Towable RV Sales Up 4.9% Through May

July 18, 2014 by · Comments Off on Towable RV Sales Up 4.9% Through May 

Stat Surveys logoExtending a yearlong trend, retail towable sales remained flat in May, up 1.2%, and showed a 4.9% gain for the first five months.

According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., results showed:

• Sales for the high-volume travel trailer sector grew 2.5% for the month and 7.1% year-to-date.

• Fifth-wheel registrations dipped 0.4% in May, but were up 0.9% for the five months.

• Folding camping trailer sales were down 8% for the month and 5.8% through May.

• Recreational park trailer sales fell 18.4% in May and 8.3% for the five months.

Thor Industries Inc. was the towable sales leader through May with a 36.6% market share, edging out Forest River Inc. which captured a 36.4% share. Jayco Inc. was No. 3 with an 11.3% share.

By segment, Forest River was No. 1 in travel trailer sales for the five months with a 37% market share, ahead of Thor (34.2%) and Jayco (13.2%). Thor was No. 1 in fifth-wheel sales, capturing a 49.3% market share, followed by Forest River (31.1%), Jayco (5.5%) and Grand Design RV Co. (5.4%).

Forest River was the folding camping trailer sales leader year-to-date with a 64.6% market share while Jayco (13.5%) held the No. 2 position followed by Columbia Northwest/Aliner Inc. (11.1%). In the park model segment, Kropf Manufacturing Co. Inc. was No. 1 with a 15.1% share, followed by Skyline Corp. (13.2%) and Thor (13%).

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext. 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

RV Sales Stronger — Boomers Fueling Upturn

June 11, 2013 by · Comments Off on RV Sales Stronger — Boomers Fueling Upturn 

Consumers, such as these at the Florida RV SuperShow in January, are buying new RVs at a healthy clip so far in 2013.

Many boomers may have doubts about their nest eggs, but at least one symbol of retirement prosperity is rolling along quite nicely.

According to a MarketWatch report, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) says that it expects sales of RVs and motorhomes to reach 307,000 units in 2013, which would make this the industry’s best year since 2007.

The towable and motorized RV business all but collapsed during the last recession, thanks to the combination of economic upheaval and high gas prices, with sales falling 58% from 2006 to 2009. Shriveling credit markets played a role, too, with many lenders being unwilling to finance RV and motorhome purchases even as they freed up money for car loans in general. Indeed, some analysts say looser lending policies are a major factor behind the current rebound.

A spokesman for Thor Industries Inc., the company that makes Airstream and other popular RV brands, tells Kyle Stock of Bloomberg BusinessWeek that buyers can now “get financing pretty easily up to about $150,000.”

RV salespeople say that retiring “snowbird” boomers are their biggest customer group; the trade group doesn’t publish specific age breakdowns, but its literature suggests that ownership rates are highest among those between age 55 and 75.

Speaking of snowbird stereotypes, the archetypal motorhome, in which the driver’s cabin and the living quarters are all on the same chassis accounts for only about 12% of RV sales.

“Travel trailers” that get towed behind another vehicle make up the majority of the market. Some of those are quite modest,  but price tags on the most luxurious models can top $90,000.

January Motorhome Sales Jumped 22.5%

March 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on January Motorhome Sales Jumped 22.5% 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations were up 22.5% in January, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc.

As reported by, Thor Industries Inc. (23%) edged out Winnebago Industries Inc. (21.1%) for the No. 1 spot in January motorhome registrations, followed by Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. (11.5%) and Forest River Inc. (11.4%).

In the Class A category, January sales rose 24.7% compared with 2012. Winnebago led the category, posting a 22.9% market share, while Thor held a 20.9% share and Tiffin was No. 3 with an 17.8% share.

Class C sales grew 18.7% in January with Thor leading the category with a 26.8% market share, followed by Forest River (20.7%). Winnebago and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division tied for the No. 3 spot with a 17.9% share.

A small number of rental registrations, predominantly Class C sales, rose 8% in January.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

Camping World Still No. 1 in RV Sales in 2012

February 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on Camping World Still No. 1 in RV Sales in 2012 

For the eighth consecutive year Camping World RV Sales was ranked as America’s No. 1 seller of towable and motorized RVs by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) for 2012.

“Our 2012 award indicates we continue to head in the right direction with a solid foundation and business plan in place,” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World Retail Group. “While we are pleased with our results, we are looking forward to continued sales improvement and are excited about our opportunity for continued growth for 2013.”

Camping World RV Sales projects it will surpass 40,000 total new and used RV sales in 2013. Coming off a strong 2011 sales year that saw unprecedented sales increases, Camping World RV Sales increased towable and motorized sales in the double digits over 2011 and dramatically increased market share in nearly every Camping World retail market.

“We are very pleased with our strong 2012 results which capped off a terrific year for our team,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises Inc. “As evidenced by our aggressive acquisitions in 2012 and continuing in 2013, we look to take advantage of the improving market, our enhanced inventory offering, and continue to be laser focused on improving our customer experience. We are confident in our ability to produce robust sales growth across our RV enterprise in 2013.”

Statistical Surveys reports are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually.

New Jersey RV Show Reports Strong Sales

September 27, 2012 by · Comments Off on New Jersey RV Show Reports Strong Sales 

New Jersey RV dealers reported strong sales during the 3rd Annual NJRVDA Fall RV Expo, held September 21-23 at Six Flags Great Adventure, a new location for the show.

According to a press release, sales were up approximately 20% compared to previous years, with many first-time buyers taking advantage of aggressive pricing from the dealers at the show, hosted by the New Jersey Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (NJRVDA).

Organizers said that dealers were upbeat on the move to Six Flags as the venue would allow the event to grow year by year while also offering attendees the opportunity to enjoy the Fall events at the amusement park.

D.P. Ball Advertising of Chardon, Ohio, handled the marketing initiative for the second year in a row and reported that participating dealers agreed that, because of show’s success, they will continue to offer show deals on their lots through Oct. 20.

Sales were across-the-board with lightweight trailers and fifth-wheels rating as the most popular purchases while motorhomes dealers also experienced strong sales.

“The momentum is there and dealers are prepared to continue to offer buyers bargains in order to clear out both new and pre-owned inventory from their dealerships in time for new factory orders that will be arriving in the winter,” said Ball, who has specialized in advertising for RV dealers for nearly three decades.

RV Sales Remain Good in Northeast Florida

June 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on RV Sales Remain Good in Northeast Florida 

The gasoline prices that hovered near $4 a gallon earlier this year apparently didn’t drive people away from buying recreational vehicles, according to RV dealers in Jacksonville, Fla., and nationwide sales figures, the Florida Times-Union reported.

“We really didn’t see much of a change in sales when gas prices rose,” said Matt Bateh, general manager of Camping World RV Sales on Beach Boulevard. “That’s a common misconception. The recession impacted RV sales, but gasoline prices alone rarely affect them. If a person is going to spend $200,000 or more on a Class A motorhome, most of the time the price of gas doesn’t matter much to them.”

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the market continued to strengthen through the first four months of 2012 compared with last year. With total year-to-date shipments totaling 98,400 units through April, RV shipments were up 9.7 percent compared to the same four months last year.

“While the recession created new economic realities for most Americans, RV manufacturers responded by designing products with the right mix of space, amenities and price points, further positioning RVs as the ideal way for families to share outdoor experiences together,” RVIA President Richard Coon said.

As a segment of RV sales, motorhome shipments were off 3 percent, dropping to 9,400 units compared to 9,700 units from January through April of last year. In Jacksonville, most RV dealers say the drop was minimal.

“We really didn’t see much of a change in motorhome sales, even when gas prices were at their highest point,” said General RV Sales Manager Steve Fogle. “Overall, we’ve seen double the sales each month since the year began. In fact, we tripled sales some of those months compared to last year. We expect that pattern to continue through the summer.”

General RV’s Orange Park location is currently ranked as the second highest seller of towable RVs in the state, trailing only Lazydays in Tampa.

Since arriving in Northeast Florida, General RV has expanded significantly on Wells Road. Fogle says they recently purchased seven additional acres and are currently retrofitting the former Mike Shad Nissan facility. When its latest expansion is complete, General RV will have a 22-acre dealership.

Just as throughout the country, where towables account for about 70 percent of RV sales, it was much the same at General RV.

“Towables lead the charge, and we’ve been doing extremely well in that category,” Fogle said. “We’ve got some great buys right now, and everybody likes to get a good deal.”

Fogle and Bateh are optimistic about an upsurge through the summer.




Towable RV Sales Cool Down After Strong Spring Start

November 16, 2011 by · Comments Off on Towable RV Sales Cool Down After Strong Spring Start 

Retail sales of towable RVs declined 4.2% in September compared to September of 2010, Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) has reported.

Sales declines were reported for September in every segment of the towable market: travel trailers, off 2.9%; fifth-wheels, down 3.6%; folding camping trailers, down 20%; and park models, off 4.9%.

September was the first month this year that travel sales were less than the corresponding month in 2010.

For the year, thanks to a strong start in the first half, all towable sales remain 5% ahead of the 2010 pace. Year-over-year comparisons show travel trailer sales up 7.6%, fifth-wheel sales up 3.1%, folding camping trailer sales down 10.1% and park model sales off 4%.

Thor Industries Inc. remains the No. 1 builder of all towable RVs and leads in travel trailer, fifth-wheel and park model sales. Forest River Inc. is the folding camping trailer market share leader.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SSI collects and reports data for the RV industry.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

Towable RV Sales ‘Flat’ in April

June 22, 2011 by · Comments Off on Towable RV Sales ‘Flat’ in April 

Retail sales of towable RVs remained flat in April, up just 2.9%, while year-over-year registrations for the first four months rose 4.5%, has reported.

According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., results showed:

  • Travel trailer sales increased 6% in April and 6.6% year-to-date.
  • Fifth-wheel registrations edged down 0.2% for the month and were up 2.6% through April.
  • Folding camping trailer sales dropped 13.9% in April and 6.8% year-to-date.
  • April park model sales were off 4.8% and 4.4% for the first four months.

Thor Industries Inc. remained the towable leader year-to-date with a 37% market share, followed by Forest River Inc. at 21%.

By segment for the first four months, Thor was No. 1 in travel trailers with a 34.8% share, fifth-wheels with a 53.6% share and park models with a 21% share.

Forest River was the folding camping trailer leader with a 33.5% share.