Months after we discussed the "unprecedented demand" for Recreational Vehicles, which we said was on pace for a blowout 2021, RV sales continue to soar to record highs. Over the past year, many Americans have rediscovered national parks, small towns, and rural communities that are RV friendly instead of traveling on planes to resort towns packed with people. The virus pandemic fundamentally changed how Americans travel, and the RV lifestyle is one of the hottest trends this year that will likely roll into 2022.
"The key driver here appears to be a more diverse demographic and an influx of first-time buyers seeking safe, socially-distanced and family-oriented activities, with the RV lifestyle checking all the boxes. While this has prompted investor concerns regarding the sustainability of this demand as consumers return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles, we believe the expansion of this addressable market for RVs is a long-term positive for the industry," analysts from financial firm Raymond James wrote in a note to clients.
"As such, our base case is that the industry will see stabilization in 2022, with retail flat to down modestly, followed by a resumption of slow and steady demand closer to the longer-term average beginning in 2023," the note added.
According to the RV Industry Association's May 2021 survey of manufacturers, a total of 49,241 RVs were shipped to dealers, which was the best May wholesale shipment on record.
May 2021 shipments jumped 75.9% compared to the 27,999 units shipped during May 2020.
The RV boom is likely to remain through this year into next. More Americans than ever are rediscovering national parks and rural communities, and the joy of being with their families in a safe and controlled environment.
Demographically, demand for RVs is coming from baby boomers and millennials, which may be another reason why demand will stay elevated.