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Old 07-01-2008, 09:24 PM   #1
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This is the term used to describe RVers that own RVs that were made by companies that no longer exist. Alpines, Alphas, and Dolphins are good examples. How will these folks get warranty work done? What will happen to the value of their RVs? And last but not least, what will they do when they can no longer get parts? This issue is going to become more common over the next year.

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Old 07-01-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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This is the term used to describe RVers that own RVs that were made by companies that no longer exist. Alpines, Alphas, and Dolphins are good examples. How will these folks get warranty work done? What will happen to the value of their RVs? And last but not least, what will they do when they can no longer get parts? This issue is going to become more common over the next year.

Jack
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:08 AM   #3
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Jack, there are many, many components made by vendors that are still in business and the warranty can be handles directly with them. There are some vintage units that have been renovated and so I don't see an orphan as beeing that big of a problem once the bugs and warranty period has expired.
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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As a rv repairman perhaps you should read the article in www.rvbusiness.com. It appears in the June 26,2008 edition. Search on "closed manufacturers". This may change your outlook.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:53 PM   #5
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Maybe we're looking at different articles. In an article titled "RVDA Gives Tips on Dealing with Defunct OEMs" (RV Business, Thursday, June 26, 2008), the writer states a number of facts that do not give much comfort to owners that have purchased RVs from manufacturers that have ceased operations.

In particular, the article states that:

"Dealers can easily find themselves owed tens of thousands of dollars, or more, from manufacturers for warranty reimbursements, incentives and other spiffs that become virtually uncollectible once the manufacturer ceases its business operations." This doesn't bode well for the owner of these rigs unless they naively believe that the dealer will absorb these warranty reimbursements.

The RVDA then goes on to suggest that dealers re-name and sell them as used with a limited express warranty, or "as is." Again, this strategy may protect the dealer but it does little to protect the consumer's interest.

One of the more interesting suggestions entails reviewing the dealer's contract with the consumer to see if the "only warranty is the manufacturer's warranty, and only the manufacturer is responsible for warranty work". This might bring some relief to the dealer but for the new owner, it's a different story.

Perhaps you misunderstand my position. I'm not criticizing the RV industry for things it has done. After all, the current economic situation is hard on everybody. When an RV manufacturer goes out of business, it's a brutal ending to a dream shared by thousands, including the consumers that purchased their products.

What I am suggesting is that the issue be dealt with openly, fairly, and responsibly by all parties involved. It's good that the dealerships have the RVDA to help them but right now, the consumer has no where to go but to their attorney. In addition, while many components are warranted by the individual vender, many aspects are not. If a consumer has a list of problems with their RV (which is not uncommon), what should they do when the manufacturer is out of the picture? The RV Business article makes it clear that the dealerships aren't prepared to deal with this challenge. I can't blame them. Like I said, they have their own problems to deal with.

But if the industry's collective response over the next several months is a carefully worded "It's not my problem", the RV industry will find that this economic downturn has yet one more painful lesson for all of us

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Old 07-03-2008, 05:06 AM   #6
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I've also used the term "orphans" as units remaining on dealers lots for at least one model year. Orphaned as if no one will buy and love them.

BTW, my experience has been dealers don't want to give much of a price break on these units. I think part of the reason is the floorplanning interest expense on these units has to be tremendous. One dealer wants as much for his three model year old Simba (gas) as another dealer wants for an '08 model. <Shrug>

But I keep looking and asking.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:09 AM   #7
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Our 2000 Residency became an "orphan coach" in 2001 when the builder went out of business.

Evidently they did a fairly decent job of construction, as after 8 years & 58k miles it's a very solid coach.

Had we known it it would become an orphan coach after a year and a half, we most likely wouldn't have made the purchase.

However, the other coach we seriously considered, a National RV Tropical, also became an orphan coach, but, several years later.

Today, knowing a particular coach is an orphan, wouldn't deter me from purchasing one, based on the experience we've had with ours.

My pick of the current litter though would be a Travel Supreme.

Happy Trails,
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:10 AM   #8
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The simple answer for an "orphan" is that there is no warranty from the coach builder. None. Nada. And unless the dealer gives you some other warranty in writing, you should not expect any warranty service on the coach body.

But much of any RV is independently warrantied anyway, e.g. chassis, engine, transmission, tires, refrigerator, water heater, furnace, tvs and so on. If you have problems with those, most any RV shop will or can be authorized by the component manufacturer to deal with them at no expense to the owner.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Orphaned as if no one will buy and love them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you taken a close look at some of the color schemes on a lot of these rigs. Some expensive coaches with the most awful looking paint jobs you have every seen. Somebody had some bad nightmares before they "dreamed" some of those up.

Like LVJ58, Travel Supreme would be my pick if I were purchasing one now.
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