The News Wheel
No Comments

RV Shipments Improve for the First Time in 13 Months

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Man leaning on white RV
Photo: Lucas Miguel | Unsplash

Recreational vehicle shipment in September 2019 were up compared to September 2018 figures, putting an end to a 13-month streak of negative year-to-year sales numbers.

According to the RV Industry Association, shipments last month totaled 31,639 units, a 670 increase over last year, though year-to-date shipments are still lower by 18.2 percent.

RV shipments had risen significantly until about 2017 and begin falling off in the second half of 2018, which ended with a 4.1 percent slump compared to the previous record year. They continued to decline in 2019, leading to concerns about the overall economy.

Jeff Runels, president and CEO of Keystone RV, predicted “a better fall than we’ve actually seen over the last couple of years,” and RV industry analyst Richard Curtin projected that late 2019 shipments would probably match that of 2018.

But some industry leaders and experts believed the decline wouldn’t be as bad as it had been in the past and seem to have been validated by the September results.

Related: What are the different types of RVs?

Still, Curtin warned against being too optimistic. “If you’re thinking it means that we’re now going to have cumulative gains in RV shipments throughout the balance of this year and next year, I don’t think that’s probably true,” he said.

Curtin says the uptick in September sales can be attributed to a strong economy, and while 2020 sales will likely continue to decline — he estimates about 401,000 total units for 2019 and 390,000 units for 2020 — it’s important to put the figures in the context of more than just the previous year. If his projects are right, 2019 and 2020 will still rank in the top six best years in RV shipment history.

“Everyone wants to compare it to the 500,000-plus year we had a few years ago. Those peaks will be surmounted in the years ahead, but certainly not this year or next year,” Curtin said, before adding that a strong September performance is simply an indication that, while sales are falling off, that fall-off is narrowing significantly.

Related: Mug meals to make on your next camping trip