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Why You Shouldn’t Buy an RV in 2022

Why You Shouldn’t Buy an RV in 2022

The year 2021 was a record year for RV sales. And 2022 could likely follow in its footsteps. RVing and RV life continues to surge in popularity right now. But is 2022 a wise time to buy an RV? Here are several reasons why you might want to wait. 

The Effects of COVID on the RV Industry

COVID-19 had dramatic effects on every industry, and RVs are no exception. Manufacturers and parts suppliers halted production temporarily or even shut down for an extended period, but dealerships stayed open. 

With no international travel, people took to U.S. roadways to get out of the house and fuel their wanderlust. Of course, we think RVing is the perfect way to road trip, and many saw it as an opportunity to travel while maintaining their social distance. Hence, there was a significant surge in RV purchases in 2020 and 2021, that’s spilling into early 2022.

With dealerships staying open during the pandemic but manufacturers closed, RVs started to sell out. Dealers couldn’t keep new RVs on the lot because there weren’t enough running manufacturers and used RVs were flying off the proverbial shelves.

This caused a strain in the RV supply chain, the ripples of which we’re still feeling today.

Now, manufacturers are producing and shipping RVs faster than ever. The rush not only increases prices but also puts quality from certain manufacturers in question. With an emphasis on restocking dealership lots with RVs, some manufacturing defects could slip through the cracks.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy an RV in 2022

There’s no better time to start RVing, but this year isn’t a great time to make an RV purchase. Here are the five biggest reasons not to buy an RV in 2021.

Higher Demand and Low Supply = Higher Prices

In a classic example of supply and demand, the low RV supply during the pandemic drove up RV prices. With RVs, building supplies, and parts in high demand, prices must increase to keep up. This economic principle also applies to used RVs. 

Here’s the bottom line: If you don’t want to spend a lot on an RV purchase, 2021 might not be the best time to buy. 

Are you a frugal traveler? Check out our RV buying advice here: How to Buy an Awesome RV Without Breaking the Bank

Is 2021 The Year To Buy An RV? What Dealerships Don’t Want You To Know

Longer Wait Times for New RVs

There have always been wait times to buy a brand new or custom RV from a manufacturer, but the wait times in 2021 were longer than ever. We don’t see much change going into 2022.

Manufacturers are struggling to catch up from supply chain issues, so direct customer orders take much longer. As a result, some manufacturers have a two-year wait or longer for a new RV!

Even Used RVs Cost More in 2022

It’s not just the cost of new RVs that have risen since the pandemic; used RV prices are higher, too. You can say it’s a “seller’s market.” 

With the increase in RV interest, RVs are selling like hotcakes. As a result, RV dealers and private sellers can get away with charging higher prices to sell their RVs because they know people will pay it. 

So if you were thinking you could save money by buying a used RV in 2022 instead, think again. 

RV Extended Warranty

RV Service Centers Can’t Keep Up

Whether you need to have warranty work done on your RV or a simple repair, RV service centers are struggling. So what does that mean for you? Unfortunately, that means exceptionally long wait times–sometimes several months or longer. 

RV service centers were notorious for long wait times before the pandemic. And now, there are more RVs on the road, and service centers are understaffed. This means wait times on RV service will be much longer – and you can’t go RVing if you don’t have your RV!

Can’t get an appointment at a service center? Try mobile RV repair! Learn more here: Mobile RV Repair Service vs. RV Service Centers: Which Is Better?

Campgrounds Are Full

Finally, one of the most frustrating parts of RVing in 2021: campgrounds were full and crowded. Reservations for 2022 are already looking grim. There simply aren’t enough campgrounds or campsites to support all the RVers on the road, and not everyone likes to boondock

Even if you do want to boondock, more and more locations are being closed because of overuse and misuse of the land.

It’s challenging to get a campground reservation when campgrounds are full. If you want to reserve a campsite, you need to plan ahead. Gone are the days of just “winging it”–now you need to prepare, plan, and book early. 

The RV Lifestyle Is Booming, But 2022 Is Not a Good Time to Buy

There’s no doubt about it: RVing is more popular now than ever before. But if you’re a savvy shopper, 2022 is not a good time to buy! 

Longer wait times and higher prices will deter the most frugal shoppers. But, if you must buy an RV in 2022, do your research. Be prepared to walk away from a potential sale if you don’t feel like you’re getting a fair price or if it feels rushed or hurried.

But when you find the RV you want, you will have to move fast. Some other buyers are willing to make full-price cash offers, sight-unseen. So it helps to have financing in progress or secured and ready.

Be smart about any potential purchase, and keep in mind that RVing in such busy times might not be what you expected. 

Did you buy an RV in 2021 or 2022? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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Michelle Tebo

Thursday 21st of July 2022

I ordered a Leisure Unity Rear Lounge in November 2021 and was told it would be a 2 to 3 year wait. I put my $10,000 deposit down and was ok with the wait. In June 2022, my husband lost his job so I decided to cancel the RV. I emailed my dealer on 6/15/22 and then over and over. Sure, I’d lost $1000 of the $10,000 deposit, but buying a $200,000 RV with one income gone didn’t sound wise. My dealer would not respond by email so I called them on 7/20/22 and they said, “oh, your RV was almost done in May 2022”. That’s 6 months from when we ordered it. If it was almost done in May, it should be completely done two whole months later. I feel like we are being lied to so we don’t cancel. How did a 2-3 year wait become 6 months?

CW

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Life is too short. Don't wait. I have the hindsight of being 1 year into the future from when this article was written and aluminum and gas prices have been going up a lot, so the price of campers will keep going up. And that was two weeks ago. Now there is a major war in Europe with economic sanctions being thrown in multiple directions and the cost of gas and everything else is going to really skyrocket even higher than the aforementioned increases. I don't see camper prices going lower and against an ocean current of world wide price hikes on every other commodity. The burning down of a computer chip manufacturing plant has placed a strain on all auto/truck inventories and all dealerships have only 10% of their normal inventory so they are selling $10,000 ABOVE MSRP. Common Ford F-150's are $50-60,000. Decked out ones are $80,000 and that's about what last year's Corvette sold at. All prices are going up. If you want to buy a travel trailer/RV how many years are you willing to wait for the right price?

Douglas L Davis

Friday 17th of September 2021

I plan to retire at the first of the year after 50 years in the car business. I sold my larger sedan back to the dealer for more than I paid for it two years ago. I is too larger to tow behind a motorhome and I have a nice smaller one that will work. i do business with the largest, of the kind, dealership in Texas. Last month they only got in around 100 new vehicles. This months shipments will triple. Chips are becoming available, again. Like most, this dealer paid too much for used vehicles at the auction rather than have a vacant lot. Folks this is over. The 2022 vehicles are rolling in and the black and NADA books are looking at 2021's as year old vehicles and 2020's as two year old vehicles. All dealerships are scaling back on used vehicles and prices are dropping. I'm waiting until January or February before buying and used Class C. If you are wanting to sell your RV, you need to keep an eye on what they are selling for by age and mileage and be competitive. The market is changing.

Donna and Tim

Sunday 15th of August 2021

In March 2021 we put an down payment if $5000 to purchase a Nexus viper. After many months of waiting and changes due to supplies not being a available and the unit being painted wrong color. In mid July we received a text message that the manufacturer driver wrecked the unit. Well we asked for another end of the year, the manufacturer could not commit to the date. Sooo they wanted to sell the wrecked unit after repair, no way, no dates on when repair and sale We wanted the $5000 back, manufacturer put us at the bottom of the waiting list, grate, we walked away with our our down payment. Never again worse mistake ever made RVING, SCREW IT! TIM

Mortons on the Move

Sunday 15th of August 2021

We're sorry you weren't able to get your RV. That sounds frustrating.

Mike Reichenbach

Saturday 10th of July 2021

My wife and I bought a Safari Condo Alto R1713 used in May. Prices on this caravan are high but I think reflect the quality build and the unique design. Yes wait times for new caravans have gotten longer, currently 2 plus years for a Safari Condo. The company has experienced supply chain issues. On the plus side I do most of my own maintenance and minor repair (not much needed). I am doing some modifications, including swapping out the lead acid battery for a Battle Born. This includes a new solar controller and Victron monitor. While the learning curve for me is steep for some of these mods, I'm having fun. We tend toward boondocking and found in Northern Minnesota finding campsites has not been difficult. So far no regrets, but for those thinking of buying each of the points made should factor into your decision.

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