Airstream leads, others will follow - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2017, 05:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Oliver_Elite2 View Post
YEAH and who owns Berkshire? Warren Buffet. He owns almost ALL the Indiana (lack of ) class stick, staple, and glues. Under the umbrella of THOR.

Hint... Berkshire (sound familiar as is in the parent Berkshire Hathaway) ala Buffet. Horrible little man. Employs non-US citizens to boot. Check out YouTube and watch them assemble the things as fast as they can.
You seem so eager to show that you know something and are right that the simple facts somehow elude you entirely?

Berkshire/Buffet have no stake in THOR,you seem determined to lump them together but they are not together.

THOR is the #1 RV maker in the U.S.

Forest River the #2 RV Maker in the U.S. is a Berkshire Company.M'kay?
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:21 AM   #30
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Greetings to a fellow TNean!

Agreed. We are very pleased with our Oliver and it's built for the long haul. Probably will outlive us both

Couldn't ask for better customer support and willingness to help owners. We both are fortunate we live in TN so going for warrantee work is no fuss at all.
Heather, Jason, Justin, and Dustin get special thanks and kudos from us.

Our Oliver is a real head turner in every campground we visit. People stop and want tours. "I've never seen one of these before."
He speaks for himself.
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:18 AM   #31
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You all should have bought an Escape, not Thor owned, right now about 25% on sale due to the exchange rate and, here is the biggie, the owner just made a cross country trip to repair maybe 2 dozen units that may have an issue, there were only instances of issues with a different water hose, but being proactive, Reace, the owner of Escape arranged to meet all of the other owners impacted, at their home or on the road, and did the repair right there.
Talk about customer service....reminds me of the Rolls Royce where they would helicopter the mechanic anywhere in the world for a repair.
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:58 AM   #32
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This is all I have to say about that...

Warren Buffett owns a large share of Thor.

He is not listed as the CEO etc. but is indeed in a catbird's seat in sheer number of shares he controls with intermediaries. Trace his associates' purchases and roads lead back to him.

Buffett's modus operandi is to dominate an industry be it upfront or hidden.

https://www.investorsalley.com/3-sto...-he-could-buy/

Personally I wouldn't own a Thor or Forrest River RV on a bet no matter who controls them. They are staple and glue inferiors to a fiberglass period.

Thor recalls some 2018 motorhomes
http://rvtravel.com/thor-recalls-some-2018-motorhomes/

Comprehensive list of RV-related recalls for June
http://rvtravel.com/rv-and-rv-relate...for-june-2017/

Agree or disagree it matters not to me.
I have no need to be "right" with impunity.
Does this really matter? NOT.

That is all I have to say about this. Shall we all return to the original thread's intent without nit picking and parsing words?

Life is short and this is just a forum.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:46 AM   #33
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No one has followed Airstreams lead on traditional trailers so I doubt they will be lining up to follow them in this regard.

Now I do believe with family ownership of some brands that at some point, heirs will want to cash out so traditional trailer brands might pick them up. Forest River with deep Berkshire Hathaway pockets is an obvious buyer.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:52 AM   #34
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Article above does not say Buffet owns a large share of Thor. Berkshire does own Forest River and is more than happy to pick up additional brands. Berkshire prefers to own the entire company rather than shares. And the purchase of Thor could run into anti-trade rules given the already ownership of Forest River, but smaller pickups, say the purchase of Scamp or Casita or Escape would not have those challenges.

Just the opinion of one long term BRK investor.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:59 AM   #35
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Why does the thought of Scamp in the hands of a large RV conglomerate make me sad?
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:17 PM   #36
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Why does the thought of Scamp in the hands of a large RV conglomerate make me sad?
We like to root for an underdog. And larger production volume of FG eggs would reduce the values of preowned units. But I don't think quality would necessarily decline in such a circumstance.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:57 PM   #37
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For me it's not so much about being an "underdog," or even about build quality or resale value, but about the decline of small business in general. Makes me sad.

I realize that a Forest River-owned Scamp might retain some autonomy of operation, but past history shows that the big conglomerates will not hesitate to shut down a nameplate if sales don't satisfy investors during an industry downturn, while a small, independent Scamp will tighten its belt and ride it out.

Nothing lasts forever, and it often happens with small businesses that heirs gradually lose the vision of the founders- I get that- but I hope I don't live to see the day.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:58 PM   #38
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Unfortunately your son is not alone with the Airstream quality problems of recent years.

I agree with a poster who said it is very sad that the smaller companies are selling out to the big conglomerates.

Big companies are all about the bottomline and satisfying shareholders. Buy stocks either as a minority, proxy (straw "investor" - real bucks investor hidden), or majority partner it occurs quality suffers and complaints escalate.

airstream quality issues
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=airstream+...es&t=h_&ia=web

As long as our Fiberglass campers stay out of the large stream quality should be maintained.

Oliver is family owned for instance and maintains an excellent record of quality and service after the sale.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:59 PM   #39
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Lotta chat about a trailer few will pay that much for. What's so new about it anyway? Looks narrow too.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:43 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
For me it's not so much about being an "underdog," or even about build quality or resale value, but about the decline of small business in general. Makes me sad.

I realize that a Forest River-owned Scamp might retain some autonomy of operation, but past history shows that the big conglomerates will not hesitate to shut down a nameplate if sales don't satisfy investors during an industry downturn, while a small, independent Scamp will tighten its belt and ride it out.

Nothing lasts forever, and it often happens with small businesses that heirs gradually lose the vision of the founders- I get that- but I hope I don't live to see the day.
Many small business owners can't wait for the time they cash out, sell to the big guy, and repeat the process again. It's one of the signs of success. You built a business good enough and profitable enough that someone else wants it, watch Shark Tank. It's all about small business people getting investments from the big guys.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:42 PM   #41
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Do you think that Airstream is leading where others will follow or jumping on the band wagon?
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:23 AM   #42
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Do you think that Airstream is leading where others will follow or jumping on the band wagon?
Clif,

I guess my guess is neither. The trend I have been seeing is toward welded aluminum frames and azdel sidewalls. The roofs are still a mixed lot, including TPO and rubber among the materials used.

While the front and roof, and sometimes the back wall, are framed in a curve, the corner connections to the sidewalls remain square. The joints are covered by a molding, generally plastic, to contain a butyl seal.

There are Computer Numerical Control machines cutting panels now, including routing grooves for wiring and plumbing. The Lance factory video is a good example of a trend I've observed over the past five years or so. Others have also been moving in similar directions, though generally more slowly.

The CNC machines allow flexibility in setting up new designs. Unfortunately, these new designs really just mean differently shaped wall panels and cabinets all assembled by the same means. The scenes of workers pulling material onto and off of the CNC machines and the large plywood looming boards where wiring harnesses are made reveal the relatively unsophisticated manufacturing processes that prevail in the industry.

Consider this in contrast to vehicle factories where so many elements of the assembly are performed by robots. U.S. vehicle sales totaled 17.55 million last year. The RV industry is on pace to produce some 472,200 units this year. The difference in sales volume is what pays for the robots and other more sophisticated elements in the auto industry.

The manner in which "conventional" travel trailer roofs and walls are built and assembled is a lot different from the link Tom posted with the Airstream shop developing fiberglass molds for the Nest. Those molds have to successfully result in trailers that sell, or a relatively large investment has to be made to retool new molds.

Molded fiberglass has remained a very small niche business since trailer production resumed following the last world war. Molded fiberglass trailers basically remain among the smallest units that you can buy for the money.

Molded fiberglass is a tiny component of the RV industry, even if you are generous and count the components used on some conventional trailers and motor homes.

I don't know that I can see manufacturers giving up making the toy haulers and large units that sell so successfully on one hand...

...and then just as dependably require replacement in a few years as they leak and molder away.

It would be like giving up printing money. The old saying is that what gets rewarded gets repeated. Ultimately, I think too many rewards are being passed out to the key decision makers to expect any substantial change. As long as they are being rewarded, I don't see them changing what doesn't appear to be broken from their perspective.
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