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Old 12-04-2015, 01:43 PM   #121
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With Spartan apparently out of the picture, and it confirmed that Roadtrek will be building the Hymers a lot of the questions are answered.

Now I wonder how long it will be before it changes from "Roadtrek is building Hymers" to "Hymer is building Roadtreks" ?

Things are moving pretty quickly, it appears.

I wonder if the Hymer brand will be banned from Roadtrek dealers, like some other brands are.
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:57 PM   #122
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James and Stef of FitRV interviewed a Hymer spokesperson. 1) Roadtrek will build to Hymer spec with Hymer oversight. 2) Hymer will sell and distribute using its own network.

Hymer Interview and Grand Canyon Preview
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:00 PM   #123
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........American vans are built like tiny houses by carpenters and plumbers. Euro-vans tend to be assembled like machines out of far more thoughtfully designed and fabricated components......

.....So, the question is: will the build quality of RT-built Hymers be more like RoadTreks or like Hymers?
I tend to think some of their assemblies - cabinets, bath module - may be shipped from Europe to RT and then installed by RT. Other items like latches, pulls, hardware may also be shipped. Still, lots for RT factory to do - install components, wiring, plumbing, tanks, under Hymer eyes. If all this is done right, Hymer will learn a great deal from RT and RT will learn great deal from Hymer. Win-win.

Lots of RV shows coming up in Q1, but that Hymer shown will probably be one from Europe. Will interesting to see the first RT-built Hymers at RV shows sometime in Q2 (hopefully).
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:11 PM   #124
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Well, she did state in the video that Hymer would have personnel onsite to insure the build is to Hymer quality standards. They seem to be doing the right things to get the level of quality they desire when contracting out the assembly...
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:15 PM   #125
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With Spartan apparently out of the picture, and it confirmed that Roadtrek will be building the Hymers a lot of the questions are answered.

Now I wonder how long it will be before it changes from "Roadtrek is building Hymers" to "Hymer is building Roadtreks" ?

Things are moving pretty quickly, it appears.

I wonder if the Hymer brand will be banned from Roadtrek dealers, like some other brands are.
What brands are banned from being sold by Roadtrek dealers?
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:20 PM   #126
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Pleasure-way for sure, our local dealer had to drop them to get Roadtrek. Leisure, Great West, and Midwest were allowed to stay. Can't say about others. It is also possible folks like Winnebago and Airstream would be out, either from their own rules or Roadtreks.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of dealers Hymer shows up in.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:25 PM   #127
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Perhaps it was true earlier about dropping other lines to sell Roadtrek, but it's not true now. Our friends at the Hitch House in Canada sell both Pleasure-Way and Roadtrek. (We ran into them in Louisville as well...)
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:30 PM   #128
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Perhaps it was true earlier about dropping other lines to sell Roadtrek, but it's not true now. Our friends at the Hitch House in Canada sell both Pleasure-Way and Roadtrek. (We ran into them in Louisville as well...)
I know in the further past there were some that did, also. I think Van City is one of them that grandfathered in.

Good question as to if the rule is still in place.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:35 PM   #129
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Seem to be several dealers who carry both Winnebago and Roadrek...
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:55 PM   #130
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I don't think it was a rule but just competitive families. It only takes one to say we will yank your dealership in if you let the other guy in. The dealer then had to make a choice. I suspect in the case of Van City it was more a fact neither was going force Van City's hand. If Roadtrek and Hymer are cooperating why would they not share dealers? If Roadtrek is building the Hymers it would seem they would be encouraged to build as many as possible. Roadtrek is not a family business anymore with a long history and pride to get in the way.

Dealers are mostly independents and generally are not brand tied like the auto industry. They are charged to look out for themselves not Roadtrek, Hymer, Winnebago or Pleasure-way. Winnebago generally has their own dealership connections because of the tie in to a broad line of RVs by Winnebago.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:18 PM   #131
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Fretz RV, here in PA, sells Winnebago, Pleasureway, Roadtrek, and Midwest Class Bs. Colonial, in NJ, sells Winnebago, Airstream and Roadtrek. Will be interesting to see if either (or both) handle Hymer.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:23 PM   #132
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Franchise laws vary state to state, so that is probably the differences. Also, when you negotiate an agreement, they may say no other brands - it's whether you take issue with that or not. Sometimes push-back works, sometimes it doesn't.

As far as these new developments, it's very telling. The Germans tend to be very hard-headed, so they are going to impose some of their ways on the production. But this arrangement definitely sounds like they are firmly in charge of the arrangement.

I'm still kind of shocked that RT has excess production capacity to do this. We'll soon know if it's real or just a bunch of promises.

There is nothing in these vans that is beyond Hymer's engineering expertise. NA specific appliances or features are really not a big deal. They are bringing together significant engineering talent, yet have no experience with the NA requirements, and that is where it sounds like RT can help them navigate these hurdles.

To me the biggest surprise is the separate dealer network. The idea of sharing the network was a slam dunk, especially if Hymer's long term plan is to acquire RT. This deal sounds like Hymer doesn't want their brand polluted by RT, which seems kind of bone-headed for a brand 99% of North Americans had never heard of. Then again, I think alot of RV buyers have no idea who Roadtrek is either. Now if you ask people what a Winnebago is, you are going to get almost 100% recognition.

I will agree with Davydd's question - what is Hymer bringing that is "premium"?. I'm not seeing anything either. What they are showing is not even equivalent to a Westfalia, which when it was offered, carried high prices too for pretty rudimentary accommodations. Clever and stylish, yes. But not alot of luxury or value.

Nothing I'm seeing here is going to diminish WGO's current dominance. What it may do, if you think about it, is continue to drive the upward trajectory of prices, and drag those of WGO up with it. Still will be the low price leader, but those lower prices will be higher overall.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:36 PM   #133
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One item Hymer mentions on their other RVs (can't find as much info for the B, though IIRC I read something about HymerCar floor insulation) is winterization. Tanks and lines inside, EPS insulation on floor, walls and roof, etc. - 4 season vehicles.

If they are winterizing the Grand Canyon, that might be interesting differentiator.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:41 PM   #134
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Funny, the Travatos I really don't like the floor plans at all and the same goes for the Hymer GC. As I research, the Zion SRT best fits my needs. I would hope the quality will still be there when/if I am ready to purchase. It is all a matter of opinion......
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #135
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I can't see how it will be bad to have another choice in smaller RVs. If the Hymer product can be produced at a price that matches its level, I think they will sell well.

Not everyone wants cutting edge batteries, electronics, and other gee-whiz stuff in their RV. A well built rig, perhaps at the complexity level of the Westies should find its market place.

And I'm not so sure RT will be successful at producing for Hymer, unless they built a new plant, hire new staff, etc. They are having trouble meeting demand for their current products at a high quality level.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:01 PM   #136
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One item Hymer mentions on their other RVs (can't find as much info for the B, though IIRC I read something about HymerCar floor insulation) is winterization. Tanks and lines inside, EPS insulation on floor, walls and roof, etc. - 4 season vehicles.

If they are winterizing the Grand Canyon, that might be interesting differentiator.
Good point. Too bad James didn't report on that - usually he's crawling around under new RV's.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:06 PM   #137
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Good point. Too bad James didn't report on that - usually he's crawling around under new RV's.
He mentioned that on their site. He did not crawl under because the model being shown is a prototype, not a production model
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:13 PM   #138
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I have seen a hymer in person in europe and the build quality was like nothing I have seen in N.A. I suspect that if they can continue that build quality over here the Hymer may be a better long term investment in terms of everything holding up and looking good over time.
I've noticed with roadtreks only a couple years old that the bench seats in the back have sagging leather and are all wrinkly. Usually a 10 year old Roadtrek or Winnebago looks 10 years old, where some of the 10 year old hymers or the Westfalia Airstreams still look fairly current on the interior.

I don't think anybody can complain about another player in the market!
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #139
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I don't think anybody can complain about another player in the market!
Totally agree. A little competition always helps.

By the way, thanks for the early morning (4:55am PST?) posting of the FitRV video. Nice to watch with my morning coffee.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:05 PM   #140
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Perhaps it was true earlier about dropping other lines to sell Roadtrek, but it's not true now. Our friends at the Hitch House in Canada sell both Pleasure-Way and Roadtrek. (We ran into them in Louisville as well...)
Thanks James and Stef for being our eyes and ears and grand inquisitors in Louisville. Your video interview was hugely informative and put to rest much careening speculation here about Hymer's new Roadtrek partnership . But I'm curious, did any Hymer rep give you a feel as to what was behind their seemingly abrupt switch of manufacturing horses in North America? And did they say or hint they'd still be using Spartan Motors for larger, non-class B models if and when they introduce them in the U.S.?
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