Written by Greg Long
A Year of Recovery and Rebalancing
2023 was a year of recovery, marked by the RV industry’s efforts to overcome the challenges of having too much inventory.
Both RV manufacturers and dealers have been working hard to balance severe supply and demand issues, hoping to stabilize RV market conditions.
At Bish’s RV, with 40 years of experience in the RV industry, we’ve witnessed good and bad market conditions. (And everything in between) We’re always happy to share our predictions on what the future might hold for this wildly-changing RV market.
Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling an RV, this Industry Update will give you insider knowledge so you’re prepared to make smart choices.
Our team at Bish’s RV wants you to stay ahead of the curve so you can make decisions you are proud of.
Table of Contents
Prices for New and Used RVs are at All-Time Low. See for Yourself.
Big Shakeups with RV Manufacturers
The RV industry is going through big changes as we roll into 2024. RV makers are starting to consolidate their brands, which is influencing both market conditions and consumer choices.
Gone are the days when mighty RV brands stood strongly on their own. Today, we’re witnessing a blurring of lines as brands merge, some disappear, and others make changes to survive in a fiercely competitive market.
Riding the Waves of Change
The RV industry, once bustling with 1,000s of brands (each claiming to be the best) is now seeing a much-needed consolidation.
This change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The market was saturated with too many similar choices, with many brands overlapping in features and benefits, leading to consumer confusion.
However, the cost of maintaining multiple, often repetitive, production lines has become too expensive for many RV makers and they’re making drastic changes.
The Vanishing Giants
A surprising trend is the fading away of brands that were market leaders just 5 years ago. These brands, once popular and successful, are now struggling to keep their heads above water.
Some are being entirely phased out, while others are being absorbed into larger brands.
Taking a Closer Look at How Big Companies are Absorbing Smaller Ones
This means that smaller brands like Starcraft and Highland Ridge (which are part of Jayco), and Dutchmen and Crossroads (which are part of Keystone), are now becoming a bigger part of these large companies.
This change is helping to make things run smoother, especially when it comes to keeping track of money and making sure customers get good service when they need it.
Quality Over Quantity
Among the big changes and mergers, there is a positive outcome we all can all be happy about – RV manufacturers are shifting their focus from quantity to quality.
Historically, the RV industry has had problems with quality consistency. However, as competition gets more fierce, RV makers are making serious efforts to improve their production standards.
Give the People What They Want!
Customers are letting manufacturers know they prefer higher quality campers over more camper choices.
Consumers are willing to invest more for dependability and excellence when it comes to RV purchases.
For instance, there is a growing demand for modern features like keyless entry pads. People are letting RV makers know they want more innovative technology like this — and they also expect the same level of reliability they find in the automotive industry.
Looking Forward with Hope
As we see these big changes happening in the RV world, we’re feeling hopeful but also a bit cautious.
By making fewer brands and model, and ensuring they’re superior quality, RV manufacturers might solve some of their financial problems – and give people what they want in the process. This could be a win-win for everyone.
Take advantage of off-season low prices.
2024 Market Predictions
As we delve into the prospects of the RV industry for 2024, it’s crucial to consider the insights provided by the RV Industry Association (RVIA), a key authority in the field. Their latest report offers a forecast that might surprise some, especially given the varying opinions floating around the industry.
RVIA’s 2024 Projections
According to RVIA, the RV market is set to experience a big uptick in both production and sales in 2024.
RVIA estimates the production of approximately 307,000 to 350,000 RV units.
This is a big increase! Roughly between 12% – 16% more RVs will be made in 2024 than in 2023.
Analyzing the Trends
RVIA’s report further predicts that most of the RVs will be made after the 2nd half of the year – which is after camping season.
The timing of the increase in RV manufacturing in late 2024 is largely based on anticipated trends in interest rates, which are expected to influence market conditions favorably.
Such an increase in production and sales can be seen as a strong indicator of that the turbulent trends affecting RV supply and demand are starting to balance out.
The Debate: Up or Down by 14%?
Interestingly, while RVIA projects an increase, the industry seems divided, with some analysts suggesting a potential 14% rise in sales and others a 14% decline in sales.
These opposing +14% sales / -14% sales shows just how unpredictable trying to predict the future can be. Many factors affect buying conditions, and there’s no true science to putting all the pieces together.
What are Your Thoughts?
This leads to an intriguing question for you – What’s your take on this? Do you lean towards a 14% increase in the RV industry, or do you foresee a 14% decrease?
Let us know what you think. Your perspective is valuable because people like you are the lifeblood of the RV industry.
Three Key Factors Potentially Lowering RV Prices in 2024
There are several factors that could bring much-needed price relief to the RV industry in 2024.
These developments not only have the potential to lower costs for manufacturers and dealers – but also would most likely result in keeping prices low for consumers.
1. Easing Tariffs on Import Materials
The first major factor that could provide price relief is the proposed legislation to ease tariffs, particularly on materials like Luan, a type of wood paneling extensively used in RV construction.
Since 2020, the RV industry has been hit with millions of dollars in additional costs each month due to tariffs, increasing the price of RVs.
For instance, the tariff on luan wood has cost the RV industry $1,500,000 PER MONTH since 2020. That is a big chunk of change!
If these tariffs are relaxed, the cost of raw materials would drop, leading to a decrease in the overall cost of manufacturing RVs.
This legislative change, currently under bipartisan review, could be a major relief for both manufacturers and consumers.
2. Legislative Changes Affecting Dealerships
Another promising development is the potential amendment of tax codes that currently prevent RV dealerships from deducting interest on their floor plan loans. This change in legislation could significantly reduce the operating costs of dealerships.
Since travel trailers form a large segment of the RV market, this amendment could have an absolutely huge impact.
Lower operating costs for dealerships could lead to more competitive pricing for consumers, making RVs more affordable.
To see who the TOP RV DEALERS are in each state, read our article: AMERICA’S FAVORITE RV DEALERSHIPS BY STATE – YOU WON’T FIND INFORMATION LIKE THIS ANYWHERE ELSE!
3. Possible Interest Rate Relief
The third factor that might lead to price relief in the RV industry is the speculated easing of interest rates. This is expected to be more noticeable in the second half of 2024.
Lower interest rates could benefit the industry in several ways:
For dealerships, it means reduced costs on floor plan loans, which can be a substantial monthly expense, especially for larger dealers with multiple locations.
For consumers, lower interest rates on RV loans would directly translate to lower monthly payments, making RV ownership more accessible.
Moreover, if interest rates go down, the price of living expenses may drop, so people could potentially have more money to spend. This means they would have extra cash to buy things, such as RVs, which would further stimulate the RV market.
We will continue to monitor these factors closely and keep you informed about the latest trends and changes in the RV market.
RV Show Season: A Look into the Future of the RV Industry in 2024
RV Show Season starts in January and ends at the end of March.
The Florida RV Supershow, scheduled in mid-January in Tampa, is the first big show that gives us a clue about the health and trends of the RV market for the upcoming year.
If you don’t live in Tampa, but would like to attend an RV show, you can attend one of the Bish’s RV Shows scheduled across the country in 2024.
The Importance of the Tampa RV Show
The Tampa RV show is closely watched by industry experts and enthusiasts alike.
Its timing, right at the start of the year, makes it a prime event for determining key factors, such as public interest, sales potential, and industry momentum.
Although Bish’s RV will not be there, the importance of this show in setting the tone for the year’s RV market cannot be understated.
A lot of people ask us, “Are RVs really cheaper at Shows?”
Read our article to find out the pros and cons of buying at an RV Show.
New Models and Trends on Display
One of the highlights of the Tampa show is the unveiling of new RV models and floor plans.
This year is no exception, many new designs and innovations are expected to be showcased.
The show acts as a launching pad for these new models, offering a glimpse into the latest advancements and customer preferences in RV design.
For those still searching for their perfect RV, the Tampa show could very well reveal the model that fits their needs.
Keeping a Pulse on the Industry
Attendance and sales at the Tampa show are critical metrics. They not only reflect the current consumer interest in RVs but also hint at the market’s trajectory for the rest of the year.
A strong showing in Tampa could signal a robust year ahead for the RV industry, with increased consumer engagement and potentially higher sales.
RV Insider Pro-Tip:
You can usually SAVE MORE MONEY by buying before an RV show.
The Used RV Market: Now May be Best Time to Buy
The answer isn’t straightforward, as it varies and depends on the person asking the question. However, current trends suggest that now might be an ideal time to buy an RV, especially as we approach the RV show season.
Understanding Market Trends
Recent data shows that for about four months, the value of used RVs, both towable and motorized, has been on a decline.
This trend is typical during the colder months, but as we head into the RV show season, starting with the Tampa RV Show, things might begin to change.
This period marks two to three months filled with numerous RV shows across the nation, and it’s not just about new RVs. There’s also a significant interest in used RVs, and some events are even dedicated exclusively to them.
The Perfect Time to Shop for Used RVs
Right now, there’s a considerable buildup of used RVs in the market. In colder regions, some dealerships go into hibernation during winter and are now coming back to life, eager to kickstart their sales.
These dealerships, along with others looking to generate more business, might be more inclined to offer low-price deals. They are in a position where making a sale, even at a lower profit, is preferable to holding onto stock.
This mindset creates a favorable environment for buyers.
Why Act Now?
The used RV market is unpredictable —you can’t simply make more of what’s in demand, as in the new RV market. It’s all about what’s available at the moment.
If you’re planning a camping trip around March or April and are eyeing the used market, it might be wise to buy now. The best picks in the used RV market tend to get snapped up quickly once the RV show season kicks off.
The earlier you start looking, the better your chances of finding that perfect RV at a great price, before the prime options are taken.
Now could be the best time to buy a New or Used RV!
The Potential Impact of a PVC Ban on the RV Industry
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated a review that would largely impact not only the RV industry but also all of us living in North America. This is huge.
The EPA is looking into how Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), a common plastic material used in the construction of many items we find in our everyday lives, is used. They want to find out if using PVC should have more rules or if it should be completely stopped.
Understanding PVC and Its Uses
PVC was identified as a human carcinogen back in 1974, leading to its ban in products like hairsprays and deodorants.
However, PVC is widely used in various other industries, including the RV sector. Its properties make it a popular choice for numerous components, from roofing membranes in RVs to everyday household and vehicle items.
The Scope of EPA’s Review
This review by the EPA is a thorough, year-long process. It aims to determine whether the use of PVC in its current applications is safe for humans and the environment, especially considering the disposal of discarded PVC materials.
The outcome of this investigation could lead to new regulations or bans, significantly impacting how materials are used across industries.
Potential Effects on the RV Industry
For the RV industry, a restriction or ban on PVC could have a huge impact. PVC is a key component in many RV parts, most notably in roof membranes.
A change in PVC regulations would bring about a major change in how RVs are made, potentially leading to increased costs and a need for different materials.
This could affect everything from production timelines to the final price of RVs for consumers.
Beyond the RV industry, a PVC ban would impact our daily lives.
PVC is used in many products we use every single day. If there are new rules about using PVC, it could force many companies to think about using different materials. This could lead to new and creative ideas, but it might also cause some problems at first.
While the potential ban on PVC by the EPA is still in its investigative stages, the RV industry needs to prepare for changes in material usage and production processes.
By thinking ahead and making plans now, a lot of potential short-term disruptions in RV production can be avoided.
Embracing the Unpredictable Nature of the Market
As we reach the end of our RV Industry Update for January 2024, it’s important to remember that predicting the future is always a challenge.
After reading this article you have a better understanding of what’s in store in 2024.
Bish’s RV: Ask us – We’ll answer!
If you have any questions about the RV industry and RV Sales, or – Wait! Why limit it to those topics? – if you have any questions at all, just reach out.
We love talking all things RV. We’re committed to bringing you the latest news, trends, and expert opinions to keep you ahead of the curve.
Next Steps: Engage, Explore, and Embark
- Stay Informed: To keep abreast of the latest developments, subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates and insights directly to your inbox.
- Explore Our Inventory: Visit our website to browse our extensive selection of RVs. Whether you’re buying or selling, we have options to suit every need and budget.
- Go to RV Shows: RV Dealers, like Bish’s RV, usually have an RV Show Schedule so you can check out the year’s latest RV models.
- Connect with Our Experts: If you’re ready to take the next step or need personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of seasoned professionals is here to assist you in making the best decision for your RV journey.
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Bish’s RV Content Manager
Amateur adventurer; professional dreamer.
aka: The Bish-Blog-Guy