RV Transportation Issue Improves in Elkhart

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July 16, 2014 by   2 Comments

Three months ago this week, recreational vehicle industry leaders gathered at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., to discuss a serious problem.

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, approximately 25,000 to 35,000 finished RVs were parked around the area, awaiting transport to dealerships throughout the country, but an estimated 2,000 new drivers were needed to move them. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) encouraged RV transport firms to sign up with a new employment site.

Since then, the shortage has lessened but still exists, transport firms and industry officials said.

“It’s gotten better,” said Dianne Farrell, vice president of government affairs with RVIA. “We figure the backlog should be gone 90% by the end of July and 100% by the end of August.”

The backlog is lessening partly because it always does by late summer, once the spring and early summer sales season have peaked. But Farrell said a significant number of firms started using the website. The Internet spread local news coverage of the driver shortage. And RV makers started paying temporarily higher transport fees.

“It’s definitely improved,” said Andy Swain, office manager at Indiana Transport. He said there is still a shortage but it’s not as severe. Their inventory is now less than 500 vehicles, down from about 1,600 three months ago. It now takes one to two weeks to deliver a vehicle, down from four weeks.

Swain credited the higher pay, which increased typically by about 20 cents per mile.

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2 Responses to “RV Transportation Issue Improves in Elkhart”

  1. Cody Schade on July 16th, 2014 1:19 pm

    What a gross oversight for RVbusiness to publish such an incomplete view of the current situation on a publication read by customers, dealers, and manufacturers alike. As late as today, I still stand with dealers who do not have product from as far back as late April, and this is the story that RVbusiness decides to run with. Not to mention the units from May and June that continue to sit with no ETA given to the manufacturer or the dealer on delivery times for both stock and retail units. Our industry has a massive issue on it’s hands, ask any dealer who has paid not one, not two, but in some cases three interest payments on a unit that they do not have. Unfortunately, the lack of accountability on behalf of the transportation companies when it comes to communicating lead times and delays only seem to hurt the manufacturer, the dealer and the retail customer. Dealers and customers alike are looking to the manufacturer for answers on late deliveries that we cannot answer. And yet the transportation company provides its service with little more than a promise to deliver the unit between 2-12 weeks with no repercussion if later or not. We need to bring this aspect of our business into the 21st century to track and communicate better on all levels. Until we do that we will face the problems every year. The answer is NOT, in my opinion to fill the internet with rainbows and butterflies of ‘definite improvement’, Mr. Swain when hundreds if not thousands of customers(dealers and retails alike) are still sitting without their camper on July 15.

  2. bob aikman on July 17th, 2014 1:09 pm

    IT is time for the rv manufactures to start picking up some of these costs and the terrible warranty situation is just as bad all warranty claims should go to the manufactures just like the car companys do after all the rv companys put the cheapest products in these rvs and bear no responsability the say call the company who made the product would itr be nice if all dealers could tell there customers the same thing