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The demand for recreational park trailers has been strong this year as indicated by the record sales and order backlogs reported by several manufacturers and dealers, according to the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), Newnan, Ga.
Here are the reports from some RPTIA members:
• Dutch Park Homes Inc., Goshen, Ind., reports its sales are up 20% to 25% this year, according to Stu Holaway, president.
• Woodland Park Inc., Middlebury, Ind., reports its sales are up 18%, said Ernie Yoder, president and CEO.
• The Breckenridge Division of Damon Corp., Nappanee, Ind., the largest park model-builder, reports its volume is up 10%, according to Tim Howard, president and CEO.
• Trophy Homes Inc., Elkhart, Ind., a 32-year-old firm that is limited by the size of its manufacturing plant, has the largest order backlog it has ever had.
The demand for recreation park trailers, the temporary dwellings that are too big to be towable RVs and too small to be classified as manufactured housing, is strongest in the Northeast, according to Bill Garpow, the RPTIA’s executive vice president.
Park model dealer Seacoast RVs Inc., Saco, Maine, reports a 235% growth in sales this year largely from working professionals and retirees who want relief from the pressures of city life, according to Linda Mailhot, the dealership’s owner.
“The demand is the best its ever been,” said Ron Robinson, owner of the Yankeeland Campground in Kennebunk, Maine, which accepts park models. “I turn away (people seeking seasonal sites) at least three or four times a week.”
Sales in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states also are on the upswing, Garpow added. In fact, New Jersey is a hot market, as indicated by comments from three major park model dealers: Pleasant Acres Farm Campground in Sussex; Driftwood Camping Resort in Clermont and Ocean View Trailer Sales in Ocean View. They all report robust demand, Garpow said.
Lakeland RV Center in Milton, Wis., also reports 50% increase in sales, said Bob Klug, sales manager.
“We’ve got about all (the business) we can handle,” added Curt Yoder, vice president of Goshen-based park model manufacturer Kropf Industries Inc.
Affordability is one of the main reasons for the growth in popularity of park models, Garpow said. Recreational park trailers retail for less than $50,000 with the average price being $33,000. Meanwhile, campsites cost $3,000 or less for an entire season, including winter storage.
That means a total investment of less than $50,000 for a park trailer competes against condos or site-built cottages in resort areas that can cost $200,000 to $300,000, Garpow said.