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Old 12-02-2006, 06:37 AM   #1
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Post Rising demand 4 tow Vehicles

Here is an article I found and thought I'd pass it along.

Large sport utility vehicles and trucks may be making a comeback, thanks to a growing trend in the recreational vehicle market

27 Sep 2006 : Large sport utility vehicles and trucks may be making a comeback, thanks to a growing trend in the recreational vehicle market. Data from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association indicate that while sales of conventional motor coaches have flattened, the sales of towable vehicles, including travel trailers and fifth wheels, are on the rise.

"The towable market is just booming right now," says Rachel Parsons, public relations manager for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. "Overall RV sales are up 14.3 percent for the year, driven by a towable market up 19.7 percent over last year."

The growth in towables is coming from two directions, Parsons says. There has been a significant increase in the number of younger buyers, and their first RV is usually some kind of towable. And the increase has come from the top down, as many RV customers are trading in their conventional motor coaches for travel trailers and fifth wheels.

Many of these customers are moving to towables due to higher fuel costs and the desire for more flexibility. Conventional motor home owners often flat-tow a smaller vehicle to use as transportation once the motor home is parked. With a towable trailer, the tow vehicle can be unhooked and used for short trips or to run errands.

As these consumers move to towable trailers, many still expect to have the same level of luxury features - such as tile floors, granite countertops and big-screen televisions - as they had in their motor coaches. For example, data show that 88.3 percent of fifth-wheel RVs manufactured have at least one foldout room.

"You may not get the same level of comfort in a towable that is available in a top-of-the-line, 47-foot Type A motor coach," says Parsons. "But you can have all of the amenities in a towable that you can get in a Type B or C coach. They all have slide-outs, and you still have lights and water and everything when you hook up."

Most of these larger trailers require a large truck, such as Ford's Super Duty or heavy-duty versions of the General Motors and Dodge pickups. For 2008, Ford is launching the ultimate tow vehicle in the F-450 pickup, a truck that's capable of hauling more than 24,000 pounds combined weight of truck and trailer.

The launch of the F-450 was driven by customer need. Ben Poore, Ford's Truck Marketing manager, has kept a keen eye on truck trends. He and his marketing group have set up alliances with groups such as the American Quarter Horse Association, spending plenty of time at its functions and gathering firsthand knowledge on how customers use their trucks.

"We saw people who were pulling five, six, seven horses and lots of gear like saddles, tack, feed, boots and other things that they need to take for exhibiting their horses," says Poore. "That trailer or tow vehicle also has to serve as living quarters for the family."

He says many of them had outgrown their conventional pickups and were turning to the aftermarket to convert commercial trucks into pickups.

"They still had a need for a pickup with four doors and room for the whole family," says Poore. "But they needed more total payload and towing capability than a conventional heavy-duty truck could offer. Being first to market with a factory-direct F-450 pickup shows how quick we react to trends."

Happy motoring,
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:21 AM   #2
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Great info! But there are so many different reports out there who knows what is what?

Average annual miles per vehicle also declined last year, from 11,946 to 11,856. That number for cars is smaller than average miles per motorist because there are more cars than licensed drivers in the United States, 1,148 per thousand, CERA said.
Growth in U.S. demand for gasoline slowed from an average 1.6 percent per year between 1990 and 2004 to 0.3 percent in 2005 and 1 percent in 2006, the report said.
Sales of vehicles with lower gas mileage "have begun to slump, with monthly, seasonally adjusted sales reportedly declining nine of the 12 months ending September 2006," CERA said. "Weakness is most pronounced for the heavier class of SUVs."
The report said sales of minivans and sport utility vehicles peaked at 56 percent of all vehicles sold in 2004, but slipped to less than 55 percent in 2005 and 53 percent so far this year.

But you can always count on a least one good size TW in our driveway!
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:23 AM   #3
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Heck, that article could easily have described my situaion. Started in 2003 with a Bambi, moved to a Safari, then got a 3/4 ton Burb for a T.V.

And althought the second post holds true as well, I still am taking some trips, though less than back in 2003 when fuel prices were low. More than last year though, particularly between the after summer price drops and Thanksgiving travel price increases.
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