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June '16

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8 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com F ifth wheel toy hauler sales are booming, up 15 percent last year from 2014 and up a whopping 61 percent compared to four years ago. As impressive as that is, one particular sub-segment of the toy hauler market is seeing growth that can only be described as astronomical: Heavy-hauling luxury fiver toy haulers (defined here as those toy haulers retailing for $70,000 and up). In that sub-segment, growth is up a whop- ping 650 percent since 2012, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based market data firm Statistical Surveys. In 2015 alone, the market for luxury fifth wheel toy haulers grew to encompass nearly 40 percent of the total fifth wheel toy hauler market. That's up from virtually nil just four years ago, when RVers were much more price conscious regarding their RV purchases (see Figure 1 on page 12). For the luxury fifth wheel toy hauler segment "the market exploded after 2012," says Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys. What's happening? Representatives for RV manufacturers say that as the toy hauler market has matured in recent years it has branched out beyond its West Coast roots and it's also attracting an older, more affluent demo- graphic that wants modern interiors and more amenities in those units. Notably, many of those older users aren't using the toy haulers in the same manner as younger RVers, or RVers from earlier years, for that matter, according to those same RV manu- facturer representatives. "We're in a unique space and time in the RV industry. A lot of full-timers want to drive to Florida and take their golf cart with them. They're looking at the toy hauler and saying, 'This is perfect!'" says Forest River XLR Division General Manager Brent Stevens. "Some convert the garage into workshops. They don't consider themselves 'toy hauler' people. We're seeing a lot of upper-end fifth wheel people buying toy haulers." Stevens predicts toy haulers will only become more popular as consumers dis- cover the many options they provide. "I see RVers coming to shows with no intention of putting a four-wheeler in the back end and they see those decks and patios and are intrigued by them," he says. "I've sold a bunch of units to people who have no toys, but they want that party deck to expand their living space. These garages make a great second bedroom with a full bath in the back just for them." Still other RVers put their grills on the back deck and use the fenced-in patio to corral their dogs, he says. Perhaps not surprisingly, as the market for luxury toy haulers has grown, so has the number of players actively participating in the segment (see Figures 2A and 2B on page 15). TYRANNOSAURUS REX Toy Haulers Large, luxury fifth wheel toy haulers have experienced growth far exceeding the overall market segment in recent years. By Steve Bibler Rise of the TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX TYRANNOSAURUS REX

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