- The RV industry continues to remain resilient through the coronavirus pandemic with more RVs shipped in September 2020 than September 2019.
- According to RV Industry Association’s September 2020 survey of RV manufacturers, last month saw the shipment of 41,509 RVs, which is a 31.2% increase from September 2019’s 31,639 shipments.
- Travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, folding camper trailers, camper vans, and truck campers all saw an increase in popularity in September, while orders for Class A and Class C RVs decreased.
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The RV industry’s resilience to the coronavirus pandemic’s tumultuous effects on the travel industry continued to remain strong in September, according to the RV Industry Association’s survey of RV manufacturers.
The upward trend was initially revealed towards the beginning of the pandemic and has continued to gain steam. According to a September 2020 survey of RV manufacturers by the RV Industry Association trade group, September saw the shipment of 41,509 RVs, a 31.2% increase from the 31,639 RV shipments in September 2019.
“The demand for RVs continues to be strong heading into the fall and the industry is on track to surpass last year’s numbers, despite the six to eight-week closures earlier this spring,” RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby said in a statement. “Between the growing trend to work and learn from your RV and the incredible fall and winter RV travel options, we do not see the demand for RVs going down anytime soon.”
According to the study, while March, April, and May saw a dip in RV shipments this year compared to 2019, the months of June, July, August, and September have all seen a boom that has surpassed 2019’s shipment numbers with no signs of an incoming downturn.
The survey said 37,990 of the RVs shipped in September were towables, mostly travel trailers, which is a 35.3% increase from last year. Meanwhile, motorhomes trended downwards by 1% compared to 2019, making up only 3,519 of last month’s shipments.
The numbers confirm interest in RVs has been steadily rising nearly all year. Shortly after states started lifting stay-at-home orders, both RV rental companies and RV makers started seeing an increase in bookings and orders, respectively.
For example, RV rental platforms RVshare saw a 1,000% increase in bookings from early April to May 19, while Outdoorsy saw a 1,500% increase from the lowest booking day during the coronavirus pandemic to the highest booking day during the third week of May.
In line with these rental trends, RV makers have also seen a boost in sales. This includes Airstream, which saw an 11% increase in RV sales from May 1 to May 21 compared to the same period last year, according to Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler. Interest was so high, the road travel maker struggled to keep up with customer orders, in part because many factories were shut down for at least 40 days amid the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic’s arrival in the US.