The RV Backlog Is Still Growing Two Years Into the Pandemic
That trailer you've been eyeing? It may be even harder to get today.
During the first summer of the pandemic, people went absolutely bonkers for RVs. We should know, because after putting together a list of the most enticing motorhomes and trailers, someone in the industry reached out and said we shouldn’t recommend models from Bowlus because they were “virtually unavailable.” Of course, we didn’t remove them because those drop-dead gorgeous aluminum palaces on wheels are at the top of our to-buy list.
If you were one of the savvy buyers who looked at the RV hoopla, and the potential dealer markups that went along with the surge in demand, and thought you’d wait until it died down, we have bad news for you: It’s not dying down. In fact, as The Drive reports, backlogs at the largest companies in the recreational vehicle market are only getting worse.
In contrast to a recent USA Today report that said some people are having RV buyer’s remorse, both Winnebago and Thor Industries (the company that owns Airstream) recently reported increases in accepted orders from dealers for the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 compared to a year ago.
At Winnebago, the company reported a backlog of $4.1 billion in orders across the towable and motorhome segments, an increase of 55.2% for the former category and 21.9% for the latter compared to 2021. Among all the 17 brands at Thor, the company reported a $17.73 billion RV order backlog at the end of January, a 60% increase compared to January 2021.
“Currently, independent dealer inventories remain below the levels we achieved prior to the pandemic, particularly for North American Motorized units,” Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, said in a press release. “We expect dealer towable inventories to normalize more quickly than motorized inventories due to ongoing chassis supply constraints that continue to affect motorized motorhome production levels.”
This doesn’t mean all is lost if you were hoping to score a new RV before the summer. Demand and inventories are different in different areas of the country, so it’s worth talking directly to your local recreational vehicle vendor. Just don’t be surprised if they spit their coffee out when you ask if you can get your Airstream by Memorial Day.
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