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Comments for RV Travel Newsletter Issue 814

  • Dear Chuck
    Why not have an RV day in Washington? See how many RVs would be willing to converge on our nations capitol or state capitols on a certain day. Get the talking points ready and tell people how to contact their legislators.

    • I just finished reading your usually wonderful newsletter in record time! It normally takes me all day because it is so chock-full of information and links that I follow, and numerous ideas that I copy and paste into my planning and itinerary worksheets. However, this week and last week there were numerous articles that I couldn’t read and videos I couldn’t watch because there were no links leading to them! Please investigate this and see why this problem has suddenly cropped up. Has no one else pointed it out to you?

      • Sherry, here is my response to your similar inquiry from two hours ago:
        Thanks for writing, Sherry. We’re sorry you’re still having problems with some links. I had responded to your similar comment last week and asked you to please let me know which links didn’t work because I had checked and all 140 of them had worked on Friday night. Again, I checked all the links Friday night before the current issue was published and they all worked (or I would have fixed them). Please let me know which links do not work for you so I can check into this further. You can either respond here, or email me at diane (at) rvtravel.com . Thank you. 😀 –Diane, Managing Editor, RVtravel.com

  • There has to be a reason why new RV parks aren’t being built. Either entrepreneurs are not seeing the opportunity or building a new RV park is not profitable. I would think that there is great opportunities but one thing I have found is a lot of RVers are very cheap and not wanting to pay too much. Myself I have a 40 foot Dutch star Class A and I don’t mind paying a little more for a nicer space. What we’ve learned to do if it’s not very nice we pull in, pull the blinds and the inside of the motorhome is the same no matter where we’re at.

  • Chuck,
    For volunteer funding, why not request people donate the odds and ends from cash debit card? I had several in a drawer that were for $2 to $9, that were not really useful so I went to the Donate section and took them down to 0 by donating. Just a thought.

  • Chuck,
    I retired from the automotive business a few years ago and looking at the RV industry today, I can see parallels between my chosen profession before Ralph Nader and todays RV industry.
    One of the major issues for any business right now is the absence of an available labor pool. Especially in professions that don’t require a four year college degree. Of course, who wants to start out at $12.00 an hour on an assembly line doing the same medial task over and over? Todays young worker doesn’t want to accept such a job and do everything in their power to learn and grow in their job with advancement to better paying positions.
    Right now, there are hundreds and hundreds of jobs going unfilled that don’t require a college degree. Plumbers, carpenters, assembly line workers, manufacturing, automotive technicians and support people. Some of these jobs pay a decent wage without having created a lot of debt.
    There are a lot of factors that lead us to where we are today with regard to quality. Looking back at the earlier days of the auto industry in Detroit, workers were hard to find. Especially those that wanted to arrive on time, daily and do the same thing over and over. Tardiness, absenteeism were big issues that the automotive industry had to deal with and I’ll bet the same is true of the current RV industry. All of this leads to poor quality products.
    The auto industry was forced to make changes and it is time that the RV industry followed suit.

    • Excellent comment Ken.
      The auto industry was forced to provide training in order to fill their labor shortage. The RV industry will need to follow the same path.
      Trades training in Canada has been an integral part of the education system for as long as I can remember with government funded trades and apprenticeship programs. Even with that, industry had to begin taking an active part in these schools and their curriculum to fill their labor needs.
      Shop floor workers must have proper training in basic skills but then it’s up to the manufacturer to provide the product specific training. And, I’m not talking about the old school approach of “well, that’s the way we’ve always done it”
      An educated workforce is a happy and safe workforce.

  • Good Morning Chuck,

    Watched your video and you’ve done an excellent job in your editorial about what is occurring in the RV world. As full-timers for the last 9 years in our motor home we have encountered pretty much all of the “situations” you mentioned and for a little while I thought your editorials had become somewhat negative but now I understand your position much better and see where you are headed. I wish you much luck in your pursuit of increasing awareness and addressing manufacturing problems. I think that in the area of media attention to defects in RV manufacturing there is little interest by the media since RVers are seen as “rich” folk traveling down the highway and do not think that we get much sympathy in today’s media world because of it. As for the campground situation I can see both sides of the story here. There are many more folks out there requiring “affordable” homes and will find an RV park that will allow them to live there full time permanently because it also benefits the park owner to have a continuous income stream which makes them nothing more than a mobile home park. What it all boils down to is money….cheap living for some and a steady income for others and I don’t have an answer for that since everyone likes/needs to make money. As for us, we decided that finding a winter home for our rig was becoming such a problem that we have moved into a house to use as a “home base” and will change to RVing part time to avoid the frustration of finding winter parks.

    All that being said and having visited 48 states in 9 years with over 20000 pictures to show for it I would not have changed much in our RV life (RV repairs yes! ) This is an absolutely spectacular country and I encourage everyone to go see it for it is an amazing place and I can’t wait to get out there a see more of it!

    Please keep up the good work!!!

  • Chuck,
    Missed you at Hershey this year, stopped for a quick hello last year.
    You talked about the quality of manufacturing, it’s the customer service afterwards that bothers me.
    I purchased a 2015 Winnebago View on a sprinter chassis new, ordered the navigation system because it was the only way to get the steering wheel controls to answer the phone and adjust the radio without taking your hands off the wheel, a $1,533 option that I feel is a safety feature.
    Last spring a received a recall notice, brought it into my dealership and they removed a module that allowed the controls to work, now I no longer have that function, only dead buttons on my wheel.
    Winnebago said that it was a safety issue as it was interfering with the engine control module and will not fix it. Although this option is still available in the 2017 and the 2018 models, they told me that they don’t have a “fix” for mine.
    How can a manufacturer sell you a defective part, remove it, and refuse to fix it or refund what you paid for it!

  • This is a very good article with a lot of good information…please keep up the good work as there are few reputable resources us full timers can turn to anymore for this type of reading

  • I follow many RV pages on Facebook. Often I have read post from members saying they want to open an RV park. They always ask the page followers what they would want in a park. I tell them “space, space and more space, with trees and shrubs separating the sites”. Among other suggestions. We can hope that some of them follow thru with their plans!!

    • I agree, space is important to me too but the potential owner sees it differently. More units in a location means more revenue. Unfortunately, no one opens an RV park to go broke. My suggestion is not to tell them “space”. Tell them how much space. That way they can decide if the venture is profitable.

    • Trees are great to keep the RV cool, however, that is why mine has A/C.
      AS far as I can tell trees on an RV are there only to interfere with the Direct TV signal

  • Chuck: you are so correct in saying all those things that are wrong with RV manufacturing. We had an older 5th wheel built in 08.we bought a new 2017 vista second hand from a friend who couldn’t drive it , since then we have been trying to get repairs and a simple oil change with a 1 1/2 month wait for service, we needed sewage fixed, steering wheel aligned,black rubber glue coming out sides of RV never wiped clean from manufacturer. Seat belts adjusted, new stabizers to control steering($3000.). Now our heater doesn’t blow out front vents. Monitor doesn’t work right, when using turn signals it stops working. The worst is not one at Winnebago in marysville, wa want to help us understand how things operate. We are in our late 60’s and would like a tech or someone show us how this operate Tv and electronics. We also found that dinette can’t be made down to bed with cushions provided. Mathematics doesn’t add up??
    Dash heats up to hot when engine and heater are on that almost fried my phone

    I am disappointed we can’t get all this looked at before the warranty time is up. We bought it 2 months ago and have to Nov to find all the things that are wrong. Customer service and a true caring about their product is not there. It is as if you bought it, now learn to live with it

    Pat H Smith
    Anacortes washington

  • If you need a few laughs check out GAC on your TV. They have several RV shows that are a pure joke. On one of them they show people buying new RV’s without a thought of how they will pull them or any thoughts of safety. Others show restoring old trailers to like new condition and another showing how motor homes are built.

  • I enjoy reading the RV Travel Newsletter each Saturday morning with my coffee. I have to say, Chuck, you are spot on with your editorials. It is obvious that you have not been bought off, as it appears both FMCA’s Family Coaching magazine and Motorhome magazine have.

  • So much to say, so little space. Give a cost analyse of a space in say, California and the same space in Nebraska. All the cost and continuing cost of a single space in an RV park. Do you support Free college or trade school in the USA? This old house has apprentice’s this year, a new idea that’s as old as work history. Do you support making all of our national lands private? No Forest or Parks Service. What you are writing about is how in this country we now worship maximizing profits and minimize quality. Cheap is best. We do not honor honest and quality labor. I figure that if I can’t afford to travel I won’t go. Cheap is not always best.

  • We are wrapping up a three month rv trip of national parks, monuments, etc. Want to know why the RV parks are crowded? Foreigners who fly in and rent rvs to tour the same places. Some cannot speak or read English well enough to obey road signs. They crowd the RV parks and crowd the national parks, feeding the animals standing beside signs forbidding it. They attempt to drive on mountain roads at fast speeds. Something needs to be done.

  • My elderly father, a former RV’er, enjoys the newsletter but has difficulty navigating/ reading it online. Is there a way to convert it to a PDF so I can print it for him?

  • Really enjoy reading your News Letters, Chuck. I’ve learned ‘so’ many do’s and don’t’s from you over the past 8 years and still learning. If I had ‘that’ million…I’d give it to you to do the RV things you posted today. I’ve not used my ’88 Dolphin 31 footer in a while, but have gladly donated 25 bucks for the 2nd time this year in support of your ‘great’ work. Keep up the good work, Chuck!

  • We’re retired and travel almost exclusively when kids are in school to avoid crowding. That works okay except for holiday weekends. Being forced to make reservations well in advance removes the element of spontaneity from RVing.

    Re. quality: We’ve had many RVs, but none as beautifully constructed and reliable as the Chinook. It’s a shame they went out of business. Perhaps there’s no market for high quality RVs anymore.

    • I love our Chinook also. Top quality even used. Tho we bought our 05 new, it still looks new in 2017 and i wouldn’t trade it for anything. We don’t have slides and I really like it that way.

  • After 2 years of owning a new 2015 Winnebago ERA motorhome (32,000 miles driven), I have come to 2 observations: first, I am drifting away from camping and towards NASCAR tailgating (not NFL, member of military boycott); second, it is ridiculous to spend $100-$400K+ on a beautiful motorhome to camp next to trailer park trash in public and private campgrounds that are dumpier than a Motel 6. You can buy a new Mercedes SUV for $50K and have $50K left to stay at Hampton Inns forever.

    • Mr. Elting,
      What a snobbish attitude. Not everyone can afford a $100-$400k unit. Most real people cannot afford the “low end” $50k Mercedes unit you propose. RV’ing should be for everyone; not just the rich. . I CAN afford one of the $100-$400k units you tout. I chose to buy older units and remodel them as my hobby.

      To others reading this, I apologize for my remarks. “I just can’t stand rude behavior in a man”

  • As always Chuck, you are right on with your discussions on not enough RV parks, vs manufacturers rolling out as many as possible with little regard for quality. Their motto; let the buyer beware, but don’t tell them! Having full timed for 6 years, we have seen it all when it comes to the everyday RVer. Leaky sewer hoses, no gloves, washing their sewer hoses on picnic tables, rude neighbors, trailers that have been in parks for years with mold and mildew on outsides, etc.
    It’s all about me now and forget you! We just returned from a trip to TN to see kids and found that most all RV parks have now become permanent housing for ragtime trailers with scary people coming and going. Enough is enough! Give us the wide open spaces and forget the full hook ups! Next RV will have much larger fresh, grey and black with an adequate generator for that boon docking experience!

  • We purchased our new camper in 2012. We used the air conditioning very little. This year 2017 the air conditioning unit went out. We had to get a new one put in. The Amish guy who replaced our ac said some ac units only last 2 years.

  • My wife and I buy older high end motorhomes with full maintenance records – that were high quality when built. Much better than spending the same money on a new mid to low end rig.

    Current: 2003 Foretravel U320. $550,000 when new. Buy it now, the depreciation makes it affordable.

  • This is the second issue in a row with several article introductions that have no links to the full article or reply to the question posted. Do you have a new editor or staff member responsible for making the links work?

    • Thanks for writing, Sherry. We’re sorry you’re still having problems with some links. I had responded to your similar comment last week and asked you to please let me know which links didn’t work because I had checked and all 140 of them had worked on Friday night. Again, I checked all the links Friday night before the current issue was published and they all worked (or I would have fixed them). Please let me know which links do not work for you so I can check into this further. You can either respond here, or email me at diane (at) rvtravel.com . Thank you. 😀 –Diane, Managing Editor, RVtravel.com

  • We have been on the road for 8 weeks now and there are many problems with RV camping. The further East we traveled we found more and more parks are “over run” with annual campers. Folks pay to park their rig for the “season”. Several parks many of these rigs aren’t even licensed!. A few parks took our reservation and deposit but when we arrived didn’t have any space suitable for our rig. We know the questions and know our rig. We don’t want to try to squeeze into a small site! Power issues, dump sites, how to sort garbage for recycle all are issues park owners and campers need to work on.

  • In the editorial it stated ” How can these leaders really know how you and I use our RVs? They can’t! Do they care that their rigs’ beds are too short for anyone over 5 foot 8, or that TVs are positioned where RVers need to bend their necks 45 degrees to watch, or that the bathroom is inaccessible with the slideout(s) in?”

    Well, the RV buyer should be more selective in his choices .

    As far as RV sites being available, let the free market decide and have less federal government regulations.

  • Good morning Emily
    I just read the recent newsletter #814. I did not receive the video message your dad referred to in the newsletter. Would you please check to see if I’m on the list.
    Thanks
    Jane Cripps

  • I would like to comment on the quality issue in newer RVs. I spent 20 years in Quality control/assurance for other industries other than RV . If you want a 100% inspection you must be ready to pay for it. I would estimate that if the Trailer/Coach were 100% inspected it would raise the retail price by at least 5% possibly more. The manufactures depend on their suppliers to inspect their product before it’s shipped.. Most problems I’ve heard about are not the trailer/coach manufacturers but rather their suppliers. I feel confident that someone will point out that they should just change suppliers. In the RV world there are relatively small number of suppliers, for instance axles, basically they’re limited to Dexter and Lippert. I”m not saying they couldn’t improve the quality but because they could but it have to include not just the manufacturers but also their suppliers.

    • I have been delivering rvs to the dealers for the last 14 years. The quality issues I experience on every unit I deliver are on the construction of the rv and not from the suppliers. I can only imagine the extra issues if I had to inspect every appliance and electronic device provided by the suppliers and make sure they were installed according to the suppliers directions. I am lucky to deliver one rv out of ten without an issue related to the construction of the unit.

  • your post on quality RV’s is spot on. I have worked in the rv industry at the dealership and have spent a lot of time fixing manufacturers mistakes. although RV manufacturing is not rocket science it still is a shame that you pay out your hard earned dollars for a piece of crap is inexcusable. whether it is poor workmanship or poor materials there is still no reason you can not get a good quality RV. people just have to be educated on doing a thorough PDI and refusing to buy these rejects from dealers. in this way we can force the companies to build better units or they will sit on the lots unsold

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