RESTON, Va. — Wholesale shipments of recreational vehicles were down in the first three months of the year.

The RV Industry Association Thursday released its statistics, which show March shipments dropped 26.3% to 38,015 units. In March 2018, 51,607 units were shipped to dealers.

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 33,754 units for the month, a decrease of 25.8% compared to last March’s total of 45,490 units, according to the RVIA’s news release. Motorhomes finished the month with 4,261 units, down 30.3% compared to the March 2018 total of 6,117 units.

Through the first quarter of 2019, RV shipments have reached 99,976 units, down 27.1% from the 137,086 units shipped during the same time period in 2018.

Compared to the same months in 2018, in February shipments were down 15.4% and slipped 39.8% in January.

The RVIA Thursday explained the continued downturn.

“Although RV shipments have moderated through the first quarter of 2018 following two consecutive years of record-setting shipment totals, the overall health of the RV market is strong,” the RVIA said in its news release. “The retail RV market is robust with Statistical Surveys Inc. reporting that retail RV registrations through February were the second-best on company record, only behind last year. Additionally, there are encouraging reports of strong RV retail sales in March and early April.”

Park model RVs, which are units designed for longterm use at campgrounds, finished the month up 9.9% compared to last March with 432 shipments to retailers.

RVIA officials have stated in the past that about 80 percent of all recreational vehicles sold in the United States are manufactured in north central Indiana, including Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

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