Saturday, February 13, 2016

Carrera Custom Painting worker Alexis Davila sands the slide-out wall of a RV as he prepares the unit to be painted Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The Elkhart RV paint specialty shop is adding 100 new jobs. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (JENNIFER SHEPHARD)

Earl Slabaugh pulls an RV unit down the line at Prime Time in Wakarusa Thursday, Jan. 10, 2012. Prime Time has started production in a couple of the former Utilimaster buildings following Forest River’s purchase recently. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard) (AP)
RV industry says March shipments at 5-year high

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 26, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

GOSHEN — The recreational vehicle industry keeps rolling along, with the industry’s trade group reporting that last month was the best March for the industry in five years and the industry up 11 percent for the first quarter of this year.

That followed on from the best February in five years, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, which released the March numbers Friday, April 26.

“March shipments of all RVs were reported at 28,923 units, a gain of 2.8 percent over this month one year earlier,” according to Bill Baker, senior director of communications for the RVIA.

“Shipments were 10.7 percent greater than last month and were the best March total in five years. First quarter total shipments climbed to 79,422 units, 11.2 percent ahead of this same period last year. Towable shipments, and in particular conventional travel trailers, provided a greater number of units while motorhomes have recorded the greater percentage increase so far this year,” Baker wrote in sending out the shipment numbers.

RV manufacturers, heavily concentrated in the Elkhart County area, shipped out 25,838 towable RVs in March, marking 70,922 for the year so far. That’s a 1.9 percent boost over March 2012, and a 9.8 percent quarterly boost over last year.

They shipped out 3,085 motorhomes in March and 8,500 for the year, representing an 11.2 percent rise in shipments over last March and a 23.7 percent increase in motorhome shipments in the first quarter compared to 2012’s first three months.

The boom is evident around the area, with a steady stream of RVs visible on area roadways, manufacturers and suppliers placing help-wanted ads and manufacturers and suppliers announcing major expansion plans.