Shipments of travel trailers and fifth-wheels in July – and during the first seven months of this year – exceeded the levels reached during the same portions of 1999, when the RV industry was at its most recent cyclical peak, a comparison of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) data reveals.
The RVIA reported today (Sept. 3) astonishingly large increases in the shipments of the major RV product categories during July, when compared with July 2001.
And what also is encouraging is the fact that during the first six months of this year, retail sales basically equaled factory-to-dealer shipments, so it can be assumed that the wholesale market surge in July will not quickly lead to the accumulation of excess inventories at the dealer level.
July retail sales figures will become available in a few weeks.
However, because 2000 and 2001 were disappointing years for the vast majority of RV manufacturers, a comparison of this year’s shipments figures with 1999 data provides the most accurate measure of how far the industry has progressed on the road to recovery.
Possibly, it can be said that the industry recaptured, in July, its glory days of 1999, because total RV shipments this past July amounted to 27,700 units, which was 7% above the 25,900 units delivered to dealers during July 1999.
Fifth-wheels led the parade with 5,600 units delivered during July of this year, a 36.6% increase over the 4,100 units shipped during July 1999.
Meanwhile, 12,200 travel trailers were delivered this past July, a 22% increase over the 10,000 units shipped during July 1999.
The 1,400 Class C motorhomes shipped during July of this year also was 16.7% larger than the 1,200 units delivered during July 1999.
Class A motorhome shipments still have some catching up to do. The 3,000 Class A’s shipped this past July was 18.9% below the 3,700 units delivered in July 1999.
The 4,500 folding campers delivered during July of this year also was 21.1% below the 5.700 units shipped during July 1999.
When shipments during the first seven months of this year are compared the first seven months of 1999, the following results are revealed:
• Shipments of all RV products types totaled 186,500 units year-to-date, which was 4.9% below the 196,100 units shipped during the same portion of 1999.
• Travel trailer shipments increased 6.5% year-to-date to 77,600 units, versus 72,900 units in 1999.
• Fifth-wheels shipments increased 7.7% year-to-date to 38,000 units, versus 35,300 units in 1999.
• Folding camper shipments declined 23.7% year-to-date to 29,300 units, versus 38,400 units inn 1999.
• Class A motorhome shipments declined 21.2% year-to-date to 22,700 units, versus 28,800 units in 1999.
• Class C motorhome shipments declined 5.2% year-to-date to 11,000 units, versus 11,600 units in 1999.