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Old 12-05-2015, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Should boat builders get into the RV business?

Recently I placed an order for a boat like the one in this video. I should take delivery in February.

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Mine will be red though.

In some circles this is being called a "Winnebago for the water". The living area is about the same size as a Class B, albeit a bit wider. The equipment is very similar to what you get in an RV.

But when it comes to build quality it ends there. All wiring and piping/tubing is cut to exact lengths and secured every 6 inches. There are no bundles of wires laying in bird's nests under cabinets, etc. Anything metal is either 316 stainless or bronze.

Even with all the sophisticated electronics (navigation/radar/autopilot) the cost is about the same as a fully optioned AdvancedRV.

Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:17 PM   #2
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Congrats Wincrasher,

Rangers are nice little boats. Now you have the difficult task of "do I go out on the boat this week OR do I go out in the Travato this week" Life is tough
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
Even with all the sophisticated electronics (navigation/radar/autopilot) the cost is about the same as a fully optioned AdvancedRV.

Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
I think you have answered your own question: A marine company would produce a Class B that costs as much as a fully-optioned AdvancedRV.

The business models and target customers seem very similar.
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:32 PM   #4
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Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
A very expensive one. A very good one, but expensive. Marine standards - ABYC and CE Certification standards are very thorough and very strict - RVIA is a joke compared to those. In the middle of the ocean, hundreds or thousands of miles from help, or even just off-shore, they need to be. And the marine environment is very unforgiving. That costs $$$$.

But it would be interesting to see one. But remember there are still differences in quality in the boating world. A Hunter is not the same as a Tartan or Sabre and they are not the same as a Morris.

Sounds like your new Ranger will spoil you!
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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I think you have answered your own question: A marine company would produce a Class B that costs as much as a fully-optioned AdvancedRV.

The business models and target customers seem very similar.
I would agree that, at the moment, Advanced RV would be the equivalent company in terms of design and build quality in a the Class B segment. There are similar companies in other RV market segments but you will usually be paying a premium. In the high end diesel Class A market, Entegra does a pretty good job for a volume RV manufacturer at a competitive price to the competition.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:27 PM   #6
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Just read this article posted on another thread here.

Deficit reduction - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2014

So back to the title of this thread "Should boat builders get into the RV business", my answer is no. But they have pushing the envelope with advanced electrical and power propulsion systems for a while now (especially Calder). Seems like there are people and products in that industry that could really help the RV industry.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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I believe Coach House RV mentions they use some marine products.
I believe they are the only RV manufacturer in this class size that makes a one piece fiberglass body.

They do not offer some of the options that other RV manufactures do. if we are just talking about the best built then they probably meet that criteria. Personally, I would like to see some boat manufactures get into the RV business.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:42 PM   #8
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Yss, marine products are great, but often they $$$$ and that's because of the marine environment - temp, humidity, moisture, vibration - they are in. Often times overkill IMO for an RV.

I'm talking about knowledge, especially energy systems, which seems to be the current stumbling block with RVs as they transition to lithiums and buyers want to use more electrics - A/C, induction cooktops, compressor fridges, etc. While RT (and probably others) have spent $$$$$ on developing their systems, I find it interesting - as in that Ocean Navigator article, for instance - that some in the marine industry are publishing what they are doing and sharing knowledge. That, IMO, is leadership. Leadership is NOT selling more units.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:43 PM   #9
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Not uncommon for people building their own camper van electrical systems to use various marine electrical components since they are higher quality and more rugged than other options.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:34 PM   #10
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Yss, marine products are great, but often they $$$$ and that's because of the marine environment - temp, humidity, moisture, vibration - they are in. Often times overkill IMO for an RV.

I'm talking about knowledge, especially energy systems, which seems to be the current stumbling block with RVs as they transition to lithiums and buyers want to use more electrics - A/C, induction cooktops, compressor fridges, etc. While RT (and probably others) have spent $$$$$ on developing their systems, I find it interesting - as in that Ocean Navigator article, for instance - that some in the marine industry are publishing what they are doing and sharing knowledge. That, IMO, is leadership. Leadership is NOT selling more units.
I think one big difference is that folks in the marine industry jump at the use of technology. They are generally early adopters and willing to try new things if they will leverage space or enhance performance. Budget is usually not an issue. And the tendancy is to overbuild because of the potential conditions (and very discerning customers for the most part).

RV industry is just the opposite. Most cling to the tried in true and the desire is to keep costs down even if it compromises space or performance. Also, the tendancy is to keep the build light, so shortcuts on materials is a given. Customers are not generally as knowledgeable and are budget conscious above most other considerations.

I just find these differences to be fascinating. I'd like to see the RV industry adopt some of the marine practices primarily because it could enhance durability and reduce downtime due to breakdowns and failures. Granted, none of them are as life threatening as they could be out on the water, but still it would be nice to get that level of quality, and I don't think for a substantial premium. My Oliver Trailer is close to those standards, but is lacking in several. Looks to me you get a whole lot more product for your money when you examine these boats and then look at an RV.
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