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Old 10-04-2019, 02:07 AM   #41
flybouy
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Originally Posted by Frosty46 View Post
WE own a ten plus year old Raptor and have gone to many RV "shows" finding today's offerings sadly poor in quality of materials and sad workmanship is the norm even on half million dollar rigs. Todays sad business morals reflect our political situation that is drawing down our nation. The "deregulation" crase is reaping the obvious rewards......
I'm not going to defend any manufacturer but I'm unaware of any "deregulation " that's affecting the RV industry as far as the manufacturing process is concerned. I'm no economist but having worked in large corporate America all my life (the last 30+ yrs as a Director) I know what those companies demanded and what their economic models/strategies were.
As costs increase, i.e. utility rates, property taxes, insurance, wages, etc. the only way to hold costs down is to change manufacturing costs, materials, assembly techniques, and or increase production with fewer "man hours".
This is a lesson the auto industry learned years ago when imported cars came close to putting the "big three" out of businesses. The auto industry adapted by the use of more economical materials ( mostly made in other countries), utilizing more robotics to reduce the labor costs, reducing inventory by eliminating underperforming brands (Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Mercury, are a few) and shuttering plants and consolidating the output to other facilities. It was so bad 2 of the 3 went to the Government for loans. Chrysler sold out, and Ford didn't take the Fed's "help".
US automakers are now thriving.
This is the world we live in today and have been for centuries. The only voice we have is in our spending dollars. As long as the demand is there then there is no incentive for industry to change.
The RV industry doesn't have the opportunity, nor the need for the transition as sales have been at a record high for a few years.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
I'm not going to defend any manufacturer but I'm unaware of any "deregulation " that's affecting the RV industry as far as the manufacturing process is concerned. I'm no economist but having worked in large corporate America all my life (the last 30+ yrs as a Director) I know what those companies demanded and what their economic models/strategies were.
As costs increase, i.e. utility rates, property taxes, insurance, wages, etc. the only way to hold costs down is to change manufacturing costs, materials, assembly techniques, and or increase production with fewer "man hours".
This is a lesson the auto industry learned years ago when imported cars came close to putting the "big three" out of businesses. The auto industry adapted by the use of more economical materials ( mostly made in other countries), utilizing more robotics to reduce the labor costs, reducing inventory by eliminating underperforming brands (Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Mercury, are a few) and shuttering plants and consolidating the output to other facilities. It was so bad 2 of the 3 went to the Government for loans. Chrysler sold out, and Ford didn't take the Fed's "help".
US automakers are now thriving.
This is the world we live in today and have been for centuries. The only voice we have is in our spending dollars. As long as the demand is there then there is no incentive for industry to change.
The RV industry doesn't have the opportunity, nor the need for the transition as sales have been at a record high for a few years.

^^^^The question has been asked many, many times on the forum and Marshall hit the nail on the head. We may see a change in the next few decades but until then I suspect the current business model is what the RV manufacturers will follow.

When RVs become so expensive that most can't afford them, the sales dry up AND those that are buying only buy the premium models that provide the quality and amenities that they are looking for - THEN the manufacturers will start building to meet that criteria. Until then, as long as anyone with a credit score over 250 and $500 to their name can "sign on the dotted line" to purchase the cheapest, biggest RV they can possibly afford....and they are lined up by the thousands to take what they can get, the manufacturers would much prefer to build those "thousands" as fast as they can with little regard for what they are putting out because the buyers, by and large, don't care or just deal with it. How can they go wrong doing that? Short answer; they can't.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:04 AM   #43
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When RVs become so expensive that most can't afford them, the sales dry up AND those that are buying only buy the premium models that provide the quality and amenities that they are looking for - THEN the manufacturers will start building to meet that criteria. Until then, as long as anyone with a credit score over 250 and $500 to their name can "sign on the dotted line" to purchase the cheapest, biggest RV they can possibly afford....and they are lined up by the thousands to take what they can get, the manufacturers would much prefer to build those "thousands" as fast as they can with little regard for what they are putting out because the buyers, by and large, don't care or just deal with it.
Much the same is true of the auto market, but BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Land Rover don't seem to be going out of business anytime soon. I wish we could reach that sort of a balance in the RV marketplace as well.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:32 AM   #44
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Much the same is true of the auto market, but BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Land Rover don't seem to be going out of business anytime soon. I wish we could reach that sort of a balance in the RV marketplace as well.
I think comparing BMW, Audi, Mercedes or Land Rover to the cars made for the masses ie; GM, Ford, FCA is comparing apples to oranges. Consider 2018 sales for the "niche" brands:

BMW - 34,253 units
Land Rover - 67,655
Audi - 223,323
Mercedes - 315,959

Now consider sales for the "masses":

GM - 2,954,037
Ford - 2,497,318
FCA - 2,235,2014

If one looks at the above numbers you realize that it's painfully obvious that if the only sales of cars were limited to the "niche" brands (more expensive) there would be millions of folks unemployed and millions of folks without vehicles. Sort of like the same model is being used in the RV business....?
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:33 AM   #45
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Much the same is true of the auto market, but BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Land Rover don't seem to be going out of business anytime soon. I wish we could reach that sort of a balance in the RV marketplace as well.
There is an "RV equivalent" to the BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Land Rover. It's the Landmark, DV Suites, Airstream, New Horizons (Summit or Majestic) that are the "BMW's of the RV industry".. Pricing is significantly higher with the cheapest models ranging well over $100,000. So, they simply are not in the same "class" as the Hideout, Passport, Cougar or even the Montana. You wouldn't expect a Hundai or a Kia or Yugo to have the same quality as a BMW, just as you "shouldn't" expect a Hideout or Springdale to have the same quality as an Airstream. If you want "higher quality" you're not going to look at the "cheap end of the selection" in cars, and it's the same with RV's. Keystone, Jayco, Forest River, for the most part, have classes of RV's ranging from "cheap junk for the masses" to "high quality with a high price for the discerning buyer"... You've got to "move up in RV class" to get to the BMW kind of quality. You simply won't find it in a $13,000 Summerland.

Having owned an Airstream in the past, I can say with certainty, the Airstream dealerships ALL have a service department (just like Keystone dealerships) for a reason. Expensive RV's have problems just like cheap, thrown together RV's.

By the way, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Land Rover all have service departments as well. Nothing mechanical is ever going to be "problem free across the entire inventory".
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:56 AM   #46
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Nine years ago my DW & I spent a week at the Greenbrier resort in WV. They advertised Land Rovers for their offroading lessons. We booked for an afternoon and when we arrived they had a fleet of highly accessorized Jeep Rubicons. When I required about the discrepancy they told me they couldn't keep the Rovers out of the shop long enough to be driven. Here's a quote from https://www.osv.ltd.uk/how-reliable-...d-range-rover/
If we look at J.D Power, from the years 2007 to 2016, Land Rover and Range Rover’s best score was either 3 out of 5 or 6 out of 10. For eight of those years, they scored 2.5 out of 5 or less. This is below average for dependability. A further study by J.D Power found that the industry average for problems was 133 per 100 vehicles. Land Rover had a pretty shocking 179 problems per 100 cars.
And just like rvs people still buy them.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #47
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There is an "RV equivalent" to the BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Land Rover. It's the Landmark, DV Suites, Airstream, New Horizons (Summit or Majestic) that are the "BMW's of the RV industry"..
Three of the 4 RVs mentioned are all owned by the same parent company, Thor, although operated independently but I'd suspect Thor expects the same quota out the door while still making a profit. Point is those may or may not be built any differently than any others in Thor's stable, just cost more.
Still can't figure out the remarks that politicians have anything to do with poor RV build quality???
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:58 AM   #48
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Three of the 4 RVs mentioned are all owned by the same parent company, Thor, although operated independently but I'd suspect Thor expects the same quota out the door while still making a profit. Point is those may or may not be built any differently than any others in Thor's stable, just cost more.
Still can't figure out the remarks that politicians have anything to do with poor RV build quality???
It's no surprise that 3 or the 4 are THOR products. THOR owns about 75% of the RV market availability. So, yes, the offerings reflect who owns them. That said, I'd suspect there is some similarity with every THOR brand in "corporate philosophy" but I'd also suspect that the higher you go in the "RV food chain" the more quality you (and THOR) expect from what's offered "on the plate" at each brand....

I totally agree with the remark about politicians. Seems the more they "touch" the more they "screw up".... Without getting too political, politicians are probably best tolerated if they stay "in their lane" and leave the industrial market evolution to those who make them and those who buy them. Politicians "sticking their thumb on the scale" is much the same as scientists "cloning (or attempting to improve) a species by "interfering with good ideas".....
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:03 AM   #49
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It's "shocking" how far off topic we all ventured. (Puns intended)
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:12 AM   #50
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Every time I go scout out trailers that are more expensive than what I have, they are larger, heavier, come with bathtubs, TVs in every closet, and a lot of crap that I just don't need or want. For the increase in price, they add a lot of features, but I don't see them adding quality. What I really would like to see is a higher price point for the RV range that I'm interested in, that came with more quality in the build. Maybe I was wrong to mention Land Rovers. Maybe I should've mentioned jeeps -- as in 1950s era jeeps -- stuff built to keep running.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:47 AM   #51
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Every time I go scout out trailers that are more expensive than what I have, they are larger, heavier, come with bathtubs, TVs in every closet, and a lot of crap that I just don't need or want. For the increase in price, they add a lot of features, but I don't see them adding quality. What I really would like to see is a higher price point for the RV range that I'm interested in, that came with more quality in the build. Maybe I was wrong to mention Land Rovers. Maybe I should've mentioned jeeps -- as in 1950s era jeeps -- stuff built to keep running.
That's typical when you stay within a brand or brand competitor. It's just like looking at a Chevy or Ford, the bigger the car the more expensive, the more gadgets. To move to higher quality usually requires going to a more "upscale" brand. And Jeep had their issues as well after then Chrysler Corp. bought them.

To me the RV shows are only useful in the convenience of having different brands and dealers in close proximity to compare notes. Personally I find them to be useless in making a final decision. Having a dozen people piled into an RV with every light on and hot as a greenhouse with kids jumping about and the cacophony of noise is not my idea of fun. Again, that's me, thank heavens everyone has their likes/dislikes and opinions or it would be a vaery boring world.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:50 AM   #52
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The RV dealerships and Keystone had a very similar "discussion" around 2012 with the "reinvention of the Springdale RV line. Dealerships envisioned a "cheap, reliable, basic RV" while the "designers/marketers" at Keystone envisioned a "low priced, feature laden entry level RV"....

Dealerships wanted simple, cheap, basic that they could market to RV'ers entering the market

Keystone wanted electric stabilizers, multiple TV's, electric awnings, fancy decals and colors that appealed to "today's tastes"....

Of course, Keystone "won the argument" and Springdales increased several thousand dollars in MSRP with no appreciable improvement (other than BLING). To appease the dealerships, Keystone came out with the Summerland line, which is remarkably similar to what Springdale "used to be"...

The problem: Springdale owners, expecting to buy a new trailer either had to "increase their budget to stay in the line with no improvement in quality" or "step down to a cheaper trailer with less quality and cheaper frames, windows, appliances and features than their older Springdale"....

From my perspective (for what that's worth) all of the major RV manufacturers are focusing on quantity (not quality) and shove trailers out the back door as fast as they can push them out. They add BLING to attract the "uninformed, new RV buyer" and advertise unimportant features while at the same time, buying cheaper, lighter frames, thinner luan panels, cheaper construction techniques and faster production lines. All of these make for less quality for the consumer, but as long as the consumer is standing in line, getting pissed because their trailer hasn't arrived yet, the manufacturers won't disappoint the guy that's standing in line waiting impatiently......
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:16 AM   #53
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Reminds me of the current "cell phone wars". New model every year with "minimal" overall changes for the "typical" user. But when they roll them out people are sleeping on the sidewalks will to plop down copious amounts of cash to that "new and improved" wonder. Call me a curmudgeon but No thanks, not me.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #54
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Reminds me of the current "cell phone wars". New model every year with "minimal" overall changes for the "typical" user. But when they roll them out people are sleeping on the sidewalks will to plop down copious amounts of cash to that "new and improved" wonder. Call me a curmudgeon but No thanks, not me.
Marshall thank goodness for those sidewalk sleepers. They make the phones most of us get with our plans free (kind of).
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:28 PM   #55
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We plugged into 50amp. Within 5 minutes the shore power breaker tripped. After that 50amp would always trip. We plugged into 30amp and found after that the trailer metal shocked you? Any ideas? We can not find the issue. Everything was running fine inside, but all the metal outside was “hot”.

Also we then plugged into our generator and the charge moved to the generator instead of trailer metal.
10/22/2019 Update: Issue has been found! They found the electrical cable was pinched in the frame from incorrect install at factory. So, all is being covered for all the repairs that need to be done. Since we traveled 2700 miles over 5 day with the pinch it finally broke through the line and caused the issue. This could have been much worse than the 120v shock, the line in the picture I was provided is messed up, thankfully no fires happened. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:27 AM   #56
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BJ, thanks for the update! That's how we all learn on this site.
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