RV Shipments Will Stabilize In 2020

Feb 27, 2020

RV shipments are expected to stabilize in 2020, according to a new forecast prepared by longtime RV industry analyst, Richard Curtin, PhD, who is also a professor at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center.

In the spring 2020 issue of the RV RoadSigns newsletter, Curtin projects total RV shipments will range between 420,200 and 380,300 units this year with the most likely final total being 410,100 units. That total would represent a one percent increase over the 406,100 units shipped in 2019.

Towable RV shipments are anticipated to reach 366,900 units in 2020, with motorhome shipments projected to finish at 43,200 units by year end.

Curtin believes that steadying RV sales will be due to positive economic indicators, including job and wage growth as well as low interest rates and inflation. The upcoming presidential election and potential impact of the coronavirus are uncertainties that will likely impact the market in the second half of 2020.

The projected 2020 year-end total of 410,100 units would rank as the third best annual total on comparable record and surpass the 10-year shipment average of 365,800 units; the 20-year average of 337,400 units; and the 30-year average of 304,600 units.

Analysis in this issue of the RV RoadSigns newsletter shows that the outlook for RVs is expected to remain stable at relatively high levels, and that there is no better time to make discretionary investments to help insure the future vitality of the industry. These investments should focus on protecting recent ownership gains from a backslide and creating new ownership incentives that attract an even larger share of households to purchase an RV to enhance their outdoor lifestyle.

To achieve new sales records, the industry must focus on the millennial buyers, adjusting units to reflect their values and wide-ranging recreational interests. Successful action that supports the growth and health of the industry means continuing to evolve the design of RVs around the uses favored by younger buyers.

Members can view the 2020 spring edition of our quarterly forecast publication, Road Signs, by clicking here.