RV dealers are overwhelmingly optimistic in their outlook for 2021.
Positive dealer sentiment was a key takeaway from a survey of more than 300 dealers conducted by RV PRO in January.
Specifically, the survey found 47 percent of dealers said RV sales at their dealership in 2021 will exceed RV sales their business did in 2020. Some 43.6 percent of dealers said they expect sales this year will be roughly the same as 2020.
Only 9.4 percent of dealers predicted sales this year will be down from 2020.
Notably, RV shipments from manufacturers to dealers topped 430,412 units in 2020 – up 6 percent from 2019 and marking the third-best year on record.
According to the RV Industry Association, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred many sales in 2020, as people sought the opportunity to experience the great outdoors while maintaining social distancing. Experts are predicting that many of the trends that spurred sales in 2020 – including the growing number of younger Americans who are interested in living the RV lifestyle – will continue this year.
Meanwhile, RV PRO’s survey did point to one area of concern for dealers – low inventory levels. Specifically, 43.8 percent of dealers described their inventory levels as “too low” and an additional 29.6 percent of dealers described their inventory levels as “extremely low.”
Some 25.6 percent of dealers described their inventory levels as “just right”, while a meager 1 percent of dealers described their inventory levels as “too high.”
Dealers also were asked to answer several questions related to which RV manufacturers make the best travel trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes, and which manufacturers have the best quality, PDI, warranty, and resale value. Look for dealer responses to those questions in the upcoming March issue of RV PRO.