Layoffs in the RV Industry - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
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Layoffs in the RV Industry

Dang, Oregon employees are taking another hit. Coburg is a small town just north of Eugene that's surrounded by farm land. Few jobs available in that area. If they start building towables, I bet they'll be nice... too bad they (probably) won't be molded.

Layoffs at Oregon RV Plant
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #2
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We've met numerous RVers and they consistantly state that they are concerned, almost scared about their future, even when they look like they can afford the situation.

It's not simply the cost of gas, but really the cost of everything. RVers see it in the price of gas and the price of food which have also increased significantly.

RV manufacturers will be going thru a second round of layoffs. There is no doubt.

First the used market is loaded with good deals on large units. Second, I believe most of manufacturers large, fuel heavy products are unsuited to the future. Hopefully that will be a bonus for the molded manufacturers.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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Monaco makes very very expensive (And ultra high quality) motorhomes..Motor Coaches to be more exact...and a moniker that's well deserved.

Unfortunately, in the realm of personal finance these days, RVs in general are considered a luxury item and banks are just not real forthcoming with the cash to finance them.

Working at an RV dealer, I see absolutely stunning RVs daily. They sit on our lot forever, even tho they are priced at a ridiculously low % of their value just a couple years ago. We have a Diesel Fleetwood Expedition that only has 30k miles on it, it is in like new condition and it is consigned in at 30k LESS than what it really should be.. it's been here for months. We can't give the thing away. No one can get a loan on it! It is "only" 89k bucks.. but I know precious few folks with that kind of spare cash lying around.

The less MUCH expensive units go out of here like hotcakes, when a year ago, those were the kiss of death.

I am not surprised that Monaco has gone out. Its a factory of wretched excess, tho it's QUALITY excess.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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We were just parked next to a Monaco class A at Lake Pleasant Campground. Gina's right about the quality, nice rig. The Canadian owners won't be happy on their way home as they were planning to visit the plant in OR.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Good Old American Gr--d

Yep it seems there is a direction here. It is a shame. A friend of mine has a nephew that delivers Motor coaches for Freightliner. He passes into Arizona almost weekly delivering Custom $400,000-750,000 coaches on over the road cab and chassis freightliners. The last one he passed through here with had 5 slides, 3 A/C's all leather interior and get this, 2000 (that's right two thousand) gallon water capacity and get 4.5 - 5 mpg on the highway. Well, can you imagine how many F/G RV's could be produced, the fuel that could be saved, and more importantly-- the jobs that could be created, if the efforts were redirected. Well that isn't in the spirit of American Capitalism. Well, with the current, business mindset, that is no longer that goal. The" ME " generation has created a completely different meaning of the American Way. I don't believe this comment is political, just facts. Look around it's affecting all of us.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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Hoped Typo

2000 (that's right two thousand) gallon water capacity

Tom,
Two thousand gallons (2,000) of water weighs 16,000 pounds; I assume it's capcity is 200 gallons of water.

Regardless of the water capacity, it's OK for people who can afford it to spend their money, it's probably not greed but extravagance.

Really in no way does it diminish our ability to RV in our modled RVs. I'll probably travel more this year than the typical large RVer will in a few years.

The way fuel prices are going, the existence of large RVs will gradually be self correcting. It's incumbant on small manufacturers to create RVs that can be towed by economical vehicles. The way things are going, towing a fiberglass trailer with a tow vehicle that gets 15 mpg will be like driving that large bus that gets 5 mpg.

People who don't know the cost of our lifestyle usually question our use of fuel, traveling from place to place.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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I am sorry if you feel capitalism is at fault. At least it is private individuals who are taking the hit. In socialism central planners are even worse at gauging markets, and everyone takes the hit for their errors.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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I drove up the 401 in Ontario this morning and was amazed at the number of contract haulers pulling new stciky's for delivery. There was also a full trailer double decked with tent trailers. Although the demand for expensive motor couches may be in decline there appears to be ongoing demand for smaller equipment to satisfy our wanderlust.
It's hard to beat the value retention of the moulded fiberglass 'eggs' though.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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One of the concerns that I have had is going out there in this economy and needing to workcamp with fewer travelers, fewer jobs. I know a lot of people we met at least tried to work for their campsite. Even those that could take their jobs on the road with them are probably seeing a decline in their business.

Strangely, here in SE KS, people are working and more people being hired. Wages are low but they have jobs with many putting in a lot of extra hours. My husband has been working 55 hours a week since he started in July of last year. Mandatory overtime. Have even heard they are going to open some sort of robotics manufacturer south of us - I think a Korean company and Hershey is opening a factory south of Topeka. OK, I keep dwelling on the good to get by!

I noticed online that stick-built, 14RB, is being made by many manufacturers and some sold new under $10,000, cheaper than many of the pop-ups. Seems like a good idea to keep people on the job and hold their own until at least, maybe, things pick up or we get hit by a meteor. But, the question is, "Will the 14RB last until we get hit by a meteor." Not unless it is pretty quick.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #10
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actually it was capitalism that allowed them to sell all the rv's they sold.

the economy is down. it will go back up. thats the nature of things.

the ones that survive these downturns are going to have to be flexible enough to make what the market is supporting. right now, thats smaller more economical units.
i talked to my local rv dealer about a trailer i could pull with my ranger or my wifes liberty. best he could come up with was a pop up and that was pushing it. my only option was buy a very expensive truck and a very expensive trailer. well....guess what? no sale!
i bought a 13 foot scamp. for less then half of what he wanted to sell me.

if they can not accomodate the market,,,the market moves on without them.

but it sure is hard on the poor folks working there, and of course the owners that have sunk everything in the company. not their fault really. they just had no way of knowing what the future held, and didn't prepare for anything but what they were already doing.
im sure theres a lesson there for all of us.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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Cathy, Even with the economy down and fewer RVers on the road, there will be plenty of opportunities to get free sites and hookups. We stayed in one COE park where they had four volunteer sites where the volunteers received the sites for working a relatively few hours per week.

We are not experts in this area because we don't do it but I'm sure there are others on this site who have experience.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
I am sorry if you feel capitalism is at fault. At least it is private individuals who are taking the hit. In socialism central planners are even worse at gauging markets, and everyone takes the hit for their errors.
perfect example of this is the caribian island of nevis/st. kitts.

st kitts is an island of some 40,000 people. the sole economic force was sugar cane. bacardi bought all they could raise and everyone was happy.
unfortunately the government owned all the land, so when the united states subsidised american grown sugar beets and drove the price stupidly low,,,well bacardi is a business, they have to buy what makes business sense so they stopped buying from st. kitts.
the government of st. kitts, was slow to see things,,,,as all governments are and continued forcing the farmers to grow cane.
well the last time i was down there they were scrambling to try to convert the economy to tourism,,,and there was 40,000 of the nicest people you ever met out of work and no place to go.
a shinning example of what happens when governments get to run business. thats socialism in a nutshell.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #13
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Cathy, Even with the economy down and fewer RVers on the road, there will be plenty of opportunities to get free sites and hookups. We stayed in one COE park where they had four volunteer sites where the volunteers received the sites for working a relatively few hours per week.

We are not experts in this area because we don't do it but I'm sure there are others on this site who have experience.
oh yes,,, those host jobs are awsome. we plan on doing that once we retire. you generaly have to commit to 4 to 6 weeks , work about 30 hours a week, and that work is greeting campers, helping them find there spot. checking site cards to make sure they are paid, you don't collect money in most parks,,, just leave them a note to pay , and log it for the park personel. hold a coffee clatch or something once or twice a week. and help folks find local sites and attractions to visit. seems pretty easy work and the rest of your time is yours. some parks are hard to get,, i guess theres a waiting list for super places like yellowstone and such. but a free months parking in florida in february sounds pretty good to me. and i wouldn't really care what park it was. though near a beach would be nice.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
One of the concerns that I have had is going out there in this economy and needing to workcamp with fewer travelers, fewer jobs. I know a lot of people we met at least tried to work for their campsite. Even those that could take their jobs on the road with them are probably seeing a decline in their business.

Strangely, here in SE KS, people are working and more people being hired. Wages are low but they have jobs with many putting in a lot of extra hours. My husband has been working 55 hours a week since he started in July of last year. Mandatory overtime. Have even heard they are going to open some sort of robotics manufacturer south of us - I think a Korean company and Hershey is opening a factory south of Topeka. OK, I keep dwelling on the good to get by!

I noticed online that stick-built, 14RB, is being made by many manufacturers and some sold new under $10,000, cheaper than many of the pop-ups. Seems like a good idea to keep people on the job and hold their own until at least, maybe, things pick up or we get hit by a meteor. But, the question is, "Will the 14RB last until we get hit by a meteor." Not unless it is pretty quick.
good to hear that, my family is from tecumseh just outside of topeka. my uncle worked a hardware store and my aunt ran the office for mayflower . good people down there.
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