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Factory-to-dealer deliveries of motorhomes and towable RVs should increase 5% to around 323,000 units in 2003, which would make next year the best for the RV industry since 1978, according to Richard Curtin, economic forecaster for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The total would be slightly above the industry’s most recent cyclical peak of 321,000 units shipped, which occurred in 1999, according to Curtin, who also is the director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center.
This year, RV shipments are expected to total around 307,400 units, a 20% increase over the RV industry recession year of 2001.
A 20% increase in total shipments for all of 2002 appears almost a certainty because shipments were up 20.4% for the first 10 months of the year compared with the same portion of 2001. There were 270,900 motorhomes and towables shipped to dealers in those 10 months, versus 225,000 in the same portion of last year.
Curtin’s separate forecasts for the motorhome and towables sectors was not immediately available. During the first 10 months of this year, shipments of Class A, Class B and Class C motorhomes were up 23.7% to 51,600 units and deliveries of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and truck campers were up 19.6% to 219,300 units.