The years ahead for RVers

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Neal

Staff member
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Jul 27, 2019
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6,797
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Midlothian, VA
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2017
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Newmar
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Ventana 4037
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40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
As I write this in November of 2021 I wonder what's ahead for the RV lifestyle such as 2023 and 2024, a 1 to 2 year look. I'm seeing RV's sell non stop on RV sites such as Facebook and RVTrader. My question I'm trying to figure out is why are people selling? I think there are multiple reasons for this, one of which is obviously the lack of inventory to command top dollar on the sale. I get that. But are there other reasons? Are people thinking this is a great time to upgrade as some have offered yet you're buying at the peak of a bubble that I predict is about to burst. Shortages and quality are a major issue right now, coaches are coming off the line worse than ever with substitutions of parts without coordination with the customer, or missing parts with no timeline as to when parts will ship for your coach you now own. The labor situation is a big part of this, as we see everywhere, so again, is this really the right time to be getting something new?

I think there are two other aspects as to why people are selling some of which I've been battling and discussing with friends. 1) Because others are doing it, so should I. 2) They are exiting the RV lifestyle and this is the part that is triggering this post.

Prices of fuel and diesel (gas or diesel) are high as we all know and there's no telling how high it's going to get. On top of this everyone is or has raised prices, this includes the cost of staying at campgrounds. Moral is the cost of the RV lifestyle may be pricing people out of the lifestyle and we are not just seeing RV sales to turn around into another RV but because we are seeing people abandoning the lifestyle they no longer can afford or enjoy due to the higher cost of the RV experience.

My concern is what's ahead for the next 1 to 2 years. My prediction is we are going to see the slow down sooner than later if not already in it. RV prices will stabilize, I'm not sure what RV manufacturers did in the prior economic situations, maybe offer incentives, but I don't see prices coming down for a few years to come, if ever. Maybe we will see longer stays at campgrounds to mitigate the cost of travel. Where people like me typically stay for a week, the duration may go to 2-3 weeks or month long stays to capture discounts and reduce fuel/travel costs.

Well, this is only my $.02 and I welcome your perspective, avoiding politics of course. Where do you see the current state of RV sales and travel and where do you see it in the 1-2 year term ahead?
 

Voyageurs

RVF Groupie
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
273
As I write this in November of 2021 I wonder what's ahead for the RV lifestyle such as 2023 and 2024, a 1 to 2 year look. I'm seeing RV's sell non stop on RV sites such as Facebook and RVTrader. My question I'm trying to figure out is why are people selling? I think there are multiple reasons for this, one of which is obviously the lack of inventory to command top dollar on the sale. I get that. But are there other reasons? Are people thinking this is a great time to upgrade as some have offered yet you're buying at the peak of a bubble that I predict is about to burst. Shortages and quality are a major issue right now, coaches are coming off the line worse than ever with substitutions of parts without coordination with the customer, or missing parts with no timeline as to when parts will ship for your coach you now own. The labor situation is a big part of this, as we see everywhere, so again, is this really the right time to be getting something new?

I think there are two other aspects as to why people are selling some of which I've been battling and discussing with friends. 1) Because others are doing it, so should I. 2) They are exiting the RV lifestyle and this is the part that is triggering this post.

Prices of fuel and diesel (gas or diesel) are high as we all know and there's no telling how high it's going to get. On top of this everyone is or has raised prices, this includes the cost of staying at campgrounds. Moral is the cost of the RV lifestyle may be pricing people out of the lifestyle and we are not just seeing RV sales to turn around into another RV but because we are seeing people abandoning the lifestyle they no longer can afford or enjoy due to the higher cost of the RV experience.

My concern is what's ahead for the next 1 to 2 years. My prediction is we are going to see the slow down sooner than later if not already in it. RV prices will stabilize, I'm not sure what RV manufacturers did in the prior economic situations, maybe offer incentives, but I don't see prices coming down for a few years to come, if ever. Maybe we will see longer stays at campgrounds to mitigate the cost of travel. Where people like me typically stay for a week, the duration may go to 2-3 weeks or month long stays to capture discounts and reduce fuel/travel costs.

Well, this is only my $.02 and I welcome your perspective, avoiding politics of course. Where do you see the current state of RV sales and travel and where do you see it in the 1-2 year term ahead?

Some interesting observations and questions. It seems like fuel prices have stabilized and are actually starting to head back down. Covid will continue to affect fuel prices on a worldwide level.

The other thing that will put pressure on fuel prices is the transition to electric vehicles. Right now on a worldwide bases there are about 12000 vehicles EVERY DAY hitting the road without gas tanks, crank cases, transmissions, rear ends, catalytic converters, exhaust systems or spark plugs. That is twice the rate of this time last year and the curve is getting steeper faster. At some point that will start to temper demand for liquid fuels and should cause some downward pressure on prices.

I think sales will be a little less frantic this year than last. However, unemployment is at record lows and dropping so more people will have money.

Interesting times.
 

Joe Goodxrvn

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,273
Location
Florida
RV Year
2018
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Newmar
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CanyonStar
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39' 11"
TOW/TOAD
Demco KarKaddy 460SS and VW Passat
Fulltimer
No
Over the years, as a inventory lender to the dealerships, I have noted that Recreational Vehicles (Big Boy Toys)in general follow availability of excess funds available in the form of equity loans on homes, or favorable lending terms at dealerships and/or low interest rates.
Consequently the demand for Big Boy Toys has a Boom/Bust cycle which causes problems for the manufacturers and dealers. Trying to estimate and plan production is very difficult. Managing qualified workforce is equally difficult. And managing all the suppliers is an additional level of complexity.

On a personal level, if you are not living full time in an RV, or traveling for work, now is an excellent time to sell. Wait for the next downturn or interest rate spike and there will be deals to be had.

Manufacturers and dealerships are not that nimble and will be caught with excess inventory.

I am seriously considering selling, if the price is Right. For me, my Canyon Star has significant upgrades which may be difficult to monetize.

Some interesting facts.

 

Scooterfan

RVF Groupie
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
265
Location
Central Coast of California
RV Year
2007
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Canyon Star 3205
RV Length
32
Fulltimer
No
IMHO...the "selling" market right now is based on the "knee jerk" reaction that led so many to buy during the C19 scare. Once a new owner of an RV realizes that there's more to ownership (DMV fees, Insurance, Fuel and Camping fees just to name a few) they decide to opt out. I personally know of two couples who fall into this category exactly. Thus, it's my opinion the market will continue to flood with sellers hoping to re-coop their investment. Unless some very drastic things happen (in government) our Country's financial situation will turn ugly by the Spring of next year. Inflation does not mean your motorhome is worth more, it means people's buying power is less. If you are a seller my (lay) advice would be do it now. Like a dear friend once said (Cowboy)..."hold on to 'er Duke!" 😉
 

High Desert

At Cruise Speed
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
66
Location
Powell Butte, Oregon
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Tiffin
RV Model
Allegro Red 33AA
RV Length
35
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Sahara
Fulltimer
No
Above, Joe comments on "excess inventory" as a potential problem. There will have to be some dramatic changes to see that around here, for higher end units. Locally, one dealer carries, Newmar, Tiffin, Entegra and Winnebagos. There is hardly any stock on hand, and what does come in goes out within 2 weeks, and Im talking about $600K rigs. It actually baffles me to see the market conditions as I just went through moving from a gas rig to a used DP. It's like, if you see something, you'd better jump on it it as it'll be gone when you turn around. and that is driving pricing with the basic "supply and demand" aspect. But, like others, I firmly believe this is going to see a big turnaround as Covid falls off. We are already seeing significant increases in air travelers, AAA predictions of significant auto traffic and holiday travel and that is with fuel prices all over the board. As travel opens more, motel / hotel reservations increase, international travel opens up more, RV usage will decline. How quickly that will occur and what the ramp down will be, I don't know. When the happens, there will be a glut of used RV's hitting the market and the inverse of "supply and demand" will happen and prices will fall. I also suspect you will see a lot of defaults on loans and "walkaways", similar to the housing bust some years ago and foreclosures. As to inventory levels, I believe it will be the manufacturer(s) left holding the excess inventories. My reasoning for the is: 1) Dealers have become more prudent on the level of inventory and monthly carrying cost they are having to float with a bank, thereby carrying less of the low demand product. 2) manufacturers have been ordering materials for along time that have been backordered, but still on the supplier books for delivery. If retail demand falls off, inventory increase, and supply demand begins to get fulfilled giving manufactures excess inventories. If a person is positioned well, they should be able to get a heck of a deal at someone else's expense. Like others, my first impression will be campsite availability. If I can go online and get a site within a short window of time, then things are improving for this willing to stick with RV'ing. Fuel cost is not even a point of conversation, really, as you can travel across the USA and see a spread of up to $2 a gallon or more, depending on location. But, I sure hope it drops some!
 

dave sunstar

Just Idling Around
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Hampton , Virginia
RV Year
2012
RV Make
Itasca
RV Model
Sunstar
RV Length
27 Feet
Fulltimer
No
In my immediate area where I live, RV inventory is as high as I have ever seen it and gas is starting to go back down to the under $3.00 levels. I think maybe most for sale are consignments from people selling now instead of later.
 

FLSteve

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Fort Myers, FL
RV Year
2022
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Newmar
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Mountain Aire 4118 ("On Order")
RV Length
41'
TOW/TOAD
2018 JL Rubicon & 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
@Neal ... thanks for starting this discussion. Always enjoy getting everyone's prospective on things. We are one of the folks that sold and ordered a new one. After going through a pretty scary health scare earlier this year, we decided that if we got good news (which we did) ... that we would try to upgrade to our "dream coach" if we could do three (3) things. 1) sell our coach for a good price, 2) get a good deal on the new one and 3) make the timing work so we could do a dealer pass through to make the numbers work. If not, we would be very happy with our current coach and just keep going. So, we placed the for-sale ads the first of July and sold the coach for more that we paid for it new, got 29.7% off on the new one and did a dealer pass through which saved about $20,000 on taxes. The only thing we did not fully anticipate is the long wait for the new one. We sure do miss not having a coach.

Yes, I am certainly concerned about all the things I am reading on the Newmar quality, but believe I will be able to get through that since it's not our first coach especially with the help of @redbaron and his delivery and PDI threads. As far as the prices of RV'ing ... I guess it "is what it is". Don't see me being able to change any of that in the short term, so will just have to put up with it and make the best trip decisions we can as we go forward. We don't really have the luxury of time to just wait it out and want to hit it as hard as we can while we both have our health. So hopefully in February, if we get the new coach, we plan to burn fuel!

So that's our story and we are sticking to it for better or worse.

FLSteve :cool:
 

redbaron

Staff member
RVF Moderator
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,524
RV Year
2022
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
London Aire 4551 (**ON ORDER**)
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45
TOW/TOAD
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
@FLSteve, I agree with your post. You did get a better discount than I did, but not by much. I got a much higher discount on the 22 purchase than I did on my 2013 or 2019, and sold at the right time for the right price.

As far as rv travel costs go, they swing around all the time. I don't even bother tracking it. I have already told my kids I plan to spend it all before I die. May as well make the best if this life we have here, and enjoy it.
 

NWIP

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Nov 4, 2019
Messages
1,273
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No Where In Particular
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2020
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Newmar
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Dutch Star 4369
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43’ 9”
TOW/TOAD
2016 Colorado
Fulltimer
Yes
With regards to cost of RVing minus coach purchase I do budget but don’t really allow it to influence where we travel. We are lucky enough to be able to afford the lifestyle and know I won’t be able to do it forever so enjoying the present.
 

sheridany

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Nov 14, 2019
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Orinda, CA
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2017
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Prevost
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Marathon #1250
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2015 Jeep Trailhawk
Fulltimer
No
It’s hard to tell which way things are going to to go. Cost of ownership and travel along with having the means to afford it are the drivers where the future lies. I was at NIRVC vegas yesterday and they are packed full with coaches and the storage side is full. If there’s a mass exodus from this lifestyle it’s not going to be pretty. I don’t see that happening although some will move on from ownership for a variety of reasons. Demand will slow down at some point and the market stabilize back toward pre pandemic levels in terms of manufacturing and inventories. I am hearing the used market has slowed down for class A coaches from several dealers. Still strong but not as strong as a year ago plus where it was “frenzied”. In this lifestyle timing is everything whether you are selling buying or traveling. While diesel costs have gone up it might appear to be stabilizing. Hard to tell positively.

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murphysranch

RVF Regular
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
117
Location
Southern Oregon
Fulltimer
No
Recently, hubs and I woke up at 4:30 a.m., packed and ready to drive to Boise ID to purchase a used bumper pull. He says to me, while we were waiting for the house to warm up, Honey we are making a mistake. So we cancelled the purchase.

Why? Reports of crowded campgrounds with rude campers, increases in cost of gas, insecurity of what is to come with the economy, sky high storage costs for an outside spot.

Sad? Yes, we had so many good years with two prior bumper pulls and a fifth wheel. Toting Grands around the Western US. Seeing places that my Calif Native husband had never seen. We truly enjoyed our travels.

Next steps? Wait. Wait patiently. We are selling a rental with a goal of a modest profit, even after short term capital gains. Hunker that money down. Letting America turn the next corner; for RV crazies to exit the game; to remain healthy enough to go to see the rest of the US in our travel trailer, moseying down the road enjoying the sights as we roll.
 

AbdRahim

RVF Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
1,707
@Neal ... thanks for starting this discussion. Always enjoy getting everyone's prospective on things. We are one of the folks that sold and ordered a new one. After going through a pretty scary health scare earlier this year, we decided that if we got good news (which we did) ... that we would try to upgrade to our "dream coach" if we could do three (3) things. 1) sell our coach for a good price, 2) get a good deal on the new one and 3) make the timing work so we could do a dealer pass through to make the numbers work. If not, we would be very happy with our current coach and just keep going. So, we placed the for-sale ads the first of July and sold the coach for more that we paid for it new, got 29.7% off on the new one and did a dealer pass through which saved about $20,000 on taxes. The only thing we did not fully anticipate is the long wait for the new one. We sure do miss not having a coach.

Yes, I am certainly concerned about all the things I am reading on the Newmar quality, but believe I will be able to get through that since it's not our first coach especially with the help of @redbaron and his delivery and PDI threads. As far as the prices of RV'ing ... I guess it "is what it is". Don't see me being able to change any of that in the short term, so will just have to put up with it and make the best trip decisions we can as we go forward. We don't really have the luxury of time to just wait it out and want to hit it as hard as we can while we both have our health. So hopefully in February, if we get the new coach, we plan to burn fuel!

So that's our story and we are sticking to it for better or worse.

FLSteve :cool:

What is a dealer pass through? Is that a trade-in?
 

FLSteve

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Fort Myers, FL
RV Year
2022
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4118 ("On Order")
RV Length
41'
TOW/TOAD
2018 JL Rubicon & 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
What is a dealer pass through? Is that a trade-in?

@AbdRahim ... A "dealer pass through" sometimes called an "in & out" is where you basically sell your coach on your own and then pay a small fee for a dealer to handle the paperwork and then treat it as a trade in on a new coach order. That way you get the maximum value for your coach and then get to use that value as the trade in value for the tax savings. Best of both worlds. Also, a dealer can offer potential buyers financing, extended warranties and other services that you as a private seller cannot which may help you sell your coach as it opens up the potential number of buyers ... like ones that may need financing.

In my case I ordered a new coach from NIRVC Atlanta, paid them a $1,500 fee for the pass through when I sold my Dutch Star and saved about $20,000 on sales tax ... plus got what the coach was worth on the open market as a trade in value instead of what a dealer would normally give you.

If you are not buying a new coach, then this approach is probably not an option as the benefit is in the difference in value tax savings. Also, not all dealers will offer this.

That's my layman's way of explaining this. Others may do a better job with it. :unsure:

FLSteve
 

RKins

RVF Expert
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
630
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Sarasota, FL
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1997
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Newmar
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London Aire
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40'
TOW/TOAD
2008 Jeep GC Overland
Fulltimer
No
I am a little concerned that the retiree base, living on a relative fixed income, will feel the pain of the inflation caused in part by the money being spent by the gov't over the next 10 years. People still working will be able to flex with the increased cost of everything as their wages increase but the retiree will take a big hit. Some will not be able to afford the fuel costs and the CG prices.
 

Voyageurs

RVF Groupie
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
273
My
I am a little concerned that the retiree base, living on a relative fixed income, will feel the pain of the inflation caused in part by the money being spent by the gov't over the next 10 years. People still working will be able to flex with the increased cost of everything as their wages increase but the retiree will take a big hit. Some will not be able to afford the fuel costs and the CG prices.

Agreed, but fuel prices are headed down, and with the Covid 5th wave starting in Europe and the thanksgiving Covid spread that will happen on this side of the pond I think fuel prices will start to drop in about two or three months. Hard to watch but it is what it is.

Take care of yourselves and each other folks. We got this.
 

Fish

RVF Regular
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
154
Location
Marion IL and Moore Haven FL
RV Year
2007
RV Make
Monaco Camelot
RV Model
42PDQ
RV Length
43 ft
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2010 Ext. Cab Silverado 4x4
Recently, hubs and I woke up at 4:30 a.m., packed and ready to drive to Boise ID to purchase a used bumper pull. He says to me, while we were waiting for the house to warm up, Honey we are making a mistake. So we cancelled the purchase.

Why? Reports of crowded campgrounds with rude campers, increases in cost of gas, insecurity of what is to come with the economy, sky high storage costs for an outside spot.

Sad? Yes, we had so many good years with two prior bumper pulls and a fifth wheel. Toting Grands around the Western US. Seeing places that my Calif Native husband had never seen. We truly enjoyed our travels.

Next steps? Wait. Wait patiently. We are selling a rental with a goal of a modest profit, even after short term capital gains. Hunker that money down. Letting America turn the next corner; for RV crazies to exit the game; to remain healthy enough to go to see the rest of the US in our travel trailer, moseying down the road enjoying the sights as we roll.

I made the reservations for our stops on the way to Florida the other day. I had no problem getting spots at the places I chose. While we're only spending the night I'd have no problem spending a week at any of these places.
While last winter was great at our lease with 3-4 empty spots on each side of me I don't expect any campground to be able to make money like that. The lots aren't small so if I have people on each side of me, I have people on each side of me. No big deal.
 

High Desert

At Cruise Speed
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
66
Location
Powell Butte, Oregon
RV Year
2017
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Tiffin
RV Model
Allegro Red 33AA
RV Length
35
TOW/TOAD
Jeep Sahara
Fulltimer
No
This is an interesting thought about retirees and future expenses. Inflation is increasing, but we have all been through the up and down of that before. Social security is seeing an increase in payenmts for 2022, but Medicare cost is increasing, but still a net SS increase, bottom line. Fuel prices, who knows. Historically, it is a cyclic event, driven by anything and everything. This time around is very curious as prices are very high but the barrel cost of crude is around $80’ish a barrel, not reflective of high pump prices. all in all, what I have generally seen in retirees and RV’ing, is people with pretty nice coaches, staying at pretty pricy places, enjoying a higher end life style. Will some people get squeezed out? Probably, but based on my experiences and observations, retiree RV’ing is going to stay somewhat constant. I think the biggest factor for retiree decline in RV’s is heath issues more than inflation issues.
 

FLSteve

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Fort Myers, FL
RV Year
2022
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4118 ("On Order")
RV Length
41'
TOW/TOAD
2018 JL Rubicon & 2019 Cherokee Trailhawk
This is an interesting thought about retirees and future expenses. Inflation is increasing, but we have all been through the up and down of that before. Social security is seeing an increase in payenmts for 2022, but Medicare cost is increasing, but still a net SS increase, bottom line. Fuel prices, who knows. Historically, it is a cyclic event, driven by anything and everything. This time around is very curious as prices are very high but the barrel cost of crude is around $80’ish a barrel, not reflective of high pump prices. all in all, what I have generally seen in retirees and RV’ing, is people with pretty nice coaches, staying at pretty pricy places, enjoying a higher end life style. Will some people get squeezed out? Probably, but based on my experiences and observations, retiree RV’ing is going to stay somewhat constant. I think the biggest factor for retiree decline in RV’s is heath issues more than inflation issues.

@High Desert ... we are fairly new at the retirement phase of life (only 2-1/2 years into it) but what you say makes sense. Especially the last sentence.

FLSteve (y)
 
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