Sales of travel trailers and motorhomes continue to improve, with demand for some models nearing the peak volume before the recession, a Robert W. Baird & Co. report shows.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, dealers reported solid retail trends in motorhome sales, up about 25%, and towable trailers, up about 8%, from July through September, Baird analyst Craig Kennison noted in the report Friday.

Demand for motorhomes remains far below the peak volume, down 50% from 2004, suggesting more growth potential as the recovery unfolds, Kennison said.

The demand for towables is approaching the peak volume of 2007, with dealers noting that lower-priced units were selling well — consistent with a broader “affordability” trend in leisure products, Kennison said.

“Inventory bumped higher, according to dealers, partly driven by normal seasonal patterns. Dealer sentiment remains high (69 on a 100 scale) so we are not alarmed,” Kennison said.

“We remain bullish on (recreational vehicle) retail as a wealth effect releases pent-up demand, especially in motorhomes,” he said.

RVs are popular with the Baby Boomer generation. Retirements and pending retirements have been a big sales driver, said Mike Prosser, owner of Prosser RV in Milwaukee and Sturtevant, Wis.

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