LOUISVILLE, Ky. - RV manufacturers expect to pass another milestone in their steady recovery from the recession that landed the industry in a deep ditch. Led by sales growth for towable RVs and pricier stand-alone motor homes, recreational vehicle makers expect to ship more than 300,000 units to dealers' lots this year for the first time since the economic downturn battered the industry in 2008 and 2009.
Those grim days are now in the rear view mirror. Employment across the industry has rebounded, and consumers who once picked small, no-frills travel trailers - dubbed "recession trailers" - are now trading up or buying larger, pricier RVs.
"We're back to a more normal market where people are stepping up and buying nicer equipped travel trailers," said RV dealer Debbie Brunoforte, who has logged her best post-recession sales year at her lots in Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.