Bowhunter mentioned Jayco. We heard they were pretty well built for the money and bought one and are very happy with it. That seems to be the consensus on their owners forum, but lately there have been a bunch of posts about a particular model that is full of problems for many buyers. Even screws penetrating the exterior walls from the inside.
I'd say a used unit from someone you know could make for a happy match, although it takes away the opportunity of getting the exact floor plan, etc., you would select. And if it comes a cropper, well, you know where he lives!
'11 Eagle 320RLDS '02 Ford F350 DRW 7.3 PSD
"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch and do nothing" - Albert Einstein."
I can understand your concern. But what you read on here does not account for realistic numbers. Think about how many are sold and the amount that become lemons is a very low number. Yes, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed and normally all are done in that initial warranty time. Same as real homes and cars. The more sophisticated they become, the more expensive and the cheaper made they will be, generally speaking. Go for a camper with less and you will have less problems. The problem is we want our home away from home to be like a home.
We bought our TT new in February or March of 2010. We are on our 3rd year with it. we probably average around 30 nights a year with it. We've towed it over 6000 miles, that I can think of off the top of my head. Besides the DVD player / radio that needed to be replaced and a pair of drawer slides, we have not had any issues. We did opt for the extended warranty, but have not had to use it yet.
We have been lucky so far and really should hold on to it for a little while longer. Although we are itching for something else. Lol
Perhaps you can do as Wills250psd. He got a great deal on an older one that had some issues. With his background of being able to work on just about anything, he fixed what needed fixing and redid a lot of the camper. He will have to tell you all he did, but he said all in all they didn't spend a whole lot. He got to make it new again and he can only complain to himself about the quality of work, hehe.
People rarely post that they have no problems, since that would make for a very boring and short lived forum.
[Serious Mode]I think we went a full five years before anything 'broke' and no, I have never before posted about it until now.[/serious]
[Sarcasm mode]Is this normal? Please, let me know and discuss at length!, this is so unsettling![/sarcasm]
There's probably two things that folks should remember: 1) Yes, campers are not the best constructed things ever (and LIGHT WEIGHT is appreciated); but 2) It's a essentially a very complex, full house! with heater, ac, fancy dual-mode hot water, full kitchen with microwave, 10 shut off valves (that might develop a leak), a moderately sophisticated, automatic water pump system, moderately sophisticated dual mode electrical system...AND it's a vehicle with tires, bearings, brakes, turn signals...
...with ALL that stuff, you have to expect some 'breakdowns'- at least as many as you see with your stick house.
I don't know, new or used it is 6 in one hand and a half a dozen in another.
Buy new and you may get a beautiful unit that never gives you a minutes trouble OR something made late on a Friday that leaks and breaks down every time you use it. Then you end up taking a huge loss trading it in or dumping it on some poor unsuspecting slob.
Buy used and you may get a well maintained rig that all the bugs have been worked out OR the rolling pile of dung someone is trying to dump.
At least with new you have a chance of the warranty being honored.
I wouldn't be shocked by seeing people had issues with their rigs, especially from some of the more popular brands because they sell in much higher numbers. What would put me off is seeing someone by one of the popular, respected , high end and high priced units and finding out it was a piece from the get go. Then you hear how the manufacture refuses to honor the warranty or refuses to even acknowledge there is a issue. Some have had to send theirs to the factory for a rebuild and while it's good that the maker will do this, it doesn't say much for the manufacture that it would let it out of the factory in the first place. Those are the manufactures to avoid.
2011 GulfStream Amerilite 25BH
2003 Ford Expedition with 435w tilting portable/ TS-MPPT-45
750w solar , TS-MPPT-60 on the trailer
675 Ah bank, Trip-lite 1250fc inverter
Sportsman 800w inverter generator