Some Things to Think About - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2018, 11:24 PM   #1
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Some Things to Think About

Here is a link to one of a series of articles about problems in the RV world. This one talks about quality problems in manufactured RVs:



RV Industry Death Spiral ? Part 2: Manufacturers in race to the bottom | RV Daily Report
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:19 AM   #2
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Great article that captures the problem well. Wall Street Journal had a great article on Elkhart, IN RV manufacturers a couple of months ago. With unemployment at 1% there are no people left to hire. Meanwhile RV production and sales are booming. So they have stopped drug testing, use prisoners from the local prison, and more. Turnover is so high they are giving out bonuses if you stay one month!

As an old manufacturing manager, turnover is a killer. The best trading in the world can’t overcome high turnover. Experienced workers plus robust processes and good training = excellent quality.

It’s pretty scary and as the article mentions, not limited to just lower priced trailers either!
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:10 AM   #3
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Great article that captures the problem well. Wall Street Journal had a great article on Elkhart, IN RV manufacturers a couple of months ago. With unemployment at 1% there are no people left to hire. Meanwhile RV production and sales are booming. So they have stopped drug testing, use prisoners from the local prison, and more. Turnover is so high they are giving out bonuses if you stay one month!

As an old manufacturing manager, turnover is a killer. The best trading in the world canít overcome high turnover. Experienced workers plus robust processes and good training = excellent quality.

Itís pretty scary and as the article mentions, not limited to just lower priced trailers either!
i agree, turnover means the same mistakes are betting made over and over. Hopefully, they are caught down the little, but that is not guaranteed.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:40 AM   #4
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Recycled "News"

We've been having this conversation a while...
Why NOT To Buy An RV!!!
Dealers drop the ball on RV service Part 4

I guess they should just keep putting the information out. Nothing has changed.

The are a number of ways to beat the odds. Build your own. Do your own repairs. Buy used. Buy molded. Buy factory direct. Buy simple.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
Here is a link to one of a series of articles about problems in the RV world. This one talks about quality problems in manufactured RVs:



RV Industry Death Spiral ? Part 2: Manufacturers in race to the bottom | RV Daily Report
This report is over two years old... I'm sure all of the problems have been fixed now...
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:07 AM   #6
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Reuters has been following this fairly closely, with a couple pieces on Elkhart that are interesting reading. There's a lot of piecework pay, which explains quality levels.

Here is one https://www.reuters.com/investigates...rkers-elkhart/

And a bit from the Wall Street Journal: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/mark...ana/ar-AAvvX6Z
Finally, one more from this week - Inventories are a bit high; the industry may have got a bit ahead of itself:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/11/u...-slowdown.html
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:47 AM   #7
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Buy direct is for us

Hi all,

Yes, my wife and I are planning to pick up our new Casita SD in Rice TX on Oct 1.

I'll update everyone once we get home. We are planning to spend 2 days and nights at American RV park, near the Casita factory, to test the Hamster out. We are excited, never owned a trailer or any other RV before. I found out after speaking to owners and researching several forums a molded fiberglass trailer is right for us.

Take care everyone,
Paul
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:50 PM   #8
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One nice thing about several molded trailer manufacturers is the are not in Elkhart! Scamp is up in MN, Casita is down in TX, etc. and they each only make a few models. So workers and supervisors can focus on just a handful of processes. I’ve seen a couple of the plants. No automation but the workers all appeared to be experienced and knowledgeable.

Speaking of “knowledgeable” workers, I did a tour of the BMW plant in Greenville/Spartanburg SC. The tour started with a short film, and then the tour guide bragged about their local employees, who all had matching BMW shirts with their famous roundell insignia. So then we go out to the factory where I see dozens of workers all wearing T shirts without the BMW logo. So I asked the guy, what’s with the t-shirts? His answer “those are all temps”. Imagine paying a BMW price for a car assembled by temps. No thanks!
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:44 AM   #9
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We love our Casita and it's a very nice trailer, but maybe someday we might move up to a Oliver. My wife says why do we have to spend so much more money when there are trailers in the $30,000-$40,000 range that look very nice. The key word here is, LOOK. I will say here that I think the 5-6 fiberglass manufactures of trailers do a nice job on there trailers, I just like the Oliver for its fiberglass interiors and modern design, plus quality throughout. How about there customer service, No. 1 in my estimation.

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Old 09-14-2018, 09:37 AM   #10
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Two things hold me back on Olivers

1. Will it provide $40,000 more utility to me

2. I don’t care for the floorplan.

Fit, finish everything else I like.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:26 PM   #11
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Two things hold me back on Olivers

1. Will it provide $40,000 more utility to me

2. I donít care for the floorplan.

Fit, finish everything else I like.
Beautiful trailers. A major detractor is that unless you get the twin bed floor plan you still have to make the dinette into a bed every night. Also no option for a fridge larger than the stock 4.5 CF.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:55 PM   #12
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One must remember in all things "Bigger is Better".
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:58 PM   #13
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Beautiful trailers. A major detractor is that unless you get the twin bed floor plan you still have to make the dinette into a bed every night. Also no option for a fridge larger than the stock 4.5 CF.
All Oliver models have a separate side dinette for 2 people, so if desired, the rear bed area can be left set up for sleeping all the time.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:00 PM   #14
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All Oliver models have a separate side dinette for 2 people, so if desired, the rear bed area can be left set up for sleeping all the time.
True. That only works if you travel solo or as a couple though. That doesn't work if you have kids or visitors.
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