Association Boosts RV Wholesale Shipments Projections to Historical High

An aerial photograph of an RV dealership lot with dozens of RVs lined up neatly

RV wholesale shipments are on track to reach their highest historical total.

RVIA’s quarterly forecast, prepared by ITR Economics, revealed strong growth through the remainder of 2021. The latest projection unveiled in this year’s RV RoadSigns summer issue showed total shipments ranging between 565,848 and 586,281 units. The most likely forecast is 576,065 RVs.

The likely forecast total is 42,709 units, or 8%, higher than the forecast issued March 2, which projected 2021 shipments at 533,356 units.

“What RV manufacturers and suppliers have accomplished over the past year is nothing short of incredible,” RVIA President and CEO Craig Kirby said. “And our new forecast shows the industry will continue its record-breaking streak through the rest of the year. Even with other types of travel returning, the demand for RVs continues to climb as people want to get outdoors and experience the joy of an active outdoor lifestyle alongside friends and family.”

The most likely total, 576,065 RVs, would represent a 33.8% increase from last year’s 430,412 total. The number would be 14.1% greater than the current record-high 504,600 units shipped in 2017.

“The RV industry has faced the same kinds of supply chain and labor issues plaguing most industries over the past year,” said Jeff Rutherford, Airxcel president and CEO and RVIA chairman. “But what makes our industry unique is our ability to overcome these challenges and produce a record number of RVs month after month, allowing more and more Americans to fulfill their dream of owning an RV.”

The primary factor pushing the forecast’s spike is an increased production capacity with ongoing consumer demand, ITR Economics found, in addition to dealer inventory shortages. RV shipments set monthly shipment records in each of the past six months. Shipments hit an all-time high in March, with 54,291 units shipped – more than 5% above the previous record.

ITR stated records continue to be set despite lingering supply chain constraints. If supply chain issues increase, particularly chassis constraints, shipments could end the year toward the forecast range’s bottom. Given exceptionally strong consumer demand and limited inventories at dealers, the report stated, the upper end of the forecast range is a possibility.

RVIA members can view the full Summer 2021 issue of RV RoadSigns here.

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