RV oven production now is at only 40% of the current demand because of the difficulty in obtaining enough valves and thermostats for the ovens, according to Carl Pfalzgraf, executive vice president of Atwood Mobile Products, one of the RV industry’s three oven suppliers.
Atwood and the other two oven suppliers. Magic Chef and Suburban, now need around 1,200 valves a day, but they are getting only about 500 a day, Pfalzgraf told the South Bend Tribune in Indiana.
From March through June, oven makers will need 1,500 valves a day, Pfalzgraf added.
The three oven suppliers have fallen behind in their deliveries to RV builders because the only company that supplies the essential valves to the oven makers, Harper-Wyman of Chattanooga, Tenn., is having difficulty producing enough units that pass quality-control standards.
Executives from Dayton, Tenn.-based oven supplier Suburban Manufacturing Co. visited the Harper-Wyman plant last week and concluded that Harper-Wyman will not achieve an adequate output rate until the end of this month at the earliest, according to Art Klee, Suburban’s director of marketing.
Klee estimates the oven suppliers currently are two weeks behind in their deliveries to RV builders.
To keep their factories operating, the RV manufacturers that have not already depleted their RV oven inventories are installing three-burner cook tops with a standard or more expensive convection microwave oven underneath, as a substitute for standard RV ovens.
“We’re building no units with ovens — there aren’t any to be had,” Jayco Inc. Marketing Director Sid Johnson told The Tribune. “It is a huge problem for the industry. It is a huge inconvenience for our dealers and our customers.”