Park model trailers hit growth spurt
ELKHART — The park-model trailer industry’s growth started to mirror the significant growth in the recreational vehicle industry over the last few months, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
Park model trailers, which are generally more permanent than a traditional RV but more compact and portable than a traditional manufactured home, saw a steady 2012, according to the RVIA. There were 2,770 units shipped in 2012, a small improvement over the 2,761 units shipped in 2011.
Trends, though, showed that, “Park trailer shipments began surging in October of 2012 and that has continued into 2013,” said Matt Wald, executive director of recreational park trailers for the RVIA, in a written announcement. “In fact, shipments in January of 2013 were an incredible 138 percent higher than shipments reported in January, 2012. Through February, 2013, park model shipments are about 75 percent higher compared to the first two months of 2012.
“The bottom line is that the park model industry has been red hot for the past five months,” Wald said.
He attributes that to various factors, including growing interest in seasonal camping driven by baby boomers retiring in droves, and a push by campgrounds to offer deluxe camping accommodation rentals available for customers.
Those factors have also helped drive the growth in the RV industry, which has seen overall growth as well as growth in a segment of fifth-wheel trailers known as “destination models,” which consumers park for long periods in a single spot, according to the RVIA.
The RVIA has taken over the role of industry association for park model manufacturers after an agreement last year between the RVIA and the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association where the RPTIA decided to mothball its organization for a two-year trial period.