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After a robust first six months of this year, the retail market for conventional travel trailers softened during July, declining 1.3% when compared with July 2003, according to independent market research firm Statistical Surveys Inc.
However, the fifth-wheel retail market expanded by almost 7% and the park model sector grew at a rapid 18% rate, while camping trailer retail sales continued on the decline in July, Statistical Surveys also reported.
In the case of travel trailers, there were 13,885 units sold during July by dealers in the 47 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data, compared with 14,068 units retailed during the July 2003.
Statistical Surveys was unable to gather sales figures from Delaware and New Hampshire in time for its report and the company does not collect Hawaii’s numbers.
Despite the 1.3% decline in July, travel trailer retail sales were up a healthy 14.9% during the first seven months of this year to 97,211 units, compared with 84,607 units retailed during the first seven months of 2003.
Here is how the other towable RV product categories fared, according to Statistical Surveys:
* Fifth-wheel retail sales grew by 6.7% during July to 7,221 units, compared with 6,766 units sold by dealers a year earlier. After the first seven months of this year, retail sales of fifth-wheels were up 22.8% to 51,972 units, compared with 42,328 units sold by dealers during the same period a year earlier.
* Folding camper retail sales plunged 16.9% in July to 3,331 units, compared with 4,009 units retailed a year earlier. After the first seven months of this year, retail sales of folding campers were down 4.9% to 21,426 units, compared with 22,520 units retailed a year earlier.
* Park model sales by dealers increased 18.3% in July to 537 units, compared with 454 units sold by dealers a year earlier. After the first seven months of this year, sales of park models by dealers were up 16.6% to 3,521 units, compared with 3,021 units sold by dealers a year earlier.