How RV Trends Are Impacting Auto Part Markets
RV popularity is on the rise. Here’s how manufacturers can maximize profitability by safely shipping RV auto parts to repair centers.
Stay-at-home orders during COVID-19 forced many to get creative about mobility. Those craving to travel turned to recreational vehicles (RVs) as a way to bring the comfort of home on long-distance, pandemic-safe road trips. It’s no surprise that given the current climate, RV sales are booming — a September 2020 survey of RV manufacturers found sales are up 31.2 percent compared to the same time last year.
With thousands of RVs on the road, dealerships and service centers are experiencing increased demand for after-market RV auto parts.
There’s a real opportunity here for auto part makers — but only if packaging and supply chain issues are addressed to keep damages and reships from eating into profitability. Here’s what you need to know:
Servicing a Home on the Road
Due to their large and heavy size, rough conditions on roads are harder on the tires, vehicle body, and mechanical parts that make up an RV. What’s more, the interior is easily susceptible to wear and tear, as users typically live inside an RV rather than occupy the space as passengers for short stretches of time.
To adequately service the issues that might occur with an RV, dealerships and repair shops should stock an array of RV auto parts and components at all times. But it’s up to manufacturers to make sure these parts reach service centers without damage, can sustain long-term storage, and take up as little space as possible.
The Right Packaging Solutions
In-the-box protection products for RV parts and components range from wide application to custom engineering. Carefully assess the types of products you’re shipping most often to determine what packaging you should have at your fulfillment center:
Temporary protective films are ideal for preventing scratches, abrasions, and all types of contamination for various surfaces and parts.
When shipping RV auto parts, films can be applied to vehicle components like chrome accents, exhaust pipes, headlights and taillights, gauge clusters, speakers, and anything with glass or display screens to protect from scratches and fingerprints.
Cabin components like sink faucets, pipes, and other plumbing can benefit from protective film. The sealing capabilities offered also make them ideal for protecting carpets and rugs from dirt, dust, and other contaminants that might stain.
Instead of protective films, thick sheets of microfoam provide more cushioning and scratch protection for heavy items like pipes and exposed parts with chrome accents. The foam also has a high coefficient of friction, which prevents shifting and moving during transit — great for highly finished surfaces.
On-demand foam systems work by mixing two chemicals together in a bag or liner. As they combine, the chemicals harden and expand, allowing users to “train” the protective foam around objects. This versatile solution offers unparalleled cushioning and stable bracing for parts like headlights and taillights, internal components like pistons, engine blocks, fuel injectors, and living area appliances like sinks and toilets.
This type of foam can also be trained around corners of larger and bulkier appliances, such as stoves or furniture, like built-in tables.
This customized solution is engineered as a dense, protective foam mold, where products can be placed inside for maximum cushioning and bracing. The foam never breaks down or softens, making it ideal for long-term storage for parts like headlights and taillights. This type of foam can also be reused.
Bumper guards are cushioned bags tailor-made for the needs of bumper and tailgate protection during shipping.
Foam and Bubble Pouches, Polybags, and Mailers
For small vehicle accessories like keys, keyfobs, tire pressure gauges, and other conveniences, small bags and pouches are ideal for keeping items separate and safe in larger boxes with other parts.
Choose foam, plastic, or bubble cushioning according to how much protection is needed. These same solutions can be used to ship screws, nuts, bolts, and washers — all the tiny parts that hold everything together. Keep these packaging solutions readily available for other small items that can’t be boxed or shipped loosely.
The Road Ahead
With RV sales at record highs, the demand for replacement RV auto parts will likely continue. Ready to optimize your part fulfillment to minimize reships and maximize profit?
Contact us today to set up or revamp your operation.