I have been driving an RV for 5 years now and as quality is an overall issue on the RV's I wondered if the RV industry made some improvements.
My RV Winnebago 2001 on a Ford E450 has many quality related issues. The one thing that's sticks out is RUST. Rust is everywhere; any part of the RV that is made from metal is totally rusted and makes the vehicle look old and dilapidated in less than 5 years. This and many other issues can be read in this blog: http://do-not-buy-an-rv.tumblr.com/ that I found the other day.
So we are now 5 years later and we just went thru a big financial crisis where especially this industry got hit hard. Many RV makers went belly up and I was hoping that lessons learned would put this industry in a different thinking mode, ie "Let's see if we can make them better and customers might come back".
Nothing is further from the truth. I went to an RV dealer and looked at the 2012 Gulf Stream VISA 23RBK. The one thing that I noticed immediately is that the formaldehyde scare after Katrina got their attention (http://do-not-buy-an-rv.tumblr.com/Formaldehyde) and this trailer had a certification in low VOC.
So that's good, however one dip under the trailer revealed a rusted area of over a foot long on the frame. Knowing that this trailer had not driven one mile and spend it's entire live in the showroom you and I know what this means once you own the vehicle. Rust, rust and more rust. So looking more closely at the vehicle and comparing the other issues I have with my RV I must report that nothing has changed.
So the conclusion is still: Stay away from buying an RV and either rent or take a vacation in an expensive hotel. Because owning an RV and paying for its yearly maintenance is easily going to top your expensive hotel trip bill by far and that hotel trip will not give you headaches throughout the rest of the year.
B4jsp not sure about your objective but the lack of quality in any product is due to the buyers wanting cheap. A lot of people do not want to pay for quality you can learn if you will enter the largest retailer in NA.
Ok quick answer to the 3 replies:
Harold: I do (unfortunately) own an RV I guess that wasn't clear in my initial post. I joined because the world needs to know.
Gale: I am all about quality and thought the RV I bought was a good brand. After the purchase I spoke to many other RV owners on camping's and they all had similar issues. (also the big 400000 dollar RV's) I have a couple of buddies with RV's and we all suffer the same issues ie maintenance cost is unbelievable.
Roadpilot: apparently this forum and rv.net are the same. I did not notice at first.
In General: The issues I have with my RV are simple to solve issues. The Japanese have solved these issues 25 years ago. My 16 year old 200000 mile Toyota Camry runs like a champ without any mayor repairs, and has no rust at all.
Why would a person wander into a place where people gathered to share a common interest and bash that interest? You've come on here not to say.. "Hey, I noticed this, does anyone else notice, what are your thoughts" but rather.. "This is the way it is.. Go stay in a hotel!" It's pretty obvious you are trying to get a rise or attention.
I also like how you post how the Japanese produce a better vehicle, now trying to reel in some other debate.. How many cars did Toyota recall in the last year or two? Hmmm.. Seems to me they were front page for a while. Did you forget?
BTW: All RV's have seen the highway, they don't airlift them in ya know
So what we know now is you own a hotel and/or a Toyota dealership or have ties to them in some way...
I guess if we are referring to spots of rust it depends on the roads we drive on and what they put on them in the winter time.
Many of the U.S. built vehicles have over 200,000 miles on them and run great. However, if you are comparing a small Toyota rice rocket to a vehicle hauling or towing large weights it is difficult to compare. I have owned rice rockets in the past. They just don't hold up under my driving conditions in NW WY. I have, in my life time, owned a couple of Volkswagens, a Honda Civic, a Toyota, and an MG Midget. I guess if I was just running to the shopping center a couple of miles away and didn't mind curling up like a contortionist to get into one they may work out on nice clean roads.
If you drive those rice rockets on rough gravel roads for several miles everyday with huge rocks bouncing off of the vehicle and chiping off the paint you would see why RVs rust. LOL. You can see why your Toyota looks so nice after 200,000 miles compared to my Ford PUs that almost never get washed and have rock and stone damage all over them. While my PUs are bouncing down these rocky gravel roads with huge pot holes they are sometimes towing 10 tons of cows behind them.
I'm not sure you are looking at the entire picture.
* This post was
edited 05/11/12 07:33am by WyoTraveler *
I believe that Gale nailed it....the mfgrs are going to try and get people in the door with the low dollar prices. It used to be that you couldn't find a "C" for under $100K, but now they are under $75K. In order for that to happen, the materials need to be cheaper, or they need to come up with a way to do the job more efficiently. Being as a change in the process would usually cost big bucks, I think most mfgrs will opt for lower priced/quality materials.
I would like to hope that most would try and get the BEST quality that they can afford, and not just go CHEAP, but even the mfgrs of these smaller parts (say an outlet) are cutting back or farming things out to China.
I agree with what you are saying, but also realize that most of the buyers are looking for something affordable, to last a few years. I don't think you'll be seeing a whole lot of 2000-2012 RVs on the road in 40 years, but you do see quite a few 1970s (and older)units out there....that says something.
Bottom line....everything has some flaws....even me.....but we make the best of it, and enjoy what we have. (Just ask my wife)
Our MH may be showing it's age, but we still love it. All things considered, it's still a pretty good value!
Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ Dogs: Sophie, Abby, Brandy, Kahlie, Annie, Maggie, Tugger & Beau RIP: Cookie, Foxy & Gidget @ Rainbow Bridge.
2000 Winnebago "Minnie" 31C, Ford V-10
Purchased April 2008 FMCA# F407293 The Pets