RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Has camper quality gotten any better in the last 10 years?

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Has camper quality gotten any better in the last 10 years?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
Sponsored By:
imq707s

Springfield, MO

Full Member

Joined: 08/28/2004

View Profile



Posted: 03/02/21 06:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 24ft 2011 Crossroads Zinger that we bought back in 2016. Since we got it, we have put around 15,000 miles on it towing it all over the country. I’ve also spent a ton of time just doing maintenance and repairs on it. When we got it, I had to put a new floor in the rear of it because the previous owner didn’t notice the leaky window seal for year(s). I was shocked at how cheap and shoddy the camper was thrown together…..the boards that make up the structure of the floor was some of the worst quality, oddball sized 2x2’s I’ve ever seen….only held together with some staples, and maybe a little glue spot here and there. At least I was able to reinforce everything with more wood and make it much more solid.

Then a year later I had to replace the entire front end of the camper because the front marker lights started leaking, and caused the front of the camper to start looking wavey and delaminating. The wooden frame on the front of the camper was the same way…..the cheapest quality wood you could imagine, just held together with a few little staples.

Not to mention the constant maintenance on all of the calking joints that seem to split, crack, or pull away. I’m sure the vibration from pulling it down the road, along with the summer/winter temp swings here in Missouri don’t help that.
When I first got out camper, I thought that maybe I just got a lemon….but the more I read and researched, it seemed like the majority of campers are like that. They are thrown together as quickly and cheaply as possible. I remember seeing that Youtube video where a team of 4 or 5 guys literally throw a 28ft camper together in a matter of hours…..after seeing that, it’s no wonder my camper is such a maintenance headache. Even my buddies triple axle 43ft luxury toy hauler is starting to fall apart on him….so it’s not just the smaller trailers.

So…fast forward 10 years. Are they built any better today? Do they use any better construction materials and/or techniques? I know there are a few high end brands like Airstream that are built to last…..but are most of the standards Thor/Crossroads/Coleman/Jayco etc, etc….still built as cheap and fast possible? At this point, I’m not sure if I’m better off to just keep repairing ours, or get something newer that “might” not be as maintenance heavy.

kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

Senior Member

Joined: 05/07/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've owned 4 trailers over a span of 25 years and can say that with each new purchase, the quality of materials used have been better with each unit.

Most notable has been synthetic materials replacing wood or press board which was terrible in our older units.

Most of the issues you'll encounter will be due to the lack of QC and the haste in which these units are assembled.

Every trailer we've owned required a half day of my labor and various tools to work out all the kinks do to lack of workmanship but all good afterwards.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

Senior Member

Joined: 09/07/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 07:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2020 was a boom year as many families decided to try RVing. I suspect quality was low on most units as volume was more important. 2021 will be interesting as I think the volume will be much lower.

GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

Senior Member

Joined: 06/18/2013

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any RV of any price point of any type will become a problem from lack of care/maintenance.
So will a house, boat, vehicle and anything manmade.
Things put together with staples are typical. Just yesterday, while cleaning the dinette area, I had to put 3 screws where staples were pulling out.
As many members have said, “Some assembly required.”


Kip
2015 Skyline Dart 214RB
2018 Silverado Double Cab 4x4
Andersen Hitch

ferndaleflyer

everywhere

Senior Member

Joined: 03/31/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Monaco cost $234,000 new in 1998 and it has had very little of the problems many experience now with a new RV of any kind. I expect to get this quality today would cost 1/2 a million. So far and close to 90,000mi it has been good to me and just hope that continues.

goducks10

There

Senior Member

Joined: 02/22/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would venture to say that the materials are better but the quality of slapping them together is no different.
Had a 2010 Heartland TT that had a couple issues that were a minor inconvenience to repair myself.
Fast forward 10 years to today and I have an ORV that has been to the dealer for repairs and to the factory for repairs. The ORV cost almost twice as much and has much nicer amenities.

Wouldn't matter if RV's had gold leaf accents on real wood trims inside. The gold leaf would either be on crooked or some of it would be falling off.

goducks10

There

Senior Member

Joined: 02/22/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dbl post

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 03/02/21 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some of it is they are hitting a price point.

Much of it is expecting automotive or household quality:
- Autos are produced by the tens of thousands. They have comparatively very little modification from unit to unit. It's far easier to set up quality control.
- Houses...when was the last time you hit big pothole with your house at 60mph?

Sealing is just regular maintenance. Keep things sealed up and it should be good for a very long time. Let things leak and expect it to be trash in 5-10yrs.


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


jdc1

Rescue, Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 05/30/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/02/21 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To get better, they need to dump the Filan siding and use smooth aluminum. To get better, they need to install aluminum roofing. To get better, they need to forgo wood framing and use steel. To get better, they need to stop using MDF anywhere.

Gdetrailer

PA

Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile



Posted: 03/02/21 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

imq707s wrote:

We have a 24ft 2011 Crossroads Zinger that we bought back in 2016. Since we got it, we have put around 15,000 miles on it towing it all over the country. I’ve also spent a ton of time just doing maintenance and repairs on it. When we got it, I had to put a new floor in the rear of it because the previous owner didn’t notice the leaky window seal for year(s). I was shocked at how cheap and shoddy the camper was thrown together…..the boards that make up the structure of the floor was some of the worst quality, oddball sized 2x2’s I’ve ever seen….only held together with some staples, and maybe a little glue spot here and there. At least I was able to reinforce everything with more wood and make it much more solid.

Then a year later I had to replace the entire front end of the camper because the front marker lights started leaking, and caused the front of the camper to start looking wavey and delaminating. The wooden frame on the front of the camper was the same way…..the cheapest quality wood you could imagine, just held together with a few little staples.

Not to mention the constant maintenance on all of the calking joints that seem to split, crack, or pull away. I’m sure the vibration from pulling it down the road, along with the summer/winter temp swings here in Missouri don’t help that.
When I first got out camper, I thought that maybe I just got a lemon….but the more I read and researched, it seemed like the majority of campers are like that. They are thrown together as quickly and cheaply as possible. I remember seeing that Youtube video where a team of 4 or 5 guys literally throw a 28ft camper together in a matter of hours…..after seeing that, it’s no wonder my camper is such a maintenance headache. Even my buddies triple axle 43ft luxury toy hauler is starting to fall apart on him….so it’s not just the smaller trailers.

So…fast forward 10 years. Are they built any better today? Do they use any better construction materials and/or techniques? I know there are a few high end brands like Airstream that are built to last…..but are most of the standards Thor/Crossroads/Coleman/Jayco etc, etc….still built as cheap and fast possible? At this point, I’m not sure if I’m better off to just keep repairing ours, or get something newer that “might” not be as maintenance heavy.


Sorry, RV and "maintenance free" do not belong in the same sentence.

Everything you have mentioned that has gone wrong with your RV is due to lack of maintenance.

You can buy a multi-million dollar RV and have it rot out in the same time as a $20K RV if you don't check the caulking, seals and such for water intrusion.

No amount of exotic materials or labor will prevent a RV from leaking.

RVs unlike a sticks and bricks has to be flexible, it bounces, it twists, it must survive potholes, curbs and bad roads, that creates a lot of places that must use flexible caulking and seals..

If a RV was built as rigid as a sticks and bricks you would be breaking structural items so it HAS to be built with flexibility in mind.

That flexibility is a major player in how it is built, what materials they use including caulking..

While you might find some "improvements" in materials, I doubt "workmanship" has improved. To earn a profit, costs must be held closely and the basic place to hold down cost that is controllable by the manufacturer is LABOR.. So, they build on assembly lines, walls, roof assembled on big tables with built in templates and then all are hoisted into place like modules.. It is done fast and efficient, that sometimes leads to quality issues but those are typically resolved in the first yr of ownership under warranty..

If you want a new RV, then find what you like and buy it, don't get caught up in the "better materials" thing, they are all built using same or similar materials, same or similar methods.. But be aware, yearly maintenance (often called "PMs" or Preventative Maintenance)is on you and while not required for warranty it is what makes a RV last a long, long time.

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Has camper quality gotten any better in the last 10 years?
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.