WASHINGTON — RV shipments to dealers are expected to continue rising through 2017, according to a new forecast presented by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) at the organization’s annual Committee Week event in Washington, DC.
Wholesale RV shipments are projected to total 396,400 units by the end of 2016, an increase of 6 percent over the 374,200 units shipped in 2015. Moreover, 2017 will mark the eighth consecutive year of growth for the industry with shipments predicted to reach 404,800 units. Both of these yearly totals are well above the quarter century record of 390,362 units in 2006.
Towable RVs are expected to reach 345,500 units in 2016 and 352,300 units in 2017, representing 87 percent of all shipments for those two years. Meanwhile, motorhome shipments are projected to represent 13 percent of all shipments over the forecast horizon – the best performance for that vehicle category in a decade – on shipments of 50,900 units in 2016 and 52,500 units in 2017.
The RV market has posted impressive growth in the first four months of 2016. Through April, total RV shipments have reached 148,259 units, the best start to any year since 2006 and the second best start since 1977.
The favorable RV outlook is based on continued gains in jobs, incomes and household wealth combined with relatively low levels of inflation, unemployment and interest rates, the release noted.
The record increases in RV sales are also being fueled by a receptive marketplace, RVIA explained, noting the baby boom generation has long been the mainstay for the RV industry, and increasing numbers of millennials have begun to enter the market place.
Each day 11,000 baby boomers turn 65, and another 12,000 millennials turn 35. Each of these generations, as well as GenXers, share core RV values and value the experience of outdoor family recreation, RVIA explained.
“Consumers are flocking to the RV market thanks to a combination of baby boomers hitting the road and younger families desiring to break from gadgets and reclaim the American outdoor way of life,” said RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer. “RV travel and camping helps them strengthen family relationships, enjoy outdoor adventures and be active.”
SOURCE: RV Industry Association press release