The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks apparently had only a marginal impact on retail sales of towable RVs during September, according to data gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Although retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models all were down in September, retail sales for all categories have been down so far this year, when compared with 2000.
The declines in September were larger than they were during the entire third quarter and the first nine months of this year, but not by huge amounts.
Basically, RV dealers lost one week of sales in September as the American public needed the time to recover from the shock of the terrorist attacks, according to Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys.
Here is how the individual towable RV categories performed:
Travel trailer sales declined 9% in September to 8,993 units. During the third quarter, travel trailer sales were down 3.2% to 31,203 units and they were down 5.3% during the first nine months of this year to 85,387 units.
Fifth-wheel sales were down 5.3% in September to 4,802 units. During the third quarter, fifth-wheel sales were down 1.4% to 15,051 units and they were down 4.3% during the first nine months of this year to 42,787 units.
Folding camper sales were down 29% in September to 2,841 units. During the third quarter, folding camper sales were down 19.4% to 12,545 units and they were down 16.6% during the first nine months of this year to 34,869 units.
Park model sales were down 18% in September to 489 units. During the third quarter, park model sales were down 9.7% to 1,553 units and they were down 15.7% during the first nine months of this year to 4,074 units.
The states of Utah, New Hampshire and Oklahoma did not provide data to Statistical Surveys in time for its report. Also, Alabama’s sales figures were incomplete. Consequently, relevant sales totals for 2000 were adjusted before percentage change calculations were made.