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It appears 2002 will be a better year for makers of travel trailers and fifth-wheels than 1999, the RV industry’s most recent cyclical peak year.
Motorhome shipments, however, have not yet recovered to 1999 levels, according to Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) data.
In the first nine months of this year, there were 102,000 travel trailers shipped from the manufacturers to dealers, exceeding the 92,700 units delivered to dealers in the first nine months 1999.
The 102,000 travel trailers shipped in the first nine months of this year also exceeds the 94,700 units delivered in the first nine months of 2000 and the 83,300 units shipped in the first nine months of 2001, the RVIA reported.
There were 49,900 fifth-wheels delivered in the first nine months of this year, compared with 45,800 shipped in the first nine months of 1999, 49,800 units delivered in the first nine months of 2000 and the 42,800 units delivered in the first nine months of 2001.
However, the folding-camper market appears to have become smaller permanently because of the introduction of expandables, which combine the attributes of folding campers and travel trailers.
There were 36,200 folding campers shipped in the first nine months of this year compared with 48,400 units delivered in the same portion of 1999, 42,300 units shipped in the first nine months of 2000 and 33,200 units delivered in the same portion of 2001.
Meanwhile, Class A and motorhome shipments still are well below 1999 levels and Class C shipments are slightly below ’99 levels.
There were 29,600 Class A’s shipped to dealers in the first nine months of this year, compared with 37,400 units delivered in the first nine months of 1999, 32,700 units shipped in the first nine months of 2000 and 25,200 units delivered in the first nine months of 2001.
In terms of Class C’s, there were 14,300 units shipped in the first nine months of this year, compared with 15,000 units delivered in the first nine months of 1999, 13,400 units shipped in the first nine months of 2000 and 10,600 units delivered in the first nine months of 2001.