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Old 09-12-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
OWV
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Hershey

Started our due diligence yesterday with a short stroll around and through some of the Class As on display at the Hershey show. Liked what we saw at Newmar, Tiffin and Winnebago, a little disappointed with Fleetwood, both in terms of the vehicles we went into and the staff. They didn't even have any literature available. We will do Forest River, Entegra and some of the other Class As on display today and then really start to climb in, around and through the coaches after we finish our initial overview. The challenge is going to be finding someone who can talk knowledgably about what we can't see. One possible concern we identified yesterday is with some of the privately owned companies - what is their succession plan in the event something happens to the CEO running the company today? Are there folks ready to step in who share the same vision of the company that exists today? Lot's to think about.

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OWV
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by OWV View Post
Started our due diligence yesterday with a short stroll around and through some of the Class As on display at the Hershey show. Liked what we saw at Newmar, Tiffin and Winnebago, a little disappointed with Fleetwood, both in terms of the vehicles we went into and the staff. They didn't even have any literature available. We will do Forest River, Entegra and some of the other Class As on display today and then really start to climb in, around and through the coaches after we finish our initial overview. The challenge is going to be finding someone who can talk knowledgably about what we can't see. One possible concern we identified yesterday is with some of the privately owned companies - what is their succession plan in the event something happens to the CEO running the company today? Are there folks ready to step in who share the same vision of the company that exists today? Lot's to think about.

Regards,
OWV
Let me guess...you heard that from a salesman selling a "corporate" builder's product, RIGHT?? Pretty typical "cast doubt on a competitor" sales strategy. I just walk away from that BS.

IMO, private ownership should NOT be a concern to a new potential Rver such as yourself. You've got waay bigger things to worry about, such as build quality and CS after the sale from the builder, 'cause we all know how likely you are to get satisfaction from most dealers after they have your money.

Tiffin, Newmar, and Entegra are the best "family-owned" builders and I would trust them to continue providing CS long after the sale. Are you aware of how the "corporate" builders have been acting over the past 5-8 years? There is no way to know which corporate-owned builders will even continue in the RV business, and they change decision-making personnel frequently to meet sometimes unrealistic profitability models. WBGO & a few others are publically traded (owned) companies, but that does not guarantee continuity or even longevity, IMO. A few of the "big" builders are owned exclusively by private equity "investment" groups, and can be sold or closed just as quickly as they were bought.

Good luck in you search for the perfect RV, because it does not exist.
Ed
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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gettin in too deep

Experience will in most cases teach us the best - after we are done with them, does ours show it face, and we say good job or puuuffff got [moderator edit] again ... so with that in mind we hope you do your homework as best as you can . I would not trust any sales man because they are born irregular and never get fixed or rep[aired , just like some motorhomes - our latest luck of the draw is a Newmar - 1owner - serviced at the same locale each time -52k miles DP -and very well kept ...wasn't even on there website yet - most everything works also - Our trade in was coming in for a warranty repair per predetermined owner to repair a rattle- bottle some stink and send it to FLTWD...cant findout why .... - and a converter that's lazy , should charge at 13.8 - 14.4 but the bat only sees 12.8 - I know why,,, but they lie about it.
I see Newmar as a very well built coach and the other as extremely poor. keep your wits about.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #4
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I agree with ED. Tiffin, Newmar, and Entegra would be our choice if we were buying today. Give Entegra a very long look.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:46 AM   #5
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No disparaging remarks. In fact, just the opposite. Comments from the Winnebago folks were complimentary of Newmar and Newmar had nothing bad to say about Winnebago. Our concern was just based on things we have learned over the years that are not related to the RV business.

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Old 09-13-2013, 09:09 AM   #6
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No disparaging remarks. In fact, just the opposite. Comments from the Winnebago folks were complimentary of Newmar and Newmar had nothing bad to say about Winnebago. Our concern was just based on things we have learned over the years that are not related to the RV business.

Regards,
OWV
OK, but now I'm officially confused because in the OP you wrote "One possible concern we identified yesterday ", which led to my reply and comments.........
Ed
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:17 AM   #7
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When we attended the Hershey show last year we got to chat with Bob Tiffin in one of his coaches. He came in, locked the door so we would not be disturbed, then spent almost an hour just discussing how he got started in the business, his service philosophy, and just general stuff. He actually did not try to sell us anything!

And this was after we mentioned we would NOT be buying in that show.

I suppose the same could be said of Newmar and Entegra. Try to find the CEO at Winnebago.

Recently I read a blog of an unhappy Winnebago owner. He had just received a brand new 2014 Winnebago Tour (this is the flagship of their fleet) and had so many problems, most of which Winnebago would not fix, that it turned us right off to Winnebago.

We ultimately bought a used (2006) Country Coach, but when the time comes to replace this we will again have these 3 family owned coaches on our list.
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