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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > What brands of Travel Trailers are NEW & Quality

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scbwr

North Ridgeville, OH

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Posted: 05/09/19 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think Winnebago is still making a better than average trailer. That's not to say they haven't had a few lemons come off the line. We had a 2012 Minnie and it was a very good trailer. After that, I'd suggest Northwood products and Lance. If you can afford it, get a 4 season trailer if you enjoy camping in cooler weather, and the added insulation will help with AC efficiency. Dual pane windows are so nice...I always hated the condensation problem in cooler temps!


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crasster

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Posted: 05/09/19 06:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TurnThePage wrote:

Probably want to get away from the typical trailers and maybe look at the fiberglass clamshell designs; Bigfoot, Oliver, and the several other smaller ones.

The ones built in the west suffer the same issues too, but I would still consider them. Lance is high on my list. Northwood & Outdoor RV build them stout at least.


Are there any MFG's like these that also build larger RV's like with bunkhouses etc.? These are NICE yet small.


4 whopping cylinders on Toyota RV's. Talk about great getting good MPG. Also I have a very light foot on the pedal. I followed some MPG advice on Livingpress.com and I now get 22 MPG! Not bad for a home on wheels.


myredracer

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Posted: 05/09/19 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, sounds like you know too much, lol!

AFAIK, OutdoorsRV (and the other Northwoods brands) are only available in the west which is unfortunate. One feature I really like in them is that none have a Lippert frame and they build their own heavy duty, off-road certified frame which includes shocks. They put a lot of thought into various things that count. Not problem free, but much higher quality compared to the usual **** built in Indiana.

There are some TTs that have BAL frames like Jayco for ex. But they are now owned by the RV conglomerate Thor Industries. I think Lance is overrated and the price isn't justified.

Seems to be hit or miss on most brands on the number of issues you'll have. Also, some folks have higher expectations on quality, some don't care so much when stuff fails and some don't recognize when something needs to be fixed. Some will say they only TT to get is Airstream but they're not for me at any price.

I could write a book on all the issues we've had with 2 KZ TTs, minor to major. We went with them because at the time they were a small family owned business. Now they are just another Thor brand. If we ever get another TT, it will be OutdoorsRV.

Besides the quality of a particular brand/model, it can be hard to find a "quality" dealer who knows how to fix things properly and will honor anything that should be fixed under the warranty. Some manufacturers are also better than others in honoring warranty issues.

Whatever you get, you'll want some tools so you can repair most things yourself...


Gil, Deb & Dougal a 15 year old Springer Spaniel
2014 KZ Spree 262RKS, Reese DC WDH, shocks and Endurance LRE tires
2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD crew cab, Bilstein shocks, heavy duty trailering option


ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/09/19 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a Keystone outback (yes, thor) A 2010 model which we use around 45day/year, about 1/2 time just DW and I, the other have with a 12 and 8 year old grandson, DD and SIL. Has close to 50K miles on it. Still looks almost new, no issues and one warranty issue. Dealer did a 3 hour walkthrough with us when we got it, they had done a great dealer prep and DW found a couple of cosmetic items inside they fixed while we had lunch.

We did have one warranty issue. The coating on the aluminum wheels started to show "spider veins". Keystone replaced them under warranty including the cost to get them balanced.

SIL parents have a 2008 Keystone Cougar 5th wheel. Similar experience to ours.

Are some of the trailers junk? yes, but I'd buy another Keystone again, but ONLY from a dealer that I trust has a good reputation.


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
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richardcoxid

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Posted: 05/09/19 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2 on the Lance and ORV (Outdoor RV complete line of RVs) BTW- the ORVs are available in a few select dealers not located in the West!


2005 Dodge/Cummins auto, 2wd. PacBrake PRXB Exh Brake, Maxx Brake controller.
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drsteve

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Posted: 05/09/19 05:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

romore wrote:

We have to be reasonable with our expectations. They have to be relatively light weight to be driveable and keep costs within reason yet are subjected to a lot of stresses an s&b never sees. Some are built better than others but none are bulletproof so maintenance becomes key.


Most complaints are centered around the fact that a lot of the product is not assembled correctly. Not that it eventually succumbs to the stress of the road, or lack of bells and whistles on entry level RVs. The problem is quality control. Roofs that leak from day 1, slides that don't work right, misaligned axles, stripped or missing fasteners, walls that aren't correctly attached.

My 2003 Jayco that I bought new was in great shape when I sold it 13 years later, and I have no doubt that with proper care it will last another decade. My 2018 Coachmen has already had a few problems, and judging by the build quality, I expect more.


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mosseater

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Posted: 05/09/19 06:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Even for an entry level trailer, we have been pretty happy with our Sunnybrook (Sunset Creek). I don't know how they've been since Winnebago took them over, but they had the lowest employee turnover rate in the Midwest at one time. I toured their facility right after Winnie took over and the new units looked pretty nice. When you consider lightness and cost as the primary factors, It's hard to build quality without making it heavy. My biggest gripe is even the small tasks involved in building trailers get fubar-ed. I mean, how much longer does it take to properly drive a screw to do it's job than to slop it in sideways and miss the intended component? Goes to pride in workmanship I think. As far as I can tell, they're all varying degrees of junk. If they made them too well, you wouldn't need to buy another one. Or the cost would be prohibitive. The markup on trailers is obscene. As stated, if we continue to buy junk, they'll continue to make it.


"It`s not important that you know all the answers, it`s only important to know where to get all the answers" Arone Kleamyck
"...An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Col. Jeff Cooper
Sunset Creek 298 BH


crasster

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Posted: 05/09/19 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mosseater wrote:

Even for an entry level trailer, we have been pretty happy with our Sunnybrook (Sunset Creek). I don't know how they've been since Winnebago took them over, but they had the lowest employee turnover rate in the Midwest at one time. I toured their facility right after Winnie took over and the new units looked pretty nice. When you consider lightness and cost as the primary factors, It's hard to build quality without making it heavy. My biggest gripe is even the small tasks involved in building trailers get fubar-ed. I mean, how much longer does it take to properly drive a screw to do it's job than to slop it in sideways and miss the intended component? Goes to pride in workmanship I think. As far as I can tell, they're all varying degrees of junk. If they made them too well, you wouldn't need to buy another one. Or the cost would be prohibitive. The markup on trailers is obscene. As stated, if we continue to buy junk, they'll continue to make it.


YES. This is exactly the problem. People continue to buy junk. Much of the TT industry is living on the reputation of far yesteryear. I've been all around RV's now for decades. (Yes I'm the talker at camp grounds.... I stand guilty! [emoticon] ) I can't believe how many terrible issues some people are having with their newer built RV's.

Much of it is coming out of Indiana. They guys are paid by piece and run like crazy to make as much $ as possible. This is very common in Mennonite / Amish businesses so I suppose those companies started applying the same process. The problem is - Amish do speed with Amish craftsmanship. Jayco (etc.) uses the Amish speed for Jayco craftsmanship. "Let's save money buy pushing a few staples instead of screws". etc. KZ, and so many others.... Same exact thing. In fact, I'd argue there really isn't a difference.

Then there are some companies I really appreciate. One I know of well is Casita here in Texas. They custom build just about everything and really produce a VERY nice unit. Nothing cheap. Only problem... and it's not their fault... SIZE. They are small. When we get to family campers options get limited... Too bad because I'd buy a Casita no questions asked.

I love how mosseater described the "sideways screw". It's exactly what I think.

JUST yesterday I looked at a Class A Winnebago gasser that was 100k. I kid you not, a tile off the backsplash was "leaning off" the backsplash in the kitchen! It was in an INDOOR SHOWROOM!!!

I think the real answers here are going to be in small RV manufacturers that CARE about their products. It's a challenge to find them. They will be a bit more money... But it's worth it.

Keep the suggestions coming folks!

colliehauler

Mc Pherson KS USA

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Posted: 05/09/19 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a small company in Oklahoma that build entry level trailers. Allen campers I beleive. I would say a lot lower production volume. They have been around since 1958. Never owned one so I don't know how they rate quality wise.

rbpru

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Posted: 05/09/19 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The manufacturers build the type of trailers that sell. The majority of the owners know that they are made as quick as possible but really do not care to spend more.

If you want a better build look to Airstream, Lance, Arctic Fox, or the shell type like Casita, Scamp, Bigfoot.

If you really want 2x4 and 4x4 home style construction the is always tiny homes type trailers.

Oh yes, bring money and a big truck.

There is little incentive for the market to change, there are already enough manufacturers to match the quality you are willing to pay for.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


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