If you have been reading this blog or the Gypsy Journal for very long, you probably know I have a reputation for saying what’s on my mind, and I’ve been known to step on toes now and then. You may also know that I have said for a long time that the biggest problem with the RV lifestyle is the terrible quality of what the manufacturers are putting out, and have been for as long as we’ve been on the road.
It’s a big part of the reason that we’ve never had much advertising or support from the RV industry. They don’t like people to talk about their dirty little secret, which is no secret at all.
Here is a blog post I wrote about this issue a while back, titled The Worst Part of the RV Lifestyle.
And I’m not the only one who is speaking out about it. This week in his RV Daily Report, Greg Gerber tackled it with a post titled RV Death Spiral: Manufacturers in race to the bottom. I think Greg is right on the money, but I also think that he and I, and everyone else involved in the RV media, can talk until we’re blue in the face and not a damn thing is going to change.
Way back in about 1999 or 2000, when our top of the line Fleetwood gas motorhome was literally falling apart after less than a year, I asked a VP at Fleetwood how they expected to earn a customer’s repeat business with their poor quality and the way they ignored customers’ problems. He told me, “There are tens of thousands of new RVers coming into the market every year. All we need to do is sell them one. What they do after that is their business.” Basically that’s the pyramid scheme mindset – get their money one time and instead of nurturing that customer for a long term relationship, move on to the next one. I think prostitutes work the same way. And this industry sure has screwed a lot of consumers over the years.
So where will it end? Sadly, my friends, it won’t end because the consumer who is new to the RV world has no idea what he or she is getting into. I’ve heard more than one wannabe RVer say that they are going to buy a new rig, because when you buy something used, all you’re doing is getting somebody else’s problem. What they don’t know is that there is a very good chance they will spend the next year running back and forth to the dealer trying to get warranty work done, they will show up for appointments only to learn that the dealership doesn’t have the parts on hand and they have they have to be ordered, and that while they may walk in with a list of fifteen or twenty or more things that need correcting (no, that’s not uncommon at all in a new RV), they may be lucky to get five or ten actually taken care of.
It won’t end because, just like that fellow at Fleetwood told me a long time ago, there are tens of thousands of new RVers coming into the market every year, and they have no idea of the screwing they are about to get.
So far 80 readers have entered our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.