do alot of looking and make sure you check how there built, even do some factory tours. theres alot to be learned before you buy. educate yourself so you make the decision not a sales person. me, I don,t like slides they leak have problem out,and in .not worth the trouble.
Keystone makes a hugh variety of RV's, so they I guess could be the GM of the RV market. For you, you might look at Arctic Fox. They are a local (Oregon) manufacturer with only one location, family owned with a pretty good reputation for quality and durability.
Donn,Lorri,Max (The Rescued Lab)
Resident Know It All
The Airstream is considered the top of the line for travel trailers. Their main disadvantages are price and lack of slide-outs (except for one made with one for a few years.)
Next to that would be Northwood's offerings (Arctic Fox, Nash, etc.) Until I see another TT (that isn't a TH) offer a four season package, including a built in generator and a solar assembly direct from the factory, I consider them a step ahead of the pack. Bad thing is that nobody in my area of the US sells the trailers, so it probably is an excuse to take a trip to Oregon to get one when the time comes.
As for the rest, it is a toss-up. The same brand can have multiple lines that vary in fit/finish.
I would recommend first finding brands that you won't consider. From there, then look for a floorplan you like, and go from there. A lot of the quality differences will be small things, such as actual duct work instead of flexible dryer hose or just holes in the foam, types of faucets, types of appliances, presence/absence of shower surrounds, other appliances (a gas oven), size of refrigerator (no full size TT should ever come with a refrigerator smaller than the standard two door 6 cu ft. Dometic/Norcold model), 12 volt outlets as well as 120V outlet placement, etc.
I"m looking for a 28 - 31' travel trailer with a 'bunk house' in the back so it will sleep around 8-10 people. My wife and I like the Keystone Premier and the Keystone Cougar options as examples.
Whatcha got to pull it with ? And if you discover your current tug won't do it, is it in the budget to replace it ?
Can you stomach 10 miles per gallon of three to four dollar fuel ?
There are loads of questions to consider....and if you're wanting to sleep 10 people, this ain't gonna be small nor inexpensive. Not trying to burst any bubbles, but these things can have lots of hidden expenses once you start digging.
Thor RV is #1 and builds the most RV's of every type. Huge corporation. They make Airstream, Dutchmen, Redwood, Keystone, CrossRoads, Heartland, Breckenridge and a couple of others.
Forest River is #2, again every type of RV, motorized and towables, and owned by Billionare Warran Buffet, they build (I'm not going to list them by name!) 26 RV brands.
Jayco is #3, privately family owned and has built Jaycos for 43 years! They sell the #1 (Jay Flight) best selling line of trailers in North America. No Board of Directors, no investors to answer to, Jayco has never had corporate debt, no bank loans either.
Then there are a myriad of other manufacturers, some little more than "Mom and Pop" builders that make 'em one at a time to order, some are making specific types of RV, like Cruiser RV that builds only light weight TT's...and Trail Manor that builds expandable ultralite trailers, Scamp with their "egg shell" fiberglass trailers.
The point is there IS no Ford equivelant RV brand, or Cadillac, or Mercedes.
Every brand builds good RV's, some build great RV's! And every brand churns out a lemon every once in a while!
The brands that do not meet the needs and expectations of consumers die a quick or sometimes a lingering death! The companys that get a bad reputation for quality or customer service simply fade away. Or smarten up and survive!
There are those here who say "it doesn't matter, just pick any brand", they're all the same are only correct to a point.
Example-All brands have just a few suppliers for some things, such as oven/stoves, fresh water pumps, microwaves, chassis frames, tires and other components that go into the building of an RV. The technics in building an RV change...but very slowly. A LOT of hand labor!
Newer technologies currently starting to take off is the use of composite Azdel materials for walls and roofs that are very light and rot proof.
But the real litimus test is how the manufacturer treat's their customers AFTER the sale. Do they stand up and offer help and support, do they appear to care about you, are they willing to go "above and beyond" to the point that their owners are loyal and satisfied?
Real wood cabinets and trim? Or vinyl foil coated "manufactured wood product" and styrofoam painted to look like wood?
Are their Dealers happy with the RV Manufacturer, do they get support when needed and are they capable and willing to of "go to bat" for you when the manufacturer balks at fixing something that was badly made?
I think there are only a handful of Car companys that can do all of the above and do it really well! And none of the car brands really stand out in the area of customer service anyway! Do they?
By the way, J.D Powers says the Ford and Honda are #1 in "will return and buy another" when it's time to buy again with 62% of all buyers buying another...with a industry average of 48%. Saab is dead last!
And as far as sales of RV's, the Keystone Montanas are the #1 selling 5th wheel and the Jayco Jay Flights #1 selling travel trailers. (Source RV Business Magazine)
Good luck and do your research..then pick what you like!
My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data. They are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes and should not be constituted as actually related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, spiritual or practical advice. Amen.