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National shipments of recreational park trailers were up 11% during the first half of 2005, according to the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).
“We knew demand for park trailers was strong, but we frankly didn’t expect to outpace last year’s shipment figures to the extent that we have,” said William Garpow, executive director of RPTIA.
RPTIA reported 5,281 shipments during the first six months of this year compared with 4,762 shipments last year, including a 15% increase in the first quarter and 7% gain in the second quarter.
The 2005 statistics are significant, Garpow said, because they indicate that the nation’s 40-plus park trailer manufacturers and their dealers are selling units at a pace that will likely eclipse last year’s production figures, which were the highest in the history of the park model business.
RPTIA reported 9,186 park trailer shipments during calendar 2004, up 30% from the 7,074 shipments reported during the same period in 2003. Previously, RPTIA reported 7,363 shipments in 2002; 7,388 in 2001; 8,343 in 2000; and 8,161 in 1999.
According to Garpow, the high volume of park model shipments reflects rising real estate prices, which are prompting consumers to look for more affordable vacation dwellings.
Garpow added that the park trailer business, along with the rest of the RV and manufactured housing industries, could also see an increase from Hurricane Katrina, which has potentially destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is again turning to these industries for emergency housing.