RV Confidential #8: Born Free Disappears...

By : JD Gallant August 08, 2017 6 Comments

Here's one we can't blame on Thor or Forest River. According to RV Business, back in May the Born Free plant was supposed to be closed for only a week.

However, after a week the management not only did not reopen the plant, but it turned off the phones and shut down the website. Although the mystery is why Born Free was here one day and gone the next, the big question is whether the investment company that bought it two years ago from the Dodgen family will reopen the plant, sell the company as a whole, or go the way of so many others and auction off the assets.

It's a story that sadly we've heard too many times: The founder gets old, the kids or grandkids sell it to an investment group or try to run it themselves, and the company goes down the tube. It appears that the time of families getting together to build RVs in a barn is gone. The 21st century is all about Amazon, Costco, Google, Thor, and Forest River.

Born Free has been acclaimed for holding its structural integrity during rollover accidents - as shown in photo below:

 

If the Dodgens don't save the day and reopen the plant, and we should assume they won't, it'll mean that we'll have only two high-quality motor homes in the class C arena that are family owned. Although Lazy Daze and Coach House are still going strong, with the big 3 vying for position in the gross-sales game, and with all the crazy supply and other problems facing small manufacturers, why do I expect to hear more news about old timers like Born Free fading away in the not-too-far future.

The end loser, of course, is the RV consumer - left with less choices of quality- built RVs.

 

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Some photos of Born Free interiors:

 

 

 



JD Gallant


6 Responses

Beth & Randy Baughman
Beth & Randy Baughman

June 17, 2019

Hi – we have had our bornfree 11 years now (2003)
At times we think about about getting a newer coach, but after shinning it up we fall back in love with it all over again.
We are now on a 4 month cross country trip in it. We are hitting all our bucket list spots now that we are fully retired.
We are interested in joining the Bornfree club and possibly meeting up with the group next time around.
I understand we missed last one in 2019, as we were in Seattle then.
Please add us to your ur email list & keep us posted.

Thank-you kindly,
Beth & Randy Baughman

1224 E Jackson Street
Pensacola Florida 32501

don Mullikin
don Mullikin

March 01, 2019

dont understand why they closed they had the best rv out there the invested company that bought them should do the right thing and open it back up and take care of the employees that word
that worked there start out with a less exp. model i tell ya the demand is there still for there product

Keith Westberg
Keith Westberg

May 24, 2019

What about Nexus?

Jane Parks-McKay
Jane Parks-McKay

March 01, 2019

Connie: used to have a Born Free owners club and I would always access it through the website, I’m sure they are around, they were pretty close and had listings of Born Frees for sale. Nice group, the question is who can provide parts and repair work for the Born Frees now?

Dennis Ohnstad
Dennis Ohnstad

March 01, 2019

May 2018…any new news about Born Free?
I still hope a group of investors/operators will gather to reopen before the skilled workforce dissipates forever.

Connie
Connie

February 22, 2018

Wish Born Free RV was still going. Looking for a good used on that can trade our current one in on.

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