RV Industry Sales and News Report: February 2024

By Greg Long

Jayco Manufacturing plant with text "RV Industry Sales and News Report"

RV Industry Update: February 2024

Do you want the inside scoop on which RV brands may be coming to an end?

Have you heard about new laws that might change the way you buy campers from RV dealers? 

This month’s RV Industry Update covers all the latest news, including used and new sales data, brand consolidations, and changes to laws that could impact the ways RVs are bought and sold.

Read on if you want to stay one step ahead of current RV trends so you can make smart decisions about your future RV investments.

Get Josh the RV Nerd’s expert insights in his February RV Industry Update. Watch Now!

Table of Contents

Used RV Sales

New RV Sales

Manufacturer Shake-ups and Consolidations

New Laws could prevent Hidden Fees

RV Show Update

Fuel Price Projections: 2024

Stay In the Loop: RV Industry Report Updates

travel trailer with roses shaped like hearts
Show your camper you care this February.

Used RVs: Understanding the Shift in Used Values

To fully understand what’s causing the big changes in the RV industry, it’s important to know how well (or not so well) RVs are selling.

By looking at current market conditions and sales data, we get a clearer picture of what’s causing the price drops we’re seeing in the used RV sector.

  • Overall Decline in Prices: Recent data indicates a continued downward trend in the pricing of used RVs. This movement is not entirely unexpected, considering the accompanying decrease in new RV prices.
    • As RV makers find ways to make their new models more affordable, people are not as willing to buy high-priced used RVs, which is leading to an overall price drop in the used market.

  • Seasonal Changes: Auction volumes for used RVs have dropped, which is normal for this time of year.
    • This doesn’t change the overall trend of falling prices; it just highlights the RV market’s regular ups and downs.

  • Pandemic Production Models: A new factor in the used market mix is the appearance of those less-popular models that were produced during the pandemic era.
    • These RVs were the industry’s response to the unprecedented demand during the pandemic, and their arrival on the resale market is noteworthy for a couple of reasons:
    • Potential buyers should consider the quality and features of these pandemic-era models, as they may differ from pre-pandemic productions.
    • It’s advisable to get these RVs inspected or, if possible, bring along an experienced RVer during the purchase process to ensure that the unit meets your expectations and needs.
Exterior of Bighorn 5th wheel

Want to see how low prices have dropped on used RVs?
Compare and see for yourself.


Used RV Sales Data

Towables vs. Motorized Units:

  • Towable RVs have seen a less volatile price change, with a gradual decline noted over the past five months.
    • The average age of these RVs at auction is 2018, with prices hovering just over $18,000. 

    • After accounting for possible repairs or upgrades, buyers could expect to invest in the low to mid-$20,000 range for a quality used towable RV.
Graphic showing towable camper value trends
  • On the other hand, motorized RVs have experienced a more significant drop, aligning closer to pre-pandemic pricing levels.
    • The average price reduction has been a stark 15.6%, equating to nearly $15,000 less than the same period last year, with the average age being 2015.
Graphic showing Motorhome value trends

What to expect for Used RVs in the Near Future

The current trends in the used RV market present unique opportunities and considerations for both buyers and sellers.

  • Buyers now have the chance to find more affordable options, potentially with more room to negotiate on pandemic-era models. 
  • Sellers, however, may need to adjust their expectations and pricing strategies in light of the softer market. 

Regardless of your position, being informed will help you navigate the market more effectively.

Grand design serenova

Wanting to trade in your current RV? Find out what it’s worth now.

Pro-Tip: Find out How to Get the Most Value For Your RV Trade.

New RV Market Trends and Outlook

Just like the used market, the new RV market is quickly transforming as manufacturers consolidate brands and find more efficient ways to make affordable campers. Let’s look at the latest sales numbers and trends.

Graphic of Total monthly wholesale shipments
  • A Slight Uptick in Shipments: For the first time in over a year, we’re seeing new RV shipments slightly outpace the numbers from the previous year.
    • This uptick, although small, is a positive sign of recovery and growth within the industry.
    • It indicates a careful but confident restocking by dealers who are responding to current market demands with what we’re calling “smart stocking.”

  • Understanding 2023’s Numbers: Seeing 2023’s shipments at about half of 2021’s record highs might seem worrying at first.
    • But it’s important to look at the bigger picture. The RV industry often goes through ups and downs, and these lower numbers actually follow past trends more than they signal a big drop.
    • This adjustment indicates that the industry is finding its balance again after the huge increase in demand we saw during the pandemic.
Table comparing 2022 wholesale shipments vs 2023 wholesale shipments
  • Brand and Production Changes: As things start to stabilize, we’re noticing changes in brands and a streamlining of production processes manufacturers use to make their campers. 
    • One of the bigest changes is the merging of different brands and models, which is happening because there were too many RVs made in the past few years and manufacturers consumer demand has dropped.
    • Consumers are more interested in quality than variety. 

RV manufacturers are changing how they do things to make RVs more affordable.
Start comparing prices and find your dream camper.


Big Shake-Ups and Consolidations: An Insider’s Glimpse

There’s a lot of talk happening behind the scenes about recent shake-ups and consolidations that are sparking some pretty big speculations. 

Drawing insights from Josh the RV Nerd, along with the manufacturer reps we talk to, we’ve gathered some “ear to the ground” information that shines a light on huge developments. 


Bish Blog Note: It’s important to remember these insights may not yet be reflected on manufacturers’ websites and are subject to change, so we encourage you to verify any information and share your findings.


Heartland RV

  • Big Country: Set to be discontinued.
  • Bighorn: Taking a hiatus, with plans to return after a break.
  • Sundance: Technically going away, but being replaced by Corterra, signaling a brand refresh rather than a full departure.
  • Landmark: Also on the list of brands being phased out.

Cruiser RV

  • Radiance: This line has been discontinued as part of Cruiser RV’s adjustments.
Radiance RV travel trailer

Forest River RV

  • Wildcat/Cardinal (red): These brands are being consolidated, reflecting a broader trend within Forest River towards streamlining their offerings.
  • Additionally, there’s been significant internal consolidation, with sales reps now covering multiple brands within territories. This may not directly impact consumers but indicates a shift towards efficiency behind the scenes.

Palomino RV

  • Columbus: Initially rumored to be integrated into the Rockwood family, this change has not proceeded, and Columbus remains a standalone brand within the Palomino lineup.

Dutchmen

  • Coleman: This brand has transitioned under Keystone’s umbrella, a move that aligns with strategic brand realignment but does not involve the transfer of Dutchmen’s Coleman staff.
  • Eddie Bauer: Now moved under Heartland, suggesting a new direction for this brand.
Eddie Bauer 5th wheel

Despite these changes, Dutchmen is maintaining “business as usual” for its other brands and reportedly plans to launch 2-3 new segments, likely to compensate for the reshuffling of Coleman production.

Keystone RV

  • Despite rumors, Keystone’s existing brands will continue without cuts, and with Coleman now under its wing, Keystone bolsters its portfolio, boasting the #1 selling trailer and fifth wheel.

    The transition of the Coleman name from Dutchmen to Keystone marks a significant brand strategy shift, though no personnel have moved with the brand.
coleman rv

Warranty Concerns? 

  • Despite these changes, warranties are still safe and are still valid. Parent companies guarantee that you can still get service work done, giving you comfort while things are being sorted out.

These changes in the RV industry show companies adjusting to what buyers want and need. Even though change can be unsettling, these steps are usually taken to ensure the industry stays strong and grows over time.

The Reality of Hidden Fees in the RV Industry

100 dollar bills with text "Hidden Fees"

Hidden fees have been a longstanding issue in the RV purchasing process. These fees can include a range of additional costs, from documentation fees to preparation fees, and they can add up quickly. 

While some of these charges are legitimate, covering actual costs incurred by the dealer for preparing the RV for sale, others are less transparent and can be negotiable.


Don’t be scammed by Hidden Fees. Learn How to Avoid RV Dealer hidden Fees.


Recent Law Changes to Combat Hidden Fees

Recently, there was a push for legislation known as the CARS (Combating Auto Retail Scams) rule, aimed at addressing the issue of junk fees in auto and RV sales. 

Initially, this legislation sought to make the pricing of vehicles, including RVs, more transparent by limiting the ability of dealers to tack on undisclosed fees. 

However, RV dealers have been exempted from this rule, as it was argued that RVs, with their wide variety of configurations and additional equipment needs (like batteries and hitches), present unique challenges in standardizing pricing.

A Real-World Example of Hidden Fees

A YouTube viewer sent Josh the RV Nerd this list of fees he was charged for an RV by an RV dealer. (Not Bish’s RV. Bish’s RV has our The low price is the price Guarantee)

You may see the MSRP price was $18,920. But once all the fees were added on, this poor customer was being charged a final price of $20,798.59!

This is no joke. This really happened and is happening everyday at some of the larger RV dealers across the country. Be careful and watch out for hidden fees!

How to Avoid Hidden Fees

  • Read our in-depth Guide: How to avoid Hidden Fees

  • Stay Informed: Knowledge is your best defense against unexpected fees. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the price before agreeing to a purchase.

  • Ask Questions: If you see a fee you don’t understand or seems unnecessary, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer to explain it. Some fees are negotiable, or even avoidable.

  • Compare Prices: When possible, compare prices and fees with other dealers. This can give you leverage in negotiations and help ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

The Bottom Line on Fees

While the exemption of RV dealers from the CARS rule means that the landscape of hidden fees in RV purchases remains largely unchanged, being an informed buyer can help you navigate this tricky part of the buying process. 

Always push for transparency and don’t be afraid to negotiate on fees that seem unreasonable. Your awareness and willingness to ask tough questions can make a significant difference in the final cost of your RV and ensure that you embark on your RV adventures without overpaying.

RV Show Season: Shifts in Consumer Preferences

RV shows are more than just events for browsing the latest models; they’re indicators of the industry’s direction and consumer confidence. 

This season has presented a mixed bag of results, influenced by factors such as weather, economic conditions, and evolving consumer preferences.

  • Hit or Miss Attendance: Some shows have seen record pre-sales and attendance, while others have experienced quieter foot traffic than expected. For example, the Tampa show reported double the ticket pre-sales compared to previous years, signaling strong initial interest.
    • However, bad weather dampened actual attendance, underscoring how external factors can impact these events.
  • Consumer Feedback and Sales: Feedback from attendees and sales figures have varied widely. Some brands have enjoyed robust sales and positive feedback, indicating strong brand loyalty and consumer interest in specific models or features.
    • Conversely, other brands have faced challenges, highlighting the competitive and selective nature of today’s RV market.

What This tells RV Makers about RV Consumers

  • Quality over Variety: The mixed results from RV shows suggest that consumers are becoming more selective, prioritizing value, quality, and specific features in their purchasing decisions.

See What RV Shows are near you this Show Season.

Not near a show? Not a problem. Learn how to get pre-show pricing and save the most money possible on your RV purchase.


Fuel Price Projections for 2024

  • Winter Expectations: Early in the year, the national average for gasoline is projected to remain relatively stable, potentially dropping to below $3 per gallon in some regions. This is good news for RVers planning winter getaways, as lower fuel costs can make travel more budget-friendly.

  • Summer Outlook: As the year progresses and we move into the summer months, fuel prices are expected to rise. By the peak of the travel season, prices could approach close to $4 per gallon, representing a significant increase from the winter rates.

  • Regional Variations: It’s important to note that fuel prices can vary significantly by region. Areas like the West Coast may experience prices that are up to 50% higher than the national average at certain points during the year.

Travel Impact of Fuel Prices

  • Budgeting Considerations: The fluctuation in fuel prices should be factored into your travel budget for the year. Consider the timing of your RV trips and the destinations you plan to visit, as this can help you optimize your fuel expenses.

  • Travel Flexibility: Given the projected volatility in fuel prices, it’s a good idea to remain flexible with your travel plans. Be prepared to adjust your itinerary based on fuel costs and consider exploring destinations closer to home during periods of higher prices.

  • Alternative Travel Modes: Some RVers may opt for alternative travel modes, such as electric or hybrid RVs, to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices. These options offer improved fuel efficiency and reduced operating costs.

Planning Your RV Adventures

While fuel prices may present challenges, they shouldn’t deter you from embracing the RV lifestyle. With thoughtful planning and a keen eye on economic trends, you can continue to enjoy the freedom and adventure that RVing offers in 2024.

February 2024: Rolling into a Bright RV Future

Now you know all the twists and turns looming ahead in 2024. From disappearing brands to fuel price projections, you’ve got the inside information to make smart decisions when buying or selling your RV.

At Bish’s, we’re passionate about camping, and we’re committed to staying at the forefront of RV news and trends. We believe that knowledge is the key to enhancing your RV adventures, and we’re here to share what we know.

As you gear up for your next RV journey, here are four actionable steps to make the most of the RV lifestyle:

1. Shop Our Inventory

Explore our wide range of RVs, from motorhomes to towables, and find the perfect rig to suit your travel dreams. Visit our dealership or browse our online inventory to discover your ideal RV companion.

2. Talk to a Bish’s RV Expert

Have questions or need advice on RVing? Our team of knowledgeable experts is here to assist you. Reach out to us with any inquiries, and we’ll provide you with the guidance you need to make informed decisions.

3. Follow Josh the RV Nerd on YouTube

Are you hungry for more RV insights, industry updates, and captivating video reviews? Look no further than Josh the RV Nerd on YouTube! No one knows more than Josh. (Or as entertaining!)

4. Expand Your RV Education

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How to Get the Best RV Loan

Greg Long Bish's RV

Greg Long

Bish’s RV Content Manager


Amateur adventurer; professional dreamer.
aka: The Bish-Blog-Guy

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