RV wholesale shipments are expected to climb to their highest level on comparable record in 2021, according to the Spring issue of RV RoadSigns, the quarterly forecast prepared by ITR Economics for the RV Industry Association.
The latest projection shows total 2021 RV shipments ranging between 523,139 and 543,572 units with the most likely year-end total being 533,356 units. That total would represent a 23.9% increase over the 2020 year-end total of 430,412 units. It would also be a 5.7% gain over the current comparable record high of 504,600 units in 2017.
“RV shipments in 2021 are forecast to reach record highs as the industry continues its over 40 years of long-term growth,” said RV Industry Association President & CEO Craig Kirby. “We expect consumers to continue to turn to RVs not only because they allow people to recreate responsibly, but also because RVs allow people the freedom to live a fun, active outdoor lifestyle.”
“A year ago when RV plants shut down for nearly two months, who would have thought we would be talking about record-breaking shipments less than a year later,” said Jeff Rutherford, President & CEO of Airxcel, Inc. and RV Industry Association Chairman. “The fact that 2021 is projected to be the best year ever for RV shipments speaks to the strengths of our industry and the incredible appeal of the RV lifestyle.”
According to ITR Economics, the strong forecast is attributable to three main factors: relief from supply constraints; OEM plans to expand capacity; and robust consumer demand outpacing very low inventory levels. Shipments could finish in the lower end of the forecast range if supply chain problems persist. The upper end of the forecast range is possible given exceptionally low inventories and strong consumer demand. This scenario would likely require negligible supply chain issues, increased industry capacity, and another hard push through the typical seasonal slowdown late in the year.