By Chuck Woodbury
RVers ask me all the time if there’s a “Consumer Reports” for RVs. I tell them, no, there is not. There are websites that sell reports where RVs are rated, but I do not trust them. I don’t know how you can adequately rate an RV without going to huge expense: There are so many makes and models, and within each model there are different floor plans.
My friend James Raia does a weekly podcast about cars, and this past week he interviewed Mike Quincy who for 20 years has purchased, driven and evaluated cars for Consumer Reports.
As Mike notes, Consumer Reports purchases all of its test vehicles. The publication’s annual reliability survey analyzes data in 17 areas from more than 500,000 vehicles, 50 of which Consumer Reports purchases anonymously and the remainder from its readers who rate their own vehicles.
I have never heard of any company buying an RV to test it, much less 50 a year. Most ratings, in fact nearly all that you read online or in magazines, are more fluff than substance, often reading more like sales brochures than legitimate reviews.
James asked Mike later in the interview what happens to the cars after they’re tested. Mike said that at least some are purchased by the staff.
Listen to the podcast below or on the Weekly Driver website, where you can read a summary of what Mike said during the half-hour program.
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