> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan has lowered his forecast for the number of RV shipments in this year according to a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association official.
Curtin now expects RV shipments to increase only 2% this year, from the 311,000 units delivered from factories to dealerships in 2002, RVIA Vice President of Administration Robert “Mac” Bryan said.
A 2% increase would raise the shipments total up to 316,900 units this year.
Shortly after the end of last year’s third quarter, Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, forecasted 5% growth in RV shipments this year. He lowered that forecast because shipments volume during the fourth quarter of 2002 was unusually strong, making the year-to-year comparisons more difficult, Bryan said.
Now, Curtin is forecasting an increase in towable RV shipments of 3% to 258,200 units and a 3% decrease in motorhome shipments to 58,700 units.
In 2002, 250,600 towables and 60,400 motorhomes were shipped to dealers.
Here is Curtin’s shipments forecast by product type:
• Travel trailers, up 6.5% this year to 138,100 units, from 129,700 units in 2002.
• Fifth-wheels, up 6.5% this year to 70,400 units, from 66,100 units in 2002.
• Folding campers, down 12% this year to 39,400 units, from 44,800 units in 2002.
• Truck campers, up increase 3% this year to 10,300 units, from 10,000 units in 2002.
• Class A motorhomes, down 2.5% to 38,600 units this year, from 39,600 units in 2002.
• Class B motorhomes, down 3.5% this year to 2,700 units, from 2,800 units in 2002.
• Class C motorhomes, down 3% this year to 17,400 units, from 18,000 units in 2002.
Although the industry will continue to have near-term ups and downs, Bryan said, “The long-term is what we (the industry) need to focus on. The positive benefits (of RV ownership) still are there.”