Towable sales dipped 10.1% in March from 2005, including a 12% drop in fifth-wheel retail registrations, according Statistical Surveys Inc.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based independent marketing firm noted that the monthly totals were gauged against last year’s 25-year benchmark for March towable sales. In addition, information was incomplete for the states of Washington, Mississippi and Montana.
Overall towable retail registrations fell to 24,089 units compared with 26,782 a year ago while first-quarter sales were flat, down just 0.9% with 55,026 units sold versus 55,500.
Travel trailer sales, which have been driving the recreational vehicle market, edged downward 8.8% to 14,202 units from 15,567 in 2005. For the first three months, travel trailer retail registrations were 0.9% ahead of last year with 32,060 units sold compared with 31,763.
March fifth-wheel sales declined to 7,213 units from 8,195 the previous year and were down 2.3% for the first three months with 17,475 units sold versus 17,885.
Folding camping trailer sales showed an 11.4% decrease from last year with 2,275 units sold compared with 2,569. Year-to-date totals dropped 6.8% to 4,423 units sold from 4,747.
Statistical Surveys said that March was the first month in 2006 offering a more normal level of sales, noting that January and February may have included hurricane-related units. The company is attempting to obtain government data in order to determine the true number of hurricane-related registrations in its reports over the last several months.