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Old 07-24-2016, 05:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
Take a look at the Harley Davidson market. As us babyboomers started to age many ran out and bought a Harley. Purchased their costumes, tied on a do-rag and headed to Sturgis. Now that we are getting older, riding a big heavy motorcycle is a little tougher than it once was. The market is now flooded with bikes for sale and the prices are quite depressed. It is just a consequence of an aging market.

I feel much the same about RVs in general. Pretty soon, hefting that WD hitch into position won't be as much fun as it is now. This wave can't last forever.

I have retired neighbors that the first thing they did after retiring (Marine and Nurse) was bought a pair of Harleys. This was about 10 years ago. In the past couple of years they have been riding less. Recently they traded the HD's in on a pair of CanAms and a small pop up tear drop. Nice to see them smiling and back on the road again. And yes they have made the pilgrimage to Sturgis several times.

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Old 07-24-2016, 06:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Naper View Post
With all the terrorist problems in the world today, global travel is becoming less attractive. Not to mention the hassle of airport security. IMHO RVing has a bright future
This goes for both international, and domestic travel.

Flying anywhere used to be a bit of a treat. Save a bit of time, arrive fresh.

Gone are the days of getting to the gate 20-30 minutes before your flight, hopping a plane, and getting on your way.

(Necessary) security lines are so unpredictable that one needs to arrive an hour or two early, and even earlier at some airports. And that's just for carry on travel.

Now flying is so restrictive on what you can carry on that if you need to check bags, you are often at about the same time frame for driving vs flying.

And this pretty much takes a lot of the fun factor out of traveling for pleasure. Would much rather drive, have all my personal stuff that I want (like shampoo and hair spray and makeup), bring my dog, and sleep in my own bed.

And with hotels becoming more "pet friendly", I worry about my DH who is really allergic to cats, getting placed in a room and having a bad problem with a previous guest.

All in all, I guess we prefer driving.


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Old 07-24-2016, 06:47 AM   #17
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Our company develops and builds in the high end real estate market. We have no dealer network between the customer and us. The high end buyers are very particular, and we have to be responsive almost immediately to any problem either real or perceived. Even a perceived problem is real to the customer. Word of mouth and cocktail chatter can kill a business.

Fortunately for Airstream they have a dealer network between them and the customer. The dealers get the advantage of selling to a preconditioned market.. However, from what I am hearing on the forum the dealers earn their keep and then some. After all you are the dealer's customer.

Boomers who have done everything right by working, paying for a home, and raising a family are ready for some well deserved enjoyment. They will not tolerate an inordinate amount of hassle. Why trade the frustrations of work for a seemingly endless list of RV problems. A wake up call is indeed in order.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:15 AM   #18
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I heard a financial planner say...

"When you retire, DON'T GO OUT AND BUY AN RV"

Many RVs cost almost as much as a house in a rural area.

Monthly costs at a campground costs almost as much as an apartment in a rural area.

Some can afford to do whatever they want. How many of those people want to camp?

As far as full timing goes…It seems great if you listen to people who can afford to do whatever they want. People on a budget, struggling everyday to not spend too much money, might not find it so rewarding.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:42 AM   #19
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I read through the article and some of the series.

The quality problems have been discussed here at length.

One thing not as widely discussed is the growing problem of campsite availability. This is a regional problem, and there are parts of the country where you can always find a site. But in Minnesota, for example, we have something of a perfect storm:

  1. Lower fuel prices leading to more people traveling in their RVs.
  2. A difficult regulatory environment which has led to no new campgrounds being built, and no expansions of existing ones.
  3. Entrenched state park management who are not pro-RV and would prefer to see state parks managed for: day use, schools and educational groups, research, and hiking and lower impact tent camping
  4. Anti-boondocking regulations and laws that prohibit once-common things like overnight stops in rest areas and parking lots
  5. Increasing conversion of RV spots to seasonal or cabin use

It's become a real problem for us, and yes, we now have to make reservations in January or February for weekends in more popular locations or holiday weekends anywhere.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:04 AM   #20
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after 16 years of camping in Airstreams, I still enjoy the outings and the travel. However it has become increasingly hard to book campsites in the places we like to visit more often.
Too much demand not enough supply, and it will only get worse. Seems like almost everyone I know either has or wants to buy some kind of RV.
As for the overweight & out of shape motorcyclists who try to ride their big fat cruiser bikes with bad backs, necks and knees, I have to chuckle. The do - rag ain't making no Peter Fonda out of you.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:14 AM   #21
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RV Industry Death Spiral?

"Wild Hogs" treated the bike scenario well...

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Old 07-24-2016, 10:29 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Naper View Post
With all the terrorist problems in the world today, global travel is becoming less attractive. Not to mention the hassle of airport security. IMHO RVing has a bright future, however as others have said there is a need for the parks / campgrounds to keep pace. At one time there was a number of Airstream only parks, i.e. Pennwood, Top of Georgia, Paradise Park, Most of these parks are still in operation but sadly could use a little TLC.
We looked at the one in Washington. After a view of the park on Google Map, we gave it a pass. Not expensive, but it looks like the poster child for Walmart camping without the SOBs and shopping convenience. Can't believe AS folks think that is a good idea. At least the Terra Port has a star config to separate and spice up the view. Pat
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I read through the article and some of the series.

The quality problems have been discussed here at length.

One thing not as widely discussed is the growing problem of campsite availability.
Gerber talks about that in #5 of the series.

Interesting you mention the regulations against boondocking in parking lots and rest areas. In communities that enforce such regulations, I'll be you'll find local RV parks behind those regs - every RV parked in Walmart overnight is a source of revenue lost for the RV park. I can understand that given that in the northern and mountain areas, camping seasons are half of what they are in southern areas yet operating costs remain the same and in some cases are more because of the effect of harsh winters.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:12 AM   #24
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:34 AM   #25
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I feel much the same about RVs in general. Pretty soon, hefting that WD hitch into position won't be as much fun as it is now. This wave can't last forever.[/QUOTE]

I did trailers from age 30 to 50 and now at 56 I think twice about not being that young tough buck I once was. I got a diesel pusher with elect awning, got a toad To tow behind cause the tow dolly was a hassle, paid man a few weeks ago to replace my trashed slide cover. I used to enjoy doing all my own work but nowadays I consider my time in $ and have bigger fish to fry.
When I get up on the roof to do things I keep Reminding myself of my buddy who fell off the ladder and broke both his ankles !
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by caseywsj View Post
Funny, I talked to Greg in at an RV park in Tucson back in February about this exact thing. We were on our first long trip with the Airstream and I had asked him what the top 3 issues that he saw in the RV industry. We've been mostly lucky. Two motorhomes and now our first Airstream. Mostly solid and good quality. Of course everything could be better. But the service situation is certainly in need of improvement. If we had service done on the motorhome, it would seriously be measured in weeks. We'll see with the Airstream as there is a short list of things to address. RV parks are in transition. We've stayed is some great ones, but also our share of mediocre. I will say this, there seems to be no shortage of people wanting to partake in the lifestyle. We're currently up in Breckenridge, CO at Tiger Run RV Resort. Not cheap, but not an empty spot in the park either.
We stay at Tiger Run every time we are out West which is annually and love the place. And yes, pricey it is but you get what yo pay for.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:37 PM   #27
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To paraphrase another Yogi quote "No one goes to the National parks anymore, they are too crowded. "
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:44 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by kimmie512 View Post
Very interesting! Gerber certainly hits upon issues talked about throughout the AirForums.

What I find disturbing is that while Airstream charges outrages prices they are no better than the industry when it comes to supporting their product and also have serious quality problems.

I just came back from JC after needing some repairs. To begin with I had to wait 4 weeks to be able to get service. One item needing repair was a leaky fresh water tank on our 2013 30' International. It most likely been leaking for some time but recently got to the point where it would only hold 3/8 of a tank full. Upon pulling the tank it was discovered that the outlet pipe was wedged against something and slowly began to break sideways from the tank. Being out of warranty they wanted me to pay the full $ 1,400.00 for a new tank and labor. I blew a gasket. Obviously a shoddy installation and they wanted me to pick up the full fare. Eventually they offered the tank without charge and had to still pay $ 750.00 for labor.

This on top of having to replace my hot water tank back last year due to a faulty weld attaching a fitting to the tank. Attwood (now Dometic) refused to replace the tank because it was out of warranty. Inspite of a serious of pictures clearly showing the problem. I was so incensed that I jumped in the truck and drove 2 hours to Elkhart. They took one look at the tank and without saying a word went and got me a new one and apologized. Altogether this fiasco cost me 2 full days. Airstream could care less when I called them. I was told its not their problem its Atwoods. I paid these jokers 80 grand for this trailer and they couldn't be bothered. In all I had to drag this trailer to JC for warranty work 3 different times from the Chicago area. Every single summer since we owned it.

The only twisted consolation at this point is that the entire Industry is rotten and we wouldn't have been any better of in this regard with SOB other than saving a boat load of money. When buying the Airstream I justified paying premium dollars believing that it wont have the same problems and the service would be first class. Non of that materialized.

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