Big Fallout In RV Shipments

Quite the fall in 2019 wholesale RV shipments. According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), overall shipments fell 16 percent year over year. Class A and Class B motorhomes took the brunt of the drop in shipments. Wholesale shipment of Class A motorhomes fell 24 percent year over year.

In 2018, there were 21,719 Class A motorhomes shipped to dealers. In 2019? Only 16,420 units.

It does not necessarily signal a correction for the RV industry. After all, most indicators suggest a very robust market. For example, the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa set a record for attendance with 74,861 people coming through the gates.

The RVIA suggests that these indicators show a positive trend for the industry:

  • RV ownership has reached record levels – More than nine million households now own an RV – the highest level ever recorded – a 16% increase since 2001 and a 64% gain since 1980.
  • Population and demographic trends favor long-term RV market growth – Buyers aged 35-54 are the largest segment of RV owners, according to the 2011 University of Michigan study of RV consumers commissioned by the RV Industry Association.
  • Baby boomers entering retirement – RV sales are expected to benefit as aging baby boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership has been historically highest.

The overall drop in wholesale shipments was 16 percent. There were 406,070 units shipped in 2019 versus 483,672 units shipped in 2018. Granted, this is up substantially from the great financial collapse of 2008-2009. The industry was only able to ship about 165,000 units during that economic collapse.

Over the past 10 years, the RV industry has almost tripled in size! That might explain why many of us have to book some of our sites up to a year in advance.

Below is the RVIA chart for wholesale RV shipments. You can find the report here.

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