The truth about most RV's.

old_CWO

Active member
I recently checked out a couple of Whitewater Retro trailers at a local RV show. The retro styling is cool and all, but not so much of the "fine Amish Craftsmanship" as claimed. The overall fit and finish was just terrible on the units I looked at. On the outside, every place where they used RTV as a sealant (pretty much everywhere) it looked like drunken monkeys had done the work. These were brand new units and every inch of the sloppily over applied silicone sealant was already embedded with dirt. Obvious gaps in paint on the frames and bumper with rust already starting readily visible. The drain for the recirculating toilet sticks out about 6" from the side of the coach just begging to be raked off. No thanks.

Other brands of travel trailer there were priced sky-high but you could easily see poor workmanship like misaligned cabinet doors, sloppy wiring and plumbing, construction debris left in storage areas, sheet metal screw sticking out, sharp edges at metal joints, etc.. If you're in the conventional travel trailer market I think it's probably better to buy something used and fix it up yourself. You're going to be fixing it anyway so why pay retail?
 

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billiebob

Well-known member
reverse logic there... with bad quality control and poor product choices the answer should be educate the designers, engineers, process assembly techs better... not throw a whole bunch of Mr FixIts into school to fix problems which should not exist....

The comparison of an RV to a house is rich... Building Codes, Inspoections, New Home Warranties, Legislation to force builders to fix problems..... housing is not the problem. The RV industry is their own worst enemy. And there is no comparison to housing.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Australia has had its share of crappy makers, but consumer protection laws are much stronger and quality generally higher.

Most Euro stuff is immaculate, priced accordingly but at least getting what you pay for.

The US market just assumes the buyers in this niche are idiots.
 

motoboss

Bad Influence
We've been looking and really wanted a "walk in" style pull camper but the more we've looked the poorer quality found. Having had truck camper, leaking plumbing right off the bat, and a class A motor home, sold after one season, we've learned a few lessons.

It's truly amazing just how poor quality is in the industry. I do feel a large part of the problem is the high demand with a shortage of skilled, qualified techs and a quality control system that works and a manafactur who cares. Still, there's no excuse for cigarette butts and trash in the cabinet structures which we found in our new unit.


Fortunately for us we live in Indiana so visiting a factory isn't an issue for us. Anything you can add after purchase is a plus (your own mattress, tv etc...) as you'll get better quality for your dollars. Experience and dedicated education are great assets.


InTech is looking really nice for us right now.
 
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Bayou Boy

Adventurer
The only reason this persists is the RV manufacturer lobbyists. They have succeeded in keeping automotive style warranties and lemon laws from the industry and this is what you get. Fix that and we'd get quality campers.
 

jkam

nomadic man
I have a Lazy Daze class C. It is one of the few family owned manufacturers still out there.
If you want a new one, you order it and wait over a year for it to be made.
What you get for that time invested is a quality made product, with factory support.
Mine is 23 years old, I've owned it 12 of those years, and it's still in good condition.
 

motoboss

Bad Influence
I have a Lazy Daze class C. It is one of the few family owned manufacturers still out there.
If you want a new one, you order it and wait over a year for it to be made.
What you get for that time invested is a quality made product, with factory support.
Mine is 23 years old, I've owned it 12 of those years, and it's still in good condition.
Your ownworship experience is great but they are RV's not camper's, per say. They build only one small segment of the camping industry offerings. There are far more pull behind, toy haulers, travel trailers and camper's, of all designs, sold than class C's or class A.

The industry as a whole is crap with the exception of small family owned businesses. Off Grid Campers is another example of "how" the industry should look but the price is way out of reach for a lot of folks. https://offgridtrailers.com/expedition-trailer/
 
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Joe917

Explorer
It also comes down to what the market demands. The lowest cost shiny and new. Most people are unwilling to pay for a higher quality product. That is why when a company like Walmart makes an order for a product the first thing the y specify is cost, not quality, environmental impact or country of origin.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Well no matter what, building to a higher quality standard will cost a lot higher sticker price.

The fundamental problem after years of 99% of customers' choosing based on lowest price,

is the market considers crap quality "normal".

And there is no comprehensive objective standards for higher quality, Consumer Reports type ratings.
 

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vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
RV buyers today go to Camping World to buy a RV (camper, trailer, motorhome). They take out a 20 year loan to purchase a RV that might last 5 years in normal 5-10 times of use a year because they can afford the monthly payment. They use their RV 10 times during the first year of ownership, 5 times during the second year of ownership, hardly at all during during the 3rd year of ownership and spend the next 5 years trying to save the EXTRA $1000's of dollars they need to pay down their UPSIDE 20 year RV loan so they can then SELL their RV.

After all that most RV buyers STILL get to enjoy the pleasure of WRITING A BIG CHECK TO SELL THAT RV on top of everything else that went WRONG costing them lots of money, pain, time and agony all the while trying to live the Camping Lifestyle Nightmare!

You would think that RV buyer's would have learned their lesson by now but NO NO NO they have not! These same RV buyers are the same stupid people who have already done this same stupid schidt before when they bought that Boat and ATV that they just had to have!

Therefore their next logical stupid purchase after the boat and ATV has to be a RV they cannot afford!
 
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john61ct

Adventurer
Never buy anything on credit, unless it is a business asset generating profits much higher each month than the monthly payment.

Or (maybe, in some circumstances only) your primary / only residence.

Certainly not something that depreciates and is an optional consumable you could survive without.

For those pay 100% cash up front, or I'm sorry you're just an idiot and

that lifestyle will only work out well for you if you're very lucky, and all the stars keep aligning for you right up until the day you die.
 
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