We love campers and motorhomes of all sizes at Motor1.com, and as such, we keep an eye on the RV industry. Sales of new RVs in the US have certainly been on the rise during the pandemic, but that might be an understatement. In fact, sales are at record levels, but such production isn't without consequences.
First, the good news. The Associated Press reports yearly sales of motorhomes and camping trailers are at the highest production mark ever for the US, with nearly 560,000 units sold as of November 2021. The statistics come from the RV Industry Association, which confirms that production is indeed at record levels.
The association further breaks down the numbers to a record 49,135 units shipped in November, an increase of 15.6 percent compared to November 2020 which, incidentally, was the previous record for the month. The vast majority of production is camping trailers, with only around 5,000 motorhomes contributing to the total.
Gallery: Winnebago Hike 100 Camping Trailer
Northern Indiana is the hub of mainstream RV manufacturing in America, with 80 percent of total production located in that region. At this rate, the industry could top 600,000 units in 2021 but there is a potential downside to such a pace. In September, we reported on RV dealerships complaining about quality issues in the products they receive. One dealership representative claimed it was "some of the worst stuff I've seen in 30 years."
Another representative suggested there were staffing issues at manufacturing plants, calling out poor workforce management and retention of trained individuals. Supply issues also persist in the RV world, as they do with many industries right now. One dealership representative said it could be weeks or months getting parts to complete repairs.
With 2021 about to pass into the history books, we will soon learn if it was indeed a banner year for mainstream RVs in America.