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RL36
Its been a while since ive been on here. But I wanted to post some info that mypast RV dealership has recsently gone bunkrupt. I was speaking to the owner the other day by telephone and boy let me tell you to here a man almost in tears cause of the loss of his bussiness, and land the business was on which he and his wife owned, home and just about everything he and his wife worked so hard to get and now its ALL gone. He said he could not move any RV's due to the lack of lending by the banks. If you cant move RV's then you can't pay your bills. My question to anyone out there, is what is going to happen to all these manufatures, or the RV industry? I know Monaco is about to close all its doors and also heard Lazy Days the big RV super store is possibly going to close also. So where does that leave us RV owners of these manufactures. Getting service will be worse than it allready is. If they stop making RV's then that means they stop making alot of these items that are on our coaches that the manufactures dont make. Its just so sad to see such a great industry take such a licking..... sad.gif
standoris
Hi RL36,
I had to write and tell you about the company that manufactures Hitchhiker 5th wheels. The company is NuWa located in Chanute,Kansas. We live in Kansas City MO. had taken our 35 ft 2008 Hitchhiker LSII in for some routine maintanence and the service technician asked if we'd heard about NuWa to which we replied that we hadn't. He told us that NuWa had stopped production BUT they did not file bankruptcy, as others have. Instead, they closed the doors, and held back enough money to cover all warranty agreements on units already sold and also retained their service technicians to do warranty work. We are happy to hear now that they have started production again.
In these troubling times for RV manufacturers, it was a very uplifting to hear about one that didn't fold up strip all the cash out of the company and leave their customers high and dry.
Doris

QUOTE(RL36 @ Mar 10 2009, 03:26 PM) *

Its been a while since ive been on here. But I wanted to post some info that mypast RV dealership has recsently gone bunkrupt. I was speaking to the owner the other day by telephone and boy let me tell you to here a man almost in tears cause of the loss of his bussiness, and land the business was on which he and his wife owned, home and just about everything he and his wife worked so hard to get and now its ALL gone. He said he could not move any RV's due to the lack of lending by the banks. If you cant move RV's then you can't pay your bills. My question to anyone out there, is what is going to happen to all these manufatures, or the RV industry? I know Monaco is about to close all its doors and also heard Lazy Days the big RV super store is possibly going to close also. So where does that leave us RV owners of these manufactures. Getting service will be worse than it allready is. If they stop making RV's then that means they stop making alot of these items that are on our coaches that the manufactures dont make. Its just so sad to see such a great industry take such a licking..... sad.gif

KentuckyCampin
Well I tell you what. I know the dealership we bought our camper from is about to go under. But they have done it to themselves!! The service I received when I bought my camper was horrible!! The camper was not clean, the matress was missing, some of the accessories were missing, and the paperwork was screwed up!! To top this all off, on our first camping trip while I was hooking up the trailer, I noticed that the trailer tongue was 2 5/16", and the ball they sold me and put on the truck was 2"!!! The electric brake control and hitch/ball was installed at the shop and the trailer was already hooked up and ready for me to tow home! So I towed the camper from the shop to my house, which was roughly 35 miles on the interstate, and then towed it to a campsite that weekend with the wrong sized ball on the hitch!!!! Talking about something bad could have happened!! And when I called them about it, they acted like it was no big deal!!! What morons!!

So with customer service like that, no wonder you cant stay afoat!! Especially now in this dog eat dog time!!! Word of mouth travels between RVrs, and I would not recommend this dealer to anyone!!!!

It is sad to hear mom and pop business' going under, especially if they are good establishments. But for dealerships like the one I dealt with, good riddance!!!

Im at the point now that I dont care if my unit is under warranty or not. I can do most work on one, and I would rather do it. Atleast that way I know it is done and done right, and not just half-a$$ed!! Im pretty much done with the dealerships, and I doubt I will ever buy another new unit!! I have had as much problems with Gulf stream. They wont return calls or follow up on my calls to them. So when you have employees like that, you reap what you sow!!
mad.gif
Scottish Terrier
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We own a Holiday Rambler Presidential Travel Trailer and just attended our chapter's March luncheon. The members have received letters from Monaco (makers of Holiday Ramblers) stating they are in chapter 11 bankruptcy. They are trying to re-organize and possibly sell off Beaver and Safari and still maintain Monaco and Holiday Rambler. Those of us that own Holiday Ramblers are certainly hoping this will keep them viable. We have been fortunate enough to own three HR products since 1994 and the consumer would most definitely be the losers if this fine RV is no longer available.

What I'm most curious about is the two trips that this administration made to Elkhart, IN promising help. With unemployment at 20%, where is the help promised? Most likely it has gone to pay bonuses. How disgusting is this when just about every RV manufacturing company is headed toward or already in bankruptcy. WHERE IS THE GOVERNMENT AND HELP? mad.gif
kcmoedoe
I have a Monaco Product and I went to Elkhart for factory service in the fall of 2007. There were probably 50 coaches in the shop for service and I am sure all 50 owners are cheering that these jerks are unemployed. Talk about Karma. I have never recieved worse treatment then the treatment Monaco provided. Nothing I wanted fixed was repaired. Excuses were the usual. "That's how it's supposed to work".-Curious, remote locks are not supposed to work remotely. "it's a known defect, there is no repair" Well, thank you, I always wanted a satellite system that didn't work without disconnecting the power every time I turn off the Generator or unplug the shore cord. "It's fixed and you owe us for the repairs" Good job, the slide truly doesn't rattle anymore, since the top molding facade now just falls off going down the road. "your annual maintance has been completed" Fantastic, now I know for sure my Aqua Hot is working since it now sounds like a 747 at takeoff. I was really glad I traveled 700 miles out of my way to get such fine service. Now that they are gone, I won't be tempted again. These "technicians" got off at 4 PM so they stopped working at 3:30. You wouldn't want something as important a quitting time to be interrupted by maybe completeing a job. Who cares of a customer has to stay in your parking lot for another night, after all that is what they bought their coach for in the first place. Don't fix the complimentary computer in the "lounge" for the month a guest is in your service center. Make sure you lock up the remote control for the TV because everyone knows the people that own $400,000 coaches are just looking to add a duct taped universal remote to their riches. Every coach that left after being serviced during my 1 month stay returned within 2 hours (that is not an exaggeration it is 100% true) due to the fact the repair was not actually made. The waiting room felt like a holding cell for a prison, though they had a really great collection of 1 and 2 year old Time and Newsweek magazines. (it was great to catch up on the news) The owners of coaches are by far the best prospects to buy new ones and our experience with Monaco in Elkhart convinced us to by a Tiffin the next time. Glad Monaco pulled the plug, they have been circling the drain for a while.
Scottish Terrier
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Mar 27 2009, 01:07 AM) *

I have a Monaco Product and I went to Elkhart for factory service in the fall of 2007. There were probably 50 coaches in the shop for service and I am sure all 50 owners are cheering that these jerks are unemployed. Talk about Karma. I have never recieved worse treatment then the treatment Monaco provided. Nothing I wanted fixed was repaired. Excuses were the usual. "That's how it's supposed to work".-Curious, remote locks are not supposed to work remotely. "it's a known defect, there is no repair" Well, thank you, I always wanted a satellite system that didn't work without disconnecting the power every time I turn off the Generator or unplug the shore cord. "It's fixed and you owe us for the repairs" Good job, the slide truly doesn't rattle anymore, since the top molding facade now just falls off going down the road. "your annual maintance has been completed" Fantastic, now I know for sure my Aqua Hot is working since it now sounds like a 747 at takeoff. I was really glad I traveled 700 miles out of my way to get such fine service. Now that they are gone, I won't be tempted again. These "technicians" got off at 4 PM so they stopped working at 3:30. You wouldn't want something as important a quitting time to be interrupted by maybe completeing a job. Who cares of a customer has to stay in your parking lot for another night, after all that is what they bought their coach for in the first place. Don't fix the complimentary computer in the "lounge" for the month a guest is in your service center. Make sure you lock up the remote control for the TV because everyone knows the people that own $400,000 coaches are just looking to add a duct taped universal remote to their riches. Every coach that left after being serviced during my 1 month stay returned within 2 hours (that is not an exaggeration it is 100% true) due to the fact the repair was not actually made. The waiting room felt like a holding cell for a prison, though they had a really great collection of 1 and 2 year old Time and Newsweek magazines. (it was great to catch up on the news) The owners of coaches are by far the best prospects to buy new ones and our experience with Monaco in Elkhart convinced us to by a Tiffin the next time. Glad Monaco pulled the plug, they have been circling the drain for a while.



I'm very sorry your experience with Monaco was extremely poor. In my above reply I was stating my experience with Holiday Ramblers only. I have had only positive interaction when calling Monaco regarding my HR. I wish I could say the say thing for the dealership where we purchased our RV (Endless Summer RV's in Frederick, MD). If I had to rate that dealership on a scale from 0-10, I would rate it a -10!!! The only positive thing I can say is we had a very nice salesman but that's where it stopped.
kcmoedoe
Tlynn, you probably didn't notice my profile. My RV is a Holiday Rambler, an Imperial. Now that Monaco owns Holiday Rambler there is really no distiction between Holiday Rambler, Beaver and Monaco. They are all built on the same Monaco Roadmaster Chassis and are (were) assembled in the same plants, by the same people. My diatribe was directed at the people in the Elkhart, IN plant and Monaco Corporation for letting what was going on happen. These people begging for a taxpayer bailout while preforming substandard work with terrible work habits is what is wrong with a lot of our economy. There needs to be personal responsibility and personal pride in preformance. Bailing out the people in Elkhart is rewarding irresponsible behavior. I am sure there are quality individuals that had jobs in the Elkhart RV plants, however I saw NO evidence of it. It was not a few people acting indifferent, it was everyone I came into contact with. The receptionist, the service writer, the service technician, the service manager, the service director and everyone on up the ladder to the personal assistant to Kay Toolson, the Company's CEO. I know they had bigger "fish to Fry", but the Elkhart Service Center and the Elkhart, Indiana RV employees have lost a customer who had purchased nearly $1,000,000 in Monaco Products over the past 10 years (2002 Diplomat, 2004 Dynasty, 2006 Holiday Rambler Imperial). That is what Elkhart has done for the RV industry
DXSMac
Why are most of the RV dealers headquarters in Indiana anyway? Is there some "tax" thing in Indiana? Just curious.

JJ
BJMA
the RV world weathered the oil embargo of 1973, it will weather this too.
Jerry S
The local paper had an article this Sunday (3/29/09) about the RV industry slump. It contained some interesting statistics.

RV Production (manufactured units shipped to dealers): It peaked in 2006 at 390,000 units in 2006. Production was 240,000 in 2008. The projected production in 2009 is down to 130,000 units. This 2009 projection is the equivalent of 1980 production. The industry has lost 50% of its' employees due to cuts in production. Northern Indiana produces 60% of RVs and now has one of the highest unemployment rates of any area of the country.

Since this situation involves more (general economy, loan availability, conumer confidence and belt-tightening, etc.) than just the cost/availabilty of gas as during the 1973 oil embargo, the two situations are not comparable. While I am enough of an optimist to believe the RV industry will not die completely, it will take years to get back to the production level of just 2 years ago. Additionally, a lot of any recovery in the production figures will likely be in smaller and/or cheaper models.

Has anybody bought a new RV in recent months? In my price range, I've seen a lot of new Class Cs with MSRPs of $90K on sale for around $60K. There could be some good deals out there for folks with the money or who can qualify for a loan.

As for the "why Indiana" question, I think there is an obvious answer. It has to do with the history and geography of the automotive industry. I'm tired - figure it out on your own.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Mar 29 2009, 07:28 PM) *

As for the "why Indiana" question, I think there is an obvious answer. It has to do with the history and geography of the automotive industry. I'm tired - figure it out on your own.


You know, Jerry, you could just choose not to respond to the question rather than "flame" the person who asked.......

JJ
Jerry S
JJ,

What "flame"? First of all, saying "I think there is an obvious answer" was not meant to have any underlying negative conotations about your question. In fact, I thought it was a good question. Secondly, the reason I mentioned that I was "tired" was to indicate that I didn't have the time or energy to go into a more detailed explanation of what I think the reason northern Indiana has so many RV manufacturers is. My thinking that you could "figure it out" from the "history and geography" comment was not intended as any sort of "flame". If anything, I thought you could come up with the answer to your question based on my clue about "history and geography".

Jerry S.
kcmoedoe
Geography might have been the issue in the beginning, but like other union areas, the manufacturing has moved out into more labor friendly areas. Oregon has Monaco and Country Coach. Newells are assembled in Oklahoma, Liberty Coach is in Florida, Teton is in Wyoming, Tiffin is in Alabama and on and on. The real lesson is sloppy, overpaid, unionized, factories have lost the business to other more business friendly areas. The companies with huge union obligations (monaco, travel supreme) and high leverage from buyouts and buybacks (Country Coach) were not economically able to survive. There will be new manufacturers appearing to fill the void and some of the current manufacturers will thrive in the future and others will re-organize and re-emerge as stronger companies. When this happens, the Michigans and Indianas of the labor world will miss out due to their lack of competitiveness.
pianotuna
Hi Jerry S.

Well tired or not, I guess you will have to give us the "benefit" of your superior knowledge of geography and history.

The answer is not obvious to me.
DXSMac
Well, as KCMOEDOE (and I just NOW "got" your screen name! Oh my!!! biggrin.gif tongue.gif ) indicated, I guess the RV manufacturers aren't all in Indiana. It just seemed to me like they were.... but I guess it's only the ones I have "heard" of......

JJ
Big Ben
Don't forget Winnebago in Iowa. If I remember correctly the RV industry was an off shoot of the mobile home industry, which was based in northern Ind. Actually the unions came much later. That use to have a large Amish population. As I remember it. Hope I didn't hurt any ones feelings.
Not sure how or why any one would consider what Jerry wrote as "flaming". Jerry wasn't the one that change the subject of the post.
Jerry S
Piano,

OK, I'll give it a shot. Until the 1960s or so the U.S. motor vehicle industry was centered in the Detroit area. The vast majority of U.S. produced motor vehicle originated were produced there. It is only in recent decades that there have been motor vehicles produced in other parts of the country. The RV industry (motohomes) began to grow in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. As an offshoot of the motor vehicle industry, the RV industry needed to be near the sources of their various major parts: vehicles from Detroit, steel from Gary, cabinetry from the (as mentioned in another post) Amish cabinet makers of northwest Indiana. Back then it was a simple matter of locating your business in an area most condusive to your supply needs. Northern Indiana was also centrally located for transportation services (major roads and railroads). In recent decades, this "economic" imperative of proximity has eroded. Manufacturers can now locate anywhere and bring in their raw materials, parts, etc. from all over the world. That's my basic understanding of the situation.

By the way, I believe the RV/MH Hall of Fame is in the South Bend, IN area.
pianotuna
Hi JerryS.

Thanks.
jan-n-john
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Mar 30 2009, 10:19 PM) *

Well, as KCMOEDOE (and I just NOW "got" your screen name! Oh my!!! biggrin.gif tongue.gif ) indicated, I guess the RV manufacturers aren't all in Indiana. It just seemed to me like they were.... but I guess it's only the ones I have "heard" of......

JJ

I believe the central location of the RV industry in Elkhart has historical roots, and nothing to do with unions etc. Elkhart is Amish country, and a high proportion of the employees of the industry are in fact Amish and Mennonites. Companies in that area have existed for decades to supply wagons to Amish people, and started to build on that and broaden their lines toward mobile homes a long time ago. When travel trailers and then RV's started to become popular, they once again were well-positioned by their earlier skill-building to move into that new market segment and did so. Obviously there are RV manufacturers located in other places (tho the fact that Iowa is also an Amish area is telling), but the historical Amish connection with wood-working and their need for wagons certainly equipped them to succeed in the RV business.
genekatt
QUOTE(standoris @ Mar 10 2009, 07:10 PM) *

Hi RL36,
I had to write and tell you about the company that manufactures Hitchhiker 5th wheels. The company is NuWa located in Chanute,Kansas. We live in Kansas City MO. had taken our 35 ft 2008 Hitchhiker LSII in for some routine maintanence and the service technician asked if we'd heard about NuWa to which we replied that we hadn't. He told us that NuWa had stopped production BUT they did not file bankruptcy, as others have. Instead, they closed the doors, and held back enough money to cover all warranty agreements on units already sold and also retained their service technicians to do warranty work. We are happy to hear now that they have started production again.
In these troubling times for RV manufacturers, it was a very uplifting to hear about one that didn't fold up strip all the cash out of the company and leave their customers high and dry.
Doris

[color=#FF0000]

We had heard rumors that Fleetwood was also going under. However, that is not true. They have quit manufacturing everything except motor coaches. Fleetwood was a major player in the market, especially in CA, & this will really affect a lot of dealers, some of whom have already closed.
Claudia and Pat
We have a Raptor Toyhauler made by Keystone and I can tell you that we have never had better warranty service from any mfg. we've ever had to deal with. We also have the best service repair man in the entire world. Bill ALWAYS returns my calls, asks for a punch list of items from us so he won't miss anything and is as fast and expert as they come. We are just outside of DM Iowa and it is well worth the 30 minutes to pull our unit to him. But I must add, he came to our place and worked on it in subzero weather so we could have it done in time to leave for AZ for the winter. Before this unit we had a Jayco and our service was horrible. It would take them weeks to even get back to us on whether they could fix a problem or not. When it came time to trade up we decided we'd had enough of Jayco and went to the Raptor dealership down the street from Jayco. It was a difference like night and day.
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