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The retail market for towable RVs was blazing hot in October, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
A total of 16,550 travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models were sold during October by dealers in the 48 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data.
The total represents a 28.2% increase over the 12,902 units sold a year earlier.
However, the October 2002 volume was relatively weak when compared with Octobers from 1999 through 2001; retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models averaged 14,311 units each month during that three-year period, according to Tom Walworth, Statistical Survey’s president and CEO.
But Walworth added that the October 2003 total of 16,550 units still represents a 15.6% increase over the average of 14,311 units sold in the same month from 1999-2001.
As has been the case the last few years, travel trailers and fifth-wheels showed the biggest year-to-year gains in the retail market.
In October, retail sales of travel trailers increased 28.7% to 9,162 units, compared with 7,117 in October 2002.
Meanwhile, fifth-wheel sales increased 39.4% in October to 5,482 units, versus 3,933 units retailed a year earlier.
After the first 10 months of 2003, retail sales of travel trailers were up 10.3% to 118,186 units, compared with 107,142 in the same portion of 2002.
Fifth-wheel retail sales increased 13.4% during the first 10 months of this year to 60,246 units, versus 53,112 in the same portion of 2002.
Park model retail sales also rose sharply in October, offsetting weakness experienced earlier in 2003, while the folding-camper retail market continued to shrink, Statistical Surveys reported.
Park model sales increased 17.1% in October to 452 units sold by dealers, versus 386 units a year earlier, but after the first 10 months of this year, park model sales were down 0.6% to 4,504 units, compared with 4,529 in the same portion of 2002.
In the case of folding campers, Statistical Surveys reports 1,454 units were retailed in October, a 0.8% decline when compared with the 1,466 units sold a year earlier. However, folding-camper retail sales declined 15.4% during the first 10 months of this year to 29,511 units, compared with 34,874 in the same portion of 2002.
Statistical Surveys was unable to gather New Hampshire’s retail sales figures in time for its report and the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm does not track Hawaii’s numbers.