Recessions and used Fiberglass RV Market - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-28-2018, 09:29 PM   #1
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Recessions and used Fiberglass RV Market

Dear Forum,

Like all markets, there are ups and downs.

I understand Fiberglass RV market is relatively small and unique.

From those that's been shopping/selling in the "post housing bubble" 2007-12 period, I am curious about some anecdotal evidence/stories on what happened to this niche market.

This is how the "new" market looked like:


Source: https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/mone...are/609774002/
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:54 PM   #2
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Your title says “used” market but your post is about the “new” market.

I’ve never bought a new Fg trailer but I know Escape has had a waiting list for quite a long time. I think they even cut off taking new orders a couple of years ago when the waiting list got to 18 months.

As for used, I’ve never seen the used values go down for the older models (‘70’s mostly) . I think there is always enough of a demand for them that they are quite recession proof.
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:34 PM   #3
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Several new manufacturers and continued waiting lists show the molded market is still pretty strong. Some of the waiting lists are now somewhat realistic (6 months or less) which is curbing the "buy anything NOW" fever that had been gripping the market.
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil 4500 View Post
Your title says “used” market but your post is about the “new” market.
I welcome any stories on used or new, but specific to Fiber Glass .. Only data I could find on sales was in "new" markets, and it was for market overall, not this niche.
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Old 11-29-2018, 04:17 PM   #5
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What that data shows is that for the years when few new RVs were sold there will be fewer of those particular year models around to reach the used RV market. Of course that translates to more high mile motorhome RVs on the used market.


Except that part of the reason new RVs were not selling was that the gas prices were inflated. Of course that also meant that people who already owned RVs were not putting as many miles on them.

So the reality is that the data on sales of new RVs does have an effect on what is available on the used market.

As to the waiting list time. That is about rising sales and demand but it is also about the size of the operation and the number of employees. Growing the output of an FGRV business to keep up with demand is often not possible. It is a risky business decision to over build because you could then get caught short by a recession and end up with more space, equipment and employees than can be financially supported. Having a waiting list of a year or so means that you do have the right balance. Having employees standing around waiting for something to do means you have the wrong balance.
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:03 PM   #6
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Scamp and the others have made the business decision to not hire over 50 people to keep the mandated cost of benefits, etc down.
The limiting factor is the number of trailers that they can build and stay at or below that number.
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:19 PM   #7
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The physical molds may limit output as well, and I am guessing a new mold is very expensive to construct. I would imagine the far larger RV producers use much more standardized, scaleable materials and equipment.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:46 AM   #8
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I think the fiberglass trailer buyers are more to the conservative side of camping and make there trailer choices with more thought with practical use then the average RV buyer. If you decide to go the fiberglass route then you have probably given it much thought and are willing to wait the 4-6 months to get a new trailer, or if you can't wait you go the used route. This keeps the value of the used trailer high, it's called supply and demand. Personally it's the best RV market out there in today's world, other then a tent and there resale is not that good. We like many purchased a new Casita and think we did the right thing every time we think about it, will we move up someday to a large fiberglass trailer, maybe, but we feel we made the best investment to do that. The chart is pretty much showing how the economy was doing at that time in the U.S. and would pretty much show that if compared to other sales of other products at that time period would be some what equal. Remember this, when the economy goes down, so does the sale of most hobby, RV, and other not need extra pleasures in life. I personally have always invested in the U.S. and over many years it has been good to me, I don't see myself doing something else, just because there maybe another economic setback someday. I can tell you one thing, if purchasing an RV is going to affect your personal living expenses, then I would not purchase one as it is an unstable market and subject to change everyday, why, FUEL PRICES.

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Old 12-04-2018, 09:54 AM   #9
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I heard it best from a person with an expensive motorhome last year ($500,000 +/-).

He knew buying and owning an RV was not a good move financially. He called it an "investment in lifestyle". He and his wife were living full time in their motorhome, traveling all over the country. They sold their home and possessions and were hitting the road instead. I would guess their age to be 70 to 75. Just lost a friend at a 77 years old, earlier this year I lost a friend at 66 years old. You can't take it with you.

Now if your budget is really tight and you want to camp, we had plenty of fun camping with a TENT. Did it for years back when we were broke. We had just as much "fun" with that tent as we do now with our Escape 19. The fun is from getting out there and doing it, rather than from the brand of camper you might be using.


Best "profit" I ever had was on a North Face tent I took on my trip to Alaska in 2014. I bought the tent at a garage sale for $10. I used it every night on my 21 day trip. I got home, dropped the tent off at a outdoor gear consignment store. They sold it for me, and got $125 for it..... I picked up another garage sale tent to replace it, $10. Its 2X the size and I can sit up in it.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:06 AM   #10
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I don't really think there's much rocket science here. If you've lost your job, or are concerned about losing it, you don't go out and spend $$ that you don't have to.
When you can't feed your family, and you have a recreational item sitting outside, you sell it. And don't usually get top dollar for it when you do.
If the situation is about many more folks than you having this problem, the above is magnified.
The upside of course, is if you are one of those folks who lives below your means when times are good and saves some $$$$$, you can get a good deal when things turn to doodoo. No charts needed.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:00 PM   #11
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Recessions and used Fiberglass RV Market

My observation is molded fiberglass trailers do follow the same boom/bust cycles as the RV market as a whole, but limited production, durability, and smaller size (no expensive new tow vehicle, maybe) means the ups and downs are far less pronounced.

I'm with you, Dave. As much as practical, buy when others aren't. I'm seeing the beginnings of a softening in the vehicle and RV markets. I don't expect to see the bottom drop out of the molded fiberglass market, but I expect shorter build times for new and greater availability with lower prices for used.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:08 PM   #12
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The USED fiberglass trailer market is like anything else. If it's used it's worth less than when new however that's only true when you forget about Desireability. If it's Old and Desireable then it becomes worth more than when it was new!

Why is that???

What's it worth???

It's worth what the last man/women paid for it! That's a fact.

We know that to be true as that's what they paid for the trailer on that particular day of purchase. HOWEVER that day is now in the past! Now today in the present world that same fiberglass trailer might be worth "Mo Money OR Less Money". That depends upon the fiberglass trailer market in general, condition of the trailer and if you are personally in a "Recession or a Depression" as far as your own personal finances are concerned.

Remember not everyone participates in a recession or even a depression when and if they do occur. Therefore there is always a buyer for any item at any time at a given price.

We humans are funny animals. We will pay less and less as each year passes for a late model fully functional fiberglass trailer (15 years old or less) however when that same trailer reaches a time and place years later where it can be described as a "Vintage" fiberglass trailer we all go "GA GA" for that same trailer that now needs a complete restoration and pay more than it cost when new for the Pleasure, Ego and Satisfaction of "Saving" another fiberglass trailer.

We will put up with a "Vintage" fiberglass trailer that has less features, nothing in the way of what could be described as modern amenities and a questionable condition frame/shell. For the same amount of money we might spend on the purchasing that "Vintage" trailer, the cost of restoration or rebuild of that trailer we could have purchased a nice used late model fiberglass trailer and not have to go through any of the PAIN AND AGONY that can be associated with restoring and using a "Vintage" trailer. Never mind that you can use the late model used fiberglass trailer NOW immediately instead of 2 years later in time that it took to restore that "Vintage" fiberglass trailer!

Once again Why Is That?

The one factor that always take care of a recession or depression is time. The real question is can YOU afford the time to wait till it ends or will your Personal Recession become your own Depression while you sit and wait???

So is a Fiberglass trailer recession proof?

That totally depends upon YOU!
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:30 PM   #13
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We bought our 16' 1989 Scamp (Layout 4) used in 2010, sold it this year, and bought our 1988 Bigfoot 5th wheel this year. When we bought the Scamp, we had missed at least one other one in the area because they were hot items. We sold our Scamp this year very quickly and for as much as we'd put into it.

It seems like the market was and remains strong, maybe even stronger now than it was in 2010. Personally, I feel like interest in molded fiberglass trailers has grown as people have realized the benefits of a small trailer that isn't prone to leaking and which can be pulled by smaller vehicles than a "standard" RV. Certainly, over the years, I've noticed more of them in our neighborhood.

I'm not sure if this helps at all as it's entirely anecdotal evidence, but in our case, the Scamp actually was a decent investment -- didn't cost us any money over the course of 8+ years. This is, I've heard, very unusual for RVs.
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Old 12-10-2018, 12:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve and Rosemary View Post
I'm not sure if this helps at all as it's entirely anecdotal evidence, but in our case, the Scamp actually was a decent investment -- didn't cost us any money over the course of 8+ years. This is, I've heard, very unusual for RVs.
Breaking even is not an investment. It's still an expenditure. Having said that I congratulate you for "Breaking Even". That's better than "Breaking Bad"!

If you had that same amount of money you paid for the trailer "Invested" in the market or some other appreciating asset for the last 8 years you would have at the very minimum doubled your money or more. That's an investment.

Yes I understand you did get use out of the trailer for those 8 years. Getting back what you paid for the trailer still may not account for maintenance, insurance, licensing, storage and other expenses we tend to forget about when reflecting on trailer ownership.

Having said that the ONLY RV that I am aware of that will ever allow you to POSSIBLY say that "Our Trailer Did Not Cost Us Any Money" over long-term ownership is a FIBERGLASS TRAILER that you have typically purchased used!

For whatever reason one of things "I" ALWAYS find entertaining when looking at items for sale is when the seller says "X Amount of Dollars Invested" in their ad when they are selling that item for "Y Price" which is ALWAYS significantly LESS money than they have supposedly "Invested". Do you really think telling me all the money you SPENT on that item is going to make ME want to pay MORE for your item OR make want to question your sanity?

"Ya just can't fix stupid!"

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Old 12-10-2018, 01:47 PM   #15
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The sale price of our Scamp covered ALL costs over the years, including insurance, registration, maintenance, interior mods, decals, and so on. It cost us fuel mileage to get us places, but gave us PRICELESS memories in exchange. Our Scamp was definitely "a good investment" in lifestyle and experience and was clearly "a sound purchase" financially speaking.

A thing is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Both times we were involved in the used Scamp market, desirability was very high so take that for whatever you want.



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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
Breaking even is not an investment. It's still an expenditure. Having said that I congratulate you for "Breaking Even". That's better than "Breaking Bad"!

If you had that same amount of money you paid for the trailer "Invested" in the market or some other appreciating asset for the last 8 years you would have at the very minimum doubled your money or more. That's an investment.

Yes I understand you did get use out of the trailer for those 8 years. Getting back what you paid for the trailer still may not account for maintenance, insurance, licensing, storage and other expenses we tend to forget about when reflecting on trailer ownership.

Having said that the ONLY RV that I am aware of that will ever allow you to POSSIBLY say that "Our Trailer Did Not Cost Us Any Money" over long-term ownership is a FIBERGLASS TRAILER that you have typically purchased used!

For whatever reason one of things "I" ALWAYS find entertaining when looking at items for sale is when the seller says "X Amount of Dollars Invested" in their ad when they are selling that item for "Y Price" which is ALWAYS significantly LESS money than they have supposedly "Invested". Do you really think telling me all the money you SPENT on that item is going to make ME want to pay MORE for your item OR make want to question your sanity?

"Ya just can't fix stupid!"

Quote from Ron White
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve and Rosemary View Post
Our Scamp was definitely "a good investment" in lifestyle and experience and was clearly "a sound purchase" financially speaking.
Your Scamp was more than a good investment and a sound purchase.

The memories and experiences your Scamp brought to you and your family were Priceless!
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