Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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June 4, 2013

RV growth expected to pick up steam

GOSHEN — A recreational industry forecast has been updated and calls for a larger gain in units shipped this year.

RV industry analyst Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan, modified his forecast Monday, which now calls for an 8.4 percent increase in units shipped in 2013. Curtin had forecast earlier this year that there would be a 7.5 percent gain. Curtin’s new forecast, if accurate, means 309,800 RVs will be shipped to dealers by manufacturers. In 2012, 285,749 units were shipped.

Curtin made his presentation at the opening of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s committee week Monday.

If the increase develops, it would be the fifth straight year that RV shipments have increased.

In addition, Curtin said the industry should continue to have gains, saying he expects shipments will reach 321,800 units in 2014, according to the RVIA.

The estimated total for 2013 would be an 87 percent increase from the industry’s recession low in 2009, when 165,700 units where shipped, according to the RVIA.

“The favorable RV outlook is based on modest gains in jobs, incomes and household wealth,” Curtin said. “Consumer budgets have changed, but they still hold steadfast preferences for the RV lifestyle.”

According to the RVIA, Curtin said consumers have adopted a more realistic economic outlook and manufacturers have responded by introducing an array of new products that will provide the RV experiences while respecting their new budget limitations.

“The RV industry will approach its next peak as the market demand for RVs continues to improve, particularly among baby boomers and younger buyers due to the ongoing efforts of the Go RVing campaign and the new product offerings from manufacturers,” Curtin said. “Given the modest gains expected in the financial situation of likely RV buyers, this next market peak is likely to be approached gradually.”

The RV market is expected to be bolstered over the next two years with rising home values and higher stock prices boosting the willingness and ability of new RV buyers, according to the RVIA.

“The strong appeal of the RV lifestyle underscores the iconic status of the RV in the minds of American consumers,” Curtin said. “This reflects deeply held family values, the enduring appeal of the natural environment, and people’s desire to instill in the next generation their cherished traditions.”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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