Despite all the obstacles that 2020 threw at manufacturers, the recreational vehicle industry had a surprisingly good year, ending with strong customer demand for new units.

Now, just three months into 2021, industry data suggests this year could be the best on record.

According to the RVIA, an industry association trade group that monitors the RV industry, manufacturers are shipping a record number of new units to dealer lots across the county that are being snapped up almost as soon as they arrive.

A February survey of manufacturers showed total RV shipments for the month topping out at 48,286 units, an increase of 30.1% compared to the same period last year, making February 2021 the best February on record.

It’s part of a continuing trend the RVIA has been watching closely.

“We’re on quite a streak right now,” said Monika Geraci, a RVIA analyst and spokesperson. “November and December were record-breaking months, too.”

According to the recent study commissioned by RVIA, RV wholesale shipments appear to be headed to their highest levels in 2021. Those projections show total RV shipments ranging between 523,000 units and 543,000 units for the coming year, representing a 23% increase over the 2020 year-end total of 430,412 units. It suggests a 5% gain over the record high of 504,600 units shipped in 2017...

“It looks like a significant increase over our best year ever,” Geraci said. “And that’s because many people are still looking forward to taking that RV trip they dreamed of. There’s really continued customer demand. Inventory on dealer lots continues to be at historic lows because of the demand by consumers. Based on those two factors alone, it should be a really strong year for the industry.”

Demand for new RVs was strong before the pandemic and stronger still during and after. Geraci said RVIA has been watching demand steadily grow over the last decade.

“If we look back 13 months ago, the RV numbers were really strong. They were up over 2019. So even pre-pandemic, people were looking at RVs. Add the pandemic on top of that, where you had people who had maybe thought about RVing suddenly jumping in,” she said.

Check out the rest of the article from The News Sun here.

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