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Forced retirement


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#1 OFFLINE   Snowriver1

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:51 PM

As of Sept 30 I am dissolving Interior Rv Products Inc. All camper inventory has been sold. The assets of the company are currently being sold to satisfy the creditors and employees. The rising cost of materials, along with reduced sales made it impossible to continue to market Snowriver campers at current prices. The amount of time and labor that went into building one of our campers was more than any other camper built. Quality comes at a price. With volume we could exist on smaller margins. When the volume slowed, we lost profitability. We held on thru May, June, July and August, sales were just not there. Those dealers that did sell Snowriver campers during this period were being cautious and not wanting to replace these units untill spring. Unfortunately rising fuel prices, as well as poor consumer confidence in the economy has affected our entire industry. I kept the factory going at a loss until I realized it would take the sale of all assets to cover our liabilities. This is being done at the present time. This is not a bankruptcy as all creditors and employees will be paid. However the company will have no assets and current warranties can not be honored. All component manufacturers warranties are still in place. It has been difficult after 18 years to say goodbye to all my loyal employees. They did build the best camper on the market. I also have to apologize to current Snowriver owners, many of which have become personal friends.

Bob Mehrer,
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#2 OFFLINE   Hey there

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:58 PM

Bob,

I am truly sorry that you have to close your business. I closed one once when my dad died. It is a sad time. Sorry.

Kurt

#3 OFFLINE   tate

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 10:41 PM

Dear Bob
Words are not enough to express my staidness to hear of the closing of your company. Know that this has to be a very difficult time for you Heather along with all of your dedicated employees. The truck camping world has lost the best manufacture in the industry. Hope that you will save a camper for your self. Now that you have the time will look forward to sharing a beer or two around many camp fires. Your Snowriver owners are a big family and you will always be the Snowman. Thank you so much for all that you have done for me and look forward to a chance to pay back.
Be well
Paul Tetreault (tate)
Marysville, WA

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#4 OFFLINE   fdwill

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 05:19 AM

I,too, am sad to learn that we have lost another small business that produced a high-quality product. I wish the owner(s) and employees well. Another sad day in North America!

#5 OFFLINE   orbiker

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 05:32 AM

How will the other camper manufacturers be able to figure out what is the best idea with Snowriver gone? Bob; you were the best. I did not even own a Snowriver (wanted to), but you were the BEST.
I still wanted to get my Citation camper retro with a Command Seating set up.
Good Luck with your forced retirement. Come on down to Oregon. KEN

#6 OFFLINE   Jerry_In_Dewey_Arizona

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:10 AM

As of Sept 30 I am dissolving Interior Rv Products Inc. All camper inventory has been sold. The assets of the company are currently being sold to satisfy the creditors and employees. The rising cost of materials, along with reduced sales made it impossible to continue to market Snowriver campers at current prices. The amount of time and labor that went into building one of our campers was more than any other camper built. Quality comes at a price. With volume we could exist on smaller margins. When the volume slowed, we lost profitability. We held on thru May, June, July and August, sales were just not there. Those dealers that did sell Snowriver campers during this period were being cautious and not wanting to replace these units untill spring. Unfortunately rising fuel prices, as well as poor consumer confidence in the economy has affected our entire industry. I kept the factory going at a loss until I realized it would take the sale of all assets to cover our liabilities. This is being done at the present time. This is not a bankruptcy as all creditors and employees will be paid. However the company will have no assets and current warranties can not be honored. All component manufacturers warranties are still in place. It has been difficult after 18 years to say goodbye to all my loyal employees. They did build the best camper on the market. I also have to apologize to current Snowriver owners, many of which have become personal friends.

Bob Mehrer,
President.


Hi Bob;

The Gaylor family is saddened to hear you are closing your business. As others have said, you built the best camper in the industry. We would like to thank you and your wife for being such gracious hosts when we visited you at your home.

We hope you kept one of the units for yourself, and maybe we can all get together at Quartzite, like we did a few years back.

As always if you are ever in our area, you are welcome, we even have a 30amp plug available. We hope you will keep a spot or two open in your backyard for those of us who enjoy your fine country and your hospitality.

We hope you all the best for the future, and thanks for being a friend.

Jerry, Roberta, Robert and Bandit.

P.S. Robert our son who was injured in an auto accident awhile back, is about ready to move out of the rehab hospital into the duplex he purchased, and has been rehabbed to accommodate his handicap. we will be moving into the other side to be with him.
Family health problem, necessitated us to give up our TC and Truck and purchase a 2006 Pleasureway Plateau Class B, 22 foot motorhome, on a Dodge Sprinter with 2.7 diesel engine, fully self contained with Onan gen.

Formerly We had an 01 Ford F250 SuperCab, V10, and 2004 Lance 1010 Camper.

Jerry & Roberta, and Dog Bandit

We will always be TC'ers at heart. Our first TC was a 1964 Siesta Cabover Camper on a 1964 Ford 3/4 Ton Truck.

Retired Boeing, Renton Washington, July 1999

#7 OFFLINE   Ric

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:29 AM

Bob what can I say??
I am truly saddened, I know the passion you felt for your product and your customers.
My hope is that you will stay active in the TC community. I do wonder what you will do next.
I don't see you as being the type of person that can just up and stop.
Summit Lake Alaska Hwy.

#8 OFFLINE   Harleycb

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:31 AM

Bob -

Hate to see you go, but i do understand the economics behind it all......

Perhaps you can sell the slide mechanism to other manufacturers and still retire with more than you need.

You have been the fore runner in camper design and should be recognized for it - Hopefully this '07 I bought this year, with the proper maintance will take me for the next 20+ years, as when I was shopping, I didn't see anything else that I cared for.

If you ever come to the Cody, WY area - look me up and the beers on me!

Tom Faulkner

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#9 OFFLINE   McMike

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:53 AM

Bob,
Having owned a small mom and pop hardware store that was lost to the big boxes I understand where you are coming from and I really feel that the industry has lost a leader and advocate. Thank you for all of your support and focus on the customer and the quality of your products. Dianna and I wish you a happy and relaxing retirement and hope to still see you around on this site.

Our very best,
Mike and Dianna in Texas
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So please PLEASE don't throw sticks and stones!

#10 OFFLINE   sasha_j

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:47 AM

Wow

Best of luck to you in the future Bob. Thanks for building a great camper.
Sasha J

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#11 OFFLINE   xnorp

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:53 AM

When I was looking for a camper I had never heard of Snowriver campers. I got wind of them from this and another site and went looking. I emailed the company and who do I get a email back from the owner of the company. I asked many questions about the Snowriver before I ever went and looked at one. Bob at no time ever slammed a manufacture that I was considering. I looked at many campers and never found one that met my needs like the Snowriver did. I bought the camper and then had the honor of meeting Bob and Heather at a caravan at Chute Lake. I knew right then that I had made the right decision. Bob and Heather I consider friends. We who own campers owe Bob a big THANK YOU for all that he has done for the camper industry. He did may firsts that the rest of the camper manufactures have now adopted. Just two name a couple he was the first to put a slide in a camper, he was the first to put a full size rear awning on a camper there are may more but Bob was the first to bring these things forward. Bob will be missed in the industry. But moving forward in life is what we all have to do. I was forced into early retirement due to down sizing and at first I was angry then sad and then I decided that life is to short to not have dreams and move on into the future. I am sure that Bob will advance in his life with more ideas. Bob go out and enjoy life go hunting go fishing and go camping. Keep posting and help us with your knowledge of how campers are built. Bob and Heather will always be our friends. Thank You Bob and Snowriver campers. Enjoy this time in your life.
Your friends,
Vi and George
LadyC and Xnorp
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#12 OFFLINE   btggraphix

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 08:11 AM

Bob, best of luck to you, your family, and your employees. I'm saddened by the news....tremendously so. I'm really crossing my fingers for Doug and his family in Kalispell, and the other small family-owned manufacturers that are left. Stick around the forum and NATCOA please, so we can all continue to learn from your experience.
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#13 OFFLINE   karic

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:28 AM

Bob;

Today is a very sad day for the TC community. This must have been an extremely difficult decision for you. Even though Karen and I only met with you once, and have not had the good fortune of owning one of your campers, I know you will be missed.

Take care and best wishes,

Rick

#14 OFFLINE   Sockeye Salm

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 10:09 AM

Wow!!!!

What a crazy, happy and sad day. First I awoke to the news that our state Governor has been chosen to be the running mate with John McCain and then I see this announcement from Bob about the closing of Interior RV. I have an "07" 9' 6" Snowriver that I'm proud to say that I traveled 4,600 miles to Bobs house (and back) to buy and take possession of without ever seeing a Snowriver in my life. That is largely due to this forum. I'm sad for Bob and Heather but they will be fine. I'm more concerned for his great crew, Al, Terry, Lucky, and his Foreman whom I can never remember her name, and all the others, I wish you all the best.

Bob.....maybe now is the time for that trip to Alaska that you have never been able to do. ;)

All the best Buddy. I just retired in June of this year and it can be the best times of your life....... if you make it so. ;)
Sockeye Salm.....(John)

#15 OFFLINE   canyonwren

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 10:50 AM

Wow very sad to hear the news. Hate to see one of the best made TC's go this direction. Thoughts are with you Bob!

Dean
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I am retired from North Idaho College.

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#16 OFFLINE   tankeryanker

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 01:53 PM

Bob you have set the bar & standards high for others to follow. Your compasion for your product & your customers will be missed greatly. I'm glad I had the chance to meat you at the Redmond show this year & see first hand that compasion at work in selling a well made camper to my best friends son.

Good luck to you & your family in what ever road you should venture down now. Also wish the best for your highly crafted crew.

#17 OFFLINE   Snowy Bird

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 03:14 PM

Wow, this is sad news and kinda shocking.
When we bought our Snowbird, I did not even know of Bob.
We bought the Snowbird due to the quality of the unit and the extras that other campers did not have on them.
I called the factory a couple of years later and Bob answered the phone. I asked him if he was Bob the owner. He said yes. I darn near fell off my chair, cuz owners usually aren't around, especially to answer the phone.
We have been over to Bob & Heathers a few times as I'm sure most Snowbird owners have been, camped in their backyard and throughly enjoyed the time we spent with them.
I could tell Bob is a man of his word and someone who truly loved what he did and did it with the passion that many other manufactures lack.
The saying "behind every great man, there is a greater woman". My hats off to you also Heather, for supporting Bob through all of the years and putting up with all of the backyard campers.
I really don't know what else to say, but I'm glad that we have a Snowbird camper.
BTW, we always give a thank-you to Bob & Heather whenever it's hot here and we go and sleep in our air conditioned camper in our backyard.
Doug & I wish you the best in whatever the future holds for you both.
We''re still welcome to camp in your backyard, aren't we?
Warmest wishes to you & Heather and all of your employees.
Joanne & Doug
xoxo


#18 OFFLINE   Budster

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:26 PM

dang it, I hate to hear news like this. Bob, I wish the best of luck to you, your family, and your employees.
I don't know what I am ever going to do should I decide to go back to a TC. If you remember way back I was really serious about getting a Snowriver but didn't have the funds at that time so I stuck with my Lance. Then health issues made me get a RV where I didn't have to climb up into bed. I should have bought one of those European class C's that you made. Probably as easy to get around in as a TC, unlike my 30' condo on wheels.
Hang in there Bob, I will always be your friend. As mentioned earlier in this post maybe we will see you in Quartzsite next year!

ymmv,
Jerry

00 30IB Lazy Daze
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#19 OFFLINE   FedAgent

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

One of the few times in my life that I am just speechless. What sad news to hear from my good friend Bob. Knowing Bob, the loss of his family of employees must be really be hard for him. I bought my Snowriver camper, sight unseen, because of Bob. Like others here, I had never seen a Snowriver camper, but I had read many good things about them on other web sites. I called up the factory to get a flyer on Snowriver, and Bob answered the phone. I asked a million questions and Bob answered each one. I called back a few days later and asked Bob if the roof of the camper would hold a big guy from Texas, as I had read stories of other campers that were a little light on roof construction. A little while later, I got an e-mail with a photo from Bob with 9 or 10 of his employees on the roof of a unit in production. A week or two later, I called Bob and asked him at the end of our conversation, "why should I buy your camper", his answer was classic Bob, he said here is my office phone number, my cell phone number and my cel phone number, if you ever have a problem with a Snowriver, you just call me. I knew I had a man of his word, and the next day, I ordered a Snowriver from Jay at Fire Star RV.

The RV industry has lost something today. More than that, for all of you who never owned a Snowriver/Snowbird product and got to know Bob, you really have missed out on something very special. My hat is off to Bob and my heart is saddened to think of what he is going through.

My very best to you and Heather and to the employees of Interior RV.

Larry
Larry,<br />Corpus Christi, Tejas<br />2007 Lazy Daze Class C and a 2005 Jeep Wrangler toad<br />04 Dodge 3500, Cummins<br /><br /><strong class='bbc'>Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: 1. Jesus Christ. 2. The American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your Freedom. </strong><br /><br /><br /><span style='font-family: Arial'><span style='color: #FF0000'>"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit</span></span><br /><span style='color: #FF0000'>violence on those who would do us harm." - </span><span style='color: #000000'>George Orwell</span>

#20 OFFLINE   DEcamper

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:20 AM



Hi Bob,

You don't know me, ;) but I have been a lurker here for the past several years. We do not own a truck camper yet. My husband, who is in the Air Force and is deployeed to the desert at this time, will be coming home soon, and our plan was to start looking for a truck as we will finally be able to afford it. I have read everything I could (here and other websites) about Snowriver, and knew that I wanted your new Prestige edition. I am truly sad :cry_smile: that we will never get to meet you and Heather or own one of you campers. On the flip side, I am happy because we will have saved a small fortune in not having to buy you beer! ;)

I am going to keep my fingers crossed and pray the economy turns around so that you may reopen and start building Snowrivers again. Until then, take care.

Todd and Nina
Delaware




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