Saturday, September 23, 2023


Around the campfire: Who’s to blame for lack of quality RVs?

Terrible RV quality. This ongoing theme runs rampant throughout RV blogs, forums, social media threads, and (you guessed it) around the campfire. But just who is to blame for the lack of quality RVs?

Blame the manufacturers for quality of RVs

Bill, one of my campfire companions this evening, contends, “Manufacturers are just looking to make a buck, regardless of quality! No wonder RVs made within the last several years lack quality.”

“It started with the pandemic,” John added. “RV manufacturers saw a huge opportunity and went to work to capitalize on it. With shutdowns and layoffs, coupled with mandatory masking and distancing, people were desperate to find some relief. An RV vacation became one of the only viable choices.”

“I’m not sure blame belongs solely to manufacturers,” Wanda mused. “We live in a capitalist nation. Companies are in the business of making money. Their shareholders demand it. I blame the actual workers on the line.”

Blame the line workers for quality of RVs

When asked to explain, Wanda complained, “Workers—in all industries, really—no longer have pride in their work. It used to be at the end of the day, a laborer looked with real pride at the job they’d done. Now it’s all about the money. And only the money.”

I’ve talked to some line workers in the RV industry. They would argue that Wanda is off base. One guy wanted me to know that workers are under constant pressure to build more and build faster. With that kind of pressure, it’s no wonder pride in workmanship suffers. A slower, more careful worker will not see the bonuses or pay raises like their faster peers on the line.

Blame the RV dealerships for quality of RVs

“I think most of the blame goes to the RV dealerships,” Donna declared. “They have a right not to accept defective RVs, yet they look the other way. They accept them from the manufacturers, knowing full well there are problems.”

I suppose that if I had buyers lined up to purchase RVs from my lot, it would be a temptation to ignore individual unit issues. I wonder just how easy it is for local dealers to reject a poorly made RV. (Just look at what Chuck Woodbury saw at a recent RV show—and it was for sale!) Will the manufacturer retaliate in some way down the line? Who pays for the return of an RV? It’s probably not as simple as we think.

Perhaps some dealerships accept defective RVs thinking that their own mechanics will address and fix any problems. But the mechanics I know are already overwhelmed with fixing a backlog of RVs. Dealerships near us constantly advertise, looking for mechanics. They can’t find them!

Heck, blame the consumer!

“Take a look around this campfire, folks,” Sharice said. “The blame falls squarely on the consumer. If we’d stop buying junk RVs, things would have to change. As long as demand stays high, the dealerships, line workers, and manufacturers have no reason to address quality issues.”

Identifying blame may become a moot point. Recent reports indicate a slowing RV market. If reports are to be believed, perhaps in time RV quality will return.

So … who do you think is to blame for the poor quality of RVs? Share your opinions in the comments below, please.



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


  1. Simple solution … if the consumer stops buying poorly made products, dealers and vendors stop buying them, bad manufacturers go out of business.

  2. The manufacturers force this upon the rest, down the line. Chuck once asked Thor’s CEO about quality. The CEO didn’t care as long as units went out the door. So, stop buying or stop complaining?
    I worked in an industry where I was the final step before customer acceptance. I was CONSTANTLY pushed to hurry, let it go. I wouldn’t quit until things were correct. I worked in that position for 40 years. Sometimes you can push back.

  3. Sadly, the problem is indifference and everyone’s to blame. It starts at the top with executive quotas indifferent to long term impact put to the floor that drives quantity over quality. The assemblers adopt the indifference, the dealers adopt it and yes, the buyers do the same. I saw problems with my brand new Forest River that should have never left Elkhart, made it past PDI and reluctantly accepted by me to fix in a campsite.

    Sure, we could boycott and rent hotel rooms or stay home but that’s lame. Sure, dealers could slow their overheated sales opportunities and fix what the OEM ships out wrong but they’re short on people, short on parts and short on patient customers. That said, until the demand eases to where quality can pass quantity, don’t hold your breath.

  4. “Detroit” got its clock cleaned when Honda & Toyota introduced quality vehicles into the US market. Consumers soon learned about the quality of the “Imports” and decided reliability, fit & finish were valuable. Eventually “Detroit” figured it out but by then they had permanently lost most of the market. How to build and sell a quality vehicle is not a secret. What do you think would happen if one maker offered a longer warranty and actually built the RV correctly the first time and didn’t depend on the 1st owner to make most of the repairs? If they could survive the first couple of years, I bet they would take over the market. If or when Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, or some other mfg that understands how to design quality in rather than depending on the owner and dealer to have to fix the RV we might see some improvement. Till then I do not expect to buy another RV as I have ‘fixed” the poor Quality items in my 2016 Class-C so now everything works as desired.

  5. Manufacturers, dealers, and consumers are to blame for substandard materials, poor workmanship, improper and limited dealer prep, and consumer demand for lower prices and increasing amenities.
    Manufacturers are responding to consumer and dealer demand for more, more, more RV’s. Speed up the process and you get poor workmanship. Manufacturers expect the dealers to complete the process in the dealer prep (Which they charge plenty for) but that would eat into their profit so they offer a walk-through which is supposed to teach the bug-eyed consumer everything they are supposed to know about their now too complected and feature-laden RV.
    Anxious to get on the road, the new owner settles for what they got enters America’s shake-rattle-and-roller coaster highway system driving basically a six-wheeled truck which they expect to perform like their BMW. It just won’t meet expectations on its best day and thus spend countless hours, days, or even months in the shop leaving angst for all.

    • Tim: I agree and have argued for years that Japanese and Korean manufacturers must get into the fold and like the NA auto industry shake up the poor quality mentality.

  6. It’s ALL the above. Greedy manufacturers, apathetic line workers, complacent dealers, and ignorant buyers ALL contribute to the poor quality problem.

  7. I’m in a ’99 Montana that is still in decent livable condition. Granted, I didn’t do my due diligence at time of purchase, but once my electrical issues get fixed, all I have to do is the re-decorating things.
    I don’t know if someone will be able to say that about their rigs in 23 yrs.
    I personally, see “all of the above” as adding to the problem. There will always be folks who just want the fast buck regardless. WE, as consumers, have to demand better, even if it costs a few bucks more.
    But that’s just my perspective.

  8. I figure now that gas prices are up less consumer interest. I went to a few RV shows and folks here are correct quality is poor. They added bells & whistles – high end appliances and outdoor tv’s and barbecues but most of it is flash compared to the structural quality. I’m waiting until the industry gets back to quality which may be never or buying used because someone else has fixed the issues.

  9. I actually ran out of room. I was told that someone ordered the air conditioner and ended up trading their RV instead of fixing the one they had. I haven’t used it since but went into it to do routine dusting etc and that brand new air conditioner doesn’t work already. These are just a few problems that I have had with this camper. Leaking faucets and the last time we used it we emptied the tanks before leaving the campground but when we got home there was sewage water all over the bathroom. I always dreamed of having a camper and traveling with it. This turned out to be nothing but a nightmare.

  10. I bought a Forest River camper before the Pandemic. I have used it for times since 2019 when I bought it brand new. The first time water poured out from under the siding near. I took it to the dealership and they found screws lodged somewhere around the plumbing. They fixed that. The second time I used it the heat kept turning on by itself. We live in Florida and this was summer time. I took it back and was told that the thermostat was defective and because by this time we were within the Pandemic. I was told that because of this, they had no idea of when they could get a replacement. Months later they finally got a replacement and we tried to camp again. The air quit working. I took it back again. I was told that all RV air conditioners were being sent to the manufacturers and there was no way to get one for mine. After finally emailing the manufacturer letting them know what a waste of $20,000. 00 this camper was, the dealership called me and said that they had a new air conditioner.

  11. Plenty of blame to go around—but I place the bulk of it on the manufacturers—they’re the ones that source or specify the products used to build units. They’re the ones that give instructions to the worker on the level of quality, fit, and finish they expect of the build. AND… THEY’RE the ones that know which glitzy, poor-quality junk will visually suck in a buyer! Now, as to consumers…seriously, you expect them to demand anything from the dealer?!? Demand all you want…that message will never get to the manufacturer, and the dealer just doesn’t care. I also give plenty of blame to the finance office! They suck in the average consumer with what they arrived on the lot looking for…the fanciest, biggest unit they can get for the monthly price they can squeeze into their budget. Not too different from the real estate boom with all that predatory lending a few years back. Show me an RV built in the last 10 years that is worth what the consumer owes on it. Darn few!

    • Tom: The RV public must stop buying this rubble and push entrepreneurs to build RVs with quality and safety. I suspect articles like this one and comments from readers could shake up the industry.

  12. I purchased a very expensive rv from a top well known manufacturer and I am a finicky, perfectionist person. I had $16,000 of repairs done under warranty the first year. After that, it was my problem! Manufacturers buy end of run items to put inside the motorhome. The cheapest fridges, cheapest washer and dryer, cheapest electric curtains on the market, etc… The motorhome was excellent! The motor, the frame, the wood finish inside but everything else was the cheapest available. The “bed” in the living room was an inflatable mattress that you could get for $60 at Walmart!
    After 16 years in the market and 4 different motorhomes, I still can’t understand how a rich person can own an expensive motorhome if you are not very mechanically inclined. The motorhome never breaks at the dealer, it always happens in the woods or in the parking of a Walmart!

  13. We have a 2009 Arctic Fox 24-5N and have put about 120,000 miles on it and full-timed for 3 years. The fit and finish was acceptable. It could easily have been better. However, the overall quality was excellent. The roads in our nation will beat anything to death and then do it again. Our trailer is a testament to quality design, quality materials and quality construction. I have nothing but good to say about this manufacturer during this time frame. When I look at new RV’s from various manufacturers, for the most part I’m not impressed and the sales techniques leave me wondering. If I could get a new 24-5N, I’d buy it tomorrow. Unfortunately this model is no longer built. It’s short enough for many East Coast and national forest campgrounds. I don’t want a long trailer nor a long 5th wheel. I want something built well that is short enough that I can back into a tight spot and is very well made.

  14. Rv’s have always been garbage, they have always been poorly manufactured from shoddy parts, period, if you want a quality recreational vehicle build it yourself on a commercial chassis, otherwise you’re going to get lots of flashy features you don’t actually need, exorbitant costs and poor quality, who fixes rv’s? RV dealers, it’s a relatively closed ecosystem, like the law, if you think lawyers are crooks…..that includes judges and district attorneys….

    • Not always… I have an Alpenlite (built by Western RV-Yakima, WA), and its quality and good design throughout. It’s held its value far better than most. Unfortunately, Western went out of business–probably (I really don’t know why) because they weren’t making enough profit by focusing on producing a quality unit. When I go to RV shows, I absolutely cringe at the quality of new units compared to my Alpenlite. There’s nothing lite about an Alpenlite.

  15. The reason was nailed by the last comment, the one by Sharice. If you don’t buy them the quality should improve.

    OTOH, I recall motorhomes I rented in the 70’s that were nothing but slipshod pieces of junk, rented by slipshod locations that were trying to earn a few bucks. Doors that fell off because of pressboard rather than plywood being used, flimsy hinges and latches that were worn out in a very short time, you name it. I’ve been out of the game for a long long time, but seeing these units at shows reminds me of the current crop of crap and that it isn’t far removed from what I saw in 1978.

  16. Poorly made RV’s did not begin because of Covid.
    I believe it started in the 2000’s.
    I’ve owned moderately priced rv”s from the 90’s that were built well.
    The next decade the moderately priced rv’s were stapled together, thin luan walls and mattresses that were fabric covered boxes.
    I am convinced it is caused by the greed of the owners and the want of the almighty dollar!!

    • Poor skills, cheap labor and building materials, cutting corners for profit and greed equals inferior product. It has taken me a few years to upgrade and correct the many mistakes… in my camper, such shoddy work, unbelievable.

  17. I have been a quality professional for over 30 years. I have consulted and worked with a number of organizations in the US and abroad on how to improve their corporate cultures and focus on overall quality of their products and services. Quality begins and ends with senior management, there are no exceptions. Most people believe that quality has a cost which is reflected in higher price. This is not necessarily so. Most organizations ( the RV industry is a prime example) have no idea of the cost of poor quality on the bottom line. Rework, warranty claims, and loss of consumer confidence in their products has a far greater cost than building a quality product and reputation. In my experience, the payback to the bottom line by investing in product quality out the door has a 6 to 1 dollar return. I have seen this borne out time and again, when the senior manage commits to improving corporate quality. A focus on quality has a positive ROI. This lesson needs to learned by the RV industry.

  18. Companies are to blame for poor quality. Companies share profits with share holders and the lower workman sees no bonuses just pressure to build build build faster…. And the sad part is it’s not just with rv manufacturing lines. Workman across the board have no pride in their work anymore. Underpaid understaffed and only production numbers count.

  19. Having worked at a dealership and watched people shop, I put a lot of the blame on consumers. Many would come in asking ‘what’s the best RV on the lot?’ and then buy something inexpensive that had some amenity like a fireplace or ice maker.

    People claim they want quality but they’re not demanding it. There are some quality manufacturers out there and I try to point out companies that are doing a better job in my daily reviews. But what sells in large numbers are stick-and-tin trailers with leaf spring suspensions that are slapped together as quickly as possible.

    If consumers continue to reward companies who are making sloppily built units, the companies are going to recognize that that’s what consumers want because that’s what they’re buying.

    When the poor-quality offerings no longer sell well and consumers demand better, the RV companies will build what people demand. Any business is just there to serve consumer demand. It’s your fault, buyers.

    • BS! Talk about victim blaming at it’s finest. How about this thought… you as a dealer should not offer units with poor workmanship? You as a dealer have the responsibility to pressure the manufactures to up their quality. You as a dealer are the single most important point of contact for a customer interested in buying one of the RVs on your lot. When a quality issue comes up, a customer’s first thought is: They sold me a crap RV. Then they take it in for warrantee work and hear: “Oh, it’s the manufacture’s fault. Customer’s point of view: “You are the one sold me a crap RV!”

      Poor workmanship reflects badly on everybody in the supply chain, and whether you like it or not, you as a dealer is the point-of-contact and the final face of that workmanship. So don’t blame us. Your least expensive offering should at least work properly.

      • Well said. Even the cheapest product on the lot should work as advertised. And the dealer is the one who takes the money. And warranties mean nothing if we don’t have the use of the unit for months at a time.

      • Well, I don’t disagree with that statement except that when a small dealership complains enough about what’s rolling onto the lot suddenly product just stops showing up.

        Unfortunately the big dealerships would have to be the ones changing the direction and we all know how little they care about the consumer.

        So that’s why I suggest that the customer is the one who should do their research and buy carefully including researching a dealership. You’re absolutely correct, finding a great dealership who cares is one of the biggest factors in enjoying the RV lifestyle.

        But, again, when people claim they want quality and walk out with something lousy it’s their own darned fault, as Jimmy Buffett sang in Margaritaville. Spending $50K on something and doing no research is foolish, to me.

  20. It is always the fault of the consumer and due to the unwillingness to spend enough for a quality product to be manufactured.

    • Victim blaming. The RVs should all work properly and we are certainly allowed to blame the dealership selling them to us if things are not right.

      • How are buyers “victims” when they have the opportunity to do research and then do none and suffer from their own lack of proper decision making?

        There are good units out there. I just bought a new rig and have put over 3,000 miles on it and lived in it full time (we’re selling our house) since May with zero issues with it. The fit and finish are outstanding, the functionality is terrific and we have been thrilled.

        The only victimization is the fact that people are victims of their own bad decision making. Nobody is forcing them to buy the RV – they’re doing it themselves. All you have to do is read the various forums out there where people fully admit they’re new RVers and have done zero research whatsoever.

        • Excellent points, Tony! Thanks! And I know you’re speaking from much experience, having been in the business for so long. Have a great day! 😀 –Diane

          • over a 12 year period we’ve had 2 rvs …high end ones….both have had some issues….and the dealer manager and salesperson walked away from any responsibility of fixing issues….I’m a carpenter so learn to fix’m myself….manufacture was some what helpful but wanted to really not be to involved…go through the dealer…..yes they all want to make money but rvs are an extra to life…not like cars….so all people pushed to get better quality for cars ….rvers are limited on power to have things change fast…..

        • Tony has it right people. We in the USA want something for nothing. Why do we buy from China? Because the stuff is cheap. People have asked why people pay so much for a Class B?: We researched for years and found that the original Roadtrek company in Canada built the best we could find. We paid stupid dollars for it because the other stuff we looked at, trailers, other Bs, and Cs, were not of the quality and that is why they were priced such that was actually within in our budget – BUT we spent the money because we needed the quality with no headaches. Nine years and I have replaced one defective cabinet latch – AND they sent it to me for free, out of warranty. Did you buy and XYZ “as seen on TV” for $19.l99, then junk it and go pay the $100 one for a real one? RV manufactures slap together cheap ones because everyone wants a new toy that they can afford. Real well built RVs cost more than many people can afford. Cheap RVs have created a market for the manufacturers for those that only want a toy for the summer weekends, and that is what they get. You can bet that if Toyota and others start building to compete, they will be more expensive than the cheap stuff we consumers now choose to buy.

  21. Blaming the workers is garbage. The workers are doing what they need to do they can keep their jobs. And the worker shortages in Indiana means that manufacturers will hire anyone.
    The blame falls squarely on manufacturers who will cut any corner to ship more product regardless of the quality. And dealers who are willing to accept any product knowing full well that it is garbage. Oh, and the buyers, who will buy without knowing anything about WHAT they are buying or how to keep it working. Look at the forums with tons of people asking for help, many are the most basic questions that the dealer should have told them about!

  22. I blame the consumer, if we stop buying the pos mfg that will hurt them. The mfg won’t fix their problems until we hurt their $$$

  23. I believe the quality to lay at the feet of the manufacturer, the workman, the dealer the marketing people and most of all with us the consumer. As long as the buyer allows even encourages poor craftsmanship and purchases junk, junk will continue to be made. Our last three units were quality builds but still had issues. We assumed the repairs on the first two as part of the purchase agreement. On our last one we required three separate inspections. We held the dealer and the manufacturer responsible for making repairs both prior to acceptance and also after acceptance as issues came up. Fortunately for us we had reputable dealer and manufacturer. But then again we chose them due to their reputation for backing up what they make and sell. Even 4 years later the manufacturer still makes good on obvious faults and treats us fair on pricing when repairs are required as a matter of everyday use.

  24. It pure greed by the manufacturers. They send the dealers junk RVs and the dealership is supposed to repair before the customer purchase. They say “File a warranty claim”. We get paid half of what we should get for repairs. Manufacturers should be sued for fraud. I have been in this business for over 12 years and the quality has always been bad. COVID has nothing to do with it. RVIA is a joke.

  25. Late stage capitalism where corporate executives earn more by gaming their stock options; and no one -top to bottom -is vested in their brand. Line work in general w/o union representation has experienced a loss in their real wages. Pretty depressing on all counts.

  26. Assuming that each has approximately the same size, safety and entertainment technologies, and warranty period, do buyers expect the least expensive Ford or Chevy SUV to have the same quality as the least expensive Mercedes or Lexus SUV? No? Then it would appear that the more expensive SUV should have fewer defects and, possibly harder to define because everyone has a different standard, “higher quality “.

    In that context and assuming the same basic features, is a 25′ $25,000 travel trailer really expected to have the same quality as a 25′ $50,000 travel trailer? Admittedly, both may have some initial defects when purchased. But, if you plan to full-time or keep that TT for 25 years, which would you rather spend your hard-earned money on?

    To me, it’s a simple equation: Price = Quality.

    • Both the 25 and 50K trailers start with a frame, most likely from the same manufacturer as well as a myriad of components in the final build from that same manufacturer. Can you say monopoly? I rest my case.

      • That may be true if comparing two TTs built in the same Indiana county by, say, Thor and Forest River. But it is not necessarily true of one of those Indiana-built TTs compared to one built in Lagrande, Oregon.

        • I’ve got one of the Northwood fifth wheel trailers and I got what I paid for. It’s a 2009 model with a 120k on it. It is a superb product.

  27. A “Quality” driven mindset in an organization starts with the executives that run the business. They are responsible to see that programs and initiatives are in place to promote and ensure product quality. From policy to training to inspections, etc. quality and defect prevention starts at the top. The buck stops there.

    And its not just product quality, but service as well. We’ve all read here how some manufacturers are delaying severe safety defect recalls and prioritizing using replacement parts for new builds over fixing known dangerous issues in sold units. This is where I believe the “corporate vail” should be lifted and corporate executives held PERSONALLY liable for any injuries sustained.

  28. On the topic of tire quality, I do tend to blame the RV owner. When you have a tire failure there are two things you need to do. The first is to file a complaint along with a picture of the failed tire to NHTSA (a dept of the US DOT responsible for tire quality and safety) and be sure to include the RV Vin and the tire DOT code including the date. Second, take the failed tire to the company that sold you the tire. If you personally did not buy the tire but it came as original equipment, then take it to the RV dealer. If they try and tell you it’s not their responsibility you can tell them that you are filing a complaint against the dealership for not reporting the problem to DOT as Federal tire safety regulations require that the vehicle manufacturer report their component safety failures to NHTSA.

    • If you think filing a complaint with the RV company will get no action, Here is the Federal DOT regulation:
      573.6 Defect and noncompliance information report.

      (a) Each manufacturer shall furnish a report to the NHTSA for each defect in his vehicles or in his items of original or replacement equipment that he or the Administrator determines to be related to motor vehicle safety, and for each noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard in such vehicles or items of equipment which either he or the Administrator determines to exist.

      (b) Each report shall be submitted not more than 5 working days after a defect in a vehicle or item of equipment has been determined to be safety related, or a noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard has been determined to exist”

      You can see if a RV company gets a report of a tire failure they must include that in their report to DOT If a RV dealer refuses to report the tire failure to the RV company THEY would be in violation of Federal Reg

      • And the DOT will send an inspector who may be on the take because they need some money for something. The manufacturer greases his palm with something of value and all is well. As was stated earlier there isn’t any pride taken in doing a good job because the next guy over gets the same paycheck for doing nothing while the guy trying to do his job is forgotten. This goes back on management because they don’t want to get tough on the no accounts due to no one wanting to work because they’re getting government checks to stay home. The government quits giving “free” money our workforce will go back to working for a living.

  29. To me, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility. I am retired from the home building industry (almost 40 years) and a builder is known for his quality, of lack of. The ones, like the national builders, who cut corners and used inferior products had a reputation to deal with and didn’t last very long in the market area I was in. On subject, the RV manuf. puts their NAME on the product, so THEY are responsible. The problem is, very few manuf.’s care about their reputation… or are willing to stand up and go above the status quo on quality. They all suffer equally in poor quality, mainly due to greed.

      • This is my point, I guess I didn’t make it clear. I saw many builders in the course of over 30 years come and go because of lousy quality poor reputations.

  30. Some years ago PBS Television had an article on campers being built. The workers were not quite ” flying” to keep up production. Really bad build. Quotas had to be maintained,so work was sloppy. I watched as ceiling insulation was applied. A whole big piece was missing. ( I think I got that one). My last and current camper had 17 defects. All readily repairable, which I did and charged the dealer for. ( he paid me over $600 ) @ 400 mile round trip back to dealer that I didnt have to do. A dealer near me has hundreds of rv ,s on the lot. I hope he sells them.

  31. Nice article about passing the blame on down the line. But don’t stop at the consumer. These consumers are woefully unprepared for the real world. So blame their education that has molded so many into thinking everyone gets a trophy despite behavior, social media is their guide, and history holds no lessons of virtue or value to them. If the source is not recognized and rectified, how then can there be hope for the future?

  32. Management is where it all starts from when a boss tell a employee it’s inot your job and not your problem then the whole blame is on management the {bleeped} goes out the door looking like a 2 yr build it .it’s sopposed to be everybody job to do the rite thing I don’t know where these Moran’s come from but that was what a boss told me so I quit

  33. Unfortunately, unless you can afford a RV north of $250K, you might (I say might) get a better quality build. This is my third decade of buying/selling personal RVs and the build quality is somewhat worse. We have a 2021 motorhome and it has spent a lot of its first year in warranty repair. The thing that worries me more are the “unknowns” buried within that haven’t evolved yet.

  34. We are to blame. We turned off our brains and bought the pretty POS. Then, we did not contact the list of attorneys listed at RVTravel.

    • Most of the time tony is writing from sales literature or Josh the RV Nerd reviews, he’s probably nowhere near the RV he’s writing about. After all how could he be testing a new RV everyday that’s made hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Lol

    • Good point.

      There are a lot of variables here. One of those is that RVs are hand-built with little automation. The same model and floor plan can serve one RVer very, very well could fall apart at the hands of another. Build quality is very inconsistent.

      The materials being used are definitely not automotive-grade. The same road conditions that wouldn’t phase the cheapest vehicle built today could very well cause significant damage to an RV. In my opinion wood has no business as a structural element in a vehicle, yet most RVs have a lot of wood in the build.

      Because of roads, build materials and more RVers who are handy and knowledgeable typically have a much better long-term experience than those who aren’t. Many new RVers have entered the market with the expectation that RVs are built like their personal vehicles and are horrified when so many things break.

      Lastly, RV decision makers rarely actually use the product. It’s a sad truth and shows-up in the product itself.

  35. I think there is plenty of blame to go around but I believe Sharice has hit the nail on the head. As consumers, not just of RVs, we have consistently accepted poorer and poorer quality from manufacturers. We now look at items as “use and toss” instead of long-lasting. We have accepted that a TV, for instance, will only last a couple years before we have to replace it instead of demanding that it last 5 or 10 or 20 years. (My grandparents had a console TV my entire childhood. 18 years and it wasn’t brand new when I came around.)
    Let’s start demanding the manufacturers do a little better.

    • Yep, If we buy quality instead of price, we will eventually get quality. However, we Americans evidently want NEW all the time. I will not give up my two 1996 cars until they give me up. My Toyota Celica served me for 40 years before I gave it up to a kid who breathed new life into it, again, so it is now going on 50 years. Pinto, Vega, and Pacer, and thus the US consumer, convinced US auto makers that quality mattered. RV manufacturers won’t wake up until we do.

  36. Everyone- Manufacturers, line workers, dealers and consumers. All have their part in this situation. It is a lack of having quality standards on everyone’s part. I am a registered, licensed, insured Plumber with 54 years in the profession. I do my work to my standards. If you don’t want that then get someone else. End of story.

    • What you do in your business is your business, and I don’t question your attitude because that’s your business, but I can tell you with your attitude I’d look somewhere else because the customer is your boss and if your work is not done to the customers satisfaction your 54 year career is in jeopardy. You must be the only plumber within 50 miles and are playing to a captive audience.

  37. I put most of the responsibility on the manufacturer executive management team. They drive and set the company attitude. On the other hand we the consumer must demand better products.

    • Travel trailers have been made cheaper and cheaper for the past 20 years. I have been a seasonal camper for over 35 years. It is well known that after 10 years they start to leak. I have been in some brand new ones and can’t believe how they are just stapled together. Shame on the greed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.