Camper Van Deliveries Up 125 Percent in November

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Camper vans, ubiquitous homes on wheels for digital nomads, were up 125 percent in total shipments in November, according to the RV Industry Association. This was part of total RV shipments that finished the month with 42,513 units, a 43.4 percent increase over the 29,644 units shipped in November of last year.

“RV manufacturers continue to post impressive shipment numbers as they work to meet the sustained demand for RVs,” said RVIA President Craig Kirby. “Our survey data shows this demand will continue in 2021, with 61 million Americans planning to take an RV trip in the next twelve months.”

Towable RVs, led by travel trailers, totaled 38,485 units for the month, an increase of 46.3 percent compared to last November’s aggregate of 26,297 units. Truck campers, units that slide into pickup beds or mount to flatbed platforms, registered 505 units, up 73.5 percent from 291 the past year.

Motorhomes finished the month with 4,028 units, up 20.3 percent compared to the November 2019 total of 3,347 units. This segment is comprised of Class A, Class B or van campers, and Class C motorized RVs.

Shipments stand at 390,030 units, up 3.0 percent for the year as the RV industry attempts to get a handle on consumer demand. The industry no doubt owes a debt of gratitude to Vice-President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, where most of the RVs in the U.S. are manufactured. Pence quietly lobbied for and won support for the designation of the industry as essential workers, allowing manufacturers to continue largely unimpeded.

Wholesale RV shipments are forecasted to gain nearly 20 percent to 502,582 units in 2021 after totaling 423,628 units in 2020. This projection predicts total shipments ranging between 490,300 and 515,400 units with the most likely 2021 year-end total reaching 502,582, an 18.7 percent increase over 2020. Over the next two months, shipments are anticipated to finish within a range of 414,100 to 433,100 units with the most likely outcome being 423,638 units. That total would represent a 4.3 percent gain over the 406,700 units in 2019.

[Images: © 2020 J. Sakurai/TTAC, RVIA]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Redgolf Redgolf on Dec 27, 2020

    Most people that buy an RV, unless you are going to live in it, let it sit in their driveway or storage for 10/11 months out of the year, then wind up ditching them to the next schmuck who thinks they are going to "see the country" living the good easy frontier life that is portrayed in the advertising!

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Dec 27, 2020

      @redgolf, I have a friend who is: a) Kind of depressed right now b) Bought a travel trailer several months ago I believe there is a clear causal link from b) to a).

  • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Dec 28, 2020

    RV ownership is pricey and it's a luxury unless you do it full time. I don't have a camper right now but have been looking for a small travel trailer. I have borrowed and been camping with others a number of times with my kids and grew up with a 26' travel trailer. I find camping with the kids way less stressful then hotel stays, a lot of that has to do with more places for active kids to roam, in the end it dosen't save any money over vacationing in a hotel but the experience is far different.

  • El scotto I look forward to watching MTG and Tommy Tuberville when the UAW comes to their states.
  • El scotto Vehicle company white collar (non-union) engineers design the parts and assembly procedures. The UAW members are instructed on how to install the parts. Engineers are also in charge of quality control. The executives are ulimately responible for the quality of their products.
  • Chris P Bacon I don't care either way, the employees have the right to organize, and I'm never going to buy a VW. But.... It would be interesting if the media (HINT HINT) would be able to provide a detailed look at what (if anything) the VW workers gain by unionizing. There will be dues to pay. How much? I bet the current policies, pay and benefits mirror other auto companies. When all is said and done an the first contract signed, my money is on the UAW to be he only ones who really come out ahead. That leads into my next comment. Once a union is voted onto the property, it is almost impossible to get rid of them. Even if the membership feels the union doesn't have their best interests in mind, the hurdles to get rid of them are too high. There were a lot of promises made by the UAW, even if they don't deliver, they'll be in Chattanooga even if the membership decides they made a mistake.
  • 1995 SC How bout those steel tariffs. Wonder if everyone falls into the same camp with respect to supporting/opposing them as they did on the auto tariffs a few weeks ago. Doubt it. Wonder Why that would be?
  • Lorenzo Nice going! They eliminated the "5" numbers on the speedometer so they could get it to read up to 180 mph. The speed limit is 65? You have to guess one quarter of the needle distance between 60 and 80. Virtually every state has 55, 65, and 75 mph speed limits, not to mention urban areas where 25, 35, and 45 mph limits are common. All that guesswork to display a maximum speed the driver will never reach.