Shipments of all types of recreational vehicles declined 6.6% when the year 2000 is compared with the record-setting year 1999, according to data released today (Feb. 5) by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

There were 300,100 motorized and towable RVs shipped from manufacturers to dealers during 2000, compared with 321,200 units delivered in 1999, the RVIA reports.

The decline occurred because high interest rates forced dealers to cutback on ordering beginning in April, particularly in the case of motorhome dealers.

The wholesale market for towable RVs did not soften until last summer.

The pattern of decline held in December, when total RV shipments declined 23.2% to 16,900 units.

Motorhome shipments declined 29.1% in December to 3,900 units and deliveries of towables were down 21.2% to 13,000 units.

For the entire year, motorhome shipments were down 14.9% to 60,900 units and deliveries of towables were down 4.2% to 239,200 units.

Fifth wheels were the only major product category to post an increase in 2000. Although fifth wheel shipments were down 22.2% in December to 3,500 units, fifth wheel deliveries for the full year 2000 were up 3% to 62,300 units.

Meanwhile, travel trailer shipments declined 20.8% in December to 6,100 units, but travel trailer deliveries were down a relatively modest 2.6% during the full year 2000 to 114,500 units.

Folding camper shipments also declined 22.2% in December to 2,800 units and folding camper deliveries were down 14.6% during the full year to 51,300 units.

In the motorized category, Class A motorhome shipments declined 27.5% in December to 2,900 units, and Class A deliveries were down 17% during the full year to 41,000 units.

Class C motorhome deliveries declined 25% in December to 900 units and Class C shipments were down 11.3% during the full year 2000 to 16,500 units.