, it’s sure not being reflected in Puget Sound inventories…

Tom Moeller
22 days ago

Where I live a local dealer has approximately 1,400 Rv’s on their lot. Last October on a 1,700 trip mostly interstate travel I noticed camping world was packed with mostly travel trailers and fivers. I don’t understand the article saying Rv dealers are almost empty. In the Tampa area along I 4 the dealers have most anything you’re looking for.

STEPHEN P Malochleb
22 days ago
Reply to  Tom Moeller

As always it’s the media hype saying there’s a shortage to cause higher pricing. I see the lots here in Mass with many units on hand. And now would not be a time to buy new, with the all time high of production as they say, the poor craftsmanship will probably be at an all time low. If things were bad when they weren’t rushing, just think how bad they’ll be now that they as producing as fast as they can. I’ll keep my 08. She’s pretty well built.:):)

Dan
22 days ago
Reply to  Tom Moeller

I have to wonder about the shortage too. I occasionally window shop the RV’s on Craigslist and other places, while I am actually searching for a different new toy. Anyway there doesnt seem to be any shortage of used motor homes or travel trailers here in the center of America. And the prices are not scary either. Maybe it’s different around the edges of the country. Just my observation.

KellyR
22 days ago
Reply to  Tom Moeller

We went from Tampa to Orlando on I-4 just a week ago and the MANY RV dealers and car dealers on the strip of I-4 were packed with units. I don’t understand either.