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September travel trailer shipments mushroomed to a 102.7% increase over 2004, reflecting orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the industry’s dealer body for units used in relief efforts to house Hurricane Katrina victims.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), 22,500 travel trailers were shipped during the month compared with 11,100 last year. The increase also boosted travel deliveries through September to 146,900 units, up 16.9% from 125,700 units in 2004.
RVIA said it was not distinguishing the number of spec-defined, non-self-contained FEMA units in its shipment totals.
Total RV shipments increased 34.5% in September with 38,200 units delivered from 28,400 a year ago. Travel trailers were the only segment to show a gain for the month as motorhomes were down 10%, including a 15% drop in Class A deliveries.
For the first nine months, overall RV shipments gained 2.9% from 2004 with 297,700 units delivered compared with 289,400.
Other highlights from the report include:
• Overall towable shipments increased 46.4% in September with 32,800 units delivered compared with 22,400 last year. Year-to-date, towables were 6.6% ahead of 2004 with 248,600 units delivered.
• Motorhome shipments totaled 5,400 in September and were 12.8% behind last year for the first nine months with 49,100 units delivered versus 56,300.
• September fifth-wheel deliveries dropped 4.9% to 7,800 units from 8,200 a year ago. For the first nine months, fifth-wheel shipments were down 4.6% with 68,600 units delivered.
• September Class A shipments totaled 3,400 units compared with 4,000 last year and were down 15.7% for the first nine months with 30,000 units delivered.
• September Class C motorhome shipments were flat with 1,800 units delivered. The segment was down 9% year-to-date with 17,100 units shipped.
• September folding camping trailer shipments totaled 1,900 units, 17.4% behind last year. The sector was down 6.1% year-to-date with 26,200 units delivered.
• Truck camper shipments were down 200 units for the month compared to 2004 and dropped 9.2% for the first nine months.
• Class B deliveries were flat for the month with 200 units shipped while year-to-date totals were 5.3% ahead of last year with 2,000 units shipped.
• Shipments of conversion vehicles dropped 15.6% in September to 2,700 units and were down 15.3% through the first nine months.