Hot Water Price Explanation

Factory installed vs. Dealer installed

Why is there such a large price difference between the factory installed hot water package ($450) and the dealer installed retro-fit package ($950)?

Three reasons: cost of parts, installation access, mass-production.

Parts: Although the parts used in each installation are the same (Suburban 6-gallon water heater, Shurflo water pump, Thetford or Phoenix exterior shower) Forest River buys their parts in large quantities which gives the factory a price advantage over a dealer who purchases a small number of parts from a regional distributor.

Installation access: The factory installs the water system (and most of the other systems) before the camper box is complete and before cabinetry and counter-tops are installed. For us, some time is required to move cabinetry or other panels to gain access to certain areas of the camper before extra parts can be installed. Also, the factory has jigs that aid in building body panels and other parts that will accommodate the water heater door, exterior shower, etc. On an already-built camper we need to cut those pieces separately which adds to the build-time.

Mass-production: The factory builds a lot of campers at one time, so mass-producing the body parts and water parts (like tubing/joints/fitting assemblies) necessary to accommodate and install a hot-water system saves time and money.

So why offer a retro-fit hot water package if it costs so much?

Because even though the factory makes their option packages as flexible as possible there are still limits to what they can build economically. For some models, offering a hot-water package is not possible nor cost-effective for the factory; since our hot-water package is customizable to each individual camper we can add hot water to almost any Flagstaff camper. Also, some campers may have been built without hot water for their first owner but the camper's second owner would like hot water. In these cases being able to add a hot water system after the fact is highly beneficial even if the cost is higher than what the factory can do with new campers.

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