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Old 03-24-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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RV manufactures gone under

I saw this show up on a Good Sam advertisement on RV manufacture who have gone out in the recent years. Good Sam Article

- National RV
- Western RV
- Alfa
- Travel Supreme
- Weekend Warrior
- Pilgrim International
- Teton Homes
- Ameri-Camp
- Rag’n - Extreme RV
- Big Foot RV
- Dolphin
- King of the Road
- Sunline Coach Company
- Sun Valley Inc.
- Travelaire
- Chinook/Trail Wagons

I think I heard Monoco Coach recently went bankrupt looking for a buyer to reorganize.

Coachmen was bought by Forest River.

All I can say seeing that list is WOW… We are not alone....
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
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Could it be the market was glutted with RVs? Just too many for the number of people interested in camping?
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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Fleetwood also filed Ch. 11 recently, which resulted in the closure of the entire Travel Trailer division.

I don't think it looks good for them right now.

Nothing like having a barn full of orphans...PLEASE CROWNLINE, DON'T GO OUT!!! I can't imagine it's any easier to be in the boating industry though...

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan
Fleetwood also filed Ch. 11 recently, which resulted in the closure of the entire Travel Trailer division.

Jon
Fleetwood ????? The entire organization or just the TT line?

I know there quality has been slipping but seeing them go under is WOW. I have a few friends with a Regal and a the new redone higher end Terry. Both where high end TT's, and both had some very large warranty issues.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanda~Lust
Could it be the market was glutted with RVs? Just too many for the number of people interested in camping?
The exact answer??? Don't know. Many of those manufactures have been in business a very long time. The last 2 to 3 years had hit the RV industry really hard. Unemployment in Elkhart IN, RV parts manufacturing capital of the US, is not good right now.

RV's like the Auto industry are hit with the same problem. Folks not wanting to spend that kind of money with the prior price of gas and now with the down turn in the economy they are hanging onto their money. Boats I’m sure will soon follow if they have not already.

The CG's we go to are not really any less empty then 3 to 4 years ago. Come the weekend, they are very full. Which is good to see. However the price to go camping at the CG is going up. That will soon catch up to the CG's. I know our State Park system has gone up a few dollars in the last 2 years and now during summer months they charge for car passes..... Different budgets pass/fail and SP's get hit.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Fleetwood ????? The entire organization or just the TT line?
The entire thing.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123669300635183461.html

Also made it to RVTradeDigest

Here's the whole article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reuters/RVTradeDigest
UPDATE 2-Fleetwood files for bankruptcy; to close a unit

* To close travel trailer operations, cut jobs

* Seeks buyer for motor home, manufactured housing units

* In discussions for debtor-in-possession financing (Recasts, adds details from court filings, adds byline)

By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Motor home maker Fleetwood Enterprises Inc FLTW.OB has filed for bankruptcy and will close its travel trailer division, the company said on Tuesday.

Fleetwood, which also makes manufactured housing and military barracks, has been hurt by high fuel prices and the housing market decline. It is seeking a buyer for its motor home and manufactured housing units.

International operations are not included in the bankruptcy filing.

As of Oct. 26, the latest data available, Fleetwood had assets of $558.3 million and liabilities of $518 million.

The Riverside, California, company has been trying to restructure for three years. It said a bankruptcy filing would allow it to get out from under a December debt exchange that pledged company property as collateral, and help lift some of the liability related to shuttering its travel trailer unit.

"We will use the Chapter 11 process to more rapidly restructure our overhead, pursue potential buyers, and definitively resolve our debt issues," President and Chief Executive Officer Elden Smith said in a statement.

As of Jan. 25, Fleetwood had cash of about $23 million, excluding cash remaining in non-filing entities.

CLOSING UNIT

Fleetwood's travel trailer division had losses of $65.3 million in 2007 and $16.8 million in 2008. The shutdown of the business affects three manufacturing facilities and two service facilities employing about 675 people. The company is also laying off an additional 65 corporate associates.

As of March 6, the company employed about 3,700 people, according to court documents.

Fleetwood, which began in 1950 as a maker of manufactured housing, said it believes it has sufficient cash to operate in the immediate term. It is in "advanced discussions" with its senior secured lenders for new debtor-in-possession financing to supplement existing working capital.

In 2007, Fleetwood was the second-largest U.S. maker of manufactured homes, in terms of retail units shipped.

The housing market slump and the weakening economy have also pushed related companies into bankruptcy. Coburg, Oregon-based Monaco Coach Corp (MCOAQ.PK), a maker of motorized and towable recreational vehicles, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 5. RV maker Country Coach LLC has also filed for bankruptcy.

The Fleetwood case is In re Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc, US Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (Riverside), No. 09-14254. (Reporting by Chelsea Emery; editing by John Wallace)
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #7
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The boating industry, both power and sail, has been hit just as hard as the RV industry. Here in Maryland, two marine-related industries that supplied parts for boats have closed. We have a 32 foot sailboat and when talking to our boat dealer, he told us that the marine industry has experienced layoffs throughout the country. Also, local marinas are losing slip holders in droves as people are not renting slips and many are trying to sell their boats. It is a very sad situation for all in the recreation industry.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Carbon Tax

I fear we haven't seen the worse of it. If the Congress enacts a carbon tax we'll all feel a new level of taxes to combat the imaginary global warming.

Norm Milliard
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Re: Carbon Tax

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
I fear we haven't seen the worse of it. If the Congress enacts a carbon tax we'll all feel a new level of taxes to combat the imaginary global warming.

Norm Milliard

That's truly scary. A carbon tax!

Just when we retired and thought we'd do some traveling and camping. What's that sound? Do I hear the rumble of the feet of the retired heading south for the border? Americans about to become illegal aliens in Mexico?

Pretty soon retired people wont be able to live here in the USA.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:49 AM   #10
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On the other hand, our local RV dealer, who's been in business for twelve years, has just had the best couple sales months he's ever had. Another dealer south of us says sales are doing well also. Both dealers' lots are stuffed full of new units--they're obviously purchasing units in anticipation of selling them. I don't know how things look elsewhere, but our communities are suffering bigtime from the slump in manufacturing, so I'd think if RV sales were going south they'd do it here if anywhere.

Maybe the situation will be different this year, but last year, even with $4/gallon gas (and nearly $5/gallon diesel) and a weakening economy, there were RVs everywhere. Campgrounds were full and we passed tons of them on the highway. The economy didn't seem to be holding very many families back from using their rigs.

There clearly is a shakeout in the RV industry, but I think there's more to it than a bad economy. Maybe the downturn precipitated a shrinking of the industry that would have occurred in time anyway.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:28 AM   #11
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Campgrounds

We've been in close to 60 campgrounds in the last 12 months and in general owners were saying that business is down some 20%.

In campgrounds like Escapee parks whose members are mostly or near full timers, there are more people that stayed stationary this year.

It may be the case that local parks, where people are not traveling far from home are fuller.

In this years travel across the country, without a statistical basis, it seems to us that we've seen fewer RVs on the road.

Our New England RV club is holding a regional rally this year near Lake George and has only attracted 33 rigs.

Add $3 a gallon in taxes to the current price like Europe and you'll get a shock to the RV system.

No Carbon Tax, please,

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Old 03-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #12
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An article in the Albany, NY newspaper a couple of weeks ago reports that camping reservations in the state parks system is up 6 percent statewide and nearly double that in the Capitol region.

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories...category=STATE

That suggests that RV and camping folks may not be travelling as far, but that they are staying closer to home and taking advantage of less expensive public campgrounds.

We were planning to buy a larger trailer this year or next, but with the economic implosion we're going to stick with the '98 for at least another year or two. I suspect that a lot of folks who already own RV's are doing the same. That almost certainly has been a major contributor to the demise of these manufacturers.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:31 AM   #13
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I think the most of any one trailer manufacturer we see at parks has to be Jayco, both popup and caravan. I even recently saw Jayco's in Australia. I had no idea they were that big. The only difference is the doors were on the other side. They must be doing well. T@b's are in Europe and they are made there by Tabbert Caravan. They're put together here by Dutchman which is Thor and they seem stable at this time.

In New York State, if you haven't made your reservations for the holiday weekends already, the good sites are already taken. Steve's right about the local campgrounds around the Albany area. Thomson's lake has a pretty good booking already for most weekends. That's a 20 minute drive for me but even last year as we tried to go there on an off weekend we found it full.

We've noticed that not only are more people camping but there's a lot more tenters too. I think many people are finding that camping is not only fun and relaxing but an inexpensive vacation. Who Told! Shhhhh.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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It's funny, but now that we have the trailer, my wife is more attracted to tent camping. She feels the trailer is more work and is kind of torturing the car to pull. We can move a lot faster without the trailer.

If owning the trailer makes us tent camp more, I'm still happy.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #15
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I definately agree with the suggestion that more folks with trailers are staying closer to home. Last year we made only two trips with the coach that were more than a half hour from home. One to the M&G, and one to the South Jersey shore. With diesel fuel at $5 a gallon the rig definately stayed closer to home. It takes a big truck, and a lot of fuel to tow the 12,000 lb. coach around. It almost makes me miss the T-2053.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:50 PM   #16
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And than

We were just sitting outside enjoying the wonderful Florida evening talking about how much we love our little Sunline and discussing what we might do to improve it this summer.

We have now spent 10 of the last 12 months living in our 15.5 foot Sunline covering some 15,000 miles or so. We are amazed how easy and enjoyable this trip has been, rediscovering the joy of small. We can now stop at Dunkin Donuts anywhere, a small thing but as we get older we've come to appreciate small things.

Certainly we saved about 1400 gallons (7MPG) not taking our motorhome. Even at $2 a gallon it's not insignificant. The Honda seems to be able to easily handle the Sunline, crossing the Rockies a couple of times and the 1000 mile, dirt Trans Labrador Highway. Not to mention gets 20-21 mpg towing the Sunline.

With the devaluing of the dollar due to the largest ever deficits this year and projected for at least the next three years gas prices will continue to rise (notice how a barrel of oil jumped to $54 a barrel when Geithner showed interest in an International currency instead of the dollar as the primary world currency).

We've found the primary issue is the too small wet bathroom. We're trying to decide if we should expand the bathroom and change the bedroom (sic) or simply move up to the T1661 with a full bath.

We definitely intend to add solar panels and a second battery for more boondocking. We have only one propane tank and that has not turned out to be an issue.

We didn't miss too much not having an oven, having figured out how to cook our Super Bowl traditional prime rib on the stove top and how to similarly make meatloaf. We have missed the microwave even less.

The electric refrigerator has worked like a charm. It seems to easily survive a day without power. If it's really hot and we're towing I turn on the inverter, easily powering the refrigerator and contiuing to charge the battery from the Honda while driving. WE have considered changing to a larger two door model with a seperate freezer.

Though it has been in the high 80's most days in central Florida, we have found no need for air conditioning; bless those jalousie windows/

The Goodyear Marathons now have about 20,000 miles on them and seem to be going strong, never feeling particularly warm, probably because we're pretty light at 2200 pounds and because I keep them at 45 pounds pressure.

The little dressing room we added near the bathroom door works out well for daytime clothing changes when parked in tight quarters.

One of our favorite additions was the addition of the Sat Dish. It allows us to keep up with our favorite teams. We hang our LCD TV from hooks mounted in the bottom of the bunk/overhead cabinet above the bed. Easily moving it to the foot of the bed for 'goto sleep watching'.

I originally intended to talk about the advantages of a light trailer but wandered about - sorry.

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Old 03-27-2009, 03:10 PM   #17
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Interesting thread. For what it’s worth, my own take on the RV industry implosion is that it suffers from the same problem as the housing market does: Easy credit and a low personal savings rate combined to create an overheated and unsustainable RV market. The willingness of individuals to put off saving and go ever more deeply into debt generated a greater demand for RVs than would have been likely under more normal conditions. Thus, more companies got into the RV market than would have otherwise and existing RV manufacturers that might not have made it under normal demand survived. Once the bubble burst, credit went south, and people began retrenching, there was nowhere for these companies to go but down. The economy will ramp up as it inevitably does, but the go-go days are probably gone for good. We’ll have to get by with fewer, but healthier, RV manufacturers. I’m not sure how to explain the good RV sales figures from dealers near us, other than to point out that there are local housing markets out there that are beating the odds and doing reasonably well. There’s always exceptions that prove the rule.
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