RV Sales 2023: Dealers Closing Shop as Sales Continue to Fall

Written by Greg Long

RV Sales Report: November 2023

RV Sales Continue to Drop in 2023

For the past 2 years the RV industry has experienced a steady drop in sales – however, looking at November’s national sales reports, it appears the free fall is starting to slow down.

Will RV Sales pick up or will more small dealers be forced to go out of business?

Going out of Business Sign
Small RV Dealers are Closing Shop

Why the Decline in RV Sales?

Back in 2020, when COVID hit, RV sales skyrocketed as families looked for safe vacation alternatives.

2021 was the biggest year ever for RV sales. Over 600,00 RVs sold that year.

In 2022, COVID restrictions began to lift and RV sales slowed and have been declining ever since.

As we move into November 2023, the reports from manufacturers and RV dealers show us that sales are still declining. 

But there is some Good News! – the decline in sales is slowing. This could mean RV supply and demand is getting closer to being balanced – which is great for both RV sellers and RV buyers. 

This article will cover November’s RV sales numbers. Knowing the health of the RV industry will help you decide if it is a good time to buy or sell an RV.

Josh the RV Nerd Covers RV Sales – plus EV RVs, Manufacturer updates and Falling RV Values

To get all the most up-to-date RV Industry News for November 2023, including RV Manufacturer News and the latest in EV RVs, be sure to Check out: RV Industry Sales and News Report: November 2023

New RV Sales: Balancing Supply and Demand

Our journey into RV sales numbers begins with a look at how many RVs have been made as of September 2023. 

New RV Shipments for September 2023

The above charts show us a story of ups and downs. RV shipments in 2023 have been significantly lower than in 2022. (RV shipments is an indicator of how many new RVs manufacturers made and shipped to dealers.)

At one point, there was a jaw-dropping 53% decrease in shipments compared to the previous year. While that gap has narrowed slightly to around 43%, it’s essential to recognize that the RV industry is still facing a substantial decline in production.

RV Production Up From Previous Months

RV Shipments 2022 vs 2023

Looking at the bar graph above, we can see manufacturers are starting to increase the amount of RVs they’re making. This increase is due to 2 factors:

  1.  New 2024 models coming out
  2. RV Dealers are finally getting rid of their excess 2022 and 2023 inventory and can finally afford to buy new inventory

RV Monthly Sales Totals

2023 RV sales numbers are different than 2023 RV production numbers. Despite the 48% decline in RVs being made, overall RV sales are down by just 16% compared to last year. 

RV Sales: 2022 vs 2023 Comparison

RV Type20232022PercentageChange
Towable Campers288,487344,872-16%

More RVs Have Sold Than Were Built in 2023

What’s driving this discrepancy between RVs being made vs RVs sold in 2023? A significant factor is that RV dealerships had surplus inventory from the previous model year. 

To make room for any new models, they first needed to clear out the older stock. Because dealers were not ordering new models until they sold their existing inventory, manufacturer production during the summer months slowed down significantly.

Now, many dealerships have managed to reduce their older inventory, though some deals on last year’s models may still be found.

Manufacturers have started to regain their momentum, with production trends resembling those of 2019, a healthier year for the industry. 

Scale with Supply vs Demand

Interestingly, both towable and motorized RVs have experienced nearly identical sales declines of around 16%, indicating a consistent market trend.

As interest rates have risen, affordability factors have impacted consumer interest in RV purchases. 

Furthermore, dealership inventory management played a significant role. Some dealerships struggled with surplus inventory, and interest rate hikes have led to inventory shrinkage. 

Bish's RV 2022 RV Sale- Jayco
RV Dealers, like Bish’s RV, are offering Great Deals to help sell their aged 2022 new Inventory

A Look Ahead at RV Sales in 2024

In the coming months and into 2024, we expect RV dealerships to focus on stocking fewer units, ensuring a more regular flow of inventory. 

This means that while your favorite model may not always be in stock, it’s all part of a more balanced RV market.

To learn more about how supply and demand affect the prices of RVS read the article, Is Now a Good Time to Buy an RV? — How Supply and Demand Impact RV Price

To get all the most up-to-date RV Industry News for November 2023, including RV Manufacturer News and the latest in EV RVs, be sure to Check out: RV Industry Sales and News Report: November 2023

Used RVs: Used Values Dropping as RV Sales Decline

RV in the Fall

Turning our attention to the used RV market, we find a trend that follows the “natural rhythms of the seasons.” 

The saying with RV dealers is, “When the leaves fall, so do the prices,” or, “Price follows temperature,” and this trend appears to be holding true in 2023.

When we examine the following Used RV Value charts and graphs, we observe a gradual decline in average pricing for both towable and motorized RVs over the past year and a half. 

Towable camper values 2023
motorhome trade value 2023

Used RV Prices on Slow Decline

Used motorhomes have shown a more significant price fluctuation compared to used towables month-to-month. 

The key takeaway is used RV pricing is on a gentle decline, largely influenced by lower, competitive pricing for new RVs.  This means you will likely get less for your used RV trade than in previous months this year.

Interestingly, there appear to be fewer trades entering the market, although this is not uncommon for this time of year. 

Private sellers have stepped up, with numerous listings on platforms like RV Trader and Facebook Marketplace.

Many owners seem interested in upgrading or selling their RVs, but the market’s value shift has left some with loan-to-value ratios that don’t align with their expectations.

Dealer Secret: Learn How to Get the Most Value for Your RV Trade

Bish's RV Indoor Show

Using Sales Data to Make Buying or Selling Decisions

Knowing that RV makers are slowly making more RVs and the decline in RV sales is slowing may be an indicator that the Buyer’s Market that RV shoppers are currently experiencing could be coming to an end within the next year.

Now may be the best time to buy an RV, because the current low prices may begin to rise as Supply and Demand begin to become more balanced.

RV Sales Recap

The new RV market is gradually finding its footing after a period of turbulence, and dealerships are likely to stock fewer units in the future. 

The used RV market is following its traditional seasonal trends, with prices coming down as we move into the cooler months. As interest rates stabilize, we hope to see more consistent market conditions in the RV industry.

That wraps up our RV industry update for this month. Stay tuned for more insights and analysis in the coming months as we navigate the ever-evolving world of RVs.

Feeling Good about Buying a New RV? Start shopping Today.

Do you have Questions about the RV Industry? Talk to one of our RV Experts for FREE.

Do you have Questions about the RV Industry? Talk to one of our RV Experts for FREE.

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Greg Long Bish's RV

Greg Long

Bish’s RV Content Manager

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