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The price of steel used for building RVs has increased over 100% during the past six months, but there are indications they may not go any higher, according to Jason Lippert, president and CEO of Lippert Components Inc., a major supplier of steel frames for travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“Steel prices are leveling off,” Lippert said. “But the mills are saying, ‘Don’t expect prices to come down.’ We don’t expect prices to come down until the third quarter, and then, by only 2% to 5%.”
Long-term, Lippert said he is hopeful that steel prices will decline by a larger amount as more steel companies increase production to take advantage of the higher prices.
Because steel accounts for a relatively small portion of the materials used for building an RV, industry sources say RV builders have only had to increase their wholesale prices in the 3% range, to offset the higher cost of steel and other materials.
Monaco Coach Corp. recently revealed it raised prices 4.5% on its higher-end motorhomes, 3% on its towable RV products and 2% on its gas-engine coaches.