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Old 05-13-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
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WSJ - Economy Puts Tight Squeeze on RV Makers

Article discusses the current financial state for Coachmen, Fleetwood, and Winnebago and the rough patch those companies are going through.

See Economy Puts Tight Squeeze On RV Makers - WSJ.com
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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I saw a news item last night about a guy who had a big MH that got 7mpg. Instead of his usual trip he went to a CG 3 miles from home. That local campground's reservations were up 140% over last year.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam
I saw a news item last night about a guy who had a big MH that got 7mpg. Instead of his usual trip he went to a CG 3 miles from home. That local campground's reservations were up 140% over last year.
As most in this forum already know, even with the price of fuel RVing still offers a great vacation value. If you add up the cost of plane tickets for a family of four, every meal out for a week, hotel, car rental or taxis, an extra couple of hundred bucks for fuel is still a vacation bargain.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:45 PM   #4
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I found it interesting that they discussed Fleetwood whose 2007 sales were $1,442,000,000 and Coachman whose 2007 sales were $481,000,000 but not Thor whose 2007 sales were $2,856,000,000. Perhaps the owner of Airstream is in better shape to weather this storm. One issue that Thor needs to resolve is that their financing partner, GMAC, has withdrawn from the RV business. They need to to replace GMAC and I am sure that they are working on a replacement.

Bill
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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From what I understand, Thor also has a bus segment that is in addition to the RV business.

Though I don't disagree that going RVing can be less expensive than taking a plane, adding hotel, meals, etc, that is not really the issue because those costs for non-RV camping have also increased.

The bottom line is that costs have now reached levels where income has not kept up. Until income increases to offset the rising costs, the point is moot because yes, the costs have gone up so high that folks may be hard pressed to do any type of vacation.

About 2 months ago, I saw a national news story where folks were doing just what has been suggested. Local vacations.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
From what I understand, Thor also has a bus segment that is in addition to the RV business.

...
Yes, but bus sales are only $400 million of that total. The balance of $2,400,000,000 still makes Thor much larger than Fleetwood.

Bill
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:04 PM   #7
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As someone who is activily looking to purchase a new or nearly new 25' Airstream trailer after selling our boat (w/ 72 gallon tank X marine fuel costs that I believe will be $5+ / gallon this summer on Lake Tahoe), I'll take the cost of putting regular fuel in the Suburban gladly to pull a travel trailer & get the State / Federal camp ground "62 senior citizen" rates.

Tom
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
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Yes, but bus sales are only $400 million of that total. The balance of $2,400,000,000 still makes Thor much larger than Fleetwood.Bill
If Thor is holding it's own through a recession and soaring fuel costs coupled with a mortgage lending meltdown, that would have cut against the premise of the WSJ story of RV makers steering rough road.

A while back I read about high-brow economists using RV sales as a barometer of the state of the economy. I wonder how power boat manufacturers are doing.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
The bottom line is that costs have now reached levels where income has not kept up. Until income increases to offset the rising costs, the point is moot because yes, the costs have gone up so high that folks may be hard pressed to do any type of vacation.

About 2 months ago, I saw a national news story where folks were doing just what has been suggested. Local vacations.
One travel and entertainment company seems to be weathering the storm okay - last weeks announcement..."Disney Posts Higher Earnings - Theme Parks Stay Strong"
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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Rv holiday is still cheap.
I just finished driving from Toronto, Ontario to northern Georgia and then extensive driving on lots of state roads in Tennessee, ending in Nashville.
Then we drove back to Toronto. Total for gasoline: $925.00. (Yes, I pull my 31 foot Airstream with a gas powered Club wagon.)
Total for campgrounds was $325.00.
This was a three week holiday for two.
Food doesn't count since you eat anyway.
Find me a cheaper three week trip that also gives a change of scenery etc.
Al
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #11
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Let's not kid ourselves.

Yes, RVing is cheaper...unless you figure in the 20,000-50,000 it costs to buy a travel trailer, or GASP, a motorhome. And storage, insurance, license, maintainance, etc.

I think if you do the math, taking a trip by plane with hotels, meals etc, may be cheaper.

I guess you may get some money back if you resell.

I think the bottom line for us is we just like our hassle free way to travel by camper, rather than all the crap that is the alternative.

Jonathan
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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Let's not kid ourselves...I think if you do the math, taking a trip by plane with hotels, meals etc, may be cheaper.
Unless you have 5 kids in tow like I do.

We are looking forward to affordable vacations in our TT.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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Most of the places we like to go require some sort of sleeping arrangement close by the fire pit with some hot coffee and the smell of grillin' in the air, gathering with like minded folks...

Southwest Airlines & a Holiday Inn just don't compare.

I can go to most anywhere, set up and have my karma and poke around any "destination". And I can still return to our 'Stream. Our house on the road where I don't have to worry about whether or not someone has cleaned, mopped, wiped or replaced the linen so I don't cath some exotic, flesh eating disease...

Besides, I don't have to get dressed to have breakfast and laze around drinking that first cup of coffee in the morning...

Nope, it may cost more, requiring changes in the manner we plan and go on our trips but it's not going to stop us. Heck, ain't nothing wrong with feelin' a bit randy and doing some back-yard camping...
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazylev
Let's not kid ourselves.

Yes, RVing is cheaper...unless you figure in the 20,000-50,000 it costs to buy a travel trailer, or GASP, a motorhome. And storage, insurance, license, maintainance, etc.

I think if you do the math, taking a trip by plane with hotels, meals etc, may be cheaper.
My first night in my Airstream cost me $25,000, yes a hotel would have been cheaper. The second night was at half price.
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