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Old 12-01-2007, 04:51 PM   #1
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National RV Gone?

It looks like that big campground in the sky is filling up fast. I hope there's not others hoping to get there soon:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...9.cfm#20659629

Jon
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:51 AM   #2
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that's a real shame,at the rate things are going there will soon only be a handful of manufacturers left.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
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Companies that produce "QUALITY" RV's are struggling and or shuting down, and ones that produce quanity not quality are flourishing. It's a real shame that the american people are being brainwashed to accept this way of thinking.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:41 AM   #4
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Mark
Its the WALMART-ing of another business. Only the large will survive

Price sells, to the masses, where they will need to save money for gas .

There are still manufacturers of coaches which are not price sensitive, but they tend to be diesel pushers with marble, Corian, gold leaf etc.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:43 AM   #5
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Wow, I just read all of the posts in that thread. A surprise, no, a shame, yes. Just goes to show you what kind of trouble we (this country) are in. Something is going to give.
Also, I had no idea that Fleetwood was in financial trouble. I'm not surprised though. I've looked a many Fleetwood modles over the years and thought that most of them were of sub standard quality.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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I was just reading Kittys post here about quantity over quality. A few months ago I spoke to the owner of a dealership that sold Sunlines and 2 other brands of coach. We talked a little about the closing of Sunline and he told me the exact problem with Sunline. He told me, loosely quoted. "I sold Sunline trailers for more than 25 years, and they were a great trailer." The only problem was that I, like most dealers, sold more than one brand." "When a customer was looking over the lot and saw a Sunline and a Brand X with the same floor plan, and the Sunline cost $3-$5K more it was hard to sell the Sunline." "I told them that the Sunline was a better built, high end coach, but most of the time they wouldn't see the superiority of the Sunlines quality through the dollar signs in their eyes." "The difference in price wasn't justified to the average buyer, because money is the bottom line."
I guess to each his own, but I know I'd rather pay a little more for something that I think will last and cause less headaches than save a few bucks. Both my Dad and Grandfather always told me; You get what you pay for, and if it's seems to good to be true, it probably is.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:49 PM   #7
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Happy Camper, you just hit the nail on the head. I had discussed this same situation with my local dealer even before Sunline closed their doors, and he told me the same exact information that you had received. He sold several other brands, as well as Coleman P/Us, and he said many folks are looking for the cheapies, so the Sunlines just sat on the lot for the most part. However, to me, it was well worth the extra investment to purchase a quality product that I knew would be trouble free and most enjoyable for travel and camping. Sunline is still one of the best by far!
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #8
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The day mdfiregal and I bought our Sunline, we had a friend who was working at another dealer show us a trailer (I don't remember the make) that was almost identical in layout to our T-276SR. It was about $5K less and you could tell why. I was sitting on the couch just "listening" as other people looked at the trailer and all you could "hear" was cheap. Squeaks, cabinets that sounded like the doors would snap off if you closed them hard, etc. The final straw was when I stood up and pressed up on the ceiling and the ENTIRE roof moved up at least two inches. Mdfiregal looked over at me, shook her head, and we went straight to the two Sunline dealers and started negotiations..two hours later the rest is history Of course, a year later, Sunline and our dealer are both out of business.
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:14 PM   #9
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Just saw on the NBC news tonight that new RV sales are down about 9-10% for 07 and projected to be down another 5% in 08. Part of the story was that where the RV industry goes, so goes the economy. Apparently the RV industry is a pretty good early indicator of what the overall economy will do.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:10 AM   #10
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Seems cheap sells. I read that Fleetwood, in my opinion already the builder of some of the worst rv's, is shutting down production in the US and moving it to Mexico. I am sure they will pass on the labor cost savings to the consumer. My wife and I are doing our best to buy only products manufactured in the United States, though it is difficult we are having luck. We even found Christmas ornaments at Walmart of all places made in the US. Now if only I could find a "Made in the USA" label on clothing purchased at two of our favorite sources, Lands End and LL Bean.
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:58 PM   #11
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Indy-Jim,
It's a shame more people couldn't see past the $$$ signs and look for quality. I've been a Sunline fan since I was 5 and my grandparents bought a 1985 T-2250 brand new from Martin's Camper Sales in New Kingstown, PA. They had bought a similar trailer by Fleetwood about 4 months prior, and promptly traded it for the Sunline. They used it for years and sold it when they bought a sail yacht in the early '90's. I hope it's still being used. Lots of fond memories, and I guess it stuck.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:57 AM   #12
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Very interesting topic. The quality-vs-cost tradeoff is one that every family makes when looking at RVs. The best balance isn't necessary heavy on the quality side. If you're, say, a family starting out in RVing, a cheap, no-frills outfit might be the best choice. Sure, you'll most likely end up doing more maintenance and making more repairs than you would with a better built unit, but that doesn't mean you're not getting your money's worth, especially if you want to keep your RVing habit budget friendly. I can't say our hybrid was particularly well made, but it did the job and didn't break the bank.

So it's easy to see why lower cost units are popular. But this leads to the question: How big a market is there for high-quality campers? Maybe what we're seeing is a natural shakeout of the travel trailer market where less sturdy companies go out of business (business practices being independent of build quality) leaving better run companies picking up the slack. I don't know this for a fact, but it appears that Nash/Artic Fox and Sunnybrook are doing fine and Airstream seems to sell plenty of units. We may be seeing a situation where too many companies are chasing to little money for high build quality.

The most interesting question here is what will happen as a result of the mass retirement of affluent boomers? One would think that this would reverse the argument made here: boomer money should keep high-quality builders afloat. Instead, I'm wondering if these folks will skip travel trailers entirely and choose those huge Class As and converted buses. It may be my imagination, but my impression is that there are more of the really huge rigs on the road than ever before. High fuel prices aren't putting a dent in this trend as far as I can tell.

Of course, if we hit $100 per barrel for oil the rules may change.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donreitz
I'm wondering if these folks will skip travel trailers entirely and choose those huge Class As and converted buses. It may be my imagination, but my impression is that there are more of the really huge rigs on the road than ever before. High fuel prices aren't putting a dent in this trend as far as I can tell.
I think you're right, Don. However, from what I see, not many of the older generation travels very much. I think this may change as the boomers start to retire, but right now, the current retirees like to go places and stay a while, say 2-3 months. When they travel, they take it easy and take their time getting places. I'm around a RV resort quite a bit of the summer that has many of these type of RVers around. The park is only open from May 1 to October 31, so they must go south for the winter. Many people I know will take a few weeks to do this. Some will take side trips while in route like going out west or going out east. They usually leave just after Labor Day and take a month or so to travel some. It really makes sense because all the attractions are quite dead since families are tied up with school schedules at that point. Just as Pat & Cindy do, the snowbirds will head to a more southern attraction if the weather gets too cold.

I do believe the fuel prices will have an effect in the long run. Either way, I think people will do more sitting and commuting between locations and nix the long side trips.

Jon
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:25 AM   #14
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I think Chuck has hit the nail on the head. The RV industry goes as the economy goes. The economy is suffering with the housing slump and high fuel prices. If people are losing there houses or the perception is people are losing there houses. People will cut back on there discretionary spending RV, Boats and the like. Plus flying is cheaper than driving, I personally hate the flying experience.

I think there my be something else at play here also. Not all cheaper items are cheaper quality. I am a violinist and you can buy a chinnese violin for 2000.00 that plays and sounds like a 10000.00 european model. It isnt all junk. Granted there is a ton of junk coming from overseas. People dont expect things to last as long. Let me you give you an example. We all remember the the old rotary phones, they lasted forever. But we get rid of our cell phones every couple of years. It is cheaper to buy a new one in most cases that it is to fix .
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