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Author Topic: Born Free Shutdown  (Read 686 times)
Sarz272000
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« on: May 18, 2017, 03:42:28 am »

Heard from others on the Born Free travel club forum - apparently folks who had service appointments scheduled at the factory got phone calls/e-mails informing them that everyone had been laid off temporarily and all service appointments were cancelled.  Another post mentioned factory shut down until they secured an infusion of capital.

Ron
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Doneworking
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 09:02:55 am »

I picked up on this last week and tried - just out of curiosity - to research the closing.  I could not find any source of information about it online, including looking at the local news media sites in Humboldt and the area.   Go their website and read the "About" or "History" tab ( I forgot what they call it on the site).

My interest is in just being sad at how really great small companies are struggling these days.   I owned two Roadtreks over the years and, like Born Free, they were started by one guy and built into a quality product which gained great reputations throughout North America.   Age seems to then take over in most of these situations.  The next generation of the family takes over, gets older, cashes out to so called "investors" and they often are under capitalized or simply don't grasp the nuances of the industry in which they find themselves.  The results are often, sadly, not pretty.   As I recall Roadtrek went through three owners in less than five years.  Now, it is owned by a large company from Europe.

I spent almost fifty years in finance and had the great privilege of working with a lot of entrepreneurs all over this country who built wonderful companies where service and quality were the touchstones, not increasing next quarter's profits by a fraction of a cent per share.   Time marches on and  the realities of today's economy are just not kind to these kinds of endeavors.   It is a very, very sad passage and the main reason why I hung up my spurs and went to the house as they say in the Southwest. 

I hope Born Free finds "the capital" some reports indicate they are seeking.  We shall see, but quality custom builders seem to often fall into despair when generations change.  The story of Chinook immediately comes to mind.

If it is true that Born Free is now at least temporarily closed, doesn't that only leave Phoenix Cruiser and Coach House?   No others immediately pop into my mind.

Paul 
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hutch42
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 08:56:58 pm »

Lazy Daze, 1958 I believe,  Founder still there, although son probably runs the business.   Cant think of any others that have been around longer.  Winnebago late 50's maybe
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CKK
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 09:37:26 pm »

Born Free, Lazy Daze, Coach House, and Phoenix were all on my heavily researched list...and I decided on PC but voiced this very concern here last fall... that PC would change hands before I can order one later this year, or right after I buy ;-( 

I sure hope they hang on, selfishly for me to get a good product with some customization, and also for all of you current owners.
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PawPaw
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 09:56:52 pm »

Born Free, Lazy Daze, Coach House, and Phoenix were all on my heavily researched list...and I decided on PC but voiced this very concern here last fall... that PC would change hands before I can order one later this year, or right after I buy ;-( 

I sure hope they hang on, selfishly for me to get a good product with some customization, and also for all of you current owners.

Tiffin Motor Homes is now making a class C on a Sprinter chassis. It has a high MSRP but no one ever pays that for one of Tiffin's units.
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