Extending a prolonged pattern in the industry, April wholesale shipments gained 6.2% from a year ago as a surging travel trailer market offset a double digit decline in the Class A motorhome sector.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall April deliveries totaled 37,600 units compared to 35,400 a year ago. For the first four months, shipments rose 12.8% to 148,500 units from 131,700.
The travel trailer marketplace extended its record-breaking pace in April, showing a 19.5% increase over 2005 with 20,200 units shipped compared with 16,900 units and 27.8% year-to-date growth to 80,100 units from 62,700.
RVIA noted that 2,100 Emergency Living Units (ELUs) supplied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for hurricane relief during the month were not included in the total.
April deliveries of fifth-wheels dipped 2.3% to 8,400 units from 8,600 a year ago. For the first four months, fifth-wheels were 5.1% ahead of last year with 33,100 units shipped compared to 31,500.
For the month, Class A motorhome deliveries declined 19.4% to 2,500 units versus 3,100 in 2005. Year-to-date, the sector was down 20% with 11,200 units shipped compared with 14,000 a year ago.
Other highlights include:
• Overall towable shipments were up 11.1% for April and 18.2% for the first three months. Conversely, overall motorhome deliveries declined 19.6% for the month and 13.9% year-to-date.
• Class C deliveries fell by 600 units to 2,500 in April and decreased 5.4% to 7,000 units for the first four months.
• Folding camping trailer shipments were up 11.8% to 3,800 units for the month and showed a 10.9% gain year-to-date to 13,200 units from 11,900.
• April truck camper shipments were down 200 units to 700 and fell 12.1% for the first four months to 2,900 units from 3,300 in 2005.
• The Class B sector was up 100 units in April and for the first four months with 300 and 1,000 units delivered respectively.
• The conversion market declined 28.6% in April to 2,500 units compared to 2005, including a 20% drop in van conversions to 1,600 units. For the first four months, the conversion market was down 21.8% to 10,400 units.