Dealers and consumers likely will see higher prices for RVs this year because the cost of materials are much higher, in some cases more than double what they were a year ago, according to industry sources.
An official with one major towables manufacturer who did not want to be identified said the company plans to increase prices 3% to 4% later this month because of the higher cost of materials.
Among the commodities that have doubled in price in the past 12 months are plywood, up 106%; OSB, a commonly used flooring material, up 175%; and structural panel composite, or luan board, up 124%.
Other increases include framing lumber prices, 41%; hot-rolled steel, 59%; cold-rolled steel, 34%; aluminum ingot, 26%; and copper, 74%.
One major RV industry supplier, Drew Industries Inc., recently reported plans for a second round of price increases for OEMs.
Drew, parent of towable RV chassis supplier Lippert Components, reported that steel prices have increased by 60% since mid-December because of increased world demand, particularly in China, and because the decline of the dollar against the euro makes it uneconomical to import steel from Europe.
The amount of Drew’s price increases was not revealed.
Plastics supplier Myers Industries Inc., reported in mid-February the cost of high-density polyethylene plastic increased an average of 36% in 2003.
Myers is resorting to volume purchasing and “streamlining manufacturing operations to a leaner profile,” to minimize the impact of the higher resin prices it now has to pay, according to the company.