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Author Topic: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .  (Read 1315 times)

NCSU Dad

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Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« on: October 08, 2017, 08:23:18 AM »
of models offered by manufacturers? If this link works scroll down the page to see what is offered for 2017 for just travel trailers. Add in motorhomes.

http://www.rvguide.com/specs/travel-trailer.html

It is no wonder RV's are so expensive. Imagine how much it costs a manufacturer to keep all this in-motion and profitable.

SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 08:33:10 AM »
RVs are built by hand on a very slow moving assembly line. Virtually all of them are custom orders. Very few people walk in and pick one off a lot. You really don't need to look at every model being made. An RV is a basic shape that can't be modified much (like adding a second story), so therefore most RVs of similar length and price tend to have very similar floor plans. Shopping for my next RV generally takes me three to six months. You gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Just keep shopping and something will call out to you eventually.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 09:23:55 AM »
Quote
Virtually all of them are custom orders. Very few people walk in and pick one off a lot.

I have a different view. Unlike cars, just about all RVs are indeed built to order. However, most orders are placed by dealers for their sales lot inventory, built to parameters they believe will sell in their area.   Only a small percentage of builds are for units made to a particular buyer's order. A very small percentage for smaller or low end trailers. The typical buyer for those shops the sales lots and the internet and buys what looks good and prices out low enough.

As you move up the price scale, custom orders for buyers become more numerous.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 09:30:32 AM »
Gary - When I toured the Winnie factory in Iowa one of the things I was told by the tour guide was that something like 90% of all the RVs they build are custom orders
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2017, 01:06:57 PM »
And that would be correct. But those orders mostly come from dealers, configured for their inventory. RV manufacturers build very few units on spec, mostly just enough to demonstrate at shows, press briefings, etc. Dealers, on the other hand, place orders all the time and guesstimate what will sell. Many of the complaints about "all RVs look alike" are because the dealers order the same old tried & true configurations. They don't order much that is innovative in color or layout, for fear that they might get tuck with an expensive white elephant.

Look at the size of the inventory at many RV dealers, and I don't just mean giants like Lazydays or General RV. Bill Plemmons RV here in central NC (Winston Salem) has 239 new RVS in stock today. Buyers come in, look around, and take one home.
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ArdraF

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 06:04:26 PM »
Even at the "old" (pre-bankruptcy) Monaco our semi-custom motorhome was ordered through a dealer.  We had all the specs and knew exactly what we wanted and whether Monaco would do it.  We gave that list to several dealers across the country and they told us how much they would charge us.  Once we chose the dealer it was the dealer who ordered the coach because Monaco at the time had a dealer network and all ordering was through one of those dealers.  The high-end motorhomes like Marathons tend to be ordered directly from the factory and there are a few factory-direct places like Lazy Daze of Montclair Calif. but most RVs are ordered by dealers.

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sadixon49

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 07:01:09 PM »
It might be prudent to point out that though there are hundreds of models, way more than 90% of RV sales are by 3 companies. Thor which owns Jayco, Forest River which has Coachmen, and Winnebago which has Grand Design. About 85% of new RVs are towable, split between popups, travel trailers and fifth wheels.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 07:04:48 PM by sadixon49 »
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rvannie23

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 07:41:32 PM »
My personal opinion is that they are so expensive because they are "luxury" items. You are essentially purchasing a studio apartment, sometimes with an engine, to haul/drive around with you. No one NEEDS an RV...but people want them for fun and/or convenience. And where there is a want, there is someone charging major dollars for it.

There are lots of manufacturers but as mentioned its basically three main companies making all of them. Most of the floor plans are similar across brands as well, so it's not like there is tons of innovation going on.
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Larry N.

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 06:57:42 AM »
Quote
My personal opinion is that they are so expensive because they are "luxury" items.

While there is some truth in that, especially for higher end coaches, the fact that they are essentially hand built is also a major factor in the price. Also the fact that (in a motorhome) you have a vehicle AND a house.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 09:48:19 AM »
While an RV is indeed a luxury, or at least a discretionary purchase, the industry is actually extremely price competitive, especially toward the lower end.  With so many makes and models, including many smaller or regional competitors to the Big Three, cost & price are pared to the bone regardless of the level of function and amenities.  Price-wise, most Rvs are actually bargain-basement for what they provide.

The cost is high largely because of the two factors already mentioned:
1. It's a fully furnished cottage on wheels, complete with multiple and self contained power systems and its own water and sewage plant.
2. Hand built in small volumes using mostly off-the-shelf components. Almost no economy of scale as there is with cars and light trucks.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 10:02:40 AM »
I agree with Gary that RV's are a bargain considering what they offer and how they're built. I'm reminded of a good friend that visited us at an RV park a few years ago with her NY City realtor daughter in tow. After the obligatory tour of our coach, the daughter was amazed, and said if it was an apartment on the lower east side it would rent for at least $3500-$4000/month. And probably more if she listed the steering wheel and dashboard as "modern art", she said.  :o ;D
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 10:16:11 AM »
LOL! My car has a sticker price near $50k and it doesn't even have running water or a toilet!
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 10:30:41 AM »
Maybe that will make some of us feel a little better about our RV investments!  ;D
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blw2

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 10:40:50 AM »
Gary - When I toured the Winnie factory in Iowa one of the things I was told by the tour guide was that something like 90% of all the RVs they build are custom orders

I certainly don't know for sure.... but I thought "custom" in this case, really just means build to order.... as opposed to the manufacturer just building 1,000 of them for future orders...
and end user wants to order 1.....or dealership wants to order 10....so the order goes in for those units to be built

It's not like they will generally customize the things....
you can get floor plan A or B
you can get A in either color scheme D or E
and you can get B in either color D or F
and you get get with the standard oven or optional convection microwave instead....
I understand that you might do a few non-standard things that aren't really too big of a deal.... but that are not listed as options.....such as perhaps doing the two reclining chairs from floor plan C instead of the sofa that is supposed to go in floorplan A that I'm ordering....
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Oldgator73

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 10:47:14 AM »
I know some on this forum have homes in more than one city. I know that works for some, but like time shares I am not into it. That is one of the great things about owning an RV. Go where you want, when you want. We don't have to stop at restaurants and hotels when we travel. Just find a nice spot to stop, fix lunch and enjoy. Even take a nap if you want. Stop for the night and not have to lug bags into and out of a hotel.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 10:59:11 AM »
I certainly don't know for sure.... but I thought "custom" in this case, really just means build to order.... as opposed to the manufacturer just building 1,000 of them for future orders...
and end user wants to order 1.....or dealership wants to order 10....so the order goes in for those units to be built

It's not like they will generally customize the things....
you can get floor plan A or B
you can get A in either color scheme D or E
and you can get B in either color D or F
and you get get with the standard oven or optional convection microwave instead....
I understand that you might do a few non-standard things that aren't really too big of a deal.... but that are not listed as options.....such as perhaps doing the two reclining chairs from floor plan C instead of the sofa that is supposed to go in floorplan A that I'm ordering....
No, he was very specific that they were being built for customers not businesses.
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blw2

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2017, 11:02:29 AM »
We don't have to stop at restaurants and hotels when we travel. Just find a nice spot to stop, fix lunch and enjoy.

we hit restaurants some...but sometimes finding the spot to stop doesn't even really have to be all that nice.  I'm thinking back to our last trip.  Close to home so DW drove her car, and had run into the office for a bit.  Kids & I were in the MH driving and it was about lunch time.  They saw a pizza place...one of those takeout delivery only ones in a crappy strip mall..... but there was room to park, so I ran in ordered.... went back out to do a bit of reading while the pies baked.... then we had a nice little lunch break right there inside our own little oasis!
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2017, 04:26:49 PM »
Quote
No, he was very specific that they were being built for customers not businesses.

All those Winnebagos on sales lot across the country must come from the RV fairy then...  ;)

Besides, how would he know who actually ordered the unit?  You & I cannot order an RV from the factory - only a dealer can. So they are all dealer orders anyway.  He orders what he wants, or he orders what a buyer wants, but it all looks the same on the factory end. There is probably a check box on the order form somewhere that says "customer waiting" or similar, but any dealer would check that if he thought there might be some advantage. Who is to say he is wrong?

When we bought a new NRV Dolphin in 2002, the dealer just modified the order for a rig he already had in the queue at the factory. He changed every thing about it, but as far as the factory was concerned, it was just another production order.
Gary
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2017, 05:30:34 PM »
Back to my original question. Since we are more focused now on a class C for our first RV. This link takes us to a listing of 2017 class C's. Scroll down to Thor and they show 70 models! Others are showing 20 - 30 models. The shear number of models boggles my mind.


http://www.rvguide.com/specs/class-c.html


SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2017, 05:40:14 PM »
Back to my original question. Since we are more focused now on a class C for our first RV. This link takes us to a listing of 2017 class C's. Scroll down to Thor and they show 70 models! Others are showing 20 - 30 models. The shear number of models boggles my mind.


http://www.rvguide.com/specs/class-c.html
This is why it is best to shop locally and look at RVs that are actually for sale. Finding the right one by looking at photos just doesn't cut it. Way too hard. And if you find the one you want then actually finding one for sale locally is very difficult. IMHO a newby should not buy a new RV. The vast majority of newbies don't get it right the first time and are upgrading in a year or so. The first year depreciation is horrible and you will lose a lot of money. I feel it best to buy one in the $20k price range and use it for a year to figure out what it is exactly that you want and then when you trade up you will be keeping your losses to a minimum. Something like this one would make an excellent first RV:

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/class-a/2000-itasca-sunflyer_rv-37039
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2017, 05:51:07 PM »
This is why it is best to shop locally and look at RVs that are actually for sale. Finding the right one by looking at photos just doesn't cut it. Way too hard.
https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/class-a/2000-itasca-sunflyer_rv-37039

Where we live, Outer Banks NC there are no local dealers. I'd have to drive 2 hours up to Virginia Beach, VA to set foot in a dealer. So we're trying to do advance footwork looking on the internet and RV shows in NC. Next show is October 22 in Greensboro.

Your link to the 2000 is a lot of RV!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 05:54:09 PM by NCSU Dad »

SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2017, 05:58:36 PM »
Your link to the 2000 is a lot of RV!!!!!!!!!!!
It is a lot of RV on purpose. Most newbies think large RVs are harder to drive and get worse mileage than shorter RVs, both of which are wrong. So most newbies end up buying an RV that is way too small for them at first.
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »
It is a lot of RV on purpose. Most newbies think large RVs are harder to drive and get worse mileage than shorter RVs, both of which are wrong. So most newbies end up buying an RV that is way too small for them at first.

Basic newcomers question.

I copied this from the Winnebago Class C site for discussion sake.
Model         22M    22R      25B    26A  31D   31G   31K
Length      24'2"    23'10" 26'2"  27'1"  32'9" 32'9" 32'9"

Are these lengths front bumper to back bumper?
I assumed length meant distance from back of drivers seat to back wall.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 07:00:34 PM by NCSU Dad »

ArdraF

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2017, 06:33:19 PM »
Lengths are always exterior and include bumpers etc.  Ours is called a 40 footer but it really is 41 feet and a few inches.  We learned that when we were in a campsite with a fence at the rear.  When they said the site maximum was 40 feet they meant it because the front was out in the street.  Also, when you use ferries they measure exactly because the vehicles are so closely arranged for loading.  And, if you ever have a garage or inside rental you'll need exterior measurements there too.  The only time interior measurements are useful is when you're trying to exchange an item for something else and then a half inch can make a difference.  When we go to Canada, for example, and I buy their canned goods which are metric their cans don't fit into the same space as our cans, most of which are not metric.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 06:36:15 PM by ArdraF »
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2017, 07:03:51 PM »
Thanks for setting me straight on the numbers relating to the overall length.

I was thinking the 35' 2000 Itasca Sunflyer was 35' plus another 5' or so. Add driver and front end. 40'+-
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 07:07:28 PM by NCSU Dad »

SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2017, 07:08:46 PM »
Actually the exact length is determined differently by different manufacturers. But basically Ardra is correct.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2017, 07:10:02 PM »
Thanks for setting me straight on the numbers relating to the overall length.

I was thinking the 35' 2000 Itasca Sunflyer was 35' plus another 5' or so. Add driver and front end. 40'+-
That is why you need to go see these things in person. Take a vacation to Florida for a few days and go RV shopping. We got tons of them down here.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2017, 07:12:52 PM »
Published specs are usually bumper to bumper, model number lengths can vary, so it is possible to have a 39 ft model that is longer than some 40 ft models.

In the case of my 2002 Safari Trek 2830 (advertised as a 28 ft model) the actual bumper to bumper is 29'3"

One note here as a first time buyer I would strongly suggest you look at a used 5, 10, or 15 year old high quality coach, and let someone else take that big initial depreciation hit.  This way if after a year or two with it if you decide you made a mistake and picked the wrong model you will not take as big of a hit reselling it as you would with a new unit.  The problem is no matter how carefully you make your selection there will be certain things you don't discover, until you have lived in the coach for a while.  Maybe you find that you don't fit in the shower, or maybe you get tired of hitting your head on the TV cabinet, or maybe it is something like not having enough cargo weight capacity for all the junk you want to haul around, or wish you had side hinge vs top hinge basement doors, ....
2002 Safari Trek 2830

99dart

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2017, 07:16:55 PM »
Back to my original question. Since we are more focused now on a class C for our first RV. This link takes us to a listing of 2017 class C's. Scroll down to Thor and they show 70 models! Others are showing 20 - 30 models. The shear number of models boggles my mind.
http://www.rvguide.com/specs/class-c.html

I like the rvusa site a bit better. https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/specs-by-type-class-c-t3 .  You can look at more floor plans at one time. Then, figure out if the layout you like is available in a shorter/longer version. My wife didn't want the bathroom door opening into the fridge door. Do you want/need a couch & dinette? Do you like them across from each other or side-by-side? The beauty of the rvusa site is, you can find a floor plan in a new 2017 model, then look back to see if it is/was available in a 2-3 year old model. Then, save 40K like we did buying a 2016 model with 1400 miles on it!
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NCSU Dad

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Re: Any other newbies overwhelmed by the shear numbers . . .
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2017, 07:32:11 PM »
I think I know why my understanding of length was wrong.

I own a 20'-2" boat. It's model is 202. It is measured bow to stern, 20'-2". The model length does not include the outboard or length of trailer extending from bow to coupler. So I guess in RV terms it would be called a 28' boat.

I didn't understand RV length included driver area and front end.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 07:42:39 PM by NCSU Dad »

 

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