What RV Industry’s 2018, Prior Results Reveal for Manufactured Housing



Executive Summary?  The facts are black and white. Eye-opening.


Some RV vs. MH Shipment Performance Facts:

  • The RV industry shipped more units in March of 2018 than did the entire manufactured housing industry through June of 2018.  Good for them, ouch for our industry.


  • In 1998, when HUD Code Manufactured Homes (MH) last peaked, there were about 373,000 (+/-) MH shipments vs. some 282,700 RVs shipped that year, per the RVIA.
To see a related report, click here.
Since 1998, when MH last peaked, RVs have generally risen, while manufactured housing declined to historically low levels. For an evidence-based analysis on ‘why,’ click here.
  • In 1998, per the data as shown, RVs were about 76% the shipment levels of HUD Code Manufactured homes.
  • While manufactured housing was sliding backwards from 1998 until 2010, the RV industry was growing from 1995 until 2006.
  • The RV industry’s bottom was hit in 2009, which was still more than three times higher than the manufactured housing industry’s low point.
  • Post “Great Recession,” the RV industry experienced a year that it grew 46 percent YoY in a single year.
  • Unlike the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is incorrectly reporting the industry’s GDP (apparently at wholesale?), the RVIA does their data correctly, by publishing their data at retail.
  • The most recent manufactured housing shipment data is linked below.

Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, June 2018


More Facts and Insights

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has repeatedly noted that RVs are a “luxury” item for most, not a necessity.

By contrast, while manufactured housing are purchased by some as a vacation home, the majority of HUD Code MHs are purchased for use as a primary residence.

It must also be noted that the large percentage of manufactured homes being purchased for rentals by REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and other manufactured home community operations arguably masks a still relatively low new home SALES level at retail.

Rephrased, if you pull rental unit statistics out of new manufactured home shipments, the industry is essentially flat since it hit bottom. That’s a statement that MHI-only-member manufacturers have confirmed.

Fresh Facts, Figures, Future of Affordable Housing -Comparisons- Conventional Site-Built v Mobile/Manufactured Home Industry Data


A Key Takeaway?

So, the RV industry is demonstrably doing better at representing their industry – in bottom line units shipped, image, total GDP, and total performance – than the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has, which claims to represent “all aspects of factory-built housing.”

It’s black and white.  RVs are outperforming our industry by more than 5 to 1.

That may be true, but logically one must ask. How are such low performance levels possible, given the affordable housing crisis, and the quality of today’s manufactured homes?



Collage by MHProNews.


RV News?

A check of RV news on this date reveals that they get bad news stories too.  Of course, the media newsroom mantra is “If it bleeds, it leads.”  That said, RVs appear to have a greater proportion of positive news stories than MH does.  For example, new RV park opening, positive company news that are not press releases, etc.  If someone scans or reads RV news today, they likely won’t be scared off by what they see.


By contrast, as MHProNews has pointed out, the industry has a routine string of bad news stories. Yet, prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams admitted in writing that there was a good case to be made for the MH industry to respond to each and every bad news and relevant inaccuracy.


That being so, why hasn’t the MH industry demanded that MHI do what their chairman observed?  Is it, fear?

“Fixing Our Industry’s Terrible” Public Relations, a Proven Strategy


While he’s gone radio-silent on public critiques of the MHI in 2018, prominent member Frank Rolfe has blasted MHI for years for “hypocrisy,” plus their failure to defend and promote the good name of the industry.  He certainly isn’t alone in that, as others quoted on and off the record have said the same.

Do you notice that Rolfe used the word “Enemy?!


Among the reasons Rolfe is spotlighted is because MHI themselves opted to put Rolfe on their stage.  So here is someone that MHI has lifted up, that’s blasted them repeatedly over their performance.

Learn more, click here.

The same is true for Marty Lavin, who was honored with a lifetime achievement award by MHI.  Lavin served MHI for years.  Yet, he has consistently critiqued the association for their numerous apparent failures.

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews
Why has Lavin, who served MHI for years and was awarded one of their most prestigious awards for lifetime achievement, been such a critic of their performance? Click here.

On the Masthead, our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has done a careful look at our industry’s potential, as well as what’s gone wrong in MHVille since the last peak. The analysis pulls together new and prior data in a logical, fact-and-evidence based way that will be clear to researchers, newcomers, and all others.

MHProNews spotlights these issues precisely for the reason that the legendary Zig Ziglar said. In a column on “Problem Solving” provided by Ziglar’s editor to this trade journal, linked here, Zig said the following.


Maturity vs. Denial or Wishful Thinking 

Whatever rationale that one wishes to apply for the reasons why MHI’s “leadership” is failing the industry, isn’t the bottom line that the facts prove that MHI is demonstrably failing?


Ziglar spoke about maturity.

A mature adult in his own business will normally not tolerate problematic or failed behavior for long.  But what the above data of RVs growth vs. MH shrinkage reflects is that manufactured housing’s so-called leadership has demonstrably failed.

It’s black and white.

UMH President and CEO, Sam Landy has told MHProNews that every company is responsible for their own marketing.  Common sense says, that’s a given.  But it is one that industry pros must embrace.

But what the breakaway of two state associations – plus the steady drop out of some of their members who can leave without arguably feeling that they are under duress – is that MHI has failed to represent their interests.

If “MHI Clout” is measured by results for the many, where is MHI’s clout?  Who are they selling?  The industry’s members, on how great they say they are?  Or are they selling the public-at-large?


If the MHVillage data is any evidence, the public hasn’t bought it.

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews.

Bottom Line

What the RV industry data reflects is overall growth for their industry, and overall shrinkage for HUD Code manufactured homes.

That’s the first step of Ziglar’s problem solving reality check.  The question of how did the industry get here must be understood.

For next steps, see the related reports, linked below. We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and



Related Reports:

“Thou Shall Not Steal,” $2 Trillion Annually Lost to Lack of Affordable Homes, Making the Manufactured Home Case


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