June '18

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10 • RV PRO • June 2018 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S I f the word "momentum" can be assigned to a type of RV that's built and then hauled to a site where it might stay for its lifespan, then the park model segment could certainly boast that it has "the big mo" this year. Coming off its second straight year of year-over-year shipment growth and its fourth growth year in the past six (see Figure 1 on page 14), the park model industry has a lot of positive factors on its side, including continued low interest rates, an improving reputation among formerly skeptical lenders and government agencies, and ongoing manufacturer consolidation, which prom- ises to make best practices an almost industry-wide reality. Wholesale shipments in 2017 bested 2016's by almost 10 percent and topped 4,000 for the first time since 2008, according to the RV Industry Association, whose 29 members account for at least 95 percent of the entire industry's shipments. Park Models on the Move Although the RV models remain a niche segment, companies offering the products say they are seeing positive momentum. By Steve Bibler Champion Home Builders, the parent company of Athens Park Model RVs, has experienced double-digit growth in park model sales for two years in a row. Champion builds park models at eight of its nine locations, giving it good coverage across the U.S. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ATHENS PARK HOMES, FOREST RIVER AND KROPF INDUSTRIES

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