Top 10 RV Industry News Stories of November, 2023

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Photo Source: Thorindustries.com

In this monthly edition, we look back at November’s biggest RV news stories. From an uptick in holiday camping, higher RV show attendances, RV manufacturer growth, and the debut of Tesla’s Cybertruck to exciting electric RV news.


Buckle up!


1. KOA Reports Some Exciting Trends in Holiday Travel


According to
KOA’s Monthly Report, 90% of campers anticipate traveling during Thanksgiving and Christmas. In comparison, only 60% of leisure travelers plan to travel in the holidays. There is also a shift in camping seasons. Over 60% of campers said they will definitely or probably camp this winter, compared to just 37% in 2022.  


Further, this October had a noticeable increase of over 1 million more campers than 2022. An RVIA study also backs this holiday travel report. Their survey shows that 20 million Americans are planning to go RVing this holiday season. That’s a 30% increase over 2022.

 


2. The Thriving Outdoor Recreation Industry Generates $1.1 Trillion


The outdoor recreation industry is having a powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy. Stats released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that the sector generated
$1.1 trillion in economic output in 2022. That’s 2.2% of GDP and the most significant impact on record. Its growth has even outpaced that of the U.S. economy by 2.5 times. Impressively, the industry employs 5 million Americans.

 


3. October Wholesale RV Shipments are Down by 13.1%


The RV Industry Association’s (RVIA)
October 2023 manufacturer survey reveals that total RV shipments in the US have decreased by 13.1%. Only 28,371 units were shipped compared to 32,652 in October last year. Overall, 2023 RV shipments are down by 40.6% in comparison to 2022. Motorhomes were the most affected, finishing the month down by 33.4% in contrast to travel trailers at 9.2%. Further, RV wholesale shipments into Canada saw a decrease of 59.2% in the last 9 months.

 


4. Industry Expert Predicts the RV Market’s Stagnation Will Continue Through 2024

 

Gregg Fore, who served for 19 years as a board member of the RV Industry Association, predicts weak RV sales will continue through 2024. He says an over-excited market triggered by COVID stole future purchases. And with interest rates showing no signs of reducing in the near term and inflation still high, dealers can expect the slump to continue.

 


5. Jellystone Park Franchisees Report Strong Sales Growth


Although fewer people are buying RVs, the number of people going RVing is still high. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is one of the top RV park Franchisees in the country, and it’s reporting strong sales growth. They achieved a
4.6% growth in sales in the third quarter of 2023, despite already attaining a new annual revenue record in 2022.

 


6. RV Manufacturers and Dealers Open New Locations


Although sales have slumped, the RV industry isn’t on the worst stretch of the road. Several businesses are, in fact, expanding instead of reducing operations. Here are some positive November RV news:

  • General RV plans to open 2 supercenters in Florida this December and this coming January. This national RV dealer has also acquired Stoltzfus RV’s & Marine.
  • Fun Town RV has acquired a new retail outlet in Elkhart, IN, and another in New Fairfield, TX.
  • Lazydays dealership acquires Orangewood RV Center in Arizona.
  • Oliver RV has gotten multiple dealer partners at an RVDA event, including Southland RV and Princess Craft RV.


7. Fall RV Show in Tampa Draws Solid Consumer Response


The organizers of the Tampa RV Show say the event enjoyed good traffic. Just shy of 8,000 attendees graced the show from Thursday to Sunday, compared to 7,000 in 2022. Dealers and vendors in attendance also confirmed that they had better quality traffic and even made good sales. Largely due to the lower prices of the units. 


In other RV news for November, the 2023 RV Dealers Convention/Expo in Vegas was attended by an impressive 1,600  U.S. and Canadian RV dealership representatives. The annual Campground Owners Expo (COE) in Branson, Mo, also saw bigger crowds.

 


8. Winners of the Best RV Parks in 2023 Named


The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) recently recognized the “best of the best” getaways at its
annual awards ceremony on November 8 in Kansas City, MO. Notably, ARVC also rebranded and changed its name to Outdoor Hospitality Industry (OHI). Here are the winners:

  • Small Park of the Year – Broad River Campground in Mooresboro, NC.
  • Medium Park of the Year – Jellystone Park Kozy Rest in Harrisville, PA.
  • Large Park of the Year – Tie between Jellystone Park™ Larkspur in Larkspur, CO, and Jellystone Park™ Golden Valley in Bostic, NC.
  • Mega Park of the Year – Sun Outdoors Frontier Town in Berlin, MD.
  • Small/Medium Plan-It-Green Friendly Park of the Year – Aspen Grove RV Park in Tremonton, UT.
  • Large/Mega Plan-It-Green Friendly Park of the Year – Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in Santee, CA.


KOA also
announced its winners of campground awards for 2023. The winners have high satisfaction scores from guests, consistently pass KOA’s stringent quality inspection, excel in providing excellent camping facilities, plus they offer top-notch customer experience. Here are the winners:

  • KOA Campground of the Year for 2024 – The Denver West/Central City KOA Holiday in Central City, CO.
  • KOA Rising Star for 2024 – Paris Landing / Kentucky Lake KOA Holiday in Buchanan, TN.


Campspot, a top camping booking site recently named the Best Cities for a Calm-Cation, based on trending camper preferences like proximity to water and clear skies. According to
a poll of about 3000 customers, 70% of them crave a destination that offers a blend of nature with modern, resort-like features, particularly waterfront access, starry skies with views, and even high-speed connectivity. Here are the top contenders:

  • Best Cities for a ‘Water-Lust Wellness’ Calm-Cation – Ashland, NH, Auburn, ME, Grand Rapids, MI, Rehoboth Beach, DE, and Knoxville, TN.
  • Best Cities for a ‘Clear Sky Sanctuary’ Calm-Cation – Asheville, NC, Jamestown, TN, New Braunfels, TX, Greenville, ME, and Kanab, UT.


9. More Exciting News on the Electric RV Front


It’s no secret the RV industry is accelerating towards an electrified future. Here’s a wrap-up of top November stories regarding electric RVs:

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk just launched the first Cybertruck in Austin, Texas on Nov, 30. The 340-mile range Cybertruck is Tesla’s first electric truck, and it’s durable and rugged enough to go anywhere. Its 11k towing capacity makes it ideal for RVing duties like pulling trailers and carrying truck bed campers. Deliveries will begin starting at $60,990.
  • CyberLandr, a soon-to-be manufacturer of Cybertruck truck campers, says it has improved the design of its original concept. Although Cybertruck shrunk its dimensions, CyberLandr claims it has made its truck camper even bigger and more comfortable. Their camper actually collapses into a small package and completely retracts under the truck bed cover. The unit has a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and office.
  • In other electric RV news, THOR unveiled a 3-D model of a futuristic eRV charging station concept. It’s designed to cater to the comprehensive needs of electric recreational vehicles. All eRVs, from tiny trailers pulled by EVs to mammoth electric Class A motorhomes will be able to use it. They hope to encourage the development of wide, pull-through eRV-compatible chargers close to rural destinations popular with RVers.


10. Multiple RV Models Unveiled in November


A number of top RV brands have launched new models with innovative features. Here are some of the rigs:

  • Highland Roamer 2024 fifth wheels are out. These models are billed as the cheapest and most capable fifth wheel. And indeed, they are modern, highly equipped, yet insanely affordable (starting at $60k). Each Roamer has slide-outs, a massive furnace, an outdoor entertainment center, an outside galley, bunks, hardwood cabinetry, an enclosed and heated underbelly, and up to R-38 reflective insulation foil.
  • Soaring Eagle debuts a 795-pound truck camper—Adlar 5.0. This lightweight, hard-side, non-slide unit is designed for mid-size trucks and has a base MSRP of $17,400. Highlights include a face-to-face dinette, a pull-out North-South cab-over bed, and an optional fridge, microwave, and AC.
  • Outside Van has unveiled the Sanctuary conversion van targeted towards athletes who travel to compete in professional endurance sports. It’s built around a Mercedes Sprinter chassis and boasts a bed that raises and lowers at the touch of a button. You’ll have a garage to store your gear, a double-wide kitchen, and a huge shower.
  • inTech, a leading innovator in all-aluminum trailers just launched the Flyer Forge toy hauler. It’s made for adventure enthusiasts and delivers a perfect mix of functionality, durability, and style. Expect a fully welded cage and frame, an 80” x 160” garage area, a rollover sofa, and a pull-down bunk. Additionally, it has a wet bath, a fully walkable roof, tandem axles, and approximately 3,000 lbs of payload capacity. It has an MSRP of $37,240, overall length of 22′ 4″, and a dry weight of 3,845 to 4,300 lbs.


November RV Industry News Roundup


Despite surveys showing stagnating RV shipments, other sectors of the RV industry are still seeing significant business. Campgrounds, in particular, are seeing an increase in bookings as more people choose camping over other modes of travel. 


Our monthly RV news summaries will help you stay ahead of the latest stories, trends, and reports relating to campers, RVs, manufacturers, dealers, campgrounds, and events.