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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Towables are up and MHs are down in 2011 and 2012

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holstein13

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Posted: 04/08/12 07:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

According to the RVIA, Motorhome deliveries were down 1.6% in 2011 (24,800) vs. 2010 (25,200). Towables, however, were up 4.8% to 227,500 units.

RVIA 2011 year end data

It's interesting to note that MH deliveries were down 21.1% in December and 18.8% in November of 2011. I looked at 2012 data and so far, deliveries of MHs are flat. So far this year, towables are up 17% in the first two months.

Also interesting to note is that the towable market is now nearly 10 times the size of the MH market in units.


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Posted: 04/08/12 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you consider the difference in price why would it be a surprise considering the terrible condition of the economy?

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charles

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Posted: 04/08/12 10:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the towables are going to slow down to a minimum number when it comes time to buy or replace the trucks/suvs that are capable of towing them. It is just amazing how much new vehicles cost today compared with just a few years ago. Even small car prices have gotten out of control. I would guess that there will be more park models being placed in RV parks and used as vacation homes.

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docj

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Posted: 04/08/12 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would speculate that, in the past, a lot of the cash for buying large MH's came from home sales and/or home equity loans. For many people these sources of funds are now diminished or non-existent. If you add to that the fact that it is much harder to get financing on anything these days, you can see the predicament the MH manufacturers are in.

If you want to get even gloomier about it, I believe the RVIA numbers are technically "shipments to dealers" not sales. There have been lots of dealers with unsold inventory from years past, so even the ~25k MH's shipped may not all be sold.

Many people on this forum are too young to remember what happened to the RV industry after the "gas crises" of the 1970's. I'm not at all sure what the industry will look like after the next several years.


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Searching_Ut

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Posted: 04/08/12 05:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the RV life. Boondocking is starting to become more restricted and controlled, and forest service/blm type campgrounds are getting harder and harder to get into. Gas mileage mandates may or may not have a serious impact on capability and cost of HD pickups. Gas prices have noticeable impact today, and it's hard to predict what the future holds there, but things don't look rosey. The strong push for mileage based taxes, which will probably hit heavier vehicles with a higher rate are also something to consider.

For me, I guess the only option is to book a lot of trips for the immediate future, that way should the RV go the way of the Dodo bird I won't have missed the adventure.

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I see many more trailers on the highway than motor homes but still a lot of motor homes. It would be nice to know the demographics of the RV purchasers. I see more people my age (60s) with motor homes and large 5ers but the younger families are mostly going with trailers. Our daughter and husband have two kids and two dogs and have a 26' TT towed behind their Ford F250 diesel.

Looking at ads in craigslist it appears that smaller trailers are selling for more money than larger trailers of similar age and manufacture. The tiny Airstream units now go for more than 30' Airstreams of similar vintage.

We just moved from a 21' Streamline (1972) to a 1993 36' Foretravel DP in preparation for semi-full-timing in a couple of years. The Streamline was perfect for weekends and week-long vacations but not having our own bedroom was the deal breaker.

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Posted: 04/08/12 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have two friends that traded in their motorhomes for towables this past two months.


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Posted: 04/08/12 08:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An interesting item though is that on the average, motorhome value increased in value as far as NADA Guides stated for January 2012. To see if that is true I have been putting in the same data now to see if this month, my unit goes up or down in value.


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holstein13

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Posted: 04/08/12 06:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Searching_Ut wrote:


For me, I guess the only option is to book a lot of trips for the immediate future, that way should the RV go the way of the Dodo bird I won't have missed the adventure.


You know, I really agree with you. I feel a sense of urgency to see this country while I still can. I don't know what the future holds either, but I do know that I would always regret not taking advantage of the opportunity while it was still feasible.

I'm seriously considering taking the family on a one year road trip and home schooling the kids during that time. If the future limits our options, at least we'd always have the lasting memories.

capnqball

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Posted: 04/08/12 11:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lee,
The values of MH's may be following the pattern of used cars lately. As the prices of new cars/trucks have skyrocketed so goes the values of good used cars and trucks. More customers are being priced out of the new market and forced to buy used. We are looking to move up from a year old TT to a DP after our boat sells (hopefully). In looking at MH's for sale I find an incredible number of the larger MH's, those 40'+ in the various ad locations/ websites. I have to wonder just how many of those units people are just trying to get out of due to the economy, along with some degree of bad luck. We want something under 36' so do not even look at the larger units, but it's definitely a buyers market for large MH's.

Ron in NW Oregon

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