Rising costs are commonplace in all industries. If you’ve walked around an RV dealer recently, you’ve likely noticed that the exact RV you looked at last model year has jumped significantly in price. Some say that they’re slated to rise even further this year. Just how much are RV prices going up? Let’s take a look.
Why Are RV Prices Rising?
It’s no secret that RV sales have skyrocketed over the last year, making the demand higher than the supply in many cases. When RV dealers are selling RVs before they even hit the lot, they’re not likely to haggle with you over the price. You may have been able to get 30% off MSRP two years ago, but now, it just won’t happen.
Manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand. There’s a labor shortage in many industries, and the RV world has not been immune to that. Less workforce means they’re struggling even more to supply dealers with orders. Add in the rising cost of supplies such as lumber, and manufacturers were bound to raise prices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly played a significant role in this. Many manufacturers and suppliers were closed for many months, and when they got back to work, they were left scrambling to keep up with new order requests. Plus, more people have been interested in RV life than ever before because you can travel easily while maintaining social distance. The closed facilities and increased demand have created the perfect storm of ever-rising prices.
How Much Do RV MSRPs Typically Change?
RV manufacturers such as Grand Design have recently increased their prices by 6.5-8%. This is a significant increase as a price increase is more typically around 3% in a given year. In some years, there’s been no increase at all. Other manufacturers have reported similar increases through the last two years.
What RV Manufacturers Are Raising Motorhome Prices?
Essentially, all RV manufacturers have increased their prices. No manufacturer has escaped the increased costs of supplies, which have been the driving force behind higher prices.
Some RV manufacturers have increased their prices more than others. Airstream is seeing an 11% increase in sales, and Marathon Coach is boasting an impressive 30% increase. Some Forest River customers reported seeing a $1,500 price increase, whereas some Tiffin customers have noticed a $2,000 price increase.
It’s no surprise they’re raising their prices. Essentially all RV manufacturers have felt the weight of substantially higher demand. You’d be hard-pressed to find a manufacturer who has not increased their prices in the last year.
Are Used RV Prices Going Up Too?
With RV dealers selling RVs as soon as they get them from the manufacturer, finding a new one can be difficult. You may walk into a dealership looking for a new RV only to have the salesperson try to direct you to a used unit.
Even used units are going quickly these days, and, as we know by now, when the demand is high, you’re less likely to strike a great deal. If dealers have more people coming in looking for a used RV than they have available, you’ll likely see them going for top dollar.
Most RVers selling used RVs are increasing their prices too. They base their prices on market value and recognize that it’s a seller’s market–they have the most negotiating power. So, they can raise prices on private sales just like the dealers do.
How Long Will RV MSRPs Continue to Rise?
RV MSRPs will likely continue to increase as long as demand remains high and the cost of materials continues to rise. With RVs selling quickly, there is no incentive to slow down on the price increases. As long as people are willing to pay what they’re asking for, they’ll continue to push the limits to find the ceiling.
Once the influx of new RV owners slows down, so will the demand. The demand will further slow as many people discover RVing isn’t for them and used RVs begin to flood the market. Some believe that when these used RVs start to saturate the market, we’ll see deals working in favor of the buyer again.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy an RV?
If you have to buy an RV right now, you don’t have much choice but to deal with premium prices. If you choose the right dealership and have ninja negotiation skills, there might still be a few deals around. You’ll still likely be paying more than you would have in previous years, but if you walk away happy, then it was a good deal for you.
If you have a bit of wiggle room and can delay your purchase, financial experts advise that you do so. While it’s unlikely that the MSRP will decrease significantly, you may be able to negotiate a lower price when the demand drops. If RVs go back to sitting on the lot for months on end without being sold, dealers will revert to working the numbers in your favor to make a sale.
So, When Will RV MSRPs Go Down?
The truth is, no one knows how long RV prices will remain at all-time highs. There’ve been predictions of when the market will slow down, but those predicted times have come and gone with no change. Eventually, the market will swing back to being a buyer’s market. When do you think we’ll begin to see a good deal on RVs again?