RV delivery driver tells workmanship horror stories

Dear Chuck,
letters to the editorI’ve towed RVs to dealers for more than a decade. Half of that time I averaged well over 100,000 miles a year. All together, I’ve delivered more than a thousand RVs

I delivered two new motorhomes where they forgot to hook up the filler tubes for fuel, resulting in dumping fuel on the ground. Now I look under the motorhome when I start fueling to prevent major dumping. I’ve had the overhead front beds fall within inches of my head driving down the highway.

Nine out of every ten RVs I’ve delivered had scratches or imperfections on the exterior. I take pictures of every issue to protect myself.

I’ve seen water running throughout the motorhome from a heavy rain because of slide issues. I delivered one this summer where the overhead light in the bathroom was full of water.

We are told by the transport company not to tell the dealerships about any of the problems we find in our inspection before we leave the factory. But I do just the opposite because I feel it only right for the dealer to know. I show the photos to the person inspecting the unit when I arrive at the dealership. I tell them I will lose my job for showing them the issues but I feel it is only right for them to know what I found in my inspection. I gain their trust and they take the credit for finding the things wrong.

I have delivered several RVs with torn material in the sofas and benches in the eating area. Just a week ago the escape window in the rear bedroom area of a motorhome would not lock because the latches were not even close to matching up. I spent over an hour making adjustments so I could leave.

WITH SEVERAL MOTORHOMES, the interior trim fell off before I got to the dealership. One big issue on some motorhomes is the sewer outlet is inside a compartment with an opening through the floor for the hose to connect. Some of holes dont come close to lining up and it would be impossible to attach a hose.

I delivered one class A where the gasket for the windshield was flipped over in one corner above the driver, so the dealership would need to remove the windshield to correct the flaw. In 2016 I refused to take more than a dozen motorhomes because of the issues I found. They all went back to the manufacturer.

I delivered a travel trailer where the tongue broke off. Thank God it broke completely as I pulled into a gas station. The manufacturer hired a company to build a new front hitch assembly for the trailer and they strictly told me to say nothing to the dealership.

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The quality issue has grown worse since I began delivering RVs. Some of these motorhomes I deliver today, I just think to myself that some nice person who has saved all his working years to buy an RV to fulfill his dreams, is going to buy a nightmare. And the RV manufacturers couldn’t care less and the dealerships are not much better.

More than once I have thought about selling RVs but I could not bring myself to deceiving the public just to make money for myself. I hope some of these experiences help you understand where I come from. I admire you Chuck for addressing this issue because the public should be aware of this before they spend their hard earned money. I imagine there are some issues I have forgot but these are some of them.

Name withheld so he doesn’t get blackballed from future deliveries.

##RVT816; ##RV123


23 Thoughts to “RV delivery driver tells workmanship horror stories”

  1. Chris

    I just found this site. I am thinking about going to an RV show today. My wife and I have been looking at RVs for two years. I try to be smart with my money. Due to all the defects and flaws, I see and read with RVs about. I find it hard for me to spend that money, even though we really want an RV.

    Thank you for the information.

  2. Berny B

    Are RVs made overseas have these issues? Is the quality better than the USA? In the auto industry foreign competition seemed to help.

  3. James Fulton

    It is obvious RV owners need more political pull and get lemon-laws enacted. The RV manufacturing industry is able to buy the politicians so laws are not passed to protect those purchasing RVs out of good faith. It would be great if one sincere honest politician would step up to the task and say that he or she would be a politician for the RV’ers.

  4. Robert Pulliam

    With all these horrible stories of the quality issues with new RVs, I guess the value of my 2002 motorhome must be rising. I think we’ll keep it until we can’t travel any longer and sell it for a profit. Lol

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Not a bad idea, Robert!

  5. L. Z.

    I cant believe people are finally allowed to tell the truth about RVs. I have been an RVer for more than 45 yrs and have owned just about every kind of RV in the industry even an expensive Diesel Pusher; And I wouldn’t give any of them a passing grade on quality control. It is simply a disgrace that that industry is even allowed to survive. If a person spends a few hundred thousand dollars on anything that industry better bend over backwards to satisfy that customer. It is way past due for everyone to voice their dissatisfaction with every unit out there. Lets get’ter done !!!!!!

  6. Art DeSalvo

    Here’s a good one. On my way back from having the drivers side windshield replaced in my 03 Chieftain Winnebago, I was told it was ready to pop out due to rust caused by leaking. So as I was getting close to home a smash and bang scared the pants off of me and when I turned around my huge 150 lb RCA TV came out of the cabinet it has been in since I bought the vehicle new. If someone had been sitting on the sofa opposite it, their legs would have been broken. This is only the icing on top of the 14 years of dealer screw-ups I’ve come across.

  7. Dawn

    My husband and I have been looking at new 5th wheels, wanting to buy a little bigger one than we have, but after reading all the horror stories we are afraid to buy. Does anyone have any advice on how to find one that isn’t a piece of junk or are there no good quality ones out there?

    1. Glenda

      I highly recommend the RV Consumer Group (www.rv.org). When I was shopping for my last RV, I checked them out and was very glad I did. They rate all types of RVs.

  8. Jim Petrell

    I had Jayco feather that had the slide out tent extensions a few years back. The siding started having bubbles or delamination of the outer skin. It was sent back to the factory to have it repaired. It came back from factory saying it could not be fixed plus the vent hood above the stove fell down during the return trip from the factory I left it at the dealer saying I will not accept an RV that cannot be repaired. The dealer finally refunded my purchase price.

  9. Gary Patellaro

    Chuck, I have a 2006 Cardinal Travel trailer 31ft bunk house model, I know about these problems, when I pick it up from the dealer and got it home I did a full PDI on it myself, then call the dealer and told them what was missed and the parts I needed to fixe it, and I still had to take it in for other issues.
    The only lifetime warranty I have now is the new ARMOR roof I just had installed, first roof EPDM only lasted five years and that was with constant cleaning and sealing, the second roof started to go after four years after constant care. I would be very skeptical on buying anything new again,

  10. Robert R Roberts

    The issue of road worthiness has become an alarming problem on motorhomes. It is becoming increasingly standard practice to replace OEM front & rear sway bars with more capable after market units. Owners are adding trac bars, and aftermarket steering stabilizers and in some cases expensive performance shock absorbers to achieve what they consider to be acceptable driving safety and ride comfort. These modifications are necessary in many cases and can cost between $2k – $8k. depending on size and make of the motorhome, and the owner’s capabilities as “do it yourselfers”.

    Choice of an appropriate chassis is a responsibility of the company who designs and manufactures the coach. It is not the responsibility of an unwary consumer. For safety sake, choice of a motorhome must begin with selection of a capable chassis. After owning a class B unit on a Chevrolet 3500 chassis and a class C on an E350 chassis, I am an adamant proponent of selecting only 1 1/2-ton chassis. Manufacturers are routinely over-loading 1-ton 3500 and E350 units, allowing minimal to inadeqate load capacity for people and gear.

  11. Karin Callander

    I wish our 2017 HR Vacationer XE had been left at the factory! We spent hundreds of dollars and hours upon hours returning our coach to the dealer, trying to address the water intrusion issue on the slide, as well as about 30 other fit and finish issues. Finally, REV Group asked us to return it to Decatur, Ind, where factory techs could work on it. We did. We spent 2 weeks in their parking lot, with them working on it daily. And now, after repairing damage done by an incorrect dealer slide rebuild, and rebuilding the slide once more, even they have given up and are telling us it’s been designed that way and water intrusion is unavoidable unless you take the coach out of level, with the slide extended. Which contradicts their policies and recommendations as published in their owners manual. I have asked three times how to return this defective and unsafe rig, and I have yet to get any answer. I know we have had significant water intrusion, at least 10 times. I can only wonder when the mold and rot will begin.

    We took the factory tour while in Decatur and the employee giving the tour was not willing to discuss any design issues or flaws, despite being a long time engineer with REV Group. He was proud of the fact that they were turning out these shoddy products in only 2 days and 2 hours. Yes, 2 days and 2 hours to go from pieces and parts to fully constructed motorhomes. It’s no wonder they are falling apart even before they get in the hands of consumers!

  12. Terry Carter

    It would take a lot of space for me to share the problems I’ve had with my 2010 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger. Mostly cosmetic but aggravating just the same. It spent the first several months in the shop. I bought it. new thinking I would avoid all these problems. Wrong. I sent a full single spaced typed letter to Fleetwood plus several phone calls before getting most of the initial problems fixed.

  13. Butch Ballot former RV'er for 33 years

    We need more lemon laws to protect us from manufactures who produce rolling JUNK. AND dealers who are willing to refuse bad products and make them take them back to the factory to fix. After 3
    or 4 go back maybe they will smarten up after paying huge transportation bills.

  14. Dr4Film ----- Richard

    I am thankful that I purchased my last Class A diesel pusher 2002 Monaco Windsor first after doing significant research back in 2003. I would not want to purchase any of the “junk” that they are making and selling these days. We are just finishing a summer trip after driving nearly 7000 miles without any mishaps or problems other than I need to replace my aging House Batteries once I get back home. They are just over 5 years old and were installed in August of 2012 while in Fairbanks Alaska back in 2012.

  15. Arthur Jacobson

    You said you could not sell RV’s to poor unsuspecting people. What is the difference between selling junk or delivering junk. I think the writer is part of the problem.

    1. George B

      The driver may as well deliver the “junk” or the manufacturer will hire someone else to do it. The driver is not the problem unless you bring in lemon laws, a union for drivers so they can, as a group, refuse ALL bad deliveries. and you know that will never happen.

      1. PeterD

        At least this driver has the b#>>s to tell the dealer the problems at the risk of losing his job. How many whistle blowers are reading this today who didn’t pay for it?

    2. Chuck Woodbury

      Arthur, I need to disagree with you. The driver was concerned enough to let me publish his story. Most drivers would keep their mouths shut. This is one of the good guys.

  16. Andrew Richardson

    Wow, sad state of affairs where product problems are not owned by manufacturers but covered up before delivery to their customers. Aligns with this series of articles about sad state of industry as a whole. There are some good brands out there, but buyers must do their due diligence and/or hire an expert to inspect before accepting units.


  17. john stahl

    We love you Chuck. Keep addressing the needs of the RV industry. Thank you. for all you do.

    1. David Birchell

      I agree with John Stall, Chuck! I do have a problem although not severe. No need to elaborate at the moment.
      I would ask if there is any knowledge of how many people you need to start a class action suit though, seems that something of that nature might get the industries attention!!

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