Seriously, Is My RV Held Together with Staples?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but staples seem to hold many RVs together. Just take a look at RV owner forums, and you’ll see what we mean.
But are staples necessarily a bad thing? Do they signify poor craftsmanship? And how do you find a well-built RV that won’t collapse after the first season? Let’s go deeper.
Are RVs Seriously Held Together With Staples?
Whether you’ve renovated an RV or just had to fix normal wear and tear, you’ve likely noticed that almost everything in your RV is held together with staples. Even the carpet in carpeted RVs uses what seems like millions of staples. Staples are a lightweight and inexpensive fastener used in the RV industry to hold many things in your RV together, from walls to cabinet panels to carpeting.
This post on the Jayco forum is one of dozens, or potentially hundreds, complaining about staples in RV manufacturing.
“There are so many issues with things falling apart that are STAPLED together, that should be screwed. […] Thankfully for me, this is all under warranty, but after just one season with our sticker-price $24,000 hybrid (and first new camper, ever), I have to say I am less than confident in this thing surviving more than [five] years of heavy use.”
There’s a lot of frustration in this forum post and others, and it’s not hard to see why. When you spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on an RV, you don’t expect it to start falling apart immediately.
Are Staples in Your RV a Sign of Poor Craftsmanship?
Yes and no. Manufacturers pump out units as quickly as they can. This speed can lead to shortcuts. Many RV manufacturers, especially those who produce budget-priced RVs, use the cheapest building materials possible and fasten everything together with staples.
There is really no RV on the market today that’s built as sturdy as a house. Due to the nature of RVs, building a house-quality RV just isn’t possible. Manufacturers have to account for the weight of the building materials and maximize the amount of living and storage space.
But not all RV brands just slap their units together. There are actually quality RV brands out there; you just have to do your research. Prepare to pay more for quality.
Why Do Manufacturers Use Staples?
Manufacturers use staples to save money and space. Most building materials inside an RV are too thin for other types of fasteners. Staples are small, efficient, and inexpensive. They’re versatile enough for hardwoods, plastic, thin paneling, vinyl, and flooring. Staples are basically a one-type-fits-all fastener.
Most RVs won’t stand up to the rigors of an active, full-time traveling lifestyle. Staples are a short-term fastener solution for a rig that some may use full-time, which can cause a lot of frustration.
Are New RVs Still Made with Staples?
You’ll struggle to find an RV that doesn’t have a single staple in it. So yes, even new RVs use staples. The difference between quality RVs and budget RVs lies in how many staples the manufacturer uses and if proper fasteners appear in place of staples for larger furniture like cabinets.
Before purchasing an RV, research quality RV brands. When touring RVs, take a closer look at the nuts and bolts. Look at the craftsmanship, peer inside the storage bays and cabinets, and try to check out the construction. You can prepare yourself for what lies ahead when you have a better idea of the materials and fasteners holding your RV together.
How to Find Quality RV Brands
Take a look around the internet, and you’ll find a variety of opinions about quality RV brands. So how do you know what’s true quality and which brands just have a rabid customer base?
Do plenty of research before you purchase an RV. Look in brand-specific forums and member Facebook groups. Even quality RV brands can have faulty equipment or produce an RV that has some issues. This is just a byproduct of manufacturing; not every rig will be perfect.
What really matters with a quality RV brand is not only the quality of the workmanship but also the quality of the customer service. Things will break down in an RV constantly on the move. Good customer service can save you at this moment. Look for consumer reports about their experiences with warranty work and repairs, getting in touch with the manufacturer, ordering replacement parts, and more.
You Want an RV That Will Last
Staples aren’t going anywhere when it comes to the RV manufacturing process. But the difference between a quality RV and a clunker isn’t just the build quality — it’s the customer service. If you’re still in the RV buying or research phase, read up on customer experiences. What do you look for when buying a new RV?
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