Recreational vehicle wholesale shipments to retailers in November were reported at 20,561 units, up 25.2% from the same month a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted basis, November’s total represented an annual rate of more than 360,000 units, an increase of nearly 10% over the previous month and ahead of November last year by 26.1%. In November, towable RVs were up 21.4% over this same month one year ago while all motorhome totals were ahead of last year by 66.9%. Year to date, all RV shipments to retailers have now reached 266,789 units for the year, up 13.3% over this same period in 2011.
The RV industry recovery from the economic downturn will continue to build strength in 2013, as shipments are expected to rise to 289,900 — a 4.5% increase over the projected 2012 total of 277,300 units, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Vice President James Ashurst, standing in for President Richard Coon, told attendees today (Nov. 27) at “Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity,” the kick-off event to the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show.
Addressing approximately 1,000 RV manufacturers, dealers and industry representatives on, Ashurst presented a positive outlook for the industry’s future, based on new projections from Dr. Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, in RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter RV Roadsigns.
The rise in shipments to 277,300 units by year-end 2012 would be a nearly 10% gain (9.9%) over the 2010 total of 252,300 and include double digit gains in conventional travel trailers and Class A motorhomes. The expected increase in 2013 would mark three consecutive years of RV market growth.
“RV shipments are trending up,” Ashurst said. “We’ve had good crowds and strong business at fall shows, and demographics are in our favor. It is time to shine for the RV industry.”
According to the new forecast, most of the 2013 gain will come in conventional and fifth-wheel trailers and by type A motorhomes. Conventional and fifth-wheel trailers are expected to account for 86% of all RV shipments in 2013 — which would be an all-time high.
The continued strength in 2013 RV shipments is due to rising consumer confidence and improved economic conditions; however, a failure by America’s political leaders to bridge the “fiscal cliff” could significantly alter the industry’s fortunes in 2013, Ashurst cautioned.
“Our forecasts are affected by volatility in the economy,” Ashurst said. “If Congress and the President don’t act on the fiscal cliff before the end of the year, federal tax rates will rise, mandatory cuts in government spending go into effect, and the economy could go into recession.”
During his presentation, Ashurst walked the audience through RVIA’s 2013 projection for each of the major RV product types:
- Travel trailers: up 5% to 180,200 units.
- Fifth-wheel trailers: up 7% to 68,800 units.
- Truck campers: up 3% to 3,500 units.
- Folding camping trailers: down 17% to 9,000 units.
- Class A motorhomes: up 8% to 15,400 units.
- Class B motorhomes: up 10% to 2,300 units.
- Class C motorhomes: down 2% to 10,700 units.
“We’ve had a good year in 2012 in terms of sales and in how we’ve been able to promote RVs to our core markets,” Ashurst said. “There’s a lot of versatility in the RV market — many products, price points and how they’re used. There is strong demand for RVs, and we are optimistic about our industry’s future.”
RV sales in Michigan rose 18% in the first quarter over a year ago, the Michigan Association of RVs and Campgrounds (MARVAC) reported in a news release.
MARVAC is projecting 2012 RV sales will continue to increase in the Wolverine State.
MARVAC sponsors four RV shows each year, and Director Bill Sheffer reported, “The spring RV shows were well attended and the participating dealers reported positive comments from potential RV buyers. Many show visitors commented that they were going to make the commitment to purchase a new RV this year. So far, the statistics from the first part of 2012 are proving that to be true.”
RV manufacturers now offer more customizing — including offering upgrades as standards, packaging options and allowing mix-and-match options usually found only in high-end luxury RVs. Manufacturers are also making RVs that are smaller, lighter and more energy-efficient to help those seeking budget friendly models.
Today’s RVs are now outfitted with more functionality and smarter technology, with many offering gourmet and outdoor kitchens, larger bathrooms, expandable floorplans and layouts, and state-of- the-art electronics. Manufacturers are also utilizing green technologies to minimize energy consumption.
MARVAC is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism. For more information, visit MARVAC’s website, www.marvac.org or call (517) 349-8881.
RV shipments from manufacturers to dealers rose to 17,800 in January, up a healthy 12.7% from the January 2010 total of 15,800 in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) latest survey of RV manufacturers tracking wholesale shipments.
Both motorhome and towable categories showed increases from their January totals last year. Manufacturers reported 2,000 motorhomes being shipped to dealers in January 2011, up 33.3% from the 1,500 shipments reported in 2010. Shipments of towables reached 15,800, a 10.5% increase from the 14,300 shipped in January 2010.
By segment shipments were as follows with comparisons to January 2010:
- Travel trailers, 10,400, up 9.5%.
- Fifth-wheels, 4,300, up 22.9%.
- Folding camping trailers, 900, don 18.2%.
- Truck campers, 200, flat.
- Class A motorhomes, 1,100, up 22.2%.
- Class B motorhomes, 100, flat.
- Class C motorhomes, 800, up 60%.
Wholesale shipments to retailers in November totaled 13,400 units down 2.2% from this same month last year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Associaiton (RVIA) has reported.
On a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis, November’s total represented shipments of more than 216,600 units, a slight improvement over the previous month.
Towable shipments were down 5.6% from this month one year ago, but motorhome totals rose 33.3% on the strength of greater Class A motorhome shipments. Year-to-date, all RV shipments to retailers have now reached 224,000 units for the year, up 47.7% from this period last year.
Shipments appear to be on track to approximate the latest 2010 forecast by Richard Curtin. He projects shipments for all of 2010 to reach 236,700.
Among the towables, folding camping trailers notched the only shipment increase compared to the previous year.
Shipments by segment were as follows:
- Travel trailers, 7,800, down 6%.
- Fifth-wheel trailers, 3,100, off 8.8%.
- Folding camping trailers, 800, up 14.5%.
- Truck campers, 100, no change.
- Class A motorhomes, 900, up 80%.
- Class B motorhomes, 100, no change.
- Class C motorhomes, 1,600, no change.
Year-to-date, towable shipments are ahead of the 2009 pace by 43.3%, while motorhome shipments are ahead by 100.9%. All segments showed year-to-date increases:
- Travel trailers, 134,100, up 44%.
- Fifth-wheel trailers, 50,600, up 51%.
- Folding camping trailers, 13,400, up 14.5%.
- Truck campers, 2,600, up 44.4%.
- Class A motorhomes, 12,00, up 140%.
- Class B motorhomes, 1,500, up 36.4%.
- Class C motorhomes, 9,800, up 78.2%.