First, a story

BACK IN COLLEGE I worked as a cook at a fish & chips joint. Since I had worked at a different location of the chain during high school, I was sufficiently experienced to act as an occasional junior assistant quasi-manager. So on the night of a hugely important basketball game at the university I was left in charge while the actual manager went to the game.

It was a dead slow night because most people in our small college town were at the game. The three of us in the shop twiddled our thumbs and listened to the game on the radio. (We won! Yay!) Then we prepared for the post-game rush. 

And what a rush it was! Victory must make people crave fish. The line was out the door and the drive thru was backed up for two blocks. I was cooking as fast as I could. You can fit only so much food in the fryers at once, and it takes a certain amount of time for it to cook, but we were handling things.

Then I looked up from my work and… the lines were gone. We had served everyone. But I had three vats loaded with fish, shrimp, chips and scones. That was when the manager walked in. He was enraged I had cooked a pile of food when there were no customers.

Where did all the buyers go?

I tell this story because it’s like the current situation in the RV market — but without fried fish or college basketball. Just weeks ago, it seems, RV manufacturers were struggling to keep up with demand and begging for patience as they dealt with supply chain problems and labor shortages. But recently they looked up from their work and, uh-oh, the customers were no longer standing in line.

You can’t just toss excess RVs in the dumpster like you can cold, greasy food. And as we know from Economics 101, when supply exceeds demand, prices fall. The drop in new RV demand drives down used RV prices too. (However, private sellers who aren’t yet aware of the current market reality might still be demanding primo prices for even worn out rigs.)

It’s definitely a buyer’s market these days. If you’ve been searching for a nomadic home, it looks like a good time to pick up a bargain — or at least something without a ridiculous shortage-inflated price — before the market forces shift again and the window of opportunity closes.

I’m not looking for an RV or travel trailer myself, so I think I’ll fry up some fish instead. Do you prefer malt vinegar or tartar sauce?