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 > Just waiting for the bubble to explode.

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Ralph Cramden

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Posted: 02/11/19 04:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Even with 2018 recreational vehicle shipments down 4 percent from the previous year, the mood among dealers at the 59th annual Fort Wayne RV and Camping Show was upbeat because the industry is expecting another year of strong sales.

The RV Industry Association’s survey of manufacturers for December found the industry ended last year with 483,672 wholesale shipments, down from 504,599 units shipped the previous year.

Though not record-setting, last year’s shipments were still strong in comparison with the 430,700 units shipped in 2016.

And the data should be considered in the context of the industry seeing “an all-time record for growth in 2017,” said Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association and Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council.

With 10 RV dealers and 40 booth exhibitors, the show was expecting to attract about 12,000, which Rose said was unchanged from last year.

“Business is strong, and we anticipate it staying strong and we’re very optimistic heading into 2019,” he said.

Breaking the 500,000 shipments mark in 2017 with a 17 percent sales surge was a “tribute to all involved in our industry — from those who serve key roles on the manufacturing floors to the customers who visit dealer lots,” Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the association, said at the time.

Sales representatives at the show with Sullivan RV Sales and Service, which operates locations in Decatur and Fort Wayne, praised the industry’s manufacturers for continually upgrading their products but attributed the surge to high employment.

“It’s the economy. People are able to afford them, and they’re coming in and saying that,” Shari Grier said.

A decade ago the Great Recession forced many more area families to make do with a single income. It ended in the summer of 2009, and that year the RV industry shipped only 165,700 units.

Today, “because both the husband and wife work, they’ve got a lot of money, mostly, and they’re going to get into something like this,” said Henry Carder, motioning to an Aerolite travel trailer. “A lot of them have got a pickup truck.”

“The RV industry, if you look at what is going on up in Goshen and over in Nappanee and all these other places, they’re trying to hire more people to build more stuff, so they are selling,” he said.

“It seems like it’s supposed to be a good year for it,” Carder said. “They’re holding down the prime (interest rate) again. And with something like this with a good credit rating and 10 percent down, you can borrow the money and buy one of these and get a 20-year loan.”



Richard Curtin, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center, who also is a longtime RV industry analyst, has projected its 2019 shipments will once again exceed the 2016 level.

In November he forecast 2019 shipments to fall within a range of 466,000 and 439,800 units, most likely coming close to 453,200 units, which would be 6 percent less than the number shipped last year, but still the third best year for sales.

“Income, employment, and household wealth will continue to exert a positive force on RV sales, though these factors are expected to be slightly less favorable in the year ahead,” Curtin said in a statement on the forecast.

“The mild downturn in shipments reflects the impact of higher manufacturing costs for RV producers, and RV dealers adjusting their inventories due to changes in inventory carrying costs,” Hugelmeyer said in the statement.

“All relevant economic factors have been favorable for so long that slippage at some point was inevitable,” he said.

“The good news is that RV manufacturers are already responding in ways that will set them up for future success, meeting a new generation of RVers’ demand for distinctive features and options.”

Facing worker shortages, Hugelmeyer said manufacturers have been innovating to increase productivity. And favorable population trends as well as increasing interest in outdoor recreation can be expected to help RV sales for several years, he said.

?????????????? A nice way of saying making them cheaper than ever LOL.




Too many geezers, self appointed moderators, experts, and disappearing posts for me. Enjoy. How many times can the same thing be rehashed over and over?

wanderingaimlessly

SOBOVA

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Posted: 02/11/19 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The next three months will be indicative. IF the tax refunds are actually substantially larger, more families may enter the market. I am not sure it will impact Motorhomes as much as smaller campers pulled by SUV's and maybe half tons.

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 02/11/19 07:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

but there still making junk, people will respond.

TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 02/11/19 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

The next three months will be indicative. IF the tax refunds are actually substantially larger, more families may enter the market. I am not sure it will impact Motorhomes as much as smaller campers pulled by SUV's and maybe half tons.


Refunds are down eight percent. The withholding rates were lowered a year ago when the Tax Cut was passed in order to let us see some early benefit from it. Less withheld means less refunded. On average.

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 02/11/19 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TomG2 wrote:

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

The next three months will be indicative. IF the tax refunds are actually substantially larger, more families may enter the market. I am not sure it will impact Motorhomes as much as smaller campers pulled by SUV's and maybe half tons.


Refunds are down eight percent. The withholding rates were lowered a year ago when the Tax Cut was passed in order to let us see some early benefit from it. Less withheld means less refunded. On average.


Understand that, but not sure about the young families, additional child tax credits and their impact.
At my age thats not something I have followed in a while.

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 02/11/19 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wish it would hurry up, I'm getting really tired of all the crowded and full-up campgrounds and RV parks.


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/11/19 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone who manages their finances by relying on a tax refund is not managing their money properly in the first place. Interest rates and gasoline prices I believe are bigger factors. Financing on RV's is at 10 plus years now so payments are affordable, if the payment is affordable then people will buy. Gas prices as long as they stay low then travel will be up. The Knoxville show was out the door crowded. People are looking. People are buying.

toedtoes

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Posted: 02/11/19 08:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ken56 wrote:

Anyone who manages their finances by relying on a tax refund is not managing their money properly in the first place. Interest rates and gasoline prices I believe are bigger factors. Financing on RV's is at 10 plus years now so payments are affordable, if the payment is affordable then people will buy. Gas prices as long as they stay low then travel will be up. The Knoxville show was out the door crowded. People are looking. People are buying.


Most people don't MANAGE their finances by relying on tax refunds. Rather they consider the tax refund as a bonus and use it to buy "extras" that aren't necessary enough to budget for.

With that, most tax returns aren't big enough to buy an RV with. Folks who buy an RV with tax returns are buying popups and other rigs under $10K. There may be a few who will use the tax return to pump up a down payment but I don't see taxes being a cause of increased RV sales.

I agree that gas costs will have a much greater effect on RV sales.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

goducks10

There

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Posted: 02/11/19 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is people that get refunds and are looking to buy an RV will use the refund as a down payment if needed.

When your neighbor looses his job it's a Recession.
When you or your spouse looses their job it's a Depression.
When you both loose your job it's Panic.

Fizz

Ottawa, Canada

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Posted: 02/11/19 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this all works out as predicted you better get all your reservations in order.
This was one of the big reasons we stopped.
Too many new 'campers' see it a party weekend.

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