Motor home sales rise in hopeful economic sign
Nearly wrecked by the recession, the recreational vehicle industry is back on the road again, and long-term growth looks good.
If you find yourself on the road this Memorial Day weekend, you might want to keep track of the recreational vehicles you see.
While not exactly a surefire economic bellwether, RV sales have been coming back after a disastrous recession for the industry, and they may be another indicator of a strengthening economy.
Elkhart, Ind., is the heart of the business, with about 83% of all North American RVs manufactured in the region. Unemployment in Elkhart soared to more than 20% in 2009 as the economic downturn deepened, RV sales plunged and several manufacturers closed their doors or disappeared through consolidation.
"When the stock market went to hell in a handbasket, when the ability to get credit went to hell in a handbasket, when your home (value) all of a sudden . . . went down so drastically, your wealth factor is pretty low. That stops motor home buying," Richard Coon, the president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, said recently at an industry breakfast.
But according to the RVIA, a stronger economy has pulled the industry out of a ditch. The trade group predicts more than 307,000 recreational vehicles will be manufactured and shipped this year. That number is still below the pre-recession high of 353,400 reached in 2007, but it's nearly twice as high as the low point of just under 166,000 in 2009.
Recreational vehicles come in a wide variety of types and price ranges. Units that fit on the back of a pickup and pop-up camping trailers start at about $3,500. They go all the way up to tour-bus-size "home away from home" Class A vehicles, which can run anywhere from $50,000 to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And of course you need to factor in gas prices.
Richard Curtin, the director of the Consumer Research Center at the University of Michigan, says a combination of factors is behind the recent growth in recreational vehicle sales, including an easing of credit terms and better availability of consumer loans, as well as modest gains in household income.
The RVIA says the nation's demographics are also in the industry's favor. The U.S. currently has a record 9 million RV-owning households, and that number is expected to keep growing as baby boomers retire and take to the road.
Still, Curtin says, a lot of the projected growth could face headwinds from government spending cuts and increases in payroll and income taxes. "While the purchase appeal of RVs will increase," he says, "consumers will remain quite price-sensitive."
I know that lots of folks retire, sell their house and all their belongings and hit the road. .
My husband and I have considered it. We figure we can go south for the winter, and then travel to see the kids, parking an RV in their driveway for a month or so,
Doesn't sound like a bad life to me, except for the driving. part.
Motor home sales rise when people evaluate their needs for a brick and mortar home in depressed times...and decide it's less expensive living. Vacations...lol...ok...right.
I am not a right winger, but I am conservative.
If you pay attention to the news of any source, other than Fox, you will see that it is not just the far right that is disappointed and fed up with excuses, Bush's fault, I don't remember, I didn't have anything to do with it and the rest of incompetent lame comebacks for a do-nothing Pres.
Even Thrill up his leg Mathews is saying the same thing.
BTW I love rving and I do think it may be a good indication of the economy comeback. The economy would have been roaring if Romney had won the election that was stolen by Obama's cover ups and lies that all his supporters so badly want to believe.
The reason why mobile homes sales are starting to pick up is that they are cheaper to live in than a regular looking home that is permanently attached to the land.
The economy is not improving, the new homeless class of people ""The homeless working class" find that it is more comfortable to live in mobile home without being saddled to a mortgage payment that they cannot afford. There is more to life than living in debt.
The far right bears don`t want to hear about the economy improving.They want to hear
recession or depression.If the market crashed during Obama`s term they would scream
"IT`S OBAMA`S FAULT".Right now the far right is screamong "BENGHAZI AND IRS.
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