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.
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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
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 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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