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Old 11-28-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 4,681
E-News from RV Consumer Group

Received this via email today and thought iRV2 members might find it interesting.


The RV World: Marvels and Disasters of 2012 ____________


After suffering a sharp downturn as a result of the 2008-2009 recession, the RV industry showed signs of recovery in 2012 - slow at first, but picking up speed toward the end of the year. Manufacturers and dealers appear optimistic for 2013.

Some general trends

1) An emphasis on luxury fifth wheels for fulltimers and snowbirds accompanied a continued lag in sales of large diesel motor homes;

2) A resurgence of the toyhauler craze, mostly in the towable marketplace, but including motorized. Many models fall in the top-end category.

3) Lightweights are still hot, with new companies springing up to cash in on the fad. Even teardrops are back.

4) Class B's made a comeback late in the year.

5) It's been a year of international outreach for many manufacturers, with China, Australia, and Europe as prime targets.

Significant changes by RV Manufacturers in 2012


The remains of this defunct luxury fifth wheel manufacturer were finally absorbed by Evergreen RV's Luxury Lifestyle division and Thor Redwood, both builders of high-line fifth wheels.

When promised funding failed to materialize, the bubble burst for this young company, and they went under. Interesting to note that in a July 2011 article we wrote about MVP RV, we made the following statement:

"Since MVP is such a young company, and we have few consumer polls on their products, our own reservations come from the fact that its founders came directly from Thor California, whose products were not well regarded for their reliability. We advise extreme caution and thorough research until the new MVP's products have had a chance to prove themselves."

Coleman Camping Trailers

These well-known folding trailer models found new life under the Somerset brand, made by Columbia Northwest (Aliner)

Deciding to focus effort on their motor home lines, Newmar dropped towables for the 2013 model year, and perhaps indefinitely.

Gulf Stream
Taking the opposite tack, Gulf Stream dropped motor homes for 2013, choosing to build towables only.

Monaco RV
Monaco and its subsidiaries Holiday Rambler and R-Vision are now considered subsidiaries of Navistar, the parent company, although they will retain their respective brand names for the time being. The official company name will be Navistar RV - unless Monaco and the rest are sold off, as Navistar hints could happen. Navistar nearly went under as a result of a drastic stock price fall after their experimental engine technology failed to receive EPA approval. Change swept the company in 2012, management changes ensued, and an end to the chaos is not yet in sight.

Nu-Wa Industries
NU-WA ceased production of new models in September of 2012, but promised to complete all existing orders and to continue warranty work.

Winnebago Industries
The first Winnebago-branded towables were introduced to the marketplace, while their acquisition, Sunnybrook division, saw a number of brand cuts.

Other industry news

FEMA / Katrina Fiasco:The FEMA / Formaldehyde lawsuits finally saw some closure as most of the RV companies involved agreed to a settlement with plaintiffs as a measure to avoid more years of litigation. A few holdouts remain, however.

For RV travelers: State parks nationwide came under increased pressure in 2012 to become fiscally self-sufficient, with some actually going for privatization - a controversial decision. Scuttlebutt has it that the same fate could befall our national parks unless there's a public outcry.

California State Parks Scandal:
With the looming threat of closure for lack of funds, it was discovered that sufficient funds to keep California parks open for 2012 had been secreted away unreported. Heads rolled,and an investigation ensued that is apparently ongoing. But the good news is that the parks stayed open by decree of the governor.

For RV Buyers:
Polls showed that almost half of prospective RV buyers use the Internet to guide their purchases. Internet scams have increased as well, making it necessary for buyers to take extra precautions, such as never sending money up front.


RV manufacturers, slow to change, are finally adopting new formaldehyde-free materials -- at least in small ways. On the other hand, the Bigger-is-Better mentality still persists. Innovations may consist of nothing more than new fabrics, a different paint job, or more and bigger TVs. At least the days of hitting your head on the TV as you enter the cockpit appear to be over - at last.

The Louisville Show

The most important RV show is the dealer's show held annually at the end of November each year in Louisville, Kentucky. This is when RV manufacturers and makers of aftermarket products, both new and well-established, pull out all the stops and reveal the "best" new models and products they've come up with for the following year. Our trusty volunteers Roger and Carol Bassett will be our eyes and ears once again.

We look forward to the innovations unveiled at the Louisville Show because, in the RV world, there's always room for hope.


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You may renew your membership at any time and select either the full or update downloadable Mac or Windows version of the RV Ratings Guide -- included with renewal. We have not increased our prices in over 10 years - and still bring you all the valuable information you need to make a wise decision when buying your RV!


If you are not already a member, check our Membership Packages that include the RV Ratings Guide for either Motorhomes or Towables. If you are buying an RV, you need to do your research first. Remember:
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Happy RVing!

Connie Gallant & Staff

Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
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If our "Governing Bodies" in DC, don't get anything resolved by 12/31, the money leaving comsumer's pocketbooks will turn the roses into sour grapes.

Fred and Bonnie
2005 Dolphin LX 6375
Abby, Ruffles & Scarlett, "The Cats"
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