A nearly 7,000-unit increase in travel trailer shipments boosted November wholesale totals to a 26% gain over 2004, offsetting a continued double-digit decline in the Class A motorhome sector.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), November travel trailer shipments did not reflect delivery of Emergency Living Units (ELU) – spec-regulated trailers built for the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) to provide temporary housing in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. RVIA reported that 7,900 ELU’s were shipped for the month and 23,400 units delivered in the September through November period.
“There has been a tremendous influence on our industry from the Gulf Coast region,” said Robert M. “Mac” Bryan, RVIA vice president of administration, adding that a significant number of traditional travel trailers bought through dealers for relief efforts are likely included in November wholesale totals.
Overall November shipments rose to 30,500 units from 24,200 in 2004 while deliveries were up 3.2% for the first 11 months with 355,300 units shipped compared with 344,200.
For the month, the travel trailer sector increased 56.6% to 19,100 units, up from 12,200 the previous year. Cumulative totals through November showed an 18.3% climb with 180,100 units delivered versus 152,200.
November Class A motorhome shipments dropped 14.8% to 2,300 units from 2,700 a year ago, representing the eighth straight month of double-digit declines. The sector was down 16.9% for the first 11 months with 35,000 units shipped compared with 42,100.
Other highlights include:
• Overall motorized shipments dropped 9.8% to 3,700 units in November compared with 4,100 in 2004 and fell 13.4% for the first 11 months with 57,100 units delivered versus 65,900.
• November towable shipments were up 33.3% to 26,800 units versus 20,100 a year prior. Cumulative totals through November were 7.2% ahead of 2004 with 298,200 units shipped compared with 278,300.
• November fifth-wheel deliveries were flat with 5,500 units shipped. For the first 11 months, fifth-wheel shipments were down 6.5% with 79,400 units delivered versus 84,900 in 2004.
• November Class C motorhome shipments also were flat with 1,200 units shipped. The segment was down 8.4% year-to-date with 19,700 deliveries compared with 21,500.
• Folding camping trailer shipments in November totaled 1,500 units, 200 less the previous year. The sector was down 5.6% year-to-date with 30,400 units delivered from 32,200 in 2004.
• Truck camper shipments were flat at 700 units for the month and dropped 7.8% for the first 11 months with 8,300 units shipped.
• Class B deliveries were flat for the month with 200 units shipped while year-to-date totals were 4.3% ahead of last year with 2,400 units shipped.
• Shipments of conversion vehicles dropped 20.7% in November to 2,300 units and fell 15% through the first 11 months to 32,800 units from 38,600. Conversion vans declined 15.8% for the month with 1,600 units shipped and declined 22% year-to-date to 19,800 units from 25,400.