I don't know if it's pretty constant or I'm just finally paying attention, but there has been a LOT of posts about poor quality in RVs. I am wondering about other types of things, such as recreational boats, motorcycles, small planes, etc. In my experience, cars and motorcycles are made pretty well compared to some of these RV horror stories. Does anyone have an opinion about the quality,(or lack of) in these other type of products? I know this might be comparing apples to oranges, but I think it's odd to be able to buy a quality-built boat and not an RV.
I have or had had recreational boats, motorcycles and airplanes. The quality of any or all of them is much better then any motorhome I have owned. Boats and motorcycles are both made in much larger quantities then RV's, which could explain why their apparent quality is higher. But my airplane was made in much lower volumes then any RV I have owned and it was of much higher quality. On the other hand if the airplane had a serious problem the ntsb quickly got involved. People are just too accepting of poor quality on RV's.
Also there's a reason that new airplanes cost an arm and a leg. How many people would be RV'ing if RV's costs were comparable to an airplane? A 4 year old Cessna 172 (basically a generic 4-door sedan-type) goes for over $200,000.
Cars and most other motorized vehicles are assembled on mostly automated lines. Much of the work is done by robotic machines. The parts that are people assembled are usually the parts that are more likely to cause a problem.
From what I understand RV's are mostly assembled by hand. Consider if your hand built RV was built with the same care as a Rolls Royce, Bently, Ferrari, what do you suppose the selling price would be?
I have owned 2 used airplanes (Saratoga and Maule), 4-5 new motorcylces and 3-4 new cars over the past 10 years...NOTHING compares to the lack of QC seen in motorhomes......
I understand MH's carry around much more "stuff" than the others..That said, leaks, poor wall laminate, unfastened fixtures and some of the things we have all read about coming off the line new are unacceptable.....
Steve and Liz
2006 Gulfstream Independence 30' 3 slides....V-10...
2010 Wrangler w/Blue Ox Towbar, Baseplate and braking system
It's simple, no one is watching the hen house. RV manufacturers hire large amounts of labor type workers. No one is going to mess with jobs. Most RV manufacturers are owned by financial holding companies that have no knowledge or interest in their actual product. The few that do, we all know build exceptional products. They do not depreciate overnight, and they are on the road for decades.
Yep! I've noticed it for some time. Once the producer goes Wall Street everything goes down hill.
Sell the glitter or whatever. Quality doesn't make as much money. It seems they are taking the lead from China where they reenginer American to just enough to get out the door, or rarely, last as long as the warranty.
For instance our 2002 F350 Duallie had double visors, lights in the doors, silencer blanket under the hood, quality leather full size seats that didn't castrate men. 2005 was just a shadow in content and quality.
High priced lux import performance car. The window frames viberate when you close the doors. Orange peel is now standard of paint.
You name it, generally the content is down and the quality and dependability is way down. I find some items, American made, and some others from time to time that offer a refreshing standard, of quality.
I'd have to write a book. I'm sure everybody else is the same
I have owned 1 brand new vehicle in my life. It was towed in 9 times in the first 32k miles. Not such great quality there. I have a fiberglass boat that has stress cracks on the exterior. I love that boat but is that great quality? My point is you can and will have some problems with anything mechanical. I don't believe there is a "quality" problem in the RV industry, I believe there is a "quality control" problem in the industry and that is why once you get the little things taken care of on most new RV's, they serve us well for very long periods of time, but you will have some issues with almost every new RV.
I did an indepth inspection of my motorcycle and upgraded many of its pure stock low quality / poor design factory parts. Stuff from cheap chains, to lack of decent foot supports to lack of proper lighting. Stuff the DOT/DMV passed but its still didn't meet my quality expectations.
I did an indepth inspection of my wife's new mini-van and applied many upgrades to it as well. Simple upgrades from external caulking around rear tail lights (to eliminate risk of leaking), to installing Timbrens in the rear, to brighter headlights, to more rear lighting, to applying tar around its emergency brake cable to eliminate "well known" floor leaks, etc. etc. Mandatory upgrades to its factory parts because of its low build quality.
And, I did detailed inspections of my 2006 Jayco TT and applied many upgrades to it as well. Simple stuff from better factory bathroom fan, better electric brake wiring (re: much better star design compared to factory linear design), to tinting bedroom windows, to black roof vent above the rear bedrooms, to white roof vent above the bathroom, to dicor caulking around the roof edging, to more cooling in rear fridge cooling coils, etc. etc. Even installed steel wire mesh around its H/W tank to eliminate its fire risk. I even moved its H/W tank shut-off valves (re: simple PEX plumbing changes) so its bi-pass valves can be reached from its external compartment access door. I even removed the inner rubber gasket from its 11 windows and replace with butyl and RV proflex adhesive. Sealing windows the proper way - like industry did in 70-80s. Simple "low cost" improvements that should be minimum factory build.
IMO, many vehicle, motorcycle and RV/TT makers built to minimum specs (to save them build dollars - to make more profits and the item barely pass DMV/DOT inspections) and nothing more. Today, I get the feeling that RVs/TTs are built to last for 3 year lifespan - just before the 1st time owner trades it in....
* This post was
edited 08/10/12 08:13pm by batman99 *