Park Trailer Shipments Fell 12.9% in 2007
Recreational park trailer shipments fell 12.9% in 2007, according to statistics compiled by the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).
Shipments from manufacturers to dealers totaled 8,837, compared to the industry’s all- time record of 10,143 in 2006, according to an RPTIA news release. Shipments were down in most regions of the country, although modest gains were reported in California, Arizona, Colorado and other Rocky Mountain states. Shipments to Canada also increased by 16.8%, from 1,077 to 1,258.
“Even though last year’s shipments paled in comparison to the 2006 figures, 2007 was still the fourth best year in the 25-year history of the park trailer business,” said Bill Garpow, RPTIA executive director.
The second strongest year for park trailer shipments was 2005 with 9,937 shipments, while 2004 came in third with 9,186 shipments, Garpow said.
RPTIA member manufacturers, for their part, say that 2008 is getting off to a good start. “2008 is looking very good for us,” said RPTIA President Curt Yoder, who is also vice president of Kropf Industries Inc. in Goshen, Ind. “We’re at the same pace we were last year at this time and last year was one of the best years our company has ever had.”
Tim Howard, founder and president of the Breckenridge Division of Damon Corp., a Thor company in Nappanee, Ind., is also optimistic about his company’s sales prospects this year. “The early RV shows to date have not been bad,” he said. “In fact, if I were to define it, I would say that retail attendance at most of the shows seems to be on par with last year and actual sales are as good, or better, than last year.”
Howard added that consumers seem to be more enthusiastic than dealers, who have cut back on their stock orders in anticipation of continuing weakness in the economy. “If dealers aren’t careful,” Howard said, “they could wake up to a pretty good year that they’re not equipped to take advantage of.”