More evidence that the RV industry began on an upward trend in November can be found in retail sales data for towable RVs gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

Retail sales of fifth-wheels showed marginal improvement during November, when compared with November 2000, while travel trailer sales were essentially flat.

Specifically, there were 3,455 fifth-wheels retailed in the 47 states from which Statistical Surveys could obtain data last November, a 1.5% increase from the 3,404 units retailed in the same 47 states a year earlier.

Statistical Surveys was unable to get data from Alabama and New Hampshire in time for its report and it does not collect RV retail sales data from Hawaii.

Meanwhile, there were 5,305 travel trailers retailed last November in the 47 states, a 0.75% decrease from the 5,345 units sold in the same 47 states a year earlier.

After the first 11 months of 2001, fifth-wheel retail sales in the 47 states were down 4.1% to 51,152 units and travel trailer sales declined 5.4% to 99,067 units.

However, the negative trend in folding camper and park model sales did not reverse in November, according to Statistical Surveys data.

Retail sales of folding campers declined 20.6% in the 47 states last November to 1,020 units and folding camper sales declined 17.2% during the first 11 months of 2001 to 38,202 units.

Park model retail sales fell 22.1% in November to 349 units and park model sales declined 16.1% during the first 11 months of 2001 to 4,856 units, Statistical Surveys reported.