The comeback story of the U.S. RV industry began to be written in 2010 and, according to annual shipment statistics released today by the RV Industry Association, another record-setting chapter was published in 2017.
For the first time in more than four decades – and the first time since the RV Industry Association has been keeping statistics – wholesale shipments topped half-a-million, with a total of 504,599 units moving from manufacturers to RV dealers in 2017. That figure is a 17.2% increase compared to the 430,691 units shipped in 2016.
This eighth straight year of RV shipment growth culminated with a record-setting December 2017, as RVIA’s most recent survey of manufacturers found that RV wholesale shipments totaled 36,227, an increase of 9.9% over the units shipped in December 2016. Placing a bold mark of emphasis on a record-setting year, the December 2017 shipment total was the best December ever recorded in the RV industry.
“It’s in tribute to all involved in our industry – from those who serve key roles on the manufacturing floors to the customers who visit dealer lots – that we’re able to announce today’s record-setting RV shipments,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the RV Industry Association. “But the RV industry hasn’t peaked, and we fully expect that shipments above half-a-million units shipped will become the new normal in years to come.”
Towable units, by far the largest-selling segment of the RV market, led again in 2017, with 441,691 such units shipped, a 17.6% increase year over year. This included 31,541 towable units shipped in December, a 9.5% bump from the previous December.
Motorhome shipments were also strong in 2017, finishing the year at 62,638 units on 14.4% growth over the 54.741 units shipped during 2016. December motorhome shipments were up 12.2% year over year.