RV Demand Remains High

September 18, 2002
Filed under Trailer News

Thanks to strong retail sales this year, RV manufacturers report they are boosting
production to keep pace with growing consumer demand for their products. According to
market data compiled by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Statistical
Surveys Inc., July posted the seventh straight month of gains in total RV wholesale
shipments — jumping 30.7 percent, compared with the same month a year earlier. For the
first half of 2002, RV retail sales gained 12.4 percent compared with the same period in
2001, and rentals are up 33 percent. More than 30 million Americans consider themselves RV
enthusiasts, driving or towing 7.2 million RVs along the nation’s highways and byways, and
staying in 16,000 RV parks and campgrounds along scenic routes and interstate highways,
RVIA said. Helping drive RV sales are low interest rates, the vast baby boomer market, and
more vacationers opting for domestic road trips in the post-9/11 travel climate, industry
officials reported. RV shipments are now projected to rise to 294,400 units in 2002,
according to independent market analyst DeWolf Associates, Reston, Virginia. As aging baby
boomers enter their prime RV-buying years over the next decade, the number of RV-owning
households is projected to rise 15 percent by 2010, outpacing overall U.S. household growth
of 10 percent, according to a 2001 University of Michigan study. Over the past four years,
the study found the number of RVs owned by those 35 to 54 grew faster than all other age

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