Buoyed by a surprisingly strong December, wholesale shipments to RV retailers soared to close the 2010 year at 242,300 units, up 45.6% over 2009 and the highest annual totals for RV shipments in the past three years.

Underscoring an improved level of dealer confidence, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported today (Jan. 26) that total wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs increased to 18,300 units in RVIA’s December 2010 survey of manufacturers.

The total was 36.5% greater than last month and 30.7% greater than this same month last year.

Shipments of all towable RVs were at 16,400 units in December 2010, up 32.3% over the final month the previous year, while motorhome shipments totaled 1,900 units, a gain of 18.8% over December 2009. Seasonally adjusted, the December total represents an annualized rate of more than 295,000 units, the best monthly showing since April 2008.

No towable or motorized segment reported a shipment decrease compared to the previous year, although Class B coaches remained level for the month-to-month comparison and was the only segment to show a decline in year-to-date deliveries.

Shipments by segment were as follows:

  • Travel trailers: 10,400, up 23.8% for the month, and 42.3% for the year (144,500).
  • Fifth-wheel trailers: 4,100, up 24.2% for the month, and 48.6% for the year (54,700).
  • Folding camping trailers: 1,600, up 166.7% for the month, and 22% for the year (15,000).
  • Truck campers: 300, up 200% for the month, and 52.6% for the year (2,900).
  • Class A motorhomes: 1,100, up 22.2% for the month, and 122% for the year (13,100).
  • Class B motorhomes: 100, level for the month, and down 15.8% for the year (1,600).
  • Class C motorhomes: 700, up 16.7% for the month, and 72.1% for the year (10,500).