Chalet appears to be out of business

sleach

A short run will get you within walking distance.
May 17, 2014
710
Boulder, Colorado
Our 2012 Chalet Arrowhead has been a very reliable unit, and ideal for our use. On a recent trip up the east side of Wyoming thence east into the Black Hills for several days at Pactola Lake and then down through western Nebraska we had serious problems getting the roof halves to slip past each other when closing up. The problem turned out to be that one of the plastic guides controlling spacing between the sections had broken and was partly missing. Getting things to close up involved some bodily contortions, colorful language, and a jack handle for leverage.

The Chalet website is still working, and has a "store" section listing the guides and other parts. When an order is placed an odd statement about invoicing is sent back. Three phone calls at different times of different days went unanswered, an email message received no reply in a week.

I contacted the Albany, OR Chamber of Commerce. The helpful person there said she had seen no activity at Chalet's facility for a long time.

I will make my own replacement guides. A local industrial plastics distributor gave me a sample piece of structural plastic material. I will cut out the pieces with a coping saw, then drill mounting holes with flat bottom countersinks. The originals were mounted with pop rivets, but I will use screws. On the originals there was/is an arm that was poorly supported. I will anchor that with double sided sticky tape.

To my mind it would be a courtesy if Chalet were to take down the website if no one is going to service it.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
To my mind it would be a courtesy if Chalet were to take down the website if no one is going to service it.
That's the way it should be, when a company announces it is going out of business and winds down.

But sometimes companies just lock the doors, and employees just no longer have a job. And those employees aren't inclined to go in on their free time to help properly shut down the website.
 

Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
864
Central Oregon
Chalet of old has in fact been out of business for awhile now. Rumor is/was that either a sale of the current business occurred, or the current owners reorganized and were reopening. Apparently that hasn’t happened yet, and my guess is that it won’t.

Good luck with your fab work.
 
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sleach

A short run will get you within walking distance.
May 17, 2014
710
Boulder, Colorado
and you can also 3D print parts if you need them
I thought of 3D printing, but am unsure if those systems have suitable resins for the job. I also just don't know much about 3D printing in general. Boulder, Colorado is a high-tech hub, lots of high precision machine shops, Ball Aerospace, IBM, and the like. I should be able to find an outfit that will tell me if it is a reasonable job.
 

Axel

Member
Aug 13, 2013
46
Slight hijack... Am I correct in assuming that the roof lift systems on A-Frames are all custom parts, and thus Chalet's potential demise is an immediate serious parts concern? Are the parts standardize across the line or multiple model years that a used or retrofit market might emerge? 3D printing can solve some problems, but I'm wondering about springs, etc.

I'm tempted by a used 2019 XL Chalet several hundred miles away, but if the roof parts are all from a dead manufacturer it's a lot less appealing vs an Aliner.

For context, I'm coming from (or really adding to) a used Rockwood popup, which I chose over Coleman/Fleetwood at the time because the parts were more widely available (Goshen is still around, etc.). In recent years part availability from Forest River has been helpful for some of my repairs, but it also seems like a decent third party market has emerged for Coleman parts.

If Chalet parts were to follow the same trajectory as the old Colemans I might take a chance, but the chances of that seems to depends on the number of Chalet's in the wild (not a lot?) and the degree of specialization in the various models. Are there parts of the roof system that are wear-prone and out of reach of the capabilities of the average RV repair shop?
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I wouldn't count on a 3rd party market for Chalet's. There were an awful lot of Coleman/Fleetwood campers made for many years. And now more than 10 years after their demise, some parts are getting harder to find, while some wearable parts (bed wedgies anyone?) have indeed found 3rd party fulfillment.
 
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TimAZ

Member
Oct 16, 2021
46
The four Chalet roof springs loose strength after a few years so in a sense they are “wear” parts. Many owners end up adding gas springs to their rigs to make up for the weakened (or removed) factory coil springs.

The biggest issue I see for repairs is the lack of big replacement parts like entire roof panels. But isn’t that true for most trailers these days? What manufacturer actually stocks large parts anymore for trailers made more than a couple of years ago?
 

Axel

Member
Aug 13, 2013
46
I wouldn't count on a 3rd party market for Chalet's. There were an awful lot of Coleman/Fleetwood campers made for many years.
Yup, that's my fear. It sounds like my concerns around the size of the potential market of the existing installed base is valid.

The four Chalet roof springs loose strength after a few years so in a sense they are “wear” parts. Many owners end up adding gas springs to their rigs to make up for the weakened (or removed) factory coil springs.

The gas strut fixes for the springs is an option, and it seems to be common with aliners as well, so perhaps that's not a worry. Anything else in the roof? The Chalet electric lift, for example, seems like an obvious item to avoid as it appears completely custom?

Any non-roof items? My assumption has been that the rest is fairly standard RV stuff (appliances, water heater, etc.) and that the axles are probably from a common manufacturer (Alko or the like).

The biggest issue I see for repairs is the lack of big replacement parts like entire roof panels. But isn’t that true for most trailers these days?

Are the panels complex to rebuilld? The concerns around Coleman/Fleetwood roofs led me to choose a popup with a roof that is basically wood, foam, and Filon sheeting. I'm not confident I could rebuild it myself (I might try), but I'm reasonably sure my local shop could do it.

What manufacturer actually stocks large parts anymore for trailers made more than a couple of years ago?

Stock for "large" assemblies is a reasonable question, but to give credit where its due, Forest River has had suitable replacement parts for me for the items that are not just off-the-shelf RV parts. For example, the roof corner cover plastics could probably be 3d printed, but FR had them in stock for my 2006 model at a reasonable price.

I like the XL1935 floor plan compared to the equivalent Aliner Expedition, but I'm leaning towards waiting for an Aliner.
 

TimAZ

Member
Oct 16, 2021
46
I like the XL1935 floor plan compared to the equivalent Aliner Expedition, but I'm leaning towards waiting for an Aliner.
IMO Chalet products are better engineered than the more popular Aliner offerings. Both brands seem to suffer from shoddy quality control, but that goes with the territory these days in the RV business.

I’m hoping the current owner of Chalet RV can get it together and stay in business. My guess is their biggest problem is finding qualified workers and techs. The RV business is heavily concentrated near Elkhart, IN, and Chalet is up in Oregon far away from suppliers and experienced labor.
 

Karey

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
102
Colorado
Slight hijack... Am I correct in assuming that the roof lift systems on A-Frames are all custom parts, and thus Chalet's potential demise is an immediate serious parts concern? Are the parts standardize across the line or multiple model years that a used or retrofit market might emerge? 3D printing can solve some problems, but I'm wondering about springs, etc.

I'm tempted by a used 2019 XL Chalet several hundred miles away, but if the roof parts are all from a dead manufacturer it's a lot less appealing vs an Aliner.

For context, I'm coming from (or really adding to) a used Rockwood popup, which I chose over Coleman/Fleetwood at the time because the parts were more widely available (Goshen is still around, etc.). In recent years part availability from Forest River has been helpful for some of my repairs, but it also seems like a decent third party market has emerged for Coleman parts.

If Chalet parts were to follow the same trajectory as the old Colemans I might take a chance, but the chances of that seems to depends on the number of Chalet's in the wild (not a lot?) and the degree of specialization in the various models. Are there parts of the roof system that are wear-prone and out of reach of the capabilities of the average RV repair shop?
We have that same Chalet, year and all. We LOVE it!
 

TamiM

New Member
Jun 14, 2021
5
Mahmoud (current owner of Chalet) joined our Chalet Rally in June, 2022, and said he is trying to to get caught up from covid, moving locations- to somewhere smaller, part supply issues and labor supply issues. His plan with the website was that many people in the beginning of covid had placed orders AND paid. He was planning to work through those orders first. He had switched the website to that invoice situation which would operate as a 'backorder'/waiting list sort of thing. You can get on the waitlist for that part and when they are able to supply it, they will contact you to make sure you are still interested and then arrange payment. I have no idea how this is working in real life or if this is working in real. Just thought I would add that he did still plan to keep the business open and was trying to figure out how to catch up and also how to service/manufacture units in a much smaller space.

We have a 2013 Chalet Arrowhead and are really hoping he is able to make things work.
 

Startle

Member
Sep 2, 2022
30
Mahmoud (current owner of Chalet) joined our Chalet Rally in June, 2022, and said he is trying to to get caught up from covid, moving locations- to somewhere smaller, part supply issues and labor supply issues. His plan with the website was that many people in the beginning of covid had placed orders AND paid. He was planning to work through those orders first. He had switched the website to that invoice situation which would operate as a 'backorder'/waiting list sort of thing. You can get on the waitlist for that part and when they are able to supply it, they will contact you to make sure you are still interested and then arrange payment. I have no idea how this is working in real life or if this is working in real. Just thought I would add that he did still plan to keep the business open and was trying to figure out how to catch up and also how to service/manufacture units in a much smaller space.

We have a 2013 Chalet Arrowhead and are really hoping he is able to make things work.
 




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