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A slight gain in March towable shipments was offset by a comparable dip in motorhome deliveries, resulting in a relatively flat 3% increase in total RV shipments compared to 2004.
Highlighting the report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) was the continued strong performance by the travel trailer sector, increasing nearly 15% for the month while gaining 17.4% year-to-date over last year.
Conversely, motorized shipments declined for the third straight month as Class A and Class C March deliveries fell 6.1% and 4.3% respectively from 2004 totals.
Overall shipments for the month showed 37,400 units delivered compared to 36,300 units last year as towables increased 4.8% to 30,300 units while motorized shipments slipped 4.1% to 7,100 units.
Year-to-date shipment numbers displayed a similar pattern. For the first three months: motorhome shipments declined 9.7% to 16,700 units versus 18,500 units last year; towable shipments were up 10.4% to 79,600 units compared to 72,100 in 2004; and total RV shipments gained 6.3% over last year with 96,300 units delivered compared to 90,600 units.
A categorical breakdown:
* March travel trailer shipments rose to 17,700 units from 15,400 units last year. For the first three months, 45,800 units were shipped compared to 39,000 in 2004.
* Shipments of Class A motorhomes declined to 4,600 units from 4,900 last year and are down 10.7% for the first three months with 10,900 units shipped compared to 12,200 units.
* Class C shipments dropped to 2,200 units for the month and declined 10.5% year-to-date with 5,100 units delivered versus 5,700 last year.
* After two strong months, fifth-wheel shipments declined 8.6% in March to 8,500 units compared with 9,300 in 2004 while year-to-date deliveries increased 3.6% to 22,900 units.
* Folding camping trailers fell 5.9% for March with 3,200 units delivered and showed a 2.3% decline for the first three months with 8,500 units shipped.
* For March, truck campers rose from 800 units last year to 900 units and were up 4.3% for the first three months with 2,400 units shipped.
* Class B van camper deliveries rose from 200 units to 300 in March while conversion vehicles declined 22.7% for the month and were down 11.7% year-to-date.