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November 19, 2023
Free, abbreviated edition
RV industry insider sees tough times for RV dealers—What’s ahead for RVers?
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
his week, an RV industry insider with decades of experience floated his opinion on what 2024 holds. He sees tough times for RV dealers. How will RVers be affected—particularly those who are in the market to buy?
Gregg Fore has been in the RV industry for a long time. He was the president of Dicor Products, served 19 years on the board of the RV Industry Association, and is an inductee to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In other words, this isn’t Fore’s first rodeo. His candid comments on the present state of the RV industry and its future bear looking at. His comments were published in RVBusiness.
COVID—and was it greed?
Fore doesn’t mince words, leading off by declaring that the market is “mired in a longer-term stagnant market than everyone originally forecast.” How did it get there? Fore points the finger at an “overzealous market resulting from COVID [that] stole future purchases.” When the big pandemic struck, Fore says many who’d already been thinking about buying an RV hurried ahead and did so. As readers recall, during COVID times it was difficult to find an RV to buy, and prices blew up exponentially.
When COVID relaxed its grip, sales dropped out. The market was saturated. RV dealers who’d bought 2022 models, with high price tags, were suddenly stuck with white elephants. There weren’t enough buyers, particularly for rigs with high costs. Then inflation caused the Fed to raise interest rates. Slow sales, high flooring interest rates, increasing employee wages, all things seemingly conspired to knock the legs out from under RV retailers. The RV roller coaster ride was plummeting in that “hold onto your stomach” descent.
Fewer features, cheaper materials
In his opinion piece, Fore then shows what manufacturers did. “OEMs in declining markets always seem to revert to the same methods used in past periods—de-contenting products, using less expensive substitute materials, etc.—all in an attempt to ‘buy’ shelf space at their dealers and keep factories running at some level.”
How does Fore view those manufacturer moves? “While ‘racing’ to the low end always has some level of success in a stagnant market, that ploy also has limits. And I believe there are few long-term benefits of the low-price strategy because, as consumers continue to desire features, they are less attracted to de-contented vehicles. Yes, there will be sales, but little market growth. Mostly, dealers and manufacturers will be treading water waiting for the next market recovery.”
For buyers: good news, bad news
Let’s stop and inject you, the potential RV buyer, into the mix.
RVtravel.com introduces new commenting features
Great news! We’ve added some new features to our comments section. You may have noticed a couple of changes right away. Please read about these new features here—we think you’ll like them!
We are now reporting the news daily
Every weekday afternoon, receive an email recap of the very latest news about RVing. Stay up to date and never miss a thing! Sign up to receive these timely emails here. (You can easily unsubscribe if you wish.)
Today’s RV review…
More ‘Wow!’ windows—Heartland Bighorn 3820RKFB prototype
By Tony Barthel
Last time we gathered around the review campfire we looked at the new Keystone Arcadia 264SLRK, and one of the highlights of that floor plan is the quantity of the camp-side windows. Today we’re looking at the Heartland Bighorn 3820RKFB. … What we have here is an enormous fifth wheel that is designed as a great full-time living model.
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
RVer warns “not to buy anything from 2020-2023 due to manufacturer defects”
In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs. This week Nanci Dixon relates your ongoing horror stories, including Camping World doing more harm than good on a “repair,” RVers giving up on getting service from the dealer and going directly to the manufacturer for repairs, lack of quality control and difficulty getting items repaired under warranty, advice to not buy anything from 2020-2023 due to manufacturer defects, and way too much more.
How to fix stripped-out screw holes in your RV: 3 simple methods
By Cheri Sicard
It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned handyman or just a beginner, this invaluable video will show you three practical methods for how to fix stripped-out screw holes in your RV when you don’t have access to the back of the hole. Learn how simple it is here.
The problem with RV manufacturer’s warranties: Are they worth buying a new RV?
By Scott and Vanessa Russell
The debate between new versus used RVs is as old as RVing itself. Sure, there is depreciation to consider, as well as the price. However, one of the biggest reasons people go with a new RV is often the manufacturer’s warranty. But is it really worth it? Read this interesting discussion to help you decide.
How to choose the best campsite and things to consider when booking
By Chuck Woodbury
Here are some tips about choosing a campsite based on my many years of RVing. I urge you to add your own suggestions to this list after reading it. You can thank me for this advice next time we meet. Read Chuck’s tips here.
RV Fact or Fiction?
Propane is toxic
RV blogs, social media groups and YouTube videos have exploded over the past couple of years. Some provide great information, others questionable information and some downright bad information. Can you tell the difference?
Is the following statement fact or fiction? Propane is toxic.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Easily fix RV irritations with things on hand
- Tips for getting a stinky RV fridge smelling new again
- How to make your RV warm and welcoming to guests for the holidays
- Mice invading your RV? Lion poop to the rescue
Ho! Ho! Ho! 14 of the BEST RV Christmas sweaters for this holiday season
By Cheri Sicard
RV ugly Christmas sweaters? Why not?! For lots of folks, the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” has become a big part of the holiday tradition. Each friend tries to outdo the other by donning their “gay apparel” in the form of snuggly warm, but outrageously kitschy, holiday sweaters and sweatshirts. Well, RVers, you can now be part of this tradition! Check out this virtual fashion show of kitschy RV ugly Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts!
A 3 a.m. cat-astrophe: The story of how a cat died in our RV… and we don’t have a cat
By Gail Marsh
You can never know, or even begin to predict, how things will go when you’re RVing. The strangest things can happen, like the time a cat died in our RV! The truth is, we don’t own a cat. Gail explains here.
Every RVer should keep this emergency safety item handy at all times
By Gail Marsh
Would you drive your RV through flood waters? Or let your children swim as lightning strikes? Of course not! But that assumes you are alerted to flood conditions or the potential for lightning in your area. RVers love nature. However, nature doesn’t always reciprocate. When storms threaten, it’s important for campers to know about them. Whether in a tent or inside an RV, being forewarned enables us to take precautions to stay safe. Read about this essential item for campers.
Gifts for RVers
The best holiday gifts for RVers in 2023
By Cheri Sicard
Are you looking for the best gifts for RVers this holiday season? This list can help with suggestions for all tastes and budgets. Starting from the least expensive to the most, there’s something for every RVer on your list! Check these out.
The best holiday gifts for RV cooks
By Cheri Sicard
Ho Ho Ho and Happy holidays! Who’s hungry? This best RV gift list roundup focuses on gifts for RV cooks because, let’s face it, where would great RV trips be without equally great food? This eclectic list is organized from least expensive to most.
WANT MORE GIFTS? Make sure you’re signed up for our Great RV Accessories Newsletter—filled with gadgets and gift ideas galore!
Would you say you “visited a state” if you simply drove through it without stopping, or with minimal stopping?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
We’re thankful for you; are you thankful for us?
RVtravel.com would not be possible without the financial support of our voluntary contributors. Their support helps us avoid relying on advertising, and keeps our resource-rich work unbiased and free for all RVers to enjoy. Every contribution makes a difference. A donation of $10 a year comes out to less than 2 cents for each issue we publish. That’s all! And when you contribute, you’ll receive a special member-only ad-free version of our weekend newsletters forever as one way for us to say thank you. Learn more or donate.
The cutest ornament we’ve ever seen…
This adorable little camp stove is the perfect addition to your, or a family member’s or friend’s, Christmas tree this year. Makes the perfect gift for an RVer, camper, hiker, fisher… well, anyone! Learn more or order here (and see some other equally cute RV-related ornaments here).
NEW! RVing Mistakes
Readers worst RVing mistakes: Left the faucet on, flooded RV with water!
In this new column, we will be sharing some of the not-so-brilliant things we, the RVtravel.com staff, and you, our readers, have done while RVing. We hope that in addition to a chuckle or two, we can learn from others’ RVing mistakes and not make them ourselves! This week Nanci Dixon relates some of your “lessons learned,” including taking a corner too sharp at a fuel station and causing thousands of dollars of damage to the RV, neglecting to lower TV antenna (sound familiar?), problems caused by a half-open awning, and a flooded RV, among other things.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- Can you clear up the confusion regarding Class B, B+ and C vans?
- Do I need to winterize RV’s washer/dryer combo if I haven’t used it?
- Why does RV furnace cycle on and off until the temperature inside gets warm?
- How do I install new wallpaper in my RV so it doesn’t peel?
- New Winegard antenna installed but now roof A/C and microwave do not work
DON’T MISS any of our articles about RV repair and maintenance.
Beginning this Tuesday, Nov. 21, and every Tuesday going forward, we will issue an email digest of all our articles from the past week on the subject. Sign up here for RV Repair and Maintenance Tips (and check out all our other reports and newsletters).
In the RV shop with Dustin
Step-by-step DIY instructions on how to restring RV window shades
By Dustin Simpson
Restringing RV window shades is a common DIY task that you may need to perform if the cords or strings on your blinds become damaged or break. Here’s a general guide on how to restring RV window shades.
RV Gadgets and Gizmos
Does this sleep mask really provide better sleep?
By Cheri Sicard
Depending on where we park, we RVers can face some sleep challenges. Anyone who has ever parked in a rest area or truck stop has invariably experienced bright streetlights flooding their RV with light regardless of the hour of the day. If you are light-sensitive when trying to sleep, you may not get any sleep in these places. However, the Manta Sleep Mask might provide some relief. [Might?]
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Okay, but how great would this be on your RV throughout the next couple of months? We’d love to see this on an RV—way better than on a house! Just be warned, it looks like he IS always watching…
RVing with Dogs
Different ways and places you can bathe your dog while RVing
By Gail Marsh
The RV life is full of adventure, especially with your pet—hiking the trails, fishing in the rivers, and exploring new places. All of these activities can leave your fur baby really dirty and potentially stinky, too. RVers who travel with dogs recently offered several ideas for bathing their dog while RVing. Perhaps an idea or two will work for your fur baby, too.
NEW! RVing with Harvest Hosts
4 amazing automotive museums to stay at in your RV
By Cheri Sicard
Are you a car enthusiast? Do you enjoy unusual antique collectible cars and trucks? Then this week’s RVing with Harvest Hosts column is for you because this week we feature some terrific automotive museums you can spend the night at in your RV as a Harvest Hosts member.
Midwest Travel Destinations
The best and largest Midwest antique stores—a treasure hunt awaits!
By Gail Marsh
It’s evident that folks living in the Midwest love and cherish their history. Remembering the past, with its values of hard work, determination, and grit, is a high priority for the folks who choose to live in the middle of the country. Perhaps that’s why so many wonderful treasures are waiting to be discovered in the best Midwest antique stores.
Light-up Christmas camper is a must-have for holiday decor!
Oh, have you ever seen anything so cute? And not only is it cute, but it also lights up! This adorable hand-painted vintage camper is perfect for adding holiday cheer to your table, mantel, kitchen, bedside table, bathroom and more! The camper comes with a 5′ plug-in light cord and extra bulbs. You gotta have it! (We do too!). Learn more or order.
RV Tire Safety
How many “ply” are in your tires? Why you should know
By Roger Marble
Here is a picture and comment I found on an RV Forum. I suggested that the owner review his understanding of tire construction and that he read the material list that is molded on the sidewall of all tires. The failed tire does not have 12 or 14 “ply”. I also pointed out that it does not appear to have a “ply” of nylon over the steel belts. Do you know how many “ply” or layers of which materials are in your tires?
Recipes of the Day
Ideas for the Thanksgiving table…
- Apricot Glazed Turkey Breast
- Holiday Sweet Potatoes With Marshmallow Creme
- Cajun Cornbread Dressing
- Melina’s Eggnog Sweet Potato Pie
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Sillee is a Biewer (pronounced Beever) and is just full of herself! She loves camping and second to food is swimming. In this pic, she is trying to get a place setting with her name on it!” —Cathy Consla
• RVing with Dogs group on Facebook. You’ll love it.
Fido deserves a gift too!
This dog toy ball is hilarious! When Fido or Fifi run around with it in their mouth, it looks like they’re smiling! And yes, of course it squeaks (sorry, doggie parents). We think this would make the best stocking stuffer for your furry friend, don’t you agree? Just look at the pictures and you’ll laugh!
Dorcas Reilly created the green bean casserole while working at the Campbell Soup Company. In 1955, she and her team were tasked with developing a recipe that could be made with ingredients most Americans had on hand at home, including Campbell’s products. The green bean casserole was a result of this effort, combining canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, and French-fried onions. Initially called “Green Bean Bake,” the recipe gained popularity and was later dubbed the green bean casserole. It made its first appearance in a Campbell’s Soup Company advertisement in 1955.
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
The ongoing adventures of Earl and Burl Squirrel, from the mind of RVtravel.com friend R.L. Crabb.
RVtravel.com All Star Team
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg and Cheri Sicard. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Janet Groene, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Dustin Simpson, Dale Wade, Jan Steele and Tony Barthel. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Artificial Intelligence (AI) contributors: Johnny Robot and Milly MacWilly. Canine mascots: Archie and Astor “the Disaster”
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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