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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Kia, Hyundai: Please come to the rescue "Pathetic Quality"

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toedtoes

California

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Posted: 09/14/21 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lantley wrote:

philh wrote:

RV's are essentially hand built with no continuity. It costs money to build with quality, and consumers have not been willing to spend the money.

I don't think that is quite true. Japan took the automotive industry by storm way back when. Japanese imports were not necessarily cheaper than American made they were just better quality.
Americans made their purchases based on quality not price.


The American industry was also being called out by Ralph Nader and such. So there was a large importation threat and a public shaming of the American made lack of quality and safety.

Also, autos are really a necessity for most people. So buying a poor quality vehicle can affect your entire life. A vehicle that spends 4 months in the shop getting warranty work done may mean losing your job, not being able to get your kids to school, etc. An RV in the shop for 4 months just means no trips.

So for most people, paying for a better quality vehicle is a no brainer. But for an RV, many folks will forego quality to get a better price, or get the floorplan or size they want.


1975 American Clipper RV with Dodge 360 (photo in profile)
1998 American Clipper Fold n Roll Folding Trailer
Both born in Morgan Hill, CA to Irv Perch (Daddy of the Aristocrat trailers)

vtraudt

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Posted: 09/14/21 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The current situation:
- high demand (so companies get away with PATHETIC quality "proudly made in USA" (big sticker on my Forest River trailer)
- workforce shortage (so workers get away with "I don't give a ****" attitued towards quality and craftsmanship)
- qualified, skilled, good attitude workforce shortage (so works stay on the job that would normally be fired on the spot)
- managment that makes tons of profit for the shareholders (very high demand)
- NO outside (of Indiana) competition so EVERYONE is having a good time/profit by providing the same pathetic quality since no one gets penalized

rjstractor

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Posted: 09/14/21 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure why Kia and Hyundai were mentioned in the OPs post- they are fine vehicles (I own one) but as mentioned cars are not built like RVs are. Also, the quality of a product has much more to do with the process by which it's manufactured, not the skill of the workers or the amount of inspections done during the manufacturing process. Way back in college I learned that "you can't inspect quality into a product". The Japanese were among the first to figure out that if you carefully engineer, monitor and control every aspect of the manufacturing process, you end up with much better results than just inspecting every product after it's been completed. Inspection is part of the process, but there's a lot more to it than just that.

Bird Freak

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Posted: 09/14/21 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If Kia built a RV I would buy it tomorrow. 240K miles on Sorento and runs great.


Eddie
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Skibane

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Posted: 09/14/21 11:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This Is The Hyundai Porest, And It's A Cool Compact RV You Can't Buy

rlw999

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Posted: 09/14/21 11:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

So for most people, paying for a better quality vehicle is a no brainer. But for an RV, many folks will forego quality to get a better price, or get the floorplan or size they want.



I think the floorplan variety is part of the problem - like look at Forest River - they have 4 bumper pull travel trailer sub-brands (and that doesn't even include their fifth wheel and toy haulers), and each of those sub-brands has between 10 to 17 different floorplans.

There's no way they can develop custom jigs and other tooling devoted to each floorplan when they need to assemble 40 different varieties of TT, and they also can't develop best practices for how to assemble them because lessons learned on cable routing or how to mount the cabinets more securely aren't the same for each floorplan.

I wish each manufacturer would have fewer choices in length and floorplan but more focus on quality.

But floorplan, apparently, is what sells -- it's easy to walk into an RV and see that the bed and bathroom are where you want them, it's much harder to see that they routed a wiring harness under the sewer line so it's going to chafe and wear through in a few months.

Skibane

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Posted: 09/15/21 12:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^Absolutely.

Pick any two: Variety - Quality - Price

toedtoes

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Posted: 09/15/21 12:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rlw999 wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

So for most people, paying for a better quality vehicle is a no brainer. But for an RV, many folks will forego quality to get a better price, or get the floorplan or size they want.



I think the floorplan variety is part of the problem - like look at Forest River - they have 4 bumper pull travel trailer sub-brands (and that doesn't even include their fifth wheel and toy haulers), and each of those sub-brands has between 10 to 17 different floorplans.

There's no way they can develop custom jigs and other tooling devoted to each floorplan when they need to assemble 40 different varieties of TT, and they also can't develop best practices for how to assemble them because lessons learned on cable routing or how to mount the cabinets more securely aren't the same for each floorplan.

I wish each manufacturer would have fewer choices in length and floorplan but more focus on quality.

But floorplan, apparently, is what sells -- it's easy to walk into an RV and see that the bed and bathroom are where you want them, it's much harder to see that they routed a wiring harness under the sewer line so it's going to chafe and wear through in a few months.


I always liked how Irv Perch handled that with the American Clippers. Because they were molded fiberglass shells, he was limited. A window move meant a separate mold for that wall, which was very expensive. So of his 21ft models, he only had two molds. One was used for the rear kitchen and side kitchen layouts. The outside storage, windows, door, fridge, furnace, tanks, and water heater remained in the same locations so wiring, piping, etc, was standardized. The second mold was specific to the bunkhouse layout. If you see a clipper on the road, you can easily idenify a bunkhouse because of the windows and door placement. This was the only model that had different placement of fridge, furnace, etc.

Even the 24ft models maintained the same basic positioning of those items. So, there was little variation to the hidden build.

Where he gave options were in things like a standard dinette versus an L shaped dinette, or two chairs and cabinet versus a couch. They were cosmetic differences only. Between the 3 molds, he offered 27 floorplans, but the build centered on only 4 variations (side kitchen, rear kitchen, bunkhouse, 24ft).

vtraudt

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Posted: 09/15/21 06:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rjstractor wrote:

I'm not sure why Kia and Hyundai were mentioned in the OPs post


Simply space holders for any market disruptors, those being the most recent once from the auto industry.

Earlier examples where Honda, Toyota.

Could be a new player from Canada or Mexico.
Could be a new player outside the current "Indiana Cartel" that holds a monopoly on the RV market in the US.

Maybe a big European manufacturer wants to seize the opportunity and break into the North American domestic market with a good value proposition (bang for buck, Quality[emoticon]rice ratio).

Or a big China player just buying up one of the Cartel members, putting up new plants outside Indiana, new top management, more dedicated managers and workforce.

wapiticountry

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Posted: 09/15/21 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

rlw999 wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

So for most people, paying for a better quality vehicle is a no brainer. But for an RV, many folks will forego quality to get a better price, or get the floorplan or size they want.



I think the floorplan variety is part of the problem - like look at Forest River - they have 4 bumper pull travel trailer sub-brands (and that doesn't even include their fifth wheel and toy haulers), and each of those sub-brands has between 10 to 17 different floorplans.

There's no way they can develop custom jigs and other tooling devoted to each floorplan when they need to assemble 40 different varieties of TT, and they also can't develop best practices for how to assemble them because lessons learned on cable routing or how to mount the cabinets more securely aren't the same for each floorplan.

I wish each manufacturer would have fewer choices in length and floorplan but more focus on quality.

But floorplan, apparently, is what sells -- it's easy to walk into an RV and see that the bed and bathroom are where you want them, it's much harder to see that they routed a wiring harness under the sewer line so it's going to chafe and wear through in a few months.


I always liked how Irv Perch handled that with the American Clippers. Because they were molded fiberglass shells, he was limited. A window move meant a separate mold for that wall, which was very expensive. So of his 21ft models, he only had two molds. One was used for the rear kitchen and side kitchen layouts. The outside storage, windows, door, fridge, furnace, tanks, and water heater remained in the same locations so wiring, piping, etc, was standardized. The second mold was specific to the bunkhouse layout. If you see a clipper on the road, you can easily idenify a bunkhouse because of the windows and door placement. This was the only model that had different placement of fridge, furnace, etc.

Even the 24ft models maintained the same basic positioning of those items. So, there was little variation to the hidden build.

Where he gave options were in things like a standard dinette versus an L shaped dinette, or two chairs and cabinet versus a couch. They were cosmetic differences only. Between the 3 molds, he offered 27 floorplans, but the build centered on only 4 variations (side kitchen, rear kitchen, bunkhouse, 24ft).
And the rest of the story is American Clipper went out of business in 1980 after being in business less than 8 years. So maybe it wasn't a better mousetrap after all.

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