RV Demand: How it Affects the Buyer

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October 19, 2017

high rv demand

High RV demand might impact your search for your new home on wheels.

Consumer demand for recreational vehicles appears to be increasing at a rate that exceeds some RV manufacturer’s output. Even north of the border, the industry is reporting record sales, with motorhome shipments up nearly 40% in the first eight months of 2017. The once three-month order-to-delivery timeframe is now twice that, despite increases in production numbers for those RV makers.

As well as buyers waiting much longer to get their factory ordered unit, dealers are facing equally long lead times to maintain their inventories. This causes additional issues for the dealers in forecasting their prospects purchase trends that far in advance.

The used RV market is also feeling the effects of the rising consumer demand, resulting in wholesale auction prices advancing to higher levels. The August towable units recorded the highest price ever while the motorized sales had the best performance since 2010.

high rv demand

High RV demand — how it affects the end user

So what does all this mean to the future RV buyer? Well, those unable to find exactly the unit they are looking for in their dealer’s inventory could be in for a long wait. The traditional springtime order placement may not have them enjoying the sought after RV lifestyle for the coming season. Perhaps the late fall, normally a slower sales period, might see higher-than-normal sales activity in the future.  This, would be the only way to assure a delivery early enough to accommodate the coming season.

So, if you have been on the fence as to ordering an RV, this may be the time to pull the trigger. Check out the selection of RVs currently on the market or visit an RV show near you.

Peter Mercer – With the Pulse of the RV Industry

Leave a Reply


  1. Peter Mercer

    Quality is a subject all to itself. This will be a future topic that we can address. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Peter Mercer

    Certainly a good point, however, if there is a demand, RV parks will be built. That’s the great thing about entrepreneurs. Thanks for bringing that up.

  3. Peter Mercer

    Quality control and general build quality is a topic all to itself. There are always issues with some units regardless of who made them. I don’t think there is an RV maker out there that has not experienced issues on a number of units. However, many times these failures relate to components that were made by other manufacturers, like refrigerators, heating devices, and more. Unfortunately the RV builders get blamed for these. But, yes, quality of product has been and still is a hot topic. Thanks for your input on this topic.

  4. Anonymous

    Mr. Mercer:
    One very important thing not discussed in your column or in many places elsewhere that does affect the consumer is the lack of quality control in the production of the lesser expensive travel trailers. We found out the hard way starting with the dealer last August that was not being truthful about delivery times, not wanting to get back to us as to why the unit we wanted was suppose to already be on order but wasn’t, why he couldn’t give us a delivery date, etc.
    We finally got in touch with a couple of ladies at Coachmen who eventually told us of the new plant that Coachman had built and how the factory was ham stringed by their vendors not being able to keep up with the needs of the new factory. They addressed my quality concerns by indicating the production slow down caused by the vendors was giving Coachman the extra time needed to ensure the train up of their folks and the QA inspections required was going well. At least this is what we were led to believe.
    We took delivery of the unit ~December 8th. It was 38 degrees and dropping and with the need to get this unit to Georgia the inspection was a hurried one. We got it back to Georgia and completed the winterization. Over the winter we began discovering little things that were due to a lack of craftsmanship and non-existent QA. We discovered more quality issues on our 1st shake down trip to Florida. And still more during our trip to Texas in May. The worst problem occurred when the sofa rip off of the slide dumping my wife and dog on to the floor. In all there were 19 items on the list that I worked off myself. I was in contact with Steve Brandenberger, the Owners association guy. He did send me some trim but over all it was easier to write him off and deal with the problems myself. The Coachmen dealers in the greater Atlanta area and others that I talked to don’t want to work on warranty issues on anything that they didn’t sell, especially if the selling dealer was within 100 miles of them. Reminds me of the American car companies back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s until the Japanese kick their asses.
    This is our first trailer. We bought Coachmen because they have been around for several decades and my brother has owned several of the past 35 years. He has a 2016 248RBS. Our is a 2017 246RKS.
    I spent 9+ years in Naval aviation maintenance and spent the rest of my working life in the process control industry building, installing, starting up, and maintaining process control systems. I know what Quality and Quality Assurance is. Coachmen does not.
    I am putting together a blog that will detail our experiences past and hopefully future with this now repaired and functional trailer.
    Bottom line: From the factory to the dealers I have yet to find a reason to buy another Forrest River branded product. CRAP!

  5. Anonymous

    I have been an RV owner since the early 1980’s and I would like to know where the accommodations for the hugely increasing numbers of RVs are going to be available. Our “Monkey see, monkey do” culture will certainly solve the problem when it becomes obvious that there are no more places to park except in the driveway and there is no demand for used RVs.

  6. Anonymous

    Instead of encouraging RVers to just run out and buy a unit how about addressing quality issues with the new ones. Or are you just too connected to RVIA to be objective?