Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Just a few things to stir the pot.
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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 06/14/18 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In all seriousness, there are two problems with the RV industry. They are built in prototype quantities, and customers are unwilling to pay. A very high volume run of campers might be a couple of hundred. If you want to build quality cheaply, you must invest in tooling, that investment has to be amortized over perhaps a million units. That's what happens in the auto industry.

In industries dealing with prototype quantities, take a look at what boats cost. A new 30' sailboat has about the same space and equipment as a large truck camper. A cheap brand is perhaps $120,000 new (a higher end brand $200,000). Remove the rig and engine you are down to something like $90,000 new. Build a decent camper to the same quality and standards and take it to an RV show, $90K price tag. The first question any buyer asks at the RV show is "how much does it cost?". Never is it "how well is it built?". I doubt you would sell even one, because next to it will be a Lance for half that price (and discounted further), superficially equivalent.

There are a couple of companies building high end campers like ER and Bahn. The prices are in the $200K range. But they will come with LED lighting!

So what you ask is possible - you just need to step up to the plate. Write a check for $200K, or order a million of them.


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 06/14/18 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I see - Avon campers were build with quality.
I wonder if anyone has old pricing comparing it to other campers?
Airstream builds their trailers with high quality for like 70 years. I bet they have the ups and downs in their sales, but they have buyers who don't mind to pay.
I am getting impression that TC builders focus on big screens and recliners, while neglecting other designs. Is that what customers demand?
We are still far from $2.5- 3 Mils Prevosts.





covered wagon

USA

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Posted: 06/14/18 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

America right now is drunk with over consumption you can see the symptoms everywhere. Interest rates and fuel need to rise again to stop the Helots from going even further nuts.

* This post was edited 06/14/18 02:46pm by covered wagon *

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 06/14/18 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

covered wagon wrote:

America right now is drunk with over consumption you can see the symptoms everywhere. Interest rates and fuel need to rise again to stop the Helots from going even further nuts.

Give me wagon wheels, buckboard wagons and a slower pace away from all the LEDs and fast food.


Ditto X2


'94 Ford F-350 DRW/460 EFI(91K miles)/Lance 9.6/Happijac's/Helwig SB/Reese solid bar extension/Firestone bags and siped AT3's.

Freep

Wisconsin

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Posted: 06/14/18 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:



Freep wrote:

On another note, I am so tired of seeing swooshes on campers. I guess that's to appeal to the NASCAR crowd.


I guess you don't watch NASCAR. There isn't a type. Their fans and drivers cross all regions and demographics.


No need to be touchy. I said crowd, not type.


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burningman

Seattle, WA USA

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Posted: 06/14/18 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The way I see it there’s two options other than paying for a camper the way they make ‘em.
Step up and fork out the $200k for something really well made, of just buy really old and super cheap already-depreciated ones... that’s what I do.


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A whole lot more fuel, a whole lot more boost.
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Built auto, triple disc, billet shafts.
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This is how they should have built them!


adamis

Northern California

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Posted: 06/14/18 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think from a materials standpoint, there is a lot to be desired when it comes to the weight / finish quality. These do not have to be exclusive of each other and yet we are stuck with cheap products. One of my biggest annoyances is how the wood looking paper laminate over particle board scratches so easily and then there is nothing you can really do to fix it. Why not just go with painted surfaces in the first place? The wife and I have talked about repainting the interior of our camper, going to a nice stark white color scheme instead of the fake wood look.

LEDs I'm not that concerned about. Probably cheaper for you to buy a handful of replacement bulbs on Amazon rather than to allow the manufacturer to sell it to you as a "premium" upgrade.

Air Conditioning and Generators seem to be an area ripe for improvements. I posted another thread a few months back about wanting to ditch the generator entirely along with the AGM batteries. I could save ~300lbs just by going to LiFiPo batteries with no generator. The Air Conditioner also seems to be a very weak area. Why are they so dang big and stick up like a sore thumb ready to get caught on a tree branch? Can we not build a more space efficient AC in the 21st century?


1999 F350 Dually with 7.3 Diesel
2000 Bigfoot 10.6 Camper


classic 31

Cape Cod

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Posted: 06/14/18 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I must be getting old.Just trying to remember what we did all day before computer and cell phones. Certainly we didn't sit around and complain about how the campers are made so crappy .were they really made that much better? Or were we busy doing other things beside complaning.

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 06/14/18 01:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

buy really old and super cheap already-depreciated ones... that’s what I do


That's what I do also..There are quite a few older TC's out there that were taken care of from day one and spent most of there life under a cover.You just have to look..

As far as cheaply built,I am not sure what people expect..I worked in two trailer/TC plants just out of high school waiting on uncle sam.Both plants made great trailers and truck campers..Once they leave the plant it's up to the buyer to do the maintenance, which most don't do properly.

I see TC's going for over $60k now..Are they worth it,not to me but people buy them just like $60k trucks..

So I guess I'll just stick to good old used rigs without any payments and buy more toys.[emoticon]

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 06/14/18 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Poor quality is not just due to a relatively low sales price. Most campers are really designed poorly. Leaks can be horribly expensive and can quickly kill even a relatively new RV. Manufacturers seem content to rely on globs of caulk rather than use designs that are inherently water resistant.

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