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The re-birth of Barth
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Picture of Doug Smiley
posted
Several pages circa 1996 of Barth:

http://www.rv-news.com/sept1996/cvrstry.htm


_________________________

The 82 MCC {by Barth}
is not an rv--
it is a Motor Coach!!

 
Posts: 2057 | Location: Nova Scotia | Member Since: 12-08-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/11
Picture of billyt53
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Very interesting read, thanks for linking it. What exactly caused the demise of the company? Did they run out of money, will, sales dropped? When I mention our Barth in my seminars, I call it the "Studebaker" of the RV industry.


Billy & Helen Thibodeaux
Owners of Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc. Scott, LA 70583 I-10 Exit 97
The Farm is near Duson, LA I-10 Exit 92 then N 1 mile on right
Three Full 50 Amp RV Hookups !
www.billyt.com
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Posts: 327 | Location: 1mile north of I-10 Exit 92, Duson, LA USA in The Heart of CAJUN COUNRTY ! ! ! | Member Since: 05-14-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
FKA: noble97monarch
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
Picture of Moonbeam-Express
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There are two things that strike me as hidden "trouble" when I read the article. 1) It's a partnership with one absentee owner, 2) Mr. Prinz decided to change the historic market channel that Barth had built a niche in.

Since this article appears written in early 1996, I'd guess that despite the upbeat talk, trouble was just below the surface.

Part of the high value mystique of buying a Barth in the early days may have been the "build to order" directness of a customer talking with the manufacturer directly. A Barth employee dealing in the sales role would have nothing but praise for the product and would be well trained in the "value proposition" of the construction materials and processes.

Now look at the market channel when a stock order Barth is sitting on a lot next to modern looking, dolled up, gadget laden fiberglass RV with a slide or two - - - at half the price!! How long do you think the salesman spent trying to convince a skeptical buyer that the Barth was a sound purchase? If I were the salesman I would walk every prospect to the Barth first, then go sell them a Fleetwood with slides at a much higher profit margin and closing ratio, unless they immediately fell in love with said Barth. On paper, to the uninitiated, the Barth is an overpriced dinosaur.

Even today....how many of us are willing to shell out, say, $500,000 for a new Barth if it existed? That's a whole lot different than shelling out $30,000 for a rig "that once retailed for $200,000" I'd argue.

The final bit I see happening with the shift to distribution I'll label False Sense of Market. Barth may have had a nail in the coffin due to the relatively GOOD RV market. What? you say, Good Market, how's that? I'll bet dealers who were suddenly allowed to inventory this once prestigious brand ordered up a bunch. Mr Prinz would have been delighted and convinced of his incredible business prowess in changing these fundamentals. But for one big problem....they sat there! Didn't sell!

So 1996 is a heck of a year....1997.....crickets!!!!

Absentee partner calls the note.....and that follows the "rest of the story" line pretty well.

Hey, I'm just saying Click

BTW - this is exactly why I run my company direct to customer (the military) on large Gov't orders. Despite the constant whining of my distribution network.




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/08
Picture of Kris & Tina Jones
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Sad to see them go but I am sure this is, for the most part, true (and logical). Glad I was however to buy such a well built unit so cheap.
 
Posts: 512 | Location: Detroit, Michigan | Member Since: 02-13-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Mogan David
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quote:
So 1996 is a heck of a year....1997.....crickets!!!!

What do you mean by that? Is a 1997 Barth no good? Are they inferior to the earlier, traditional riveted aluminum Bodies? I would infer "yes" if construction became mundane and mediocre like so many other brands. Perhaps I would be much better off with a 90's Foretravel Grand Villa or 90's Safari, rather than a '97 Barth, right?
 
Posts: 1891 | Location: Jackson, Michigan, USA | Member Since: 04-18-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
FKA: noble97monarch
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
Picture of Moonbeam-Express
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quote:
What do you mean by that? Is a 1997 Barth no good? Are they inferior to the earlier, traditional riveted aluminum Bodies?

What I was saying is that 1996 was a good year for Barth sales, 1997 things got very slow (crickets). There was no reference to the quality in 97, just the lack of buyers and how it affected the ownership of the company.

I owned a 97 Barth and will say unequivocally that it is built with the same exact quality as an earlier Barth and in some cases the quality is better simply due to the newer power-plants and components. Essentially, the only real difference is the nose is a fiberglass mold rather than aluminum. The rest of the body is aluminum like every other Barth. I actually answered this same question for you in a previous post.

Foretravels, Vogues, Beavers, Safaris, Newells, Wanderlodges and Prevosts are also great choices. Are you in the market for a Barth or other RV Mogan?




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of DougZ
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quote:
Originally posted by billyt53:
Very interesting read, thanks for linking it. What exactly caused the demise of the company? Did they run out of money, will, sales dropped? When I mention our Barth in my seminars, I call it the "Studebaker" of the RV industry.


Actually there are very few similiarities between Studebaker and Barth. Studebaker was a conglomerate of several companies. Through most of it's life Barth was a single market company. Studebaker was profitable except for it's automotive division. That's why they quit making cars. They DID NOT go broke. Much of the Studebaker money is still around in industry today. If you want a surprise, look up all the companies that were part of the Studebaker family.



1972 AirStream Overlander
W4JDZ
To Air is human.
 
Posts: 576 | Location: Venice, Florida (short for paradise) | Member Since: 03-27-2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
FKA: noble97monarch
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
Picture of Moonbeam-Express
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quote:
If you want a surprise, look up all the companies that were part of the Studebaker family.

I'll guess MiG (Mikoyan & Gurevich) ROTFLMAOHere's my evidence:



cheers




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of DougZ
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That's almost scarey isn't it? Roll Eyes


1972 AirStream Overlander
W4JDZ
To Air is human.
 
Posts: 576 | Location: Venice, Florida (short for paradise) | Member Since: 03-27-2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Mogan David
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Thank, Corey. not accustomed to the term "crickets". did not recall you responding to me before about construction of very late Barths, although I do recall seeing a listing for one where the seller described the SIDES as fiberglass. have been enrolled on this site for several years, but rarely participate because I am not yet an owner. have looked at a few Barths in person and recently broadened my search to include Grand Villa, high-end (not Trek) Safari and Country Coach. I was bummed that I could not get to Shelby, NC fast enough to be the buyer of "1993 Barth Regency 32 Ft. 3116 cat 250 hp. 9kw diesel generator" that was in Charlotte Craigs. It sold quickly. As soon as the seller in Marshall, MI responds, I want to go see that 1997 M-34 with tag. There is a revived thread about it in SIGHTINGS.
 
Posts: 1891 | Location: Jackson, Michigan, USA | Member Since: 04-18-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
FKA: noble97monarch
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
Picture of Moonbeam-Express
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quote:
I do recall seeing a listing for one where the seller described the SIDES as fiberglass. have been enrolled on this site for several years, but rarely participate because I am not yet an owner. have looked at a few Barths in person and recently broadened my search to include Grand Villa, high-end (not Trek) Safari and Country Coach.

Mogan,

I think it safe to say there was never a production Barth with fiberglass sides. People get very confused and sometimes the ads are wrought with mis-information (as I'm sure you'll verify as you shop). I went through the same process as you are in when I zoomed in on wanting a Barth. As far as the Grand Villa and the Country Coach go, I can't speak to their overall quality, but here is a well respected name after it had an unfortunate issue on I-95 http://flaglerlive.com/16920/i95-rv-crash
No one has ever posted a Barth that has gone over, but one reason I'm now in a Bluebird Wanderlodge is that it is a steel cage with a rollover rating (the only RV in the world with that rating from what I'm told). I saw a picture of one that rolled and the only thing broken was the passenger windshield which was kicked out to escape as it ended up on the door side.

Although safety is an important factor, structural integrity speaks to safety AND quality AND reliability AND longevity AND return value. The sad story being written each day in the RV industry, is that quality is more often than not pushed aside by glitz, glitter, and the option of the day. Not so with a Barth, all the money went towards quality construction.

We were recently at the Tampa Super RV Show where there were dozens of trailers in the 20' range for 1/6th the price of an Airstream. Unless preserved in a nitrogen filled bubble, none of these will be around in 20 years, but almost all the Airstreams are still out there since time began.

Remember that most all the components in any RV will eventually need replacement or repair, but the integrity of the chassis and body will determine if it is worthwhile to continue "investing" in it.




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kris & Tina Jones
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I recall seeing a 1998 with fiberglass sides somewhere down the line. I will see if I can find it in the archives.

http://barthmobile.com/eve/for...661078703#2661078703

Keep in mind, I find my Barth (1996) to be very high quality and I got to walk thru a 1997 Monarch owned by Candice and Morris Ronnebaum at a Mi. GTG a few years back and was impressed with the quality however... I have noticed a reduction in rivets from 96 onward. I still feel quality was paramount in Barth's success and they were trying to split the difference. I have my own opinions about overkill (I wish my 454 was 600hp), but fact is if you get in an accident with a Barth or any other coach for that matter, 100 rivets per inch will not keep it from denting, scratching, etc.

Here is a link to Dusty Jeeper's rennovations to his Texas Barth which has the same body as mine. If you read thru all the way, he explains how just because there are no rivets on the outside, it does not mean there are not cross members under the aluminum (glued in all cases). He installed a hot water heater and it explains this.

Here

I would not hesitate to install granite on my floors with no fear of cracking (For the record, my brothers 39 ft Sports Coach has cracking marble in a few linear paths and when you drive down the road, the noises are sometimes uuuu disconcerting).

The pictures of that 98 no longer come up but I will have to agree with Danny that this is not at all like the Barth coaches we have all grown to love and respect. In closing, I do not know when the Barth quality fell but I believe I can safely say that it was after the Ronnebaum's (Gunner's) 1997 Monarch.
 
Posts: 512 | Location: Detroit, Michigan | Member Since: 02-13-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 4/08
Picture of Kris & Tina Jones
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Hold it, here it is:

Here

Ya know, it is possible that Barth was maintaining quality with some units (ie the Monarchs and such) and trying to compete with the market with the Regal line like this unit in the link. I would love to have a walk thru to make my own determination as I am only basing this information on the fact that this latter unit has fiberglass skin as opposed to aluminum. Hope I am not aggrivating anyone, just trying to understand the coaches a little better.

I wonder if Tom Loughney has aluminum on his Monarch? I will ask him.
 
Posts: 512 | Location: Detroit, Michigan | Member Since: 02-13-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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I remember looking at a late Barth DP in a lot quite a while back. The sleazeball showdog salesmen were more interested in their cigarettes than sharing any information with us, not even the year, so we just looked it over ourselves. I remember the rivet rows were much farther apart than I had ever seen before, and the interior work was completely cheapo. The inside was about on the quality level of a Bounder.


.

84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
FKA: noble97monarch
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 3/12
Picture of Moonbeam-Express
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quote:
I do not know when the Barth quality fell but I believe I can safely say that it was after the Ronnebaum's (Gunner's) 1997 Monarch.

I don't believe the reference to the cracked fiberglass means much, it easily could be referring to the bumper, which is often fiberglass on late model Barths. The unit that is listed as all fibrglass may well be a prototype or some experiment, but there could only be a few. If the quality did fall after Gunner's (or my old 97) than it wouldn't have been for many units since 98 was it, right? My personal belief is they kept the material quality to the end, but labor quality could have fallen as the workforce realized the end was near.




Formerly: 1997 Barth Monarch
Now: 2000 BlueBird Wanderlodge 43' LXi Millennium Edition DD Series 60 500HP 3 stage Jake, Overbuilt bike lift with R1200GS BMW, followed by 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
 
Posts: 2307 | Location: Laurel Park, NC | Member Since: 03-16-2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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