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The RV retail market remained relatively healthy in October, despite sharp wholesale market declines, according to data gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

Retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels and folding campers declined 4.8% in October to 14,367 units but towable RV sales were up 3.8% after the first 10 months of 2000 to 198,603 units, Statistical Surveys reports.

In comparison, towable RV shipments from manufacturers to dealers, excluding truck campers, were down 14.5% in October to 17,100 units, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported a month ago.

After the first 10 months of 2000, wholesale shipments of towable RVs were down 1.5% to 203,900 units, the RVIA reported.

The difference between the retail and wholesale markets was more pronounced in the motorhome segment.

Retail sales of Class A and Class C motorhomes declined 9.8% in October to 4,143 units and sales were down 4.6% after the first 10 months of 2000 to 50,246 units, Statistical Surveys reports.

However, wholesale shipments of Class A’s and C’s was down 23.7% in October to 4,500 units and deliveries were down 13.2% after the first 10 months of 2000 to 50,600 units, the RVIA reported.

Higher interest rates and tighter floorplan lending standards are cited by most industry sources as the reasons for the sharper declines in the wholesale market.