Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry
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Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry
Winnebago's new CEO, Randy Potts says "Many competitors went bankrupt. We survived and are strong. I'm looking ahead at a different chapter. We're figuring out where we're going to be in five years"

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6/28/2011 - The following extract from an article is by, and reproduced from, DONNELLE ELLER DesMoinesRegister.com
 Link to full story 

Winnebago's new CEO - Randy Potts, 52, an Iowa native who has worked in manufacturing since graduating - follows Bob Olson, who remains the board chairman.

Potts has spent nearly 28 years at the northern Iowa motor home manufacturing plant, working his way up from a senior tool designer to vice president of manufacturing to president in January and CEO last week.

Potts talked with The Des Moines Register on Thursday as the White House announced President Barack Obama would visit Iowa on Tuesday to discuss the future of manufacturing.

Q. What would you like President Obama to do to help the manufacturing industry?

A. It's saddening to see how many manufacturing jobs this country has lost. But with globalization of economies, the world is a much smaller place.

  
Manufacturing jobs that involve a lot of labor, especially unskilled labor, will just keep going to cheaper sources. There's nothing our government can do about that. Protectionism has failed. We all have to learn how to adapt in a changing world.

Q. What are important economic factors for Winnebago? Is it jobs, retirement funds?

A. It's a multitude of factors. Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry. ... The industry has a long history of working on either side of normal, but sales spiked to 70,000 units in 2004. Looking back, the RV industry was overbuilding. Once the economy came undone, sales plummeted. The consumer base went from 70,000 to 20,000. But the dealer network was stocked with inventory for that higher sales level. Manufacturing was stacked up for the higher sales level. It took a long time to work itself out.

 
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When will we get back to normal?...:

A lot of people ask when we'll get back to normal, but we don't know. We simply don't know. Nobody knows.

We'll continue to gain market share. We'll take business away from our competition. But it's a bigger piece of a smaller pie.

We need to look for long-term sources of revenue. The towable trailer manufacturer we purchased in Indiana (SunnyBrook RV) is a good sampling of what we have an appetite for.

Q. Will workers, analysts, others who follow Winnebago see a big change between your leadership and Bob Olson's?

A. Bob was faced with a bottom falling out. He dealt with that very well. Many competitors went bankrupt. We survived and are strong. I'm looking ahead at a different chapter. We're figuring out where we're going to be in five years.

What we have to do now is more strategic. ... Winnebago is over 50 years old. The culture of this company, the product, quality, everything about this company has taken years to evolve. We can't be reckless. We have to be very careful.


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SOME OF THE LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT RVING NEWS ITEMS:
(See also general comments further down this page)
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K
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Re: Thor Motor Coach Showcases Brand New 2015 Motorhomes on the West CoastKen BrownI had posted a comment about our 2013 Thor Tuscany 42WX back on 11/20/2014. I found out that thor problem was not Thor but was the dealer, Giant RV in Colton Calif. They have to be the worst repair shop around, they had the coach from 11-1-14 thru 11-21-14 and only put the dishwasher together in that 3 week period and then they had it from 12-1-14 thru 1-27-15 and did not get everything fixed. They laid dirty parts and tools on top of our new bedspread, leaving a stain. After we got the coach back on 1-27-15 we found a screwdriver stuck under the rear slideout, I called them and to this date I have not heard back from them. I now have the coach at a different repair shop. I would say to stay away from Giant RV.
Re: How to sell your RV without really tryingCathy TMy RV is on consignment at a local dealer. I just found out it is being rented out.I am not happy. What can I do? This is a BRAND NEW unit.
Re: Fort Wayne RV Show Expects Nearly 300 RVs and CampersSteve MartinekJust went, spent $15, went to bathroom, left. This is a RV show that features Trailers and 5th wheels. Perhaps under 10%, if being generous, are Class C's or Class A's. So if you are in the market for a Motorhome or a Truck Camper, save your time and money.
Re: Thor Motor Coach Showcases Brand New 2015 Motorhomes on the West CoastKen BrownWe bought a new 2013 Thor Tuscany 42WX at this show. Got to use it one weekend had to take it back to the dealer and it has been there for 3 weeks and still not done. I hope the factory and the dealer get it together soon and get it fixed.
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Re: RV industry bubble - just like housingPatty O CamperI enjoyed reading the interview with Randy Potts, the new CEO of "Winnebago". His comments confirmed the feeling I had about the economy and it's impact on the RV Industry. I also noted he ignored the interviewer' s question about "how president Obama could help the RV industry" the question was stupid. The best thing government can due for the economy in general is to back-off on all the regulations that have strangled the American spirit of self-reliance. The crash in the economy was the result of government involvement in the housing industry. Insisting that banks loaned money for real estate to people who could never make the payments....all in the name of "equality". Banks started to fail, the housing market went into a depression and all because too many unqualified mortgage holders failed to make their payments. During this crisis the government continues to print money every week reducing the value of our currency on the world market and fueling inflation in this country. It is good to see Winnebago isn't in line for any government handouts like too many members of our dependent society seem to be. Reduce regulations, build the Keystone pipeline and the price of fuel for our RV's will go down....and get the ethanol out of our gasoline....it is reducing gas mileage and destroying our motor vehicles!
Re: Roadtrek Is Number 1 In Class B Sales YTD For February 2014Johni would like to find out how I can get a Manuel showing how to operate everything.Also would like know how i can buy the seat that go behind the passenger seat.It was taken out.
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Re: What's The Reason Behind The Shortage of RV DriversTheresaDo you have a phone number. I can't get no info on the net. Thank you much.Drive RV'S Theresa.
Re: Getting Your Kicks at Age 66, the RV LifeCHUCK AND LIZWe were full time RV'er for 7 years while I was still working. My job included travel so the RV was perfect. Retired now (67) but have COPD and require oxygen. Bought a house as a home base. Have the house concentrator and bottle charger in washer/dryer compartment. Have a rented backup portable concentrator in living room. We still love our RVing and getting older may mean moving a little slower, but no reason to stop. Just make sure you got your meds and a way to get refills.
Re: Getting Your Kicks at Age 66, the RV LifeJodiAfter reading this article-I am reminded of how wonderful the RVing life is. My husband and I were RVers for 7 years - We never regretted a minute that we spent travelling around and seeing the country. I agree with the writer that when you pull into an RV park - you can make instant friends if you want to. Most people are basically friendly and helpful.
Re: RVing with Your PetKayI have 2 older dogs who are big (84 pounds each) and I'm new to RV'ing with them. Can someone tell me the best way to travel with older dogs? What to look for in a campsite and what ramps are best? They both have hip dysplasia. Thanks!
Re: Gasoline prices set to rise next month but fall overall for the yearcoachman99So the less gas I use the more I pay. What a Rip. We are supposed to get rid of Ethanol, get better mileage, but now raise the price.
Re: Retail sales heat up with new Super C RVs from Thor Motor CoachSuper C Motorhome FanThese new Thor Motor Coach Class Super C Motorhomes looks fantastic, the PowerStroke diesel engine is the best choice for mpg, power, and quality. I'm happy to see Thor start building Super C RVs, I'm sure the will also dominate the other Super C Motorhome manufacturers like they have in the other classes.
Re: Top Motorhome Manufacturer Unveils 2 New Diesel Super C MotorhomesPATI LIKE THE SUPER C CONCEPT WOULD BUY ONE OF THESE IN THE FUTURE.THE NEW FOUR WINDS REMINDS ME OF THE 2010 SILVER BULLET BY GULFSTREAM A SUPER C CAME OUT A FEW YEARS BACK. THAT UNIT CLAIMED 16 MPG W/52GAL TANK 832 MILE RANGE. IF FORD GETS 16 MPG WITH 68 GALLONS SHOULD GET 1088 MILES OF RANGE. WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHO ELSE COMES OUT WITH A SUPER C TYPE RV.
Re: Solar Keeps Rising: Stoltzfus RV and Marine Goes Green With SolarShannon ScottsFor the past 3 weeks I have been asking Dometic and Atwood for the efficiency rating (Coeffiency of Performance (COP)) for their heat pump/AC units for my 2002 Carriage. No one, Dometic nor Atwood, will give this data to me. Stating it's unavailable. This date is basic data. All one needs is the input in Watts and the output in BTU per hour when the heat pump is operating without a electric heat strip. It seems that they are trying to hide something. The new heat pump technology is the world most efficient way to heat anything (space or water) period if you have a source of electric (generator or say a fuel cell). If everyone who wanted to buy a heat pump demanded this information then they would have to provide it. The standard GE heat pump at about 9,000 BTUH((Window and PTAC) has a COP of 2.9 to 3.7 resectively at 47 degrees F. That means that for every 1000 watts of electricity used you could get more than 10,000 BTUH of heat. To compare to a stardard electric heater the same 1000 Watts would only produce 3413 BTUH of heat. The COP drops when the outside temperature drops because the heat pump compressor has to work harder to harvest the available ambient heat in the outside air. Are the RV AC/Heat Pump manufacturers trying to hide the fact that they are selling people very low COP heat pumps compared to standard house units out there where as they might have to increase the COP to really compete? PS If anyone out there has access to this data please post it here. Thanks.
Re: Rand McNally and RVDA Dealer and Service Location AppfmprdwgJust purchased 2012 Jayco Seneca 38 foot. Cummins diesel and Freightliner chassis. Lots of power, mileage is a true 10mpg. I have over 4000 miles of travel to prove it. King bed, fireplace, 2 slides, 4 TV's. Only thing I do not like is 2 fuel tanks but not same sized and must use DEF (Diesel Emmision fluid). A real pain on the trunk !!!!
Re: EcoMotors Secures Investment for OPOC EnginelesterndOpposed piston diesels are not new technology. They were used in the 60's in Europe in Dodge trucks. They have a compact height advantage and the engine was under the flatbed.
Re: Minnesota residents evading sales tax by registering RVs in MontanaFritzUsed to live in the Peoples Republic of Minnesota. Vote with your feet. Democrat Farm-Labor says it all. Don't set up a shell corporation; move there, or to any state with a favorable tax structure. I moved when I saw that the state was sucking me dry.
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentGaryugly.
Re: Minnesota residents evading sales tax by registering RVs in MontanaTwoA corporation is a legal entity. A corporation can own property. If you incorporate in Montana and your corporation is the registured owner of your vehicle and it is registured to the corporation at the Montana corporate hq address you have commited no crime or fraud. You have the legal right to do the above.
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SOME OF THE LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT RVING NEWS ITEMS:
(See also general comments further down this page)
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: Little Dealer Little Prices RV Relocation Liquidation at Indian SchoolBill AbernathyThe "Little Dealer Little Prices" showed "Very Little" interest in entertaining our interest in any product priced at less than $30,000. We got a rude salesman, a bumpy ride to a few RV's that did not meet our needs, and not even a "Thanks for coming in." We went to RV Trader and drove to Carson City to get our wonderful 2008 Chalet 1935XL - which curiously has the floor plan of the 1937. We would have paid $28K for a new one, but the local Chalet dealer took 7 months to call us back. Thanks for saving us $15K 7/26/2015 4:44:00 PM
Re: White House Opens Door To Tolls On Interstate HighwaysdiverartWanted ::: windshields for Rexhall Aerbus---USED=OK diverart@yahoo.com 60558014244/27/2015 5:31:00 AM
Re: White House Opens Door To Tolls On Interstate HighwaysdiverartWanted ::: windshields for Rexhall Aerbus---USED=OK diverart@yahoo.com 60558014244/27/2015 5:30:00 AM
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