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Old 02-16-2019, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default With Roadtrek gone, room for new companies?

With Roadtrek/Hymer/Carado/EGHNA gone, that takes out an entire market segment of class "B"s. Now, your cheapest "B" is now a Winnebago Travato.

I wonder if small companies/upfitters would be able to fill this void. There were some van floorplans that Carado had, which were completely unique, like the one with their 17 foot model with a pop-top. It is short enough to run around and park in a single place, but unlike the Pleasure way model, it also provides a bathroom and shower.

Right now, the only real players for full "B"s in the low end is Winnebago.

Wonder what company would step into the "entry level" class "B" range, if any?
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:05 PM   #2
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The second tier players like Coachmen are poised to grow and gain share. You could see the majors like Winnebago now invest in additional models - who knows they may see room now to create a product line below Travato.

Getting to the big leagues requires a tremendous cash investment. I just do not see any mom & pops getting the financing to improve that much. The big boys can create their own financing, and move quickly to fill the void.

Personally, I'll be watching LTV and Pleasureway. LTV could take the opportunity to get back into vans. Pleasureway could add some lower cost models, if they can muster the courage.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:20 PM   #3
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The second tier players like Coachmen are poised to grow and gain share. You could see the majors like Winnebago now invest in additional models - who knows they may see room now to create a product line below Travato.

Getting to the big leagues requires a tremendous cash investment. I just do not see any mom & pops getting the financing to improve that much. The big boys can create their own financing, and move quickly to fill the void.

Personally, I'll be watching LTV and Pleasureway. LTV could take the opportunity to get back into vans. Pleasureway could add some lower cost models, if they can muster the courage.

I think there is also a good chance that the smart companies, especially the smaller ones with less backup resources would hold back expanding beyond current capacity, as it is very likely another major RV slowdown and brand shakeout is coming. Better to put any extra cash or resources into the rainy day fund or pay down debt, as we all know it will rain sooner or later and it will be needed just to survive.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:50 PM   #4
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It'll be tough for Pleasureway to expand their production anymore. Lack of space and manpower.
According to my several LTV owning friends, their dropping the vans was a lack of manpower and production space issue also.
If Winnebago wants to capitalize they are probably going to have to go some distance from Forest City because of manpower issues, especially now that all their class As are coming back to Forest City after their Oregon fiasco.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:38 AM   #5
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Yea I dont think LTV is going back to vans. Lack of space and manpower. They can barely keep up now. Plus it takes less time and money to build a B+ while being more profitable. Coachman is throwing stuff at the wall right now. Some good and some headscratching. But they probably wont get cheaper.

It actually wouldnt shock me to see Winnebago go the other way on this and increase prices going forward. Hymer/Roadtrek was their only competition in the lower price bracket of B's.

This will end up being good for small builder. Some I hear were doing well even before this. The demand is still very high for vans and they just lost a giant van builder. A lot of people are either going to have to be looking used or be willing to give a private small builder 60-80k for a van with no warranty like the big companies can offer.

Gonna be interesting. Some of these individuals build real nice vans. They are however often different then your usual commercial offering. Different types of layouts. No ability to have molded plastic parts means showers are often left out.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:25 AM   #6
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When I was out in Quartzite, I toured some interesting custom builds. Some were gorgeous, but most had no showers. The owners seemed fine with that. But ... yick.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:55 AM   #7
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When I was out in Quartzite, I toured some interesting custom builds. Some were gorgeous, but most had no showers. The owners seemed fine with that. But ... yick.
I thought the same exact thing for years until I bought my Promaster. Once I got to actually be in the small space my thoughts really shifted on bathrooms in vans. Id pretty much never shower in one unless it was a no other option situation. And taking a crap in there would never happen.

How we look at it now is a shower isnt needed. But need a toilet to #1 in to save stops on the road. But would either have a cassette toilet for that or maybe a urine diverting toilet plumbed to a grey tank. A wet bath ends up just being wasted space for us personally. I probably wouldnt do it again.

But everyone is different with that. Whenever I see vans for sale without showers theres always a number of comments asking "where is the shower". So either people badly do want a shower in the van. Or its people who dont realize how subpar a van shower is.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:08 AM   #8
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I, too, only #1 in the van. It's amazing how your body can regulate itself until you reach even a vault toilet on BLM land. I've taken a few showers. In most case, I'd prefer a campground shower, but if I'm further out in the wilderness, I sure do want to rinse off after hiking. I'm fine with my teeny tiny wet bath. I do GI showers (wet down, lather up, rinse off.) Again, it's something I seldom use, but when I need it, I need it.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:35 AM   #9
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I have a 1999 coachman with a "token" tub/shower but I am happy I have it. I have added shower curtain ceiling track so that I do have enough room to take a decent shower. I do prefer campground showers but very thankful for the sit-down I have.
I do wish it was a "wet toilet" design.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:44 AM   #10
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I'm not sure there is much headroom left on prices considering the run-up in the last few years. $100k for a Promaster based class B is pressing incredulity with alot of customers as it is. Recession this year may moderate that a bit. There seems to be room for expansion on the lower end in my view - the same folks looking to DIY their own builds shows there is a market there for folks with more modest pocketbooks. Too bad Hymer screwed up their deal with Camping World by making such embarrassingly poor vans for them. Had they been smarter about it - they could have made a ton of money and expanded their brand. It's still a good idea - not sure if a Winnebago could do it and risk their reputation as a mid-priced RV manufacturer. Coachmen probably would consider it, as the low end is usually the market for their products - their Class B's are the ONLY bright spot in their entire lineup as far as quality goes.
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