Monaco Coach, the country’s leading producer of diesel motor homes, has announced it will close plants in Elkhart, Nappanee, and Wakarusa. The closures will displace 1400 workers – about one-third of the company’s work force. Monaco Coach will re-locate some operations to its headquarters located in Coburg, Oregon.

The company release indicates that market conditions have deteriorated and no end appears to be in sight. The coaches are powered by gas and diesel with average gas mileage anywhere from five to ten miles per gallon for gasoline coaches and nine to fourteen miles per gallon for diesel coaches.

Starting at a mere $113,000 – Photo credit: Monaco Coach

This one starts at $586,000 – Photo credit: Monaco Coach

The low gas mileage just cannot be justified with energy at an all-time high. Driving around in vehicles that suck down gas and, in return, only transport the owner a few miles are not acceptable in a world that is becoming more and more conscious of the effects of our transportation choices.

The sad side of the decline in the RV industry is, of course, the employees who will now be standing in the unemployment lines.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. M Badgett says:

    I’ve been wondering how long it was going to take before this industry had to react to current conditions. Sadly, this is a huge industry with sevreral support and auxilary industries which will also feel the pain in a trickle down effect, which I believe will lead to more people on the unemployment line. For instance, there are companies that do nothing other than make the stickers that get placed in and on the RVs or do nothing but make awnings, or windows etc…

    While I understand your point about fuel mileage vs energy cost; I’d offer that rarely is an RV used as a single occupancy vehicle. Consider how many vehicles are on the road that only get marginally better mileage (Hummers, full sized trucks, SUVs etc.) which often do haul around only the owner. My parents have a class A motorhome that they purchased for their retirement (American spirit for adventure and freedom) and we have used it for family trips and even outings to sporting events. A trip that would normally require 4 cars getting approx 22 mpg each were combined into 1 vehicle getting 12 mpg.

  2. M.

    I understand your points about the trickle down effect. That is going to be an issue. Unfortunately, when the economy takes a downturn, it will usually be the industries producing luxury items that will be some of the first to be hit.

    You also make a good point about saving gas by combining family members into one vehicle instead of four. But I wonder how often that happens?

    I think our industries are going to have to retool to meet the demands of a changing world and society. I just hope the process can be completed without any more loss of jobs than necessary.

  3. ice-ironman says:

    And I quote “time to pay the piper”. I guess DHL, airlines, gm, ford, chrystler, toyota, etc, are all a result of “luxury items”? Thank you for telling us what is acceptable. Get the environmentalist out of the way and this economy would flurish again. Why, because we would build refineries, damns, nuc plants, wind farms, take away summer gas blends, Drill for oil, yada yada. I am so glad Obama and you will let me know what is acceptable. Otherwise I wouldnt know how to set my thermostat, what car to buy, what foriegn language to speak, how to get health care, how fast to drive, when to drive.

  4. rvfixer1 says:

    I could not have said it better myself Ice

  5. Ah – another kindred soul for Ice!

    I didn’t tell you what is acceptable. You may continue to buy the huge RVs as long as you have the money to put gas in them. But, apparently, many Americans are waking up to the fact that they just can’t afford these items. That is not me telling them what is acceptable – my opinion has no impact on consumers’ purchases.

    Consumers themselves are realizing the folly of these items. I simply have a blog that expresses my opinions. My opinions do not transfer into purchasing decisions – unless that is, I have more power than I am aware.

    Maybe a refresher in why we have environmentalists is in order. In the days before the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, etc., many areas of our country suffered from air that was unbreathable and water that was totally toxic.

    In 1965, my grandparents, my uncle, and I took a trip to Niagara Falls. Our return trip brought us down along the east coast through such areas as Paramus, New Jersey. A smog surrounded everything. We could barely breathe the air. It was acrid – it burned the nose, eyes, and throat. Water quality in the days before the environmental acts was atrocious. It still needs work because many Americans just don’t care and seem to be suffering under the misguided notion that our resources are infinite.

    People lived in these conditions until environmentalists took action and campaigned to clean up our air and our water. All you have to do is look at China and their air and water problems. What happened during the Olympic games? China had to demand that its citizens stop driving so the air wasn’t so foul.

    They have already ruined entire cities and towns because they have no or very little environmental regulation. Our country’s air looked in many areas like China’s air looks now.

    So go ahead and trash environmentalists all you want – but I prefer to have breathable air and drinkable water. I prefer to find alternative sources of energy that are not finite to replace those that are finite.

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