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RV Shipments Continue Steady Climb

The RV market continued to strengthen through the first four months of this year with total year-to-date shipments reaching 98,400 units through April, a gain of 9.7% over the 89,700 units shipped during the same time frame in 2011.

Towable RV shipments were up 11.3% in April, rising from 80,000 units through April 2011 to 89,000 units through April 2012. Motorhome shipments were off 3%, dropping to 9,400 units this year as compared to 9,700 units last year through April.

Monthly wholesale shipments to retailers of 27,000 units were reported in the April RVIA survey of manufacturers, 9.8% more than in April last year.  Towable RVs rose to 24,500 units in April, a gain of 12.4% over April one year ago while motorhome shipments were off 10.7% this month to 2,500 units. 

The performance of the RV market through early 2012 is tracking with the year-end industry projections made by Dr. Richard Curtin in the Summer 2012 issue of RV Roadsigns, RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter.  Dr. Curtin expects RV shipments to total 269,700 units this year, a gain of 6.9% over 2011 and the highest annual total since 2007.

The outlook for continued growth in RV sales is based on slow but consistent gains in jobs and incomes during the balance of 2012. Improved economic conditions and low interest rates will also support the expansion of RV sales. Stabilization of home prices as well as initial gains in home construction will begin to turn the past negative drag of the factors to a small positive. On the negative side, uncertainty about federal spending and future taxes is likely to moderate sales toward the end of the year and into early 2013.

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