Thor Industries Inc., the nation’s No. 1 maker of RVs, reported improved sales and a dip in earnings for the company’s fiscal first quarter,  ended Oct. 31.

Sales for the quarter were $673 million, up 11% from $606.7 million last year. Net income for the three-month period was $22.35 million compared with nearly $23.7 million the year prior. Basic earnings per share (E.P.S.) for the quarter were 41 cents versus 44 cents last year, the company reported in a news release.

Total RV segment sales rose 11% to $561.6 million from $506.56 million the previous year. Towable RV sales for the quarter were $499 million, up 18% from $422.4 million, while motorized sales totaled $62.55 million, down 26% from $84.1 million last year. Towable RV sales for both quarterly periods include Heartland RV LLC since its acquisition on Sept. 16, 2010. Bus segment sales for the quarter, including buses and ambulances were up 11% from the previous year.

Total RV segment income before tax for the quarter was $33.9 million compared with $34 million last year. RV income before tax was down 2% for towables and up 29% for motorhomes.

“We are encouraged by our strong towable RV backlog driven by orders from our fall open house event, coupled with increased RV market retail sales and planned product improvements and introductions at this week’s RVIA Expo in Louisville, Ky. However, the RV market remains very competitive with promotional pricing,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor chairman, CEO and president. “We are also seeing public transit agencies and private operators begin to replace their fleets, which provides opportunities for Thor’s bus segment.”