RV Shipments Set New Record As December Stalled

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 27, 2022 - 02:45 AM

The recent moves in the RV business suggest the industry may have reached a plateau following robust demand for more than 1.5 years. COVID has undoubtedly changed how Americans travel and vacation to desire national parks rather than crowded resorts and large metropolises. 

According to the RV Industry Association's (RVIA) survey of North American manufacturers of all-towable vehicles and motorhomes finished 2021 at a record 600,240 wholesale shipments, exceeding 504,599 shipments in 2017. Total RV shipments for 2021 jumped 39.5% over the 430,412 units shipped in 2020. Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, ended 2021 up 39.6% compared with 544,028 wholesale shipments. Motorhomes were up 37.8% compared to 2020 with 56,212 units. 

There was unprecedented demand for RVs last year as we speculated in early December, total sales for the year would surpass 600,000. 

"While the demand for RVs has been amplified over the past two years, the pandemic also created several obstacles and challenges for our industry," said RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby. 

However, if we dive more into the report and break down the numbers for December, there's evidence the RV boom is perhaps stalling. 

RVIA's December 2021 total RV shipments data for the month was 40,347 units, a decrease of 0.1% compared to the 40,382 units shipped during December 2020. Towable RVs ended up 1.1% for the month with 36,908 wholesale shipments. Motorhomes were down 11.3%. 

We question if December's slump was seasonal or if demand for RVs is coming off a massive peak pulled forward by the pandemic. We won't know this until the spring season comes around. If this is the peak, there's a gigantic hangover ahead for the industry.