This study presents historical data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 by product (conventional travel trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, class A motorhomes, class B motorhomes, class C motorhomes, folding camping trailers, truck campers) in units and U.S. dollars, and by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) in U.S. dollars.
The study covers accessories for RVs sold in the aftermarket. In addition, it evaluates key industry players in the RV market and analyzes consumer survey data.
Manufacturing Expansions Show Strong Outlook
Since 2016, at least three dozen RV manufacturing locations have added or announced expanded plant capacity. While the top two manufacturers in the RV industry, Forest River (4 projects) and Thor (13 projects), account for the most activity, smaller companies, like nüCamp and RV Factory, have also made additions to their manufacturing square footage.
While the expansions are intended to support production for a variety of products, the majority are aimed at travel trailer manufacturing. The construction projects are an indication of confidence in the extended outlook of the market.
A Healthy Economy Has Spurred Consumer Confidence and Expenditures
Since the Great Recession, during which demand for recreational vehicles fell sharply, the economy has been slowly improving, along with consumer spending. Interest rates remain low, keeping loans for large purchases relatively affordable. Moreover, home values continue to rise, giving consumers access to equity to support loans for RVs.
Travel Trailers Have Led the RV Industry Recovery and Will Continue to Do So Going Forward
Sales of travel trailers continue to grow, even surpassing pre-recession peaks. In 2017, unit sales of travel trailers were nearly 200 percent of 2007 levels. Travel trailers are favored for their variety of options, from luxury to low-cost entry-level versions, and from those that require a large truck to pull them to those that can be managed by most small automobiles.
In general, trailers are preferred because, unlike motorhomes, they can be left behind at a campsite while the owner tours the area in a conventional automobile that can be parked anywhere. Current models appeal to a range of consumers – from those looking for a retro or European look or a functional vehicle that can haul their ATV or snowmobile, to long-term travelers and to those on a quick weekend getaway.
More Reasons to Own an RV and More Demographics to Own Them
The typical RV owner still falls in an older demographic – retirees and “snow birds” – but younger consumers are particularly motivated by lifestyle reasons including:
- taking just the basics to escape the bustle of daily life
- traveling with all of the comforts of home, including pets, while connected via Wi-Fi and electronic devices
- living the “weekend warrior” lifestyle, tailgating at sporting events or concerts, camping, or taking motorcycles or other gear out for recreation
- living and working full-time or for extended stretches on the road
SOURCE: ResearchAndMarkets.com press release