The Downturn Of The RV Industry.

Just a few short years ago, people were taking to the roads in droves with their bright new shiny RV’s. Owning an RV was a great way to escape the hassle and expense of staying at a crowded hotel with limited parking spaces. It was a way to be able to feel like you were home when you were away. In addition, many folks were not only living in an RV for a vacation but they were actually selling their brick and mortar homes so they could enjoy life and be “at home” wherever they decided to park. Then the pandemic hit.

People were even more attracted to RV life since they did not want to be around crowds of people in a hotel when they traveled. Owning an RV during the Pandemic gave folks an extra margin of safety since they could spend time in a safe environment without the crowds. Now that the Pandemic is essentially over and a recession is now on the table, the RV craze is essentially coming to an end. Another contributing factor to the decline in new RV sales is the crowded parks and hard to come by park reservations. This is especially true during the summer tourist season.

In the early days of the RV craze, it was not as hard to secure a spot in your favorite RV park. As more and more RV’s were sold, it started to become increasingly difficult to get a reservation unless you had it booked well in advance. Part of the problem was the lack of parks to go to. The amount of spaces available was not keeping up with the initial demand for new RV’s. This helped to fuel an increase in cost for staying at a park while on vacation or living full time. This started to get some Rver’s discouraged since it was get so hard to book their favorite spots. Then there is the price of fuel. Once fuel took a huge hike after the election, it became more difficult to afford to run and maintain an RV.

The first real boom for the RV market was during the global financial crisis that was back in 2008. People were losing their homes left and right due to the shoddy mortgages that were given to almost anybody. People were turning to RV life as an alternative to owning a home. This boom lasted until 2018 when the first signs of the RV industry declines were starting to show. Then in 2020, the Pandemic again spurred a big boom in RV sales. The combination of the high sales and factory closures due to Covid outbreaks started to take a toll on the availability of parts. Essential parts were often hard to find and also became much more expensive. These extra expenses were also passed on to new RV sales as well. This was beginning to make have an RV more expensive and potentially making the option less available to many folks.

The outlook for 2023 looks quite dismal for the industry as fears of a recession and rapidly increasing prices start to take it’s toll. The demand is already taking a huge hit as less people are buying new vehicles and more are keeping and repairing the old ones. The rising interest rates are also making it much less affordable to purchase a new RV. Right now the only way to get around the high interest rates is to pay cash and not everybody is in a position to do that. So for now, it looks like most folks will be keeping and maintaining their older RV’s and those who have a dream to own an RV will probably be holding off for the time being. This does not necessarily mean that the parks will be less crowded because with the previous boom, there are still plenty of RV’s around to keep them busy.

In conclusion, if you are still gung ho to get yourself in a new RV or you are a beginner who craves a life on the road it would be prudent to do a lot of research before buying. It is possible that RV dealers will start to offer great deals so they can at least sell off some of their inventory even if it means doing so at a lower profit. Keep checking and shopping until you can get the deal that is affordable to you. In addition, be careful with extended warranties as they are not wanting to cover most fixes. This is due to the significant rise in the price of parts. We will cover this in an upcoming article.