> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

RV shipments from manufacturers to dealers so far this year are well ahead of the pace of 2001, a recession year for the industry, and they are beginning to approach the more healthy levels of 2000, an examination of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) data reveals.
During May, the most current data available, total shipments were 19% above the level of May 2001 and deliveries during the first five months of this year were 12% higher than during the first five months of last year.
However, the 28,400 units shipped last May were only 2% below the 28,900 units shipped during May 2000, although the 130,400 units delivered during the first five months of this year were 11.5% below the 147,400 units shipped during the same portion of 2000.
But what should be encouraging to the industry is the fact that the RV market was strong early in 2000. Motorhome shipments began declining during April 2000 and towable RV deliveries began to decline during the fall of that year, so the comparisons between 2002 and 2000 will get easier as this year progresses.
Here are 2002 vs. 2000 shipments comparisons by product type:
Travel trailers were up 4% in May to 12,100 units, compared with 11,600 in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, travel trailers were down 6% to 53,200 units, compared with 56,800 units during the same portion of 2000.
Fifth-wheels were up 2% in May to 5,800 units, compared with 5,700 units in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, fifth-wheels were down 8% to 26,900 units, compared with 29,300 units during the same portion of 2000.
Folding campers were down 13% in May to 4,500 units, compared with 5,200 units in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, folding campers were down 19% to 20,800 units, compared with 25,700 units during the same portion of 2000.
Class A motorhomes were down 6% in May to 3,100 units, compared with 3,300 units in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, Class A’s were down 22% to 16,000 units, compared with 20,400 units during the same portion of 2000.
Class C motorhomes were up 12.5% in May to 1,800 units, compared with 1,600 units in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, Class C’s were down 6% to 7,700 unites, compared with 8,200 units during the same portion of 2000.
Truck campers were down 33% in May to 800 units, compared with 1,200 units in May 2000. During the first five months of this year, truck campers were down 17% to 4,500 units, compared with 5,400 units during the same portion of 2000.
Class B motorhomes were flat in May at 300 units, the same number that was delivered during May 2000. During the first five months of this year, Class B’s were down 19% to 1,300 units, compared with 1,600 units during the same portion of 2000.