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Old 05-29-2014, 11:07 AM   #11
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I don't know if you are just talking FR or not. However, we had two fivers prior to our Georgetown, both different manufactures. The first one was an 07 the main complaint was the adhesive they use on the cabinet covering, it shrank bad, all the decals on the outside came off too. The second fiver was a 12 we had problems from day one, the roof had to be replaced because it was not sealed right, the water system was messed up, jack issues, and a host of other things. I saw a big difference in quality between the two with the first one being much better, and the first one was a more lower end (cost wise) then the second fiver and it was more higher end. That being said I must say that I have had very minor issues with my Georgetown we are now happy campers
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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Several Good RV Mfg. went out during that period,one that really stands out was Sunline. They were very well made,heavy by todays standards,but (They Went Out)! The reason Warren B invested in F/R was to (Make $$)! Youroo!!
Actually, Buffet is pretty much a hands-off investor. He usually buys businesses that are profitable and helps them grow.
Peter Liegl is the one who started swooping up companies at great discounts in '96. I have seen some unsavory comments about him from people who "know" of him. I take all with a grain of salt, but I also think of the character that Richard Gere played in "Pretty Woman."

Just as CW has taken over dealerships, FR has become the Godzilla of RV's, for better or worse. But it does seem that everything is made cheaper, lighter, and to maximize profit.
Are there folks that are willing to pay for quality? Yes, but they usually aren't looking at Pop-ups, Hybrids, or stick and tin TTs.
Spacecraft, New Horizons, Continental, DRV, Newell, and many others are doing just fine despite their products being into the six-figures! (Newell are in the seven-figures, even used)
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
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Me too. It did seem as a kid my dad never had to fix our TT's as much as we do today, or maybe we just simply got lucky
Agreed. We had several RV's when I was a kid - much less maintenance - but, they were smaller, much heavier, and much simpler. No microwave, stereo, tv, slideouts, power awning...

Seems like RV's have gone the way of a lot things - lighter, cheaper (if you adjust for inflation), and not nearly as durable. Appliances stick out as being in the same category. All of our appliances were 15-20 years old (same age as the house) and started to have issues and parts & service can be more than a new one. Bought upper end washer and dishwasher - shiny stainless steel on the outside, both full of plastic parts, energy star approved - which just means they dont use enough water to actually clean anything. Dish washer doesn't actually dry the dishes. They weigh half what the old ones did, and have lots of bells and whistles, but I can't imagine any of them are going to last 20+ years like the old ones.

Seems to be the way of the manufacturing world - except the auto industry. Competition there seems to be making the products better.

Otherwise, its lighter, cheaper - replace it rather than repair it.

I think the recession weeded out some financally weaker players and drove consolidation (in RV's and other industries) but I think the decline in durability was already going on. And in large part, its driven by buyers that shop more on price and "bells and whistles" than on quality.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #14
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We owned 12 new RV's, many before as well as after the recession. I see no difference and all four ( 2 prior, 2 post recession)of our diesel motorhomes took a year or so to get totally sorted out! Kinda a sad commentary but as they say--"it is what it is"!
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:42 PM   #15
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Agreed. We had several RV's when I was a kid - much less maintenance - but, they were smaller, much heavier, and much simpler. No microwave, stereo, tv, slideouts, power awning.
Exactly what I was going to post regarding the "didn't work on them as much back then".

We encountered a local elderly gentleman yesterday when we were gassing up to head to S'port. He was interested in OC's awning poles.

He previously owned a "Newmar". He showed us pics of it on his cell phone. It was a 1990 5th wheel that he paid $78,000.00 for new. He bragged that it was 40' long and the interior was SOLID oak, no paneling, no veneer, built like a rock (and probably as heavy as a rock that size ).

Unfortunately a storm came through and dropped three trees on it. He claimed that had that not happened he'd still be towing it. He ended up selling it for scrap for $1,500.00 to a guy who is most likely going to use it for a hunting camp. He'd cancelled the insurance on it long ago "since it was paid for", so there was no ins. settlement.

He recently bought a new Jayco 5er and isn't nearly as happy with it.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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Definitely no where near the same today as it was. Today, the only thing I can think to describe the modern RV, is they are "throw away" RVs. They are not built to last. You'll see some 20-30 year old MH's or trailers still on the road, having been remodeled twice and still holding together. Take a modern RV, and let's take a look at it in 20 years or so. Scrap heap, if it lasts half of that. I second what youroo said. A lot of the "good" manufacturers are gone. All the brands I would buy today, are gone. Carriage / Mobile Scout (the older ones) being just a few.

Why should they build them to last a lifetime, that doesn't make money. The general consensus on this forum and in the world today, is people will buy and trade every couple of years. I'm not exempt from that. We've had a class A, class C and this present fiver all since January 2012. 7 total RVs since 2003. So why should they be built to last. Looking back, I know for a fact if I'd kept my pre-recession Mobile Scout, it'd still be in tip top shape.

Now, if you baby your new RV, take extremely good care of it, wax it, clean it, store it, never tow it down terrible roads etc. etc., you stand a chance of it possibly lasting a while. But, it still won't compare to the older ones.

I won't bore anybody with it, but I could post pictures of same manufacturer, different years, and it's obvious where they got cheap. Box frame to I-beam, thick fiberglass to thin, front fiberglass caps to filon, 1" thick slide fascias to 1/2" thick or less. Solid wood to laminate. I can go on and on.

I do like RV's, obviously, and I'll continue to buy them, maybe, but the way things are, we're still leaning towards building our own, due to the "throw away" style of today.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #17
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As long as we the consumer continue to buy them, Im sure they the manufacture will continue making them with the same high quality we see today
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:52 PM   #18
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Pretty much sums it up. You buy one, build one, or don't go RVing. I'm shocked at the rate they are bought / sold / traded, somebody hasn't come up with a lease program yet.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:29 AM   #19
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I'm shocked at the rate they are bought / sold / traded, somebody hasn't come up with a lease program yet.
Or maybe its not so shocking - with a car, the lease company has a pretty good idea what the resale value is in 24 or 26 months, and the thing should be in good shape since its under factory warranty the whole time.

Can you imagine the risk / depreciation hit a lease company would take on 2-3 year old rv? Although, it does seem like dealers put pretty high asking prices on used units on their lots. And we looked at motorhome rentals a couple years ago - they were crazy high too.

Never thought about it before, but it is pretty interesting (telling, maybe?) that nobody leases them.
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