The latest projections from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) show RV wholesale shipments climbing higher in 2011 after finishing last year on a very strong note.
In the Spring 2011 issue of RV Roadsigns, RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter, University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin forecasts RV shipments to reach 263,100 units this year, an increase of nearly 9% over the 242,300 units shipped in 2010.
Motorhome shipments are expected to grow by 7% (from 25,200 units in 2010 to 26,900 units in 2011) with towable RV shipments rising by 9% (from 217,100 units in 2010 to 236,200 units in 2011).
Curtin noted that this is a sustainable growth path that mainly reflects improved retail sales at RV dealerships and is aided by an improving economy, the extension of income tax cuts and the reduction in payroll taxes.
He also cautioned that there will be a few factors that will moderate the growth pace of RV sales, including slow job and income growth and continued weakness in the housing market.
Next year’s increases will be seen across all vehicle types:
- Class A motorhomes reaching 13,900 units.
- Class B motorhomes at 1,700 units.
- Class C motorhomes at 11,300 units.
- Travel trailers at 157,900 units.
- Fifth-wheels at 59,300 units.
- Folding camping trailers at 15,800 units.
- Truck campers at 3,200 units.
The expected gains in 2011 shipments would continue the strong recovery that took hold in 2010 when shipments rose to 242,300 units – a 46% rise over 2009 totals and the industry’s largest annual percentage gain recorded since the mid-1960s.