By Jim Twamley
Most RVers I hang around with have the impression that RV manufacturers do not focus on quality. They are of the opinion that RV manufacturers skimp and cut corners on material and labor in order to boost their bottom line.
I’ve been around RVs most of my life (owning several types and brands) and I would have say that for the most part they are correct in their assessment. Manufacturers seem to be more concerned about making money than satisfied customers. I can take you through any RV park in the United States or Canada and show you more dissatisfied and disgruntled RV customers than you can imagine. It’s staggering, frankly, and I hope the few RV manufacturers who’ve emerged from the economic depression change their ways and begin producing high-quality products with quality materials and craftsmanship even if it does cost a little more.
I currently own what is considered one of America’s high-end motorhomes. To be honest, I will say it is well built where it counts (chassis and box) but I still run across stuff that makes me shake my head and say to myself, “What were they thinking?” Like the electric outlets (duplex receptacles) they purchase in bulk for a few cents (exactly what they are worth).
All my coach outlets are located on one circuit (dumb). So when Mrs. Professor plugs in her hair dryer in the bathroom and I’m running the toaster in the galley the circuit trips. She’s learned to ask if the coast is clear before she turns on her hair dryer.
I had an experience with a power loss in all my electric outlets. It took me several days and help from my RV brand forum to locate the problem. One of the cheap electric outlets shorted out and it took me a while to find the offender. Once I replaced it, all was well until the others began to fail.
I replaced the outlets we use most often with heavy-duty 20-amp duplex receptacles. You get what you pay for in electric components, so spend the few extra bucks and buy something that will give you good service.
Whenever your electric outlets lose power and all your other appliances (like your microwave) are working properly, check the ground fault interrupter (GFI) outlet first. Sometimes these trip, and if you forget about them, you could spend a couple of hours trying to fix the problem when all it requires is to reset the GFI.
I also recommend using electrician’s offset screwdrivers (instead of an electric drill with a screwdriver attachment), as they will quickly crank in electric screws and won’t strip the threads like a power drill.
Staying plugged into the RV lifestyle – Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing
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