RV Squatters

Mark Rogers is not very happy with the RV community. Large numbers of them park around Vancouver’s Jericho Beach and he wants them gone. I assume many of them are boondocking for the night although perhaps some of them stay longer.

Rogers keeps a twitter account active to highlight his issue with illegally parked RV’s.

The Vancouver Sun ran a full story about whether Vancouver’s illegal RV parkers are homeless or tourists although it looks more like a cover piece for one angry resident battling an apparently grave injustice.

When it costs over $2 million to purchase a basic 3-bedroom house in Vancouver, some people may choose to live out of an RV as that might be their only affordable option for housing.

Can gated communities be that far away for Vancouver?

Retirement

14 days to go before retirement and a few retirement events are now beginning.

Last night my management team held a retirement dinner for me. Such a wonderful evening and such a great team. Incredible food at a beautiful location in the country with dear colleagues and friends. So honoured to have been able to serve with this team.

My retirement gift from my management team really means a lot to me. The Mont Blanc LeGrand is inscribed with the words Best Boss Ever!

To be remembered this way is both humbling and rewarding.

And there is a bit of a back story about the pen itself.

During my career, I have held senior executive roles at two large Canadian insurers and one very large Canadian bank, having served 10 years at each company.

For almost 15 years, I carried a Mont Blanc LeGrand with me every single day that I was working. Regardless of location, regardless of business travel, that pen was always with me. I loved the feel, the weight and the quality of such a nice writing instrument.

Then one day, at the bank, I had left my pen at the office. I had set it down for some reason, forgot to pick it up and when I returned to the office the next day, it was gone.

I was reluctant to spend the money to buy a new one as it was a very expensive pen. I did without it.

I did miss the LeGrand though and I felt badly about having lost the pen.

My executive assistant who has supported me both at the bank and at my current employer knew the story about the lost pen. She helped to decide on this retirement gift with the team.

Such a perfect gift!

I will cherish this pen not because of its feel, weight and quality. I will cherish the pen for the engraving and the memories of working with such a fantastic team.

A few more retirement events before I finish in two weeks. And then a new chapter of life begins. So looking forward to getting out there with our coach.

Not In My Backyard

An Alberta developer wants to build a large RV park in Big Pond, Cape Breton. After a lengthy proposal process, the development was approved however an appeal was launched by seven people and there is a three-day hearing taking place this week to determine if the development will still go forward.

There is no website for Ceilidh on the Lakes. They do have a Facebook page. And they made this post in May:

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Due to the OVERWHELMING number of inquiries and requests for seasonal sites, we will be releasing the seasonal applications this week!

A few things to note:

– Deposits will be held in trust until opening, with deposit amount deducted from first season’s rate

– If for any reason the development does not proceed, deposits will be returned within a specified time frame

– 170 seasonal sites will be available

– Choose from lot sizes 30 X 45 or 30 X 60

Stay tuned to the page for details and application in the coming days!

No word on pricing or timing. This development might take a year or two before it is open for business which makes it a bit dodgy to request a deposit at this stage.

The population near this proposed RV park is very small, literally a couple of hundred people.

They have raised a lot of concerns. A pretty disgruntled lot if I might be so bold. Here are a few of the comments from the 50 or so people that are participating in the appeal:

“The appellants say that the CBRM planners and the CBRM council did not adequately evaluate the zoning amendment proposal with respect to several provisions of the MPS, including visual compatibility, dust or fumes, traffic and noise. The appellants also say the project runs counter to agricultural land protection.”

“If you have fire pits near a barn full of hay, it wouldn’t take too long to burn a barn down.”

“I enjoy the privacy I have now, and I don’t think I’d enjoy having people watching me all day — I enjoy looking at the trees but I don’t know how many trees will be left after this.”

“I am concerned about pollution coming to our vegetables. I am not an expert, but during the time of the public hearing I submitted some research that I had done that indicated both air pollution, especially particulate matter in the air, can affect the growth of vegetables, which is of great concern to me because our main income generators in the garden are leafy greens such as salad mix, lettuce, Asian greens, spinach and kale.”

“It will change the landscape of our community.”

Obviously I love the RV lifestyle and especially the RV parks that cater to Class A motorhomes — not that we have any of those in Canada but there are more than enough in the United States.

Evidently, this love of RVing is not shared by the community of Big Pond.

Roadhouse

Parked just a block away from my office is this Prevost XLII coach.

With so many bands coming into Kingston, I immediately assumed that this bus was a touring bus for musicians. And it was.

On the side of the coach was an engraved plate that read: Roadhouse Transportation Inc.

I found their website here. Not much content on that site at all really.

I did a bit more research and I found this overview of their company on Facebook:

Roadhouse Transportation was founded in 1976 by a seasoned touring musician who found it necessary for an alternate means of transportation during the first oil crisis of his generation. In the Seventies, the first overnight increase of nineteen cent gasoline to seventy five cent gasoline was just as shocking and hard to swallow as the increase that we are experiencing today. From this, Roadhouse was born.

Roadhouse proudly proclaims being the oldest company in this industry that remains constant and unchanged without the involvement of partners and the presence of investors. Our company has evolved with all of the different changes in creature comforts that are required on the road today. Roadhouse can undeniably claim their part and credit for all of the recent innovations that have occurred in the last 35 years in the entertainer coach industry.

Along with our fleet Prevost XL IIs, we also offer a selection of Prevost XLs that are available for tours with a smaller budget. All of our Prevost XLs have been remodelled and have many of the same features that a newer coach has, including showers, flat screen TV’s and satellite.

As fuel prices continue to rise, we are constantly looking for ways to help touring groups save money so they can continue to operate in a safe and comfortable manner. Please feel free to contact us for a quote or for any other questions regarding an upcoming tour or a coach sale.

I suspect that Roadhouse provides both bus and driver.

Used XLIIs are priced between $250,000 and $350,000 USD, considerably less than a new Prevost conversion. Based on some quick back of the envelope calculations, and assuming that Roadhouse buys used coaches, Roadhouse would need to charge about $30,000 – 50,000 USD per month to cover capital costs, maintenance, labour and related expenses like fuel which seems consistent with the daily rate of about $1,500 USD quoted by this supplier.

Must be a decent band if they can cover those rates.

Perhaps I should start a business in retirement, buy a used Prevost and drive some musicians around the country.

Everything’s Coming Up Daisies

Research and Markets, claiming to be the world’s largest market research store, has just released their report on the Recreational Vehicle market in North America. Their analysts forecast a pretty substantial rate of growth between 2018 and 2022 for the RV industry, a compound annual growth rate of just over 8 percent.

I did not have a chance to read the report because they want to charge me $2,500 for a single user electronic version. I did, however, get their overall message of continued growth.

The report covers the following companies:

  • Camping World Holdings
  • Forest River
  • Gulf Stream Coach
  • Northwood Manufacturing
  • REV Group
  • Thor Industries
  • Winnebago Industries

Several of them are private. Of the ones that are publicly traded, this is what their stock prices have been doing over the past five years.

Camping World is a leading outdoor and retailer and includes brands like Good Sam.

REV Group is recently listed and not without some controversy. REV Group builds American Coach, Monaco, Holiday Rambler and Fleetwood.

In June of this year, Johnson Fistel launched an investigation into potential violations of federal securities laws by REV Group to determine if the firm issued misleading business information to investors.

I’ve written about Thor before as they are a powerhouse company in the RV world. They cover a lot of brands including Airstream, Bison, CrossRoads, Cruiser, DRV, Dutchmen, Entegra, Heartland RV, Highland Ridge, Jayco, Keystone RV, K-Z, Redwood RV, Starcraft RV, Thor Motor Coach and Venture RV.

And the last publicly traded company highlighted in the report is Winnebago. I’ve written about them here when they recently acquired a boat company.

How do these companies stock prices line up against the S&P? For the most part, pretty closely:

Perhaps the RV industry will continue to grow at 8 percent CAGR from 2018-2022. As an investor, I hope that S&P 500 also continues its bull run for the next 5 years, particularly at the start of our retirement.

However, it has been a very long bull run. Including dividends, the S&P 500 has returned about 25% annually since March of 2009. Whenever this bull ends and the markets go down, sales of RVs may not continue to come up like daisies.