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Old 02-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Thor loans another 10m to Camping World

According to the wire service (a bit old), Thor loaned Camping World/Freedom Roads anothe $10m in a one-year, 12 percent note. Paying 12 percent in this market... ouch.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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I was wondering how some of these huge dealers with 100's of coaches sitting on a lot stay afloat!

I did see Fargo...


Thanks for the heads-up!

Michael
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:13 PM   #3
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They don't float

While on the way to the Texas Vintage Rally I saw an amazing sight....portend of future events???
In an abandoned industrial lot, along side I-35, south of Waco, fenced in with chainlink, sat somewhere between 30 and 50 new Airstreams of all types. They were obviously gathered and stored for dismal reasons.
When will we hear the other shoe hit the floor.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #4
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Well,
who in Texas closed shop?
That's sad...
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
While on the way to the Texas Vintage Rally I saw an amazing sight....portend of future events???
In an abandoned industrial lot, along side I-35, south of Waco, fenced in with chainlink, sat somewhere between 30 and 50 new Airstreams of all types. They were obviously gathered and stored for dismal reasons.
When will we hear the other shoe hit the floor.
Hey, I'm holding on to my shoes
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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To late for us here in WNY. Our CW closed this past season. Sure was handy having one 2mi away.

Why not just buy the Company?

I've found them pretty good to deal with.


Parts only....What's their service like?
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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Parts only....What's their service like?
I've read posts saying never get anything fixed at CW. Maybe others will tell of their experiences. It would nice if CW would give us a special discount or Airstream would use them as authorized warranty service centers since there are not enough dealers.

I get their e-mails constantly with all their sales and it seems impossible to unsubscribe. We joined the president's club for a year to get the discount while we were outfitting our Safari. The pleas to rejoin got better and better, but so far not free. They seemed pretty desperate.

Apparently Thor isn't worried about going under if they are lending cash. They'll get $100,000/month in interest.

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Old 02-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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Have been is several Camping World's in the past few months. The 2 in the Phoenix, AZ area were pretty busy when I was there in Nov. Was in the one in Tucson a number of times in Dec and they had a few customers but certainly not a crowd. They are located at Beaudry RV which has gone bankrupt so don't know how that might affect them in the long run. Stopped at the one in West Texas at American RV this past Mon and it was deserted - I was the only customer in the store. I've had several things done by them and am generally satisfied with their work. They are a warranty station for a lot of products and I had my a/c fixed by CW in Statesville, NC a year or so ago when motor starting capacitor went. Cost nothing and it has worked fine ever since. Your mileage may vary as the saying goes.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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I've read posts saying never get anything fixed at CW. Maybe others will tell of their experiences. It would nice if CW would give us a special discount or Airstream would use them as authorized warranty service centers since there are not enough dealers.
Gene
We still have several CW's in NYS, but no AS dealers. It would be nice having parts/service available,(trained techs?)

When it was around the corner they wouldn't even tackle the Dometic fridge recall, maybe just as well they didn't make the attempt.

AS of Western PA was more than a pleasent surprise when it was done there.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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Maybe if Thor takes them over, the hired help will stop clapping their hands over their ears, and doing the "take it back to the dealer" chant when you tell them you have an Airstream.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:56 PM   #11
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Good Sam and WBCCI merger?

Maybe Airstream will get what they ultimately want. Which is to control all ends of the RV industry. It will be a good business to be in again someday.

Camping World is owned by the Affinity Group which also own Good Sam AND the Ehlert Publishing Co. Here is their stable of publications. See if you recognize any of the titles...

I see this as a Thor power play. Airstream and Thor is carrying no debt in times when the RV industry is reeling. Properties within all fascists of the RV business are going to be available on the cheap. I look to see Thor to making more power plays and acquisitions over the next 18-24 months while the industry tries to climb out of this depression.

What I don't get is that after the crash of '29 people were flocking to RVs. Why isn't the same happening now - or is it just too soon. I view my two rigs as wonderful escape hatches. If sh-t hits the fan here at home and I can't make my underwater mortgage payment - i move me and mine into my paid for Airstreams. Where are Steinbeck and Woody when we need them?

Surely cheep a-- white boxes should be an alternative to the millions who are foreclosing. CW should be raking it in now. Maybe they are all shopping the RV section at Wal-Mart instead of the overpriced Camping World.

Along those line...who is monitoring BLM visitorship? It has to be up these days. If CW wants to survive, they should open stores around these parcels instead of the traditional RV hot spots.

Side note - the interest rate hit 35% on one of my credit cards in this months statement. WTF?!?!? I have three others cards sitting at 9%. The card phone person on the other end of the phone in India told me to call a specific credit counselor who would work with Advanta (card company) and have my rate reduced 0%. Sitting here scratching my head. I don't get it.

--Dave
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:35 PM   #12
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A couple of thoughts... one, CW must be in deep to pay 12% on $20m for a year. I realize the credit markets are wacky right now, but a company with $250m in annual revenues should be able to get short-term financing in corporate paper or bonds for more favorable terms. Two, the size of the average American house doubled between 1950 and 1999 (1,200 s.f. to 2,400 s.f.). I have to think it's a little easier to move from a 800 or 1,000 s.f. house to an RV than to downsize from a 2,400 s.f. home. There's also the problem of cash flow. Many of the people in or heading to foreclosure now are upside down on the mortgage. This means they owe more than the house is worth. I'm guessing it's easier for folks to move in with family or even friends than to scrap up the coin for an RV. Three, you still need a place to park. If you are cash tight, it's easier to get into a crackerbox apartment than it is to get into an RV. I think vast majority of Americans see RVs as a discretionary recreational purchase rather than alternative housing. If the economy keeps heading south, I'm guessing some folks will have to sell an RV or boat or second or third vehicle to make ends meet. When supply exceeds demand, prices fall until a new equilibrium is reached. I suspect the next year or two will be a good time to buy an RV, but a bad time to sell one.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by munimula View Post
Properties within all fascists of the RV business are going to be available on the cheap.
That made me chuckle! I think you mean "facets."

Quote:
If sh-t hits the fan here at home and I can't make my underwater mortgage payment - i move me and mine into my paid for Airstreams. Where are Steinbeck and Woody when we need them?
I get the feeling that they're paying off the long-term loan on their RV. We went to the local RV show a few weeks back. A family was admiring the latest white box, thinking about trading up. The husband said something like, "Well, we're close to paying ours off, right?" to which the wife responded, "We're in the third year - of twelve." Now THAT'S being upside down.

Our local AS dealer had a few units there, but oddly nothing all that inspiring. (No FB units, which we find very appealing.) When you see the pricetag on a new AS, and then see that you can get 32' of SOB for $17k, you've got to wonder. (Nevermind the putz who, looking at a 19' Bambi, said "What, an Airstream with a single axle?")

It's a good time for Thor to have no debt - and for them to appreciate all of the brand image they've built up. That could be the key for survival - being different and being aspirational.

Meanwhile, I get the feeling that the recession isn't going to have much affect on the prices of the old Caravel, Globetrotter, or Minuet I'd like to find...
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:35 PM   #14
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I realize the credit markets are wacky right now, but a company with $250m in annual revenues should be able to get short-term financing in corporate paper or bonds for more favorable terms.
That's the problem—even strong companies can't get financing. Who would invest in the RV business right now? Only an RV company with cash, or an opportunist with cash.

During the Great Depression, cheap entertainment was popular—movies and swimming pools for example. Escapism was big to forget about the Depression, Dust Bowl and events in Europe and the Far East. This was also when the auto was becoming available for more and more people and along with that came the road trip, more escapism. The WPA published many books for tourists about what was then remote parts of America. Some people could afford trailers, some could only afford to build them from Wally's plans. In 1933, 75% of the people who wanted jobs (mostly men) did have a job, so some could afford cars and trailers. By the mid-30's, FDR's policies had cut unemployment in half, so more trailers could be bought. It was a very bad time, but not everyone suffered as much as others.

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