A vigorous towable market offset continued decline in the Class A motorhome sector for March as the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported a 16% gain in wholesale deliveries over last year.
Overall March shipments totaled 43,400 units, up from 37,400 in 2005, while deliveries in the first three months rose 15.2% to 110,900 units from 96,300.
The travel trailer marketplace maintained its brisk pace in March, showing a 30% increase over 2005 with 23,000 units shipped compared with 17,700 and 31% year-to-date growth to 59,900 units from 45,800.
RVIA noted that 9,000 Emergency Living Units (ELUs) supplied to the Federal Emergency for hurricane relief during the month were not included in the total.
Deliveries of fifth-wheels also showed a double-digit gain in March, improving 16.5% to 9,900 units from 8,500 a year ago. For the first three months, fifth-wheels were 7.9% ahead of last year with 24,700 units shipped from 22,900.
March Class A motorhome deliveries declined 19.6%, falling to 3,700 units versus 4,600 in 2005. Year-to-date, the sector was down 20.2% with 8,700 units shipped compared with 10,900 a year ago.
Other highlights include:
• Overall towable shipments were up 22.8% for March and 20.9% for the first three months. Conversely, overall motorhome deliveries declined 12.7% for the month and 12% year-to-date.
• Class C deliveries were flat at 2,200 units in March and increased 3.9% to 5,300 units for the first three months.
• Folding camping trailer shipments were up 6.3% to 3,400 units in March and showed a 10.6% gain to 9,400 units year-to-date.
• Truck camper shipments were flat in March with 900 units shipped and were down 8.3% for the first three months to 2,200 units from 2,400 in 2005.
• The Class B sector matched 2005 totals for March and the first three months with 300 and 700 units delivered respectively.
• The conversion market declined 23.5% in March to 2,600 units versus 2005, including a 23.8% drop in van conversions to 1,600 units. For the first three months, the conversion market was down 19.4% to 7,900 units.