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Old 03-12-2019, 08:01 AM   #141
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Escape, Bigfoot, Trillium Outback, and Armadillo in Canada. Casita, Scamp, Oliver, Happier Camper, Airstream Nest, Relic, Weiscraft, GoBE(?) in the US. I count 12, with some likely on shaky ground.

Many, like Lil Snoozy, are small, specialty companies producing a single model. They have a way of coming and going for many reasons unrelated to the broader market- age or health of the owner, supplier issues, mismanagement, quality issues, high price/limited market... They lack economies of scale- purchasing materials and components in bulk, for example, making for higher prices and/or thinner margins.

There are only a few larger, well-established molded manufacturers with a diversified product line and a track record of weathering the ups and downs of the RV market. If one of those goes under in a strong market, that would indeed be surprising.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:11 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Doesn’t it seem strange , that in the largest boom period for RV manufacturers we are loosing FG trailer manufacturers on a regular basis . Looking at the list I saw this morning there are 8 fiberglass trailers manufacturers still in business . If you want a modestly priced new FG trailer you basically have two choices , Scamp and Casita .
Yep. A recession will drain the swamp and expose those companies that were living too close to the edge. Boom/bust cycle will continue. And meanwhile, during this boom time, seeing companies fail is quite telling. If you can't survive now, then when? I'd love to see Richard's business plan, if he had one. And then what measurables was he tracking so he could adjust? A successful business is not just making a good product. Cash flow is king. And cash flow from inflated deposits doesn't really count, as it is tied to a future obligation.

Then you have productivity, hours it takes to complete a build versus plan.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:11 PM   #143
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Yep. A recession will drain the swamp and expose those companies that were living too close to the edge. Boom/bust cycle will continue.
I guess we will see pretty soon. Next down turn is predicted to hit late 2019 or early 2020. Economists have been talking about it for awhile.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:16 PM   #144
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Economists rarely get recession predictions right. At the same, we are already in the longest bull market in history, so its a relatively safe bet to predict it will end in the near future.

The average bull market lasts 4.5 years, and the current one has lasted over 10 years..

"An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today."

"The First Law of Economists: For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist.
The Second Law of Economists: They’re both wrong."
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:05 PM   #145
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What I find interesting is that is appears that the booming economy seems to have as much as anything to do the failure of Lil Snoozy. None of this is confirmed but I'm hearing that getting the shells built became a problem because the supplier was too busy filling the orders on the more profitable marine side (because of the state of the economy and subsequent demand). And perhaps it was also difficult to keep workers, as is the case for so many businesses at present. I can't help but suspect that if the economy was not doing so well, then the fiberglass shells would be more affordable and cheaper, the labor would be plentifully and also cheaper, and the demand for Lil Snoozy campers would be such that they could take the time they seemed to want to on the build.

So lets look for Lil Snoozy II sometime after the DOW hits 17,500.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:27 PM   #146
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Armadillo I talked with these guys at an RV show in Feb. a very nice trailer just four guys building on average they said they put 4 units a month out long hours but seem to be going well. Anyone looking for something less than a 15 foot unit I'd be looking at it. Very well put together unit a great deal of thought went into it. I was impressed with what I saw and having talked with them. The fact they were clear about the number they produce as a small operation they were very up front on. A bit of history the lead guy also worked for Bigfoot for 20 years so knows what is going on and how to build a quality unit. He has learned much in his years including insulation.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:43 PM   #147
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I am totally biased towards Armadillo, they did a great for us and actually delivered our fully custom unit three months earlier than promised. I can't say enough good things about the owners. So it's not all doom and gloom out there.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:59 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
What I find interesting is that is appears that the booming economy seems to have as much as anything to do the failure of Lil Snoozy. None of this is confirmed but I'm hearing that getting the shells built became a problem because the supplier was too busy filling the orders on the more profitable marine side (because of the state of the economy and subsequent demand). And perhaps it was also difficult to keep workers, as is the case for so many businesses at present. I can't help but suspect that if the economy was not doing so well, then the fiberglass shells would be more affordable and cheaper, the labor would be plentifully and also cheaper, and the demand for Lil Snoozy campers would be such that they could take the time they seemed to want to on the build.

So lets look for Lil Snoozy II sometime after the DOW hits 17,500.
I feel the hull thing is BS, all the cost has already been spent with the cost of the molds and I would make them all day in fit them in with the boat hulls in my production line. I would say that the reason he had a hull problem was he wash't paying for them, or in a timely time and the manufacture said I don't need this, no money, no hulls. Let's face it, a cash flow problem is what did him in, trying to operate on other peoples money will come to an end, as it did for him. Large deposits and then asking for more money should throw up a red flag, plus the time line for production was way out of line. Casita, Oliver, Escape are all in the 3-4 month production range, can be longer this time of year, but say Scamp at 1 year plus is out of the question for me. If the economy turns around it would take 6 months companies to start to feel the effects, so in another 6 months they may not be around, just something to think about.



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Old 03-13-2019, 11:07 AM   #149
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Sorry to those who paid money....here's some info.

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/can-...uptcy-734.html
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:26 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
I feel the hull thing is BS, all the cost has already been spent with the cost of the molds and I would make them all day in fit them in with the boat hulls in my production line. I would say that the reason he had a hull problem was he wash't paying for them, or in a timely time and the manufacture said I don't need this, no money, no hulls. Let's face it, a cash flow problem is what did him in, trying to operate on other peoples money will come to an end, as it did for him. Large deposits and then asking for more money should throw up a red flag, plus the time line for production was way out of line. Casita, Oliver, Escape are all in the 3-4 month production range, can be longer this time of year, but say Scamp at 1 year plus is out of the question for me. If the economy turns around it would take 6 months companies to start to feel the effects, so in another 6 months they may not be around, just something to think about.



trainman
Funny you chose the most stable Fiberglass manufacturer who only asks $500 down and has a history of returning that deposit on request to be "out of the question".
Also , they have been in business longer than almost everybody else combined... coming up on 50years.
That's through several major economic downturns... even 30% inflation in the 70s.
They also continued to produce ordered trailers while customers waited in line, those are not "back orders", or supplier problems.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:37 AM   #151
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Sorry to those who paid money....here's some info.

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/can-...uptcy-734.html
One thing I found interesting in that article was the statement:

A reasonable threshold for considering legal representation is $1,000.

Perhaps all the people who made a substantial deposit (well over $1,000) maybe should consider getting together and retaining an attorney in a sort-of class action.

BTW, the link is about bankruptcy in general, not the Lil Snoozy case.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:14 PM   #152
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Your stuff is in the wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal B View Post
Highly disappointed I put a $10,000 deposit down August 16 of 2017 I was told at the time it would be 6 to 8 months but more than likely eight months before completion in February 2018 I purchased a truck fridge and a max fan and had them shipped to the factory A cost of just over $1000 between the two I'm curious if anybody would know if that would be considered theft of personal property because I had paid for those items from the supplier and I have receipts from the companies that deliver them to the Lil Snoozy manufacture
Your stuff won't show up as an asset of the company. They will say they have no idea who took it, so it becomes: "Theft by whom?" Sorry, but your stuff is in the wind.

You may be able to write it off your taxes if you can document it, which may not be easy, although writing off the loss of the deposit shouldn't be difficult, as the bankruptcy court should provide documentation of your loss.

Deposits aren't held in escrow, and the company was probably building yesterday's trailers (and paying salaries) using today's deposits. Not much different than a Ponzi scheme in my opinion, but not illegal. In my opinion deposits should be required by law to be held in escrow until the trailer is ready for delivery.

Bankruptcy protection protects the individuals who own the company. In most jurisdictions being an "LLC" protects the personal assets of the stockholders (owners) unless it can be demonstrated that assets were transferred from the corporation to individuals to hide them from creditors. Even if true, it may be difficult to prove.

Unfortunately in America we do not imprison people for ripping off other people legally.

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Old 03-13-2019, 12:47 PM   #153
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That sucks, I'm sorry....

That said, if another fly-by-night low production builder were to start building a very similar trailer, using nice, safe, escrowed refundable deposits, do you think there would be a ready market?

We have lightweight composite experience, a shell supplier with spare capacity, and could do entirely custom modular interiors.

We would also do something more streamlined in design - that big square butt costs a lot of fuel.

Any potential interest?

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Old 03-13-2019, 12:55 PM   #154
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At the end of the day and after many pages of discussion it sounds to me like "Mr Charles Ponzi" was the Chief Financial Officer at Lil Snoozy with "Ms Sarah Howe" as Mr. Ponzi's financial skills mentor and teacher!!
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:20 PM   #155
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That sucks, I'm sorry....

Any potential interest?

Thomcat
I'm sure there probably would be, Lil Snoozy was somewhat unique in the molded fiberglass world, and fairly popular. It had it's following. Would take some good management skills, and reputation building. May be a bit too soon, bad taste in the mouth lasts a while. For me personally, no interest, I just bought my Scamp, but I think the waiting list coupled with the excessively high deposits attests to the market interest.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:48 PM   #156
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That said, if another fly-by-night low production builder were to start building a very similar trailer, using nice, safe, escrowed refundable deposits, do you think there would be a ready market?
You would have to have a very good escrow contract, one that prohibited you from using the escrowed funds as collateral for a loan, and had performance guarantees and deadlines. But then the deposit does you no real good because you can't use it as operating capital, and the buyer's money is tied up. What's the point?

I would prefer to see a track record first. Build some trailers and sell them. A token deposit to be put on a waiting list, maybe $100. Enough to show that the buyer is serious and lock in the price, but not enough for the seller to consider it an income stream.

Of course the problem that causes a huge number of small business failures is under-capitalization. Having the customer put down a deposit in the 40% range is basically asking them to pay for all the materials to be used in their trailer in advance. In my opinion it's a sure sign that the business is under-capitalized and the risk is huge, no matter what the product.

For those hoping someone will buy Lil Snoozy's assets and start building trailers again, any new owners will have absolutely no legal or moral reason to assume the previous owner's debts (such as deposits). It would be a totally separate and new business, and in fact, it would probably be a huge liability to name their trailer anything similar to Lil Snoozy.

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Old 03-13-2019, 03:28 PM   #157
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We would also do something more streamlined in design - that big square butt costs a lot of fuel.
That did always bug me about the design. The departure profile is just as important as the front profile when it comes to aerodynamics. But if you're going to have the door on the end it limits your streamlining options somewhat, and I did like the layout inside anyway.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:52 PM   #158
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I wouldn't mess with the design. A prius has the lowest drag coefficient of any car and it is sloped towards the back but is flat at the rear. If you try to make it to aerodynamic in the rear you can create lift and drag which is not good. Besides all that, the door at the rear is one of the features that makes a Lil Snoozy unique and desirable and provides for an efficient desigh. I got very good mileage towing my Lil Hauley home form the factory.
If I were to run the business, I would require a deposit of a few hundred bucks or so which is used mostly for scheduling. I would also have progress payments. Enough to cover most or all of the cost of the components just prior to the build and final payment upon delivery. This is the way we handled capital projects where I worked.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:59 PM   #159
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That did always bug me about the design. The departure profile is just as important as the front profile when it comes to aerodynamics. But if you're going to have the door on the end it limits your streamlining options somewhat, and I did like the layout inside anyway.
I found the reaction to the closing of Lil Snoozy fascinating. In Australia there are lot of RV manufacturers and quite a few are composite builders, not neccessarily small in the size of the product or operation. If a company does fall over, another company not neccessarily in the same industry will buy it
Another aspect that is interesting is companies produce several models, not just one
Two Aircraft engineers started this company 3 yrs ago and now have 4 models

https://rhinomaxcampers.com.au/
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:20 PM   #160
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I wouldn't mess with the design. A prius has the lowest drag coefficient of any car and it is sloped towards the back but is flat at the rear. If you try to make it to aerodynamic in the rear you can create lift and drag which is not good. Besides all that, the door at the rear is one of the features that makes a Lil Snoozy unique and desirable and provides for an efficient desigh. I got very good mileage towing my Lil Hauley home form the factory.
It just bugged me that the front end was highly aerodynamic and the rear was not much at all... what is the point of taking all that space away at the front if you aren't going to follow through at the rear. Which already generates a ton of drag, believe me.

But yeah, I wouldn't change the design just for that, it's just my form-follows-function disease that crops up every now and again.
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