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Old 07-06-2016, 06:28 AM   #1
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RV Industry Issues

Interesting article about the state of the RV industry - Opinion: The RV industry death spiral – Part 1 | RV Daily Report
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 AM   #2
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I'll be following this and I'm afraid the author is generally right.......sell, sell, sell........who cares if that widget is falling off.

There are some similarities to the 80's automotive industry. By 1982 Chevy had lost about 1million car sales a year that they never got back. Ultimately it was competition that caused all cars to be better made....IMO
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
There are some similarities to the 80's automotive industry. By 1982 Chevy had lost about 1million car sales a year that they never got back. Ultimately it was competition that caused all cars to be better made....IMO
And back in the 1980s, at least you could buy a German/Japanese product that literally kicked the heck out of the American products. We don't really have that choice in the RV industry. Heck, Thor is now buying Jayco. You can't seem to buy your way into a quality product these days. Thor owns DRV and Airstream.

The RV industry has a massive lack of consumer protections (in most states), so unless you can afford to litigate, you're fighting an uphill battle. They pay the assembly crew for speed, not quality. They pay dealers below-market rates to clean up the mistakes made during manufacturing. And there is very little exposure on all of this stuff to the end consumer.

Nationwide warranty? Not really.
Reasonable time for repairs? Definitely not.
Recourse if the dealer does it wrong? Probably not.

It's not going to kill the industry, however. We'll keep buying RVs. These aren't like cars that get purchased frequently. Consolidation will continue to erode quality to keep those corporate margins on-target for share holders.

Grand Design seems to be doing it differently, but they are (for now) privately funded and the company that those execs previously founded (Keystone) is a great example of how not do treat consumers (see their hundreds of BBB complaints here).

Make sure you view the comments page on that link:

The industry won't get a bail out. It imploded before - it's very dependent upon the state of the economy and it's work force isn't unionized nor does it have substantial political power. And mark my words - the quality issues wont make it implode. People keep buying the same old song and dance - especially people who are new to RV'ing. I'm not sure what will change it... I suspect either a successful support model (Grand Design) or legislation with stronger consumer protections.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Big Dude View Post
Interesting article about the state of the RV industry - Opinion: The RV industry death spiral – Part 1 | RV Daily Report
My wife and I have looked for the past year at upgrading to a new unit. Unable to find anything we like. Not to mention poor quality of the products out there.

The worst yet is Winnebago. Newmar are right up there with Winnie.
With that said the builders are saddled with appliances and fixtures and systems that just don't last. It's not rocket science to wonder why appliances don't last and systems break down after a short period of time.
If RV consumers were getting the same reliability of their appliances in there Sticks and Bricks, there would be a revolution. But no we except the fact that our units will be in the shop when we wan't to use it.
We keep buying the junk and they keep producing it the quality of our products have gone downhill. Why? Research and development is expensive. Which leaves very little for the consumer when it comes to quality.

Take a look at IRV2. There are more complaints about new than the older units. Granted the older units the bugs have been worked out. But it seems that the service centers can't keep up with the technology because of the complexity of the units produced today. I find there are more happy people driving the older units as they are reliable and the bugs are worked out. Today's units are too complex for the average person, hence time in the shop.
Do you think the government would bail out the RV industry like they did the Auto industry ?(which in my opinion was a mistake)
But wouldn't it be nice if it all collapsed and they could start and get right the the second time around?
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:21 AM   #5
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