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Shipments of towable RVs declined sharply during September, and the same was true for motorhomes, according to data gathered by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Until towable shipments fell 19% in September, towable shipments from manufacturers to dealers were equal to slightly above the record levels set during 1999. Now, after the first nine months of 2000, towable shipments are marginally below shipment levels during the first nine months of 1999.

There were 17,900 towable units shipped during September, compared with 22,100 units delivered to dealers during September 1999. A total of 195,800 towable units were delivered to dealers during the first nine months of this year, compared with 196,000 shipped during the same period a year earlier.

Travel trailer shipments declined 25% in September to 7,800 units. But after the first nine months of this year, travel trailer shipments were up 2.2% to 94,700 units.

Fifth-wheel shipments increased 5.5% in September to 5,800 units and were up 8.7% after the first nine months of this year at 49,800 units.

However, folding camper shipments declined 31.4% in September to 3,500 units and were down 12.6% after the first nine months of this year to 42,300 units.

Meanwhile, motorhome shipments, which began declining during the spring of this year, remained lower than they were a year ago.

Total motorhome shipments were down 24.2% in September to 5,000 units. After the first nine months of this year, total motorhome shipments were down 11.1% to 48,900 units.

Class A motorhome deliveries declined 25.5% in September to 3,500 units and were down 12.6% during the first nine months of this year to 32,700 units.

Class C motorhome shipments were down 29.4% in September to 1,200 units and were down 10.7% during the first nine months of this year to 13,400 units.