Posts Tagged ‘folding campers’

Despite challenging economic conditions, the RV market continues to show remarkable strength and expectations are that shipments will grow by more than 7 percent in 2011, Dr. Richard Curtin writes in the current issue of Road Signs, the quarterly forecast from RVIA.

Curtin noted that RV shipments for the first quarter totaled 65,100 units, up 8.7 percent from the same period 2010. He added that year-to-year gains were widespread across types, with Class A and C motorhomes posting the largest gains, followed by conventional and fifth wheel travel trailers.

Curtin is forecasting that RV shipments will rise to 260,200 units in in 2011, a 7.4 percent increase from 2010. Curtin’s forecast anticipates each category of RV – with exception of folding campers and Class B motorhomes – will experience an increase in shipments in 2011.

Specifically, he anticipates shipments of Class A and Class C units will reach 13,400 and 11,200 units, respectively, up from 13,100 units and 10,500 units in 2010. Shipments of travel trailers will reach 158,700 units, up markedly from 144,500 units, while shipments of fifth wheels will reach 58,500 units, up from 54,700 units.

Despite rising fuel and food prices, high unemployment and only small wage increases, Curtin said favorable economic factors still outweigh the negatives, noting that RV demand will benefit from improving credit conditions, employment gains, stabilization of the housing market, and a strong preference for the RV lifestyle.

“The enduring strength of the RV lifestyle means that the industry will succeed in this difficult environment,” he said, adding, “Which players succeed depends on their ability to deliver the right selection of RVs at the right location at the right time, providing the same treasured experiences to families who now have more restricted budgets.”

In a move brought on by improved economic conditions, Starcraft RV, a division of Jayco, has resumed production in its Topeka, Ind., plant. The Starcraft facility had previously been closed and production of Starcraft products had been consolidated into Jayco’s Middlebury, Ind., complex as part of Jayco’s efforts to trim costs and reduce production capacity.

“When we consolidated the Starcraft operations into Jayco’s Middlebury campus, we indicated that our goal would be to reinstate the operations in Topeka as soon as market conditions would allow,” said Jim Jacobs, Starcraft RV general manager. “We believe that time is now. The year has started off on a pace well ahead of last year both in shipping and in retail sales activity. We continue to be optimistic that 2010 will be a much improved year for our industry.”

Starcraft RV makes folding campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers under several brand names.
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