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Author Topic: rv death spriral  (Read 20522 times)


didimitten

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 12:33:01 AM »
Thanks for sharing this.  I wish there was a way to follow threads on here but I just favorited the page at least for more parts to that story.  I have heard so many stories about people buying an RV brand new for an exorbitant amount of money only to have problems with it from day one.  When is it every acceptable to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on something only to need to deal with hassle because things come broken, or faulty and don't work right.  Peoples excuse for buying a used RV is usually so they don't have to deal with those issues as someone else has already gone through it as well as the disgusting depreciation.  They are so over priced.

I hope I am not offending anyone with this mini rant.  If you want to buy a new RV knowing the downfalls because that is what you want, have at it.  People have the right to spend their hard earned money on what they want.  It is just so unfair that so many people are getting something unfairly priced and riddled with problems. Something costing over $150k should leave that lot reliable, tested and high quality. 
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jackiemac

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 02:12:46 AM »
Interesting story, I'm going to read it too. There still seems to be a huge demand for RVs you only need to see how many people join this forum every day to realise that. Manufacturers do need to up their game, I can't believe that the poor quality doesn't cost them a lot.
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decaturbob

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 07:08:33 AM »
Interesting story, I'm going to read it too. There still seems to be a huge demand for RVs you only need to see how many people join this forum every day to realise that. Manufacturers do need to up their game, I can't believe that the poor quality doesn't cost them a lot.

I have had our 8 yr old RV for less than a week and some of the "workmanship" I have seen been pretty sad.  The factory people surely aren't craftsman on any level that I can see....
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MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 07:49:19 AM »
I've had some horrible run ins with ford and Winnebago,... this is something that I can't understand how they get away with,..
when I had the problem with the bad wheel bearings....two brand new coaches in a row ,... winnabago flat would not lift a finger to help... they said the problem was with me and ford....the rv industry has made it a standard to separate the two...and make you fight alone with the chassis builder...but, why does it stop there...? and whats to stop them from going on to say,... we didn't build the air conditioners??? Winnebago is already doing it with the generators.... you have to take it to onan...and the tires... you have to take it to goodyear...

 I've been in the building trade for all my life,.. I build custom homes from lot development to final décor and landscaping,... how fast would I find my butt in court if I told the buyer....I didn't pour the concrete, so and so did...

my opinion is winnabago is the general building the homes... they pick the subs, and should be liable for there work..
the other thing is the warrany,... it should be at least 3 years... or some kind of prorated bumper to bumper...that they pay for..

most people hardly use their rv and it falls apart within the first year...

I bought a new FR3....from the pictures it looked real good and looked like wood cabinettes.... when it got here it was contact paper wood.. while setting in the drive way after a couple days in the vegas heat,. it had bubles and places where it wasn't stuck good..there answer was,... the motorhome was not designed for extreme heat, and that it has to be stored in a climate controlled storage...really..............:P
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 07:57:01 AM by MYRV2 »
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MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 08:02:16 AM »
I have had our 8 yr old RV for less than a week and some of the "workmanship" I have seen been pretty sad.  The factory people surely aren't craftsman on any level that I can see....

I do see a situation that the people changed... plazzo...I looked at them when they first came out, even my wife, who is very quiet... told the sales man... was this coach damaged and then rebuilt???

but look at them now...I talked to the sells rep a couple yrs after and they said they were tighting up on the QC and everyone should see a much improved product....I went from, i'd never buy one of these,. to , whats the best deal out the door...:D
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SeilerBird

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 08:39:00 AM »
Quote
So, there were 9 million RV owning households in 1997, and 9 million in 2011 and 9 million today. This despite the fact that, using RVIAs own shipment numbers, there were 5.7 million new RVs built between 1997 and 2015.
Yes, a whole bunch of RVers upgraded their units during that time, and some more than once. But the used RVs didn’t evaporate, did they?
Does the author of this horrible piece of journalism understand there is only one country in the world manufacturing RV in any quantity? We export a lot of our RVs to other countries. RVs also have a very limited lifetime on the road, ten to fifteen years at the most. Then they end up being parked out in the country and used as a guest house, a meth lab or some other use whereby they are not registered at the state level.

The RV industry is just fine. I don't see any death spiral.
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MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 09:03:18 AM »
Does the author of this horrible piece of journalism understand there is only one country in the world manufacturing RV in any quantity? We export a lot of our RVs to other countries. RVs also have a very limited lifetime on the road, ten to fifteen years at the most. Then they end up being parked out in the country and used as a guest house, a meth lab or some other use whereby they are not registered at the state level.

The RV industry is just fine. I don't see any death spiral.

thanks for posting:D
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 09:11:35 AM »
RV sales are up again from last year, so the alleged "death spiral" doesn't seem to be hurting the industry any. As long as there are buyers for the product as is, things are not going to change.

People assume that buying a new RV is going to be like buying a new car. It is most definitely NOT. It's more like buying a new house, where a general contractor assembled a bunch of stuff from various suppliers and hired a bunch of subcontractors to put it together for you. When something doesn't come out right, the contractor goes back to the supplier or subcontractor to get it fixed.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2016, 09:30:11 AM »
The problem is most younger people believe now days..... my Toyota never had a lot of warranty issues.

so, obviously  The reason motorhomes have a lot of problems is because they are made in America.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 09:37:07 AM by TonyDtorch »

Back2PA

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2016, 09:52:28 AM »
RV sales are up again from last year, so the alleged "death spiral" doesn't seem to be hurting the industry any. As long as there are buyers for the product as is, things are not going to change.

X2. IMHO this guy has run out of things to talk about and is resorting to hyperbole to grab attention. By his own admittance: "Two weeks from today, I will be stunned if I have any subscribers or advertisers left on RV Daily Report".

I did get a chuckle out of this from his byline: "...and is anxiously waiting for some RV company to host a conference in the Aloha State." If such a conference is held in Hawaii kinda doubt he'd be invited.
Scott
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kdbgoat

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2016, 09:57:25 AM »
Unfortunately, the industry needs to go into a downward spiral until they start having some serious quality control upgrades. I've been looking at motorhomes for a couple of years now, trying to decide what we really want. I was just looking at a 2015 Holiday Rambler, gas engine, 36'. I got online and looked at all the complaints about the slides not working correctly, serious 12 volt electrical problems, seeing daylight under the bedroom slide when the slide is out, etc. From what I have read, Holiday Rambler and the Bounder are made on the same assembly line, so why would the Bounder be any different? Are Monaco's any better? They're built by the same company. The way I look at it, if I spend $100,000+ on a motorhome, I want it to be built right. I, or anybody else shouldn't have to go through a year of hell dealing with dealers that don't give a hoot because they already have your money and hassling with the factory reps to get it corrected. Oh, I know, take it back to the factory while under warranty and they will fix it right. I have 3 weeks of vacation a year and I'm going to use that up going back to the factory half way across the country so they can MAYBE fix it the way it should have been when it left the factory? RRRRRight! The whole idea of Rv'ing and camping is to enjoy life, not deal with one expensive dilemma after another. I have just about decided if I want a motorhome, I will buy an old used one with a proven chassis and drivetrain, and upgrade it myself. At least if it doesn't work, I have no one to blame but myself. The factory and dealers can stick the late model junk where the sun don't shine. Let the downward spiral pick up speed as far as I'm concerned.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 10:32:29 AM »
$100k for a motorhome is a lot of money, so most people tend to think it "oughta be perfect" at that price. But $100k is actually pretty cheap to put all that stuff on a long chassis, with a flashy body and glitzy interior.  Well built ones (still not perfect, I'm sure) run to $1M or more, so why would you expect perfection for 10% of that? Even allowing for somewhat less amenities?  I hate to defend an industry that has mediocre design and sloppy workmanship as its norm, but I also understand why they focus almost entirely on target price and superficial features. It's what the majority of the buying public wants, as witnessed by the way they spend their dollars.
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MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 11:09:04 AM »
$100k for a motorhome is a lot of money, so most people tend to think it "oughta be perfect" at that price. But $100k is actually pretty cheap to put all that stuff on a long chassis, with a flashy body and glitzy interior.  Well built ones (still not perfect, I'm sure) run to $1M or more, so why would you expect perfection for 10% of that? Even allowing for somewhat less amenities?  I hate to defend an industry that has mediocre design and sloppy workmanship as its norm, but I also understand why they focus almost entirely on target price and superficial features. It's what the majority of the buying public wants, as witnessed by the way they spend their dollars.

good post....lol I want what I want when I want it.... but usally get what I paid for.....what I wanted cost tooo much ...:P
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kdbgoat

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2016, 11:45:48 AM »
No Gary, I don't think it ought to be perfect, but I do think it should engineered and assembled to do the intended job reliably, and if there are problems, they should be remedied quickly without a bunch of hassle. Just because I buy a Ford Focus for $18,000 instead of a Mercedes for $200,000 doesn't mean I should have to accept a vehicle that doesn't do what it was intended to do. I understand the difference between the Focus having a plastic dash and the Mercedes having hand rubbed Burled Walnut part of it, but I would expect either to start, run, and drive reliably, along with either to have the power windows go up and down when I use the buttons, the air conditioner work, and the door and window seals keeping out the water, etc.
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2016, 11:59:35 AM »
  The "industry" also has to deal with every dipstick in the world that was never required to learn to tie his shoes correctly.>>>Dan
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scottydl

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2016, 03:45:39 PM »
I wish there was a way to follow threads on here

Quick administrator note: RVforum.net threads can easily be followed/subscribed by clicking the "Notify" button, one of the options just above the first post in any thread.  In your user profile, you can choose to receive an e-mail notification anytime a reply is made to one of your subscribed threads (whether you started it, posted in it, or are just "watching" it).

Disregard if you already know that, and are referring to following that the "rvdailyreport.com" link that the OP posted.  ;)
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nvrver

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2016, 05:22:50 PM »
Thanks Scott, learned something new today!  Never knew what the Notify button for.   Dick nvrver
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jackiemac

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2016, 05:26:18 PM »
Thanks Scott, learned something new today!  Never knew what the Notify button for.   Dick nvrver

Me neither, I am afraid to start clicking buttons as Tom might tell me off! :o
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2016, 06:21:25 PM »
A very wealthy friend I know bought a brand new Newell and then a brand new Lincoln Navigator as a toad.
 He and his wife set off out on this epic cross-continental tour...but.. there were some issues that came up !

  It blew an oil line ( rubbed through on a brace ) in upstate NY and soaked the whole underside of the coach and the Lincoln,.... and there were several other lesser issues.

yes...Newell took care of everything as they should on a $ 2.1 mil. purchase.

 

The Navy even takes every multi million dollar, very well engineered, and very quality controlled very complex ship out for a shakedown cruise.....just to see what will go wrong.

same thing with an RV ... It's a hand made, very complex self contained house and vehicle,..... and stuff goes wrong on the brand new untested ones.... That's why people tell you to buy used ones.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 07:19:40 PM by TonyDtorch »

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2016, 06:48:23 PM »
Some of you may have read that China is building 500 RV parks this year to the tune of $5-6 billion American. I imagine they have already purchased one of every type of American made RV at every price point and reverse engineered everything on board. We'll probably see their excess production in a very few years.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2016, 06:51:20 PM »
Quote
Just because I buy a Ford Focus for $18,000 instead of a Mercedes for $200,000 doesn't mean I should have to accept a vehicle that doesn't do what it was intended to do.

No argument about the scale of models, but I don't believe the Focus is the equivalent of even a basic gas chassis motorhome. It costs the Big Three US automakers upwards of 1 Billion dollars and many years to design & test each new vehicle, with many of them running $2B just to get them into production. They have to sell 100,000+ of each model yearly for several years to recoup those costs (the Focus sells about 200k annually). How many Thor Hurricanes or Winne Adventurers sell each year?   No RV gets - or can afford - anywhere near that level of engineering and testing.

An entry level motorhome is more like a Yugo than a Focus.  ;)
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2016, 06:58:48 PM »
Quote
I imagine they have already purchased one of every type of American made RV at every price point and reverse engineered everything on board.

Heck, they don't even need to do that. They can buy all the components from the same manufacturers anyway. And of course, they can copy those too. They already produce some of the electronic components (how many of you have WFCO converters?), and RV water heaters, pumps, furnaces, absorption fridges, and such are all age-old designs, similar to what is widely used in many regions anyway. And they have plenty of cheap tires available too!

I expect to see more and more Chinese-made RV components in the near future, which the RV makers will gladly snap up as further cost reductions. The vendors of RV components will be the first ones to feel the shock of lost sales.
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2016, 07:21:40 PM »
Heck, they don't even need to do that. They can buy all the components from the same manufacturers anyway. And of course, they can copy those too. They already produce some of the electronic components (how many of you have WFCO converters?), and RV water heaters, pumps, furnaces, absorption fridges, and such are all age-old designs, similar to what is widely used in many regions anyway. And they have plenty of cheap tires available too!

I expect to see more and more Chinese-made RV components in the near future, which the RV makers will gladly snap up as further cost reductions. The vendors of RV components will be the first ones to feel the shock of lost sales.

Gary,  it kinda looks like they bought the whole Rexhall RV co. to me.  I believe Bill Rex is making electric buses and RVs for a Chinese parent company. ..
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 07:32:37 PM by TonyDtorch »

MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2016, 08:03:27 PM »
A very wealthy friend I know bought a brand new Newell and then a brand new Lincoln Navigator as a toad.
 He and his wife set off out on this epic cross-continental tour...but.. there were some issues that came up !

  It blew an oil line ( rubbed through on a brace ) in upstate NY and soaked the whole underside of the coach and the Lincoln,.... and there were several other lesser issues.

yes...Newell took care of everything as they should on a $ 2.1 mil. purchase.

The Navy even takes every multi million dollar, very well engineered, and very quality controlled very complex ship out for a shakedown cruise.....just to see what will go wrong.

same thing with an RV ... It's a hand made, very complex self contained house and vehicle,..... and stuff goes wrong on the brand new untested ones.... That's why people tell you to buy used ones.

that's why whenevery I buy a coach I put it up on my lift and check it out... all kinds of stuff waiting to go bad under there...

now since the alpine moved in... guess I have to get a 50,000 lb lift... :P
Edit: Removed excess white space.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 09:00:37 PM by Tom »
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MYRV2

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2016, 08:09:03 PM »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2016, 08:10:46 PM »
Quote
it kinda looks like they bought the whole Rexhall RV co. to me.  I believe Bill Rex is making electric buses and RVs for a Chinese parent company.

Buses, anyway. I think the RV things got put on the back burner, but it could come back to the fore at any moment. Haven't heard much of it lately, though.
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2016, 08:20:49 PM »
Buses, anyway. I think the RV things got put on the back burner, but it could come back to the fore at any moment. Haven't heard much of it lately, though.

The Chinese got the bid on a electric bus contract for Long Beach Ca. ....rather smart of them to buy an existing struggling custom vehicle manufacturing co. and skip a lot of gov. red tape.

I think it's referred to as     "a global economy"... :)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 08:34:36 PM by TonyDtorch »

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2016, 10:13:38 AM »
From the perspective of one who's considering the purchase of his first motorhome, I'm one of the 90% who are doing exactly what the recent RVIA study stated: Doing the bulk of my research online and absorbing all the information I can find in the forums and on YouTube. Yes, I've visited numerous dealerships and with few exceptions during the first visit I keep hearing the phrase, "what's it going to take for you to buy today?" I provide an honest response...

- Sell me a new 42' - 45' top tier, brand name motorhome that you can promise will allow me to spend my leisurely time enjoying it while traveling the USA and not worrying about how to fix things that brake and ones that should have been caught at the factory and I'll consider writing a check today.

- Find me one where the slides will work as promised, that doesn't squeak, creak and leak and is built with quality in mind through every step of the manufacturing process and is road and field tested prior to delivery and possibly I'll buy today.

- Show me that you have a training program that will teach me how to operate this safely and have confidence in knowing how to work the systems properly and we'll sit down at your desk to fill out the contract.

- Let me know that your techs have been properly trained and know how to inspect it before I drive it off the lot to insure a pleasant user experience.

- Put in writing that you will provide prompt service that fixes things that break in a timely manner and when I'm on the road you'll get me into remote service locations with a single phone call so that I don't have to worry about if the issue is being caused by the house, chassis or another component so that my down time is limited. Camping out at service centers for weeks awaiting service is not my idea of a recreational activity. (Aren't these supposed to be Recreational Vehicles?)

- If the same thing keeps breaking and I've given you ample time to fix it, you'll be as fair to me as a car dealership or a reputable home builder and find a way to make things right.

- Don't make me sign documents that take way any rights I may have should I end up with a lemon and that the company that manufactures it stands behind its products and has a method of providing me quality service by professionals trained on its motorhomes so that I don't keep hearing that I have to drive 2,000 miles to obtain factory service and yes, I'll buy today.

Crickets.

It seems the salespeople and manufacturers I've come in contact with to date are selling the dream, but don't have methods of backing up what they are saying.

So yes, I'm reading the RV Daily Report series and I applaud its effort in bringing these issues to light. I don't know his motives, but I'm glad he's taking the time to do it. I can only hope the RV industry provides a valid response to the issues that surface through that series.

Not being a mechanic or one who has strong DYI skills, honestly I'm considering walking away as I don't want my dream of traveling by motorhome to be a nightmare. I'm hoping the RV industry takes these reports seriously and understands there's folks like me who are not afraid of writing a $400K check, but due to the countless forum threads that speak of motorhomes from all brands in my price range that are poorly made, include components that often fail, wiring and plumbing that is poorly assembled and the long waits to get things fixed, I may simply walk away without buying. Don't get me wrong, this has been a dream of mine for decades and I've worked long and hard for this privilege. And yes, I'm miffed on what has happened to this industry.

I'm sure there will be people who will tell me to buy used, but I'm one of those rare birds who want to buy new and have the latest in safety and engineering.

Maybe I'm just not the right type of person to buy a motorhome and I'm learning that maybe that's true. If so, it's a shame as it's something I've wanted to do for the past 30 years and now I'm ready, willing and able to follow my dream and am close to the point of walking away.

Honestly, considering that most new buyers read about the high level of complaints with quality control issues and long wait times to get service I can't be the only one who's getting scared away from buying. While I've been working towards this moment where I can easily afford just about any motorhome I want, just reading about the lack of quality control measures and the difficulties new owners face have given me great pause in my long awaited plans to do something I dreamed of for decades.

I'll close this long post by saying this:

If there's a dealer or a manufacturer that can offer a solution, please post in this thread as I can only guess I'm not the only potential buyer who wants to hear what you have to say.

I sure hope I don't hear the sound of crickets again.

kdbgoat

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2016, 01:28:42 PM »
PBG- I'm with you on that. I certainly can't write a $400k check, but I can afford something more reasonable to me. I don't necessarily have to have new. I want to get a motorhome, so the only tbing I can come up with is buy a used one and redo it to my liking. That's not what I want to do,  but don't see much other way. I need to print out your "salesman list" and start taking it with me.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2016, 02:21:09 PM »
Gary,  it kinda looks like they bought the whole Rexhall RV co. to me.  I believe Bill Rex is making electric buses and RVs for a Chinese parent company. ..

I drive through Lancaster, CA a couple of times a week on my way to one of our transmitter sites.  Rexhall has moved their RV manufacturing from their former factory to their much smaller sales and service center adjacent to Hwy 14 and are only building RVs to order.  Occasionally I'll see one under construction in one of their service bays but it's not what I'd call a full production factory.

The main factory was sold to Chinese bus maker BYD in 2013 to make electric buses for the US market, with Bill Rex and several key employees staying on to run the factory.   Read between the lines of this article and it seems RV production is but an afterthought.

https://rv-pro.com/news/rexhall-industries-relocates-hq-bill-rex-becomes-byd-electric-bus-factory-gm

They also built a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery plant two miles away in an old Budweiser facility.  Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries compare favorably to the Lithium Ion batteries used by Tesla, etc.

http://theavtimes.com/2013/05/01/lancaster-welcomes-byd/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 02:48:20 PM by Lou Schneider »

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2016, 04:34:44 PM »
well, IMO they built a pretty decent motorhome, 

  but 'another one bites the dust' ...as they say.

.

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scottydl

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2016, 06:50:40 PM »
I'm sure there will be people who will tell me to buy used, but I'm one of those rare birds who want to buy new and have the latest in safety and engineering.

Nothing wrong with that (especially since you can afford it), but it's important to realize that not a whole lot has changed in motorhome/bus safety and engineering over the last several years.  There may be more superficial creature comforts available in some newer models, but otherwise you don't get much more for buying new.

Maybe I'm just not the right type of person to buy a motorhome and I'm learning that maybe that's true. If so, it's a shame as it's something I've wanted to do for the past 30 years and now I'm ready, willing and able to follow my dream and am close to the point of walking away.

You have a pretty realistic and detailed outlook on things, but I don't know if that "abandoning ship" is really what you need to do here.  However it IS important for anyone considering RV'ing to realize that some tinkering is involved to keep these rigs working right.  It doesn't mean you will have to do it all yourself, but that means you'll be paying someone else to do it.  RV's are houses bouncing down the road, so from a practical perspective it makes sense that things will come loose and need ongoing maintenance.  Buying high-end will get you better quality interior materials, so that should minimize some of those issues.

Heck if you have $400k available for an RV purchase, maybe look at a $300k unit instead and set aside $100k for repairs (most of which you'll probably never need).  Most of us have units that are WELL under $100k (and my combo was barely 15% of that!) and we've had a great time doing the RV thing.  You'll be fine.  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2016, 07:02:56 PM »
Here's Part 3 and this explains a lot.

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-death-spiral-suppliers-in-a-tough-spot/

Opinions and advice welcomed!

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2016, 12:09:54 PM »
That is a pretty decent article, covering a lot of the factors that make it difficult to achieve any quality improvement. I don't think of it as a "death spiral", though, but it does preserve the status quo (which is mediocrity).

One of the underlying problems is that it's a fairly low volume business, averaging about 30k new units/month even in the current good times. Motorhome sales, A, B & C together, are a mere 4k/month. Contrast with the auto industry, that sells around 1400K units/month (and that's doesn't count anything bigger than a pick-up truck either). Most of those sales are travel trailers and toward the low end in both size and price. Suppliers build pretty much the same a/c or furnace or water heater for those as for the higher end models, sharing as much of the components and costs as possible. That puts a lot of price pressure on those appliances, in addition to design constraints that make them only marginal in larger rigs. 

The RVIA could do a lot to develop and promote new standards and thus assure that suppliers would have a market for a new and better product, but they do little of that. The auto industry learned long ago to work together through the neutral SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) to develop component standards they could share that would enable mass production of components and entice competition among their suppliers as well. So, RVs still have to sandwich a roof a/c to fit in the 14x14 roof opening used by the original Ventline roof vent since around 1970, even though it makes the air handling noisy and inefficient and limits the btu output severely. An attempt by Airxcel (aka Coleman-Mach) to get around that with a basement air product failed to garner enough customers to be viable, since only larger Class A units could employ it.  A much better roof air could be built around a 20x20 roof opening and even small trailers could use that size, but the industry has failed to develop a new standard so that a/c and roof vent manufacturers could design improved products to fit it with the assurance that there will be a customer for it when ready. There is simply no impetus in the RVIA to change anything except to avoid federally imposed safety standards. They have committees that work with the NEC (electrical code) and NFPA (fire safety), but they don't work within the RV industry to develop ways to build a better RV. Heck, if even one major manufacturer, e.g. Thor or Forest River, committed to a new standard design, it would probably be practical to get it into production, but they don't seem to care.
Gary
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PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2016, 12:40:46 PM »
...but they don't seem to care.

Those six words seem to sum up the theme of the entire RV industry as they seem to only care about getting them out of the factory quickly and have forgotten the importance of building a quality product.

From the point of view of someone who is shopping for a first motorhome, it's a scary proposition.

I'm just curious and would like to pose a question to the folks on RV Forum:

While this is pie in the sky, if there was an option to pay a fee (let's say 5% of the purchase price) to have a motorhome that's delivered as bug free as humanly possible, would you pay it?

dcbinvt

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2016, 12:52:40 PM »
Bought a new 2016 Roadtrek. Delivered at mile 67.
I ordered it specifically - took 3 months for them to build.
Emphasized to dealer "check it out well!"
2 major coach problems - 1 cut a trip short when I was 1,000 miles out.
No service where I was.
11 minor coach problems - should have been found at dealer check out.
Fit and finish only moderate.
Looks like poor quality control at the factory, AND the dealer obviously did NOT check it out.
Won't buy another or recommend Roadtrek.


sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2016, 12:55:36 PM »
Those six words seem to sum up the theme of the entire RV industry as they seem to only care about getting them out of the factory quickly and have forgotten the importance of building a quality product.

From the point of view of someone who is shopping for a first motorhome, it's a scary proposition.

I'm just curious and would like to pose a question to the folks on RV Forum:

While this is pie in the sky, if there was an option to pay a fee (let's say 5% of the purchase price) to have a motorhome that's delivered as bug free as humanly possible, would you pay it?

Sure I would pay it, but 5% would not even come close to making the product bug free, and therein lies the problem.
steve
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PJ Stough

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2016, 01:02:54 PM »
Bought a new 2016 Roadtrek. Delivered at mile 67.
I ordered it specifically - took 3 months for them to build.
Emphasized to dealer "check it out well!"
2 major coach problems - 1 cut a trip short when I was 1,000 miles out.
No service where I was.
11 minor coach problems - should have been found at dealer check out.
Fit and finish only moderate.
Looks like poor quality control at the factory, AND the dealer obviously did NOT check it out.
Won't buy another or recommend Roadtrek.

I would have thought you would hold the dealer's feet to the fire by asking what all was checked out on the RV, did they find any problems, and if so, did they fix them before you took delivery, so when problems arose you could at least call them liars.
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SeilerBird

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2016, 01:11:03 PM »

While this is pie in the sky, if there was an option to pay a fee (let's say 5% of the purchase price) to have a motorhome that's delivered as bug free as humanly possible, would you pay it?
No it is just not possible to make an RV that is bug free. A lot of the problems don't pop up until it gets driven a few thousand shaky miles down the road. And lots of problems only show up when it is really hot or really cold. Way too many diverse conditions to test it under.
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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2016, 01:18:06 PM »
Sure I would pay it, but 5% would not even come close to making the product bug free, and therein lies the problem.

Two Questions:

1) I wonder how much the surcharge would be to deliver a coach that works as promoted?

2) Is that even possible?

I'm really starting to re-think my desire to buy a motorhome as possibly, I have too high a level of expectations. These things aren't cheap and the expectation of buying quality seems reasonable. I've never been one for Government regulations, but maybe it's time to ask our elected representatives to include motorhomes into the lemon laws. From what I've read, it seems that RVIA has done all it can do to lobby politicians to make sure lemon laws don't apply to motorhomes. This is just sad.

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2016, 01:22:57 PM »
No it is just not possible to make an RV that is bug free. A lot of the problems don't pop up until it gets driven a few thousand shaky miles down the road. And lots of problems only show up when it is really hot or really cold. Way too many diverse conditions to test it under.

I asked a manufacturer's representative (not a dealer salesperson) if when the driver delivers a coach from the factory to a dealer that's located 1,000 miles away, does the driver report issues noticed along the way.

The answer I received was, that's not his job.

My follow up question was, why not? Would it be that difficult for the driver to report the steering or brakes are problematic or that the slide was making a lot of noise? It seems that by even doing something that simple, things can be identified and fixed before it's given to the buyer and would make that punch list a little bit shorter.

I really don't get this industry.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2016, 01:41:20 PM »
 RV's are a complex handmade mobile self-sustaining house and vehicle and typically they all require ongoing maintenance and some repair.
This is why everyone is saying to buy a used RV that is already gone through all the 'Shake-down' process.

the odds of nothing going wrong with anything less than a brand new million dollar rv is very slim...

 if you can't handle buying a used rv,  or any rv that may need some tinkering then maybe you really should just stick to motels for your travels.



good luck.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 01:55:41 PM by TonyDtorch »

scottydl

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2016, 07:01:25 PM »
No it is just not possible to make an RV that is bug free. A lot of the problems don't pop up until it gets driven a few thousand shaky miles down the road. And lots of problems only show up when it is really hot or really cold. Way too many diverse conditions to test it under.

Very well said, and realistically put.

I'm really starting to re-think my desire to buy a motorhome as possibly, I have too high a level of expectations. These things aren't cheap and the expectation of buying quality seems reasonable.

I agree with both of these... but it seems like your expectation may be to buy "perfect" or "problem free."  That just will not happen.  But it doesn't mean you'll end up with a piece of junk either!  Many of us have done just fine over the years, hanging out enjoying RV'ing and dealing with the little problems that pop up along the way.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

tcg

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2016, 10:37:06 PM »
I'll jump in with my newbie opinion.

I'm 52, the wife and I have been married for 32 years, been together since high school.

We always planned to buy an RV around age 62 when we retire. I had a heart attack, stroke and a couple cardiac interventions in the last couple years. Because of that we moved up our plan to a couple weeks ago. I may not make 62. Damn genes.

We could have easily plopped down a hundred grand cash and picked up a new RV but we decided if the lifestyle wasn't for us we didn't want to take the hit on a new one as soon as we drove it off the lot.

We looked at dealers for a decent class c under 30' for 30 - 50 grand. The ones that were available were in tough shape for the money. I can't believe how many dealers don't bother even vacuuming their used inventory before showing them

So then we turned to Craigslist figuring with our budget we should be able to find something decent, nope still a bunch of crap, overpriced and falling apart.

Then I saw a listing for a 1996 Shasta 28'. The guy wanted 14 grand. What the heck, it was the holiday weekend and we weren't doing anything so we went and took a look. Turned out to be the most pleasant experience and the rig was the cleanest best maintained RV we ever looked at. I offered 10 and we settled on 12,000.

I spent about a grand on things like a new sewer hose, drinking water hoses, adapters, a new mattress, etc...(lots of etc...) I spent another 6 grand on a small scooter and carrier. We have plenty of cash left over to really explore the lifestyle.

If for some reason we don't like it we can sell it for what we paid for it and had a bunch of fun along the way. If we like it and I survive we will know exactly what we want when we move up to a newer one.

The exterior is very clean with no rust or rot. The roof is all sealed with no evidence of leaks. The awning is 2 years old, there are 6 brand new tires and meticulous service records. The interior is dated but very clean and nothing is broken. The cab is like new.  The cab does not have power windows or locks but who cares. Even if I had to replace the A/C, converter (that will probablly happen before our month long trip to Florida this winter), and generator we're still way a head. And it's only has 45,000 miles.

So the whole point of this is we may have gone way to the other end of buying a brand new rig but don't discount buying something with some age to test out the water.

This also wasn't a single good find, we did find one other 2001 28' with a slide for 20 grand but the guy accepted my offer and then his wife decided to try and get more by pitting me against another offer. We decided not to play and walked away from that deal but had I gone for the whole 20,000 it would have been a fabulous deal.

As far as death spiral, we enjoy watching those RV shows where they follow people through the buying experience. We can not believe how many first time buyers who never even drove an RV will plop down in excess of a hundred grand for something they're not even sure about. So it appears as though there are plenty of people willing to buy those shiny new rigs bugs and all.

scottydl

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2016, 10:58:47 PM »
Great post tcg, thanks for sharing... and take care of yourself so you can enjoy that RV as long as possible!  ;D
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2016, 09:31:16 AM »
Quote
While this is pie in the sky, if there was an option to pay a fee (let's say 5% of the purchase price) to have a motorhome that's delivered as bug free as humanly possible, would you pay it?

 I think a competent RV tech (not always easy to find) could sort out many production line defects with 12-16 hours of work-time checking everything out thoroughly. It's not even all that difficult, but it is definitely time consuming. Fill water system and pressure test. Fill and empty the waste tanks and check gauges. Run fridge to cold on both gas and electric. Check batteries, operate all the drawers and cabinet doors,  weigh and check tire pressure, etc. etc. etc. The sales department isn't willing to pay the service dept for that amount of tech labor, though, cause it comes right off the bottom line, meaning the selling price has to be $1000-$1500 higher. It also delays delivery by a day or so, which can be a an issue for the buyer.  Some places only allow a couple hours of "prep" time, perhaps just having the "lot boy" wash it up and take a quick look through..

Note that this is delivery prep & diagnostic time only - any required repairs can be billed to the factory as warranty items.

Realistically, how do you tell a customer that it is going to cost $1000+ more to make sure the factory screw-ups are found and fixed? Or that the reason your selling price is higher than a competitors is that you make sure it actually works right?
Gary
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2016, 09:43:52 AM »
American Coach offers a VIP Factory Delivery option that essentially does what you suggest. The factory has a team that does what they expect a dealer to do for a luxury class coach buyer, i.e. verify everything and respond to all the customers questions and concerns.  The factory charges for this service ($1400 the last I knew, but that was 3+ years ago) and its up to the buyer to negotiate that into the price he pays the dealer for the rig (you still buy from a dealer, even though you take delivery at the factory).

Many luxury coach buyers choose this option, enough so that American actually built a VIP facility to handle them on a daily basis. Presumably someone buying a new coach that is upwards of $400k and maybe as much as $1M will consider that money well-spent (I would!).
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2016, 10:17:14 AM »
 I would just look at the saleman and tell him... before I write you a check for $400,000,   you need to throw in this 0.35% option that should have been included in the deal anyway...

what do you think he will say ?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 10:25:13 AM by TonyDtorch »

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2016, 10:55:21 AM »
I think a competent RV tech (not always easy to find) could sort out many production line defects with 12-16 hours of work-time checking everything out thoroughly. It's not even all that difficult, but it is definitely time consuming. Fill water system and pressure test. Fill and empty the waste tanks and check gauges. Run fridge to cold on both gas and electric. Check batteries, operate all the drawers and cabinet doors,  weigh and check tire pressure, etc. etc. etc. The sales department isn't willing to pay the service dept for that amount of tech labor, though, cause it comes right off the bottom line, meaning the selling price has to be $1000-$1500 higher. It also delays delivery by a day or so, which can be a an issue for the buyer.  Some places only allow a couple hours of "prep" time, perhaps just having the "lot boy" wash it up and take a quick look through..

Note that this is delivery prep & diagnostic time only - any required repairs can be billed to the factory as warranty items.

Realistically, how do you tell a customer that it is going to cost $1000+ more to make sure the factory screw-ups are found and fixed? Or that the reason your selling price is higher than a competitors is that you make sure it actually works right?

This is what confuses me about this industry. What has happened that makes the manufacturers feel that it's okay to deliver flawed motorhomes to the dealers that have not been thoroughly checked out? Don't they realize that they are creating ill will between its dealers and the customers by delivering new coaches that come with long punch lists? How long would it take them to put it through a few paces? Two days? Instead, the new owner needs to spend a few months addressing these issues.

I come from an industry where customer satisfaction is tantamount and we believe the first impressions are lasting impressions. It seems the fix is easy...don't release new production models until they have been thoroughly checked out. And, during delivery, if the long haul driver spots a flaw, allow it to be repaired prior to delivering it to the buyer. I'm really confused on why the buyer needs to go through the inconvenience of having to list repairs that should have been addressed prior to leaving the factory.

I guess this is why the manufacturers don't pay J.D. Powers to conduct surveys. And, if they did, they would never let us see the results.

While I thought the "Death Spiral" title of Greg's series was a bit overkill, maybe it's accurate as the industry is killing itself.


Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2016, 11:05:55 AM »
Depends on whether you already negotiated a low price before adding that extra on. If you stated it up front, he already knows you will be paying the factory for delivery prep and he will "save" whatever his own prep cost would have been, so it's already factored into the selling price. But if you negotiated a rock bottom price up front and then said, "Oh, and you have to throw in this $1400 option", it might just be a deal breaker. Or he might say, "I'll knock off $500 more and you are on your own at the factory".

Just to be clear, he doesn't get a penny of the VIP Delivery fee: it is paid directly to the factory at the time of delivery.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #52 on: July 13, 2016, 11:08:03 AM »
Airplanes and big boats are tested before delivery ....

but for some reason people that buy motorhomes want to be the first person to crap in the toilet ?...so to say.

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #53 on: July 13, 2016, 11:10:25 AM »
Quote
While I thought the "Death Spiral" title of Greg's series was a bit overkill, maybe it's accurate as the industry is killing itself.

Not hardly. It's the way they have always done business, and RV sales are at an all time high. Why would they change anything? And all the manufacturers do the same, so no internal competition either.

Not really any different than the US auto industry before the Japanese invasion. It took real competition on both price and quality to force a change in attitude.
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #54 on: July 13, 2016, 11:11:06 AM »
it would make the product look much better if that '.35% option' was included in the base price.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 11:14:33 AM by TonyDtorch »

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2016, 11:13:46 AM »

Not really any different than the US auto industry before the Japanese invasion. It took real competition on both price and quality to force a change in attitude.

then they need to make shipping containers wider and longer for the industry to ever change.

I can't wait for my new Monako to arrive from Amazon... :)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 11:17:13 AM by TonyDtorch »

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2016, 11:18:18 AM »
"Oh, and you have to throw in this $1400 option", it might just be a deal breaker. Or he might say, "I'll knock off $500 more and you are on your own at the factory".

Just to be clear, he doesn't get a penny of the VIP Delivery fee: it is paid directly to the factory at the time of delivery.

While I'm not intending to be glib, maybe the VIP Deliver Fee is simply misnamed. Possibly it should simply be included in the price and if the buyer doesn't want to pay it, call it the "sucker" discount. Here's how it would play out:

Salesman: Here's the best price I can give you and the motorhome will be thoroughly checked, tested and all items operated at the factory by a professional. This price is 30% off the published MSRP.

Buyer: That's too much, I want a discount.

Salesman: Okay, we can remove the quality control check and I can save you $1,500, but you'll need to create your own punch list, then wait in line to get them fixed.


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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2016, 11:25:00 AM »
Not hardly. It's the way they have always done business, and RV sales are at an all time high. Why would they change anything? And all the manufacturers do the same, so no internal competition either.

Not really any different than the US auto industry before the Japanese invasion. It took real competition on both price and quality to force a change in attitude.

Why should the manufactures change they way they've worked in the past? The simple answer is: The Internet.

As a recent RVIA research report stated, 90% of buyers utilize the Internet to research new RVs and Motorhomes. 70% utilize YouTube videos.

Threads such as these (and this topic is being discussed on various forums) create a buyer beware attitude and can give new buyers a major pause and remove the emotion from the purchase.

I'm speaking from a first person's view as I'm currently in the research/shopping mode. Yes, I'm starting to consider the possibility of a pre-owned Foretravel and quite possibly an older Prevost over a new Cornerstone or Grand Tour. Less sizzle and features, but proven models.

sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2016, 11:51:16 AM »
Airplanes and big boats are tested before delivery ....

but for some reason people that buy motorhomes want to be the first person to crap in the toilet ?...so to say.

Yea but, you can sure flush the toilet. and ensure it works and doesn't leak, without have to crap in it.

This nonsense that the industry apologist's proclaim, that your buying a house on a truck so you must expect problems, is a load of el toro ca ca. The best example is trailerable boats, they ride on the backs of trailers, about the same as RVs, you dump them in the water and they don't leak. How can that happen? The cruisers have beds like an RV, a galley like an RV, and a head like an RV, and they all work. And nothing you put an RV through, including boondocking out across the country will compare to the pounding that a boat takes crossing the chop to return to port before the storm. Those boats don't cost more than many RVs, and often cost quite a bit less.

I've purchased and owned 8 houses, 3 of them brand new. In everyone, every system, worked from day 1. Not 1 toilet leaked, not 1 sink failed to work, every AC unit, every furnace, and water heater, worked right on the first try. Maybe, just maybe, the RV industry needs to try just a bit harder.

BTW, I can't say that about my "new" motorhome, 6 months old tomorrow, spent the first 4 months in storage, it was cold until mid April, and a month of the last 2 awaiting repairs at the dealer's lot. Bad water heater.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 11:59:24 AM by sadixon49 »
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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2016, 12:18:02 PM »

This nonsense that the industry apologist's proclaim, that your buying a house on a truck so you must expect problems, is a load of el toro ca ca.

I had a similar conversation with a Friend over the weekend. The subject was the motorhome manufacturer's line about driving in a earthquake through hurricane force winds. I provided a first hand experience...

I live in South Florida...a hurricane zone. Ten years ago I lived in a house that was built prior to the current building standards. When a tropical storm would blow through, the windows would vibrate and the roof seemed like it could blow off. Wind would leak through the house.

I later purchased a new construction home built to current standards and guess what? Even in hurricane winds, the house doesn't budge. It's basically silent. Because it has a standby generator, it's a safe and comfortable place to ride out a storm.

So, how does this equate to motorhome manufacturers? Simply stated: New building codes are needed. These "built to RVIA standards" don't seem to be doing the job. Build a better house, have a pleasurable experience. This is what happens when you have the motorhome manufacturers establishing its own standard of quality.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2016, 12:29:45 PM »
Yea but, you can sure flush the toilet. and ensure it works and doesn't leak, without have to crap in it.

that test will only tell you the toilet will pass water...but what about other stuff ?

and will that toilet not leak after 2,000 miles with 'other stuff' in it ?  you can drive a new motorhome 2,ooo miles in a couple days.

a new owner expects it to first go comfortably bouncing down the road at 75mph,  then extend/retract the slides unlevel, cook dinner, shower with hot water, sleep in heated room, watch satellite TV,... all in a driving wind and rain storm with an overnight freeze with then stay cool for the 120 degree next day...without a single glitch.

technically, brand new = untested in RV's... unless you want a factory QC service tech to actually take a cross country vacation in your brand new motorhome.  :)
 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 01:07:53 PM by TonyDtorch »

sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #61 on: July 13, 2016, 02:18:53 PM »
that test will only tell you the toilet will pass water...but what about other stuff ?

and will that toilet not leak after 2,000 miles with 'other stuff' in it ?  you can drive a new motorhome 2,000 miles in a couple days.

a new owner expects it to first go comfortably bouncing down the road at 75mph,  then extend/retract the slides unlevel, cook dinner, shower with hot water, sleep in heated room, watch satellite TV,... all in a driving wind and rain storm with an overnight freeze with then stay cool for the 120 degree next day...without a single glitch.

technically, brand new = untested in RV's... unless you want a factory QC service tech to actually take a cross country vacation in your brand new motorhome.  :)

My motorhome, a 2016 Thor FE22, has less than 1000 miles on it. It's been out 3 weekends, for 5 overnight stays, and has had the water heater fail, 4 weeks at the dealer, and now the toilet will no longer hold water in the bowl, leaking thru the seal. At no time was it driven hard, it was never out in a storm or cold weather, I waited until there was no freezing weather in the long term forecasts before commissioning the water system, the mileage has been easy, most of the miles have been either predelivery or trips to the dealer. Less than 300 actual camping miles. I just wish they could do better.

As for field testing, they don't need to be tested in every situation, if they would just test them once at the factory they would get way more than 50% of these problems. The point is they don't test them, because they don't want to know they've got problems. They just ship them off to the dealers, hoping the PDI won't catch them, then they can blame the problems on  something the owner did or didn't do, tie it up in finger pointing from manufacturer, to supplier, to dealer, to purchaser, for a year and when your warranty is gone, well you're on your own. That's how it seems to work.
steve
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scottydl

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2016, 02:26:43 PM »
Yes, I'm starting to consider the possibility of a pre-owned Foretravel and quite possibly an older Prevost over a new Cornerstone or Grand Tour. Less sizzle and features, but proven models.

This thread is getting to the reason why so many of us buy (and recommend) gently used RV's over brand new ones.  You let someone else take the depreciation hit, and many of those "new RV shakedown" issues have already been handled.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #63 on: July 13, 2016, 03:01:54 PM »
This thread is getting to the reason why so many of us buy (and recommend) gently used RV's over brand new ones.  You let someone else take the depreciation hit, and many of those "new RV shakedown" issues have already been handled.

Just since the RV Daily Report series has been released, I've changed from looking at top tier Class A's to pre-owned Foretravel and Prevost models.

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2016, 03:46:39 PM »
I rarely get into this often discussed new vs used RV because I have purchased both.

But, I guarantee that I will have more time and experience hiding my mistakes, poor workmanship and lackadaisical approach to maintenance and repair from you, the used purchaser, than the factory installers ever had hiding the same from me, the new purchaser.

When the factory installers win this game I have a warranty to cover the costs of repair. When I win this game it will be on your dime, period.
Larry --  Olathe, Kansas
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sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2016, 03:54:03 PM »
Just a note to say the 4th section is now out, "dealers drop the ball on service".http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-industry-death-spiral-part-4-dealers-drop-the-ball-on-service/
steve
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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2016, 05:19:26 PM »
Just a note to say the 4th section is now out, "dealers drop the ball on service".http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-industry-death-spiral-part-4-dealers-drop-the-ball-on-service/

Ugh. This just keeps getting stranger.

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2016, 05:41:32 PM »
I'm not one to jump on the "RV death spiral" bandwagon, largely because I don't necessarily agree - most indicators point in the other direction, but I DO believe there's a lot of room for improvement.

I just got off the phone with some good friends whom we've been camping with for years. When it comes to RV ownership, they've been around the block - having owned several new and used Class A motorhomes and trailers. We've been planning a trip to Oregon with them for about a year, and we're due to leave in a few weeks. In April, they bought a brand new (2016) 35 foot gas Class A. Folks, you would not believe all the problems they've had with this new coach (sadly, maybe you would) I'm talking about major components on both the house and chassis that must be replaced.

The upper corners on both sides of the front cap have to be replaced (they've shifted!) A roof A/C unit has to be replaced as well as the power steering pump, a leveling jack, the hydraulic pump for the jacks, several dash-air components, the bottom freezer door of the residential fridge (it's bent and won't close), there's an inoperative tail light... the list goes on and on. And they just learned through a VIN check that when the coach was being delivered to the dealership from the factory, the driver had to leave it at a Ford dealership so some chassis electrical components could be replaced.

These are some very positive, hard working folks who paid well over $100,000.00 for their new coach - only to have this happen to them. They are so discouraged that they just wish they had their old trailer back. They say that the dealer and manufacturer have been helpful and supportive, but that only goes so far. They're probably not going to be able to go on the trip with us, and I couldn't think of a thing to say to make them feel better. Maybe the industry is in a death spiral, maybe it's not - I don't know. But I DO know that there's a hell of a lot of room for improvement - especially in quality control.

Kev
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 06:46:17 PM by Kevin Means »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #68 on: July 13, 2016, 06:32:40 PM »
The RV manufacturer thinks the pre-delivery prep/check is included in the price (the MSRP). Dealers bargain it away as they strive to win customers with a low price. You might remember that the next time you demand a 30% discount on that new RV....

Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #69 on: July 13, 2016, 07:02:50 PM »
The RV manufacturer thinks the pre-delivery prep/check is included in the price (the MSRP). Dealers bargain it away as they strive to win customers with a low price. You might remember that the next time you demand a 30% discount on that new RV....

it would be like buying a wholesale motorcycle @ 30% off MSRP. ...."here's your crate, put it together and let us know if anything is wrong."...but much worse.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 07:04:44 PM by TonyDtorch »

tcg

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #70 on: July 13, 2016, 08:34:33 PM »
For close to 30 years I've had a business that cleans boats for dealers. Everything from 11' tenders to 3 million dollar 70' yachts.

What's being discussed in this topic is not specific to the RV industry.

You would think a 2 million dollar yacht would show up from the factory ready to go, nope, takes a week to get it ready if nothing is wrong. I've made an excellent living cleaning up from the factory and the techs that prep these things.

You would also think if a tech were working on a million+ dollar yacht they might remove their shoes or put down some protective floor covering, nope, not their yacht. More money for me.

Broken toilets? Blown motors? Power anything? It all comes in not working, some are worse than others.

I'm usually the last guy on a delivery before the customer shows up. I can't count how many times I've told the service department about things they missed from scratches to leaking anything. We've cleaned close to 20,000 boats in almost 30 years and it's progressively gotten worse.

Not sure what the problem is, probablly cheap labor at the factories and cheap parts in an attempt to make more money for the share holders.

But rest assured it's not just one industry.

Lou Schneider

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #71 on: July 13, 2016, 08:37:37 PM »
One problem is there's no real incentive for a dealer or manufacturer to expedite warranty repairs.  They have their money at the time of the sale, so it's to their financial advantage to invest as little as possible on repairs.  Often this results in a DMV-like experience for the owner, where it's more economical to make them wait in a queue for parts or for a service technician to work on their unit instead of front-loading the system to provide a better consumer experience.

Maybe one solution would be in the form of a hold-back at time of purchase - say the purchaser pays 90% of the agreed on price up front and withholds the final 10% until the warranty expires assuming they've had a satisfactory repair experience?

Another way this might work would be to make the manufacturer or dealer responsible for paying the interest on the purchase loan during the time the RV is out of service for warranty repairs.  If an RV is out of service for 3 weeks between the time a purchaser reports a defect to the time the RV is returned to them fully repaired, the dealer or manufacturer gets to pay 3 weeks worth of interest on the purchase loan.  Let the manufacturer and dealer fight it out among themselves as to who's responsible for the delay.  Suddenly it's to their financial advantage to optimize the repair experience.

It's not fair to expect an RV owner to not only be deprived of the use of his new RV for weeks or months at a time while basic QC problems are corrected, but also expecting him to pay the accumulating loan interest while the RV is not in his possession is crazy.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 09:01:32 PM by Lou Schneider »

kdbgoat

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2016, 05:38:14 AM »
tcg- at least the boat industry is going through them to get them right before the customer get them.
Lou- I have often thought the dealer or manufacturer should pay the full amount of money on the loan, not just interest. If they have it in their possession, they "rent" it. I'll start paying again when it's in my possession. I'm not talking about a two day, two night stay for repairs, I'm talking about when it's in for an extended time.
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tcg

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #74 on: July 15, 2016, 04:32:48 PM »
We cleaned a 3 million dollar yacht today. I noticed "that smell" you know a leaking holding tank smell. Turns out it shipped from the factory with a 4" hole in the holding tank that was fixed at the factory with tape.

Go figure.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #75 on: July 15, 2016, 04:52:13 PM »
Wow! An excellent article and even better than the one I have been contemplating writing myself. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I any of my regular outlets would publish it when/if I did write it!

The shoddy campground websites and unresponsiveness to web forms and email is one of my pet peeves. I may be 72 YO, but I use the internet to find and check out campsites, see rates, make reservations etc. A website need not be fancy to handle the basics, and to fail to respond promptly to an email inquiry, especially one invited by the website, is absurd! Why "bother" to promote your campground online if you are going to ignore online customers anyway?
Gary
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sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #76 on: July 15, 2016, 07:52:34 PM »
I guess we're next. He's hit manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and now campgrounds, that just leaves consumers as the last part of the problem. I think I can take it. I know we got it coming.
steve
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spiral (Part 6)
« Reply #77 on: July 19, 2016, 04:48:00 PM »
Article 6 in the series, dealing with RV "associations"

http://rvdailyreport.com/opinion/rv-industry-death-spiral-part-6-associations-can-influence-change/

The shortcomings of the RVIA are another of my pet peeves. They could be doing so much to promote quality manufacturing, RV owner education, dealership service & support, and the overall RVing experience, yet their only idea seem to be more pictures of smiling couples next to an RV by an idyllic lake. Like that was real!  They seem to think they do a lot, but in practice they just apply whitewash everywhere.

Also, an interview with the author of the series, Greg Gerber:
http://www.rvbusiness.com/2016/07/the-buzz-whats-with-gerbers-death-spiral/
Gary
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Rocky Road

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2016, 12:31:02 AM »
An interesting series of articles and great discussion. Thanks for your posts!
Being an RV "wannabe", the articles have given me no small amount of concern about whether to take the plunge or not.  I was already convinced that a "gently used" Class A was the way to go and nothing I've read here changes that.  But the eye-opening part for me was the service issues - the time spent waiting to get your coach into service and then waiting to get it out.  Not to mention the lack of trained technicians to work on it when it does get in. 
The QC issue certainly rings true. You have only to read the myriad posts on this board to see that.  But, if two of the manufacturers control 83% of the market, why should we be surprised?  Where's their incentive to focus on quality?  Make it bright and shiny and get it sold.  It reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skit (and I mean OLD) talking about the phone company - "We're Ma Bell.  We don't care.  We don't have to".
Pete & Mary Ann (and Max, our personal furball)

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sadixon49

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2016, 06:46:01 AM »
Rocky, first welcome aboard, glad to have you here. The service you get as a paying customer, is much better than the service I would get as a warranty claim.
steve
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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2016, 07:17:56 AM »
Rocky - When I need work done on my RV I call a mobile mechanic. Solves all the problems of dealing with a dealership.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #81 on: July 20, 2016, 09:21:39 AM »
Quote
The service you get as a paying customer, is much better than the service I would get as a warranty claim.

That hasn't been my experience, but it surely depends a lot on the individual dealer.
Gary
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2dalake

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2016, 09:56:40 AM »
An interesting series of articles and great discussion. Thanks for your posts!
Being an RV "wannabe", the articles have given me no small amount of concern about whether to take the plunge or not.  I was already convinced that a "gently used" Class A was the way to go and nothing I've read here changes that.  But the eye-opening part for me was the service issues - the time spent waiting to get your coach into service and then waiting to get it out.  Not to mention the lack of trained technicians to work on it when it does get in. 
The QC issue certainly rings true. You have only to read the myriad posts on this board to see that.  But, if two of the manufacturers control 83% of the market, why should we be surprised?  Where's their incentive to focus on quality?  Make it bright and shiny and get it sold.  It reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skit (and I mean OLD) talking about the phone company - "We're Ma Bell.  We don't care.  We don't have to".

Certainly agree on looking for gently used.  We've done that X3 (upgrading each time) and it has worked for us. 

The service issue is a challenge, depending on where you are.  We own a Country Coach and if we lived in Oregon, service would be a piece of cake.  Since they were originally built there, there are several excellent independent and factory-based repair shops that get them in and out in a reasonable time and do good work.  I think if you live or are traveling near one of the places where there are a lot or RV's (Florida, Texas, AZ for example) you stand a better chance of finding service options.  We live in Virginia in a large metro area and our local options are pretty slim.  There are a couple of shops that do good work but they are overwhelmed and slow.  My coach spent two months in a shop last year for work that actually took 3 -4 days.  It has now been in another shop for two months getting the carpet replaced (had to wait on carpet then wait on installer).  We are leaving soon for a 3 month cross country trip and it will include two stops for service and repairs.... one in Iowa and another at the Winnebago/CC factory in Oregon. 

So, yes, in addition to the ongoing quality concerns there is the service hassle.  I fix what I can myself but when you do need the 'experts' to fix stuff you cannot or will not do yourself, it is not always easy or simple.  I have found mobile RV techs to be a great source when they are available and good. 

My best advice is to look for a good, used, well maintained coach with good bones and expect to spend some bucks upgrading it to your liking.  We bought our current high end rig for less than the price of an entry level new DP and have done our own interior upgrades.  The coach is rock solid.  JMO, the new stuff is not really much different other than it has more glitz and doodads, swirly paint jobs, and complex gizmos that seem to be hard to fix when they do break. 
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2016, 10:21:22 AM »
This whole thread reminds me of a member here, (hasn't been active for a while), RodgerS. For the newer members that didn't see his posts, Rodger was considering getting into RV's and was trying to figure out what would suit him. He was anal about researching EVERYTHING and was good at it. He went as far as taking RV Tech courses and worked in a dealer's service department that rented RV's.   FWIW- after all his research, the motorhome he figured out was the best deal for him overall without going into million dollar+ units was a Newmar.
His conclusion in the end though, was that he was going to put the top down on his Mercedes and tour the country that way.He figured owning an RV wasn't worth the hassle to him.
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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2016, 11:02:37 AM »

His conclusion in the end though, was that he was going to put the top down on his Mercedes and tour the country that way.He figured owning an RV wasn't worth the hassle to him.

From the perspective from someone who's been shopping for his first motorhome the past five months (me), I can say that based on my research, unless you are mechanically inclined, RogerS may have made a smart conclusion. Let's face it, for the price of a top tier Class A motorhome, you could buy a Bentley Convertible and have more than enough money left over to stay at Ritz Carlton's around the country for a number of years. But that's not what I want to do.

This is a sad scenario as there's folks like me who aren't mechanically inclined, but have wanted to have a smooth riding, dependable, spacious motorhome to travel the country on a part time/vacation basis. It's been a lifelong dream that I don't want to be a service nightmare. It's forums such as this one that allows people to be honest in their opinions and experiences that are very valuable to new potential buyers such as myself. Allow me to say, Thank You.

I'm doing my best to let quality, reliability and the availability of timely service drive me to my final decision and it seems that once I hone in on a specific model that will suit my needs, then the long waits for service give me pause. On more than one occasion, having the ability to buy now, I have asked a salesperson about a guarantee of receiving timely service when issues arise and I've yet to receive a response that makes me comfortable with spending this amount of money.

Right now, unless I start looking at pre-owned Prevost or Newell models, the new motorhomes that I would like to consider are the Winnebago Grand Tour or the American Coach Eagle. However, since there's so few user reviews on those specific models, it's difficult to know the challenges faced by the owners and the quality of coach when it was picked up at the dealer. I live in Florida and there's multiple dealers to buy from within a three hour drive. I want to buy locally and don't see the long term benefit to establishing a relationship with a dealer located more than 1,000 miles away. I'd prefer to establish a relationship with a reputable dealer that's located within a reasonable distance who will be there for me when service is needed and can do so without hassle. I haven't found that yet.

It seems that things are moving so fast and furious in this industry that the manufacturers don't have a conscience in letting these units out the door with defects and place the burden on the dealers. From what I've learned so far, it's seems to be the responsibility of the new owner to spot the defects before driving off the lot or to wait in long lines to get these defects fixed. All that time is wasted and the warranty clock is ticking away. From what I've learned so far is that this "death spiral" originates at the manufactures delivering bug-filled units that are taxing the ability of the dealerships to service the needs of is customers.

Greg's series is an eye-opener and it's giving me pause in pulling the motorhome trigger as it's confirmed the same thing I've noticed during my research stage. I'm shocked that none of the manufacturers have gotten out in front of this and to date, none have provided any solutions to make new customers comfortable with buying its products.

I hope this doesn't come off as a rant as that's not my intention. It's just a disappointment. Advice welcomed.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2016, 12:23:27 PM »
Quote
Right now, unless I start looking at pre-owned Prevost or Newell models, the new motorhomes that I would like to consider are the Winnebago Grand Tour or the American Coach Eagle.

The probability of getting a lemon is about the same whether you choose a Tour or an Eagle. Or a Hurricane, for that matter. Every brand and model builds their share of crap. The Eagle is a much higher-tier model than the Tour and will have features and amenities the Tour does not. That's a given. Whether or not they are things you care about is a another matter, but American Coach is probably attuned to a higher level of customer service as part of what you get for those major extra $$ (we are talking 25%+ extra). Also consider the American Dream or Tradition, which is in the same price tier as the Tour buy still has full "American Coach" experience.
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #86 on: July 22, 2016, 12:59:38 PM »
There are other choices besides a Fleetwood and Winnebago,  many people are thinking Enterga Coach is the new Monaco..and Newmar still makes a quality coach.

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #87 on: July 22, 2016, 01:23:37 PM »
There are other choices besides a Fleetwood and Winnebago,  many people are thinking Enterga Coach is the new Monaco..and Newmar still makes a quality coach.

Entegra makes a fine coach and it seems they are doing a respectable job on customer service and quality control. I drove the 2017 Cornerstone and here's my overview:

Likes:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Cab Forward Design and Visibility
- Smooth Drive
- Easy to Drive
- Steering Axle
- Low noise factor
- Lots of pep
- Exterior Style


Not So Much:
- Dated Interior Style - A bit too traditional for me.
- The quality of the material on the Flexsteel driver and passenger seats seemed very thin and not as robust as the materials on the sofa.
- Layout: It seems that Entegra doesn't like people to watch TV when camped as there's no seating or recliners that face the TV.
- Passenger seat has a strange recline angle when facing the living area...seemed to slide off it and it has a very limited position. Due to the grab rail, it can only recline in one specific position.
- Driver seat recline is somewhat blocked by the steering wheel when facing the salon.
- Inside door handle of the 1/2 bath kept snagging my sweater when exiting (I'm not that big!)
- Floors seemed to be dirt magnets.

All in all, it's a noteworthy coach...if you like the interior styling and floor plan offerings.

ArdraF

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2016, 01:30:35 PM »
FWIW I'm not so sure it's necessary to build a relationship with a dealer.  We've never pursued a dealer relationship in many years of RVing.  Why not?  Because most of the problems happen when you're on the road far from said dealer.  We have had good relationships with the manufacturers, however.  That includes belonging to the Monaco club (when Monaco was a powerhouse), the Cummins customer group, etc.  We've had service done at various Cummins dealers around the country.  We've had interior service done at the Monaco factory service center.  Now that we have an "orphan" coach our work is done at the most logical place, whether it's Onan, Cummins, Aqua Hot or the Monaco service center if that's appropriate.

That said, a brand new coach that has problems is a factory issue and that may be the place to address serious issues.  If the factory doesn't know there is a recurring problem they won't fix it because they don't know it exists.  I seriously doubt that dealers let the manufacturer know of problems they encounter in the products they sell.  It seems like there's a disconnect between the two entities.  Monaco used to have a "Ladies Only" seminar where they heard an earful about problems.  Some actually got fixed!  They also received a lot of good ideas for new items to include in their products.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

2dalake

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2016, 01:48:07 PM »
Most of the coaches from American, Entegra, Winnebago, Newmar use more traditional interiors...wood cabinets of various tones, etc.  If you want the more 'modern' interiors with the glossy laminate cabinets, lots of chrome accents, etc.  you need to look at Newells, Prevost conversions and Foretravel. 

I would agree it is less costly to travel in a car and stay in hotels.  However, many RVr's like us travel with pets (mostly dogs) and that was a big factor when we starting with RV's many years ago.  Plus, my coach is one of my hobbies....I like to maintain it, tweak it, clean it, kind of like having a classic car, only much bigger.  Even when we are on a trip, I get out the tools and fix or improve something because that is what I like to do.  Drives my DW crazy!

That said, I've always thought those of us who own and travel in these beasts are a bit crazy.  There must be something wrong with those of us who are willing to spend the bucks to buy them, spend more bucks to keep them on the road, spend more bucks to upgrade them, spend time sitting in service centers (sometimes days or more) while we pay someone to fix stuff we can't fix, etc.  But we seem to love the mode of travel and we do see some great things and meet some nice folks along the way.  But, we must be a bit crazy...:-)
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #90 on: July 22, 2016, 01:56:55 PM »
Most of the coaches from American, Entegra, Winnebago, Newmar use more traditional interiors...wood cabinets of various tones, etc.  If you want the more 'modern' interiors with the glossy laminate cabinets, lots of chrome accents, etc.  you need to look at Newells, Prevost conversions and Foretravel. 

Regarding Foretravel, I visited the factory a few months ago and while I like its coaches, I wasn't too impressed with the factory. Just an opinion. Also, unless you live in the Great State of Texas, obtaining warranty service can be a challenge. For the Realm, there's only one dealer and it's my understanding they don't do warranty house service. But, it's a gorgeous coach.


I would agree it is less costly to travel in a car and stay in hotels.  However, many RVr's like us travel with pets (mostly dogs) and that was a big factor when we starting with RV's many years ago.

Yes, I'm a Dog person!


That said, I've always thought those of us who own and travel in these beasts are a bit crazy.  There must be something wrong with those of us who are willing to spend the bucks to buy them, spend more bucks to keep them on the road, spend more bucks to upgrade them, spend time sitting in service centers (sometimes days or more) while we pay someone to fix stuff we can't fix, etc.  But we seem to love the mode of travel and we do see some great things and meet some nice folks along the way.  But, we must be a bit crazy...:-)

I've been called worse names than crazy! But, I do my homework. However, I don't see the recreation in fixing things myself. The availability of reliable and timely service is a big factor for me.

jjarman123

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #91 on: July 22, 2016, 02:56:34 PM »
I am not done with all the articles but will be reading them this weekend. I have not yet bought my motorhome but we were definitely getting a used one. I am still nervous though.  I work in the legal field and wondered have there been any class action lawsuits regarding campers and RVs and the difficulty in getting them fixed?  I would not hesitate to sue a manufacturer if I had to, especially if I bought a new RV. 

But what is a RV customer to do?  I would love to be able to buy an Allegro or something along that line. I have heard they are the best but they are way out of my price range. We want a motorhome in the next couple of years to start using on weekends with the eventual plan to retire and live in it full time.  But neither of us is mechanical and we don’t have unlimited funds. I can fix some things but not much. What about extended warranties on used motorhomes?  Are they worth it?

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #92 on: July 22, 2016, 03:07:38 PM »
I am not done with all the articles but will be reading them this weekend. I have not yet bought my motorhome but we were definitely getting a used one. I am still nervous though.  I work in the legal field and wondered have there been any class action lawsuits regarding campers and RVs and the difficulty in getting them fixed?  I would not hesitate to sue a manufacturer if I had to, especially if I bought a new RV. 

But what is a RV customer to do?  I would love to be able to buy an Allegro or something along that line. I have heard they are the best but they are way out of my price range. We want a motorhome in the next couple of years to start using on weekends with the eventual plan to retire and live in it full time.  But neither of us is mechanical and we don’t have unlimited funds. I can fix some things but not much. What about extended warranties on used motorhomes?  Are they worth it?

At the end of Part 2 of the series, there's a link to a podcast from a Lemon Law Attorney that you'll find of interest. Here's a link: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/dont-buy-an-rv-ep-45

On thing that caught my attention is that buried in the paperwork is some sort of clause stating the buyer has surrendered all rights. Since you're in the legal field, I'm sure we'll all be interested in your opinion and advice.

jjarman123

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #93 on: July 22, 2016, 03:17:31 PM »
For close to 30 years I've had a business that cleans boats for dealers. Everything from 11' tenders to 3 million dollar 70' yachts.

What's being discussed in this topic is not specific to the RV industry.

You would think a 2 million dollar yacht would show up from the factory ready to go, nope, takes a week to get it ready if nothing is wrong. I've made an excellent living cleaning up from the factory and the techs that prep these things.

You would also think if a tech were working on a million+ dollar yacht they might remove their shoes or put down some protective floor covering, nope, not their yacht. More money for me.

Broken toilets? Blown motors? Power anything? It all comes in not working, some are worse than others.

I'm usually the last guy on a delivery before the customer shows up. I can't count how many times I've told the service department about things they missed from scratches to leaking anything. We've cleaned close to 20,000 boats in almost 30 years and it's progressively gotten worse.

Not sure what the problem is, probablly cheap labor at the factories and cheap parts in an attempt to make more money for the share holders.

But rest assured it's not just one industry.

Before I got the RV bug I had the sailboat bug. After reading lots about it I figured out it is not what I need to do because all the boat owners kept saying on any given day only 80% of the things on the boat will be working. You are constantly repairing it.  So I started looking at motorhomes.  Now I am finding it is not much different. 

jjarman123

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #94 on: July 22, 2016, 03:19:59 PM »
At the end of Part 2 of the series, there's a link to a podcast from a Lemon Law Attorney that you'll find of interest. Here's a link: https://soundcloud.com/stevelehto/dont-buy-an-rv-ep-45

On thing that caught my attention is that buried in the paperwork is some sort of clause stating the buyer has surrendered all rights. Since you're in the legal field, I'm sure we'll all be interested in your opinion and advice.

Thanks. I saw that link I am going to look at it when I get home.  And yes I would definitely be looking for those "clauses".  But I am thinking I may just take my sweet time and find a good deal on a used one from a private seller.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #95 on: July 23, 2016, 08:19:30 AM »
Regarding Foretravel, I visited the factory a few months ago and while I like its coaches, I wasn't too impressed with the factory. Just an opinion. Also, unless you live in the Great State of Texas, obtaining warranty service can be a challenge. For the Realm, there's only one dealer and it's my understanding they don't do warranty house service. But, it's a gorgeous coach.
if you hate Foretravel ....
you should see the Newell factory....a bunch of old quonset huts with million dollar motorhomes in them....
but both Newell and Fortravel are some of the best motorhomes made.....

I think you are expecting to see a state of-the-art computer controlled environment robotic assembly line,  you may not realize all RV's are actually just hand-made custom house-vehicles.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 08:32:18 AM by TonyDtorch »

PBG

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #96 on: July 23, 2016, 08:59:57 AM »
if you hate Foretravel ....
you should see the Newell factory....a bunch of old quonset huts with million dollar motorhomes in them....
but both Newell and Fortravel are some of the best motorhomes made.....

I think you are expecting to see a state of-the-art computer controlled environment robotic assembly line,  you may not realize all RV's are actually just hand-made custom house-vehicles.

Who said anything about hating Foretravel? Please, there's no need to mince my words as I stated I like its coaches, but was not impressed with its factory. In fact, the Realm continues to have my attention, but the lack of service locations gives me pause. It's only sold by one dealer and while the Spartan service can be obtained in numerous locations, when warranty work is needed, where do you go? Back to Texas. If I lived near the factory, Foretravel would be high on my list.

And yes, I visited the Newell factory just a few months ago and there's a huge difference between it and the Foretravel factory as it's modern, bright, clean, organized and the workers seem to be as good as they get in this industry. The workers I encountered seemed to be young, bright and energetic and took a lot of pride in building quite possibly the finest coach on the road. Is it ideal for a first timer? Probably not...it's a lot of money to spend on a first coach. The owner's I've encountered seem to be very happy with their coach and Newell's service policies. 

And no, I wasn't expecting to see a "computer controlled environment robotic assembly line" in any of the factories, but what I have learned by visiting various factories is that every one of them does it differently. Some are completely by hand and some use a level of automation.

I encourage anyone spending their hard earned money to take the time to see how various manufacturers build coaches as it's been a great learning experience.

I hope that sets the record straight.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #97 on: July 23, 2016, 09:09:00 AM »
 boats and motorhomes are similar in the building process and the way they are used.

both are mostly handmade, typically once they leave the factory and the dealership it's up to the captain to take care everything after that wherever he is in the world.

 buy the best boat you can.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 09:20:10 AM by TonyDtorch »

2dalake

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #98 on: July 23, 2016, 07:34:47 PM »
Who said anything about hating Foretravel? Please, there's no need to mince my words as I stated I like its coaches, but was not impressed with its factory. In fact, the Realm continues to have my attention, but the lack of service locations gives me pause. It's only sold by one dealer and while the Spartan service can be obtained in numerous locations, when warranty work is needed, where do you go? Back to Texas. If I lived near the factory, Foretravel would be high on my list.

And yes, I visited the Newell factory just a few months ago and there's a huge difference between it and the Foretravel factory as it's modern, bright, clean, organized and the workers seem to be as good as they get in this industry. The workers I encountered seemed to be young, bright and energetic and took a lot of pride in building quite possibly the finest coach on the road. Is it ideal for a first timer? Probably not...it's a lot of money to spend on a first coach. The owner's I've encountered seem to be very happy with their coach and Newell's service policies. 

And no, I wasn't expecting to see a "computer controlled environment robotic assembly line" in any of the factories, but what I have learned by visiting various factories is that every one of them does it differently. Some are completely by hand and some use a level of automation.

I encourage anyone spending their hard earned money to take the time to see how various manufacturers build coaches as it's been a great learning experience.

I hope that sets the record straight.

Couple of thoughts on your concerns about getting a Foretravel Realm serviced outside of Texas. 

1.  As you noted, anyone who can work on a Spartan chassis and Cummins engine can take care of those things.  Cummins Coach Care shops are fairly well spread out around the US.

2.  I think many folks who have the $$$ to pluck down for a Realm probably have the time and resources to get to Texas if they need to for a factory visit.

3.  I suspect Foretravel has a list of independent shops in various parts of the US that they recommend for repairs.  I would certainly ask them about that. 

On another point, factory visits for repairs; if you are still working and want to maximize your vacation time, it is certainly understandable that you don't want to spend time traveling to and sitting at a factory to get stuff fixed on a new coach.  This is especially true if they are fixing things that are related to lack of QA/QC in the build and/or delivery process. 

I think the reason necessary factory visits are so well tolerated by many owners of class A DP's is the fact that so many of those owners are retired and have the time to do it.  In fact, I believe some folks actually enjoy going 'back to the mother ship' so to speak.  They meet other owners, etc and it seems to be something they look forward to.  I met folks at the Winnebago factory in Iowa one year that come every year just to have routine service done. 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 07:42:04 PM by 2dalake »
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kdbgoat

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #99 on: August 23, 2016, 11:20:30 AM »
I was just having a conversation with my local dealer about Grand Design products. He said if all the other manufacturers would go through their trailers the way Grand Design does before they got to him, he would have to fire a guy due to lack of work. I suggested to him instead of firing one guy, to build a bigger shop and hire two more to start doing more repair work in a timely manner. That got me a raised eyebrow.
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wolfdog

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #100 on: September 23, 2016, 06:02:09 PM »
I can speak from the  experience of twenty years working at a factory aircraft service center on twenty some million dollars medium-sized businesses jets, that everything is not ready to go from the factory, part of it from people that worked at McDonald's yesterday and now build aircraft, sometimes New parts that are bad.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2016, 06:08:05 PM »
I suspect airplane dealers do a somewhat better PDI than most RV dealers. And get paid quite well for it. The training and certification for an FAA aircraft A&P (aka A&E) technician license is a bit stricter than an RV tech's training as well. And then there are the FAA-mandated inspections, periodic teardowns, parts certifications, etc.
Gary
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John From Detroit

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #102 on: September 23, 2016, 06:32:40 PM »
Since you guys are talking about Aircraft inspections.. Still there is one part the inspectors never seem to inspect.. And RV's have this same part on occasion..... The loose nut behind the wheel (Control stick)

True story (I was indeed there)
I think it's Piper (The company in Michigan) ferried a brand new 4-seater from their plant in Western MI to Poitiac Airport in Eastern MI. That was the only flite time on the plane when a new pilot (Got his license that day's mail) took a few frends out for some celebratory drinks then checked the plane out of the clubhanger and flew into heavy fog as I recall, Missed the airport by several miles and spranged it all over a park (4 Dead)  Come daylight people were coming up and trying to convince me they had flown that plane (They thought it was a Cesna ) Seemed most dissappointed when I ask 'em what they flew (Cesna) and I told 'em it was a Piper.. "How do you knwo it's a Piper?" ... Walked up, looked at the stick, it said PIPER on it... Sadly 4 Dead.. IT was new year's eve.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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deltam

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #103 on: September 25, 2016, 01:43:11 PM »

"How do you knwo it's a Piper?" ... Walked up, looked at the stick, it said PIPER on it... Sadly 4 Dead.. IT was new year's eve.

Also Pipers are low wing, Cessnas, except for a few models of the very latest that are "plastic" are high wing.   A quick search of the "N" number is also a give away.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 01:45:07 PM by deltam »

Utclmjmpr

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2016, 12:11:06 PM »
  Not true!! , More than half of Cessna productions are low wing twins, only one high wing Cessna twin,337 Skysmasher..>>>Dan (owned one for 10 years) (33 year A&P/IA
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SenseiDave

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #105 on: October 02, 2016, 01:15:20 PM »
PBG was spot on in his July post on this topic.  I am in this exact position with my 2015 Winnebago Via.  I have traveled to Forest City, Iowa for factory service only to have the same problem pop up before I crossed the state line.  I really want an RV that works.  Is that too much to ask?  Winnebago's poor quality control makes then hard to love.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #106 on: October 02, 2016, 03:00:52 PM »
Just out of curiosity,  what was the recurring problem on the Winnebago. ?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 03:02:59 PM by TonyDtorch »

deltam

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #107 on: October 03, 2016, 07:13:52 AM »
  Not true!! , More than half of Cessna productions are low wing twins, only one high wing Cessna twin,337 Skysmasher..>>>Dan (owned one for 10 years) (33 year A&P/IA

I didn't want to get into the minutia of the story, after all this is an RV forum not an airplane forum, but wasn't figuring on getting stomped on so here is my side. 

The story as described above was about 4-place airplanes.  I assumed piston powered as I'm not aware of any turbine powered production 4 places airplanes available on the commercial market.   Honda is working on one but has yet to come to market. 

The above story eliminated home built airplanes. 

Disregard the other questionable details about getting the certification in the mail, the joy ride etc.  I'm not aware of ANY 4 PLACE twins or jets made by Cessna (most of which are multi-engine and are in fact low wing except for the push-pull Skymaster/O-2).  There may be a few oddballs out there but I don't recall ever seeing any. 

Cessna has been the premier small, single engine airplane builder (single engine piston propeller) manufacture for over 70 years.  99+percent have been mostly 4-place C170s/C172s and 2-place C120s, C150s/152s with a goodly number of 4 place C180/182s, and a very small percentage of carbon fibre aiplanes after their aquisition of the Lancair 400 a few years ago.  Cessna has made a few 6-place and 8-place single engine piston airplanes but this number is quite small and these are high-wing as well.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 08:29:03 AM by deltam »

RobReab

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #108 on: October 03, 2016, 09:56:20 AM »
After looking through this thread, I'm please with my recent purchase of a 2006 31' C with 17,000 miles on it. Most of the bugs should have been worked out by now...

Bought it from CW and they actually took good care of me once I got past the salepeople.

Did some cleaning, repairs and upgrades and am pleased with my purchase. About 4,000 miles so far and am looking forward to retiring in February and spending a lot more time on the road.

No real issues (aside from overloading a 'basement' storage and having it partially collapse), so far.
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joester

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #109 on: October 14, 2016, 04:32:39 PM »
Great thread - all I can add after 19 years of being the second owners of a 1991 Tioga class C, is it seems to me that buying a used RV, say a couple years old with miles appropriate for whatever year it is, is about the best way to buy an RV with "most" of the kinks worked out. Ours had 27k miles when we bought it in 1997 - we purchased a 4 year extended warranty to cover us while we paid ourselves back - only needed the warranty one time for an electric OD switch to be replaced. Still happy with it (getting a new fuel pump installed this weekend), but still searching for next RV - most likely a used class A gasser, 2012-2015. The beat goes on......
happy trails folks!
tener corazón de oro

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Notlad

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #110 on: October 23, 2016, 12:47:05 PM »
The best thing that could happen would be for an Asian company to buy an RV manufacturer and in a short period of time have manufacturing practices in place that would make that company vastly superior to any other RV's on the road when it comes to quality. That pressure would force the other manufacturers to adopt similar practices and everybody's quality would get better. i observed this happen in automobile manufacturing. The quality of Japanese cars forced American car manufacturers to build a much better product.

The only other thing I can think of is consumers pushing for strong state laws forcing dealers to perform warranty work within a certain time frame and also better lemon laws. The first would create pressure from dealers back to the factory to deliver to them better products as they would be overshelmed and the second would be such a pain in the butt for both dealers and manufacturers both would do better I hate any option involving the government and more rules and regulations but it is clear the RV industry is not going to do anything proactive on it's own.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2016, 01:38:16 PM »
the Asian builders are wonderful making an existing product better, faster and cheaper......not so much with innovation and custom order handcrafted stuff like motorhomes. 

but,  the Asians did buy an American RV company.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 01:57:29 PM by TonyDtorch »

Lou Schneider

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2016, 03:19:54 PM »
but,  the Asians did buy an American RV company.

If you're talking about Rexhall, a Chinese electric vehicle company did buy their factory in Lancaster, CA and turned it into an electric bus production plant.  They didn't buy the motorhome company, which continues to operate in a much smaller form out of their old service center.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #113 on: October 23, 2016, 03:39:50 PM »
I thought I heard Bill Rex was working for them ?

here is what I pulled up....

“Rexhall has been working for years to develop a truly green motorhome,” said Rex. “We believe BYD’s battery technology could be the long-term answer for the affordable, electric motorhome of the future. We will spend 2013 developing a new motorhome with an expected launch date and dealer showing of March 2014.”

William Rex has also accepted the position of general manager for BYD Coach & Bus LLC, the new company formed to build BYD electric buses here in America.

“I am very excited about this opportunity, as are several of our current Rexhall employees who will be working with me at BYD Coach & Bus,” said Rex. “We look forward to working hand-in-hand with our international partners to bring investment, resources and jobs to California.”
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 03:45:22 PM by TonyDtorch »

Lou Schneider

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #114 on: October 23, 2016, 04:06:52 PM »
That's true, but note the dates - 2013/2014.  Nothing has happened since then, so all it means is Bill Rex has given up on the motorhome business to concentrate on making Chinese buses.

TonyDtorch

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Re: rv death spriral
« Reply #115 on: October 23, 2016, 05:13:26 PM »
yep,
 It kinda sounds like the Asians bought Bill and the factory..   :'(
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 05:22:08 PM by TonyDtorch »