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Diane Miller works to polish the wood finish inside one of Grand Design’s new Solitude model recreational vehicles Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Middlebury. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan) (AP)
August numbers show slight growth in RV industry

Posted on Oct. 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Oct. 16, 2013 at 1:20 p.m.

ELKHART — Shipments of recreational vehicles rose in August, according to a report from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.

Manufacturers reported shipping 24,995 units in August, up 2.2 percent from August 2012. Motorhome shipments were up 34.5 percent from August 2012, while towable shipments were down by 1.4 percent. The RVIA also reported that retail sales of all RV products are going up this year compared with last year. The area of highest growth is in sales of motorhomes.

The RVIA report used the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment to indicate that improvement for the RV industry did slow in August, especially for households with incomes below $75,000.

“Perhaps the greatest challenge to future (RV) market expansion is lackluster growth in jobs and wages,” Dr. Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan consumer survey, said.

RVIA also reported that 200,501 towable RVs and 25,624 motorhomes have been shipped year-to-date.

“The biggest surprise this year has been the strength of motorhome shipments,” the report said.