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Old 06-29-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
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The losses are mounting in the RV industry. National (Dolphin, Tradewinds) filed for bankruptcy at the end of November and Western RV (Alpine) and Alfa Leisure Inc. (Alpha) unexpectedly closed their doors earlier this year. At the same time, between 20 and 30 RV dealers that have closed their doors over the past 60 days.

My question is this. Besides eliminating the weak and the small, what changes do you think will happen in the RV industry and what will they mean to us as consumers. For instance, do you think campground prices will go down in areas that are historically high? Likewise, does anyone think that the industry will be able to develop fuel efficient motorhomes that are roomy enough for long-term or full-time use? Where is all this headed?

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Old 06-29-2008, 11:13 PM   #2
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The losses are mounting in the RV industry. National (Dolphin, Tradewinds) filed for bankruptcy at the end of November and Western RV (Alpine) and Alfa Leisure Inc. (Alpha) unexpectedly closed their doors earlier this year. At the same time, between 20 and 30 RV dealers that have closed their doors over the past 60 days.

My question is this. Besides eliminating the weak and the small, what changes do you think will happen in the RV industry and what will they mean to us as consumers. For instance, do you think campground prices will go down in areas that are historically high? Likewise, does anyone think that the industry will be able to develop fuel efficient motorhomes that are roomy enough for long-term or full-time use? Where is all this headed?

Jack
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Good question! I think that there has to be some good opportunities for improvements in fuel mileage. It looks like there should be some potential for making a "Hybrid" of sorts, since most of the larger MH already have generators. I think that those with the newer motor homes purchased prior to the jump in fuel prices are pretty well hosed and those looking to get into a RV for retirement or recreation will surely look long and hard before making any purchase.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:37 AM   #4
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I believe you are going to see many dealerships close within the year. Sales are needed to cover the overhead of a full dealership. I believe you will see an upswing in used RV's and even those with one upgrading and refurbishing what they have. This will bring about more and better service centers.
I believe the campground prices will not change unless inflation drives everything up.
Predictions are $7/ gal. for gas in two years is going to be for a long recovery.
Our personal incomes will have to catch up before we see the new sales even get close to what they were a few years ago.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:00 AM   #5
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Ours went to the "Used" lot just before the stuff hit the rotating blades.
As far as economical propulsion, forget about if for the foreseeable future.

Small dealers with little capital with fall by the way side and be bought up by companies like the Affinity Group, Freedom Roads.

I see small used RV lots everywhere down here and I suppose they will not last long as the gas becomes more unaffordable.

Unless the economy were to turn around and absolutely explode with wealth, I see the future of RV'ing being relegated to only the wealthiest sector of the population.

We have all been on a roller coaster of rising wealth, much of it based on floating credit cards, for so long that many people will end up in therapy to be able to cope.

We all lived the good life and now we may have to pay the piper and tighten our belts.

A fool and his money are soon parted.
By-by money.

Up until now America has been one big drunken party, but now we might have to sober up and let our vision clear.

We wanted it ALL. Yeah right.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:24 AM   #6
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This similar to the conditions in the 70's.

Many manufacturers closed and the RV world got much smaller.

However, it was not the end of the world and the RV industry survived.

I see the same thing happening this time.

Consolidation, and a period of manufacturers and dealers closing, but the sky is not falling................yet.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:08 AM   #7
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So, if you were in the process of buying a new RV, would you wait for a while to see what happens with fuel efficiency, etc.?
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:16 AM   #8
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farmer2, welcome to iRV2.

If I was in the market and saw a rig I liked, I'd buy it and start enjoying it.

Any great change in fuel efficiency is years away.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:20 AM   #9
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Thanks Dirk, Now for a 2nd question if you don't mind. We're thinking of going smaller (Class C) but are finding that dealers have few units on hand that we can actually see. From your experience, does a slide make a big difference in the livability of a unit?
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:29 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">From your experience, does a slide make a big difference in the livability of a unit? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by farmer2:
Thanks Dirk, Now for a 2nd question if you don't mind. We're thinking of going smaller (Class C) but are finding that dealers have few units on hand that we can actually see. From your experience, does a slide make a big difference in the livability of a unit? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There are all kinds of RV's..... some with slides and some without.
Even the behemoth Prevost conversions still are available with two,three and now four slides, but this is usually a personal decision.

While there are certainly those folks who choose to travel without the added width that slide-outs provide, I think it's relatively safe to say the majority of RV buyers prefer at least two slides..... One in the living room area and one in the bedroom area.

For full-timing, especially with more than one person, I'd say it's a no brainer.


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Old 07-05-2008, 04:32 AM   #12
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The RVs will change when people quit wanting the RVs to be better than their homes. Materials used in the units can be of lighter weight. Granite counter tops and marble floors and etc. need be reviewed for practicality. Weight causes higher fuel consumption.

Some improvements will come in fuel use but not too soon as the RVing is tied to the light to medium truck configuration.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:46 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Granite counter tops and marble floors and etc. need be reviewed for practicality </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't particularly want these in my house, let alone the MH. I can go with something lighter.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:01 PM   #14
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We love our MH with 3 slides. One in the LR & 2 in the BR. Had 3 MH prior 2 with no slides, 1 with 1 slide. As you can tell, more slides the better. Makes more livable once you are on site.
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