The following was posted as a comment by RV Travel reader Paul Anderson.
Mr. Anderson wrote:
I would like to comment on the quality issue in newer RVs. I spent 20 years in quality control/assurance. If you want a 100 percent inspection you must be ready to pay for it. I would estimate that if the Trailer/Coach were 100 percent inspected it would raise the retail price by at least 5 percent, possibly more.
The manufacturers 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, because they could, but it would have to include not just the manufacturers but their suppliers.
The auto industry has seemed to achieve a far higher level of customer satisfaction and covered the cost of ensuring its products are relatively problem free for buyers. The RV industry isn’t even close in customer satisfaction: In a recent RVtravel.com survey, about 20 percent of our readers described the workmanship quality on their RVs as “terrible.”
Consumers share much of the blame because they do not do due diligence by more thoroughly researching and inspecting the RVs they buy. They buy the “bling” and then suffer the consequences. If they did their homework, RV makers wouldn’t get away with building crummy units.
We’ll keep writing about this. But as far as I see it, an industry cannot produce a product that one-fifth of its buyers say is of terrible quality and expect that’s okay. It’s not. — Chuck Woodbury, editor
Feel free to comment.