Hi all. I DID introduce myself on the new members page first. About ten minutes ago.
I know its crass to start off with a big post and a hard question but I'm on edge and over excited about all this. I've already avoided major pitfalls with impulsive buying and am not going to make that mistake. Too many horror stories.
Been thinking of taking the plunge for a toyhauler. Not cause I really need a toybox (although I have some toys and might actually haul them around) but I need the open space for work related reasons ie office/studio. I very may well end up a full timer in this rig as well.
Fifth wheel, under 40 feet, like slides, willing to go 1 1/2 ton hauler, will use rig full time although won't be on the road all that much until retirement (which may never come the way things are going). Single.
By way of intro:
I'm in construction management and am a serious if mostly amateur photographer. I want to set up a BIG photo printer and framing table in my new rig.
This is something I've been mulling over for a couple years. I've been doing serious research for 6 months or so. Have reams of info filed. I can afford a good rig although I certainly don't need luxury froo froo. I like austere design as far as home decor is concerned and dusting is not one of my strengths.
I'm looking at Peterson, Newmar, Carriage (still some cargo units around new and used) as the top drawer builders. And Ameri-Camp and K-Z as good mid-market producers. I realize I may have to go custom to really get what I need ( no froo froo, much less furniture, etc) Not that I've ruled out the other manufacturers but these are the ones I know a little about so far. Though I have the skills to build one of these things if I had the drive/desire and know I can fix any problems .... I have other things to do and don't like fooling with problems. I really want a solid product I can rely on. I especially don't want to deal with frozen AC units or leaking pipes where one has to tear out under-belly coverings or floors.
BUT ... my main concern is fear of orphanage. I'm aware of most of the bankruptcies in the industry in the past year or so. I would like opinions from the knowledgeable folks around here. Are the big guys like Fleetwood and Heartland the only ones with staying power due to large size and their deep ability to retract and lay off while keeping their cores alive? Or will the long-time premium houses like Peterson and New Horizons due to small size and deep customer loyalty make it through this?
This? (no I'm not deeply doom and gloom) We are obviously in a major correction and it will be significant. We propped ourselves up for too long when we should have allowed the market to rule ... not pols and bankers. A lot of RV manufacture is 'cottage industry' and many many of these houses do not have the depth to weather a long market correction. Nor should they. Poor business practices need to be rewarded with failure and some weeding out is a good thing. Not good for workers but there is no way around that. The good ones will be the first to be rehired.
I know about restructuring and market upheavals. My family lost their business this decade due to China and an unwillingness to vertically integrate as did most of our competitors (the ones that are still alive anyway). The distaff side in a related business is developing relationships with chinese suppliers and they spend a lot of time in China. So far they are making money but it is tough tough tough. This company puts the fabric in many of your rigs.
Anyway ..... sorry for long post. Who do you think is 'safe'? I realize its all conjecture as even the best business can decide to cash out and get out of the rat race.