Is the 2022 RV camping season going to be less crowded and less pricey than 2021? Here are my predictions…
Now that we’re starting to see the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, experienced RVers are hoping to see a return to the pre-pandemic RV Lifestyle. They’re hoping for lower prices on RVs, more inventory, and campgrounds that aren’t overcrowded and booked several months in advance.
As experienced RVers, Jennifer and I know how you feel. As much as we love sharing the RV Lifestyle with everyone, the whole infrastructure has been overwhelmed.
But the truth is, RV prices, campground availability, and so on have been a growing concern for several years. The pandemic just put a speed booster on the problems as a surge of new RVers joined the community.
Does that mean that as the pandemic calms down, so will the RV world? Well… yes and no. And how quickly things will “calm down” is even more uncertain. That’s especially true since this pandemic seems to keep throwing us curveballs with variants and so on.
I have researched, interviewed, and kept my ears open to any news that could help predict how the 2022 RV camping season will be. Hopefully, I will be able to offer you some insight on the big questions that are circulating in the RV community:
- Will Camper Prices Go Down in 2022?
- Will Campgrounds Be Less Crowded in 2022?
- Are Electric Trucks and Conversions Going to Cause Campground Blackouts in 2022?
Will Camper Prices Go Down in 2022?
The short answer is no. The long answer is camper prices are actually continuing to rise in 2022 for new RVs. The optimistic answer is there is some hope in the used RV market.
It really wasn’t a surprise when RV prices rose drastically in 2020 and 2021. The sudden surge in demand led to a low supply, and Economics 101 teaches us that leads to higher prices.
But hopes have been high that the prices would hold steady or decrease in 2022. Unfortunately, the RV manufacturing world isn’t predicting such a decrease. In fact, they’re expecting equal or even more RV shipments than 2021.
According to RV Industry Association, the latest forecast for year-end 2021 RV shipments ranges between 567,000 and 587,400 units. The most likely year-end total is 577,200 units, a 34% gain over 2020’s year-end total of 430,412 units.
Industry growth is expected through 2022, with shipments most likely totaling 600,200 units. That’s a four percent rise over 2021.
The still-present high demand coupled with ongoing supply chain and labor issues results in higher prices.
What About Used RV Prices?
There is some hope for used RV prices, though. Used RV sales aren’t facing the same supply chain and labor issues that new RVs are. Nothing is holding up the sale of used RVs other than their owners still wanting them.
And there are several reasons to expect a flood of used RVs for sale. It’ll likely start as a trickle in 2022 but could very well flood by the end of the year. The fact that fuel prices have basically doubled in price from the start of 2021 is casting a growing shadow innthe industry.
Fuel prices are expected to keep rising in 2022. There comes a time -around $4 a gallon as we've seen in the past – when some RVers decide it's just too costly to keep driving the RVs. Some, undoubtedly, will decide to sell.
A surge in used RVs for sale will lead to a decrease in price. Again, it’s simple supply and demand. It’s just a matter of when that will happen.
However, it is very possible that people are overestimating how many new RVers will want to return to their old methods of travel. Who am I to say that many of them will not catch the RV bug for life? I know we sure caught it all those years ago, and no vaccination will change that.
Will Campgrounds Be Less Crowded in 2022?
The problem is, many campgrounds are already booked well into 2022 (if not all year). That’s because people learned their lessons in 2021 and realized they needed to seriously plan ahead to get spots. So, I doubt we’ll see a significant change, especially in the first part of the year.
I think the better question is, will there be a lot of cancellations for campgrounds in 2022? I expect the answer is that there will be more cancellations than in 2021, but I probably wouldn’t hold my breath if you’re on a waiting list of some kind. At least not until the Fall.
I do, however, think this answer will be yes in 2023. One saving grace is entrepreneurs jumping at the opportunity to open new parks to meet the unprecedented demand. But perhaps I’m getting too bold by predicting that far ahead.
In the meantime, Jennifer and I are happy to continue boondocking, so we don’t have to rely on campground reservations. Although, that presents its own set of problems as Boondocking Sites are Still Getting Shut Down.
Are Electric Trucks & Conversion Going to Cause Campground Blackouts?
Aside from the effects of the pandemic, there’s been a technological concern circulating the RV world. In a recent podcast, I interviewed Matt Foxcroft of Matt’s RV Review. We talked about RV innovations and what to expect in the coming year.
An interesting point that came up is a growing concern that electric vehicles are going to overwhelm campgrounds’ electric capabilities. EV trucks (all-electric trucks) have been long anticipated and are now hitting the roads. Rivian trucks and Ford F-150 Lightning are just some examples that you’ll see driving around in 2022.
Even a Tesla Y can pull a 3500 pound trailer with an optional tow package.
Many campgrounds don’t have the electric infrastructure to support both an RV and an EV on the same electric post. Now, multiply by the number of EVs plugged in simultaneously across a campground, and it can quickly add up to lights out for everyone.
So, I think we can expect scattered reports of blackouts if the number of EV trucks increase.
That may not happen in 2022, with the worldwide supply chain still broken and automakers unable to get enough chips to rapidly increase production.
In the long run, as EVs eventually become a force in the RV community, we think the campgrounds will make the necessary changes to meet the growing requirements. But there will certainly be growing pains in the short run. In the end, though, our planet will grow stronger because of them.
For More RV News about the 2022 RV Camping Season…
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