RV wholesale shipments through November reached 344,200 units for 2004, the highest number of RVs shipped since 1978, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
For the month, travel trailers shipments remained robust with 12,200 units delivered to dealers compared to 9,400 in 2003, while total RV shipments were up 8% at 24,200 units.
Year-to-date, overall shipments were up 15.3% from 298,500 units in 2003, while towable shipments increased 15% to 278,300 units and motorized grew 16.8% to 65,900 units.
The industry’s soft spot continued to be folding camper trailers, shipments of which declined 26.1% compared to November 2003 for a year-to-date decrease of 3.3% at 32,200 units.
Conversion vehicle sales also continued to decline, dipping 17.1% for the month and 27.7% through November to 38,600 units.
University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin, on contract for RVIA, predicted in December that shipments for 2004 would reach 364,900 units, but would drop by 3.3% in 2005. Earlier Curtin had forecast an 8.6% decline for 2005.
Other highlights of the November RVIA shipment report:
* For November, travel trailer shipments increased 29.8% and year-to-date volume was up 16% with 152,200 units delivered compared to 131,200 in 2003.
* Fifth-wheel shipments dropped 1.8% for the month to 5,500 units, but were still ahead 22.3% for the year with 84,900 units delivered versus 69,400 the year prior.
* Truck Campers were up 16.7% for the month and 9.8% year to date with 9,000 units shipped.
* Class C motorhome shipments were flat for the month at 1,200 units, but were up 27.2% for the year with 21,500 units delivered compared with 16,900 in 2003.
* Class A’s were down 15.6% for the month of November to 2,700 units, but were up 12% for the first 11 months of 2004 with 42,100 units shipped compared with 37,600 in 2003.