August travel trailer retail registrations were up slightly from last year, partially offsetting lagging sales in all other towable categories that resulted in a 4.2% decline for the month, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
Travel trailer sales in August climbed 1.2% to 14,497 units from 14,332 a year ago, pushing year-to-date registrations 2.6% higher than 2004 with 113,579 units sold compared to 110,792.
The industry is anticipating that travel trailer sales, and shipments, will jump sharply in September due to an influx of orders for units supplied to Hurricane Katrina victims. Statistical Surveys indicated subsequent reports would designate units that were used in relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Overall towable sales totaled 24,502 units for the month compared with 25,567 last year. For the first eight months, towable registrations were down 2.6% to 193,735 units from 198,890 in 2004.
Statistical Surveys noted that information was incomplete from Kansas, Connecticut, Minnesota and Ohio for the month and Oklahoma did not report registrations. Excluding Oklahoma’s numbers from August, 2004, adjusted figures showed overall towable sales down 2.6%.
Performances in other towable categories include:
• August fifth-wheel sales fell 6.8% to 7,037 units from 7,554 last year while registrations through August were 4% behind 2004 with 56,741 units sold.
• Camping trailer sales declined 22.3% in August with 2,461 units sold versus 3,168. Year-to-date sales of fold-downs declined 20.1% to 19,875 units from 24,886 a year ago.
• Recreational park trailer sales were down 3.1% to 523 units for the month while registrations through August were 15.9% behind last year with 3,540 units sold compared to 4,211.