Readers Speak Out!

To read editor Chuck Woodbury’s comments about this in RV Travel issue 752 click here.

What’s your opinion of these two issues affecting RVers?

  1. Has it become harder lately to find a site at a campground or in an RV park than it was 5 years ago?
  2. How would you describe the quality of the workmanship on your RV? This question for RVers who have purchased a new RV in the last few years.

Please leave a comment on one or both these questions. Try not to exceed 200 words unless necessary.

266 Thoughts to “Readers Speak Out!”

  1. Thomas Worley

    My wife and I have owned an RV for 15 years. After much research and tire kicking, we purchased a 2015 Keystone Montana High Country 305rl from RV Wholesaler in Ohio during May of 2015. We drove 1500 miles to pick it up. There was a major rain storm during our walk through, which was on a Saturday. The only major thing we found was that the bedroom was not laid out as we ordered. We refused the unit. The saleman was able to make arrangements for us to take the unit to the Keystone factory on Monday morning for correction of the problem. We accepted the unit. On Monday morning at the factory, a cable bracket on the l/livingroom slide snapped. The slide couldn’t be closed. Since we had overnighted a the factory, factory techs repaired the slide, and 2 more brackets that were about to break. We brought up other problems we had found, but were told that these were a dealer problem. While the bedroom problem was being corrected, we were given a tour of the assembly process. The factory rep continually touted the excellent workmanship and quality. By the time we had traveled the 1500 miles home with the unit, the interior was falling apart. During the trip home we found evidence that the unit had either been loaned out, or used as a demo without our knowledge. (This was to have come direct from the factory just prior to us picking it up.) RV Wholesalers told us to take it to an authorized Montana dealer for correction of our problems. When we took it to the repair shop, it was for the cabinets falling apart, plus cracks in the fiberglass on the front cap and on the l/side of the unit, water damage from the refrig leaking, and one of the TV recliners that wouldn’t recline (in the shop again for this one), and the black water valve that wouldn’t seal (in the shop again for this one also). Since then, the MorRyde suspension system broke because it wasn’t installed by the factory properly. The unit was down most of this past summer for this problem. MorRyde was more than helpful, but am still waiting for the factory reimbursement. Now it is down again because one of the cables on the r/slide is frayed, and only attached by 2 or 3 strands. Also, the living area flooring has detached from the floor and is bubbled in 3 large areas. Keystone doesn’t want take care of this because now it is out of warranty. So much for the great quality control the factory rep touted. Thank goodness we purchased an extended warranty.

  2. laurel jones

    We have a 2008 Fleetwood Tioga. Knock on wood it has been problem free. When we had an issue with the toilet break. We were shipped a whole new toilet no charge. But friends have told me so many horror stories about their newer trailers major leaking roofs and sides shabby workmanship

  3. Steve

    Has it become harder lately to find a site at a campground or in an RV park than it was 5 years ago?
    Yes. we used to be more spontaneous with RV travels but its getting more and more crowded. Reservations are becoming a must and there are little to no places to find that arent heavily regulated. The Go RVing marketing ad type places dont seem to exist…..
    How would you describe the quality of the workmanship on your RV? This question for RVers who have purchased a new RV in the last few years.
    Workmanship has always been terrible and continues to remain that way. Its a given that any RV I purchase, I have a laundry list of items to fix or modify in order to use it without causing future problems.

  4. Jim Langley

    We recently picked up our 2016 Lazy Daze Class C RV motorhome and we couldn’t be happier. The quality of the construction throughout and the features and appliances exceeded our expectations and are functioning perfectly. In comparison, we previously owned a Roadtrek Class B that we enjoyed a lot, however there were quite a few problems, such as the generator not working, interior cabinet latches frequently locking you out of the cabinets, windshield rubber trim flapping at highway speeds.. all fixed under warranty, but frustrating to have the problems in the first place. So far with the Lazy Daze we have found no such issues. It’s a carefully crafted, expertly designed and fully functioning home on the road. The only hard part was waiting for Lazy Daze to build our motorhome as each is built for its owner. Ours took about 9 months to be built. On the finding campsites issue, yes, it does seem that it’s harder to find campsite availability. We are dealing with this by doing more boondocking and camping more in the “off” season. Happy camping everyone!

  5. Chris Potter

    The Baby Boomers (I’m one of them) have started to reach retirement age during the last few years, and they want to enjoy life while they are still young enough to able to. This is causing an increase in the number of tourists and travelers in general. Its not just the sites in RV parks that are getting difficult to find without a reservation. We also stay at motels sometimes. Motels in tourist areas that we used to be able to walk into and get a room, as little as 3 years ago; now need a one month reservation and have increased their prices. This is particularly noticeable in the fall foliage color season, when only a few years ago, the same motels used to be deserted. Now there are a lot more retirees traveling in the fall. (Although fall always was a favorite travel time for retirees.) The more desirable retirement locations have also seen a huge increase in real estate prices over the last couple years. Of course, the low cost of gas also contributes to the RV boom- but I don’t think too many RVers are complaining about this issue.

  6. larry williamson

    2016 keystone high country has sewer vent stack left open in trailer, broken screws causing slide leakage, refrigerator not installed correctly, defective blinds installed, wheel skirts missing several screws, wheel hub covers lacking inserts allowing dirt etc to go to axle, useless manual as it is so generic it provides no help at all and disgusting customer service and refusal of non selling dealer to deal with problems.

    1. Ed Killgore

      Larry, we bought a new 2011 Cougar High Country and haven’t had any major issues. However, I walk around with a screw-driver in one hand and a tube of LocTite in the other. This bugger is held together with staples and plastic fittings. The Lippert frame is off the shelf merchandise with too much flex, the 4,400 lb. axles are insufficient for the gross weight, the electric brakes are a mere drag at best, and the China bombs are a ticking blowout waiting to happen. It is for sale!

      We have opted to purchase a new Augusta Ambition 35RS that is being built to our specifications, with residential appliances, tongue and groove hardwood cabinets, and quality through-out by employees who are paid by the hour instead of piecework. We took the plant tour and dealt straight with the manufacturer, not having to goof around with a dealer who wants to make 30% for doing nothing and knowing nothing. A very satisfying experience I might add.

      There are some good units on the market, but the consumer needs to educate himself before deciding to purchase a camper for the glitz and eye-candy. Take a plant tour and see how the units are manufactured. Look on the public forums and see what folks are talking about when it comes to problem areas. And of course, buyer beware! There is more junk being sold than the good stuff.

  7. Cindy Martin

    I can only say that some trailers have always been cheaply made. People love vintage, but they had their issues. Scotties, for example, were badly made and sold cheaply. The last trailer we bought is a 1999 Fleetwood Terry Ultra-lite. I own a 1963 Terry and I don’t think you could break it if you rolled it over, but I can’t say the same for my ’99. Leaks everywhere (even when we take excellent care of the roof), saggy floor, linoleum that discolors if it gets wet, cushions that are so poor they are impossible to sleep on……you get the idea. All I can say is, if you have an ultra-lite, good luck. I do know from being at the RV shows that floors of that era were awful land they have improved them in most coaches (not Jayco). But other things are cheaply made. How about those painted countertops that aren’t real laminate? How about drawer fronts that are just glued to the sides, not jointed in any way? How about the slide outs that malfunction regularly because people don’t know how to service them? There are lots of, but I suspect there always were in some units. Much of that is due to the concerns about weight – lighter materials must be used which means it doesn’t hold up as well. I would hope a class A or class C would hold up better, but I’m not convinced. One comment I DO see a lot is that RV manufacturers use lousy and ugly soft good. I have to agree with that. And carpets on the floors? Only men would think that’s a good idea. What brings me to ….where are the women in the industry? I’m not sure we even have any input. If we did, RVs would look a bit different. Thanks for listening.

  8. Lynn Padgett

    2014 Winnebago Travato, , 1st year in the shop more than in a campground. Refrigerator rarely worked on gas, bad thermocouple, bad gas line, still – sometime it works other times it just shuts off. Can’t trust it. Broken vent fan housing at delivery, ceiling flooded, they would only pay to dry it out! Electrical problems from day one, been in shop at least 4 times for that. Usually takes a month to get a service appointment. Winnabego does not care about their customers.

  9. John Yellowolf

    OK – I know that my experience isn’t with a newer RV, but rather, it’s a challenge to newer RV’s. I own a 1978 Fleetwood Tioga. All the original appliances still work. The refrigerator doesn’t even have to be level to work! It has just shy of 170,000 miles on it. I’ve had to do some maintenance on the suspension and transmission, which is no surprise at all.
    My challenge is simply this: I challenge ANY manufacturer to put out an RV that will still be roadworthy and fully functional 38 years from now! I personally don’t think this is possible, but at some point in the past, RV’s were actually built to last! And mine was considered an “entry level” RV at the time! Perhaps it’s time to start digging up some of the older RV’s and getting them back on the road!

    1. Jackie

      I agree with you John, we can’t aford an expensive motor home and have had two older models now. Both our motor homes gave been built by Triple E in Winkler Manitoba Canada. Our current one is a 2000 -34 foot and solid as a rock. Good ride and no major repairs. We definitely love the quality and unfortunately they no longer make the big units. They now manufacture the travel vans. Also if we have questions we just phone the head office, they help even if we have a unit 16 years old. Unfortunately not many of these bigger units for sale, people just keep them as quality is there. We would absolutely buy one of these units again. Nothing cheap about Triple E built.

  10. Buddy Pickler

    My wife and I bought a new 2016 Fleetwood Bounder 36E last June from Camping World. We had selected another manufacturer’s unit and the sales manager convinced that the quality of Fleetwood was much better than the other vendor. The first 6 months it was at CampingWorld more than we had it. We identified 30 issues with it. We had purchased it locally because we had been told that we would get better service. That is not what we experienced. Time and time again we would take it to CW, half of the issues would not be corrected. We ended up taking it to the manufacturer to correct some tings. A 400 mile drive and it took 3 trips.

    Just when we thought things were all working two things popped up on our last trip, one a repeat from other times.

    One issue I had was that there were numerous coax cables in the wiring compartment that were not connected to anything. On one of our trips I asked the manufacturer to at least label them. Well, this summer we decided to add a satellite receiver. I went to the wiring diagram to see how to hook it up. The diagram that I got from the manufacturer showed that the receiver needed to be hooked up to a 6 way splitter. The problem was there was no splitter in the coach. No wonder we had so many cables not attached. Seems someone would have noticed that.

    Every trip out we have an adventure, but not what we planned

  11. Bd2

    When buying new RV’s, or even slightly used RV’s be ready to lower your expectation levels. They build these vehicles like the cars from Detroit in the 50’s & 60’s. You buy it, get a large pad of paper, and then write down all the things that need fixing…..a punch list. Then try to get into dealer for multiple tries to get issues fixed and have to argue what is/is not on warrantee [with the added fun of the coach vs. chassis argument for identifying responsibility]. Summary, they work quick to build/sell as fast as they can, people buy junk and either play the rework/shop game or get worn down and give up….. As long as they can sell, they will not improve, especially since two huge conglomerates have ~80% of market share and there is little competition.

    As to getting campsites with no reservations or rolling into one last at night, YES, it is noticeably harder to do this. Plan in detail your stops a month [or for national parks starting in February] or be prepared to park in interstate rest stops at night.


  12. don magel

    So I can’t spell tile!

  13. don magel

    My suggestons: buy older upscale diesel coaches. They are much less expensive and were built to last. My wife and I full timed in a used 1994 Beaver Patriot for over two years crossing the country several times without problem. Our only repairs were wearout items but not the 250 cummins power train or framing. We did lose it to a tornado in Alabama and purchased a used 1996 country coach integra with a 300 Cummins, which we still use frequently and do florida for the winter. Each of these coaches had/have over 150,00 miles. Wearouts occur but not to the coach basics and hardwood cabinets, ceramic towels, leather seating etc, etc make for comfortable traveling/living.
    I do not understand folks who pay so much for junk and then buy a another poorly made coach. Our CC will last longer than I will. Buy Quality, you’ll like it. Note: Our coaches only had two TVs each.

    1. Doug Smith

      Re buying older quality: We bought a 2007 Newmar Dutch Star 3 years ago that had 4012 original miles on it and never sat outside. Great coach with great Cummins 400ISL diesel and upscale Spartan Mountain Master GT chassis. Lots of options added by wealthy original owner. Paid a little more than half original cost to get exactly the floor plan we wanted, but never regret it. The coach is still like new and we park next to the new ones with equal pride.
      So, my advice would be to decide what you want, determine an older year model that fits the bill, and search the internet for low mileage, well cared for examples. Luck will be on your side if you are persistent and patient.

  14. Pat Engle

    My feeling is that most RV owners expect their RV to be as reliable as their cars. The problem for the RV manufacturers is that if they built them to last like cars they would be too expensive for us. Whereas most of use our cars everyday, less than 5% use their RVs everyday. RVs are built for the 50% of the families that use their rigs for 3 weeks out of the year. But, the consumer needs a model of RV that is for full timing, that they are willing to pay more for. Would Forest River and Thor be willing to do that and would it be to their advantage financially?

    Lastly, an RV is only as good as the parts that go into it. So, the converter and furnace and blinds and faucet and tire and axle, etc makers have to step up as well. A lot of us have replaced or upgraded our rigs because what we had was not as good as what is available to upgrade to.


      Pat. I respectfully disagree with your first paragraph. To pay $50k for a unit I think is still a good bit of money. Myself, along with a lot of other people posting here, have had it in the shop more then we have been able to use it. In my case, it is not only poor quality, it is the total dishonesty on the manufacturer and the dealership. If I purchased a $50k truck, I should not have to lift the hood when I bring it home and rebuild the engine just to get it to work. In regards to your second paragragh, I totally agree. In most cases, the mechanical parts /appliances are total junk. This all goes back to the fact that we are a throw away society, which makes it easier for manufacturers to put out poor quality products. My question is, How do we get this corrected? Stop purchasing the product? That will never happen. We like things too much.

  15. Jim Streeter

    We have seen a definite decline in the workmanship of RVs. We bought a 20ft. Nash 12 years ago and sold it 2 years ago and bought a new 24M Nash. The only problem with the old Nash was a heater element that went bad. During the last 2 years our new Nash has had slider problems twice, a broken leaf spring and camp with a faulty heater bypass valve for winterizing. Sad to see the decline and worry each time we go out. Have to make our plans in the winter for next summer to get reservations.

  16. Marcel Ethier

    We will comment first on the availability of camping sites. We believe that only on 3 occasions, in the past 5 years, has a campground told us that they had no available sites. It did not cause any problems as we found other sites nearby. We are flexible and have not had any difficulty in finding sites during our travels.

    Now as to the quality of RVs. We have purchased 2 new 5th wheels (both Rockwoods) in the past 3 years. Both had quality control issues. Forest River has been great and not so great in dealing with warranty issues. The dealer leaves much to be desired and we will not be purchasing from him again. We’ve read all kinds of forums and the quality issues with Class As is what made us go with 5th wheels. The quality of RVs, 10 years ago, was better than today. We previously owned a 2005 Damon Intruder and had one warranty issue with it which was resolved by Thor and our rig was repaired within a week. We would rather that the RV industry spend a bit more time and put in better quality products in their units than save a few hundred dollars. That is what it usually amounts to when you read about all the problems. It could have been preventable if a better products was installed or an extra 1/2 hr taken to inspect the unit. We know there is competition in the RV industry but it has got to the point that quality is taking over from price with the RVers. We believe that most would pay a few dollars more for a quality product than a few dollars less for basically crap. We know that we would.

  17. Frank Dajnowicz

    Well I guess we are kind of lucky. In 2012 my wife and I bought a new 2013 Heartland North Trail 22FBS. A 30′ Ultra Lite from Lloyd Bridges Travel-land in Chealsea, MI. We did a lot of research and went to many RV Shows. I went to Elkhart IN, twice and watched the trailers being built in the factory. I have had it in for service twice.

    The first was to replace the front axle of the tandem axles. No, it wasn’t defective until I made a too sharp of a turn after my first trip and tried to push a 2 ton boulder with my stairs and leading tire. The alignment was so bad that when I drove it to Lloyd Bridges, 30 miles from home, a lot of the tread of the tire was worn away.

    The second was to have the black water tank sensors replaced. I kept getting false readings. I had Lloyd Bridges pull the under skin and drop the black tank and put in Valterra Model:T21301VP probes. The service company has been treating me very nicely and have no complaints.

    My last review will be on campgrounds. 95% of our camping has been in Michigan State Parks. Getting reservations has been a chore. We have to sit down in November and decide when and where we will camp in May and the rest of the summer, because we have to make reservations in December for May. Six months from the date we plan for starting our trip. and that is only if we are going to be there on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now Sunday through Friday is usually no problem with sites only weekends

    From what I have read, we have been born under the right stars, blessed by the gods and downright lucky.

  18. Angie Lee

    I’m writing about the scarcity of campgrounds that allow new arrivals without a reservation. I think the reservation thing is great but sometimes situations rise making it necessary to find a campround at last minute or over night. Also, the campgrounds ht discriminate because of RV age. That’s a lot of bull. You can’t discriminate to anyone checking into a motel or renting an apt. There should be no difference. I could see if the RV were falling apart, spewing fumes or a danger to everyone. But as long as it’s mobile, and taken care of,, it’s wrong. My husband and I keep our RV in good shape despite her age. We have a 2001 class A. And if anyone would be bias and deny us a site on account f our RV’s age, they can go scratch. We don’t want to be anywhere we are made to fee unwelcome. There needs to be a mandate on campgrounds for a price ceiling to avoid rice gouging, and discrimination bans set in place.

  19. Ron and Pat Schlesch

    Our experience with Entegra Coaches has been a fine experience. Few problems and great factory service. We have a 2014 Aspire model. We purchased it new.

    Campground availability means you play their game and reserve early. This works for us. We are half timers.

    1. Becky and Terry Walker

      We also purchased a new Entegra Aspire in 2012, kept it for three years ( including driving it to Alaska) and then bought a 2016 Anthem-had some minor issues with both but everything was fixed at no cost to us. Entegra service has been exceptional!

  20. Janet Poell

    Last year we bought a Jayco Greyhawk class C. the salesman told us it would easily tow our car, and that we could fill it up with our “stuff” and we would love it. Fact is, we had very little in the basement storage, and had many empty cabinets inside. Only two of us, only neede 2 plates, 2 cups etc. we took it to get it weighed….and were only 400 pounds short of the maximum. What if we had kids with us? Add in the kids weights and their clothes and we would be over the maximum!! The engine was so loud we couldn’t hear the radio. The couch was so cheaply made it was soooo uncomfortable. And towing? Barely made it up the hills. Had the gas pedal to the floor. Very scary. We had several things that needed fixing, and it took a year for the dealer to get one of the simple little parts that needed replacing. So unhappy with the false sales pitch and poor quality design, after the one trip, we traded it in for a new class a diesel. As for campgrounds, we make reservations when we can. It just makes life easier in the end.

  21. Joe Allen

    On the problem of finding a RV campground, I would have to say that this is no more of a problem than 15 years ago. We just came back from a 13,000 mile trip up to Alaska and back and only once did we have a campground tell us they were full. And to be honest with you, after their comments, I wouldn’t have stayed there if there was room. We are Good Sam, Passport America and use to be FMCA members as well. Now, if you are going to a National Park or a super duper RV site that has everything Disney World has, than yes, you need to call for reservations. Period!

    1. Joe Spence

      I AGREE, WE LIVE IN ALASKA AND SNOWBIRD EVERY YEAR OCT TO April. not much of a problem as long as you don’t need fancy and we do like Walmart parking lots

  22. Gil Watts

    We purchased a new “entry level” 2008 Winnebago Vista 32K from MB Thomas in St. Louis. It has NEVER returned to the dealership for any kind of maintenance or repair! I fixed a few minor items and made several mods, but other than tires have spent almost no money on this unit. We travel with son, wife, and three grandkids with trips to Alaska, both coasts, and a lot in between. I couldn’t be happier with the Winnebago or the initial purchase from Lonnie at MB Thomas

  23. Jon

    It had become difficult to find quality campsites and so we chose to find a seasonal site and no longer tow. It has worked well for us and we don’t have the trouble of looking for a sight. We don’t see the different sights, but . . .

    The quality of the workmanship seems about the same. We are very pleased with our dealer and the help they provide us after the sale. They assisted us with the little issues and worked with us to repair a few ‘bigger issues’ at a reasonable cost.

  24. Travel Today!

    Remember that RV’s are a conglomerate of parts and pieces from a variety of manufacturers. Just take a walk around your RV and count the number of brands you see.

    Then, they are assembled into the RV at the parent company.

    For quality to start, competent engineering is required. Factory’s that assemble components need to specify quality parts for reliability and safety. What is the point of putting 15,000 lbs on a 10,000 lb frame? What is the point of putting E rated tires and loading them 2% short of max capacity? Why in the world are we still using electric brakes on units over 10,000 lbs? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    One problem is that there is no regulation in the RV industry. Some will say if there is regulation, we won’t be able to afford the RV. BUNK…Car manufacturers are highly regulated, safe, fuel efficient and yet, the car manufacturers are still in business. How many of these RV’s going down the road are over weight and an accident ready to happen?

    Then, there is the uneducated consumer. How many don’t do their homework prior to purchase? The consumer has a lot of blame in this. If they knew what to look for, they would not purchase the unsafe or unreliable unit. Instead, all they know is pretty. Don’t use a F150 to pull a 42′ RV. That
    s just asking for problems. And don’t by an eco-diesel to push a 45′ motorhome.

    Now we hear that factories can’t get qualified workers? Supply and demand…If you can’t get qualified workers, either move shop or open smaller plants across the US. Instead of paying minimum wage, why not pay a little better and retain good employees? Provide incentive programs. Reward productive and safe employees. Get out of the town that already has 500 manufacturers stealing employees from each other. Distance yourself. There are plenty of other locations that would LOVE to have an RV manufacturer in town. It lowers our DELIVERY FEE as well or increases your profits further. Indiana is not the only State in the US.

    And since there are really only 2 manufactures of RV’s left, there is no competition anyway.

    As for campgrounds, when the price of fuel gets back to $4 or $5 a gallon (and it will), there will be plenty of spaces and lots of factory workers available!

    Competent buyers of components are required.

  25. Chuck Woodbury

    I received this comment via email from a reader named John Stahl. I asked his permission to repost it here. — Chuck, editor

    Hi Chuck,
    I purchased a 1977 Dodge Casual 20 foot motorhome to travel with the family. Then in 2014 I purchased another motorhome for my wife and I and the pups, a 2014 Coachman Mirada.

    Then in 2015 I bought a 2015 Newmar Ventana LE 3635 diesel motorhome. Boy, has it been an experience. I found out that there are plenty of motorhome builders, and plenty of motorhome salesmen, but not enough motorhome repairmen. Motorhomes are built fast and cheap and good looking but have many problems. And there are not enough ‘fixers.’ They need more trained repairmen and probably pay them more so they can get enough workers. I have had one problem after another with my motorhome and it is only a little over a year old.

    I made an appointment in June for August 2nd for some work that should not take more than two workdays at the most. It has been there 3 weeks and not done yet. It just sits. They should not make an appointment with me unless they plan to work on it. They should make an appointment when they are ready.

    Last summer (2015) it sat at their repair shop for 6 work weeks and they completed none of the items to fix. It was under warranty and Newmar would not let me take it to any other repair shop. If I knew then what I know now I do not think I would have purchased anything. The industry is terrible…with cheap made units and poor service departments. There are too many different models with too many different parts.

    Last year we traveled to Colorado and broke down and had to be towed to Grand Junction for repairs. This year the slide would not go out and we had to drive from Cheyenne to Colorado Springs to get it fixed. The TransWest facility there was brand new. Only open a week. They had no business. They got us in, fixed, washed, in two hours. Once they get busy that will never happen again.

    Everyone at Newmar is always nice and helpful as they can be and the Holiday World Houston Katy, Texas are nice but are so busy that your unit sits forever before they work on it and before they get the work done.

    How can we the consumers unite to hold the manufacturers accountable and what can we do to get the repair facilities to repair the units in a timely? I hope you will continue to ‘toot this horn’ like in your newsletter a couple weeks ago until something gets done to improve the quality of units and the service departments. Thank you.

  26. Jeff McClintick

    In January of 2015 we purchased a THOR ACE 30.1 for long weekend and one week camping trips. We identified three warranty issues on our first camping trip. One, we had a bad fresh water pump, we had an ugly, scratched, unfinished sliding door between the bath and kitchen and we had water leaking from the kitchen faucet and sink. We took the issues to Tallahassee Camping World (where we purchased the coach) and they ordered the parts and did not keep the ACE. On our second camping trip we used only campground water, put up with the unsightly door and placed an empty waste basket under the sink to catch leaking water. As each part arrived, Camping World would call us and we would take the coach in to have the new part installed. The process worked like a charm.

    As far as quality is concerned we are quite pleased. We could not find a cheaper class A and yet our coach has full LED lighting, nice linoleum floors, three TV (for what that’s worth), two chassis deep cycle batteries, three stage charger and top of the line and current dated Goodyear RV tires.

    As far as RV parks are concerned all of our experiences have been in Florida and Georgia. We’ve been to two top of the line nationally rated camp ground at Camp Gulf in Destin Florida and at Emerald Bay RV Park in Navarre, Florida. Both camps have cabins and 60 or more large back in and pull through sites with full hook-ups and 30/50 Amp service. Another camp ground we stayed at was 5 days at the only campground on Sanibel Island. There are not many sites. They are all full 30/50 Amp hook-ups and there are a lot of privately owned and rental cabins. The state parks (5) that we have stayed at have water and electric only, 30/50 Amp service and very few supplies. I also have to mention the only RV park on Tybee island Georgia. They have all full service 30/50 sites with a lot of shade. The island is so popular that their rates are high, but the entire island is easy to get to. from the park.

    I have never had any problems getting reservations at any location except Sanibel island. All of the private campgrounds I call directly and the state parks I use I try to plan our camping and trips at least a month ahead of time. I guess maybe I;ve just been lucky.

    One question for Chuck: Is there any idea how many of the new RVs sold last year are first timers?

  27. Lynelle

    The real problem is most campgrounds are franchised owned and must follow the main office/HQ plans to make the most money for the corporate shareholders. Most mom-n-pop places can’t afford to build cabins on their sites but are forced to put one or two up to keep up with Joneses. Those smaller campgrounds are far and few between and are usually reserved way in advance because, like me, I suspect most RVers don’t want to be in a franchised campground. There is a hit-or-miss with mom-n-pop places with too many of them having to charge way too much just to keep up with the bills. I don’t like to pay $40 a night for a concrete slab within arms reach of the next rig, and no amenities. I had to pay up the nose a couple times on my way to Michigan this past June because there was only one spot left in those smaller campgrounds. And they were very tight for a big rig. Most smaller non-franchised campgrounds were built long before the big RVs and cannot accommodate them. And they really can’t afford to upgrade their campsites, so they put a cabin or two to make up the extra money they need. It all boils down to money (franchised or not) and has nothing to do with the RV customers.

  28. Dennis Adams

    The days of camping spontaneity are long gone.
    10K Baby Boomers retiring daily. Many buying rigs and hitting the road.
    There are 72 million Boomers 1946-1964. An 18 year span and only 5 years into the retiring population. Look for things to get much more challenging.
    400K units sold in 2015. 2016 is another banner year for the market.
    I make reservations a lot now, up to six months or more in advance for some places.
    Yellowstone and GTNP had huge years. Traffic was up 40 percent in June.
    We noted a big jump in rental units. A PIA because for the most part, these people are clueless. The north south highway in GTNP was shutdown for two hours when a 30 rental decided to make a three point turn and grounded the chassis to the highway. Wheels hanging over!
    Pressure in general on the big parks is huge now with a constant stream of tour of huge buses emptying out and clogging parking and visitor centers.
    Most who don’t speak a word of English.
    We see more and more 40+ foot units with toads. Many simply won’t fit.
    Huge 5th wheel units with 50 inch outdoor TVs. Fire burning no one watching the fire, watching TV. Golf carts cruising the parks like 50s drive thrus and annoying LED light shows at night obliterating the night sky. Rant off.

    1. Larry

      Agree! Camping is not to get away to something different, but just an extension of home. We “full timed” for eight years, but as we age, the fun has left and it’s becoming work. The freedom is no longer as easy to obtain.

  29. Dennis Adams

    We have a new 2015.5 Winnebago/Itasca Navion. 17K miles in 18 months. A few issues when new and all were covered during the warranty period. Some issues were Mercedes related and not the coach. Some were both. One recall on a propane hose. One recall item from MB which had been captured. Our local Dealer (east TN) who we did not purchase the unit from has been quite responsive. We have owned many boats so having an RV wasn’t a big reach regarding repairs/issues.
    I try to repair most items myself, or troubleshoot and get advice. The View/Navion Forums have been very helpful.

  30. Joe Allen

    Having lived full time in an RV, both Class A diesel, 5th wheel, popup, tent, etc. and now a Class C, one thing you have to remember, these are homes on wheels. It is not a question on if they will break down, it is when. Then comes the quality control and when you see a manufacture pumping out 20 or so RV’s a day, well, you do the math. Something is not being handled properly. I have also sold RV’s and even with this knowledge, you still make mistakes. We have had much better luck with the top of the line, but even then, problems can arise. One thing that helps is knowledge of how things work and a mechanical aptitude on fixing your own small problems. Squeaks, drawers, handles, etc.
    Get up on the roof and check for possible separations that could cause a leak. Look under the sink area for loose fittings, etc. You get the picture, you must be observant and expect the worse and be pleasantly surprised. Most of all, may the RV Gods be with you!

  31. Wayne Girard

    We love RVing but our first two years as full timers has been a nightmare in our 2014 Winnebago Tour. Over 120 system failures–many major like the Energy mgmt system catching on fire, Aqua Hot replacement at 15 months, 8 Lippert slide failures, front cap put on with no sealant, total of 4 weeks at the factory on two different occasions. You get the picture. Winnebago has been great fixing everything but we have been down for repairs for a total of 6 months in the last 2 years. Pretty tough when you live in it.

  32. John Huggins

    Unfortunately, here at the Horseshoe Cove RV Resort, our new management has decided to put park model trailers in more than 60 of the 100 RV sites here within the next couple of years. There go 60 campsites in Florida!

  33. Jeff Jarrett

    We bought a 2016 Forrest River Solaire in May of 2015. Saved $1000 by buying at the largest dealership in Texas for Forrest River. Long story short it took a whole year to get all of the issues resolved with the unit. Some of it was lack of quality control by the factory. Most of it was caused by dealership technicians who were not trained properly. There were no factory certified technicians at this dealership. They put 15 screws through the underbelly into the gray tank causing the tank to leak. Many other issues too numerous to go into here. Finally called Forrest River and they sent me to a local dealership with factory certified master technicians and all problems were corrected very professionally. The unit was available at this mom and pop dealership for $1000 more. Wish I had paid it and not gone through all of the hassle of looking at price only. Bottom line ask if the dealership has factory trained certified technicians to work of the RV you purchase.

  34. Cyndie Sands

    We have been spending the summer in in our RV in various places in Iowa and have found that there is a limited availability of sites due to RVs belonging to people who are working on building a pipeline through the state. They live in the RV parks while they are working here. They are mostly from other states.
    We HAVE been pleasantly surprised by the number of county and state parks here. State parks are easily found online. We have just happened upon county parks with electric sites and water available and usually a dump station. There doesn’t seem to be any source to look up all these campgrounds, other than on each county’s website. But it is great to travel along the back roads of Iowa among the corn and soybean fields, and then come upon a wooded area with a lake and a well kept park!

    1. Shirley

      Allstays is a great app for your phone. Shows every campground available in any given area – commercial RV parks or public campgrounds, even county and city parks. It will show you Walmarts, casinos, Cabelas, you name it, that allow RV overnight parking. Can also go to on the computer.

      1. Penny

        Another good RV trip planner is RV Trip Wizard. I use that for planning all our journeys (we full-time). It shows local (county or town) RV parks and any other type of park you designate it to show.

        1. Shirley

          Thanks! I’ve heard of that. Been meaning to try it.

          1. Joe Allen

            Another is “RV Parks” app.
            Click on your finder icon and then you will see campgrounds, walmarts, etc. You may have to zoom in to bring these out. Works great and you can even click on the item you are searching and it will give directions.

  35. Jerry Collis

    We special ordered a 2015 Winnebago Adventurer 38Q in December 2015. We received what we ordered in April 2016. Even though it is on a 2015 chassis it looks like a 2015 model, it was registered as a 2016. This is good for me, but hard to argue with someone that actually has a new 2016. To the point of quality: As expected, there were a few issues and mostly cosmetic. However, those issues should never have been allowed at the factory. Things like wrinkled wall paper, trim not attached to the walls, open spaces in the shower where water could get behind the wall, miss matched floor tile, and non-attached drawer glides. All of these should have been caught at the factory, but it appears that there is no QA before the rigs leave there. The answer I received was that they rely on the dealers to take care of these things. In the mean time, it took the dealer eight (8) months to get all of these things approved by Winnebago to be fixed. Also, both of my Coleman A.C units (Mach 8) have had to have their fans and motto insulators replace because they hit the cowl and broke.

    1. Ron Pollock

      This is terrible, they are just pushing as many units out the door and don’t care about the workmanship ! I think it is best to buy a few yrs old.

  36. John Bolinski

    My latest RV purchase came with the following problems, awning switch hooked up backwards, the TV antenna switch hooked up backwards, the water pipes in the kitchen, bathroom and shower, backwards(even though they are color coded. The rig came with 3 class C tires and 1 Class D tire. The factory would not correct the problems since I had back surgery, and did not find the quality problems until after the 1 year warranty.

    Since a lot of manufacturers seem to not care about putting out a quality product, my suggestion would be to develop a list of “Real World Problems” we have experienced and make it available to RV purchasers, especially new buyers

    I have personally seen America lose many good “Factory Level” jobs, and would hate to loose even more. My message to manufacturers, “To do nothing, is to do something”
    John Bolinski

    1. Roger Marble

      John, What Load Range tires are specified on your RV on your certification label ( front of left side on trailers. There should be information on GAWR, GAWR, Tire size Load Range letter and minimum cold inflation.

      1. Tommy Molnar

        Regardless of the specifications, they should all at least match, even if they were WRONG.

    2. Paul Englert

      What was the brand and model of the RV you purchased?
      I think lacking from the purchasing process is a good source which breaks down manufactures and model of RV which have both good and bad recommendations. A resource for the RV Buyer. I know there is a publication available on line but the cost is high for something that is published by a one source producer.

  37. John Koenig

    I purchased my 2015 Dynamax DX3-37RV in May 2014. Immediate leaks in slides, washing machine didn’t work. Debris in AC ducts just the first defects I noticed. The MSRP on this Super-C is almost $300,000! TWO 12VDC house batteries to run a 23 cubic’ residential fridge. Furniture & bed is pretty but NOT comfortable. User / Owner’s Manual is a joke. Quality Control at the factory is LARGELY MIA. Good luck in getting an appointment at the factory for repairs. Due to the poor workmanship, the factory is booked long in advance.

  38. Jeffrey Jourdonais

    We bought a WildCat Maxx from Blue Dog RV in Washington. All in all, we love it, and the quality seems good. But we did have an oxidation problem which the dealer told us basically , not their problem, unless we throw a few more thousand dollars at them. I kind of feel for the many thousands of dollars that we paid, we should have gotten better service than you would from a third rate used car dealership. Now I’m stuck with a 12 year note, and a trailer that looks less than good. The manufacturer is willing to work with me, but finding a dealer to do the job is almost impossible.

  39. Daniel

    We did our research and stumbled into a 2006 30′ Safari Ivory MH this year. It is high quality and has been problem free for 15,000 miles – so far. The company was bought out and dissolved a few years ago by Monaco. Parts would be a bit difficult but not impossible to find. But we haven’t needed any yet!.
    We are out nearly every weekend and have not found any problems in finding spaces in our state. We can choose from State campgrounds, private and public lands and are happy to dry camp whenever we can. I feel a little out of touch reading these posts as they are the opposite of our experience so far. Now y’all have me wondering….

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Daniel, everyone’s experiences are different. Many RVers, probably most, purchase RVs with few defects off the assembly line, or at least an acceptable number. It’s just that too many people are buying RVs riddled with too many problems that need fixing. In your case you bought an RV that was ten years old, with plenty of time for any original defects to be corrected. In my essay today I was talking about new RVs, rolling off the assembly lines today.

      As far as camping, many RVers, myself included, are having a far more challenging time finding campsites without careful planning and reservations often months ahead.

      1. Robert Alexander

        Chuck, I am wondering what the dealers are saying to manufacturers concerning the growing problem of having to fix factory defects? The problem has to be adding the dealers’ overhead not to mention the damage to the dealers’ good name and customer loyalty.

      2. Shirley

        We’ve been full-timers for 8 yrs. Planning and reserving far in advance is absolute key. It makes everything go so much smoother. I get that some folks don’t want to plan ahead but it can spell big trouble, both in your wallet and on your nerves.

        1. Brenda

          I agree about reservations. We are full-time and prefer State Parks over private. Since we like to stay from mid October til mid May at Florida State Parks we reserve eleven months in advance. It might be a little bit of a hassle but after all said and done we know we have a place to stay and our stress level all winter is zero.

  40. Allen Olson

    Old timers should be smart enough to know that it usually takes many deaths to get action when it comes to changing laws i.e. state and federal governments. That single item I believe is at the top of the list, i.e. get it into law. However, in the corporate world, money and profits command the day and in fairness why not, as there is no free lunch.
    Why would the RVIA put additional restrictions on self managing that would at the least, hurt its membership and profits? CEO’s do not work like that. I could not agree with your comments of late about improving RV construction quality and having an RV park rating and policing systems. In fairness, we know that the latter has sites that do this and here are two of them:
    There is a solution I believe to the former for the quality control issue, but it is not for old timers to take on I believe; it would be similar to how the Hulbert Financial Digest was created out of a real need to police equity market newsletters and it worked.

  41. Eric Meslin

    I just remembered another reservation system complaint. Reservation fees are now collected for most state parks by I don’t know for a fact where these fees end up, but I don’t think any part of them goes into state park coffers. I suspect they go to Reserve America for nothing more than software and payment collection. Over the last couple of years I have probably donated between $100 and $200 for cancellations and other schedule changes. That’s what advance planning does to you in the camping world.

  42. Eric Meslin

    Regarding the difficulty of finding campsites: We weren’t camping five years ago, so we must be part of the problem. We prefer state parks with at least electric and water for our travel trailer. Staying at nice parks in the southeastern U.S. is very challenging. It requires advanced planning, or flexible scheduling. Private parks have so many sites, we can always get one in a pinch, but the quality and cost are usually issues. We joined Harvest Hosts, but haven’t tried overnighting at any of them yet (or at any other free highway store/truck stop locations either). We have had many quality issues with our trailer; most of which we have chosen to fix ourselves or just live with. I think design and workmanship, and to a LESSER degree, materials are the root causes (which I guess just about covers every facet of the manufacturing process). I actually work as a part-time photographer at a very large national RV dealer. Almost every unit delivered from the factory has some type of defect. Many times slides don’t work, doors don’t fit, or trim pieces have just fallen off. I can’t understand how they were allowed to leave the factory without someone checking out the systems and looking them over. VERY poor quality control.

  43. Carl Traeger

    Chuck, I plan on going full timing some time in the future and have been researching which Fifth Wheel manufacturer I’ll select (it’s down to two). I plan on hiring someone to inspect the unit before I write a large check and take ownership. In all my research, I have not read where people do this. Can someone explain to me why this doesn’t occur? It just makes sense to me. The last two homes I had built I had an inspector follow the build process and let me know if there were any issues. They did find some. It’s worth the money.

    Loved your series on the industry.

    1. Chuck Woodbury


      Do a search for RV repair in your town or nearby. Look for a mobile RV tech or call a local dealer of the RV and ask if they will take a look. You may get lucky and find a dealer who has the time and expertise to check the rig. I would have the engine and chassis inspected separately, by someone (or a business) more familiar with the automotive part of the RV. There is a relatively new group called the RV Inspectors Association at that will inspect your RV for a fee, which I find high. To my knowledge it’s a for-profit group and not a non-profit as its title implies. If anyone has experience with this group, please weigh in.

      1. Don

        No inspection is full proof. My coach is from one of the top respected manufactures and was gently used by a savvy pre-owner. I paid for a pre-purchase inspection that took 6 hours and included a road test drive with the owner and the inspector. Then paid for and got an inspection from the Warranty company before they would warrant my vehicle. Both inspectors missed problems I have had to have repaired. Still, I would not purchase a stick home or one that spends time bouncing down the road without a second pair of eyes with no emotion in the transaction.

    2. Rick Smith

      Hi Carl,

      That’s a great idea, for both the RV buy and the home build. Out of curiosity, which two 5th wheels have you narrowed it down to?

  44. Steve Peterson

    We have found that there are more campgrounds in the south that are set up for the larger RV’s. We are from Wisconsin and here most CG’s seem to be older and not updated for the larger 5th wheel units and 50 amp requirements.

    Regarding the quality, we have has a 2014 Open Range LITE and now have a 2015 Montana High Country. Both had some issues and as a Industrial Eng. I feel it is a lack of process control and of course buying the low cost components (which we buyers force with our price demands). Simple issues like part of our molding on both main slides came loose on the first trip. I repaired with a little GLUE and brads. No issues since, but this is an example of simple in-expensive processes that eliminate warrantee issues, but could have been avoided. Still love the 5er, but stuff like that is maddening.

  45. Gene Lindstrom

    We have had two MH, a 97 Pace Arrow purchased in 07 and a 2012 Thor Hurricane purchased in 2014. In Nov, 15 we purchased a 2016 Thor ACE 30.2 Bunkbed unit. Took it on a weekend trip and then had to park it on our driveway. Had the full side slide out extended and couldn’t get it back in. Took a month to get new motor. That shot any winter camping down south. We live in Minn. This spring we took road trip to Wash DC. No problem finding parks to stay on way out or back. Had reservation for week in DC. After that took trip to Black Hills. Total of 4,000 miles. Problems with ACE are many. Three bolts came up thru flooring and will not stay down even with locktight. Because of single vent pipe for both holding tanks, toilet upchucks when flushing. Flapper on toilet does not hold water. Shower leaks. Many minor problems. After a month dealer finally took it in for repair. Dealer has had it for a month, and still isn’t fixed. So much for summer RVing. Wish we had our Pace Arrow back! Won’t buy new again.

  46. Byron Propp

    Four years ago we decided to try part time Rv-ing. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money in case we didn’t enjoy it. We purchased a 1985 Minnie Winne which we still use.
    It did have a new fridge and hot water heater.
    Flooring (carpet) and seats were original as well as the onan generator which still works. I have updated the lighting to LED and replaced carpeting with linoleum and some cosmetic changes. I have to say the quality in the cabinetry and plumbing is great. No real problems since we owned it. Reading about all the problems in new RV’s I wouldn’t consider buying anything built after 2000. No real issues finding a camp site, we are retired and not restricted to weekends or holidays.

  47. Bob

    To answer the availability question: I can usually find a spot for one night but my last week long stay I made reservations several months out and had to move to another spot after the first four days because there was no spot available for a week. As we were moving we talked to two other campers being forced to move sites also. As to quality I have kept a list of problems on my two year old 2015 Columbus 320RS and I have over 70 items on the list. I have put a sticker on the RV that says “Fix or Repair Daily”. It is a running joke that one of these days we will have a camping trip and not have to fix something. It has not happened yet.

  48. Dick O

    It definitely is more difficult to find a campground if staying more than a couple of days. We had always been spur of the moment travelers and never had problems getting a site for a week or two. Now, if we want to go to a particular place we have to make reservations sometimes a year in advance. Now that so many state parks are taking reservations it is almost impossible to get a site. We have one park we visit every other year to visit our kids and now we have to make reservations over a year in advance where before we just drove in. RV sales are up, fuel prices are down and everyone is traveling more.

    1. Jana fordyce

      In Colorado the national forest campground this year became almost all first come first serve. We had to also make reservations before and always we couldn’t get places we wanted due to regulars reserving.
      Now we have been able to stay where we like but have to keep in mind the weekends everyone camps and it fills up quickly. Better decision by our national forest system here.

  49. Jk

    We have a 2014 Coachmen on a permanent site. After 3 years no problems. I’m wondering if they are built to mobile home standards and not vehicle standards. I rarely see complaints from seasonal campers. D

  50. Brad Butler

    I’d like to offer a different perspective on the RV quality issue. In my view, the quality issue is more of a statement on consumer demand and expectations overall. Let me explain (unfortunately I can’t do it in under 200 words).

    One of the companies I own manufactures a mostly made in the USA high quality LED lighting product to the RV industry. Our products are carried by RV dealers, Amazon, Walmart and we also sell to consumers directly online. The number one reason folks tell us they buy our product is because of the superior quality and customer service. They also like the fact that we’re US based whereas our main competitors aren’t. On the flip side, the number one criticism we hear from non-customers and RV dealers who won’t carry our product is they’re too expensive. Truth is you can purchase a similar looking LED lighting system on EBay that’s 100% made in Asia for about half the price. Of course the two products aren’t even close in terms of quality, brightness, features, durability or service but for some consumers that doesn’t matter.

    Recently we were approached by one of the top 3 RV manufacturers interested in using our lights in some of their diesel motor homes. We gave them the best price we possibly could and yet, our price was “significantly” higher than what they are using now. When we pointed out our product is also significantly better in every way than what they are using now, their response was “our average consumer won’t pay for that additional quality, features, durability and service”.

    I also happen to be in the Halloween business where we sell seasonal costumes designed to be worn one or maybe two times. We see the same trends there with consumers. When a customer complains about the available styles, quality or fit, we show them the options we have for theatrical grade costumes. Of course when they see the price, most opt for the less expensive seasonal costume.

    My wife and I own a 5th wheel trailer and in looking at options to upgrade we’ve noticed a significant difference in craftsmanship when comparing our Keystone Raptor to the Mobile Suites or New Horizons fifth wheel trailers. They aren’t even close. Of course the purchase price reflects that difference in craftsmanship by a factor of two or even three times.

    What’s my point? Simply put – What we see being offered to consumers today is a direct reflection of what consumers in general want AND are willing to pay. It’s an average no doubt so there are exceptions however as with most things in life, you generally get what you pay for. I would venture to say most of the folks reading Chuck’s newsletters aren’t average RV buyers. They’re likely better informed and experienced in all things RVs so their expectations are higher. By contrast, the typical buyer driving the RV market today is a weekend warrior. They aren’t living in these unit’s full time nor are they traveling across the country for a month or two at a time. These folks are busy making a living. They only have time for 3 or 4 day weekends with the kids or perhaps one week in the summer. They’re lucky if they get to use their rig more than a half-dozen weekends a year. These RV buyers want all the conveniences they’re accustomed to at home along with the space but they’re limited on budget. As such they’re willing to sacrifice some of the quality for those conveniences. That’s the sweet spot RV manufacturers are targeting. The quality, for better or worse, reflects that calculation.

    My two cents.

    1. Barry Brown

      You are absolutely correct in your opinion.
      There really needs to be a defined division between the weekender and the full timer, or retired traveler.
      I as a long term retired camper would appreciate the better quality and would not mind paying a fair bit more to know that when I needed my unit, I would not spend a great deal of my rest time fixing broken/failed components.

    2. Greg

      I have friends with $200,000 plus motor homes that have a list as long as my friends with $ 100,000 motor homes. I see no difference in the quality no matter what price you pay.

      1. C T

        Buy a bus conversion, say a Prevost. You will not be fixing broken item’s on the coach each trip. You will also be spending several times more for a coach. But you get what you pay for. I have been RVing for 40 years bought several motorhomes, always new. The new motorhomes in the $100-500k price range are not built with the same quality as 20 year’s ago.

        1. Greg

          So you have to spend one to 2 million dollars to get quality. I know an individual with a Newell motor home and they have issues also. The difference is that Newell will send a technician to you to address the problem. No matter what you spend quality should still be the number one priority from the manufacturer.

    3. Roy Ellithorpe

      Regarding the “get what you pay for”, I had a Keystone Montana and a DRV Mobile Suites, as you say twice the price. The Suites had some higher end components but the workmanship was every bit as shoddy as the Montana.

  51. Kurt Shoemaker

    I purchased a Forrest River fifth wheel last April 2015. I took it out west for a few weeks and upon arrival back home I found that the rubber roof has started to come off. Plus I had a list of other things that had broken or needed to be adjusted. The dealership and Forrest River stood behind their product and fixed everything but now I have doubt that this trailer will last a few years.

  52. Grant Mitchell

    I’ve been a “Hard Topper” since 1971, owning several different Travel Trailers. Having either witnessed or suffered the decline in quality of RV’s, the now postage stamp sized park lots, along with rates ridiculously high for same, to say nothing of the failed promises and/or performance of RV Dealers, I remain literally amazed that heretofore, huge numbers of those similarly disgusted have not joined forces to force the changes necessary. Until something such as an effective Association is in place to address and correct the long standing “Wrongs” of the RV Industry, my pocketbook will remain closed, and “Never Again” will be my motto !!!!

  53. Bob Wohlrab

    I have been RVing since 1974 and have owned many RV’s thru the years. I have been a reader of your news letter of years. Last year I purchase a new 2015 Jayco Pinnacle Fifth wheel. This unit has been a constant and complete problem. Leaks under all three sinks, both air conditioners broke and had to be fully replaced. and one of the replacements has broken. Everything from sliding doors that are warped and rub to recliners that won’t recline to cabinets that won’t close and glass falling out of the only glass door. My dealer had the rig for four weeks and didn’t fix much at all. One of the worst problems is the design of a RV toilet that has an immediate, right at the floor, 45 degree angle and a 8 foot pipe to get to the black tank. Never has worked without a clog regardless of how much water you use. I asked the dealer about the toilet, their answer was “Yes, that’s a poor design, try keeping it over half full of water to help” . Sorry, doesn’t work.

    1. John M

      Hi Bob, I owned a 2015 Jayco Pinnacle 36FBTS. From day one I started having issues. Black tank valve in the forward bath not closing properly after one use, pantry door frame coming apart, main closet doors not staying aligned, extremely cheap furniture not holding up with the wood back support breaking, Front bath toilet clogs, and many other issues. Plus a dealer network (CW) that needs over a months advance scheduling just for a service appointment. To think this is Jayco’s top of the line 5er is/was a joke. The only salvation for me was a major hail storm that caused over 18K in damage. Took the trailer and the cash and traded it in for a different brand. Looking for better quality this time around. Fingers crossed.

  54. Jack

    New RV manufacture appears to completely lack quality control. I have a 2015 Winnebago View with multiple minor, though fairly constant problems, resulting in it either living in the shop or us traveling with systems not working. We are on our third step motor, the first graciously replaced on warranty but the vehicle couldn’t be used easily in winter because one of the windows could not be closed. Also on warranty but took three tries-one to order it, one to manufacture it because the part was no longer in stock (<9 mo after purchase), and another to replace the new one which was broken and the dealer could not install it. Of course after all this, the warranty on the replacement step motor had expired so when the new one died on our first trip after everything had been repaired, it was off warranty. Etc.

    We received a satisfaction survey from Winnebago within two weeks after we had picked up the vehicle. By then we did not know it had any problems (there have been others as well) so we gave the dealer and product a good evaluation. Unfortunately we never got a follow-up survey on the product or on our ability to get the product serviced so we could use it-4-8 weeks to get an appointment for each of the step, usually multiple issues each time.

  55. Don Mitchell

    Why is it harder to find a camping spot now-a-days??
    Can only answer for Canadian campsites,( B.C. )
    #1 = Too many reservations booked on line by people that only want a specific time frame but are willing to either pay the extra price to get their site when they want it or can cancel it without paying a penalty. Fix that by charging all booked sites up front but no refund!! Also = charge what it should actually cost to stay in a campsite = not subsidized!
    #2 = Too short of a season to make enough money to make having a campground feasible.
    #3 = Cost too much to make a new campground.
    #4 = Private campsites in competition with provincial campgrounds and Wal-marts = who pays the taxes on these sites = no one!!!
    Lots more but not enough room!!

  56. Ellen

    We’ve been full-time RVing for eight years now. When we started we never needed reservations — now we’re lucky to find a spot on the fly (one that has working wifi, cable, and doesn’t feel like a storage lot, that is).

    As for Walmart… just last week we stayed at a Walmart in Havre, MT — no problem. But on down the road in Wenatchee, WA, when we checked in at the customer service desk for an okay to park overnight in their lot we were told we couldn’t do that any longer. The woman said it was a corporate decision that was supposed to go into effect last month (that would have been June) but was anticipated to kick in more fully in August. She said it had to do with vandalism and drug activity.

    If this is happening country-wide, it’s a sad turn of events. We appreciate the privilege of being able to park for a night while on a destination-to-destination trip and are sorry some lousy guests have spoiled it. This was a Walmart that had previously allowed it (until a few weeks before we arrived).

    I’m wondering… are others currently on the road around the country running into other Walmarts that used to permit overnighting but are now turning RVs away?

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Ellen, here is the best source for finding Walmarts that do NOT allow overnight stays in RVs:


      1. Ellen

        Thanks, Chuck. But this was a Walmart NOT on the list — and we had stayed there before with their permission. As others have predicted, it seems there is a shift away from allowing overnighting at WM. It has been sporadic for us this summer, but we’re wondering if the trend will continue.

        1. Chuck Woodbury

          Ellen, not all the Walmarts are on the no park list. It’s always changing.

          I expect that more stores will ban overnight parking as more RVers abuse the privilege by either staying too long or trashing the parking lots.


          1. Kurt Shoemaker

            Here in Pennsville, NJ our WalMart does not have a problem with RVer’s staying overnight in the parking lot as long as they check in with the Service Desk upon arrival. This store in 5 miles from the Delaware Memorial Bridge at 709 South Broadway (Rt 49), Pennsville, NJ 08070.
            If you need to dump, go straight across at the traffic light at the parking lot exit. Take CR 551 (Hook Rd) north to Rt 295 northbound and use the NJ Welcome Center jut up on the right. on 295. The dumping station is in the back of the parking lot behind the building.
            We also have a Cracker Barrel, a Flying J and a Pilot in that gernarl area.
            Pennsville now has a Super WaWa at the exit from the Delaware Memorial Bridge but if you are towing an RV forget about it….very congested and not much room to maneuver.

          2. Shirley

            In our travels, we’re finding more and more town ordinances are prohibiting overnight parking at Walmart – it’s not necessarily the store’s decision. Washington and Oregon seem to have more than their share of homeless and drug problems so Walmart stays there could be kinda dicey anyway.

  57. Chief Eis

    Finding a spot for a large rig is getting tougher. We travel from one duty assignment to another, using a campground close to our “home” fort as our base. Sometimes we can get a spot on post, but not always. Traveling, though, is another matter. We usually make sure our route includes Flying J locations.

    As to quality – our 2008 Horizon is mostly good. Some issues with materials, and some in workmanship – but nothing I didn’t see in the various houses we’ve had. Biggest issues are design. My wife thinks that no RV designer has ever actually spent much time living in one. Cleaning, seating arrangement for TV, even speaker layout for our 5.1 system (theatre speakers by the drivers seat?) show a lack of experience as RVers.

    1. RV Staff

      Thank you for your service to our country, Sir. And thank you for reading our newsletters — we appreciate that, too. 😀
      Diane at

  58. Grumpy

    We have not run into CG availability [problems], but usually plan all trips at least 6 months out.

    The biggest issue I have seen is not build quality, but component quality. It’s a shame when a RV builder gets a black eye because the components he receives are poor quality and they have no way to know about it until failures occur. The lack or warranty parts is another big flaw in the RV industry. Companies need to quit changing components every model year.

    1. Robert

      Because RV industry is pushing component maker to make their stuff cheaper , then that their fault

  59. John

    Hi Chuck,
    Thank you for writing about this subject the RV industry doesn’t want to get around. I just found out this week when traveling from British Columbia through the US midwest and tried to find repair help in of all places, Elkhart, Indiana. The heart of the RV industry, or so they claim it is. Now, you have to ask the question what do people who purchase RVs do? It’s a no brainer! They travel in them, across both beautiful countires, Canada and the United States! That’s why we bought them right? Well that’s not what the RV industry as a whole thinks at least from this RVers treatment this past week. While traveling through 100 degree plus heat in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, I had the grate fortune of having my generator quit in my 45′ diesel pusher. I called Onan customer support and they confirmed a code 13 on my HKDCA 10K generator. They also tried to get me into a Cummins shop to fix the problem. That’s where it fell apart. While driving through Illinois and Indiana, we were on the phone with them trying to find a shop that could help us. Forget it, the earliest appointment was Sept. 1st. A whole month an a week to get it looked at. Even at the selling dealer ONAN Elkhart couldn’t help and didn’t care. After calling Cummins shops all the way to Buffalo, NY. where the friendly and helpful service department at Cummins Northeast was able to get me in on Monday (6 days from the call). I decided to try to fix it myself. I found the problem and repaired it and called Cummins NE back to cancel the tentative appointment. When I was at ONAN Elkhart, I spoke to the lead tech when buying my part and asked why they didn’t have a Tech assigned to deal with the many travel through clients that have sudden problems with their rigs. His answer was that that was “OLD CUSTOMER SERVICE” they don’t have anymore.
    And, they just don’t seem to care anymore. One would think that if you made your bread and butter servicing the RV industry, you would have an emergency service in place to deal with these issues as they arise. It’s a no Brainer! The whole industry including the fat cat executives are out of touch with reality. And the reality is that owners that buy these low quality built RVs are not getting the service and support they deserve! Until the industry is willing to change their attitude, we will see more of the same and the pigs at the trough will continue to over eat at the consumers expense.

    1. Homer

      I feel your pain, I have had the same problems with Onan before and after Cuimmins. I was able to find a little mower repair shop that could work on a generator. It still took six weeks, because he could not get a simple part from Onan.

  60. Larry Gregory

    It’s too bad that the RV industry has reduced itself to where it is. The only thing that matters is the bottom line. No pride in the product they make. I owned a custom home construction company for years, I never wanted to be called back for repairs.
    I’d say the last 5 years it’s been harder to find RV spots. We’ve learned to reserve early, sometimes a year in advance.
    We’ve owned 5ers and trailers over the years. Most have been good. Right now we have a Cedar Creek Silverback and very pleased. Will never walk into another Heartland product. Had a North Trail. The first year we could have filled a book with problems. It was in the shop about 5 months. Last straw was coming down a mountain pass in Wash. State. Stopped at rest stop with a burning electrical smell. To make a long story short got home looked under the trailer and there hung the burned brake wires. Removed all of the wheels and found the back wheel brakes had never been wired in. When I called Heartland it was the fault of the dealer and me for not catching it earlier.

  61. al aslakson

    We started fulltiming a week after the bottom dropped out of the financial markets in April 2007. We had no trouble finding places to stop. We even found some $10 a night sites on short notice in Florida that winter. Since then, the economy has improved and a whole bunch of baby boomers have retired, both affecting campground and RV park usage. The national parks are having the same challenge – too many people for a park to handle.. This summer, all the campgrounds we’ve visited are completely full, and advance planning has been essential. But (surprise, surprise) everything opens up on September 5! We will plan ahead for the snowbird season in Southern California and Arizona, and for next summer when the time comes. And enjoy the relative freedom of the best travel times – spring and fall. On the whole, campground congestion is a small price to pay for a better economy that benefits all of us.

  62. Joe Pokorney

    We began our RV life by buying a low mileage used Coach House. The unit did eventually cost us a few unintended expenses as the floor was rotted due to a poorly maintained hot water heater not a manufacturer defect. As we live in South West Florida we visited the Coach House factory a came to see them as a good quality RV manufacture.
    After many rears we decided the unit was just too limiting in space and so we switched to a new 2015 Keystone Cougar towed by a 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe. Since we spent a lot of time for the 5 years before the RV on our 36 Ft Trawler my wife Judith says we switched from being Trawler Trash to Trailer Trash!
    I think we must have been quite lucky with the timing on the trailer purchase as we bought it in March of 2015 new through Camping World and have had very few issues.
    We have made numerous long trips to the Great Lakes, upstate New York, and Nova Scotia & PEI. Early on we determined a preference for State Parks, Federal Parks, and the Corp of Engineers camp sites. They tend to be much quieter and the sites are usually further apart and include a lot of trees and greenery. Not sure why but I began making reservations early in our RV lives and so I do not object though I do understand the appeal of being able to wander about exploring our countryside. I find the Reserve America and websites to be easy and solid ways to choose and often see a photo of a site before confirming a site.
    Living in South Florida where we have some of the best State Parks we do find it very annoying that virtually all of our prime sites are snapped up immediately exactly months in advance by snowbirds. But these folks also help us to avoid an Income Tax in Florida.

    1. Pete D

      I live in Florida also. The state park situation needs to be changed. Snowbirds can reserve 2 weeks at a time at a park. They reserve a circuit of parks 2 weeks at a time tying up all the spaces for the entire season. There needs to be a limit of 1 two week stay per park per season/January thru April. Also the number of reservable sites should be reduced. Many people coming to Florida have a difficult time pulling in and finding a spot. Reservations are not always an option. Some of us can’t plan our lives 11 months in advance. I have paid hundreds of dollars for reservations I have had to cancel receiving only a small portion of it back in a refund. I’ve been told by snowbirds they have the family sitting at computers 11 months to the day in advance at midnight to snap up every available site. Try it yourself. I did. In seconds all reservable sites are gone. Nonsense!

      1. Jeannine Demers

        I’m also a Floridian who has a hard time getting sites. We are part of an informal group, and as many as five of us want to spend some time together. It has become a nightmare trying to get sites, and it costs a lot of money to cancel a reservation that was made 11 months ahead when something prevents us from RVing. Recently, I tried to reserve at a county park, and was so pleased when I was told I have to call back since they only accept reservations 45 days ahead. That should be the new norm everywhere.

  63. Cindi Z

    We have traveled from Pa to Alaska in 2008 and most recently from Pa to Oregon and back with other cross country trips in between and never made a reservation but for us the trick was traveling in the spring and fall and avoiding the resort campgrounds whenever possible. We have a big garden that keeps us home during the summer(except for short trips) We also “downsized” from our 30′ 5th wheel to a 26′ so we have many more options than the folks with larger rigs.
    As for quality of our 2016 Forest River Rockwood, so far, no big complaints. Fortunately, my husband is very handy and able to diagnose and fix some of the issues we have had with far less aggravation than scheduling with a dealer. We had a blowout on Rt 2 in N. Montana but Good Sam Roadside Assistance came to our rescue and we were back on the road in Less than2 hours (which included going to the nearest tire dealer and buying a new tire and putting the spare back so we weren’t without a spare. ) The tire company even sent us a new tire and a check for $30 to have it put on as a “good faith gesture” since their warranty did not cover blowouts!!!

  64. Dave Graham

    I agree with all of the complaints sent to you. But why make a comment if the ones that need to hear or see the comments don’t care about what RVers think.

  65. Jeff Johnson

    I have often wondered why there is no RV owner/user association that can advocate for improved public facilities. In particular is the full hook-up RV campground in Yellowstone. It is a disgrace – packed cheek to jowl. We deserve better for our tax dollars. And there are other advocacy issues such an association can pursue. There is strength in numbers and we could have an effect.

    1. Karen

      Does privatization something to do with the situation in Yellowstone?

    2. Rusty Austin

      The problem is our taxes are too low. There’s not enough money or political will to fully fund parks. As long as people vote only on the issue of don’t tax you don’t tax me tax the guy behind the tree none of us can have nice things. You get what you pay for.

      1. Paul Englert

        I don’t know what world you live in, but every time I turn around my taxes are going up. I think the government should be rearranging how and what are taxes are being used for. Perhaps we (RVers) should have a lobbyist and consumer group representative looking out for our interest. .

      2. Tommy Molnar

        Taxes too low? You’ve GOT to be kidding. If you’re going to blame government for something, blame them for wasting billions of dollars on – well – nothing. I think our park system is doing fairly well. We ‘camp’ exclusively in the western states (mainly because we live out here) and rarely do the reservation thing. We show up, get a spot, and enjoy our stay. Plus, boondocking is our mainstay and as such, the western states are much more boondock friendly than back east, at least from all I read here.

  66. C Brashear

    I try the web fine an campground for zip 59823 very bad–would not stay at any (3)( 100 miles)

  67. Bobby Lee

    ENCORE figured out that they needed new families to fill the parks, so they aquired TTN which offers low cost tent and RV sites. Get the family out and as they grownolder they can escalate to more creature comforts and even retire on Encore property., the mfg. could learn from this model.

  68. Roger Marble

    Checking RVIA website I find no email address for the organization. While they might have one for the manufacturers in my opinion this confirms the idea that their interest in consumers ends at the dealership curb when the new owner drives off the lot. The do have a web site Go RVing and that does have an email but I have to wonder what would happen if a few hundred unhappy owners started sending info about the abysmal quality of the products sold by RVIA members.

    1. RV Staff

      Hi, Roger,
      I just did a quick search for RVIA’s contact information (via their Site Map). Here’s what I found (copied directly from their Contact Us page):
      “Give Us Your Feedback
      We are currently not accepting feedback interactively from site visitors. If you have an inquiry, we invite you to call us at; 703.620.6003”
      Again, that’s “cut and pasted” from their Contact Us page. –Diane

  69. Chas. Maurice

    Oh well the pendulum will eventually swing the other way. When the public Googles….. the Joy of owning a RV/ motorhome, and they are inundated with reams of negativity….. wala….. the bubble will burst, sales will plummet and finally some R V board member will wakeup and ask ….Just what the hell happened…..Duh……

  70. Lori Singels

    Re campgrounds: My experience with availability is much as others. No longer can you count on driving up and finding a place overnight, let alone the fairness of not using any glamorous facilities the park has. Ideally, all parks would offer “overnights,” as mentioned before.
    Re quality of RVs: In 2008 I was fortunate enough to blunder upon a 2005 Itasca Cambria for sale. At the time I was totally ignorant of the need of quality. Now, these eight years later, I count myself unbelievably fortunate. No problems. Ever. Everything works as it should, and the quality is superb. Every time I get tempted to get something new and different, I look at the list of complaints and recalls of other brands I think of how awful it must be to have paid so much for so little quality. I think we’ll grow old together.

    1. Daniel

      We just returned from Yellowstone where we stayed at Fishing Bridge Camp ground for 11 days. .The RV park was exactly as you describe: crowded with tiny spaces and DUSTY. It was also one of the more expensive places we’ve stayed this year. We never had an evening where we could barbecue due to the proximity of our “neighbors” and the constant dust clouds from the road. We were in awe of the wonderful sights and animals in the park but we will NEVER go back. It was too unpleasant to return to the camp each afternoon. I expected more.

  71. Ed Day

    In reading comments I guess we’re not alone. Our new Arctic Fox 5th wheel was never fixed from day one, the electric Drain Master dump valves simply would not function for any length of time. I finally had to spend out of pocket over a grand to have the system re-plumbed and manual drain valves installed. The dealer was not helpful and even used our extended warranty to recoup time and materials, which caused rejection of the warranty when we tried another repair facility. I am currently thinking of legal action, I’ll get, Dewey Cheatham & Howe on the case.

    1. Dave

      Did you call Northwood ? Talk to Dave Mann. Absolutely awesome service for us.

  72. Kathy Chigbrow

    In June of 2013 we purchased a new 2013 Holiday Rambler Vacationer at a fantastically discounted price. During our warranty period we had it at the dealer for repairs more than we were able to take it on the road. It wasn’t the quality of the RV, it was the lack of quality workmanship. We believe we qualified for the California “lemon law” but realized if we were reimbursed for the purchase price we could not buy the same size/quality RV for that amount of money. Most of the bugs are finally worked out. There is currently a recall for a 5 minute step repair. We are so disgusted with the dealer we will have the repair done at the old Monaco facility in Oregon as we go by on a trip to Portland/Seattle. We love our RV but did not enjoy the time spent having repairs done. We learned you have to give the service department a “drop dead” date. If we were leaving for a trip in 2 weeks we would give them a week to complete the repairs and would usually get it the day before our actual trip. We also learned you have to be persistent and not take “that’s not covered” as an answer.

  73. Marcel Ethier

    RVDA and RVIA are a joke. They have lost all credibility with the RV community. If they were doing what they’re supposed to, we would have far more reputable dealers and better quality RVs. Right now, they are more concerned with dollars than RVers. What we , as RVers, should do is start a petition that shows our displeasure with these two associations and give it to the press. Maybe, just maybe, they will take notice and do something that is beneficial to RVers.

    1. Dee Tillotson

      Marcel, in this day of e-mails and computer communications globally, you have to ask yourself why we as RV owners have not made contact with foreign RV manufacturers, for example, manufacturers in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc., to ask them why they have not considered the United States as an export market for their RVs. I have examined the RVs while visiting Australia, and I must say, they are superbly will built. But they have to be to contend with the terrain those RVs are used in. Canada already exports RVs to the United States and has already put a manufacturing plant in Oregon. Of they would have to provide us with a different electrical set up which is different in their country. If you are old enough and can remember the days of the “contented” American car manufacturers in the 70s and 80s when they turned out “fix or repair daily” cars, they did not get off their rears until the Japanese manufacturers were exporting loads of quality-built little cars to this country. Just my two cents!

      Dee Tillotson
      2009 Hi-Lo Classic
      Summerville, SC

  74. Kenneth Pratt

    Greg Gerber is the editor and founder of RV Daily Report
    Mr. Greg Gerber editor and founder of RV Daily Report just finished an eight-part series of articles on the RV industry including the campground issues. It is very enlightening and delves into many of the issues that consumers are experiencing. While the RV industry continues to advertise the freedom, economy of the RV lifestyle they hid many of the negatives from the consumer. The old adage, “consumer beware” really does apply to the current state of the RV industry. The RV industry has a massive lobbying arm that keeps legislation buried.

  75. Nathan Wilkey

    I purchased a new FR3 motorhome in January after owning a class C, 3 fifth wheels, 2 travel trailers, and multiple pop-ups over the years. My FR3 has been ridden with issues. I expect some imperfections, but every time we use it something breaks (slide out motor stripped out, leaky shower, roof replacement due to inproper installation at the factory, etc.). Interestingly, I checked out the gocampingamerica site. The first campground in my search criteria I visited had an outdated website that stated the last update was 6/13/13. If their campgrounds are the “cream of the crop” as stated in Paul Bamble’s reply to you, his definition of “cream of the crop” and mine are vastly different. If Amazon only updated their pricing every 3 years on their website their business wouldn’t be where it is today.

  76. Mark E.

    Few current or prospective RVers consider the beating an RV takes traveling highways and byways.
    The key to better quality is a heavier built RV, and manufacturer incentives with their workforce.

    1. Bob Lawrence

      We have a 1984 Bluebird Wanderlodge. They were the best built mh long before Prevost got in the business.
      We update components every year but it has never let us down (no leaks) in the 14 years of ownership.
      No slides either. Wife loves it and we live and travel in it fullltime coast to coast.
      Wouldn’t upgrade fro anything!

  77. Glenda Alexander

    I agree with many of those who have commented that quality workmanship is nearly nonexistent. I think many RV buyers are going overboard on the “luxury” and overlooking quality. And what do they need with 4-6 slides and huge TVs? They spend a lot of time having their units repaired – sometimes having it in the shop several times for the same issues. Manufacturers often make their units look beautiful so as to take your attention away from the poor workmanship.

    I highly recommend that a prospective buyer join ( I did that when I was planning to downsize from my 36-foot fifth wheel to a shorter motorhome with NO slides (very difficult to find these days!). I checked only for units with at least a four-star rating and found that Lazy Daze motorhomes were right at the top of the five-star group. Their quality of workmanship is excellent. In 2006 I bought a 2001 26-foot LD and have been living in it full time ever since. The only issues I’ve had are with the components not made by Lazy Daze – three times with Dometic refrigerators, for example.

    As to campgrounds, I really wish that owners would set aside a section at a cheaper rate for overnighters who won’t be using the swimming pools, game rooms, etc. They would get a lot more business if they would do this. About all overnighters really need is water, electricity and sometimes sewer connections.

    Nothing will change until RVers demand change. If we all would stop buying inferior units and demand more from manufacturers and dealers, they would be forced to change. Buyers need to educate themselves on what to look for and then go over the units with a fine-toothed comb before buying anything.

    1. Don Mitchell

      Do you actually think that you would not use any of the facilities at a park if you could get a better price.. A facility is a washroom with a shower, toilet, sink etc., a place for your dog to do its business, Wi-Fi , laundry mat ,No sewer or sani-dump. If you could guarantee me you would not use anything except the piece of ground you are sitting on =I would probably give you a better price, but I guarantee you that you would want to use it all and then complain about me catching you trying to get something for free.. When you become an owner of a business that has to show a profit (even modest at that ) you will find out what it actually cost to run a business = especially a seasonal business that still has to pay taxes and water etc on a yearly basis even though you may be close down for,5 months!!

      1. Taxguyz

        I agree with this as well…there are times when we need a place for a day or two to just rest up before heading out on a long stretch again. We need water and electricity and a place to dump but are not in need of your showers, pool, games areas, we don’t travel with dogs so not in need of that “facility” either. Our RV has a bathroom and shower so we don’t need that at a campsite either (many are so disgustingly dirty that I would not use them regardless of my needs). A transient site with full or partial hook ups at a reduced rate for ONE (maximum TWO nights) would be so very much appreciated by all RVers in need of a few rest days)

        1. Robert

          I too have a Lazy Daze motorhome. Absolutely fantastic. Top quality. No slides which I prefer.

      2. Angelack

        I would gladly pay a small fee (say $5) for a no frills, flat, safe place to park my rig overnight. No FHU, wifi, laundry, restrooms, etc. It would be much better than a Walmart.

      3. Glenda Gay Alexander

        Yes! I actually would NOT use those amenities. Even when I’m paying full price for a site, I don’t use the extra amenities — except sometimes for the COIN-OPERATED laundry.

  78. Doug & Ann Kendrick

    Much has changed over the past five years making camping spots harder to obtain:
    Campgrounds were hard-hit during the economic downturn. Federal, State and Local governments were short of money, camping facilities were neglected or closed. Private campgrounds were stressed by fewer campers and difficulty in obtaining financing for maintenance or upgrades. Result: few new sites, few upgrades. With the improving economy, many more RVs are demanding sites.
    Many new rigs are longer with multiple slides increasing demand for both longer and wider camping sites. Many older campgrounds were built for smaller rigs thus excluding large rigs and increasing pressure on the remaining larger sites.
    I think larger rigs have increased demand for more “full” hook-ups, cable TV, WiFi, 50 amp service, etc. This further decreases availability of suitable sites.

    We have experienced campgrounds not allowing dogs. Some will not allow dogs to be left in the RV, further reducing suitable sites for us. In our experience this is most troublesome in New England in general and Maine in particular.

    A general complaint is that “Resort” campground WiFi is generally useless and often cable TV service is of poor quality.

    Regardless, we have obtained suitable sites by making reservations months in advance.

    We have a 2015 Grand Design 313RLTS travel trailer. The trailer is well built and has been trouble free. The appliances caused problems but Grand Design worked hard to solve every issue quickly. We are very pleased with our trailer’s quality and design. RV dealer service has been disappointing.

  79. Pat Williamson

    We live in FL and can only find campsites in the summer when it is too hot to camp. It is difficult even then to find weekend reservations. You can forget ifinding one once the snowbirds come to FL. We have a 2013 Crossroads travel trailer and getting them to stand by their poor workmanship has been terrible. The paint faded at 2 years and they refused to repaint it even know they know it has been a problem. Warrenty was only 1 year.

  80. Nick DiPietro

    Planning a trip requires just that, planning! These days if you do not plan and make reservations . Just as you would for a vacation abroad you are going to be hard pressed on a daily basis finding a good site.
    Quality will not improve across the board until piece work is banned. Can you imagine a truck being built thru piecework ? There are companies building quality and backing it up just not many of them. Learn to do many things yourself find a good shop and say a small prayer of thanks when you go to bed and everything worked on your RV that day !

  81. Sharon Naismith

    Please, people, do your homework before buying an RV! Spend the money, about $140, to join the RV Consumer’s Group.
    Read their ratings, decide whether new or used is best for you, see which towables or motorhomes would work for you, learn what to look for when looking at various units, find out how to negotiate for the best price and don’t get taken.
    In 2002, we purchased a new Lazy Daze Class C. We had poured over the guides from the RV Consumer’s Group, debated which type of RV to consider, narrowed it down to Lazy Daze, ordered it, waited for it to be built, and went through a lengthy pick-up instruction at the factory. One thing turned up during the pick-up. There was a small gas leak at the stove, which was fixed before we drove off the lot. That was it!
    The only problems we experienced during the next six years were connected with the Dometic refrigerator, the Dometic air conditioner, and an Atwood water heater.
    We finally had to hang up the keys, due to health issues, in 2008. We put 60,000 miles on the LD, including one year of full-timing. I miss it.

    1. Kat Stewart

      I’m so glad you talked about doing research before buying. Too many people want the new, big, shiny rigs. They ask no questions and expect to find the ideal spot on no notice. How stupid! Many people have mentioned Dometic refrigerators. They should be aware that many of these have been recalled because of fire danger. Also, people complain that they cant leave their animals unattended in their rigs. Just a few weeks ago, we were in a campground where the man had left his two German shepherds while he went away “just on a few errands.”. The refrigerator caught fire while he was gone and the two dogs died, probably of smoke inhalation before the fire ever broke out. We never leave our dogs alone anymore!

  82. Michael Stiles

    Only been RVing 6 months, and often can’t get reservations in state or national parks.
    Bought a 2016 Thor Windsport, looking to get professional service for the 6th time in those 6 months. Dread every new day in it, wondering what will break next. Dealers either uninterested in warranty service or booked weeks and months out. Uneven support from Thor, though most repairs so far covered under warranty, others not. Selling dealer should have known about the water leak, and should not have sold it with dead batteries (not covered under warranty).

  83. Tom Boyte

    I posted previously about the lack of quality and silly short cuts in manufacturing we experienced with our new 2007 Keystone Everest 5th wheel. That was only corrected by my permanently parking it indoors and stripping all the RV appliances out of it and replacing them with standard home quality appliances. It’s permanently “docked” now.
    As far as campgrounds, I noticed a trend starting a few years ago in some areas of letting basically homeless people live permanently in their camp grounds either in shabby tents or old beat up R.V.’s. On several occasions I have witnessed the police out for various reason dealing with these folks and have found them snooping in my truck bed and camp sites. When you go to make a report at the office, I find teenagers in charge playing with their cell phones and not the least bit interested.
    I quit staying at those camp grounds.

    1. Bob Lawrence

      Join RV Park Reviews and post your experiences. We use this on every trip to let us know the good and bad people have had.

  84. Ronny Jowers

    The RV quality issue shows the disregard for manufactured goods in this country. We purchased a new 2014 Montana in 2015. This is our 3rd fifth wheel and by far the worst built unit we have owned. The problems have been from fit and finish to appliances. The dealer has worked hard to correct the issues but fights an up hill battle. The fact I am an Engineer and can do most of the repairs myself makes it easier for me since I enjoy the challenge. But that doesn’t excuse the lack of concern and initial Quality.

  85. Deanna K.

    I am in the researching phase of purchasing my first RV and I have to say…..with all the bad reviews I’ve read and the anecdotal evidence of poor quality plus my friends who have RVs and spend so much time in the shop getting repairs……….it’s making me have second thoughts about purchasing one. I am single and not the handiest of people, so it worries me about how much I will actually be able to use an RV if I do purchase one.

    1. Rod T

      I am right behind you. I am one that is willing to pay for
      quality. Give me something that works so I dont have to take it into the shop and get it fixed two months down the road. And I expect a response service. I dont have an RV now. I had a Companion trailer in 1986. I have joined the Good SAM Club and subscribe to Trailer Life and read this newsletter once a month. I get emails from Camping world and Go camping. Im retired. RVIA and the rest of the RV community needs to change more of their focus towards the comsumer to ensure they get a product that meets the quality they expect. I was just on the verge of buying my second RV. Until the RV manufactures ensure the quality of their products meet basic standards, (i.e. a roof doesnt peel off, the pipes dont leak, the wiring and structure is installed properly, etc), I will not buy an RV. We are talking about quality of manufacturing. I hope more people buy more RVs. They will eventually get tired of the system. Oh, and it will make my stay at the Marriot a lot less cheaper.

  86. John Yellowolf

    Since about 95% of my camping is boondocking, I can’t really speak about the lack of campgrounds. I’ve never had any trouble finding a campground when I need to dump tanks and refill my water.
    I can, however, comment on the quality of RV’s being built today, or rather those built quite some time ago. I own a 1978 Fleetwood Tioga, and it was obviously built very well, or it wouldn’t still be around. It has a few stains from leaks fixed long ago, and other than that, it’s still a solid, well built motorhome! Every once in a while I experience some mechanical problems from the motorized portion because, well, it’s a 38 year old Dodge! It’s never anything I can’t fix, because I grew up working on vehicles of this vintage. When I look in the for sale ads for RV”S, I always see mostly people wanting to bail out of their rig that isn’t even 10 years old yet. This tells me that the quality of workmanship has definitely declined over the years. I’m very happy with my 38 year old Tioga, and wouldn’t even consider trading up to anything built after 1999. When I do visit a campground, I enjoy watching all the jaws dropping at something so old still running and functioning as well as it does! Ha! I’ll raise a toast to vintage motorhomes! Skal!

  87. Rob Melle

    This comment was emailed to RVtravel from reader Rob Melle. We thought it should be added to this discussion.

    We bought a 2013 Thor Ace brand new. Because we got a really good deal and we planned on logging some serious miles.

    Everything was good to go after we ironed a few bugs out. So last year July we headed out on our 8 month journey. After a couple of months and several thousand miles we had about 35,000 km logged. We were driving through Pennsylvania’s rough roads and the dash started shaking so I told my wife to put her feet on it to stop the shaking. She could not as it was shaking so hard. So at the next campsite I took out the computer desk and saw the problem. I screwed the dash down better and put in a couple extra braces for good luck.

    The next couple of days it seemed okay then it started again. So several calls to the manufacturer to schedule an appointment. They could not take us for a couple of months but suggested another dealer. So we managed to get an appointment a month away and several thousand miles out of our way. A couple of days later on our way to Amish country it got even worse. So now we are getting real worried. Several more calls to Thor and laying under the coach and they determined the sidewall separated from the frame. So they emailed me a diagram of what the fix was. So they had a remedy and no “sorry for your inconvenience” or anything.

    So off to the hardware store. I had to remove the trim and drill three 3/8 inch holes and bolt it back together. Now I had the trim to reinstall and it was not an easy thing, so I decided to go to a dealer and have them do it. I went to two and even with calls to Thor they could not install it. Finally I gave up and and bought a rubber mallet and with care and finesse I managed to get it back on.

    We love our Thor Ace but would not recommend Thor to anyone because of their lack of quality control.

  88. Larry Lucas

    Yes, it is tougher to find a spot today as opposed to 5 years ago. There are numerous parks that fill months in advance now, especially those near popular attractions.

    Quality of workmanship…. there is none, not for the money one pays. Our 2014 Open Range is constantly having problems that need attention. Quality Control is not a term recognized by the industry….

  89. David Spencer

    My wife and I are nearing retirement and have a desire to use an RV for traveling around, but the more we research them and the more we look at them, the more astonished we are at how cheaply they are made versus how costly they are. If we don’t find a better product soon, we’ll probably just fly, stay in hotels, and rent cars for our traveling.

    1. Liz Whartom

      Go with an older RV – older than 2000. Get it inspected prior version to service (by a certified professional RV Tech and a certified mechanic.

    2. S M Jenkins

      My wife and I have spent the last 3-4 years researching RVs. The quality issue has made us scratch off one company after another. We now look only at Tiffin (Mr Tiffin comes to the RV shows and attentively talks to customers to find out their opinions). For a while we also looked at Fleetwoods and Winnebagos, which also seem pretty well made, but the former went out of business and was bought out by an investor group, along with Holiday Rambler, et al. As for buying new, that seems like a mistake due to recent rushed schedules leading to poor attention to quality. We are now looking at used Tiffins of a few years in age.

  90. Dody

    American business has been, for some time, interested in short-term gains for those at the top, and the corporate-run RV industry is no different. Short-term thinking creates cheaply built eye candy that falls apart quickly because it is built by employees who are being treated like cheap temporary help, have no reason whatsoever to be proud of the product they are working on, and feel no loyalty to employers who demonstrate no appreciation for their labor. Also, things that fall apart quickly need replacing more often — perhaps the only sign of corporate long-range planning? Unfortunately, this has become the American way of business. .

    As to campgrounds, consideration of the customer has taken a back seat to the convenience of the campground. As campgrounds have come to call themselves “resorts” (whether or not that description is appropriate), prices have skyrocketed and facilities aimed at becoming destination parks, the RV traveler has been essentially ignored or considered an inconvenience.

    First, the free-wheeling idea of RVing around the country, stopping at lovely sites and spending the night when you feel like it is getting darned difficult to achieve. Although still visualized by the industry’s advertising, most of the ad photographs’ situations would be illegal, impossible or extremely expensive. It’s not very freewheeling or ideal to have to make reservations months in advance, either.

    The one- or two-night traveler passing through is being seriously underserved. For the traveler, campgrounds are located inconveniently out of the way and priced inappropriately for a simple overnight sleep. Since rest areas are disappearing or being denied to anyone who wants to rest more than two hours in many states, travelers are expected to stop in travel plazas that are often too small, aimed at truckers, or extremely crowded. Campground groups who lobby for forbidding RV parking in Walmart and other underused parking lots seem to be under the impression that the RV in that parking lot is their customer. The truth is that the RV in that parking lot is usually on their way to an RV park that wants them to check in early and not bother them in the evening or — worse — expects them to find their own site in the dark, at best a hazardous exercise.

    It seems to me that the perfect no-frills resting stop for an RV that’s actually traveling, would be duplicates of the highway rest areas — a lighted, parking lot right off the highway, with large truck-style parking sites that could be used for a minimum fee, say $5 or so by RVers (and maybe truckers). No facilities would be necessary, as RVs are self-contained. A smart entrepreneur, though, might open a small food and dump service there that could be used any time of day by hungry drivers of all types, whether or not they need to stay overnight.

    1. Jeff


      As for rest areas and WM parking lots, I see more and more of them being used by homeless people looking for a safe place to stay for the night. It’s not a bad thing, but I can see a small, Interstate adjacent community raising fears of permitting an RV Park that ‘those people would be slumming in an RV instead of a car’ nearby, driving away patrons from their nice, new RV Park.

  91. Angela Reed

    We just spent 4 weeks visiting Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota and had a wonderful time. Fortunately we found campgrounds but in some places they were few and far between. I totally agree – we need more Good Quality Campgrounds! Ones with paved pads, space between the pads, adequate facilities, etc. We saw so many campers on the road we often said as we traveled along – where are they all going to stay????

    1. Peter F LaFave

      My wife and I have been RVing for over twelve years starting with a Pop Up and three different class C , a 34′ class A and now a25′ 5th wheel. We are both spontaneous by nature and do not like to make reservation far in advance, (after all were on vacation). It has come to the point where we are not going as much because of having to plan long term. We are hopeful that before we have to give RVing up things will improve.

  92. Greg

    I work in the RV industry delivering new RVs to the dealerships. Dealers are pushing for addressing the quality problems. There seems to be a divide between the manufacturer and the dealers and that does not help the problem. The simple fact is that they do not trust each other. And the result is that the customer suffers. With the industry booming, it seems that quality is not the number one concern from the manufacturer. There are exceptions though and there are a few manufacturers that take quality very serious. But they are usually the small manufacturer trying to establish themselves in the market place. Hopefully as they grow, their quality grows with them. The disturbing thing I see is that the large manufacturers are buying out several of the smaller manufacturers and that is feeding the quality problem in my eyes.

  93. Mark Altman

    I feel the RV manufactures have there heads in the sand about the quality of the workmanship they send out to the dealers. I think that the domestic manufactures may find a foreign manufacturer coming to the USA and take over the industry like what happened in the auto industry.Then maybe they will wake up


    We never rely on rv parks or campgrounds. After our four month trip in 2014 through the Western U.S. and across Canada, we find rv parks deficient in all senses of the word. People talk about Mexico and power problems, we were surprised to see so many parks in the southwest with water, power and level pad problems. Halfway through the trip we exclusively boondocked. We are avid boondockers in Mexico.

    Quality? A misnomer. It shouldn’t matter how much you spend on an rv or what type you buy. Whether you buy a luxury or economy car they both have quality and a manufacturer who backs it up. People say, “well, rvs are made up of many manufacturer’s parts”. So are automobiles. Ford doesn’t make their own compressors. There should be no excuse for an rv to leak in it’s first year.

    What I have found is that rvers are in denial and will back this “highly unregulated” industry no matter what happens.

  95. Glenn Jacobsen

    Being experienced RVers (travel trailer folks) we bought our last trailer new, with a 110V fridge, no slideout, and short enough to need only one axle. Upon purchase, we immediately began to overhaul it. The bed collapsed after 4 sleeps, so we rebuilt it. In tearing out the old bed framing, we were astonished that the construction was so crappy. We re-shimmed the door so that it would stay closed. We had to cut 1/4″ off the bottom of a closet door to keep it from scraping the floor. We did many other customizations the first year, and it is now a much better trailer than when we bought it. We would have paid more for a better quality unit, but couldn’t find one.
    As for RV parks, yes, in the more popular destinations, one must reserve well in advance (as much as 6 months in some cases). By staying in more out of the way and less popular parts of the country, RV parks have more room. We will be overnighting in Wilbur, Washington tomorrow night, and there will be plenty of room Of course, Wilbur isn’t really a destination place.
    To sum up, RVing is becoming less fun than it was, which makes me wonder why the number of units being sold is increasing.

  96. Neil Glenn

    Like many RVers, I love to travel. In my case, I usually have a specific end destination in mind, but intermediate stops are fluid, and sometimes on the spur of the moment. As such, these are usually one-nighters, just to rest. If I find interesting spots, I look for an additional day or two layover. I tend to stay in cheaper parks, sometimes in Walmart parking lots, if available. The problem is too many of the more desirable parks do NOT want such limited time tenants, and refuse cheaper rents for short overnighters. The RV parks should have a slot or two available for such as me and my kind. We do NOT use much of the facilities, normally, and shouldn’t be a burden, ESPECIALLY if turning us away later at night would leave an unused site, anyway!

  97. Dean Yoesting

    We are desert rats, living in Southern AZ during the winter and moving north in the summer. Currently we are on a 4 month tour of the northwestern US. We have a 45 ft. Holiday Rambler pulling a toad. We have a very difficult time finding a place to park and have had to make reservations 2-3 months ahead. Parks are limited in having sites for Big rigs. I agree with you Chuck that there are a lot of new RV’s on the road and the Parks are not keeping up with the demand.

    Regarding quality. In the past 12 years I have purchased 2 new diesel pushers. We just plan for there to be problems the first couple of years. It seems that the manufacturer expects you the purchaser to find the problem and bring it back to the service center. On my current coach we had 44 items on the first return to the Service Center. The other problem is with qualified repair people. I even attended a RV technical institute to learn to do some of the things myself. I concur with you totally on limited Parks and very poor quality. Another problem is that a lot of first time buyers do not want to pay for better quality. They might expect more, but get something thrown together and it falls apart.

    1. Greg V

      I am curious how much do you have to pay to get a quality product?

      1. Alicia

        Where was the RV Technical Institute that you attended? Sounds like all RV owners need to attend.

  98. Bill Forbes

    Yes, it is harder to find campsites, particularly in desirable areas. One of my pet peeves is ReserveAmerica and the other vendors that do reservations for national parks and others.
    Sites become available six months ahead, and for high demand areas they are gone very quickly, you have to choose a site before you can reserve it and it may be taken by someone else who is a little faster before you can finish the reservation. They should allow at least some sites to be reserved further ahead, if you are considering a site there should be a window when it is not available to others, and the program should help you select a site. And they should be lobbying their customers for more sites in those high demand areas.

    As to quality, we have had six class B Xplorers (by Frank Industries, now defunct), a Cruisemaster (by Georgie Boy, now part of Coachman), and two Dutch Stars (by Newmar). We have purchased all of them used so any construction bugs were worked out by the first owner, but I haven’t seen any remaining problems with initial construction considering you get what you pay for.

    The problems we have had with buying used units have been primarily with systems that were not exercised enough. A low mileage RV may well have been used only a few weeks a year, and sat unused the rest of the time. Proper maintenance of any mechanical system includes exercising it so the oils and greases get moved around and the parts don’t corrode or seize. This may be part of the problem, because a lot of “new” RVs may have been sitting on the dealer’s lot for months.

    Also, nothing last forever and cheap stuff generally doesn’t last as long as good stuff, so any RV is going to require regular maintenance and repair, and some things just get old and wear out and have to be replaced.

  99. Terry W

    WE have a 10 year old EXCEL (peterson industries) 5th wheel and have had to have only 2 significant repair jobs. So I can say that the original quality was excellent, but I can’t say the same about the repair work. It was hard to schedule, very slow, and I never got a “warm feeling” that they valued quality of workmanship.

    Regarding RV park availability, we are full-timers, we only stay in RV Parks, no boon-docking. During the winter months we return to our “base park” for 5-6 months, but during summer months we typically only stay in one place for 1-2 weeks. For these spots, we call a couple of weeks ahead and generally have few problems. I use satellite TV and a mobile WiFi hot-spot, so we can ignore the exaggerated advertisements of cable TV and WiFi

  100. Brenda

    We had a 1999 motorhome. For several reasons, we downsized and got a newer fifth wheel. Wish we had kept the 1999. The phrase “they don’t build them like they used to” certainly applies in this case. We looked at new models which had a lot of technological bells and whistles — automatic everything — but were not nearly as solid and well built.

    We have been able to find campgrounds everywhere we roamed (never had to stay at Walmart) although choices were not always what we would have hoped for, were sometimes further off our route than we would have liked, or not always reasonably priced. We usually make reservations ahead of time. We are also fortunate to have access to military campgrounds which does give us some additional options.

  101. James House

    Except for holiday weekends we have been able to find a campsite without planning ahead more than a day, but we tend to stay away from resort campgrounds with resort prices. I say this having almost completed a 10K mile four month trip from Central CA to Key West and back.

    As for quality, never having purchased a new RV but hearing a lot of complaints around the campground I’d guess that the recession and fuel crisis caused a lot of skilled workers to look elsewhere. Migrate, adapt or die. It also shook out those managers who focused on putting out a quality product, replacing that with whatever would last through the warranty. Our manufacturer, Jayco, provides all service information through dealers and the quality can very a lot.
    I’d also like to address the issue of maintenance. If something breaks while you are away from home and any repair place will be happy to work on it in three weeks, that is a major problem. Example: We encountered some bad weather on a recent trip to the North East and our rear slideout refused to retract all the way. The campground handymen came up with all sorts of ideas as to what the cause might be, none of them at all useful, but we did manage to remove the mechanism and close the slideout manually well enough to get back on the road. When we got cell phone and internet connectivity again we contacted every RV repair and service center for several states around until we found one several hundred miles to the south which only agreed to look at the problem because they are dealers for our brand of RV. We limped along for three days until we arrived at the dealership, only to be told to come back the next week.. Things went downhill from there. The dealer refused to pay any attention to the possible causes I’d eliminated and had me reinstall the slide actuator mechanism so they could see that it was stuck. Then they proceeded to remove it and send us on our way with a promise of a diagnosis in a couple of days. They came up with diagnosis after diagnosis, finally telling us that one of the bearings the track rode on was cracked. I asked them for another time estimate and they didn’t have one. I asked them for the specifications for the bearing saying I’d locate one and bring it to them. All of a sudden it wasn’t the bearing anymore, it was something else. It took almost a month to get the slideout working again and be on our way.
    Fortunately we were and are retired so this fiasco didn’t get in the way of our income situation but had this happened a few years earlier it would have eaten up our entire vacation and more.
    There are all kinds of excuses that can be made up as to why a dealer can’t keep up with the business but the main one that occurs to me is not having enough competent employees to handle the work.
    Only the manufacturers could put sufficient pressure to bear on their dealers to be able to handle problems in a reasonable time. That is if they cared.

  102. Larry Leis

    For every RV park the price goes up the services go down just like the RV dealers do to the buyer after the sale.In California you have to make reservations a year ahead of time to get close to the ocean. Dealers have a waiting list of about 6 months for something small.

  103. Jerry Hamman

    In 2008 we purchased a Keystone Montana 3605 10th Anniversary Edition to take an extended vacation to Utah to visit their National Parks. At the end of our first day out, the living room slide out wouldn’t work properly, but it was storming so we decided to have it fixed on down the road the next day. The Montana dealership near Abilene, KS found the hydraulic unit had an oil leak and that our converter unit had suffered a lightning strike and needed to be replaced. They repaired all of the problems and we were on our way 2 days later. After that we had no problems until a year later we noticed the decals on the Montana beginning to curl and flake off. We contacted Montana but they were unwilling to assist us in replacing the decals. They offered to sell us new decals, but removing and replacing the peeling decals would be our responsibility. While the inside of our Montana looks brand new, the outside is awful. We feel our Montana is a great RV and Keystone should be proud of their product; BUT the curling and peeling decals are occurring on all of their units and Keystone should make repairs even if the unit has to be returned/taken to their factory. I’m 75 years old and I’m not going to do the labor involved in removing the old decals and putting on the new ones. Since Keystone doesn’t care about the outward appearance of their RV, I am just going to continue traveling around the US with these awful, peeling decals. We have seen many other Montana’s with this same problem and no fix from Keystone. When we talk to other Montana owners, they are as mad as we are!

    1. Leslie Schofield

      I read the RV magazines and find it interesting that Keystone gets a lot of complaints. Only when the magazine help line gets involved do they stand behind their product. We love some of the floor plans but have vowed never to by a Keystone product for the very reason you mentioned. They do not stand behind their work!

  104. Dave Inscoe

    We’ve had our 2012 Tiffin Phaeton for a little over a year ago. We bought Tiffin based on research and reputation for quality.

    We were wrong.

    We travel 4-6 months per year. Every evening when we set up and morning when we break camp, I hold my breath just hoping that something else doesn’t break today.

    We love to travel by motor home, but we’re seriously considering giving up the RV lifestyle because of the constant concern about something else breaking.

  105. Marv Thomasson

    The WIT Grand National Rally just finished, wish you could have been here Chuck. An RV is a home and like all homes, something is always needing fixing. Short screws in cabinet hinges, loose screws and trim falling off, things not completed right. The hassle of repair even if free under warranty. Still, happy with our home. As for campgrounds, many are not listed and sometimes can only be found by signs along roads (not interstates). Google is good for finding. Stay away from popular spots and visit lightly used places.

  106. Bill L

    We just purchased our first RV this year and we bought new after hearing of trouble friends had with buying used. Twenty three nights in our first RV and yes, we have found some lower quality workmanship. We even just replaced the actuator for the slide as it failed (luckily it is covered under warranty).. Looking at it after it came out, it seems flimsy for the job it does.

    All in all we love our RV but have found little quality issue which makes you wonder about the workmanship and thought into the quality of the components. Will be interesting to see how this unit holds up in coming years.

    As for camp sites, it is harder to get into places particularly July and August. More and more we notice sites are on top of each other with little space between you and the next site.

    The days of peaceful camping are slowly disappearing and being replaced with sounds that more resemble a club atmosphere or the buzz of generators whining away

    1. William Bailey

      We bought a 2015 Thor Class c motorhome in August 2015. Now only 11 months later I found a leak in my overhead compartment over left side of bunk area. I would of missed it but putting the TV back in the travel unit I see bubbles on the inside roof behind TV. Then the next weekend I pulled one of the windows open and the Handel came off in my hand. Thank God I was able to slope the window by hand, as a while later it rained hard. I brought it to the dealership for a fix, 3 days no word of yet. I just hope it will be covered under warranty. The guy at the desk couldn’t say either way.

  107. Susan

    We bought a a very gently used 2006 5th wheel a year and a half ago. In that time we have replaced the tires, refrigerator, complete landing gear assembly, batteries, the back bumper, the tv, the kitchen faucet, and the electrical converter. We are constantly finding screws on the floor that are coming from every place imaginable. Cabinet doors are sagging and the carpet and upholstery are extremely low quality and wearing out fast. I’m just glad we didn’t pay the big bucks for a NEW trailer.

    In California if you want to find a nice place to camp, you have to reserve at least 6 months in advance or get on the waiting lists. Campsites cost almost as much as a hotel. I’m about ready to go back to my tent and the backcountry.

  108. daniel mcgreevy

    the price of a lot of campgrounds have a price range to where you can get a hotel and a free meal for about the same price
    your choice
    as far as a rv goes I do not think they make any of them that will hold up long enough to get they home then try to get them fix good luck the first year they told my me they were booked up did not answer phone calls did not get back to you after that they might do some on the insurance we took out on it did not fix it right now so far it cost me about 3000 dollars to get it fixed hope this works would never buy another forest river product

  109. Mark Robbins

    My experience is an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. Tons of issues with quality issues with Heartland Sundance (5th Wheel). One of the recliners fell apart. The sofa bed (memory foam) is so unlevel when opened that it is impossible to sleep on. All furniture was made in China!!! I paid more than $40,000 on this “New Unit”! Nails in the floor under carpet. Window in the slide was installed crooked. The Faucet in the kitchen had to be replaced because Heartland installed it incorrectly. Heartland replaced the recliner and the faucet under warranty which Camping World installed. Tires had broken radials, which Heartland refused to cover, but Camping World replaced because it was two of their employees who noted the problem. But every issue could/should have been solved at the factory! I wish this was all the issues!

    I purchased this unit at a Camping World in north Alabama. Within one week I realized I had a severe leak. Took it to a Camping World in south Alabama where they discovered that the “new unit” had been used for spare parts–but was sold to me as a new unit! The dealer had taken out the black water tank to use in a different unit and then replaced it with a smaller tank that had to be retrofitted to even made it work. Had those who had done this repair NOT cross fitted the fittings the issue may have never been detected. The water damage destroyed the underbelly. To Camping Worlds credit they did correct and replace the tank are replacing for the ‘fourth time’! the underbelly. (Don’t ask!) I purchased the unit in January this year (2016) and it is CURRENTLY in the shop having the underbelly repaired (July 23).

    I believe the repairs were done ONLY because I continued to write and complain directly to the corporate headquarters. At first, they ignored my complaints. I resorted to writing to both the attorney generals of Alabama and Tennessee (where we live). Both responded, and forwarded my concerns on to Camping World headquarters. Tennessee AG is still on the case which is the real reason I am getting my camper fixed. I requested several times for Camping World to take the unit back and let me start again, which they refused to do. They are making a ‘small’ compensation to me for my inconvenience. My unit is only about 6 months old and has been in the repair shop 3 times, and Camping World has sent a repair man to me 3 times to replace the faucet and to do other minor fixes. Sadly, Heartland does not stand behind their units, has no quality control, and has not responded until forced to, to do any of the repairs.

    The RV industry is ONLY interested in sales. They do NOTHING to police their own. Most states DO NOT have RV lemon laws.

    Be advised. ONLY purchase used RVs. I will never purchase anything that has a Heartland label on it……and I am currently upside down and will be forced to stay in this unit for several years until I can afford to replace it.

    1. Jann Forrest

      Even if you live in a state that has the lemon law, it is pretty useless. We tried that route but it was too much work for the lemon law attorney (who was a lemon himself). Our unit went back and forth from home to the mfg. several times. Once the mfg. agreed to pick it up and take it to their place which was a mistake. The driver did not know about avoiding gas tanks with the rear end of the motorhome. Yes you guessed it – but to their credit they did get the damage fixed.

  110. Greg Illes

    Chuck, we typically avoid campgrounds and try to boondock, so I’ll skip that part of commenting.

    As for quality and workmanship, my experience is striking in two respects:

    1. The overall quality, even with my mid-range Itasca motorhome, is mediocre at best. Since it’s 13 years old and well-maintained, I don’t have the “newbie blues” that others report. But the sad state of materials and workmanship still surfaces periodically.

    2. Luckily, I’m very handy and can fix most things myself. In this I am extremely fortunate, because here in the San Francisco Bay area, shop rates run $150 PER HOUR. And they charge that for changing a light bulb or straightening a slide-out or anything in-between. As far as I’m concerned, the egregious shop rate adds injury to insult, forcing many of us to pay through the nose for problems that we should not have experienced in the first place.

  111. Lynn Hudgens

    Thanks, Chuck, for bringing these two topics to a forefront for discussion. Here’s my two cents:

    1) Finding a Campground – Difficulty in finding a campground has steadily increased. This is especially true since states, counties and communities have experienced budget issues in a poor economy. This timing is hitting in conjunction with Baby Boomers retiring at an average rate of 20,000 per day (confirm this statistic on web sites like Social Security). It takes a lot of luck to find a place spontaneously. The demand and the economy are also driving up the rates. All of these states, counties and communities need to re-examine the value of tourism and seasonal infusions of cash in their areas.
    2) Quality of RV Construction – Quality of construction has been a problem for decades. Manufacturers need to make a profit, but they appear to be doing so through lack of quality standards and cheap labor. Other issues play along with this. Financing an RV with rapid depreciation due to poor quality is a nightmare (driving away potential buyers). I have been a part of a Facebook group for a major manufacturer. The number of problems sited by owners (and repeated year after year) drove me away from that major manufacturer. The trend I see is that dealers want to sell volume and are NOT interested in service (especially warranty work). That has driven many of us to consider purchasing an RV from a manufacturer located closest to where we will spend the most time in retirement or where we will be raising a family. The trend I see is for RV owners to take their RV to the factory for repairs…sometimes sitting for weeks or over a month waiting for the factory to get to them. RV prices are competing at about the same level as comparable fixed base, regular house. And I don’t have to buy tires and other commodities for the land-based house. The entire industry needs to stop and take a “gut check” on where they are headed. (Note: The manufacturer options are becoming smaller as Thor buys out factories and smaller factories close their doors.) This is not an easy fix, but for the industry to become more healthy, RVIA and manufacturers need to get serious.

  112. Marsha Ross

    Just bought a 2017 Sunseeker, Class C. The converter broke the first week on the road. Waited 3 weeks for a replacement. Many small electrical issues. Lack of manuals drives me nuts. My 2004 Sunseeker was a dream but RV parks had restrictions on the age of the MH coming into the park. Will be on the road for the month of August and had to reserve every stop. Takes the fun out of hitting the road.

    1. William Bailey

      We bought a 2015 Thor Class c motorhome in August 2015. Now only 11 months later I found a leak in my overhead compartment over left side of bunk area. I would of missed it but putting the TV back in the travel unit I see bubbles on the inside roof behind TV. Then the next weekend I pulled one of the windows open and the Handel came off in my hand. Thank God I was able to slope the window by hand, as a while later it rained hard. I brought it to the dealership for a fix, 3 days no word of yet. I just hope it will be covered under warranty. The guy at the desk couldn’t say either way. One more thing, I just love that life time warranty that I have to pay for at 3oo or so each year inspection home part of Rv, and send in the paper work to show I had it done with a letter head on it showing the place that did work. We do love the thing but are only able to use on weekends. 6 since we got it.

      1. S M Jenkins

        I think you are on the right track. The RV industry nearly dies during a recession, and the Great Recession really jaded them. They now only want to sell as many RVs as they can under any circumstances before the next recession hits them. Having a long-term view is beyond them when all they can think about is making hay while the selling is good. “Why should I care about quality if the customers will only disappear again when the economy turns down?,” they think.

  113. Cindy and Gary Trombley

    In 2012 we traveled from Michigan to Alaska and returned through Washington. It was there we discovered a frame failure on our 2007 Wildcat 30′ fiver. The front cross beam cracked in half and the welds on the kingpin were cracked 10-12″ on either side. Neither Wildcat/Forest River or Lippert were willing to take responsibility. FR said that it was unacceptable but they didn’t build it, Lippert did. Lippert said they built it to FR specs. I had documentation showing rig was not overweight. When talking to the extended warranty company they were insistent that the mainframe and the chassis were not the same thing. I was extremely fortunate that my insurance company paid for the repairs as no one else would step up. I believe the manufacturers and extended warranty company should have been more responsive. Forest River and Lippert can fight all day about whose responsibility it was but they could have authorized the repairs and split the cost. Same for the warranty company. I chose not to pursue it further due to frustration and the fact that the repairs were covered by the insurance company. I cannot say enough good things about Eric’s RV in Sequim, WA. Their work and service were excellent. We have since replaced the Wildcat with an Arctic Fox by Northwood (2013 295RK) and have been very happy with the quality so far.

  114. Jim S.

    I live in So. Cal. and camping almost anywhere around here in the summer time is very difficult without getting reservations way in advance and then you have to deal with crowded campgrounds. Fortunately we’re retired, so we do our camping in the off season, which can still be challenging at times.
    We have a 2009 Fltwd Bounder that we bought new. We previously owned a ’98 Bounder and stayed with Fltwd because we thought the quality was pretty good. BUT, RV’s are not made very well. We had multiple issues come up the first year. It was in the shop for 4 to 5 months that year. There always seems to be issues. We have a great repair shop and most times I take it in the tech says “oh yes, we see this all the time”. RV’s need to be made better for sure. I could give you multiple examples.

  115. Toby

    My wife and I have been camping/RVing for over 20 years and loved the idea of Thursday night comments “let’s take off tomorrow for the weekend. Well those days are long gone. We live in western Washington and if you don’t have reservations by the end of January, your summertime weekend trips to State Parks of “good” RV parks are all but impossible.
    I have owned three truck campers, two fifth wheels and currently have a Class A m/h. All were purchased used, but still I have found lots of shady workmanship in all of them. For the most part, dealers and RV repair centers are not very helpful and want you to bring your rig to them so they can charge you $125 an hour just to diagnose the problem.

  116. François Rochon

    TRy camping on the ocean, atlantic and golf of Mexico … you have to make reservations about a year in advance especialy if you want to go to a state park… and even these are etting out of price… When a campground is nearly the price of a clean motyel room you start wondering !

    1. Michael K.

      It’s a shame and yes you have to schedule a year out… We need to open up more R.V. Spots in this Beautiful, Free Nation we live in. Also get more tree’s, and bush’s in our parks.

  117. Ron Swartz

    No real problems with campsites, however we do most of our travel after the busy season.

    Quality of workmanship has only been a problem with our Class A gasser we only owned 2 years. We took it back to the factory four times with punch list items and once to replace the Dometic refer. Power Gear levelers had to be replaced twice. Wouldn’t buy another Fkleetwood product. We owned 2 Lazy Daze Class C’s. Best workmanship and after-sale service (rarely needed). Now we have a Winnebago class B. (Seventh RV) Mostly OK but I have had to do some pick-up work myself (Timely dealer appointments almost impossible to obtain). As Mac McCoy the fireguy says ” their needs to be a RVOA (Recreational Vehicle OWNERS Association)”.

  118. Ken Hunt

    I purchased my 2009 Tiffin Phantom 40QTH in June of 2008. I have put over 48000 miles with relatively few problems. When I did have a problem, I would call Tiffin directly and they would get my problem solved every time. Their customer service is by far the best out there in my and many other’s opinion. Now as far as RV Dealers and Camping world, once you leave the lot your practically on your own. Seems like once you give them there money they want nothing more to do with you. SAD!!

    1. Will & Sandy Bush

      Agree, we owned a Fleetwood Southwind (95) and Bounder (97) with few problems (mostly with bounder). We then purchased a 2008 Tiffin Allegro Open Road (36ft) in June 2007 and used full-time for 2 1/2 years then 3 months each year during the summer since 2010 and have very few problems and workmanship is the best we have seen comparing to other manufacturers. Tiffin never hesitates to take care of their customers. Yes you can even visit with Mr. Tiffin during your stop at Red Bay, AL (where they make them). If you are full-timer or summer traveler you can stop and have work done at their facility at Red Bay. You can call anytime and a technician will help you resolve any problem no matter how old your unit. We stop every year on our way back home to The Villages, FL for any minor repairs or just to say hi and pick up the best pork sausage anywhere (locally made using entire pig not the bad parts). We have about 41,000 miles on our unit and it looks new and we would never consider any other manufacturer other than Tiffin. We are always looking at motorhomes just for the fun of it and have never seen any that has the workmanship of a Tiffin. We plan to drive this for many more years and have enjoyed the 9 years to date. Only problem and not Tiffin is with the Dometic Awning Fabric, now going on our 3rd fabric so will be writing Dometic to see why we have had such a bad problem with their awning material (tears at roller and bad seams along roof line). We are currently at our family campground in Waddington, NY (Northern NY on Canadian border) until end of August then head to Midwest and back toward home arriving home about 1 Oct. WE LOVE OUR TIFFIN. PS. Enjoy reading the RV Travel Newsletter; full of great information.

      1. Chuck Woodbury

        Will and Sandy, Tiffin has an excellent reputation. It’s one company that really does a quality job building its RVs and then taking care of its customers.


  119. Linda Hanson

    After full timing for a year, we now use our RV 2-3 months a year – reverse snowbirds. We live in FL and travel in the summers. We have not had many problems finding campsites by calling ahead in the morning while on the road and we reserve in advance for longer stays. We are concerned about the prospects on planning a western trip next year. At 43′, we don’t fit in every campground out there.

    For quality…we bought our 2013 Entegra new. I’m not sure I would buy new again. Love knowing the whole history of our unit, Entegra’s customer service has been outstanding and the two year warranty really helped – but we still had too many problems and the coach spent too much of the first year in shops. We learned to take the coach to the factory annually. We get everything fixed in one shot, fixed right, and they do in a week what a shop couldn’t accomplish in four months (literally).



  121. Mr.Disaster

    We just moved up to a 36′ fifth wheel. We see more folks living permanently at parks than before. The best parks are loosing the best sites. It takes more time to get a site the rig will fit in. Especially tough on the summer holiday weekends when you are used to very flexible planning and travel. It would be a great idea for the RVIA to help lobby for improved and upgraded parks.

    1. Nancy

      That’s the problem I’m seeing more often also. Most campgrounds are being turned into trailer parks instead of rv parks by having more than half their sites (and usually the better sites) being used by permanent folks. The full perimeter of many of these parks are park model homes and very few spaces are left for full time traveling rver’s, like myself. Make rving very frustrating and not much fun.

  122. Tom Gutzke

    Never had a problem finding a campsite for 35 years until this summer. Balloon fest – golf tournament – rodeo – etc. in town. We travel to an area and sightsee until we’re done; then we move on. Have general area picked out but not specific date for arrival. Can’t plan next campground until we leave current campground. Might take longer than we thought in an area due to more to see, delayed by weather, etc.

    Have travel trailer that is wheelchair-accessable. Only one I know of that’s like it that’s a standard trailer. Easy accessability but quality sorely lacking. Have to do repairs every year on something.
    Power solenoids for slideouts & tongue are not protected from the elements so they fail after 2-3 years. Seems like manufacturers want to sell new units but don’t care about useability in many ways.

  123. Steve Willey

    On campground crowding, we just travel in winter, plenty of space everywhere going south until the very last where it does get full, but never like summer.
    On quality, we have been buying and shopping RVs so long that I now know the brands to avoid. Many on the sales floor have screws for furnishings missing or off of their targets, crooked hinges and latches, loose trim strips, pinhole leaks in those darn rummer roof materials, marker lights not sealed to the body, you know the rest. Some brands stand out, for terrible workmanship that is on display uncorrected — should I say Fleetwood and Coachman? Right next to it will be a Winnebago or Coach House woth none of those defects. Shop carefully and learn before buying.

  124. Bobshoe

    We found a way to store our 2016 RV for free for weeks and maybe months. Merely bring it to the dealership for warranty work and wait for them to call you when the work is done.

    As for quality, both the design and the build of the 2016 Airstream Interstate was so flawed in so many ways that it wasn’t very useable. After 6 months of grief and aggravation — most of which it was in for service — we gave up and traded it for a barely used Unity 2016 Leisure Travel Van..

    The LTV is superbly designed and excellently built. When both are bought new, the LTV is about $25,000 less than the Airstream . It also seems to have at least 50% more useable space than the Airstream. The Mercedes Sprinter Van used for both brands is phenomenal.

    1. Patty

      Your storage solution would be funny if not so true!

  125. Sam Ferguson

    My wife and I have taken 2 trips from SC out west and have had no problem finding campsites. We usually decide when we leave in the morning where we will stop for the night and start calling for a spot as we travel. As far as quality goes since can”t go over 200 words will just hit the high spots. It seems thor is getting a lot of bad reviews and mine will be the same. Bought a 2012 TT made by crossroads new. When I got it home every door and drawer was standing open. I got to looking and found all the latches misaligned. I spent about 3 hours aligning them and getting them to hold. When I picked the TT up I told the salesman it looked like the wheels did nor line up. They had some lamebrain excuse that it was alright. After towing it 3000 miles on a cross country trip the inside of the tire was worn almost to the wire. This finally convinced them the axle was bent. My camper sat on the lot for one month before they touched it and the took them another month to fix it. I will NEVER own another camper made by thor or buy one from Camping World. These are just the major problems and does not include all the other minor ones

  126. Don Muhlbeier

    I don’t think it is tougher then it was in the past, you do have to plan ahead tho.

    As far as the quality of the workmanship out of the factory, parts of it really SUCKS! We purchased a new Itasca motorhome in 2014 and the first 3 months we were at the dealer more than we were living in it. The dealer was Great and fixed all the problems that we had. Just little things that should have been taken care of at the factory before the unit left. I really agree that maybe the best idea is to buy a unit that is a year old so someone else has to fix all the problems.

    1. Bill Patterson

      We did just that…bought a used rental that they refurbished. They also fix or replaced items we found over the course of a few weeks of me going through the coach with a fine tooth comb. The engine had about 75k and our first trip ran 8000m cross country with no problems. Like you said let the first few years be someone elses headache. Rental companies have to keep the rigs maintained for insurance reasons if nothing else.

  127. C Bowman

    Hi from AZ. . . on the 1st question, it takes some resrearch to find a GOOD campground. I use ‘’ & like them. I throw out the top & bottom 1/3 & hope I’m right. . .I generally avoid big popular campgrounds because of crowds & do research a ways ahead. On question #2, you don’t want to get me stared . my $70k list 2010 Airstream had so many disappointing things, I was not amused. I fixed / upgraded them all & ended up with a great trailer. The new 2016 model seems better in many respects, but only time will tell if that’s true or intial impression. . .

  128. Jim

    Good questions. Finding camp sites and development of campgrounds is a complex problem. What RVers want changes as the years go by, and since many areas are seasonal, finding investors may be difficult. Yes, it is harder than before.

    Poor quality factory work is so bad that even having purchased new RV’s in the past, I will always buy used from now on.

  129. Robert Haffner

    We have found, much like you Chuck, that RV’s are geared more for entertaining than for camping. More people are getting involved perhaps but camping experience is becoming obsolete. And finding campsites without sometimes making lengthy reservations has taken some of the spontaneity out of the overall experience.

    As for the quality of new units, we have owned two both new and have noticed more shoddy workmanship than cheap materials. Screws stripped or not installed, cabinets misaligned, plumbing not connected correctly etc.. Plus technician workmanship is not much better at the dealership. It seems like the buyer beware saying especially applies to RV’s, the dealers do care more about the sale than about the customer or your experience

  130. C. J. G.

    I’m new to RV’ing and I look at the size of trailers people tow. The complaints of lack RV sites is understandable. RV’s have grown by 50% in length and width in the last 30 years. I have a 21 foot Pleasure Way I bought used and it takes up the space of a large pick-up truck consequently parking is easier to find. Taking a full sized house with you seems crazy to me. If people could get by with less they might be happier. People with smaller boats use them a lot more than people with big boats and I’m sure RV’s are the same.

  131. Neil

    Can’t wait for the Japanese to start making rvs – might just make American manufacturers pay attention to quality

    1. Judy

      I like that idea!

    2. Ellen

      Honda alone has recalled more than 6 MILLION vehicles in the past year….. Not so sure foreign-based competition would do the trick (instead it might flood the market with even more crappy products). We have the ability to manufacture quality vehicles in the US; that’s not the problem. The problem is nobody is being held accountable for the lousy units coming out of RV factories.

  132. Neil

    Very smart questions for which I thank you. In the case of sites for our 43’ 2009 Beaver Contessa by Monaco, we have done some traveling and have not experienced too many park issues, but we hear of them and are quite concerned for our 2017 trip across America. People tell us we can no longer travel without making reservations and what is interesting about RV life is the notion of traveling where the wheels take us, of course in style! As for quality of the RV, I am thrilled we purchased new at the low of the market when everything was 50% off otherwise I would have become terribly annoyed with the many, many issues. Alas, we created a self-fund to handle such things from our savings on the purchase. I will say that Monaco RV’s phone service has been fabulous and with their help we were able to diagnose, secure plans and specs for each of the many projects. So long as Monaco’s phone division stays at the quality they are, I would definitely recommend a Monaco and consider another myself. On the other hand, if one is not reasonably handy, from our experience the buyer should expect pretty high repair bills.

  133. Larry Lang

    I purchased a new 2012 Forest River Salem 22″ Travel Trailer in Sept. 2011. After several complaints to the dealer about braking problems and failed repairs, the brakes kept locking up on a trip in August 2013. Had it repaired on the road for $900. Wiring for electric brakes shorted out due to clips not installed to hold wires to backing plate. September 2014 on a trip to Moab Utah, 1000 miles from home a tire failed. The National Tire shop reported that all 4 tires should be replaced due to tread separation. Another $400. The dealer would not accept any responsibility for either problem. October 2015, totaled both my Travel Trailer and tow vehicle due to a defective hitch. The Camco Eaz-Lift Weight Distribution System with Sway Control had a welded joint that failed. The accident was described in an RV Travel newsletter in January 2016.

  134. S M Jenkins

    My wife and I rented a type A gasser a couple years ago. Skipped the RV parks due to poor reputations and stayed at state parks. The RV worked ok except when city water was hooked up, when the plumbing came apart. The water level meters never worked and the people who rented it said they rarely do since construction effort was so poor at the factories. As we ponder buying our first RV, we are concerned about all these things.

  135. Ted Raymond

    Hi Chuck:
    We have owned every type of RV over the years. A TT, Two trailers; two motor homes and a Thor 5er, This Thor was the main reason we do not own an RV now. Can you imagine that after sitting out the winter I went in the Thor to fine a massive growth of black mold inside on the wall and floor. Seems they put a seam on the outside walls and it separated. This seam is about 8 feet up so it went un-noticed until spring. I had to sell it for scrap. Anyway we now Cruise and have no worries any more, we let the cruise staff cater to us rather than we cater to the Poor quality of an RV

  136. Tim Slack

    We started our f/t RVing in a 30′ Airstream, one made prior to being acquired by Thor. It was well-made albeit with fittings and lines of different dimensions than common among RVs. Made changing or fixing things challenging. A year in, we traded into a Tiffin 32′ class A and have been very happy. Construction is good, service excellent and parts readily available. We’re workampers (volunteer or for pay) at one or two locations 10-11 months out of year and get our FHU site comped w/ the job so only have to arrange sites while in transit between jobs. Reservations in advance takes care of that. If we take a ‘vacation’ from our full-timing, we plan ahead & reserve. No problem.

  137. Ted Raymond

    Hi Chuck:
    We have owned every type of RV over the years. A TT, Two trailers; two motor homes and a Thor 5er, This Thor was the main reason we do not own a RV now. Can you imagine that after sitting out the winter I went in the Thor to fine a complete black mold inside on the wall and floor. Seems they put a seam on the outside walls and it separated. This seam is about 8 feet up so it went un-noticed until spring. I had to sell it for scrap. Anyway we now Cruise and have no worries any more, we let the cruise staff cater to us rather than we cater to the Poor quality of a RV

  138. Bob R

    Only 200 words, yes, but it has always been that way in California, sunny beaches are in demand all the time. Months in advance. While traveling we call ahead for a nights stay but usually get accommodated. Got to think in advance now-a-days.

    workmanship – wow, my present RV I’ve owned for 210 days with a total of in shop warranty work 145 days. I could have done most of it, but it’s on warranty, why should I. The last Rv I had also a lot of work to bring it up to working order. The only RV I’ve even had with hardly a working problem was a truck camper. But just not enough room.

  139. Philip Kuhn

    Great read. I have been considering getting back into RV’g again after some 40 years of doing it and enjoying it until the last 5-6 years.
    Now I will not re-enter the wonderful world of (used to be), RV’g.
    I had hoped things would improve but obviously they have gotten even worse. Did not think they could after the last 5-6 years I was doing it.
    I might remark that another change has taken place and that is the Camper person themselves. Not the same group they used to be. Maybe what they have found after they invested heavily in an RV is part of that metamorphosis. I have become a day tripper now, with some control over my destination and accommodations. Too bad it was a great life, I am glad I got to enjoy it while it was still fun and worry free.

  140. Bonnie Forman-Franco

    I can only say that we will NEVER purchase another Winnebago if they were the last manufacturer on the planet. We have a 30ft ASPECT that is 7 years old. The bedroom slide stopped working and Winnebago refused to stand by the product. They referred us to the company who made the slide out for them, and they were no longer producing that slide. Winnebago refuses to stand by their products and simply left us hanging with a nonfunctioning unit. We even offered to drive to their factory and they said no. Workmanship is shoddy but lots of “fluff” inside. People should look at the construction and not the accoutrements. Also, only deal with companies that back what they produce.

  141. Jim - Laguna Vista, TX

    As for campsites, there are too few and those that are available fall into three areas of niceness: Great, Good, Not so Good. Need more of the Good and Great! What we found in many RV Parks the failure to keep trees trimmed along the pathway/roadway to the site and at the site; they should be no less than 14 feet from the ground. Now as to the product workmanship; buyers pay for what they get. I see the problem as lack of quality control, no matter of price of product. In many cases the RV roll of the line without anyone giving the product a good look over, Example of problems missed: Bay doors not closing right and tight, allowing water or dirt to enter. Roof and windows leaking, Appliances not working correctly. With RV products costing as much as they are, customers want things to work right. And, if there is a problem, RV dealers should without any question make repairs on any product they sell, even if the customer had purchased the product elsewhere. Customer service is missing at many RV dealerships.

  142. Jim K

    While traveling in my motorhome, I usually start looking for a spot to make dinner and spend the night around 3:00 to arrive around 7::00.

    I usually have luck in finding a place to stay for the night but I’m not there to take advantage of all the campground has to offer, just a safe place to sleep and move on. My only wish is that campgrounds would take this in consideration and offer a discount for people who are just passing through.

    1. benny

      I agree with Jim. My wife and I started full timing in 1992 , and did so for 22 years. we have started staying the winter months in one place but still travel in the summer. Our concern is finding a park with out a reservation. we don,t care for that because we never are sure where we will be.. Even corp and state parks need reservations. They do not have drive up sites. And the cost of sights are to much to high for full timers. The sites go for 20.00 to 50.00 and will average 40.00 per night ,that’s 1200.00 a month. I think it would be nice if the states and gov. would build some parks without all the amenities , and lower the site prices. I guess a lot of readers will say well if you can,t afford it do not do it. well to them I say we are not all wealthy.

  143. LMS

    Things like this from your own newsletter is why I don’y think the RVIA should get involved with campgrounds…”A Canadian campground trade group chimes in, “[We] have made our members fully aware of the potential threat to their campground and the RV industry in general if we do not monitor each RV unit that occupies our campsites. We want to do our best to ensure that we are never put in a position whereby there is a tragedy involving a non-compliant ‘tiny home RV’ in one of our campgrounds.”” Non-RVIA “approved” RVs would not be allowed in the campgrounds.

  144. Dick Martin

    Quality seems pretty good, but warranty service is a joke. I bought a new 2016 Heartland North Trail Caliber Travel Trailer at the Hershey RV Show. I had done my research on the unit and the show price that I negotiated was OK. It just happened that the dealer for this unit was a Camping World dealer in Syracuse, NY. They delivered the unit to a Harrisburg, PA dealer where I picked up the unit. There were some minor warranty issues that need to be addressed. I could not get the Syracuse Camping World dealer to arrange for service. It was November and the dealer in Harrisburg where I picked up the unit said all their techs were away in training and the work would take at least 30 days. The Camping World dealer closest to where I live in Western Maryland said they were a minor dealer and everything would have to be approved by the dealer in Syracuse and take at least 2 weeks to get parts. There is a Heartland Dealer nearby. Since they don’t sell the North Trail model they said that I would have to pay $200 up front for any work and basically fight with Heartland to get reimbursed. What a sad commentary on the state of RV Dealer Service.

  145. Carole

    Since we’ve just begun camping, I can’t comment on the availability of parks. I can, however, comment on the quality of RVs.

    We previously owned a 2004 Keystone Montana Big Sky. We not live in a 2012 Keystone Montana Big Sky. The different in finish work on the these is very noticeable. Furniture finish is not as good, having rough spot on the chairs. End tables are more cheaply made. Shelving is another issue. Instead of two shelves in kitchen cabinets, there’s only one! I really don’t need an 18″+ distance between shelves. Lights over the bed are the same as the ceiling lights, not very conducive to reading in bed. The shower is much smaller. The closet is so narrow that the doors hit the hangers when you close them. No shelves by the bed. Granted I do have more room by the side of the bed, thanks to the narrower closet, but there could have been a few inches more in the closet and less by the bed. I’d take my 2004 as far as workmanship any day!

  146. LMS

    I would never want the RVIA to get into RV parks and campgrounds. I have a self-converted bus. While I have not had a problem getting my bus into an RV park, I do know of parks that would not allow my self-converted former school bus to grace their parks. Nor would I want to stay there either. I know my bus is safer than many manufactured RV with the RVIA emblem on them. I have a copy of the standards that the RV manufacturers are supposed to go by. I wanted better. RV park owners are being squeezed on prices and regulations. Why shouldn’t they look towards a more consistant income stream (permanent and semi-permanent). They have to keep upgrading their facilities, which costs a lot of money to keep up with the ever increasing size and engergy loads the newer RVs require. For example, I’m sitting near an over sized rather dark colured RV with 3 BLACK air conditioners in temps where the higs are between 100F and 120F. That creates a heck of a draw for a small park who is trying to make enough money to pay the bills plu upgrade.

    As for quality of the sticks & stpales RVs…. Built my own. Don’t like junk.

  147. Rick N

    Thank you for the article. We are full timers and have had few problems with finding camp sites. We do reserve ahead in popular areas and call ahead in other places. Our 2014 Cedar Creek, Hathaway Edition is built generally pretty well. But, there are many design and construction issues. Placement of wiring in wheel wells under slides rather than in protected space is one example. I do not understand why cannot be delivered with a neat, well-organized owner’s manual. Wiring and plumbing diagrams would be very helpful. My biggest grip is with the dealers. Often great salespeople but total disregard for customer as soon as papers signed. A PDI should not be a game of hide and seek. Customer calls should be returned. And, work should be completed properly and in a timely manner.

  148. Mike

    Our latest trip included Yellowstone. We have visited Yellowstone several times over the last 40 years. Other than the area by Old Faithful and canyon Village it does not look like any of the parking areas have been expanded at all during those decades while attendance feels like it has doubled or tripled. As a consequence cars dangerously park for a quarter to a half mile alongside the roads by some of the geyser basins. Forget finding an RV parking spot past 10 in the morning. I fail to understand why the park doesn’t invest more in the visitor experience by increasing parking space where needed and room is available to do so.

  149. Steve W

    Lack of campsites is a real issue; we book a year ahead at an RV park we’ve been going to for nine years, but sometimes we get bumped because we’re short-timers and somebody wants our sight longer term. I completely understand, but that doesn’t make it right. Then, we usually can’t find a site nearby and just stay home.

  150. Darrell Watauga, TX

    I agree with many others that finding a campground is becoming more difficult all the time. New RV parks are hampered by local ordinances to get built and open. I have read the 8 part series in RV Daily news and believe quality will not improve until customers quit buying new RVs and sales drop. This industry is begging for regulation and government oversight! 83% of all RVs manufactured are by Thor or Forest River. They control the RVIA, the suppliers of almost all parts, and have an iron fist over the dealers. I encourage everyone to read the series and Buyer Beware!

  151. Brenda Grothier

    We have been full-time since December 2013 after purchasing a 2005 Newmar Dutchstar. We have had a few expenses but nothing more than owning a house. The quality build is what made us purchase the unit. Knowing that we would be doing cosmetic updates we have replaced tv’s to flat screens, allure ultra flooring and a residential refrigerator. As to finding camping spots we read three years ago about the hassles people were having. We weren’t used to just pulling in and getting a spot. Our response to that is make reservations months ahead. We camp all winter at Florida State Parks and reserve 11 months in advance. We like being able to just drive in to our spot with privacy in beautiful settings. We also make reservations at COE 6 months in advance. To use the small hassle of making reservations far in advance is worth it. We can always cancel if circumstances are use.

    1. Michael K.

      Brenda smart when reserving 6 and 11 months ahead in Florida. To bad you have to do that. We need more, good, R.V. Parks. Florida is nice in the winter but now ton’s of Baby-Boomers (Going RVing) and it is getting to crowded. I do not blame Baby-Boomers for the over-crowded R.V. Parks a lot of them are retiring also. It is getting far more difficult each year. Lord Help Us!

  152. Tom Nac

    Tom Nac
    Our concern for the subject of campgrounds, and campground quality we have seen, is thee small family campground without the amenities some people need is still the best option. We travel past all the glitz and glider to find family campgrounds of 35 to 75 sites.
    As far as quality of RV’s, we toured Thor in Indiana in the summer of 2015. After seeing RV structural construction of their units, we dropped $16,000 into our 1998 Discovery DP due to the fact that it showed much better quality value than seen on the factory tour.

  153. Janemor

    We agree with you completely. It is so difficult to find a place to camp or stay unless you have made advance reservations, sometimes almost a year in advance. We love to travel the Oregon coast but it has become a nightmare of finding a place to stay We own a 30ft 5th wheel, a Komfort. It is well built and wonderful. However, we look to upgrade eventually but so far find nothing in our research is reasonably affordable and well built This shouldn’t be that hard!!

  154. Al

    Hi Chuck,
    We made a big mistate buying a new Forrest River I-Pod a few years back… We went to a dealer in Iowa from our home in Oregon to pick it up. Right from the start we had problems, first the wire for right electric brake fell off at axle and trailer pulled had each time when stopping… after that was corrected and before getting home the other side brake wire also fell off. Then the wires for the refrigerator got pinch when slide out was activated, windows leaked when towing in rain, plus a hard to fix propape leak. I could go on about this , however won’t bore you with anymore of the problems with a brand new trailer.
    I look at it this way…. my two happy days is when I bought it and when I sold it..

    1. Michael K.

      I’m sorry to hear that Chuck. Goes to prove what is going on with some of the manufactuers…I doubt seriously that the owner of the company of the motorhome you purchased is a R.V.’er. God Bless you Chuck.

  155. Paul Martin

    As full timers, my wife and I are in total agreement with your article. We now have a Foretravel, and are very pleased with it, but we are constantly in the service of Tennessee RV near Knoxville, TN. and we have found out that owning an RV is much more expensive than owning a house. I once owned a Georgie Boy, and we spent more on that than the piece of junk was worth. We have also found out that the state parks in our part of Tennessee are filthy with trash and the rangers are too afraid to take actions against the people who trash the park. Last week we had to have the ranger evict about 20 Mexicans out of our spot, two hours after check out time. They had slaughtered a small goat, on the spot, and after having the carcass hanging from a tree they gutted it and put it on a homemade rotisserie roasting it right there in the park over the fire pit. The ranger did not do a thing but ask them to leave. We found the spent shell casing, next to the tree where they discharged a weapon in a state part with children all around. This is the stuff you won’t hear about in the news. Our parks are being destroyed right before our eyes. Unbelievable!

  156. Joe Vagott

    I find it is of no use to complain about the lack of quality control of the rv industry. They could care less of what we think because they are going to keep making them the same way and the people are still going to keep buying them. So what’s a little complaining when you are making a profit?

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Joe, short term a manufacturer can turn out crap and maybe get away with it for awhile. But long term the manufacturer will have a harder time attracting repeat customers. RV makers and dealers, too, do not seem to understand the concept of “lifetime value,” where doing such a good job for buyers and them treating them right afterwards turns them into life-long customers, returning time and time again to buy a new model.

      1. Ken Montgomery

        Very good observations, Chuck. Evergreen/Lifestyle’s recent demise serves as a perfect example of a manufacturer that opted for constructing RVs with serious mechanical flaws and substandard quality control. These negative issues Evergreen customers (Bayhill, Ever-Lite, I-Go) endured in the company’s brief existence no doubt contributed significantly to its inability to secure funding to continue in a competitive industry.

      2. Michael K.

        Good Job Chuck. I feel a lot of MH Manufacturers will probably be living in tents in the future due to not having a job due to the “Poor Products” they are turning out (Not all of them) but to many.

  157. Tom

    As my wife and I are recent retirees and do like camping ( we have done tent camping and small popup in the past) reading the stories about the poor quality and $, problems getting into RV parks we have decided upon a hybrid style. We do camping stuff daytime and stay in hotels at night.

  158. Jim A

    RV Parks:
    We have been RV’n since the Mid 70’s. And yes finding “affordable” and convenient campsites is getting more difficult. We have seen improvements in some National Forests allowing campgrounds to accommodate bigger rigs. But the National Parks seem to be locked in the 50’s mindset.
    RV Quality:
    Terrible, unless you pick the right brand. The Horror stories we hear from fellow RV’ers about quality issues are simply terrible…
    With our now 16 year old antique Dutch Star we have been very fortunate. Since new, It’s only been in the shop three times for unplanned service. We looked at buying a new coach a couple of years ago and the $400,000 price tag made it easy to keep the winner we already have, Instead we added a pair of bedroom slides, new floor, new cabinets and were ready to go another 150,000 miles..

    1. Brenda Grothier

      We have a 2005 Newmar Dutchstar bought used in 2013. We also looked at New ones last year are the Florida Tampa RV Show. $$$$$. New flat screen tv’s, allure ultra flooring, and residential refrigerator and we figure we’re good for another 10 years.

  159. Landon Kimbrough

    We love the RV lifestyle but have been very disappointed by the lack of quality in our 15 Navion and poor service from the dealer. The list is too long for here, latest on this trip is no generator at 3.8 hours. Except that we cannot sleep in the corner bed, would love to have our 06 View back.

  160. Marcel Ethier

    Finding a site at a campground or RV park has not been a problem but then we seldom travel during the summer and definitely not on weekends. Most of our local travel is in the spring and fall. We winter in Texas, Arizona or Florida at RV resorts. We have owned 4 RVs, 2 Class A and 2 5th wheels and all but the first one were bought new. All would not pass good quality inspection tests. We, and I’m sure several other RVers, would pay a bit more if the manufacturers would upgrade the quality of the RVs.

  161. Stu

    Good article, Chuck. 100% spot -on. It has become harder to find a QUALITY park of any kind. In my opinion one of the biggest culprits is the Army COE campgrounds. They seem to be cutting back on site maintenance quality and personnel and many campground host don’t seem to be too keen on enforcing rules anymore. As far as quality of workmanship goes I purchased a 2015 Keystone Montana 5er new and have a few minor problems. It is not what the “Montana” name used to be. I thought I did my diligent research and vetting before I purchased, but I did not check one important thing- is Keystone still Keystone? If I had known that Thor Industries had purchased them , I might have looked elsewhere. I have noticed many cost-cutting measures in the 2016 and 2017 models and it will only get worse as time goes on unless someone gives buyers a “heads up”.

  162. Jim Baird

    You are absolutely correct about the lack of quality and workmanship in RVs. A few years ago we purchased a used 2008 41′ Fleetwood Discovery 40X from LaMesa RV in Phoenix and barely made it home to Canada. Since then we have spent over $ 25,000 getting it in good shape. It is now in excellent condition but we would never trust LaMesa RV again.

  163. Michael Butts

    1. If a campground offers online registrations, I can poke around on the web & find something. Unfortunately, there is still quite a few campgrounds that require a phone call during business hours only to see if they have any openings.
    2. I believe that the manufacturers design & build at a level for people that will use the RV 2-3 times the first year, once the 2nd, and then leave it in storage. They are selling the romance of RV lifestyle, not the actual tools to accomplish that lifestyle. New RV purchasers need to know they are required to invest time and money in fixing their brand new RV if they are actually going to use it, not just keep it under a cover in the backyard.

  164. Michael K.

    I purchased 2016 Thor (Four Winds) at RVS San Diego. I was overly assured a through inspection was done prior to me picking it up off their lot. However, during walk-through inspection the shower door would not shut and would keep sliding open. When driving the bathroom door pops open even if you lock it? RVSolutions San Diego assured me they would get around to fix these two problems in about three weeks as they were “Swamped” with “Broken RV’s. Three weeks later no date set to repair bathroom door isssues. We put tennis shoes between bath-room door and wall to cut down the noise of bathroom door slamming against refrigerator when it pops open driving.

    Good R.V. Parks were very crowded in June and July. To crowded with people also hanging wet clothes everywhere around there R.V. tents poping up everywhere?? Overnight?? Yes, a good, clean, safe, R.V. Park is tough to find in the summer and wait till the Snowbirds come down Oct-April!!!

  165. Doris Reamer

    I would never buy a forest river travel trailer. Both mine in 2008 and is now delaminating. This RV is lived in fulltime, washed and waxed every 2-r months. Took out a 15 year loan and it won’t be worth a thing by the time it is paid off. Also the fridge quit after 2 yrs and the furnace after 3 yrs.

  166. John

    1:We just returned from a trip to Alaska and the biggest problem we had was finding camp sites big enough for our 2006 Dynasty. It is 43 ft and alot of campgrounds have too small of sites for us. This was very true in Canada. Also holiday weekends were hard to find a site. In spite of all that we had a great time and saw alot of beautiful country. Enjoy reading your column every week.
    2:While on this trip we went to 2 rally’s and checked out the new motor-homes. The new ones just do not have the same quality as our older model. They look good and have lot’s of bling but the quality of build is not there.

  167. Rob Dodson

    We are finding more and more campgrounds that have full time residents to which a number of campground owners pander to. I understand the economics of having long term guests, but it has become more difficult to find spots to spend our week and weekend excursions. As to the quality of our RV, we have a one previous owner Newmar. Quality is very good, however we have found the previous owner’s maintenance was not as good as it could have been during his last years of ownership. We have fixed those problems and remain happy with what we have.

  168. Freddie

    Yes it has become very hard to find a rv spot. We are making our reservations now and having to make them way ahead of when we want to go, Also when we get there park is always full.
    Rv’s yes they are back saling like wild and putting them together way to fast for quality. We have a Big Horn 2016 now not to many negative things but for what we paided for it to

  169. Tom Moore

    Thanks for the series. Quality sales, product quality, and quality repair/service have all taken a significant hit. Last year, I purchased a new 2016 Winnebago 24G. A new air conditioner, 2 ruptured inlet water lines, LP system recall, peeling paint (not chipping) on the front bumper area and wheel well, and a Mercedes engine that sporadically will not exceed 60mph or just dies at a stop light. All of these things generally require time off from work. This unit has spent more time in the repair shop than on the road. Does Winnebago care-I don’t think so. You know all those surveys from Winnebago and the dealer – don’t waste your time. Letters about issues to your dealer and Winnebago go unanswered. The authorized Winnebago service facilities are overwhelmed and repair work is several weeks out. My wife and I have no confidence in our unit that has 4,000 miles. We love the RV lifestyle. At the same time, don’t believe everything a commissioned sales rep tells you. There just seems to be a high level of coincidence between high production and product quality. I’m sure there are many well built RV,s out there but the real character of a company is how you attack problems when they occur.

  170. Lois Thurston

    I have been turned off on buying an RV and traveling across the US from what I am reading. I don’t want to plan a year in advance of going to the Grand Canyon. I don’t want the worry hanging over. Me of finding the next camp ground.
    Maybe because I live outside of Philadelphia and watch too much CSI TV shows but I would never pull over and boondocks.
    Chuck I will be interested to see how you make out and maybe you will turn my thoughts around.

    1. Lynelle

      Uh, if you’re going to the Grand Canyon, with or without an RV, you still have to plan a year or two in advance. All the hotels in the area are usually filled up a year in advance. Really, any national park you intend to visit takes a lot of planning. Like RV campgrounds, you can’t just visit a national park on a whim anymore. Boondocking is sometimes a lot safer than campgrounds. You are aware that TV shows are fictional??

  171. Ken Coble

    Yes definitely it has become much more difficult to find a decent campground. Many are filled with people who live there and their campers are often surrounded with junk. We have often been forced to drive hundreds of extra miles to find a campground which has happened on our last two trips. Nearly all campgrounds have very small spaces and are nearly always full so it is not a pleasant experience to stay in them. We are seriously considering selling our camper because it is more trouble than it is worth.

    One word describes all campers and it is “JUNK”. Something is always wrong with all of them. We bought a new Hitchhiker a few years ago and the first trip back to the factory had over 200 items. Most were repaired and I corrected the others myself. I would not consider buying a new camper because I do not want a fresh batch of issues. I can’t imagine living in a RV full-time with all the problems. Our camper stays in a garage and I hate taking it out due to potential problems.

    1. BarbH

      In our travels (we are fulltime) we have found that many RV parks have switched over to Residential RV’s meaning living in an RV – not traveling. This guarantees constant income for the park owner.
      This is mainly true for the small park owner which now has turned his RV park into a mobile home with no open sites for the traveling RV.
      There is a group on Facebook that just started up called Traveling RV’s and it helps finding RV Sites and other info for the RV traveler.

      Quality of RV’s – we have a Tiffin and have very little problems but hear and see many problems in the current RV world. Scares me to death when someone buys a 45′ MH without learning to drive it. Or the 5th wheel owner who is pulling it with a Chev 1500. They need to be 350. TT’s without stabilizer bars.

      1. Michael K.

        You hit it right on BarbH, Bless Your Heart, for having the Gut’s to speak up on the issues you discussed (45′ MH without a clue to drive) Chev 1500 V-8 hauling huge fifth wheels..starting to see more and more…Good comment BarbH.

    2. Michael K.

      Yes, much more and more difficult to find good R.V. Campground. More and more people buying R.V.’s to homestead in R.V. Park? I can’t get over waking up early in morning at R.V. FHU Sites and see them cluttered with tents, causing R.V.’s to drive countless miles elsewhere to find FHU sites. We need to start watching over each other. I return to some R.V. sites each year and see same 15-20 Homesteaders sitting in same spot with items cluttered all around R.V. or what might be a R.V.? R.V. Manufactures are spitting out new R.V.’s to fast and that are in a lot of cases to dangerous to drive.

  172. Joe Allen

    Chuck, as always, the consumer will drive the competition or cause it too fail. Unfortunately, many newbies today have no clue on what they are buying nor the means to do normal maintenance, etc. We full timed for 6 years and loved it. We did our homework and selected a coach that did us proud. Having sold RV’s in the past, I did not want a slide. It’s just another hole in the coach and more problems down the road.
    We found coming into parks on Sunday and during the week worked for us. We also called ahead and selected several that met our requirements. After all, with the trailer we pulled, we were 73 feet long. Not once did we have a problem in finding a place to stay.

  173. Dan Nallon

    Have not had trouble at all finding camp sites in the areas we travel with exceptions to some weekends. We stay mostly at COE and state parks.
    We have an older class A motorhome (1996) and have little issues with it at all. the original owner had to replace the transmission at 6k miles. It has been well taken care of over the years and suits us.

  174. Clay Causey

    Across the board quality control is lousy! I read many social media RV forums and the stories that consumers are subjected to are more than one can fathom. Imagine your forking out 330 K for your new Porsche and the Windows leak. Just an example that wouldn’t happen on the Porsche. Sadly, it’s going go take another Toyota entrance into the RV industry to correct the death spiral! RIVA is a joke. Their main focus is preventing legislature insuring Lemmon laws are NOT placed into state laws similar to auto manufactures. In fact I saw where a representative was rewarded by RIVA for suppressing a bill directed at implementing Lemmon law legislation into congressional law. Yeah , RIVA is for the RV consumer. I’ve got some swamp land across the road if you believe that statement, please call NOW!

  175. Jon Guenther

    We had to plan our trips in order to have spots one for us and one for in-laws. We then decided to just be seasonal and not worry about it.

    Quality okay. But our present camper is the first that had issues with mice and poor quality of cabinets with doors falling off.

  176. Karen

    I would emphatically say YES that it is harder to find campsites than 5 years ago. Our preference is National Forest campgrounds in our state of CO and in order to reserve the spots we like and fit our 23′ Apex TT, I had to book our summer camping in January. Yes, there are always first come-first serve spots, but you can no longer show up at noon on Thursday/Friday and find any openings. We owned a 2005 Winnebago view and now a 2014 Coachmen Apex. Both had issues initially with several trips to service, but seem to be holding together after repairs the first 18 months. We also found if you purchase from a local dealer and use their service we tend to get “better” service. Getting to know the managers and baking cookies for the shop guys goes a long way. 🙂

  177. Mike

    Lack of campgrounds would make a great lecture at the Hershey RV show this year. Here in eastern Pa, there are plenty of campgrounds, but just about, if not, ALL are filled to capacity and then some every weekend. And that includes the high priced “resorts”.

  178. Jerry Bomay

    Chuck I love your input on the RV manufactures lack of quality in manufacturing RVs. You are right on the spot. I work for a RV travel company and know first hand the problems associated with new and used RVs. Although I would refrain from commenting on Wireless company’s quality of service, one of your mentions a few weeks ago and mentioning certain companies. You do not point out certain companies in the RV industry and that is good. Please keep up the good work by letting your readers know about the inferior quality of RVs. This subject should never die because the RV industry does not care about quality.

  179. gerry

    As long term experienced RV’rs we seldom use campgrounds. Expensive, poor service and location not always best. As we travel to/from Alaska we find spots where nature is abundant, rivers, lakes or even old abandoned roads. It was even harder last year as Yukon has posted no camping in so many places we used to stop.
    Regarding quality, our thor Ace 29.2 is still having problems after two years of repairs. Slide motor has been replaced twice and the ford chassis has two e-brake assemblies in 9 months, shaking at speeds over 55.
    BUT, we love to RV and will find ways to make do.

  180. Eric Ramey

    In regards to whether or not it is tougher to find a spot now than 5 years ago I would carefully answer YES. And NO. I can easily find a spot in a camp ground off of the beaten path on a Friday night and find a decent site with full hook ups. However the sites that are near amenities (lake, amusement park or other fun attraction) require more advance planning than 5 years ago.

    The quality of workmanship on my 2014 Georgetown is as expected-OK. I did my homework and this manufacturer had the least amount of horror stories. If and when we decide to upgrade I would seriously consider another Forest River product.

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