Have you ever wondered about the quality of RVs? Well, the truth is that some brands are better than others. Some manufacturers put a lot of care into their design and emphasize quality control, while other brands lack reliability.
This article identifies the red flags to look for when shopping for an RV. And, we reveal the five worst RV brands on the market.
RV Brand Red Flags
First, it’s impossible to make an RV like a brick house. RVs travel at high speeds, which essentially puts them through multiple obstacles within a short period. So we often tell people you’ll never find a perfect RV.
But some brands mass produce RVs and try to keep them affordable for the high demand. As a result, their products don’t hold up against brands that are meticulous about their processes and craftsmanship.
Here are five red flags you should keep an eye out for when you’re RV shopping.
Cheap or Flimsy Materials
Like we’ve said, RVs aren’t made out of brick. However, there are ways to make them durable and long-lasting. Also, new technology is constantly coming out to help improve the construction of a tiny house built on a steel frame.
When you walk through an RV you may purchase, look for signs of cheap or flimsy materials. For example, are the cupboard doors so thin they may break when you shut them? Do the doors, floor, or any furnishings feel unstable? Are there exterior pieces that look like they could easily fall off while you’re driving?
Be sure to look over every inch of the RV for red flags.
Some RV brands neglect to pour energy into quality control. Instead, their teams are overwhelmed with getting RVs through the production line, and things get missed.
Shoddy workmanship is a red flag seen on too many RVs. This is particularly true for travel trailers and entry-level RVs the brand makes a lot because they’re affordable to new RVers.
Plumbing Issues or Leaks
When purchasing a new RV, ask about the dealer’s inspection process. Dealers often find things are wrong when they come from the manufacturer, and they should fix them and disclose these issues.
Did they run every system, turn on every appliance, flush toilets, do a leak test, and so on? If there’s something they didn’t do, you can ask for an inspection or hire an outside RV inspector to do so.
You want to know if there are any plumbing issues or leaks. It is a red flag if there is or has been a leak, particularly on used RVs.
Faulty Electrical Work
An inspection can reveal any electrical issues. Faulty electrical work is a red flag and could be a costly one if it’s not taken care of properly.
Like most of the red flags in this list, it’s often a result of poor quality control by the RV brand. These issues are reasons to stay away from that specific model since it could be a consistent problem within that factory.
A good warranty is essential to cover inevitable things that will go wrong on an RV. However, if you’re having major things happen regularly, it’s typically a sign of a lack of care by the brand.
In addition, if you run into problems when getting warranty work done, that’s also a red flag. For example, if the RV brand refuses to pay for something that a warranty should cover.
Hot Tip: These easy mistakes could void your RV warranty.
5 Worst RV Brands
Now that you know which red flags to look out for, let’s check out the five worst RV brands.
#1. Thor Hurricane
Thor’s Hurricane is a Class A motorhome. It sits on a Ford chassis, and the newer models have modern decor. The coach comes in five different floor plans ranging from 30 feet by 11 inches long to 36 feet by 11 inches long.
Unfortunately, Hurricane owners consistently report issues. It has a reputation for lacking quality control.
There have been reports of defective wiring and awning, and slide-out problems. Overall, poor workmanship and slide-out breaking are the most common issues.
#2. Gulf Stream Coach
Gulf Stream Coach produces travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and Class C motorhomes. They’re known for their affordable, entry-level travel trailers.
In the past, they made a name for themselves by manufacturing Class A motorhomes, but they no longer make them. Common issues and red flags owners report with Gulf Stream RVs revolve around poor construction, including roof leaks.
#3. Dutchmen Coleman
Dutchmen’s Coleman travel trailers are lightweight, making them a sought-after choice for new RVers and those who don’t want to upgrade to a large truck for towing. Other travel trailer models that Dutchmen make are better quality than Coleman’s bad reputation.
Owners report the brand to have poor customer service, and the Coleman has a poor design. In addition, the travel trailers are made with cheap and flimsy material, causing leaks and other maintenance.
Jayco has been known as a reliable brand for years. However, the increase in demand brought on mass production, and quality control got away from them. They manufacture travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and Class C and A motorhomes.
Common issues with their RVs include roof problems and leaks. Owners of their class A motorhomes report wiring and electrical issues.
#5. Coachmen RV
Coachmen RV manufacturers pop-up campers, travel trailers, destination trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and motorhomes. As you can see, they’re doing it all, which in our opinion, makes it more challenging to keep up and oversee the workmanship and details.
That’s why Coachmen owners report a lack of quality control. Coachmen RVs have a lousy reputation for leaks, particularly around the windows.
Avoid These Brands When Buying an RV
Avoid or, at the minimum, get a thorough inspection of the RV brands in this list before purchasing. All RVs can have issues at one time or another.
To prevent problems with your RV, stay on top of the maintenance and take care of an issue as soon as it happens. And remember, check your seals regularly since water damage can be one of the most dangerous things to happen to an RV.
Have you ever purchased from any of these brands?
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