RVs Up 10.5% In Sept., Up 9.1% For Year

October 27, 2014 by · Comments Off on RVs Up 10.5% In Sept., Up 9.1% For Year 

RV manufacturers reported shipments to retailers of 24,869 units in September this year, which were 10.5% greater than the same month one year ago, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported.

This was the highest September total in seven years with gains recorded in all vehicle categories. Seasonally adjusted, shipments in September were at an annualized rate of more than 340,000 units. Year-to-date, total RV shipments have now climbed to 271,352 units through the first nine months of the year with towable RVs up 8% while motorhomes shipments were up 17.6% ahead of this month last year.


RV Shipments Up 13% In First Quarter

April 25, 2014 by · Comments Off on RV Shipments Up 13% In First Quarter 

Wholesale shipments of all RVs advanced 16.4% in March over the March total one year ago, rising to 33,678 units, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported today (April 25).

The March total was 9.3% more than one month earlier and the best March shipments total since 2007, RVIA said in a written announcement.

March towable RVs were reported at 29,558 units, up 14.4% over March one year ago, while motorhomes grew 33.5% to 4,120 units.

Year to date, first quarter RV shipments tracked by RVIA have now climbed to 89,971 units, 13.3% ahead of this same period last year. This was the best start for RV shipments since 2007 with all towables reported at 78,846 units and ahead of last year by 11.2%.

All motorhome shipments did even better gaining 30.9% over first quarter last year in rising to 11,125 units.

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Forecast: RV Shipments to Grow 11.7% in ’13

September 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on Forecast: RV Shipments to Grow 11.7% in ’13 

The heavy black line shows RV shipments have remained above 2012 levels (shaded area) each month this year and should remain on the same course through the rest of the year, the RVIA’s forecaster stated this week.

Wholesale RV shipments are expected to reach 319,300 units by the end of 2013, a gain of 11.7% above the 2012 total of 285,800, according to a new projection by RV industry analyst Richard Curtin in the Fall 2013 issue of RV Roadsigns.

According to an article in the latest issue of RVIA Today, shipments will continue to edge higher in 2014 to 334,300 units, a 4.7% rise over the projected 2013 year-end total.

The promising outlook for the next two years comes on the heels of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) July 2013 RV Market Reports that shows the industry has been on a torrid pace through the first seven months of this year. Year-to-date shipments have reached 201,130 units, a 13.1% gain over the 177,845 units shipped through the same time period in 2012.

Motorhome shipments have shown the largest percentage gain, rising 35% to 22,322 units through July 2013 compared to 16,531 units though July 2012. Class C motorhomes have increased 42.5% to 10,399 units; Class A motorhomes grew by 33.3% to 10,647 units; and Class B motorhomes have edged up by 2.6% to 1,276 units.

Towable RV shipments are up 13.1% to 201,130 units through July. Conventional travel trailers are up 13% to 124,799 units; fifth-wheel travel trailers have risen by 8% to 3,964 units; and truck campers jumped 5.1% to 2,196 units. Folding camping trailers are off slightly, down 2.8%, to 7,849 units.

“The strong performance of the RV market is due to restored consumer confidence, rising home and stock values, the improved availability of credit, and continued, although slow, gains in job and income prospects,” said Curtin. “Consumer anticipate steady but moderate economic growth in the year ahead accompanied by rising interest rates. Borrowing in advance of those expected increases in rates may accelerate the pace of demand for RVs.”

For more information on RV market statistics and research, visit the “Market Data and Trends” section of


RV Shipments Indicate Economy on the Mend

July 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on RV Shipments Indicate Economy on the Mend 

The above chart reflects the year-over-year improvement in RV shipments in each month of 2012.

The 2012 trend continues in 2013. Charts courtesy of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

If you want to put the current RV shipment numbers in perspective, look only to 2009, according to a report in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune. Yes, 2009 was the worst year for the recreational vehicle industry since 1982, with just 165,700 RVs being shipped.

And yes, RV shipment numbers have gone up each year since 2009 with this June being the 18th straight month that shipments beat the same month of the previous year.

Still, having shipment numbers through six months this year already substantially greater than all of recession-affected 2009 is noteworthy.

Through June 30, 174,871 units have been shipped, according to the latest release by the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). That mark is also 12.8% higher than the midway point of 2012.

Total monthly wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs this June were reported at 30,856 units, an increase of 12.1% compared with the same month in 2012.

“I always say that the RV market is a reflection of consumer confidence,” said Mark Bowersox, executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council. “Look where the stock market is. Fuel prices have been consistent. It hasn’t jumped over $4 a gallon repeatedly. They’ve been stable.

“By most statistics,” he added, “the economy is getting better.”

The fear of sequestration and the cutting of $85 billion from the federal budget from March through September never even affected the industry –– just as Bowersox accurately predicted –– in early March.

“Americans have become more comfortable at being uncomfortable,” Bowersox said then and again Monday (July 29) in a phone interview.

The Tribune reported that the industry is not expected to slow down any time soon. Revised predictions for 2013, have the industry shipping just less than 310,000 units. That would mark the first time since 2007 (about 353,400 were shipped that year) that the total has reached 300,000.

To read the entire article click here.


RVIA: Shipments Up 11% During First Quarter

April 26, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVIA: Shipments Up 11% During First Quarter 

March shipments of all RVs were reported at 28,923 units, a gain of 2.8% over this month one year earlier, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has reported.

Shipments were 10.7% greater than last month and were the best March total in five years. First quarter total shipments climbed to 79,422 units, 11.2% ahead of this same period last year. Towable shipments, and in particular conventional travel trailers, provided a greater number of units while motorhomes have recorded the greater percentage increase so far this year.

RV Shipments Reaching Expectation

March 27, 2013 by · Comments Off on RV Shipments Reaching Expectation 

Consumers, such as these at the Florida RV SuperShow in January, are buying new RVs at a healthy clip so far in 2013.

For the 14th consecutive month, recreational vehicle shipments are above what they were the same month the previous year. Not only that but February shipments of 26,120 units are the highest February total since 2008, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the RVIA of Reston, Va., told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune that the organization is not surprised by the continued rise in shipments. Wholesale RV shipments are expected to rise to 307,300 units in 2013, according to the latest forecast by University of Michigan professor Richard Curtin, representing a 7.5% increase over 2012.

“We knew throughout the downturn that there was still interest in RVs,” Broom said. “What we’re seeing is the return to long-term interest in RVs, people buying RVs and people wanting RVs. We expect we’re going to see continued growth throughout the year.”

A stabilized economy is one factor, Broom said. So is pent-up demand.

“It’s kind of like the downturn,” he said of the rebound. “There were so many factors that caused RV sales to dip. It’s kind of the same thing. There is pent-up demand and also the economy has stabilized. So people aren’t as concerned about losing their job.

“Home prices have largely stabilized throughout the country. So as the economy has gotten more stable, people have gotten more comfortable about stepping out and making an RV purchase.”

The continued rise in shipments is a very good thing for northern Indiana, where more than 82% of all of the nation’s RVs are produced. The industry employs 24,000 people in northern Indiana in both the manufacturing and supply sector.

RVIA: August Shipments Hit Five-Year High

September 26, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVIA: August Shipments Hit Five-Year High 

RV wholesale shipments in August surged 15.7% ahead of the same month last year reaching 24,460 units, the strongest August monthly total in five years. Shipments of all towable RVs were up 14.6% but it was motorhomes which grew the most, improving 27.3% over prior year totals. Year-to-date, RV shipments have now improved by 10.5% to 202,305 units and represent an annualized pace of more than 276,600 units. All RV product categories except folding camping trailers have improved this year, with conventional travel trailers growing by the most units while truck campers have grown by the largest percentage gain.

Forecast: RV Shipments to Rise Over Next Two Years

June 11, 2012 by · Comments Off on Forecast: RV Shipments to Rise Over Next Two Years 

Richard Curtin, RVIA forecaster

The recreation vehicle industry’s shipments are expected to reach 269,700 units in 2012, 6.9 percent above the 2011 total of 252,300.

According to a new forecast by RV industry analyst Richard Curtin, released at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Joint Committee Luncheon today (June 11), shipments will rise to 280,000 units in 2013, a gain of 3.8 percent from the projected total for 2012.

“RVs are a bellwether industry,” said Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, who produces the monthly Index of Consumer Sentiment, during his presentation to RVIA members at the association’s annual Committee Week. “I expect the RV market to consistently grow at a moderate pace over the next two years.”

The industry’s growth is a sign of the RV’s position in American culture, Curtin told RVIA members at the luncheon. According to Curtin, RVs have always been purchased as a means of achieving some valued outcome. Evidence from recent studies continue to support the traditional industry label of RVs being a family-oriented product.

The positive RV outlook comes at a time when fundamental changes have taken root in the economy, in consumer demand, and in the RV market.

“Future RV buyers will be both younger and older than before,” said Curtin. “They will likely have more limited budgets, own smaller tow vehicles, and will live and play in different locations.”

“The RV’s iconic status is based on consumers’ strong desire to own an RV,” said Curtin. “This reflects deeply held family values, the enduring appeal of the natural environment, and people’s desire to instill in the next generation their cherished traditions.”

While Curtin anticipates that core demand for RVs will remain strong in the decades ahead, he said the RV units themselves will continue to evolve at an escalating pace.

“Just as today’s vehicles are similar, but completely different than yesterday’s, tomorrow’s RVs need to be transformed to meet the needs of an ever-changing consumer,” Curtin said.

“Consumers have only begun to express their changing RV preferences to match their changing economic circumstances and lifestyles,” Curtin said. “Consumers want an equivalent RV experience at a price that meets their new budget constraints. These limitations are likely to persist for some years to come. Importantly, lasting gains will come from innovative features and quality improvements based on a consumer-centric approach to each segment.”


RV Shipments Show 21.6% Gain in November

December 29, 2011 by · Comments Off on RV Shipments Show 21.6% Gain in November 

Shipments to retailers in November this year were 16,300 units, up 21.6% from this same month last year. On a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, November’s total represented shipments of more than 290,000 units, an increase of 13.8% over the previous month and ahead of November last year by 22.5%. Towable RVs were up 27.1% over this month one year ago while all motorhome totals slipped 18.8% in the November survey of manufacturers. Year to date, all RV shipments to retailers tracked by RVIA have now reached 235,400 units for the year, up 5.1% over this same period last year.

Curtin: Consumers, OEMs Will Endure Economy

December 13, 2011 by · Comments Off on Curtin: Consumers, OEMs Will Endure Economy 

Richard Curtin

A resilient and adaptive consumer base will help RV industry shipments continue on a flat but stable track in the coming year, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin in the Winter edition of Road Signs.

“RV sales face stiff headwinds in the year ahead. Uncertainty about job and income prospects, stagnating wages, depressed home values and the likelihood of rising taxes will affect RV sales,” Curtin noted. “While these factors will prevent an increase in RV sales, neither will they prompt significant declines. Although consumers will be apprehensive, they will continue to buy RVs.”

As reported during the recently completed National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., shipments are expected to total 247,100 in 2011 – representing a 2% gain from 242,300 in the previous year – while third-quarter shipments fell 4% to 55,900 units. Curtin said that flat trend would continue in 2012, forecasting a 2.6% dip in shipments to 240,600.

“Notably, shipments increase on a seasonally adjusted basis in the second half of 2012, with most of the renewed strength in conventional and fifth-wheel travel trailers,” Curtin said.

Towables have understandably been propping up the industry for the past few years as discretionary dollars have tightened in line with a weakened economy, impacting sales of higher-priced motorhomes.

“The 2008-2009 downturn had the largest impact on motorhomes, which represent approximately 10% of the total RV market,” Curtin noted. “Motorhomes are more dependent on accumulated home equity, which continues to decline. Motorhomes are likely to improve at a relatively greater pace in the decade ahead as stricter fuel economy standards reduce the towing capacity of the household vehicle fleet.”

Curtin added that in order to cater to a more economy-conscious consumer and cope with continued volatility, manufacturers would, in turn, need to adopt a more conservative approach to business.

“In the current economic environment, both consumers and manufacturers understand that they must find new ways to maximize value. Economic uncertainty has taken its toll, and it is likely to increase month-to-month variations in sales that largely disappear when summed across the year,” he said. “And with sales expected to be relatively stable at moderate levels, such temporary variations may prompt false market signals and inappropriate reactions. Such an economic environment places a premium on cost controls and inventory management as the best means to handle the expected variations in sales.”

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