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A Look at 2014 in Five Graphs

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As dealers and manufacturers gear up for the 2015 season, RV PRO takes a look at 2014, which included the best shipment numbers since the Great Recession and forecasts of a sixth consecutive year of growth.

Through November, shipments totaled 329,999 for all RVs, a 10 percent increase over 2013. Richard Curtin, from the University of Michigan, predicts another 18,000 for the month of December to close the year at 348,000 shipments.

While fifth wheels performed well, increasing 7 percent over last year, travel trailers carried the bulk of RV sales for the year, accounting for more than two-thirds of all towable sales.

 

Travel trailers outpaced 2013 each month in 2014, carrying the largest share of RV sales. (Click images to enlarge.)

Trailers finished the year strong, widening the margin over last year’s numbers in the best October for shipments in 38 years.

Conversely in the motorized segment, Class A motorhomes, which account for 50 percent of the motorhome market, began the year strong, outpacing 2013 by nearly 23 percent from January through June, but slowed later in the season, ending 17 percent ahead of 2013.

Class B motorhomes began turning heads this year as the fastest growing segment in the RV industry (38 percent above 2013), though the volume of shipments remained relatively low, accounting for about 6.8 percent of all motorized sales.

Between March and May, Class C shipments exceeded Class A sales before dropping in June. The 2.8 percent dip in Class C sales compared to June 2013 represented the only negative month-to-month comparison in any motorized segment in 2014.

Between March and May, Class C shipments outperformed Class A numbers. 

While the remainder of the industry performed well throughout the year, popups and truck campers struggled. Popups reported monthly gains in August, September and November, but were down more than 6 percent after November.

Truck campers were down 13.5 percent and popups dropped 6.1 percent compared to 2013.  

The month of October made the biggest splash in the year, where shipment data likely reflected strong buying and dealer optimism at the Elkhart Open House in September.

Strong shipment numbers carried the industry to it’s best October in 38 years, according to the RVIA.

Registration data showed strong increases for the month from Forest River, Thor and Jayco with Grand Design passing EverGreen for the number four spot that month.

New registrations by brand for the month of October. 

 

Total RV shipments rose 11.2 percent over the same month in 2013, with travel trailers increasing 17.1 percent year-to-year.

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