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Thor Motor Coach

Good afternoon Chuck,
Everyone has a right to their own opinion but your article was posted it on our Facebook page so I wanted to respond to you directly. I’m sorry you view the RV industry and its workforce in the light that you do. Please reach out to us privately if you have true concerns. Also, I hope that photo was not taken on our plant tour because we will have to request that you take it down. Photographs and videos inside the factory are strictly prohibited. Thank you kindly, Thor Motor Coach


We put 60,000 miles on a Phoenix Cruiser 23 in 10 years, and over all found it fine, and with good customer service when we needed a spare part shipped to us. But it was stapled together, just as our current Forester 2401 is.


Have a question for Mike Sokol regarding his article about using a welding machine receptacle to power an RV.
I have a 30 amp rig and when visiting my Son, I have configured an adapter to allow me to plug into his welding machine wall outlet and have a 30 amp RV receptacle on the other end.
Have used it extensively over the past few years and was wondering if I am taking a chance on messing things up?

Sam Kline

Some of us don’t have the extra $20k – so I guess we buy the stapled together “bling”. My ACE might not be the best by your standard but it is what I can afford and it serves me well. Been reading your great newsletter since I full timed in my 5th wheel (2003) and was disappointed in your comments like we all have an extra 20k to throw around I do enjoy the newsletter and will continue to support it.

Dick Zimmerer

I’ve been extremely happy with my Phoenix Cruiser for six years now. When I thought I had dented a side door panel, the owner Kermit Smith informed me that the door panel was defective and he replaced it at no charge. When I damaged my trailer electric outlet, he moved it up higher and would not take any payment for it even after I protested that it was my fault. Service like this commands loyalty.

John Hiler

In the U.S. of A. Cheeeeep is best.

richard ackroyd

Chuck, you should visit Red Bay Alabama and take the tour of the Tiffin plant if you want to get some of your lost faith in the quality of American workmanship back. I don’t know if any RV manufacturer can be classed as perfect but Tiffin do come close.

ps. yes I do own a Tiffin ( Allegro Bus).

Donald N Wright

Visiting Cortez Colorado I marveled at all the big, expensive RV’s in the corner of the Walmart parking lot. Some had set up grills and tables. My Aliner was set up at Mesa Verde, lots of empty spaces. Several campgrounds in town, with spaces available. Arriving after the gates are closed for the night I can understand, but don’t lie to me on how expensive the RV park is.


Glad you mentioned Phoenix Cruiser. Not only are their assembly processes first class it all starts with top notch engineering design. We have a 3100 model and LOVE it. Drove 17,000 miles from Florida to Alaska 2 years ago. 3 months in Alaska alone. Had one minor problem with the microwave after 100 miles of Top of the World Highway washboard rode! Down to 15 mph for much of 100 miles! A connection came loose inside the microwave.
Definitely do a factory tour before buying an rv!


The more horror stories I read regarding the new RVs, the happier I am that we bought an older one. Our gorgeous 94 Mallard TT is solid and well built.
We love to snoop in the new RVs at a local RV dealership. But they usually pale compared to our old gal. I reached under one and tapped on the frame. It sounded like an empty coffee can!!! When I tap on ours, there’s a solid sound, not “ting ting”.
At the New York state fair, we stopped to look at campers on display. A salesman approached and we told him we have a 94 Mallard that we love. He said (with total bravado) “your floor is made from several pieces and will warp and twist over time!!” I actually laughed in his face saying “it’s a 94!!! If it was gonna twist, it would have done it by now!!!” He looked so defeated, poor baby..LOL!!!!


Re: the article on lubricating sticky dump valves has an error in the Conclusion – the orientation of valve handles and valve bodies should be different (by referring to the opposite ends of the valve, rather than being consistent and only referencing the same end of the valve for the problem cause and solution introduces the error). The way it is written, there is no difference in orientation for cause and solution.

Kenny Steitle

Article about Using a stud finder to check waste water levels: the photo of a stud finder in this article is a magnetic type (locates nails) not a density measurement stud finder. The stud finder shown in this article locates nails, it does not measure density.

Phil Atterbery

I’ve got a top for Russ. The standard battery service bottle doesn’t work in my Bounder 38N battery compartment, too tall. I use a squirt bottle w/nozzle then attached a length of 1/4 vinyl tubing to the spray port. I add the distilled water by placing the tube in the service opening and pumping the spray nozzle. I use a flashlight and mirror to check the level.

Jack Duncan

I just wanted to alert you that you may have a problem with on of your ads. 12 Insanely cool gadgets. I tried to order a camera lens for my phone and I get a message that my credit card had been denied. I know there is nothing wrong with my card and I suspect it was rejected because of problems dealing with China. So buyer beware.

Tom Piper

Great article, Chuck. I have always been of a mind that a business has to make a profit, else it won’t be there very long. Still I wonder about campgrounds/rv parks that charge $40+ per night but offer a month at $400. That’s a 75% discount! The park’s expenses remain the same, so the expenses must be based on their lowest rate, right? In this case about $13 per night. So anything else is on the back of the traveler. Understandable grumbling from the short term camper.

john stahl

Your editorial just re-confirmed the terrible state of the RV industry. Construction with poor workmanship, low pay, long hours, little training, etc. A sad state of affairs. Then the repair facilities face the same issues as the rest of the industry. The poor buying public. A lot of ‘pretty’ but not quality coming out. Every RV trip is a new adventure in waiting to see what will break or not work next. Not much fun RVing when you have in the back of your mind ‘what will happen next?’ Thanks Chuck for all you are trying to do. It is truly a mountain to climb. Take care of your health. This can be a draining challenge.

John Huggins

Thor uses screws to put together some wood parts as well. On a tour of the motorhome facility I watched a fellow assembling kitchen cabinets on a diesel rig. He had an apron full of screws and a screwgun. No drilling pilot holes, just screwing and cracking over half the joints. The tour guide came up behind me and said, “none of that will show when the side walls are put up.” The beat goes on.
I believe Winnebagos are made in Iowa.


I have ‘toured’ factory. Surprised they allowed you to photo that beautiful staple job. Toured Phoenix Cruiser, no hidden gotchas there.
I own a Phoenix Cruiser.