First let me say that I have been a reader here for some time. This is a great resource, especially for people like me who are new to the RV world.
I dont currently own an rv, but my wife and I have decided to take the plunge. We have used travel trailers from family/friends over years; so we do have a small amount of experience. My wife and I, two children (2-6yrs) and our ridgeback. The wife really likes the bunkhouse with seperate room, but Im the one who has to pull it.... LOL
This is my first post here and I look forward to learning from all of you and also sharing my purchasing experience. We have been to several dealers here in southeastern Michigan. We have looked at many different brands, (Jayco, Passport, Prowler, Starcraft, Walkabout, Summerland, Springdale, Rockwood, Catalina, Avenger, Oasis, and Ameri-Lite). I notice that every dealer carries a totally different line/brand than the next dealer; which makes it very difficult to get a feel for pricing.
I have read several of the posts on this forum concerning Quality Control and problems with new trailers. Well, I can tell you that I am "VERY" disappointed with the total lack of quality control. All of the dealers Ive been to, all of the brands Ive looked at; all of them had some quality control issue at some point or another. Now keep in mind these are just things that I notice while spending a short amount time looking. I had high hopes for Jayco, but instead I was floored when one of the first ones I looked at had weatherstipping hanging off the slide!!!
The RV manufacturers should be ashamed of the lack of quality control on these trailers sitting on the dealer lots. Switches that are not properly seated in the wall, cabinets/cupboards that are out of alignment, dinettes that are literally falling apart (before they are even used?), caulking jobs that look like my six year old did it, damaged seals/gaskets, cheap-cheap-cheap materials!. I mean seriously, ultra-thin plywood spanned over the bedframe? Its already warpped and no-one has even slept on it. I could go on....
The point is, for a big dollar purchase such as this; I dont expect this type of garbage. I certainly wouldnt buy a new truck that had these type of issues. Isnt that the whole point of buying new? So you dont have to spend your time fixing/repairing/taking it back to the dealer?
We have not made a decision yet, either dealer or brand. I am going to start bringing my camera so I can post pictures to share with all of you. Too bad the RV manufactureers dont monitor this forum.
South Eastern Michigan
2008 F 350 Crewcab 6.4 liter powerstroke
I think the biggest problem is the dealers. They need to get these things pristine before they go on the lot...dealers here in NB are terrible...used trailers are simply disgusting...odors..fridges all closed up full of mold...even a rental htt I looked at which was a 2012 had mold in the fridge...no respect I guess and around here they wonder why we drive to wholesalers in the US
I don't know where you are in south east Michigan, but, if it is practical to do so, I would hold off until the big RV show in October. Since you do not have anything to trade in, you should be able to get an extra 10% off the so-called special show price. For what it's worth, I have been happy with my dealer; M & M Camping in Trenton, MI.
I did not have any quality issues with my Glacier Bay fiver when I bought it in 2007. Unfortunately they are not currently in production. The odd thing is the current asking price for these Glacier Bay trailers is almost what I paid for mine new. But, that is the asking price, not the selling price.
Anyway, if you should happen to come across a good price on a used Glacier Bay, I would at least give it some consideration.
Piano tuna is right. Don't buy new. If you can, take some time and look around, and find the one that is right for you. As for the type, the bunkhouse will help keep you sane on those rainy days.
Get a good hitch and you will have a much better towing experience. My TT was a 27 ft Hornet. It had a dry weight of 6500lbs but with my Reese dual cam sway control hitch I never had any issues towing. The hitch kept the TT in check behind he truck, even across the prairies with a cross wind and oncoming trucks there was never a problem.
If you have the towing capacity try to get a slide. It will also give you a little more living space for those cool days when it may too cool outside. But remember that slides will add weight to the unit you buy.
Welcome to our world! We have had a hybrid, then a class C, now back to TT. QC was the worst in the TT. This industry needs a wake-up call, as the Big 3 got when imports starting giving them a real run for their money. Until that time comes, go the RV shows, read the forums. Narrow down your choices and go shopping with a camera, a magnifying glass, a flashlight and a tough attitude. Pick the best one you can find and go camping! You'll eventually fix all the stupid problems, (warranty-work or yourself)and forget about them. The great memories are the important things.
When shopping for my TT last year, some brands seemed to be just cobbled together. I've encountered "name brands" with obvious problems like A/Cs not seated so I got a faceful of water on a new TT when opening the air dump vents.
In the past, one could custom order a trailer from a place like Pace American, end up paying a bit more, but it would end up being built to top standards. Horse trailers are still built like this.
Were I buying a TT again, and I was wanting something to last, I'd probably go one of two routes: If I didn't care about slideouts, I'd go with an Airstream because the value will hold up even if they have water intrusion. Even if the interior is trashed, if the shell and chassis is still serviceable, $12k later, one can end up with a perfectly camp-ready trailer as good if not better than new.
If I wanted slideouts, I'd go with a Nash or Arctic Fox. They are the only non toy haulers that I know of that come with an inbuilt generator.
In any case, regardless of if the rig is new or used, bring clued friends and inspect everything. It is a lot easier to get stuff fixed at/before the PDI as opposed to having to drag the trailer back to the dealer and get on the waiting list.
Lotsaluck....try going to some RV Shows to help find the rig just right for you and your family.
After narrowing your list of manufacturers, and since you are in SE Michigan, visit those manufacturers that are probably very close to you in Indiana to see for yourself what goes into the making of an RV.
The guy who invented MDF should be shot...the problem with most manufacturers is that they use mdf. It is just as heavy per square foot as hardwood but if you get water in like they all do, the damage can be easily fixed if it was a hardwood...sure it would cost more but I think we would all pay the small difference it would make in the price...I doubt it would raise production costs per unit by more than 200.00