Quality Issues Facing the RV Industry
I read multiple posts on Facebook when people are complaining because they spent $75000 on a RV and it had some issues. The quality should be much better and shame on Keystone, Forest River, Thor, Jayco, Alliance, you can name the manufacture and the complaint is there. I hear many say, if you're planning on buying a RV get it used and get one prior to the Covid pandemic.
I have to say that the Covid pandemic has affected the RV industry as well as every industry. Don't get me wrong, do I believe that quality can be improved? Of course, there is room for improvements. I was going through one of the RV factories about a month ago and as a result, I better understand some of what is happening in the industry.
I would like to help us consumers better understand what is happening. I came from the medical field where I was a frontline healthcare worker. When the pandemic hit, the healthcare community was not sure the best way to treat this illness. The political world was all over the board and we went through the vaccination issues and of course masking. Directives by the government to employers of over 100 employees to mandate vaccinations. This put employees in a position to comply or not comply. As in every field, many large employers lost many employees due to vaccination compliance as well as those who became very ill and in some cases death. I am not here to debate the mask wearing or vaccination compliance but only to help us all understand what the industry was going though.
Another factor that hit the RV industry was that sales skyrocketed. More and more people were working at home. Many employees discovered that they can work from any location. They also realized that we never know for sure when we will lose our loved ones. Many decided that they want more out of life. They wanted to create memories and can do so within the RV community. Social distancing also was much easier in the RV lifestyle.
So what does the RV industry do about this rise in sales? As any business, they will do their best to supply the demand that came upon the industry. This presented problems. As we discussed about the problems within the RV manufactures this also hit other industries. For example, suppliers to the RV manufactures has the same issues. The electronics field for example need to supply circuit boards to manufactures of RV furnaces, RV refrigerators, RV water heaters, and etc. When, the suppliers cannot get the necessary circuit boards, the appliances do not get built. If the materials for the cabinetry do not come it, the cabinets do not get built.
As the one RV manufacture employee described to us, we cannot just shut down until the pandemic is over. When will that be? What about the employees who come to work? Customers need these units. Some for enjoyment but some will need a place to live. We also have something else to discuss. How does a manufacturer pay its employees? Employees have different levels of expertise. RV manufactures do not have an open check book. Training is provided on how to do a particular part of the manufacturing process. They have an idea how long it takes to do that process. It may take a lot longer to get a job done with an inexperienced employee than an experienced employee. So, I ask, do we as consumers want to pay more for our RVs or would you like to keep the price lower?
I'm not saying that we would like higher quality, sure we would. Personally, I would like lower prices, higher quality, and I want it to last a lifetime with no added cost such as maintenance. If you can find that for me, please let me know. Having said that, if you are considering the purchase of a new or used RV, look for an RV manufacturer that stands behind its products. Also consider a dealership that can support the service and maintenance of that unit. In my next blog, I will be discussing RV dealerships and some of the issues dealerships are facing.
Come back soon for my next blog.