Guidelines on Buying a New Fiberglass Rig - Questions - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2015, 08:49 PM   #15
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...Until they come to market like all the other major manufacturers they will forever be in the fringe market...overcharging for a product without dealers and service locations....forever in the little league in the RV industry.
I love my Little League trailer(s). Never felt I needed to purchase anything from any "big manufacturers," which I have often found to be resting on a reputation that may not be recently earned. Airstream comes to mind.

I'm glad you're happy with your sticky, truly. But, why hang around here on an all-molded-towable forum since it doesn't sound like you'll ever own one?
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:58 PM   #16
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Sounds like you friend is the ideal buyer that RV dealers drool over.... LOL

My ex wanted us to get pulled in with the same hook buying a class "A" with a 15 year contract. When I told her what the best of current 15 y.o. Class "A" motorhomes were selling for there was a great big OOOPS, and off we went. We bought a used one and discovered how much it cost to keep & repair, or even go anywhere, and that was gone (at a loss of course) in 6 months.
I asked him what he was thinking and his reply was "well, she had nice legs".
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:00 PM   #17
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The thing that is evident about the direct marketing by fiberglass mfgrs is their reluctance to negotiate the final retail selling price...it is their way or the highway. I will never do business with any company that does business in such a fashion. The consumer facilitates this by accepting the dictatorial policies of these manufacturers.

The above marketing techniques explains that while traveling for the last three weeks while covering about 10 states and countless miles with my quality built "sticky" travel trailer I have seen ZERO Fiberglass Travel Trailers on the road.
If they came to market with dealer networks in the real world the prices would come down. Shoppers would be more confident with a dealer service standing behind their product.

Until they come to market like all the other major manufacturers they will forever be in the fringe market...overcharging for a product without dealers and service locations....forever in the little league in the RV industry.


They are so dictatorial at Escape that they installed the lights, flooring, fabric, faucet and table legs and bases that we sent. You cannot order an Escape now because their orders are too far out. And Reace and Tammy are just trying to get more space to put a little dent in the backlog. Their molded fiberglass costs more because it beats the heck out of the other guys' units.

It is actually a nice change from the nonsense that goes on at most dealers over the prices. Everyone pays the same for the same options with fiberglass. Too fair, you say?

Fiberglass units are basically more expensive because they are better built and last longer. Hence, they will always be a very small part of the market. People tend to think that bigger is better and they want cheaper, and that is much of why the market is stickies. People also do not know about fiberglass in most cases. Even if they do, if someone wants more space than about 17', he or she has had to go to a stickie dealer. Now there are at least some 21's and 23's that are molded fiberglass. For people who know the difference.
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:34 PM   #18
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Hi All,

Dave, LOL! You definitely have me figured out in terms of "overthinking it"!!! Given my desire to break into RVing "sooner" rather than "later", buying used is not just a good idea, but a near necessity. Typical, I have questions beyond the issue at hand, thus my inquiry regarding new rigs. As I expected, I have received many helpful responses that are helping me to understand. I have checked out the buyers checklist recently. Looks like a great resource. I appreciate your wisdom. Hey, not grading papers, but I am writing lots of faculty evaluations these days. But, it is nice to have a diversion from the challenge of writing evaluations!!! Whew.

Raz, "buying direct means. . .buying at invoice." Understood. Helpful!!!

Gordon, yes figuring out the "almost perfect" rig is difficult, but at this point, fun and enjoyable. I think we will buy the rig first, then the TV. Thank you for describing your experience buying your Scamp.

Jon, good information regarding the pricing structure of FG rigs vs traditional stick trailers. I am impressed with the durability and resale of FG rigs.

Cathy, thank you for your explanation that there could be, on occasion, other ways for manufacturers to incentivize a purchase via upgrades or options. Of course, YMMV with this. Got it.

Patrick, it looks like your perspective is a bit different than others. Cool beans. Always good to have a number of perspectives. For some strange reason, I have tended to be attracted to rigs that are sold directly from the manufacturer (Lazy Daze, Phoenix Cruiser, and Nexus and now FG rigs). Hmmm???

Roger, yup, I think a 16 month waiting list means something!

Bob, human behavior and our need to "think" that we got a good deal is definitely a reality. Is a good deal really a good deal? Maybe so, maybe not. As long the buyer "thinks" she/he is getting a good deal, then the buyer/seller are happy. I am very familiar with Lazy Daze. OUTSTANDING Class Cs. I am a fan of their 27' Midbath. Maybe one day, I will go that direction. Right now, I am definitely smitten with small (used) FG rigs for a first rig. Hey, I am also very impressed with Taylor Coaches (Sticky builder of small, high quality rigs that Brad sells via directly). Here is his website:

Taylor Coach - Welcome

Thoughts?

He will customize. This is one of several sticky units that I am researching, but I am really leaning FG over stick units.

Jack, agreed, "a good deal is a state of mind" and dealers know this.

Donna, I am the same way. I tend to focus and lean toward small manufacturers. Hey, I have some stickys that I am researching and not all are small manufacturers, including Winnebago Micro Minnies, Forest River R-Pods, Gulf Stream Vintage Cruisers, etc. Along with some manufacturers that are medium to small producers, including Camplite by Livin' Lite, Lance, Serro Scotty, T@B, Riverside Retros, Safari Condos, Allen Campers, Microlite, Travel Lite, and Taylor Coaches as mentioned above. I will not buy a unit with a rubber/vinyl roof or a TPO roof. I am OK with rolled fiberglass and rolled aluminum. Of course, the quality of workmanship can be as important or more important than the materials used. Of all the the non FG units I am researching above, there are a handful that I would consider, particularly the Taylor units. But, the durability and residual value of FG units are real plusses for me. I also like the "look" of FG units.

Thanks to all for your wisdom, expertise, and experience regarding my question.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:35 AM   #19
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Patrick, what are you thinking. You are on a fiberglass forum so the response you got was certainly predictable.

The RV industry manufactures RV's the way model T's were made. By hand, very labor intensive. U.S. labor costs are very high which is why the stores are filled with imported goods. Selling direct eliminates the cost of delivery and dealer overhead from the selling price. It seems to me if the big RV companies could manufacture a molded fiberglass camper, sell it through dealers, and do it cheaper, they would. Clearly the demand is there. Raz
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:27 AM   #20
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Living here in northern Indiana, several of my friends work in the RV industry. Some work at fairly high-end companies. They tell me that they design and build their rigs to last 5 years. With proper care and limited use, it may last longer, but 5 years is their target. After that point, expect to spend less time camping and more time fixing. How many of our fiberglass rigs were tuckered out at 5 years? What is the average age of rig on this website? That might make an interesting poll question.

But, I would suggest that since fiberglass will outlast stickie by a factor of at LEAST 3 to 1, that when comparing prices, it is only fair to calculate using not more than half the price of the fiberglass rig. So, Snoozy for $10K, Escape 21 for $13K, Scamp 13 for $5K. Suddenly, fiberglass doesn't look so expensive.

I have been nibbling around the edges of buying an Escape, so I've been looking at both the new and used market. I have seen several used units, up to 3 years old, that are selling for more than new! Even significantly more. That includes factoring in the exchange rate and option level. The bottom line is that some folks will fork over extra money to avoid the 16 month wait. Discounts will only be achieved IF you can find a used one sitting on a dealer lot, because they don't know what they've got.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:58 AM   #21
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Resale value, maintenance costs, initial cost, and cost to use all come into play if figuring out a good deal.

Light weight and aerodynamic form reduce towing cost and possibly cost of tow vehicle required. Simple tends to require less maintenance than complex. Resale value really matters if you decide after some experience or time that a different size, floor plan or features suit your needs better.

I guess what I am saying is buy used, try to buy with a list of must have features. Avoid going overboard with amenities. You may find that you must have a clothes washer and dryer but skip it in the first model and you may well find you don't need it.

The features are the thing no matter what the age. Typically new takes some depreciation hit (but not always with scarce models) New can be easier to finance if you are going that route.

Questions to ask include (but not limited to):
  • How many does it need to sleep?
  • Head room and bed size? Too small a bed really detracts from the 8 hours you are trying to sleep. Slightly stooped is no problem for short use but retired and multi-month trips?
  • Do I require a toilet, or toilet and shower, or is there no need so I can use the space for other things?
  • Do I plan to boondock off grid back in the woods with no hookups, or more state and private park camping with electricity?
  • Do I intend to cook and eat indoors? Or mostly outdoors.
  • Is camping the purpose or travel? Hard sided tent vs. personal motel room for site seeing and travel.
After decades of camping I can tell you it is all about the trade offs between size and what you use the space for. I like to park, kick back, do some grilling a chilling, read and walk the dog. Not doing month long tours of the country.

What suits my needs is totally wrong for retired sister that parks then drives around to see the sites. I'm happy if I don't have to put on pants to go out and start the morning coffee. She likes it if there is 50amp electric service so the microwave and AC work without having to shut off the water heater electric and switch it to propane.

Figure out how you will use the tool, then you can determine what features the tool must have. That will lead you to what it takes to get a good match at a good price. Some folks have very specific needs. Needs best met with a new unit built to meet those needs, others are more flexible.

Wife and I don't really need front bunks, it might be a dinette for two would be a better use of space, or a bathroom. But neither dinette or bathroom is on our "Must Have" list so front couch/bunks were acceptable at the trailers price. Once you know your must have items you can decide if used will work.

Last item: Sweat equity. If you can do work to improve or repair the used models there can be some real deals in the project campers. If not able to do the work, or not inclined to learn how those fix-r-uppers can be a money pit.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:21 PM   #22
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Anybody in sales kows the "show price" is the new price. The reason there is a shell game played at the dealership is just to test your knowlege. People who don't know pay more, so find out the show price when negotiating things without a fixed price.

Me, I would rather pay more for a better product and service. I can't say that about my Scamp because I bought it used, but other things I tend to go new and pay more. My cars are Honda's and even though they cost more than say a kia, they make a nice product and I don't beat up the dealer and they take care of me. I believe its more important that they make a profit than for me to "win", because in the end I will need them and if I treat them like jerks it will come right back. But I know people thrive on that stuff and I am amused by it, so carry on if that's you. As for stick built, I have two sisters with stick built hybrids that are not going to last ten years. They are leaking like sieves. Long after they are done, my 1988 Scamp will be trucking on.

Take Care,
Steve
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:30 PM   #23
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The thing that is evident about the direct marketing by fiberglass mfgrs is their reluctance to negotiate the final retail selling price...it is their way or the highway. I will never do business with any company that does business in such a fashion. The consumer facilitates this by accepting the dictatorial policies of these manufacturers.
Small companies like this know what their costs are, and know what they need to make a profit. Beyond that the market itself will control their prices, as if they charge too much for what they offer for sale, they will lose customers. Obviously these moulded FG manufacturers are doing something right as far as offering value for what they charge.

It if very similar in many other businesses, such as my own. I do custom building and renovating, and I have never, and will not ever, negotiate what I charge. I know it is fair, and it is what I need to survive, and most of my customers realize this too.

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People tend to think that bigger is better and they want cheaper, and that is much of why the market is stickies.
This is so very true Cathy, and is a great description of what drives much of the RV industry. So many people these days want more, for less, and very often disregard quality in making their decisions. It is just another part of our disposable economy.

This is not true of all RV's not moulded FG, as there are a few that put good quality an product into the build, but this also comes with a significant cost attached to it.
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:16 PM   #24
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My way or the highway, eh?
I'll take "highway".
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:44 PM   #25
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Guidelines on Buying a New Fiberglass Rig - Questions

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I'll take "highway".
I guess we all have chosen the highway, in whatever sort of RV suits our personal budget and style. There's room on the planet for all sizes and build types, certainly.

I just found irony that the prior post, accusing molded fiberglass manufacturers of a "my way or the highway" attitude, expressed exactly the same attitude about how all RVs ought to be marketed and sold.

Wish I were on the highway right now! Fall is the best season to travel in my neck of the woods for those not tied to work and school calendars. Sigh...
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:54 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
The thing that is evident about the direct marketing by fiberglass mfgrs is their reluctance to negotiate the final retail selling price...it is their way or the highway. I will never do business with any company that does business in such a fashion. The consumer facilitates this by accepting the dictatorial policies of these manufacturers.

The above marketing techniques explains that while traveling for the last three weeks while covering about 10 states and countless miles with my quality built "sticky" travel trailer I have seen ZERO Fiberglass Travel Trailers on the road.
If they came to market with dealer networks in the real world the prices would come down. Shoppers would be more confident with a dealer service standing behind their product.

Until they come to market like all the other major manufacturers they will forever be in the fringe market...overcharging for a product without dealers and service locations....forever in the little league in the RV industry.
Fiberglass trailers are far cheaper than stick built, my kids will find that out when they sell mine thirty years from now for more than I paid for it new!
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:38 AM   #27
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Wish I were on the highway right now! Fall is the best season to travel in my neck of the woods for those not tied to work and school calendars. Sigh...


Tell it for the truth brother! It was not looking good but I have managed to shoehorn a long weekend trip in next month (October) when the kid has a Teacher Planning Day.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:20 AM   #28
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Fall Vacations.....
Headed for Canada in the morning (Ooops, I mean Headed for British Columbia in the morning) It's a looong 2 hour drive, but should be a lot of fun with my British Columbian (I mean Canadian) friends. (Actually they are a German & a Brit, but that just confuses things.


And I thought that being P.C. in America (Ooops, I mean Washington, the state, not the District of) was difficult.
LOLOLOL
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