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The retail market for travel trailers and fifth-wheels was sizzling hot in August, although retail sales of folding campers and park models both declined in the same month, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
The fifth-wheel market was the best performer with retail sales increasing 17.5% in August to 6,243 units sold by dealers in the 48 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data, compared with 5,313 units retailed a year earlier.
Statistical Surveys does not collect Hawaii’s retail sales data and it was unable to obtain figures from New Hampshire in time for its report.
After the first eight months of this year, fifth-wheel sales were up a robust 10.3% to 48,131 units, compared with 43,636 units retailed during the same portion of 2002.
And the travel trailer market was not shabby either, with retail sales increasing 10% in August to 12,446 units, compared with 11,311 units sold in August 2002.
After the first eight months of this year, travel trailer sales were up 8.7% to 96,800 units, compared with 89,047 units retailed in the same portion of 2002.
Meanwhile, folding-camper retail sales plunged 15.1% in August to 3,161 units, compared with 3,725 units sold by dealers a year earlier.
After the first eight months of this year, folding-camper retail sales were down 16.5% to 25,488 units, compared with 30,535 units sold in the same portion of 2002.
The folding-camper market has shrunk because hard-sided expandables and hybrids, which are counted as travel trailers, are taking larger shares of the market segment that folding campers had all to themselves until a few years ago.
Park model sales also declined 1.9% in August to 475 units, compared with 484 units sold by dealers in August 2002.
After the first eight months of this year, park model retail sales were down 3% to 3,558 units, compared with 3,668 units in the same portion of last year.
The Statistical Surveys’ data does not include the park models purchased by campground operators for permanent placement on their properties.