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Retail sales of towable RVs declined a modest 1.9% in September while motorhome sales plunged 14.1% during the month, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

There were 19,918 travel trailers, fifth-wheels and folding campers sold to retail buyers during September 2000, compared with 20,307 units sold during September 1999.

Meanwhile, there were 5,024 Class A and Class C motorhomes sold during September, compared with 5,852 units sold to retail customers a year earlier.

Despite the September decline, retail sales of towable RVs were up 3.9% during the first nine months of this year, when compared with the same portion of 1999, Statistical Surveys reports.

There were 183,094 towable RVs sold during the first nine months of this year, compared with 176,251 units sold a year earlier.

Motorhome retail sales were down a relatively modest 5.5% during the first nine months of this year, Statistical Surveys also reports. There were 45,425 motorhomes retailed during the first nine months of this year, compared with 48,051 units sold a year earlier.

For both towables and motorhomes, the year 2000 retail market started off strong but got weaker as the year progressed.

Towable RV sales were up 14.4% in the first quarter and were up 3% in the second quarter, but declined 0.7% in the third quarter.

Motorhome retail sales climbed 7.2% in the first quarter but were down 6.4% in the second quarter and were down 13.6% in the third quarter.