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More Dealers Bode Well for Fort Worth Show

Show opens today.

Show opens today.

It’s only the first week of January, but it’s never too early to begin planning camping trips and vacations in a new recreational vehicle.

The annual Tarrant County RV Show begins today (Jan. 6) at the Fort Worth Convention Center, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Metroplex dealers will display more than 300 recreational vehicles of all types, from big motorhomes to smaller trailers, said Pat Hahn, the show director.

Other exhibits will feature resorts, RV destinations and related products and services.

After plunging along with the U.S. economy to a two-decade low in 2009, RV sales rebounded sharply in 2010. When December’s results are tallied, wholesale shipments of RVs are expected to be up about 43% to 236,000 units, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

“We’re expecting continued growth in 2011,” said Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the Reston, Va.-based group.

Two trends in the industry — increasing sales of trailers at the expense of ¬†motorhomes, and the emergence of younger buyers — continued in 2010.

“The industry had been trending toward the travel trailer for several years, and we saw that, if anything, intensifying in 2010,” Broom said. Travel trailers of all types made up nearly 90% of unit sales.

The wild card for RV sales is fuel prices, but barring a big, sudden surge, people seem to adjust, Broom said. Surveys have shown that RV users save 20% to 60% on lodging and meal costs.

Hahn said she expects turnout for the 2011 show to be up, both because of the economy and a forecast for much warmer weekend weather. Several dealers with exhibits will be new to the show or returning after skipping two or three years as the industry anticipates that better economic conditions will lead to more sales.

“I’m expecting bigger and better things,” Hahn said. “A lot of times after an election year, business seems to pick up.”

The show concludes on Sunday.

For more information visit http://fortworthrvshow.com/.

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