We at RVtravel.com continue to receive reports from traveling RVers that they are seeing “plenty” of new RVs sitting on dealer lots across the U.S.
That anecdotal information runs counter to the official public statements of big RV manufacturers such as Thor Industries and Winnebago, as well as Camping World Holdings, the largest system of RV dealerships in the U.S. Thor and Winnebago are both reporting billions of dollars in order backlogs for “already sold” RVs. Both manufacturers said it could take months and up to a year or more to fulfill those back orders.
So, what’s going on at the dealer lots?
We decided to ask Phil Ingrassia, President of the RV Dealers Association (RVDA). Ingrassia told us that his organization conducts a survey of RV dealers each month. The July RVDA survey reported that 100% of towable RV dealers and 92% of motorhome dealers said their lot inventories were “too low.”
Ingrassia said he suspects that the “full lot” reports from RVers could stem from the fact that many dealers have multiple new “pre-sold” units on their lots that are either awaiting owner delivery or (much more likely) were delivered from factories missing a key part or two and are on the lots waiting for the proper parts to catch up before the new owner can drive away. International supply chain woes have made it difficult for factories to complete RV units due to a lack of parts. RVer-owned units that are just sitting on dealer lots waiting for repairs due to those aforementioned missing parts may also be adding to the illusion of a full lot.
Ingrassia said another factor could be more RV dealers storing units for their customers (because they have the room right now due to – you know – low inventories), thus giving the appearance of a full sales lot.
It’s doubtful that many RV dealers would willingly fess up to the fact that they don’t have much on their lots for sale right now. The only people who really know how tight inventories are would be the folks who have their hearts set on purchasing a particular model.
So, potential new RV buyers, how hard is it to find that RV of your dreams? Let us know in the comments section below.