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Old 07-29-2015, 03:56 PM   #21
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Never wise to buy something because of a tax break or rebate.

take it as a plus but not as a reason
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #22
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Advanced RV said they would prepare an itemized list for solar credits for me if I needed it. I may need it for this tax year. I don't have it yet.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:24 PM   #23
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Advanced RV said they would prepare an itemized list for solar credits for me if I needed it. I may need it for this tax year. I don't have it yet.
Sounds like the type of information any RV maker installing solar systems on one of the their RVs would provide - part of their sales pitch.

Of course with the CYA "...check with your accountant or tax preparer" type of language.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:43 PM   #24
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No sales pitch. Advanced RV has no dealers or salesmen.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:12 AM   #25
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No sales pitch. Advanced RV has no dealers or salesmen.
so... they are not selling RVs? Giving them away are they?
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:19 AM   #26
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No. People stand in line for 12 months to get one. All their customers come to them. Mostly, I imagine thru word of mouth. You rarely if ever see advertising.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:24 AM   #27
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so... they are not selling RVs? Giving them away are they?
Like I said, no dealers and no salesmen on staff soliciting customers. What is hard to understand about that? Through the whole process I initially brought my ideas to them and we discussed them. I worked directly with their staff that had to do the work to work out details and get my questions answered. By the end I got to know the whole team by first name that worked on my B. A lot of that process was described in my Advancing Alvar thread in this forum. No one was promising me anything they couldn't deliver and there were no proprietary mysteries left unexplained. There were no dealer, as you yourself mentioned, with less knowledge about what you wanted. There are no silly MSRP discount games.

Most customers go to Advanced RV and spend a couple of days and more hammering out all the details right down to every single finish, what they want and the ordering of the van from Mercedes Benz. Some, like me, exchange phone calls and emails almost constantly during the process. I furnished detail CAD drawings. One customer designed his B in 3D Solidworks CAD software and worked directly with staff at the factory on a nearly daily basis. His will be totally custom in plan, appliances, equipment, cabinetry, and finishes far exceeding what I did. The customers drive the ideas.

Obviously there are certain givens and starting points. For one ARV only builds on 170" wheel base Sprinters (so far). They have a starting point floor plan, electrical design and recommended equipment and appliances. However, the customer I mentioned above broke all the rules. Another customer is getting another departure in the super-high roof Sprinter. Another got a composting toilet. There have been beds of just about every conceivable design including a guy who sleeps in a lazy-boy type recliner. There have been several computer desk designs. Several dog kennel designs. There are no two Advanced RVs remotely alike that I know of. When a customer brings a new idea to the table it goes into the hopper so to speak for others to use or become a new departure point. In effect you get what you want and not what the converter offers take it or leave it.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:46 AM   #28
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No. People stand in line for 12 months to get one. All their customers come to them. Mostly, I imagine thru word of mouth. You rarely if ever see advertising.
They have put out a lot of videos and newsletters on their website covering every aspect of design and even more videos on YouTube. The Advanced RV kind of sells itself.

I came to them via communications with Great West Vans telling me about the new features Mike Neundorfer was convincing them to put in. They were excited but then the company was sold. Neundorfer was turning his 40 year old pollution controls design company over to new operating management. His innovative desire led him to want a better yet Class B and his company was created as a result. It was in my nature to find out what was going on but it took me another two years to commit. What I desired and got no one else could do.

I think most customers will say word of mouth. Most customers seem driven to get exactly what they desire and to get the best they think possible. Cost probably loses a lot of potential customers but right now with a major backlog because they are not going to compromise on quality it doesn't seem to be a problem. They claim to be debt free.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:55 AM   #29
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All true, and it is a wonderful thing. Three questions, though:
1) How many total ARVs have been built?
2) How many of those units (prototypes & "rental" units) have been build but never sold?
3) How many units sold represents their financial break-even point, given their obviously significant investment in plant and R&D?

The answers to these questions represent the difference between a hobby and a sustainable business. The lucky purchasers certainly don't care (unless they care about long-term support, which really isn't that big a deal). It is quite possible that ARV doesn't care, either--they have an existing successful business to share overhead, and I am sure they are having an amazing amount of fun. But, if one is asking the "Is it too good to be true?" question, sustainability needs to be taken into account. If my private estimates of the answers to those three questions are correct, then sustainability is still very much an open question.

I have said many times before and I repeat here: I think that ARV is amazing, and am extremely glad they are doing what they are doing. And, in some sense, the answers to these questions are none of our business. But, depending on what the financial reality of their world really is, comparing them to any of the mainstream producers is really an apples-to-oranges proposition.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:35 AM   #30
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All true, and it is a wonderful thing. Three questions, though:
1) How many total ARVs have been built?
2) How many of those units (prototypes & "rental" units) have been build but never sold?
3) How many units sold represents their financial break-even point, given their obviously significant investment in plant and R&D?

The answers to these questions represent the difference between a hobby and a sustainable business. The lucky purchasers certainly don't care (unless they care about long-term support, which really isn't that big a deal). It is quite possible that ARV doesn't care, either--they have an existing successful business to share overhead, and I am sure they are having an amazing amount of fun. But, if one is asking the "Is it too good to be true?" question, sustainability needs to be taken into account. If my private estimates of the answers to those three questions are correct, then sustainability is still very much an open question.

I have said many times before and I repeat here: I think that ARV is amazing, and am extremely glad they are doing what they are doing. And, in some sense, the answers to these questions are none of our business. But, depending on what the financial reality of their world really is, comparing them to any of the mainstream producers is really an apples-to-oranges proposition.
Neundorfer Corp. has a 40+ year track record of success to back up their business plan. There are no secrets as I mentioned. Go to an Advanced Fest and discover for yourself. Staff is available to talk to you and facilities are fully open for inspection. Neundorfer was upfront. They sold about 12 in 2014. They are on track to sell about 24 this year. They have a business plan to grow to about 50 and Neundorfer said he had no desire to go any higher in order to execute the quality he wishes to do. If they achieve that they said they would be profitable. It is not exactly a hobby when you employ well over 20 employees in the venture. Simply put you can get what you want from them better than anywhere else. You get the best quality. They are pushing the Class B envelope like no other company. Sustainability? I think Neundorfer will be around maybe longer than I will own a Class B. He built one successful company and he is carefully building Advanced RV with staff that could sustain it. What more exactly can you wish for?

"Is it too good to be true?" Read this from Advanced RV and decide for yourself:

How Advanced RV Secures its Financial Future

Philosophy from Mike Neundorfer is here in his opening Advanced Fest words:

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Old 07-30-2015, 02:36 PM   #31
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All true, and it is a wonderful thing. Three questions, though:
1) How many total ARVs have been built?
2) How many of those units (prototypes & "rental" units) have been build but never sold?
3) How many units sold represents their financial break-even point, given their obviously significant investment in plant and R&D?

The answers to these questions represent the difference between a hobby and a sustainable business. The lucky purchasers certainly don't care (unless they care about long-term support, which really isn't that big a deal). It is quite possible that ARV doesn't care, either--they have an existing successful business to share overhead, and I am sure they are having an amazing amount of fun. But, if one is asking the "Is it too good to be true?" question, sustainability needs to be taken into account. If my private estimates of the answers to those three questions are correct, then sustainability is still very much an open question.

I have said many times before and I repeat here: I think that ARV is amazing, and am extremely glad they are doing what they are doing. And, in some sense, the answers to these questions are none of our business. But, depending on what the financial reality of their world really is, comparing them to any of the mainstream producers is really an apples-to-oranges proposition.
I predict that Advanced RV won't be in business five years from now. They remind me of a scaled down version of Tesla, but without the billions in government subsidies.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:32 PM   #32
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I predict that Advanced RV won't be in business five years from now. They remind me of a scaled down version of Tesla, but without the billions in government subsidies.
I think your wrong. i think Advance rv will be a permanent company unless there is a 2008 style financial meltdown.

there will always be affluent people who are approaching life's end that think to themselves why am i saving this money.

unless it's like 2008 that hit these people hard like the rest of us Advance Rv will be here
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:47 PM   #33
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I think your wrong. i think Advance rv will be a permanent company unless there is a 2008 style financial meltdown.

there will always be affluent people who are approaching life's end that think to themselves why am i saving this money.

unless it's like 2008 that hit these people hard like the rest of us Advance Rv will be here
Precisely why I predict it. This fall is gonna be mayhem in the global markets - in fact it's already begun with Europe and China. If Roadtrek had to shutdown in 2008, then Advanced RV won't be staying afloat this time around.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:57 PM   #34
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Precisely why I predict it. This fall is gonna be mayhem in the global markets - in fact it's already begun with Europe and China. If Roadtrek had to shutdown in 2008, then Advanced RV won't be staying afloat this time around.
Nomad32- if 2008 happens again many rv companies will go under-thats totally different then your first post implied.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:14 PM   #35
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Nomad32,

I'm not sure why you compare Advanced RV with Tesla. Do I take that as not liking leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, progress, inventiveness and quality? Those are the things that come to mind to me when the two companies are mentioned together. As far as the comment about subsidies, what is different than the oil industry, agriculture, tax breaks and just about every other business the government props up with incentives? Do you feel the same about your own personal tax subsidies like home interests deductions? If you are going to throw out comments you need to be more clear. I just told you what I interpreted from your comment.

So now the qualifier by what you meant by in 5 years. I think a debt free, low overhead company with a targeted savvy customer base with means has a better chance of survival than companies like Roadtrek that may have a debt load, growth pressures, non-personal ownership and investors expecting a return. If your prediction about mayhem in global markets come true I can see most of the Class B industry going down. The lower end market will get hit harder first.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:59 PM   #36
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You can't live your life thinking total economic collapse is around the corner.

I think a more pertinent discussion is how do you protect yourself if you order a custom RV, or really any RV, if they go belly up like GWV did.

Not that I'm agreeing with Nomad, as I think, as Davydd said, ARV is on solid financial footing. But as we saw in 2008 & 09, even the biggest and mightiest can become a house of cards if events unfolded quickly.

What do you guys think the folks burned by GVW could have done better to protect themselves when they placed their order?

When I ordered my Oliver, the downpayment was 25%, then 25% on start of manufacture, then 50% on delivery. I thought those terms were OK and didn't put me out too much with risk.

But ordering something worth $150-$200K is another matter, as that down payment is significant.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:28 PM   #37
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In the next major downturn, I’d expect a company like Advanced RV would be ideally suited to weather the storm. Wealthier customers are more likely to continue purchasing RVs. They’re also almost certainly going to finish paying for their RV with it’s roughly 1/2 downpayment whereas more budget conscious buyers have more to lose from following through with their RV order.

And since ARV has “no bank debt,” they have a lot of flexibility in a major recession.

As companies go under and the B market consolidates ARV could develop a lower cost Transit/Promaster model (likely under a new brand name) to make up for any slack in high end demand. Another option would be the Oliver Travel Trailers approach, halting production until demand picks up. As long as Neundorfer could find a way to keep his most critical staff busy, the company could quickly ramp up once they’ve lined up enough customers.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:34 PM   #38
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the psychology of a 2008 type crash precludes people buying rv's even if they can afford them.

I could have bought an rv during the 2008 crash but i would not have bought an rv during the crash.

i'm sure several rv companies would have good balance sheets.

Ford had a good balance sheet. it did not go into bancruptcy but it was still hemmoragging money.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:36 PM   #39
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I don't think there is any way to predict what a future downturn might do to companies in the RV industry. Look what happened last time:

Travel Supreme, catering to upper end DP's. Gone.
Alfa: putting glitzy options onto poorly made rigs. Gone.
Country Coach: quality rigs, again targeted at the upper end. Gone.
Monaco: trying to cover all parts of the market in DP's. Gone.

Sure, there are specific reasons why each failed, but they each also thought they had a viable business plan at the time.

Best to just get what you want and not obsess too much about the future. Fortunately, RV's can be maintained even after their builder is toast. But no RV shopuld be considered a wise "investment".
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:59 PM   #40
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It is kind of a lesson in futility to try to predict what a specialized, privately held, company like ARV will turn out to be. They apparently share resources and ownership with other businesses whose future could be intimately tied to ARV's future. All the intertangling probably helps the credit, cash flow, and a host of other business stuff that would be huge issues for other startups.

I don't think we will have any idea what is happening until it actually happens.
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