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Old 05-22-2022, 01:58 PM   #1
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Hundreds of new SOB's stored in Indiana

We visited Middlebury, Indiana last week. This town is home to a multitude of RV manufacturing brands and suppliers. There are hundreds of finished units stored everywhere. We even saw them stored in church and bowling alley parking lots. Just wondering if it's a shipping issue or are things in the RV business coming to a halt do to over supply. What's also interesting at the same time is help wanted signs were everywhere. Just wondering if any one from the area knows what the explanation is.
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Old 05-22-2022, 02:10 PM   #2
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I truly don't have any experience in the RV hauling industry, but from what I understand about it, my first guess is either the haulers cannot make money at it due to the surge in fuel costs, or the dealers are unwilling to pay a fuel surcharge to cover this increase. It seems that those folks (RV haulers) operate on a razor thin margin to begin with, so given all the other quality of life sacrifices they make, I bet its just not worth it right now. Pure speculation on my part, no basis in facts, no inside info here.
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Old 05-22-2022, 03:33 PM   #3
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Following to satisfy my curiosity!
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:35 PM   #4
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I would assume it is just like the lots at the Car plants, no semiconductors.
There are lots all over Michigan filled with new cars waiting for their electronics
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:37 PM   #5
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Fuel surcharge does not make sense to me. I know the industry is on tight margins,but if there is demand another couple of bucks due to fuel can’t be the problem. I’m thinking it’s parts shortages and these units are waiting on thins like appliances or ACs or whatever. Or it could be potential buyers cancelling orders because of fuel costs.

We’ve got a 1000 mile round trip coming up in a few weeks. Even at diesel jumping to $6/galon we’re only talking a couple of hundred bucks in increased fuel cost. With what I have invested in my TV and trailer that is not keeping me home. But others may be more sensitive to those cost increases which also effect eating out and groceries etc.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:53 PM   #6
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Hi

The simple answer is lack of parts. They have 99% of what it will take to build the trailer. Either they build in 1% short or they shut down the factory. It makes more sense to build it and wait for the final part than to lay everybody off. The car companies have been doing the same thing for the same reason for a couple years now.

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Old 05-23-2022, 09:28 AM   #7
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About the help wanted signs... my Airstream and I live in Switzerland and businesses here post help wanted ads on the internet- not outside on signs typically but where you see the issue is with restaurants. Some were open 5 or 6 days a week pre-pandemic and they’ve had to cut back to 2. All the restaurants are affected in my area. The reason seems to be the same as what I’ve heard in the states: those who used to work in restaurants find they can work less hours with less stress and live at the same level or better, in other industries.
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:43 AM   #8
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Supply and demand...

My take is that most folks that want a camper, have a camper. We have been traveling quite a bit in the midwest lately and most if not every dealer has their lot filled to capacity. There is no where to park all this production that has ramped up these last two years.
The RV industry is like most cyclicals. Manufacture and hire right into a recession. I think the bottom is falling out right now and this is about to become a buyer's market for those few that may still want a camper. Inflation has hit basically everything, everybody selling anything have raised their prices. Folks on a tight budget cannot afford a discretionary expense like camping these days let alone to finance it. Fuel, campground fees and interest rates all have gone up way more than the average Joe's paycheck.
This is called "demand destruction" pure and simple.
Everyone has passed on their price increases wanting to maintain their record profits but the average Joe hasn't gotten that much of a pay raise. His pockets are now empty and entering the camping world is the last thing on his mind.
SUPPLY and DEMAND.
Guess which one is greater than the other right now...
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:25 AM   #9
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I’m in the market right now to buy a newer 23’-25’ replacement Airstream. Even though I can write a check for what I want right now, I hear the economic drumbeats, and they don’t sound good. I am going to wait, and buy when it’s right for me to do so. The used market is now being loaded every day with people trying to get way more for their units than what is reasonable. Look at the airstream forum ad pages.

The savvy buyer, particularly one with sufficient discretionary funds, is going to wait and let market forces work in his (or her) favor. Those waiting for new order to arrive next year (locked in and financing) will be upside down before they drive their unit off the lot.

Hey! I love Airstreaming and hope everyone is having fun!
We’ve been thru these economic cycles before. Have we not learned anything?
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Old 05-23-2022, 02:31 PM   #10
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RVís sitting in Northern Indiana

If you watch RV Miles on YouTube Jason Epperson explains why there are so many RVís sitting in lots, lack of drivers for the transport companies. They are looking for more drivers and having a hard time finding them. Jason at RV Miles does a great job of keeping people up to date on the RV Industry a couple times a week
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Old 05-29-2022, 09:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air View Post
We visited Middlebury, Indiana last week. This town is home to a multitude of RV manufacturing brands and suppliers. There are hundreds of finished units stored everywhere. We even saw them stored in church and bowling alley parking lots. Just wondering if it's a shipping issue or are things in the RV business coming to a halt do to over supply. What's also interesting at the same time is help wanted signs were everywhere. Just wondering if any one from the area knows what the explanation is.
following
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:07 AM   #12
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I saw 3 U-Shippers pulling travel trailers heading east on I-10 just after Mobile. Not AS, but they were obviously new TT. TV were 2 Ford and 1 Ram, all diesel dually's.
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:16 AM   #13
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Can't address the units in storage but here's a couple of observations from here in beautiful Morro Bay, CA.

We keep a 40' fifthwheel on a permanent space in a popular RV park here in town. It's our "Beach House" located 5 hours away from our log house in Sierra Nevada mountains. We travel in our smaller rig.

The RV park here is normally booked months in advance. Normally impossible to get a spot on holiday weekends. Guess what? 20% vacancy rate this weekend. Our manager here says that folks are canceling short term stays on a daily basis due to fuel costs. I noticed that many motels have vacancies too. Town just isn't crowed this weekend.

Second, I think there is a slow down in sales in spite of the Industry statements. We helped our friends shop for a new Grand Design unit 3 weeks ago. We were appalled by the prices with no discounts offered. Our friends passed after the dealer said he'd have no trouble selling it in a day or two. My friends got a call yesterday from the dealer offering to take $15k off the MSRP on the same unit. A strong indicator that at least regionally, sales have slowed down.

Diesel here in town is ranging from $6.59 to $7.89 a gallon. I think people are not making as many short term trips. Seasonal folks are still coming. They can absorb their fuel costs over a period of months so their cost per day is far less than the weekend warriors that can only spend 3 or 4 days.

Your region my be different, but things are changing out here.
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air View Post
We visited Middlebury, Indiana last week. This town is home to a multitude of RV manufacturing brands and suppliers. There are hundreds of finished units stored everywhere. We even saw them stored in church and bowling alley parking lots. Just wondering if it's a shipping issue or are things in the RV business coming to a halt do to over supply. What's also interesting at the same time is help wanted signs were everywhere. Just wondering if any one from the area knows what the explanation is.
Industry is coming to a screeching halt. Yes, there are still chip issues and yes delivery drivers are in short supply and yes, some other supply chain constraints, but. Inventories are building and I speculate that rigs will be selling at near invoice within the year in an attempt to lure buyers in and just keep things moving. The problem with once they get in the door, the vast majority of RV buyers are not cash buyers and they feel every bit of the interest rate rises and triple cost gas - add an economy in or near recession and the market looks pretty bleak. I don’t worry about any of the makers or dealers as they have cleaned up over the past three years and will need all of that accrued cash to preserve their businesses for the next couple of years. The good news, if you have a late model rig that you bought before the price increases, you’ll have buyers for your rig presuming there isn’t a mass sale of used rigs bought during RVs whose owners decided it wasn’t for them after all. If that happens, watch out as the prices will tank - dealers expected this in 2021 and it didn’t materialize. That shouldn’t be taken as it won’t happen - especially with rigs pulled or pushed by diesel. The pendulum has definitely swung to the buyers market. If your dealer is telling you there is a waitlist for a product (as well as the premium price that this sales pitch brings), walk away.
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:33 AM   #15
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Airstreams are not SOB trailers. Many (but not all) of these theories do not apply as they do to the SOB markets and their respective owners.
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:42 AM   #16
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Following to satisfy my curiosity!
Me too.
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Old 05-29-2022, 10:52 AM   #17
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I look at the air forums classifieds and airstream marketplace. Over 500 Airstreams listed, for weeks and weeks, and a significant amount of them 5 years old or newer.

I’m in the market. Cash buyer. Gonna wait it out till the time is right. Economic cycles come and go. We are sometimes not the best students of history.
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:01 AM   #18
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I would lean towards lack of equipment, supples and shipping issues. We pruchased a new Globetrotter 25FBQ at the end of February. The weather was bad the day we picked the unit up and brought it home. After driving back home almost 125 miles from the dealership I discovered that the factory solar package came from the factory with $94 wet cell batteries, not the high dollar Lifeline 24 agm's that were suppose to be in the unit. Its going on 3 months now with no resolution. I even filed a comlaint with the Airstream Corp. and the reply was they just do that so you can get your unit and enjoy it sooner. The cables to the solar panels were not attached to the roof with the good 3m black self adhesive only with gray that is not uv tollerant. Factory just ignored that complaint. We found this unit by chance and did not have to order. The next Airstream will not have factory solar after dealing with this issue. I would not reccomend getting the factory solar either. The dealer is now saying that they have recieved notice that Airstream is no longer going to ship batteries in the units. They will all have to be installed at the dealership.
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:08 AM   #19
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Diesel here in town is ranging from $6.59 to $7.89 a gallon. I think people are not making as many short term trips. Seasonal folks are still coming. They can absorb their fuel costs over a period of months so their cost per day is far less than the weekend warriors that can only spend 3 or 4 days.

Your region my be different, but things are changing out here.
What causes diesel to be 25% to 50% higher in California than here in central Texas?
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:09 AM   #20
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Thor doesn't see any problems from their window!

THOR Industries, Inc. announced the release of the Companyís 2022 U.S. Camper Perception Study, which explores consumer RV purchase and usage behavior in the environment of rising fuel prices, as well as their perception of sustainability-focused organizations.

Confirming the long-term viability and growth of the RV lifestyle and industry, the new study finds that rising fuel costs will have minimal impact on consumersí likelihood to purchase an RV in the next five years. The survey, which includes information from those who camped or glamped since 2020- 80 percent of whom had an RV experience in the past two years, also indicates that rising fuel costs have a nominal impact on intended RV usage in the coming year.

Key findings from the study include:

67% of those who have RVed in the last two years reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to purchase an RV in the next five years, or has no impact...
69% reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to use an RV within the next year, or has no impact...
73% are more likely to purchase from companies with sustainable/eco-friendly manufacturing processes...
Nearly three quarters of those surveyed are more likely to purchase from companies that utilize sustainable/eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

THOR Industries President and CEO Bob Martin. ďOur most recent study supports the strength of the RV industry amidst fluctuations in fuel costs. While we have long understood that consumers are not dissuaded from buying RVs by rising gas prices alone.Ē

The 2022 Camper Perception Report is data derived from the research is leveraged throughout the THOR family of companies to help guide and inform strategic initiatives. In addition, the research allows THOR to translate key insights to help shape priorities of THORís strategy and to create forward-thinking, positive experiences.
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