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August 15, 2021

Motor homes shrink in size but sales continue to climb

Hoping to get another weekend or two at the cottage before school starts? You may soon see some relief from the convoys of motor homes lined up ahead of you.

Rv The sluggish economy and high gas prices are forcing many monster RVs to the side of the road. And, it seems, the newer models that are taking their place are that much smaller.

"Fuel prices are driving it, but this is a cultural shift," says Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream, which converts delivery-van-style Mercedes-Benz Sprinters into low-key motor homes. "There's a shift away from conspicuous consumption," he told US Today.

Though these units are still priced upwards of $125,000, they typically don't have the panache of larger units. But they do get triple the gas mileage of some big gasoline-powered motor homes.

Also, smaller RVs can be for other things such as a mobile dugout or shelter for little leaguers and soccer kids at games.

Are people buying? It would seem so. Some 8.9 million people, or 8.5 percent of U.S households, now own RVs, says Richard Curtin, a recreational vehicle industry analyst and economist.

He believes that the industry, including Canadian dealerships, looks to continue to grow and thrive going into 2012. So much so that keeners of all ages are using their RV as the first and only home.

Are you an RV enthusiast? Are dollar-a-second gas prices keeping you off the road or at least looking at smaller models? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...