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Old 01-25-2022, 12:37 PM   #1
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RV Industry Death Spiral

I don't remember this from 2016 but some of it still seems to be true. For those of us that are in this forum recently most of the things talked about are pretty accurate. I don't know that I agree with the title of "death spiral" though. I don't think the industry is going away anytime soon.

https://drivinvibin.com/2022/01/25/r...-death-spiral/
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Old 01-25-2022, 12:52 PM   #2
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Is This The Needed Wakeup Call For The Motorhome Industry?

Interesting to look at it with almost 6 year's hindsight.
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:16 PM   #3
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Lots of hand-wringing, clutching of pearls, rending of garments... optional gnashing of teeth... and the number of defects in RVs at the time of customer delivery has subjectively gone up.

"There's a sucker born every minute and two to take him."

The only thing that will fix this is for new RV sales to go down for reasons that are inexorably linked to buyer's dissatisfaction of quality. Until then the manufacturers have no incentive to change.

I expect this will never happen, mostly because people keep buying what is being sold. The only time sales seem to decrease appreciably is when there is some economic event that mostly contracts discretionary spending (like 2008).
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:52 PM   #4
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When the rest of the country experiences maryfornia gas prices, interest will decline.
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Old 01-25-2022, 03:22 PM   #5
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Just from driving around the Southwest and looking for good spots, I'd have to say this is the healthiest death spiral I've ever seen.
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:09 PM   #6
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I certainly hope the RV industry is in a death spiral - more campsites for me

I think the RV industry is capitalizing on a vacation bubble where people could not do anything else during the pandemic - and had money burning a hole in their pocket and a lack of good options.
That coupled with years of people monetizing Instagram, YouTube, etc. to "sell" their RV lifestyle has combined to create this wave of interest which I find hard to believe will continue.

I am a super handy person with a truck full of tools and still am amazed at the things that go wrong on my trailer because it was really a POS from the beginning. People that need to use service locations or mobile techs must be running out of money and patience soon (I hope).

I also find it hard to believe this RV industry growth will continue once Europe and the cruise industry opens up again. Going on a cruise or tour to Europe is just so much easier!
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Old 01-26-2022, 05:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo_RV_Guy View Post
Lots of hand-wringing, clutching of pearls, rending of garments... optional gnashing of teeth... and the number of defects in RVs at the time of customer delivery has subjectively gone up.

"There's a sucker born every minute and two to take him."

The only thing that will fix this is for new RV sales to go down for reasons that are inexorably linked to buyer's dissatisfaction of quality. Until then the manufacturers have no incentive to change.

I expect this will never happen, mostly because people keep buying what is being sold. The only time sales seem to decrease appreciably is when there is some economic event that mostly contracts discretionary spending (like 2008).
They have the best incentive; money. Poor initial quality = massive warranty claims coupled with lost goodwill. That's real money. Ironically it seems to be the seasoned RVers who are willing to accept that the warranty is nearly worthless and they're fully prepared to fix things themselves, even on a brand new trailer.
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Old 01-26-2022, 11:47 AM   #8
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There are always ups and downs in any industry. Each time you hope they learn from their losses and improve. Right now, there are record numbers of people camping. Typically, there was no reaction to campsites being full, you were just out of luck. Recently however, people are seeing value in building more RV parks and willing to gamble that the trend will continue.

Americans are pretty good about adjusting to new issues. Hopefully, the surge in repairs being needed will result in new repair shops opening. Look at NIRVC, they're killing it with customer service and quality repairs. They saw the opening and jumped in. If the RV sales can continue and not fall flat again, people would be willing to invest in new parks and RV repair shops.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:20 PM   #9
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Looks to me like the RV industry is booming!
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:33 PM   #10
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2x what Bobby said. Gas prices may crimp a few things though.
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:43 PM   #11
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They have the best incentive; money. Poor initial quality = massive warranty claims coupled with lost goodwill. That's real money. Ironically it seems to be the seasoned RVers who are willing to accept that the warranty is nearly worthless and they're fully prepared to fix things themselves, even on a brand new trailer.
In most consumer goods markets you'd be 101% spot on about quality. RV manufacturing is largely REV Group, Thor Industries, and Winnebago. If you buy 3 new RVs in your lifetime, chances are good you'll buy from at least 2 of them. The value of brand loyalty ain't what it used to be.

You are right about it being mostly old RVers going on about worthless warranty claims... Mostly we've been there, waited for that to be done, outgrew the T shirt.

But for the most part, the only consumer actions that get attention of a manufacturer are falling sales and lawsuits. This isn't to bash companies, it's the nature of free markets to value revenue over expense, and to only take on those expenses that are absolutely necessary. Until consumers or regulation or judgment create that necessity, nothing changes.
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:46 PM   #12
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I don't buy what the article talks about. My RV's have been high quality, dealer and after-market service has been excellent. This is based on my experience with 3 fifth wheel trailers since 2004 (last one in Jan 2020) and now buying a 2021 Class A motorhome.
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Old 01-27-2022, 08:30 PM   #13
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I think the used RV market will be flooded with poorly maintained RV's soon. The newbies who jumped on the bandwagon will be cutting their losses.
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Old 01-27-2022, 08:38 PM   #14
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2x what Bobby said. Gas prices may crimp a few things though.
$3.75 Diesel and Rising has stopped me from even planing a trip anywhere except maybe within 100 miles of home.
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