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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Conclusion made: 95% of all TT's are a crapshoot

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Stclairm

Fuquay-Varina, NC

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Posted: 11/04/20 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Other than Airstream, Oliver, and a few others I can't afford, there are so many nightmare stories and terrible warranty/service issues it will make your head spin off. I guess I know going into it that my handiness will be in continual use. I've already experienced it when my new TT I bought in February sprung a leak due to a crappy caulk job and while the dealer recaulked that spot, it has been 2-3 months and they still haven't contacted me saying they have authorization from Gulfstream.
Are there some brands under $30k that any of you recommend who stand behind their product and don't make the consumer regret their purchase? We're ready to pull the trigger on a larger TT, then sell ours, but man, this is disheartening. I will say my local mobile RV repair guy likes Forest River, so I guess he has no problem fixing them and getting paid properly.

Lwiddis

Lone Pine, CA

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Posted: 11/04/20 03:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Complete inspection inside and out, run every system and “road” test before any money changes hands. Take it home and do a annual roof maintenance.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 11/04/20 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stclairm wrote:

Other than Airstream, Oliver, and a few others I can't afford, there are so many nightmare stories and terrible warranty/service issues it will make your head spin off. I guess I know going into it that my handiness will be in continual use. I've already experienced it when my new TT I bought in February sprung a leak due to a crappy caulk job and while the dealer recaulked that spot, it has been 2-3 months and they still haven't contacted me saying they have authorization from Gulfstream.
Are there some brands under $30k that any of you recommend who stand behind their product and don't make the consumer regret their purchase? We're ready to pull the trigger on a larger TT, then sell ours, but man, this is disheartening. I will say my local mobile RV repair guy likes Forest River, so I guess he has no problem fixing them and getting paid properly.


Honestly. Both TraveTrailers I have owned have been pretty good. The 2004 Fleetwood Pioneer only went back ONE TIME FOR WARRANTY WORK AND IT WAS A rcall..
And the 2013 Apex has only been back once for warranty work. I did have to replace a couple of trailer hubs. but that is pretty much it. so in reality. they aren't all that bad. As long as everything works, and it don't leak. I'm happy.


Terry & Shay
Coachman Apex 288BH.
2013 F150 XLT Off Road
5.0, 3.73
Lazy Campers


carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 11/04/20 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Northwoods (Arctic Fox & Nash) and ORV (Northwoods sister company) are well built, but ORV does use some Lippert components still, and of those parts, I've had nearly all fail at some point. Northwoods uses less Lippert stuff. Northwoods builds the chassis for both subsidiaries.

Warranty support was great, other than the 1st dealer I tried to get service from was sometimes a PITA to deal with. At least ORV allows dealers to make a warranty request without holding the unit in their possession. So for me, I'd visit the dealer's service writer, they'd make the request, a week later they'd schedule the repairs, and I'd only ave to leave it for a couple of days. I did have multiple issues with the Lippert Schwintek system, and the dealer didn't have the equipment to remove the mega slide, so ORV picked it up from my house and took it back to the factory using one of their regular transport contractors. I did end up picking it up myself both times, only because ORV won't ship trailers out when tire-chains are required on the highways, due to potential for body damage if a chain breaks.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
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RobWNY

Jamestown, NY

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Posted: 11/04/20 04:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's not an easy question to answer. Because one TT might not have any issues, another identical one might. I had a Heartland Trail Runner that I had no issues with at all. I had a Forest River 5th wheel that had only a couple of minor issues and now have a Grand Design fifth wheel that had a few minor issues. I also know people who have owned TT's and fifth wheels from those same manufacturers and they all had one issue after the other. I think Customer service is very important and buying from a dealer with a good reputation is just as important. Everything with owning RV's is a roll of the dice.


2020 Silverado 2500HD LT, CC, 4X4 6.6 Duramax
2021 Grand Design Reflection 311BHS

You can't put a porcupine in a barn, set it on fire, and expect to make licorice.


kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 11/04/20 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your assumptions are correct.
Trailers are built on an assembly line using minimum wage employment.
Get some tools and familiarize yourself with there intended use.

Stclairm

Fuquay-Varina, NC

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Posted: 11/04/20 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ Thankfully I have tools and am pretty handy. We are now deciding between a Coachmen Spirit 2557RB, Surveyor Legend 202RBLE, and Surveyor Legend 272FLS. I'm going to use a local mobile RV repair guy for any warranty. These dealers are both 2 hours from me.
Being a new car dealer service advisor for 22 years, I realize most people who fill out surveys only do it if they're mad about anything. All the happy ones you have to beg to send one in.
I think all 3 of the trailers have many really cool features each and we plan to make a deal this Saturday, assuming the two Legends are available. That dealer didn't respond to my email yesterday, so I will call tomorrow. All have 12V frigs (required by me), one has a ladder, all 3 are Azdel. The Spirit and Legend 272 have a fiberglass front end cap. All 3 have PVC rooves.
No Northwoods or ORV's near us and most are quite a bit heavier and more expensive.

Guy Roan

Florida

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Posted: 11/05/20 04:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agreed !

Guy

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 11/05/20 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't count on the "high end" models being any different. Know some folks who bought a 2yr old airstream that was supposedly well taken care of and they spend a couple grand on floor repairs due to water damage.

That said, if you expect car level quality control, you are unrealistic. A lot volume passenger car may sell 50,000 units per year. A popular RV may sell 5,000 units...you can't implement the same level of quality control.

That said, once you accept you may need to adjust a few things, do a bit of caulking and keep an eye on things, it's really not that bad. Most issues can be traced back to not doing maintenance and ignoring issues while they get worse.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


2012Coleman

Florida

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Posted: 11/05/20 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stclairm wrote:


Are there some brands under $30k that any of you recommend who stand behind their product and don't make the consumer regret their purchase? We're ready to pull the trigger on a larger TT, then sell ours, but man, this is disheartening. I will say my local mobile RV repair guy likes Forest River, so I guess he has no problem fixing them and getting paid properly.
Yes - Grand Design. I've had personal experience with talking at length with a manager on their customer support team. I emailed them about a problem with my awning. I didn't get a return email, I got a call. The awning was detaching from the side. The warranty was long over. But they fixed it - correctly at no charge to me. My friend had the same issue with his Alpine - just out of warranty. They would not help - sorry, but your warranty period has expired they told him.

GD sent me a recall notice about an electrical issue that could cause a fire. It is very hard for me to take off work to get it to the dealer who doesn't do intake on the weekend. They authorized a mobile mechanic to do the work at my storage location.

Others will chime in and throw shade on them, but myself and a lot of others will tell you different. Research the brand on both of their forums - PM me if you want the links or just Google.

I googled Grand Design dealers in NC and found a few close to you - Bill Plemmons RV World in Winston-Salem and Raleigh. Check them out. Go and tour a few units.

I can't talk about price as it is different depending on where your located and current market. I will say that I negotiated a substantial percentage off the MSRP and got a front bedroom AC installed as part of the deal. Also - you are in a good position to negotiate. You have multiple dealers in the area for the brand, you already have a RV you can use - so you want a new one, but you don't NEED a new one. This is to your advantage. Winter is here and that's also to your advantage. So if you don't get what you want, you can just get up and leave - leaving them with your phone number. Also, don't trade in before attempting to sell on your own - it will most likely sell if you present it properly.

And yes - they put their RV's together the same as other companies and yes, they may have issues. But beating their customer service is a hard thing to do. I'm very happy with it and fully enjoy using it.

Good luck.


Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!

2018 RAM 3500 Big Horn CTD
2018 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS

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