Are you in the market for a new or used RV? If so, you have probably noticed that prices are exceptionally high right now. In fact, they are higher than ever before. The higher prices do not come as a surprise to anyone who understands the market. But to those who don’t, it can be mind-boggling.
Recent data from J.D. Power and Associates shows that RV prices are up about 40% from this time a year ago (2020). We expect some price increases year on year, but 40% is a little high. A Class A motorhome that would have run you $100,000 in 2020 will now cost you about $140,000 in late 2021.
So what’s the deal? In the simplest possible terms, it’s a supply and demand issue. Supply and demand are being influenced by a number of things.
Ongoing Parts Shortages
One of the big problems cited by J.D. Power and Associates is the ongoing parts shortage that is affecting vehicle manufacturing across the board. Today’s vehicles are highly dependent on electronics. And where you have electronics, you have computer chips. Entire manufacturing lines have been shut down this year due to a lack of computer chips.
If manufacturers cannot roll new units off the line, they can’t keep up with demand. That means supply shrinks while demand either increases or stays the same. Either way, higher prices are the result.
More Digital Nomads
Another factor to consider is the rise of the digital nomad. Thanks to COVID-19 and the subsequent acceleration of remote work in corporate America, fewer people are tied to the office. That means they are free to work from just about anywhere. A lot of former office workers are taking full advantage of that.
RVs offer the opportunity to mix work and travel. Anyone who enjoys the open road can hop in an RV and take a computer along for the ride. Work can be done at a commercial campground, a roadside rest stop, or while sitting at the lake on a warm, sunny day.
The rise of the digital nomad has put additional stress on the market. Digital nomads have increased demand for both new and used RVs. Once again, the only direction for prices is up. When demand outstrips supply, everything costs more.
Less Air Travel
Finally, the fallout from COVID-19 continues to affect air travel. Airlines are canceling flights because they don’t have enough staff to operate them. Meanwhile, passengers unwilling to sit in a crowded plane fully masked for hours on end are refusing to fly.
It is reasonable to assume that people wanting to travel without flying will drive instead. It’s also reasonable to assume that RV vacations are replacing the ‘get in a plane and fly somewhere’ model. People would rather own RVs than get on planes and stay in hotel rooms.
Protecting One’s Investment
With demand for RVs so high, Connecticut-based AirSkirts encourages owners to protect their investments. One way to do that is to utilize RV skirting in cold temperatures. RV skirting is designed to protect against freezing pipes and water tanks, thereby preventing expensive losses when temperatures drop.
AirSkirts’ advice makes a lot of sense. There is no point in pumping a lot of money into a new RV and not taking care of it. If you are going to spend that much, you might just as well protect your investment.
A shortage of parts, the rise of the digital nomad, and fewer people willing to fly have all combined to create an impressive jump in RV prices. Higher prices may not last, but they will be around for the short term.