A worker installs graphics on an RV inside an East to West RV factory in Elkhart. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
A worker installs graphics on an RV inside an East to West RV factory in Elkhart. Staff photo by Robert Franklin
Propelled by its best-ever single month for production, the RV industry already has set a new record for annual output — and that’s with two more months to go.

The RV Industry Association reported last week that manufacturers produced 57,971 units in October, a 22.5% increase compared to the same month a year ago and an 18% jump compared to the previous October record set in 2017.

“Despite the challenges we have faced with supply chain and workforce, what is really remarkable is the way the RV industry has found ways to overcome the issues and deliver 12-straight months of record shipments,” Craig Kirby, president & CEO of the trade association, said in a release.

The industry started surging during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers started looking for ways to enjoy themselves when so many other forms of recreation were eliminated. RV manufacturers have managed to boost production even while dealing with labor shortages, supply-chain issues and pandemic protocols, but it still isn’t enough to keep up with surging demand.

Booming demand: RV shipments surge in Elkhart but struggle to keep up with demand

Thor Industries, for example, reported it had a $16.86 billion backlog of orders as of July 31, a 190% increase compared to the same date a year ago, and Winnebago Industries also reported a backlog of $4 billion.

Copyright © 2022, South Bend Tribune