RV industry seeing record-breaking shipments

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - Records were made to be broken, and that seems to be the motto for the recreational vehicle industry lately.

The industry has never had a better April than April of 2021 when factories shipped 51,813 units to dealers. That’s a 619-percent increase over April of 2020 when factories closed for COVID, but it’s also a nine percent increase over the previous best-April-ever in 2018.

Manufacturers have now set new RV shipment records during each of the past six months.

“People are buying RVs for the same reason they’ve always bought RV’s, to, because they enjoy road trips, because they want to travel in comfort, because they want to spend more time with their family,” said RVIA spokesperson Monica Geraci from her home office in Virginia.

Sure, this time last year, RVs had a competitive edge due to restrictions placed on plane and train travel, but Geraci surveyed people who bought RVs in 2020 to find out why. “A majority of them said yes, COVID impacted their decision.”

But Geraci added, “…when asked, you know, restrictions on other types of travel, if that was a reason for buying an RV, it was toward the bottom of the list. It wasn’t one of the top eight reasons for people to buy RVs,”

In April of last year, the Elkhart area unemployment rate was 30-percent, this April it was three percent.

Some believe that the RV boom may have been helped more than hurt by the pandemic, but it doesn’t appear to be dependent on the pandemic.

“So that really talks to the long term appeal of RVing and why we are continuing to see people flock to dealer lots and buy more RV’s, and our manufacturers continue to build.”

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