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Retail sales of fifth-wheels and park models improved in March despite the uncertainties created by the outbreak of war in Iraq that month, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Meanwhile, travel-trailer retail sales were flat and folding-camper retail was down sharply in March, Statistical Surveys reported.
Retail sales of fifth-wheels increased 3.8% to 6,129 units sold by dealers in the 45 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data, compared with 5,906 units retailed during March 2002.
Statistical Surveys was unable to gather towable retail sales data from Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire and South Carolina in time for its report and it does not collect Hawaii’s data.
During the first three months of this year, fifth-wheel retail sales increased 3.3% to 13,066 units, compared with 12,646 units sold during the first quarter of 2002.
Park-model retail sales increased 20.2% during March but despite the strong showing, park-model retail sales still were down 4.2% after the first quarter. In March, 446 park-model units were retailed, compared with 371 units sold a year earlier.
During the first quarter, there were 927 park models retailed, compared with 968 units inthe same portion of 2002.
There were 11,751 travel trailers sold in March, a 0.1% increase over the 11,738 units sold in March 2002.
After the first three months of this year, travel-trailer retail was up 1% to 23,528 units, compared with 23,300 sold by dealers in the first quarter of 2002.
Retail sales of folding camers plunged 25.6% in March to 3,079 units, compared with 4,139 units retailed a year earlier.
During the first quarter, retail sales of folding campers declined 22.8% to 5,468 units, compared with 7,085 units sold in the same portion of 2002.