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.