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Comments for Letters to the editor: Poor quality RVs

  • Yes we did the same thing. We downsized to a Winnebago 29 foot, and are finding more and nuisance problems..we put our Alpenlite 2008 on market and still have it. We may sell the 2017 Winnebago and go back to the quality 5th wheel..
    When you’re 70 it’s hard to make a change for less quality. I don’t mind paying for it, just offer it first.

  • We have an orphan 2010 Carriage Cameo that is in great condition even after all the extended and full time travel we’ve done. We got so frustrated with finding decent campsites the last couple years due to the explosion of RVing that we bought a house again and will keep the 5th wheel in storage until we get the urge to travel again. We plan to keep our comfortable, well built rig until it falls apart rather than purchase a new piece of junk.

  • Our issue with owning a well built, but older Bounder is that many RV parks have a strict policy to not allow rigs older than 10yrs to stay at the park. We offer to send pictures as our RV is in good condition but have been given a firm No.

    • I have a 2005 Itasca Cambria that I keep in perfect condition — since that’s the way I received it. I’ve never had any quality problems with its manufacture (I’d like to make a few design changes, but that’s just style). I’m always tempted to get a newer MH but, after reading all the horror stories re sloppy manufacture, have decided to keep mine. I don’t much care for the kind of parks who would turn away a well-kept older RV anyway.

  • Not that I want to buy foreign but maybe if RV’s started coming from Japan, maybe that would raise the
    bar as it did for autos.

  • I am horrified and disgusted by the quality of my brand new nearly $100,000 RV and even more furious at the RV Dealer’s attempts to fix. Each ‘repair’ takes about two months. The refrig/freezer went out most recently, at the beginning of a two week trip w 4 grandkids at the end of June. $400 worth of food gone; two weeks living out of a cooler AND THEN 2.5 months to replace — no more RVing during the remainder of the summer! Excuses such as ‘it took 3 weeks to get the part number..” Do they think we are fools? RV going up for sale. We are going back to boating where we can always find a beautiful place to drop the anchor & quality of and speed of repair great.

  • Happy to know I am not alone. Decided prior to retirement that we wanted to camp in luxury 1 week per month. Bought a new Georgetown which was inexpensive but took up semi-permanent residence in the repair shop plus was falling apart internally in its 1st year. Sold at a large loss.
    Decided possibly to become a FullTimer traveling the country so upgraded to an Entegra which was gorgeous. Loved the warranty which took care of the “Bugs” in manufacturing but after making a few extended trips – discovered while we could easily Full Time as far as camping – fighting for campground space really sucked. What is seldom mentioned is without months prior reservations, the most desirable campgrounds are booked especially weekends & summer months.
    Ending the Full Timer dream, sold the Entegra & purchased a 32′ Jayco bumper pull with 2 slides. We now have returned to our camping roots staying in mainly National or State Parks mostly closer to home in Louisiana averaging 1 week a month but seldom between June 1st & August 15th which is school vacation & very little available.
    What we have noticed is the new campgrounds are all “resort” types featuring “water”. Pools, swim up bars, restaurants & numerous amenities all built to attract a younger crowd with kids. Over-flow crowded, packed cramped zero space together like sardines these are merely mobile hotel rooms on wheels & “Camping” is not part of the equation let alone appreciation of nature.
    If you see us now it is in Louisiana at a forrest type area. We are the mid-60’s couple with a Toyota Tundra 4×4 pulling a 32′ Jayco & riding bicycles, barbecuing plus have a bonfire going every evening sitting out drinking a few cold beers.

  • I had a 2009 Thor Four Winds Sprinter. Two slide motors failed under warranty. A year and a half after purchase the third motor failed. Dealer pulled slide and found that a seat belt bolt came off and landed in the slide track. Thor agreed to pay for half of the $1,400 repair. They should have been fined by the government for a safety violation. This was only one of the many things wrong with this RV.

    Two years ago thought I would try a different company. Bought a 2016 Winnebago View. Driving the RV home there was a banging noise coming from the slide. This was one of 30 items wrong. Dealer said it was normal. Drove it for 8,000 because I could not find a dealer that would work on it. Took it to the factory. It was fine for 2,000 miles and started again. Just had it at General RV this summer. It seems to be OK now but who knows what the future will bring. I’m surprised you said 20 to 40 percent of RVs are quality controlled. The RV industry has no quality controlled

  • I feel the same way about the industry as a whole as the author of this letter does.We too sold our Hitchhiker fifth wheel,and unfortunately bought a new rig from a con artist dealer who was only interested in a fast buck. This seems to be a huge problem in America anymore as more and more “suckers” are hooked on this new,cheap built junk unwittingly. I pity many as they are in for a rough road unless they can fix many of the problems that will pop up.It is too bad the RV industry has stooped this low,but I suppose it’s a sign of the times.Also to add…the good RV parks are scarce anymore and many of the nations highways are just plain wore out,so people…if you must…buy a unit with good suspension and the best tires you can afford…and watch out for the idiots that permeate the roads anymore.

  • Thought everyone would get a kick out of what I saw on the General RV Center Site. It said “Do You Fix Things? We Need RV Technicians and No Experience is Needed!” No experience? No wonder it has taken me nearly a year to get my rear view camera fixed there! Heaven help us all!

  • The RV service industry is a major disappointment. They’re usually booked solid and hire many inexperienced workers who work for minimum wages. So, while we wait for an incompetent and inexperienced repair person to fix a problem with our rig, and getting paid $10/hr. to do it, the business is collecting their $125/hr. service fee from the RV owner and the job is not getting done in a professional manner. And, how many of us have left the service shop with more RV issues than when we took it in? Very frustrating.

  • Two years ago, I was at ProCustomInc in Elkhart, IN getting the crappy “eye candy” furniture replaced with COMFORTABLE pieces. I spoke with three couples who were there to have their 10+ year old diesel pushers modernized. ALL THREE couples said they had shopped extensively for new coaches but, were disappointed by what was being produced. They had all been wiling to spend several hundred thousand dollars to buy new. They simply did NOT like what they were seeing. These folks were all in their late 60’s ~ mid 70’s; two couples were full-timers. They all realized that, the service life of their current DPs had barely been used and so, they all decided to “refresh” the interiors at ProCustomInc (who, by the way, does GREAT work). I guess as long as uneducated consumers are willing to pay good money for poorly designed and built RVs, the RV manufacturers will be more than happy to build them. I wonder which state will be the first to enact “Lemon Laws” that cover RVs?

  • I have read and well understand the above comments and the disappointment they express. My experience, however, has been a bit different. My wife and I are retired and have a 2015 42 ft. fifth wheel that is on the higher end of the luxury scale. We have logged more than 10,000 miles in the past two years and have very few issues regarding quality. The only problems have been with components provided outside vendors, in this case LIppert Components (axle seals and electric slide motors). I made these repairs myself even though there was some warranty coverage because I am able and because, like you, I don’t much trust the dealership “technicians”. We have had no serious issues getting reservations in mostly decent campgrounds. We plan well in advance and we don’t travel much in the summer months. We thought carefully about full-timing, but even 2 or 3 years ago the trend was obvious: too many RVs and too few campgrounds.
    For what it’s worth…I believe that success in the RV world means we need to educate ourselves, have realistic expectations, and plan, plan plan.

  • After reading all the comments, editorials, and hearing stories from others, I ‘d like to add my 2 cents about what I have discovered in my fulltime travels for the past 3.5 years with my travel trailer. Yes, so many units are shoddily built, and I knew that going in. I fixed many things myself to avoid the hassle of warranty and a dealer. That said, I have had a couple of things (refrigerator, elect. stabilizer jacks) go bad, and because of the cost, have tried to get them fixed under warranty. Here is what I have encountered.
    After the purchase of my most recent unit, I hit the road and thus was far from the dealer where I purchased. Along the way, I contacted numerous dealers about getting these items fixed. Nearly all told me that if I didn’t buy from them, they would not do warranty work. (I later learned that the mfgs. pay them so little for repairs it’s not worth their time) Some dealers agreed to work on it, but only if I left it with them “and they would get to it as soon as possible”. I did find one dealer who offered mobile service, and swore they could do the repair in the month I was in the area, then completely failed to keep that promise. I found two independent mobile services who seemed interested in working on it; both dropped the ball. One did nothing over the course of 3 months, the other, nothing over the course of 4 months. I later learned that part of their problem is that the mfg. won’t ship items to them without payment up front. For a new fridge and stabilizers, a mobile tech would need to come up with several thousand dollars. Finally, after nine months, I found a car dealer that is also an RV dealer. Since I have their brand of truck, they agreed to do the work. My fingers are crossed. I should also add that I need some body parts to replace those damaged by a blowout; even getting that done has been a very trying experience. It’s as if no one wants my money. And then there is the lack of suitable parks, as mentioned in other articles
    I hate to say it, but the RV industry is truly a sad industry. I know of no other recreation industry that suffers from so many problems. And there seems to be no progress to improve it. It’s pushed me to the point of putting my RV in storage and finding a new hobby.

  • Don’t buy new unless you choose a quality manufacturer. Lazy Daze class C, Air Stream bumper pull are 2 of them.

    Better to buy a real high end pre-owned with full maintenance records.

  • I was so disgusted by the poor materials and workmanship of RVs at a show in DFW that I decided to build my own Class B. Doing it on a high top Promasster platform.

    Making slow progress but completely happy with each step,.

  • We’re newbies to the rv experience and have been increasingly disenchanted with the lack of quality in workmanship. Not to mention the constant battles between the dealer and the manufacturer. We purchased a new 2017 Jayco Alante’ in April. To date, the coach is having front end problems that for some reason can’t be identified or repaired. The tires have been balanced, replaced, and indexed, the front end was aligned and inspected for other problems. The shimmying is still there. Maybe it’s a drive train issue we’ve been told. What?? There is a lemon law in place in Florida if the rv was purchased in Florida. The most recent list of warranty issues hovered around ten items. Now a new list is being compiled because the coach is having electrical issues too. The manufacturer, oh by the way, wasn’t going to cover the diagnostic test that was required to determine the electrical issues. We’re not. The automatic steps won’t come down. The brand new battery had to be replaced because three of the cells were bad. WHAT? The radio had to be replaced because it stopped working while we were on our maiden voyage. The list is endless. All warranty work items. Buyer beware. This is your money your spending. The CEO’s of these companies obviously don’t care, but it would be more cost effective for the manufacturer to hire quality control specialists before it leaves the factory. That’s a no brainer. $$$

  • After 10 years full-timing and interviewing many others, I began running seminars at Samborees, PassPort America, SMART RV Veterans, and other national groups. Much of what has been said by Chuck Woodbury, the Kievers and others is, sadly, true. As to manufacturers, the Tiffin company (Alabama) had the best reputation for quality and I bought a new 37 foot Class A. Each year I went to the factory for minor tweaking, nearly all repairs cost less than $150 total each visit. However, as much as I had a high quality coach … it is much too large for parking at State and National Parks. In looking at smaller 24-27 foot models (Tiffin does not make them that small), I have found nothing that compares in quality! As mentioned by others here, quality has certainly been neglected. Visits to RV dealers have not yielded a good quality, small coach! The best I can hope for is finding someone who has a great quality small coach that was well maintained … that wants to move to a larger coach.

    • I’ve heard that Leisure Travel Vans makes high quality units in the size that you are looking for. Anyone had issues with this manufacturer?

  • I own a 2010 Roadtrek (built in Canada). I occasionally read about the new models — higher tech, but also higher prices. Between that and all the comments about bad quality (though Roadtrek has not been mentioned) I have come to the conclusion to stick with what I have. It has given me seven years (so far) of good service, for the most part, and has been customized to match our travel style. If it’s good, keep it.

  • Buyers must take some responsibility for the current state of quality. As someone posted “if you want better quality Pay Up”. The manufactures are filling the needs of the line of buyers waiting for their poor quality builds. When the line up deminishes they will either go out of business or improve to meet demand.

  • We just got back from a five week trip taking in the OR and WA coasts, then east to eastern WA and ID. Then back home to northern NV. Get this! Not one problem this time. Everything worked as it’s supposed to. First time EVER! Ha.

    As an aside, I waited until we were actually coming down our street with our house in sight before I looked over at wifey and exclaimed “Wow, the whole trip with no problems”.

    Our trailer is a 2012 (built mid 2011 as it turns out) and our tow vehicle is a 1997.

    • Woo hoo! Congrats, Tommy! (I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to jinx it. Kinda like many years ago when my son would borrow my car and I’d say, “Now, don’t get a speeding ticket!” So, he’d get one and then blame me! More than once! 😯 But he’s older/wiser now.) 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

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