Strong growth through the remainder of 2021 will push RV wholesale shipments to their highest historical total, according to the Summer 2021 issue of RV RoadSigns, the quarterly forecast prepared by ITR Economics for the RV Industry Association.
“What RV manufacturers and suppliers have accomplished over the past year is nothing short of incredible. And our new forecast shows the industry will continue its record-breaking streak through the rest of the year,” said RV Industry Association President and CEO Craig Kirby. “Even with other types of travel returning, the demand for RVs continues to climb as people want to get outdoors and experience the joy of an active outdoor lifestyle alongside friends and family.”
The latest projection shows the total 2021 RV shipments ranging between 565,848 and 586,281 units with the most likely year-end total being 576,065 units. That total would represent a 33.8 percent increase over the 2020 year-end total of 430,412 units. It would also be a 14.1 percent gain over the current comparable record high of 504,600 units in 2017.
“The RV industry has faced the same kinds of supply chain and labor issues plaguing most industries over the past year,” said Jeff Rutherford, President & CEO, Airxcel and RV Industry Association Chairman. “But what makes our industry unique is our ability to overcome these challenges and produce a record number of RVs month after month, allowing more and more Americans to fulfill their dream of owning an RV.”
According to ITR Economics, the primary factor influencing the robust rise in its forecast is the increased production capacity in the face of ongoing strong consumer demand and dealer inventory shortages. This is evidenced by RV shipments setting monthly shipment records in each of the past six months and hitting an all-time high in March with 54,291 units shipped, more than 5 percent above the previous record.
ITR further indicated that these records continue to be set despite lingering supply chain constraints. If supply chain constraints increase, especially chassis constraints, shipments could end the year toward the bottom of the forecasted range. Given the exceptionally strong consumer demand and limited inventories at dealers, the upper end of the forecast range is also a possibility.
Photo courtesy General RV