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As we approach 2024, the RV industry is emerging from a period of adjustment following the COVID-19 pandemic, marked by supply chain disruptions, fluctuating consumer demands and a shift in lifestyle preferences.
In 2023, the industry has been working through these challenges, with manufacturers and dealers alike adapting to the evolving landscape. Now, the pivotal question is: Will RV prices go down in 2024?
- 1 Will RV Prices Go Down in 2024?
- 2 2023 RV Market Trends Recap
- 3 Predictions for RV Market Trends in 2024
- 4 How to Get the Best Deal on RVs in 2024
Will RV Prices Go Down in 2024?
The latest 2024 RV sales forecasts from industry associations are optimistic. In fact, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) projects a significant increase in wholesale RV shipments.
They predict that annual RV shipments will range 363,700 to 375,700 units, which would mark more than a 20% increase from the expected totals of 2023, showing a potential resurgence in the industry.
However, the trend of RV prices will be shaped not only by shipment numbers but also by broader economic factors such as interest rates, inflation and consumer purchasing power. In fact, many experts think the industry forecasts are overly optimistic given the current market conditions.
With the rise of economic inflation and lending rates, as well as fluctuating diesel prices, we agree with many experts that RV prices will decline in 2024. However, there may be some exceptions, such as more fuel-efficient models like Class-B camper vans.
2023 RV Market Trends Recap
A Year of Decline
2023 has been a challenging year for the RV industry. Shipments plummeted by 42.8% compared to the previous year, a decline reminiscent of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. This decrease can be attributed to various factors, including the end of the pandemic RV boom, rising interest rates and shifts in consumer spending habits.
The decline was consistent across different RV types, with both towable and motorized RVs experiencing a nearly identical drop of around 16% in sales. This uniform trend indicates a broader market shift rather than segment-specific issues.
Interest rates and consumer spending habits, reshaped by the pandemic, played a significant role in this downturn. The shift in consumer behavior, coupled with economic pressures, led to reduced demand and a consequent drop in prices.
The Used RV Market: A Mixed Bag
The used RV market, meanwhile, has shown fluctuating trends. According to a fall 2023 analysis by Bish’s RV, the value of towable RVs in the used market appeared to be rising, while motorized RV prices were up and down throughout the year.
Predictions for RV Market Trends in 2024
New RV Price Predictions in 2024
The pricing of new RVs in 2024 is likely to be influenced by a combination of economic factors and consumer demand. Given the projected increase in RV shipments, ranging from 363,700 to 375,700 units, there is an indication of a recovering market.
However, the impact of economic inflation, interest rates and fuel prices will play a crucial role in determining the final pricing. In fact, Greg Fore, former chairman of the RVIA, predicts a stagnant RV market in 2024.
The macroeconomic headwinds continue to blow, making RV market growth difficult in the short term.John Fore
If his predictions are correct and demand for new RVs does not increase, RV prices will decline in 2024.
Anticipated Discounts and Negotiations
In a typical RV market, discounts of 20% to 30% off the MSRP have been common, but recent years have seen a shift. During the pandemic, high demand led to RVs selling closer to the MSRP.
However, as dealership lots return to healthier inventories, the trend in 2024 will likely lean towards more generous discounts. In fact, on a recent shopping trip, I saw several new RVs listed around 30% off the MSRP.
Used RV Price Predictions in 2024
The used RV market in 2024 will likely continue to offer value, especially considering the depreciation factor of new RVs. As new RV prices stabilize and potentially decrease, the value of used RVs might also adjust accordingly.
The trend observed in 2023, with the value of towable RVs in the used market rising and motorized RVs experiencing alternating value shifts, is indicative of a market that responds dynamically to new RV pricing trends.
2024 Manufacturing Adjustments
One RV market trend that is clear with the release of 2024 models is decontenting. Decontenting is simply removing features from RVs. Responding to consumer price sensitivity, many manufacturers have introduced more affordable RV options that come equipped with less bells and whistles.
For example, Winnebago has launched the Access travel trailer series and Grand Design launched the 100 Series, a more affordable version of their popular Reflection fifth wheels. This shift towards cost-effective models could lead to a broader range of prices in the market, making RVs accessible to a wider audience.
Innovation and Technology
As the industry moves towards 2024, manufacturers are likely to continue focusing on innovative designs, particularly in response to the growing interest in electric RVs, lightweight and compact models and sustainable RVing practices. These advancements are not only in response to consumer demand but also align with global trends towards sustainability and eco-friendliness.
How to Get the Best Deal on RVs in 2024
Shop for New Older Year RVs
As 2024 RVs start filling dealership lots, the dealers will be eager to sell previous model year RVs that have been sitting for a significant amount of time. If there are any new 2022 model-year RVs left on the lot, the dealer will likely be willing to make you a sweet deal to get rid of this two-year old inventory.
As the year progresses, 2023 units will also be available at a bigger bargain. Ask your local dealer when they expect to receive new inventory of your desired brand, and try to buy the previous year model shortly before the new inventory is expected to arrive.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
When it comes to buying a new RV, don’t be afraid to negotiate. While dealers may have been unwilling to negotiate during the RV boom, the bubble has burst and there are now deals to be had.
While out shopping for travel trailers recently, I saw several new 2024 RVs with a list price at least 25% off the MSRP. This indicates that dealers are ready to make deals in order to get their inventory sold.
Shop around at multiple dealerships, and always ask for a discount off the listed price. If the dealer is unwilling to lower the price, check if there are other upgrades or service packages that could be included to sweeten the deal.
Pay Attention to Price vs Features
With the RV decontenting trend that we discussed earlier, it is important for buyers to pay attention to the features included in a new RV. Affordable RV models may have lower-quality interior finishes or lack convenience features, such as auto leveling.
Many campers are fine with a RV that lacks nice-to-have features but is available at an affordable price. Buying one of these affordable RVs isn’t necessarily a bad thing, shoppers just need to be informed about what they are really buying.
Shop Used RVs
While the used RV market has been somewhat volatile in the last few years, used RVs still generally provide the best deal. RVs depreciate quickly. In fact, most RV values will depreciate around 20% after just one year of ownership. If you are on a tight budget, you should consider buying a used RV which will get you more rig for your money.
However, buyers should be extra careful when buying used RVs. A used RV is worth significantly less than its book value if it has severe water damage or other major issues. Find a certified RV inspector at the NRVIA’s website and have the RV thoroughly checked before buying.
In summary, in 2024 new RV prices are likely to be more generously discounted compared to the pandemic era. However, the used RV market continues to offer value, especially considering the depreciation of new RVs.
Manufacturing trends are leaning towards more affordable, innovative and eco-friendly models. For buyers, the best strategies include considering older model-year RVs for new purchases, negotiating effectively and exploring the used RV market with due diligence.
Overall, the RV market in 2024 presents opportunities for both new and seasoned RV enthusiasts to find deals that align with their budget and lifestyle preferences.
Christina Pate is a seasoned full-time RVer who, along with her husband Justin, has journeyed across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Drawing from her extensive travels, RV repairs and RV renovations, she founded Travels with Ted to guide and inspire fellow RV enthusiasts. Christina is also the co-author of The Owner’s Guide to RV Maintenance and the creator of My RV Log Book.