Our first blow from the coronavirus

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By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
We don’t rely on paid advertising to fund our website and daily newsletters. It helps, but it’s not our main source of income. The Google ads that you see on our site are far more important, as are the commissions from products we promote on Amazon.com.

Fully a third of our support now comes from our voluntary subscribers, who we call our members. Without their pledges, I would be very worried right now about paying all our bills.

HERE’S WHY
We signed up another advertiser to begin on March 1. It was a modest campaign, and not a huge boost to our income. But all our income, no matter where it comes from, goes into a pot, and we use that to pay our salaries, our freelance writers and all our operating expenses (our server rent and technical support alone costs about $2,000 a month). Most months, we come out with a modest profit.

But like most businesses we are concerned now about the economy. Will the coronavirus (COVID-19), either through the people it infects, or through fear of it, send the economy into a serious decline?

Our new advertiser was excited about exposing his product to our readers. It’s manufactured in China. Friday morning, he received an email from the manufacturer there saying the company had cut back on production because of the virus. He said he could no longer supply our new advertiser in a timely basis. It was not, then, a good time for him to begin advertising. And so he cancelled, which makes perfect sense. We would not expect otherwise.

Already, RV manufacturers are talking about difficulty getting parts for RVs they are building or replacement parts for RVs in use. That, many people expect, will get worse. As is, the average time to repair an RV when brought into a service center (most often an RV dealer) is 21 days. Without available spare parts that repair time frame will almost certainly stretch a lot longer.

We will keep you informed of what’s happening and how it relates to you and your RV. In the meantime, if you read this newsletter on a regular basis and have not yet voluntarily subscribed, we would certainly appreciate your support at any level. Learn more here.

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Dick

Best wishes Gary Bunzer for a speedy recovery!!

Cheryl Ernst

We are planning to spend the next few years in our 5th wheel traveling across the country. How is this virus going to affect this type of travel?

livingboondockingmexico

It’s always the extreme in anything we do. Now, one group says we’re not going to have a pandemic and the other side is running to buy up food on the grocery store shelf. No one has any clue what is going to happen with this virus. H1N1 nearly destroyed Mexico’s tourist economy and end of it all, there were 12,000 deaths worldwide. We took precautions. You never know. Don’t walk around with your heads in the sand. We’ve only been industrialized for 150 years so time is relative. Be smart, follow the safety precautions, have the necessary foods and water on hand. Doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Les Reid

We should always be worried about thee imbalance of trade with China not counting all the other reasons. If we buy made in america as often as possible we benefit the US in many ways. Bringing manufacture back is now highlighted by the current supply chain with it’s possible interruptions. We can never be compensated for inconvenience. Always remember the benefits assumed by low price are long forgotten when problems arise. This is true in everything.

alvin.e

I had in mind writing about the 18,000 flu deaths and the 310,000 flue hospitalizations – but, CandiceB wrote it much better than I could.
Yes, there is the outcry about that. Corona is just a “relative” to the flu virus.

Richard Getz

It’s a shame we have to rely on China for so many things. One day, we’re gonna need to rely on other country’s for food, If we keep destroying our farm land. It’s a shame we don’t have much ingenuity make things here and how to make it cheaper. We rely on China to much, and those workers really don’t make a fair wage either. But that’s ok to our business people here, they don’t really care as long as it’s cheaper, plus they really don’t care about the quality.

Rob

There are moisture meters you can purchase from Amazon to test the walls and ceiling for rot.

Rob

Chuck, I am so surprised a guy who writes articles about the RV industry and has all these RV experts contributing to your website wouldn’t have checked the seals on your roof or had someone check such seals ever few months. This would be considered a part of maintaining one’s RV. Maybe this can be a lesson for others. I recently sold our 1993 Gulfstream 5th wheel. I was the second owner and the first owner was absolutely a maintenance expert. This RV never leaked and the 4 years I owned it I covered it every winter with a $200 breathable cover and every month climbed up on the roof and check all the seals around everything, Hope it all works out for you Chuck, and your right it could be expensive depending on how long it’s been leaking. I restored a 1991 truck camper that I received basically for nothing back in 2018. It was thought it had leaked just on the overhang but after I started working on it I found rot in 60% of the unit. Spent over 150 hours fixing it. I posted about the process o my website. http://brainrattle.info/1999-frontier-truck-camper-rebuild-2018/

Cheers

/ rob

CandaceB

Stay calm. Use hand-sanitizer.

An excellent and commonsense article on the CoronaVirus appeared last week in the Los Angeles Times. It’s titled “How deadly is the new CoronaVirus?” and it’s written by a reporter with a Master’s degree in public health. You can read it here. https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-02-11/how-deadly-is-coronavirus-fatality-rate

As for the stock market. I’ve already told my financial adviser to look for bargains. I was starting to worry that the market couldn’t go up much further. Now that it’s taken a dip, it’s time to buy (and you can bet the super rich are doing just that).

Scott Sparks

One thing you can think about doing to try and discover how bad any rot or moisture penetration is in the wall or ceiling is to look and see if you can find a place to drill a hole in the wall or ceiling that you can hide later. Then take a paper towel and roll up a small piece and stick the end in the hole. Of course make sure you only go part of the way in the wall. This can be as small as an 1/8″ or so. If it comes out wet or very damp you have found part of it. If you do find water or moisture see if you can drill more holes lower down to drain as much as possible. Any water or moisture you can get out will help minimize the issue. Hope this helps.

DAVID QUINN

This is just one of the reasons we need all manufacturing back in the states.

CandaceB

The clickbait-driven news media have created an unwarranted panic over the Coronavirus that is costing governments and businesses billions. Standard flu causes anywhere from 12,000 to 80,000 deaths every winter here in the US and an estimated 250,000 deaths worldwide. (Look it up. ) Where’s the panic with that?

It’s understood here that flu can be deadly for those who already have underlying illnesses, like pneumonia, bronchitis, AIDS, emphysema, etc. Plus 70 percent of those hospitalized with flu are 65 or older, so old age is a risk factor.

Like with the flu, most people with Coronavirus get a mild case and recover without seeing a doctor. In fact, I’ve already heard a report that it could actually be less deadly than flu.

That said, China is a poor country where cultural practices in handling food and slaughtering animals, along with poor hygiene, are likely to lead to new outbreaks of strange viruses. Companies that base their manufacturing there will continue to risk disruptions.

So ride it out. Stay calm. Use hand sanitizer. Coronavirus will be off the front page in weeks and the nutty “news” media will have moved on to the next bombshell, crisis, catastrophe, etc., swearing that THIS TIME the apocalypse really is upon us.

David Koch

The entire World supply chain is disrupted. Major international airports are telling people to take a leave of absence without pay. Flights are canceled all over the World. Even Amazon has suspended all travel – both international and domestic. Investors are removing buy orders and keeping in place all stop-loss orders. Once the markets start to tumble on Monday, there is a good chance that trading will be suspended as it was on 911. The first two cases of the virus showing a positive test in dogs in the U.S. was reported this morning.

Montgomery Bonner

It’s called the supply chain. We are to blame for this, why. in the mid 80’s the government allowed business to move production and workforces to china to cut costs and “supposedly be more competitive on costs”, let read CEO and managerial salaries, not workers making more profit. Capitol ONE had a huge call center on the NE area. They closed it, move that call center to Asia, and 6000 Americans lost their job, to this day I won’t ever use Capitol ONE for anything except trash. The RV industry is like all the rest, suppliers moved manufacturing to China, and now that 680 million Chinese are not allowed to go to work, parts are not being made, nor shipped here. This could last for months maybe even a year or longer depending on the disease. So that 1 year warranty means nothing, because even though you may have appointments for service work, if no parts, no repairs, and when the warranty expires, no obligation to fix you rig. I am facing the same thing, mine runs out in June, so early apt in June for repairs, but, by that time rolls around, their may be no parts to fix the things broken, and I would imagine the company might not care about good will to fix it after. Welcome to our world, xxxxxx (Bleeped by editor. Please leave politics out of comments.)

Brian M

This coronavirus situation is extremely concerning. Apart from the illness itself the economic havoc on all kinds of supplies and inventories around the world will be devastating and nobody has any real idea to what extent and for how long. Having watched the POTUS presentation on how the White House and it’s minions are dealing with the situation may be putting the lives of many Americans (and others), at risk and is not reassuring to say the least especially when the POTUS reportedly declared the coronavirus a “Democratic hoax”. Of course this is from the same person who declared that climate change was a “Chinese hoax”.

EG Willy

Expected outcome when the powers that be contracted most of manufacturing and supply chain to China starting in the early 90’S.

This too will pass.

tom

Entire China supply chain is disrupted, many will be affected. It is going to hurt the World. Having a top down government control over everything does not allow for discussion or alarm that may upset the “every thing is under control” as projected from the top.