January '18

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rv-pro.com January 2018 • RV PRO • 49 A question permeated through 1.2 million square feet of halls and corridors of the Kentucky Exposition Center. The annual RV Industry Association event held at the end of November let this question linger with attendees as the Outlook 2018 breakfast program took place: "Are you ready to sell more RVs?" The question was, of course, derived from the bolstering RV shipments the industry has seen grow exponentially since the Great Recession. Expected shipments for 2017 were updated to 505,600 units – a projected increase of 13 percent. "In 2017," said RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer, over- looking the hundreds of attendees that morning, "each and every month was the best on comparable record for shipments in that month. And six of those months – March, May, June, August, September, and October – recorded the highest monthly totals we've ever measured." The data was prepared by Dr. Richard Curtin, an RV industry analyst. "These historic shipment totals mark the ninth straight year of growth, and represents an incredible rise of more than over the market bottom in 2009," Hugelmeyer added. "How do we go from 500,000 units to 600,000 units? Or even 700,000 units and beyond?" Those questions echoed the next aspect of the original ques- tion, "Are you ready to sell more RVs?" Undeniably, it's a form of challenge in the key word ready. Months leading up to the trade show, RVIA and other outlets have touted the M-word relentlessly: Millennials. And the Out- Aqua-Hot debuted its ultra-compact 200 Series hydronic heaters at the RVIA Show. Many suppliers debuted new products for dealers. RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer tells Outlook breakfast attendees that the outlook for the industry is positive in 2018.

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