March '16

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DEALER TRENDS: If early 2016 is any indication, buyers seem more motivated than ever to buy new RVs. Record attendance levels and sales have been reported at consumer trade shows and expos all across the country, where dealers say there's been eager shoppers aplenty, and where high hopes for sales boosts over 2015 have been justifiably met with nods of encouragement. There's certainly enough new extras to entice them – new product launches and floorplans, new electronic gadgets, and plenty of added amenities and upgrades. Notably, dealers told RV PRO they are seeing sales spanning every price range – from entry-level to luxury and everything in-between. Not to be outdone, even the RV rental market forecast seems strong. "We will book up for the summer," said Larry Hewitt with RVs Northwest in Spokane Valley, Wash., whose dealership attended the Inland Northwest RV Show and Sale in Spokane in late January. "We do these shows to just let everybody know we're out there. This is our third season, and it just keeps getting better and better each year. Traffic's been excellent." Those on the sales side couldn't agree more. Jim Humble, general manager Windish RV Center Lakewood, Colo. "We sold a record number of units at the (Colorado RV Adventure & Travel) show. We were up about 12 percent over last year, which is really great. I felt like the crowds were the same as 2015, but there were more good, qualified customers. It felt like the quality of people that come out was better than it has been in years past. "With interest rates still being good, we did a lot of finance deals. And we probably took in fewer trades than we have over the past couple years, so I think we definitely had a lot of first-time buyers. "To say one product was really hot compared to another, that's pretty hard. It was a good mix. We had a really great toy hauler show; a lot of the toy haulers have new electronics, which people like to touch and feel. "The mid-pro fifth wheels did really, really well, too. They just look good. We carry Reflection and Laredo, and both of those did extremely well. Reflection has some great floorplans. Voltage did fantastic. And all the lightweight stuff did well. "Of course, Airstream's having record sales right now. It's the brand. It caters to more people than just your typical RVers; they use them once or twice a year. And it's now cool to own one. "… Based on the show, I think Voltage is going to have a good year this year. The product really looks tight. I did notice more people were looking for Grand Design units. More people are familiar with the Grand Design name than they were a year ago, now that they have more in the field. "If this was any indication, I think it's going to be a great year. A lot of people there were still looking and getting ideas, stuff like that, so we'll see residual (traffic) from the show all year long. I know some were talking about coming out to our next show. People are obviously excited about getting out and are ready for spring and ready to go camping." Matt Veurink, sales manager Veurinks' RV Center Grand Rapids, Mich. "It was our best show ever as far as unit sales goes, and we've been doing that show (the Grand Strong Turnout at RV Shows By Liz Engel 90 • RV PRO • MARCH 2016 rv-pro.com

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