b'Cavco Industries Inc. blurred the line between a glamping tent and a PMRV when it released its Glamping Tent Cabin this past Fall. Perhaps a forerunner to a new breed of PMRVs.PMRV Manufacturers Struggle withEmployee and Supply Chain Issues asOrders for Units Continue to Pour InnBY BEN QUIGGLET he year 2021 was fraught with challenges for the outdoor hospi- prices around 10% to 15% since that time because we are trying to keep them as low tality industry. Park owners had to deal with employee issues, theas possible. Finding logs has been our biggest issue and in some cases, we are paying increased demand for camping sites and a large number of newabout double for them just to get enough in so we can keep things rolling. campers. At Kropf Industries Inc., Trevor Kropf, general manager of the Goshen, Ind.-based Suppliers to RV parks, campgrounds and glamping parks had to dealcompany, noted that 2021 brought challenges the likes of which the company has with challenges as well, including supply chain issues, a lack of em- never faced before.ployees and the rising costs of parts and other items. The materials shortage has made it difficult to be as efficient as we would like to Moving into 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that wood prices were movingbe, he explained. With any challenge though, we have been able to adapt and nav-up again, noting that, Futures for January delivery increased at twice the price for aigate through these new times.prompt delivery in mid-November.The supply chain issues have increased the cost of our products tremendously, Not only that, but inflation is moving up, too, sending the costs of virtually every- he added. Kropf, along with others in the park model industry, have had to imple-thing upward. The Associated Press noted in mid-December that inflation surged byment surcharges which ultimately affect the customer. No customers in any industry a record 9.6% in November. enjoy increased costs, but through discussion with them and the dealers they un-And while news of this type ripples throughout the outdoor hospitality sector,derstand the reasoning for it. perhaps none of this is felt more than in the park model RV (PMRV) and cabin seg- John Soard, national sales manager for Woodland Park Inc., a Middlebury, Ind.-ments. Many of these companies told Woodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) thatbased PMRV manufacturer, told WCM that 2021 was an exceptional while business was booming in 2021, finding supplies and employees to manufac- one for the company.ture units was difficult. Never in my career of 37 years in the RV industryhave I seen it this Still, the PMRV and cabin segments are expecting a very busy 2022, with some al- crazy, he said. Material price surges at the supplier level have of ready taking unit orders for 2023. course helped to fuel the worst (single year) unit price increases in his-Business has been unbelievably great, but we havent been abletory. Since it is industry-wide, our dealers are slammed with this news to increase our production much because of staffing and materials,from everyone, not just us. However, with the level of dealer inventory said Dick Grymonprez, director of park model RV sales for Skylinebeing so low, zero in a lot of cases, many times new stock models are Champion, a PMRV manufacturer with plants spread across thebeing bought before a customer even sees the unit on the dealers lot. U.S. Still, right now the campground, community and street busi- I instructed our dealers to hold ransoms on stock models, but thatJohn Soardness are all going well. I believe the campground industry will con- hasnt stopped customers from buying even at the higher prices today.tinue to have a large demand for park models for many years toWhat does this all mean for park owners and developers who are looking to ex-come. This is because of the major expansions we are seeing rightpand or build a park? For many, it will mean they may see an uptick in prices. It also Dick Grymonprez now in the campground and community business.has stressed the importance of getting in your order sooner rather than later.Expansions are also occurring in the PMRV and cabin sector, allowing these com- The only way to describe the current back log is off the charts busy, explained panies to produce more units, despite the current labor challenges. Soard. If an order was received in the month of December, our signed-off backlog Business continues to outpace overall production, noted Tim signed-off means orders written and signed-off by the dealer, retail and stock, not Gage, vice president of park model RVs and cabins for Phoenix,just a slot reserved for a dealerit wouldnt be built until December of 2022 and Ariz.-based Cavco Industries Inc. When our new park model fac- most likely not delivered until early 2023. tory opens in late spring, it will help take pressure off the currentGrymonprez echoed that sentiment, noting that Skyline Champions current backlog. We will continue to produce park models at our current lo- backlog sits at about 12 months.cation as well, which will also help.We have 12 plants building park models around the country and 12 months is It isnt just the larger players in the PMRV indus- the typical wait time now, he said. I recommend people get their orders in as I dont try that are dealing with these challenges. Smallersee this getting any better, anytime soon. manufacturers like Lancaster Log Cabins are alsoTim Gage Smucker noted that Lancaster Log Cabins currently has a lead time of about 12-scrambling to produce units. plus months, and the company is already taking orders for Winter/Spring of 2023. This has definitely been our busiest year ever and it has been chal- At Kropf Industries, the companys backlog consists of enough orders to keep the lenging, but we are thankful to be so busy, said Dan Smucker, ownercompany busy through 2022 and into 2023.and business manager of the Gap, Pa.-based company. Our pricesIf a customer were to place an order with one of our dealers who does not have have gone up a decent amount but probably not quite as much asan opening for them, they would be looking at early 2023 for delivery, Kropf said.most other companies. Our material costs have gone up on averageFollowing are some further updates from PMRV manufacturers: Dan Smucker around 30% to 40% from a year or two ago, but weve only raised ourPMRV Manufacturers continued on page1816 February 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'