We love RV’s at Wiley Metal and we love making parts for them. From tiny little trailers to giant Class A “We’re The Millers” style motorhomes, we’re fans of them all and we can make parts for them all. In fact there are probably only two RV’s we don’t care for. Curious which those are? Sorry but you’ll need read more about our RV love first.
RV’s, Motorhomes and Trailers
Let’s start with a few definitions so we’re all on the same page. To start with, RV, short for Recreational Vehicle, is a generic term for anything you might use as a mobile home-away-from home. It’s basically a sleep space that might be gussied-up with a kitchen, shower, study or even, as we saw in an Airstream brochure recently, a closet.
RV’s divide into trailers and motorhomes. Trailers are anything that’s towed, (including fifth-wheels and popups,) while a motorhome has an engine and is self-powered. Motorhomes fall into three types: A, B and C.
Type A’s are the big luxury vehicles that take camping to an entirely new level, (and as the Millers discovered, are great for trips to Mexico.) Type B’s are full-size vans converted into living space. They often look somewhat utilitarian but are immensely practical. Type C’s fall between the A’s and B’s for interior space. The best known of these is probably the “Winnebago” from the Blues Brothers movie. (We’re using quotation marks because we have it on good authority that was actually a Fleetwood Southwind.)
RV’s sell in big numbers, typically 400 – 500,000 per year. Although sales dipped in 2018 and ’19 it’s thought they could be on the rise again. This is down to a desire for more road trips around this great country, and possibly also the rise of the “digital nomad.” (Someone who can work from anywhere.)
What Matters in an RV?
Leaving aside the toys and gadgets, there’s one thing every RV buyer wants: durability. People put a lot of money into these things and they expect them to last. They also don’t want leaks, which can be an all-too-common problem.
RV manufacturers need the same. When you’re putting your brand name on a vehicle that’s going to be seen everywhere from Napa Valley to Acadia National Park you don’t want the owner or renter speaking badly of it. Reputation matters in the RV business, and maintaining that depends on using quality parts in each motorhome and trailer constructed.
The Wiley Approach to RV Parts
We’ve been providing thousands of high-quality, reliable parts to the RV industry for many years. (It helps that Indiana, and yes, Ohio, are pretty much the center of the RV industry. And don’t forget that Indiana is home to the RV Hall of Fame!)
Our philosophy is that a finished product is only as strong as its weakest link. It is with that thought we do everything possible to assure our customers that a Wiley Metal part will never be that weak link.
We manufacture structural parts like impact beams and cross members. We also make parts that make life on the road easier. These include access panels, grills, and outside TV compartments. From spare tire carriers to drip caps and door bottoms, we have manufactured just about everything. You can view our entire list of RV parts and accessories in the Motorhomes area of our website.
Thousands of RV SKU’s
Many of our motorhome and RV parts and accessories were created at the request of companies who build and repair these vehicles. Through the years, as we’ve received more and more requests, the number of SKU’s we have available has grown into the thousands. This allows us to fill the needs of many of our customers with parts “right off the shelf”, so to speak. However, necessity is the mother of invention, and today we continue to get requests for new products, parts, and accessories. If you have an idea to make life on the road more reliable, more attractive, or more enjoyable and you need a fabrication partner to make it happen, we invite you to contact us.
Wiley: Your Metal Fabrication Partner
RV manufacturers have expertise in making products that enhance the motorhome and trailer experience. We have experience in taking those concepts and making them reality. Our engineers love creating solutions to challenges. They also enjoy using their wide ranging experience in the RV and motorhome industry and transferring that knowledge to new products. Let’s talk about your concepts and how we can partner to make them a reality.
The RV’s No One Could Love?
We already mentioned one of these: the “Winnebago” in the Blues Brothers. Used as band transport for The Good Ol’ Boys, this pursues our eponymous heroes along miles of interstate before landing in a lake. There’s nothing really wrong with this motorhome, other it it being on the wrong side of right and wrong.
The other RV no one could love appears in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s the “tenement on wheels” driven by cousin Eddie that no one wants to see parked outside their house. Now if we’d made the parts for that it would be in far better shape!