Do RV manufactur spend the time in their products?

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Joe Bee

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OK I want to do this, start a thread about RV Builders.? ?Do RV manufacturers really spend the time in their products?? NO? ?NO? ?NO? I really don't believe they listen to their? customers either.? They talk a good story but do they really listen?
Joe
 

Tom

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Joe,

This didn't belong in "outdoor entertainment systems", so I split it off and moved it here. Great subject though.
 

Joe Bee

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Tom:
Sorry for the wrong address.? I just don't understand how options are added without any idea of consequences.? What next?? A wine cellar?
Joe
 

woodartist

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Sounds like your thinking is along my line Joe:) Love the idea of a wine cellar and I'm sure if it were offered ......folks would buy it ::) I did respond to your post on the other thread on "entertainment Systems"...b efore the move.
 

Tom

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Please don't apologize Joe. You brought up a great subject.

Like you, I have no idea why some manufacturers offer some of these options or put them on as standard equipment.
 

Tom

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I'm not big on polls, partly because they need to be properly designed in order to get any meaningful data out of the responses. So apologies if I don't appear to be very enthusiastic.

What question(s) would you ask?
 

woodartist

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I understand Tom, and the samples are too low to be meaningful ( statistically). As far as questions I was thinking that Joe would have them:) I suspect the manufacturers should have a bunch of data based on consumer input. Otherwise, why do they make the options they do? Apparently people like the slide outs, entertainment centers, satellite stuff, dish washers, dryers, washers, etc. Seems as though people want all the comforts of home...........on the road. I would hope the manufacturers  have human factors engineers in their employ ;) The baby boomers are now retiring and buying RV's - so there will be changes, options, etc. based on their profile. Mobility factors, larger print for text, and so on.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Like most industries that sell through a retail distribution network, RV manufacturers get most of their "customer feedback" though their dealers. That means it is filtered and biased by the dealer's perception of what is wanted. Theoretically this feedback represents what the dealer can sell to end users, but most dealers are small businesses and aren't actually all that savvy about market trends or what could be sold if it were available.  For example, we were is a dealership yesterday and three customers (two prospective, one actually writing up an order) were asking about recliners, washer/dryers and computer desks. Yet, the dealer did not have and did not expect to have any units on his lot with any of those features - and we are talking high end, 40 foot rigs. The simple answer was "we don't order them that way". So based on orders from that dealer, the manufacturer tends to think that "customers" don't ask for recliner chairs, computer desks or washer dryers.  However, another dealer I know of always orders washer/dryers in his inventory units and has at least a scattering of desks and recliners, so maybe it balances out?

Manufacturers also get some feedback at their brand rallies, but usually the primary representation at those affairs is via service rather than sales. And service rarely has much input to the marketing process. I know that sounds silly, but I've worked with a lot of industries in my career as a computer consultant and that's pretty much the way it works everywhere. Sales people attend rallies, but they once again they work through dealers moreso than direct with propsective buyers.
 

blueblood

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Joe Bee said:
OK I want to do this, start a thread about RV Builders.? ?Do RV manufacturers really spend the time in their products?? NO? ?NO? ?NO? I really don't believe they listen to their? customers either.? They talk a good story but do they really listen?
Joe

I've have two irreconcilable views ???  First, I have had several top level manufacturers executives come to a brand name rally and hold a roundtable with a select group of attendees and listen to get first hand information. In addition, they had one executive who was assigned an RV to travel to RV rallies. So, its seems Yes. However, this same firm polled dealers and redesigned the 2007 models from input solely from dealers as to what they wanted to see in a motorhome. They reported that sales to dealers at their recent show exceeded their projections by nearly 50%. Sales to customers will not be known until delivery of these new units start. So, no they didn't spend time in them and didn't listen to customers.
 

Clay L

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Winnebago allows some employee use of motorhomes and also have an advisory panel made up of owners. I think they select them from the WIT (Winnebago Industries Travelers) membership.

Slightly off topic, but Thetford has a consumer advisory panel also. They use web surveys filled out by the members to gain info on specific topics.
 

motojavaphil

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Good subject!  Riding motorcycles you see a lot of "contrary" thinking.  A mechanic working on Ducati's rides his Japanese bike and the HD Sales guy rides the Ducati.  Makes me laugh but I suspect GM's and Ford's CEO's drive their product but I can assure you it is no Cobalt or small car for them.  Dr Z is another matter.  Having looked at more RV's than I can count I suspect they are not engineered or driven by the guy who owns the company.  Just another income in the portfolio.  I may be wrong but there sure are a lot of rigs out there that were made when someone was out to lunch.  Phil
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I suspect that if you asked them, they would say "yes, we get customer input and use it" and could probably document their actions and give a few examples. But in practice it mosty happens the way Leo describes, because the manufacturers sell only to dealers and therefore the dealer is their customer, not you and I.    Sure, the dealer won't have any sales unless we bu, but the driving force to the manufacturer is the dealer's perception of what you and I want, not necesarily what we really want.

And there are a lot of buyers who simply aren't interested in the technical stuff we often discuss here - they just want to take their nice 4 bedroom, 3 bath suburban home with them when they go somewhere. Space, decor and amenities are the major  wants & needs.
 

BernieD

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RV Roamer said:
because the manufacturers sell only to dealers and therefore the dealer is their customer, not you and I.    Sure, the dealer won't have any sales unless we bu, but the driving force to the manufacturer is the dealer's perception of what you and I want, not necesarily what we really want.

And we all know that the dealers know everything about the product and never lie  :'( :'( :'(
 

blueblood

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motojavaphil said:
? Makes me laugh but I suspect GM's and Ford's CEO's drive their product but I can assure you it is no Cobalt or small car for them.? ? Phil

I can tell you that several years ago when I was running a Tier 1 supplier I had close contact with Chrysler executives. They all drove a company car of their choice. But the real story was that when they drove them into the office garage each day, if anything was wrong with them or some campaign was going to be released; their cars were immediately fixed. They never experienced the trouble of breaking down or being towed to a dealer or sitting around for hours in a dealer waiting for repair to be completed, etc. It was not a real world car driving experience.
 

AlGriefer

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Gary is right on; the manufacturer's customer is the dealer, not the end user!  It does no good for a manufacturer to add features to the RV if the dealer doesn't order them.  Remember, the dealer's goal is to sell as many coaches as they can in as short a period of time as possible.

When I purchased a new RV recently, I special ordered it, including features that were on no list anywhere!  It turns out that most dealers will special order RV for you and most manufacturer's will add almost anything for a fee.  The surprising thing was the fact that the additional charges for the strange stuff I wanted was really quite low.  In some cases it was less than ordering the same item direct would have cost!

Al
 

Joe Bee

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AL:
I would love to see your list of extras.? I'm working on my own new coach special order.
Joe
 

jamesnaddie

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We experienced the same  thing Al did.  I'm guessing that in our case the dealer was satisfied with his profit margin and the extras we wanted were added at what I considered a low cost, less than I could have bought them for.  A couple were even added after the purchase so the dealer's incentive to close the deal was gone but we still got excellent t treatment.  Shop around for dealers.  The difference between the first and last one we talked to was incredible.
 

AlGriefer

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Joe Bee said:
AL:
I would love to see your list of extras.? I'm working on my own new coach special order.
Joe

Joe,

Here's my list of extras for an 06 Monaco Signature.  I don't know how much sense they make for other RVs.

3M Mask above windshield all the way up
Additional 10 button multiplex switch at computer desk
Electric Blinds on Salon Slideout End Windows
All Electric blinds to work together or seperately
Stronger struts on Bed
12V Ceiling fan in Bedroom with wood blades
All Telephone Jacks to be wired for two lines
"Motosat MHDTV Satellite Dish with DirecTV HD-DVR (Tivo) in front and Rough-in for DirecTV DVR (Tivo) in Bedroom -
TiVo in Bedroom needs space 15""W x 14""D x 3"" H, Requires (2) Satellite IN As does HD-DVR therefore
multiswitch is required."
Storage Bay Electric Slide out Switch on both doors
Driver's Side Sliding Window to be Old Style
Power Side Sunshades
TV Cable Jack and Electric Outlet in Forward Bay
Extra Solar Panel (2 total)
MotorCoachDesigns Internal Sunscreens, Mirror and Wheel Covers Installed
Safe To Be Model Q350 Dimensions 9*12*10 This Is Combo Safe
Delete Roadside Bedroom Window, Replace with Padded Headboard
Relocate Roadside BedroomGirard Awning to Bathroom Window and Resize
Tile Strip in Salon, Entry to Bedroom as per drawing in Specs
Inside "locking" Gen slide switch Similar to locking 12V switch
Jake Brake on Floor, Replaces Brake On/Off Switch on Console
Egress Window Over Dresser in Bedroom to be as Small as Legal
Build Dresser with Six Drawers to Bottom of Egress Window
Black Residential Side by Side Refrigerator with Water and Ice On Door
Built-in Vac with Beater Bar Head
Lights over Bed to be Aimable and individually switched
Drop Through opening with cover from Bay with TV Connection
Bose Speakers to be Black
Adjustable Shelves in narrow space on roadside of rear closet
Bathtub to have Beveled Glass Rather than Clear
Leather J-Lounge To Be Sleeper as in Executive
Aqua-Hot to be model AHE-130-04X

Al
 

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