The RV industry did not ship a record number of units last year, but industry retail sales reached an all-time high – nearly $11 billion, according to the 2002 Industry Profile recently released by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Last year, total industry retail sales was $10.96 billion, according to the RVIA.
Higher prices per unit accounted for the record retail sales total because more units were shipped from factories to dealers in 1999, than in 2002, the RVIA reports. In 1999, 321,200 units were shipped and the total retail sales figure for that year was $10.41 billion.
Meanwhile, in 2002, a total of 311,000 units were shipped, the second-highest total since 1978.
Over the years, average retail prices for RVs have increased because consumers want more amenities such as slideouts and because of innovations such as the diesel-pusher motorhome, the most expensive RV.
Last year, towables accounted for 81% of all RVs shipped wholesale and retail sales revenue for towables amounted to $4.35 billion, also a record, the RVIA reports.
A total of 250,600 towables were shipped last year, making it the best year for towables shipments since 1978.
Additionally, 53% of all towables shipped last year were equipped with slideouts and 86% of all fifth-wheels delivered to dealers last year had slideouts, the RVIA reports.
Meanwhile, there were 60,400 motorhomes shipped to dealers last year and the total retail sales figure for motorhomes was $6.61 billion, according to the RVIA.
For motorhomes, the record year was 1999 when 71,600 units were shipped and there was $6.7 billion in sales.
Diesel-engine Class A motorhomes, which carry retail price tags that are nearly twice as large as the prices for gas-engine Class A’s, accounted for 43.6% of all Class A’s shipped wholesale last year.