Better Than Expected?

A better than expected report for some segments of the RV Industry but overall manufacturing is not showing the record-breaking pace of sales that the media has been reporting. This is particularly true in the Class A motorhome segment.

The manufacturing side is down overall except for one category.

Let’s take a look.

The year-to-date shipments of Class A motorhomes declined by 34 percent from last year at this time. There was an increase for the month of August relative to 2019 in camping trailers, travel trailers, fifth wheels and van campers. I suspect much of the so-called record-breaking sales took place with lower cost RVs.

For all categories of RVs with the exception of van campers, the numbers are down from last year.

Out of the 258,591 RV shipments, only 4,071 shipped units were van campers. Only 24,811 motorhomes were shipped, a decline of 24 percent year-to-date over last year.

A much better outcome than many other industries in the travel-related segments. From that perspective, the RV industry can claim success. Shipments are down, more in the motorized segment than the towable segment, but nowhere near as catastrophic as the hotel or airline industries.

Record-breaking?

Not from a manufacturing perspective. The industry might get close to last year’s total shipments which would suggest that the supply side is now operating close to capacity and, in a few areas, some manufacturers are operating above last year’s output for the month of August. The next few months should prove interesting to see whether that increase in output is sustained.

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