‘Never experienced a shortage like this’: RV industry warns trailers could be hard to find this summer
EDMONTON -- As Albertans prepare for another summer in the midst of a pandemic, many are looking for ways to vacation close to home.
“We have a lake lot already where we have a permanent trailer out there that’s bigger. We don’t like to haul it around a lot so we just want something small that’s more portable,” said Michelle Findlay, a long-time RV owner.
While others are looking to upgrade from a tent to something a little more comfortable.
“I guess we’re at the stage of life where it’s worth spending the money on something that we’re going to use for the next 10 years,” said Curtis Thompson, while shopping at this weekend’s Spring Indoor RV Sale.
“For us I think it has less to do with COVID and just to do with the age of our kids,” he said.
Officials in the industry said the pandemic has resulted in a spike in trailer and RV sales.
“In May, June last year is where we started to notice it picking up a little bit and it was fine then,” said David Friedenberg, general sales manager at Arrkann Trailer & RV.
But he said the industry hasn’t been able to catch up with the demand since.
“The bigger issue is there’s a lot of shortages. RV manufacturers are having shortages on air conditioners, fridges, furniture, which is really slowing down their production. So you have an increase in demand and a shortage at the same time,” said Friedenberg.
“Normally we would have hundreds and hundreds of trailers in stock and we just have a handful right now,” he said.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Jackie Romain, who was browsing at the RV sale.
“RV-ing is a way to spend quality time with the family and to travel that way as well.“
Her family has had their RV for nearly 20 years and are trying to decide if it’s time to repair or replace it.
“We can’t really see our family so we’re spending more time in the trailer and we notice more things about our trailer,” said Breanna Romain.
Friedenberg said a shortage of trailers isn’t the only problem this year.
“One of our major manufacturers has said that we can’t order parts from them this year because they need them for the trailers. So strictly for warranty and just building trailers so if someone comes in looking for something we can’t even get that,” he said.
He said its not just new trailers people are trying to get their hands on, but that the used market is also hot right now.
“There’s something like eight used trailers in stock right now. Two years ago at this time we probably had 80,” said Friedenberg.
Friedenberg said people should consider buying as soon as possible or run the risk of not getting one in time to enjoy the summer travel season.
“Some stuff is still available for May long, best case scenario. Most of it is going to be June, July.”