Factory-to-dealer shipments of all types of towable RVs declined 6.9% and motorhome deliveries declined 11.5% in May, when compared with May 2002, according to data compiled by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
However, towable shipments were down primarily because folding camper deliveries plunged 40% in May to 2,700 units, compared with 4,500 units delivered during May 2002, the RVIA reports.
Meanwhile, the dealer demand for travel trailers remained relatively robust, increasing 4.1% in May to 12,600 units, compared with 12,100 units shipped to dealers a year earlier.
The strength of the travel-trailer wholesale market also explains why total towables shipments were up 3.5% after the first five months of this year and total RV shipments were up 2.5% when the first five months of this year are compared with the same portion of 2002.
Travel-trailer deliveries increased 18.2% during the first five months of this year to 62,900 units, compared with 53,200 units shipped in the same portion of last year.
Here is how the other product categories fared:
• Fifth-wheel shipments declined 5.2% in May to 5,500 units, compared with 5,800 units delivered a year earlier. After the first five months of this year, fifth-wheel shipments were down 1.1% to 26,600 units, compared with 26,900 units delivered a year earlier.
• Folding camper shipments declined 24% during the first five months of this year to 15,800 units, compared with 20,800 units delivered during the same portion of 2002.
• Class A motorhome shipments declined 6.5% in May to 2,900 units, compared with 3,100 units delivered a year earlier. However, Class A shipments were up 0.6% during the first five months of this year to 16,100 units, compared with 16,000 units delivered in the same portion of last year.
• Class C motorhome shipments declined 16.7% in May to 1,500 units, compared with 1,800 units delivered a year earlier. After the first five months of this year, Class C shipments were down 1.3% to 7,600 units, compared with 7,700 units shipped in the same portion of 2002.
• There were 800 track campers delivered to dealers in May, the same number as in May 2002. After the first five months of this year, truck campers deliveries were down 15.6% to 3,800 units, compared with 4,500 units shipped during the same portion of last year.
• Class B motorhome shipments fell 33.3% in May to 200 units, compared with 300 units delivered a year earlier. After the first five months of this year, Class B shipments were down 30.8% to 900 units, compared with 1,300 units shipped in the same portion of 2002.