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Old 03-28-2018, 05:47 PM   #1
mtlakejim
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Starting an RV company

Just out of wild curiosity I wonder what it would take to start an RV company from scratch.Based on many of the comments on here fairly obvious it could be done better than the big boys are doing it
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:57 PM   #2
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Anyone can start an RV company, that’s easy. The trick is for in making money.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:07 PM   #3
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:35 PM   #4
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As the old saying goes..."It only takes balls and blue chips" to start an rv company.

Now becoming a dealer I think would be easier, but being the BEST Dealer would take more effort.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:10 PM   #5
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MtlakeJim, I would like nothing more that to start that. Having been a CA General Contractor, and liking a real challenge, even at age 75 I would take it on in an instant as a GM or similar position. The main road block I can think of is simply the capital outlay. I'll bet you couldn't do it for less than $3-5M up front, considering facilities, equipment, etc.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:58 PM   #6
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Trust me I have owned and operated many companies in my 72 years. Run do not walk from anyone who suggests any business. I made all my money investing in CA real estate can it be done today? NO we are now in the biggest bubble in the history of the world.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:19 PM   #7
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The problem is us, the consumer. Whether it's wanting fast food for 99 cents or getting a really good deal on an RV we seldom are willing to pay what it costs for quality plus allowing the producer to make a reasonable profit. As a result you can make quality RV's and go broke or borderline crap and make a profit.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grzly03 View Post
MtlakeJim, I would like nothing more that to start that. Having been a CA General Contractor, and liking a real challenge, even at age 75 I would take it on in an instant as a GM or similar position. The main road block I can think of is simply the capital outlay. I'll bet you couldn't do it for less than $3-5M up front, considering facilities, equipment, etc.
Unless your plan is to build a single model in low numbers, $3-5M seems pretty optimistic.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:39 PM   #9
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Building a quality RV isn't so much the problem that can be done very ez the problem is getting quality products to put in that quality RV you can't build all the appliances, faucets
furnes and all that stuff you would go broke trying to do it.

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Old 03-28-2018, 10:01 PM   #10
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Building a quality RV isn't so much the problem that can be done very ez the problem is getting quality products to put in that quality RV you can't build all the appliances, faucets
furnes and all that stuff you would go broke trying to do it.

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True, but you could install those products with pride and craftsmanship and adhere to the manufacturer's installation requirements. The problem is that the market for quality products is huge.....the number of customers willing to pay for that quality is minuscule!
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:55 AM   #11
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Anyone can start any business at any time in any sector. If you want to do it, go for it. Anyone can build a house, car, RV, boat, etc. it's how you build it and then support it is what makes the difference between a short term to a long term company.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:16 AM   #12
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I agree with most of y'all. Gotta have a whole lot of capitol and be very brave (or foolish). While folks SAY they want quality, they are rarely willing to PAY for it.....


Still it would be nice if there was a company out there that would at least do a little better job and would listen to their end customers. Just 2% less focused on profit and 2% more on quality.


I would love to start an RV company if I didn't have to risk everything to do it just to see if I could meet the challenge to build better coaches without costing more. I don't think we will see it but it was a nice discussion. Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:31 AM   #13
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Bluebird wanderlodges, premium quality, But premium $$$$$$. And huge company behind them!
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:02 AM   #14
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There are custom built manufacturers out there this is one of them .

http://spacecraftmfg.com/used-trailers/
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:12 AM   #15
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Rich,
Yep I actually talked to Spacecraft at one time (aren't they in Kansas?) about building a custom (before I talked to Grand Design about the basement garage concept). They can build most anything you want but it is $$$$.

Not sure about anyone else but I am hoping a company will come along that will fall in between custom built and the mass produced trailers. Just a slight step up on the details and top end running gear (IE: disc brakes, IS, Heavy frame, good tires) out of the box. The more I read on here, the more I think there are enough informed RV owners out there to support a company building units that get the critical components right...There are some really knowledgeable people on this Forum who I think would be willing to spend say an extra 5K for a trailer that they knew for a fact was better built where it matters. At the very least a company that would pay attention to the details.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:25 AM   #16
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It would take far than $5 million to start and keep a new company running until it could get new units designed, manufacturing/production facilities built, marketing established, dealer/distribution chain established, customer base built, and, finally, start to earn a profit. It would be bleeding dollars for the first few years. Currently between Keystone, Forest River, and Heartland there are already over 50 brands of 5ers and another 50 of TTs. Add to that the other brands built by K-Z, Jayco, Coachmen, Airstream, and all the others there are over 100 RV brand names already on the market. And of those, there are a few already marketed as "high end, high quality" RVs. Of course, that is a matter of opinion. It would truly take something special and standing out from the crowd at a price affordable to the masses that could make a dent into the established market. There have already been a lot of manufacturers bumped out of business over the years because they could not compete. As has been stated, everyone wants quality, but few are willing to pay the premium for it.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:33 AM   #17
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I think your right Bill. Just wishful thinking out loud I suppose.


As it is right now, I just wish Keystone would offer an options package that included IS, disc brakes, heavier frame, Saliun Tires and Moyride steps. Knowing what I know now I would gladly pay for that on a new one......now I have to add it all aftermarket and out of pocket. Oh well live and learn.
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Old 03-29-2018, 11:50 AM   #18
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True, but you could install those products with pride and craftsmanship and adhere to the manufacturer's installation requirements. The problem is that the market for quality products is huge.....the number of customers willing to pay for that quality is minuscule!
Theunz; I agree with you 100% on that they try to get them done so fast they just don't take the time to do a good job on the install's I would pay more money to get a better job done in the first place! We shouldn't have to go and finish the job for them or fix the stuff they cover up to get get them on the dealer lots how don't care ether I build custom homes and we take the exter time to make sure when a customer buys that house every thing works when the move in now don't get me wrong things happen but we test things before we sell it!
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:06 PM   #19
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Most better quality established companies or start-up RV manufacters after establishing a following are bought out by larger investors like THOR, and then the investors ride the good quality label for a few years. The larger investors can make the units at an economic level that will increase their profit and increase their market share. However, my observations indicate that over time the quality will decline as they continue to show increased profits to a point that their reputation is generally known for something that does not include quality. Take DRV (Mobile Suites) was bought out in 2015 as a good example, and today they may still be riding the better quality reputation, but that will change.
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:49 PM   #20
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Most better quality established companies or start-up RV manufacters after establishing a following are bought out by larger investors like THOR, and then the investors ride the good quality label for a few years. The larger investors can make the units at an economic level that will increase their profit and increase their market share. However, my observations indicate that over time the quality will decline as they continue to show increased profits to a point that their reputation is generally known for something that does not include quality. Take DRV (Mobile Suites) was bought out in 2015 as a good example, and today they may still be riding the better quality reputation, but that will change.
That does seem to be the pattern.

I have watched several large corporations in other industries buy smaller competitors because they did things better only to have the big corporation turn the well run little one into themselves. I call it big company itis. When your more worried about your stock price than your product. When you become a big monolithic brick wall to customers....
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