RV industry shipments will reach 539,900 units in 2018, marking nine straight years of growth and – for the second consecutive year – the highest annual total since such data has been collected. This figure is a 7% increase from the previous record of 504,600 units shipped in 2017. Shipments for 2019 are predicted to grow to more than 550,000 units, which would be a third straight record-breaking total.
The new forecast, along with first quarter 2018 industry shipment totals, were announced today by Frank Hugelmeyer, President of the RV Industry Association, as part of remarks he delivered at the association’s Committee Week luncheon.
Shipments totaled 137,086 in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 13.4% from 2017. Among towable RVs, growth was highest among truck campers (which shot up 69%), and travel trailers (up 15%). Motorhome shipments saw steady growth with Type C shipments reaching their highest total since the early 1980s.
"This is the longest period of sustained growth the RV industry has seen," said Hugelmeyer. "Our manufacturers and suppliers are justifiably proud of shipment gains made year-after-year for nearly a decade.”
Added Hugelmeyer: “These increases are attributable to factors we can control, such as ongoing product innovations, and those we can’t, such as recent growth in wages and household wealth.”
The favorable RV outlook is based not only on continued modest gains in key economic indicators, but also on the increasingly favorable population trends that will manifest themselves over the next several years.
For instance, the number of Americans between 55 and 74 years old, always a sweet spot for the RV industry, will reach 79 million in 2025, 15% higher than that age group totaled in 2015. And 72 million millennials, who are beginning to embrace the RV lifestyle, will be 30-45 years old in 2025.