2015 in Five Graphs: Travel Trailers Fuel Modest Growth

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In a year marked by steady, if slower, growth in the industry, it is no surprise that the RV industry’s top performer in recent years – travel trailers – continued to dominate shipment numbers, accounting for 64 percent of all industry shipments through the first 10 months of 2015.


After outpacing 2013 during each month, 2015 month-to-month numbers twice dipped below 2014 monthly totals in May and July, following a dip by travel trailer shipments during the months.

Travel trailer shipments peaked well above 2014 values in April, eclipsing the same month in 2014 by more than 17 percent and carrying the industry to its biggest month thus far this year.

Following the peak, though, numbers normalized somewhat, staying on pace with 2014 through July and holding steady through the late summer and early fall ahead of the Open House.

Shipments during and just following the Elkhart Open House in September and October close out the 2015 10-month data with an upturn, though only slightly outperforming 2014.

The most dramatic change in any shipment category came from truck campers, which rebounded from last year’s 14.7 percent drop, to post a 7.1 percent gain for the season.
The category entered the year on the heels of a four-month fade, but started the year with steady growth and benefitted from a sharp spike in November that reached 370 shipments, a high for the category dating back to April 2013 (390).

Popups sped a slow slide, dropping 12.1 percent in the first 10 months of 2015, after closing the previous year down 3.5 percent.

In the used category, travel trailer values have remained largely unchanged, despite spending many months moving in opposite directions compared to motorhome values.

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