Longtime Oregon dealer On The Way RV recently shuttered its doors, according to a report in the Item Observer. Jerry Fry, who co-owned the company with Charleen McClure, said the recreational vehicle business has taken a hit with the economic downturn.
“We thought this summer that things would get better, that the industry was moving forward,” he said. “And by the end of August, we could see that the upturn wasn’t happening … we thought `why struggle through another winter and not be able to pay bills?'”
Financing for customers, high gas prices and commercial credit for inventory have become challenges in the last few years, Fry said.
On The Way sold 285 RVs in 2006; that sales total was perhaps a dozen in 2011, he said. The work force, meanwhile, has shrunk over the years from 20 to two full-time employees.
Fry, who’s been involved in RV sales for more than 20 years in Oregon and Washington, started his company in 2000. In 2005, he purchased his current lot in Rickreall across from the Polk County Fairgrounds.
“We want to say `thank you’ to all of our customers, we’ve had them out of Dallas, Roseburg, Eugene, Longview, Wash., all along the coast,” Fry said. “It’s been marvelous working with them.”