Is an RV Downturn the Same Recession Signal as Before?

May 26, 2023

Right now, times are tough in the RV business. The biggest manufacturer, Thor Industries of Elkhart, Indiana, announced this week that its net sales for the quarter ended Jan. 31 were down 39% from the same period a year earlier. Earnings per share were down 90%, and the company downgraded the outlook for the rest of its fiscal year. Late last month, the RV Industry Association reported that manufacturers’ shipments to dealers were down 61.8% in January compared with those in the month a year earlier.

But is that a sign that a recession is coming, or just that Americans have enough motor homes and trailers for now? After a buying boom that began in mid-2020 as RVs offered a unique means of escape from Covid-19 risks and restrictions, and continued through mid-2022, something probably had to give. RV Business