RV sales reach at an all time high, but supplies dwindle

Business spiked as people’s longing for travel swelled in the past year. Though, it’s caused a shortage in production demands.
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Residents are buckling up and filling up for a rendezvous with the road. Terry Franklin owns Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford. He has served the needs of campers for more than 50 years. But over the past year, his business spiked as people’s longing for travel swelled.

“I’ll tell you, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the demand for RVs this great,” said Franklin.

Franklin said RV manufacturers just can’t keep up with the demand.

“You can’t get a lot of raw materials to make these RVs,” said Franklin. “Consequently it’s caused quite a shortage.”

“It’s anything you can think of. It’s installation, plastics, there’s a shortage of glue,” said Collier RVs salesman, Chris Collier.

According to the RV Industry Association, more RVs made it to RV dealerships across North America in March, than they have in any other previous month. In fact, industry experts said more than 11.2 million American households own an RV. That’s an increase of more than 25% from 10 years ago and more than 60% from 20 years ago. Chris Collier is a salesman at Collier RVs in Rockford. He said it all started with COVID-19.

“People were obviously trapped indoors, there wasn’t much to do,” Collier said. “People didn’t want to get on airplanes, they didn’t want to go into hotels.”

Manufacturers hope with the pandemic nearing an end, they’ll be able to ramp up production through the summer, putting more models on the lots.

“I think it’s just a matter of time,” said Collier.

The RV Industry Association said the total of RV shipments in the first quarter of 2021 hit a record-breaking 148,507 units.

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