Thursday, December 8, 2022


Why you should not buy an RV


If you are about to buy an RV, you should watch this 17-minute video. Attorney Steve Lehto explains why you are taking a big chance when you buy a new recreational vehicle, including those that cost $100,000 or even $200,000.

The fact is, buying an RV is a lot more complicated proposition than buying, for example, a car. You expect when you buy a car that everything will work. But not so with an RV says Lehto, who points out example after example of RVers who bought new motorhomes or trailers and then spent countless days, weeks or even months getting them repaired, or in some cases NOT getting them repaired.

Why so many problems? Because, says Lehto, in most states there are no lemon laws on RVs like there are on cars. RV manufacturers know it and RV dealers know it, which takes the pressure off manufacturers who routinely turn out defective units. For RV buyers, purchasing a “lemon” can cost a lot of money and cause trouble and heartache.

Of course, hundreds of thousands of people do buy new RVs each year. If that’s you, then watch this video for Lehto’s buying tips. What you learn could save you from making a buying decision you may later regret.

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Lyn & Ally
6 years ago

After watching this video in horror, I began to realize I’ve been out of the market for so long that I had no idea how bad things have become.

I own and have been living full-time in my 1988 17-foot Bigfoot travel trailer. It was expensive when new, but it’s also high quality. (I might point out that it was built in British Columbia, Canada.)

The years of use have proven that it was built with pride and care, using only the best in materials. I haven’t had any repairs in the last 10 years that I couldn’t take care of myself (mostly minor), but those times I did need to call for help, the dealership fixed whatever needed fixing, with no whining, and they did it quickly.

If ever I was thinking about replacing my Bigfoot, this video and the horror stories from others in this Comment section would certainly change my mind. Why, at 28 years old, the Bigfoot’s just gitt’in broke in!

Linda C Allen
6 years ago

True, all true. After researching various models and manufacturers for over a year, ( several factory tours) we bought a brand new from the factory RV. I have grown weary of hearing that our expectations are too high when we complain about the number of repairs we have had in the first 6 months. I am so so disappointed. Our retirement dream was to travel in an RV and see the USA. A dream crushed because I dont trust the RV. My husband has repeatedly said the US RV industry needs foreign competitors. I don’t consider myself part of the problem. This is the first and last RV we will buy. I will be vocal about the industry to anyone who asks “How do you like your new RV?” My husband’s response has been “It is the worst consumer purchase I have ever made.” I will archive Mr Lehto’s video and send it to all acquaintances interested in a RV purchase.

6 years ago

Bought a Lance 1172 truck camper 2013. It was the worst thing i ever bought. Sent pics to Lance and dealer. Never heard from the pres of Lance even tho they were addressed to him. Dealer in nh was useless. So buyer beware

Lori Singels
6 years ago

Definitely a pause for thought, here, and I appreciate the info provided. In 2008 I bought and still drive a 2005 Itasca Cambria 26′ on a Ford chassis. Never — I said “never” — have I had any quality-control issues. Now at 45,000 miles, I’ve serviced the chassis regularly. All the house cabinets function properly — plumbing, electric, slideout, windows — everything. Not one thing has EVER needed fixing on the “house” section. I think the 2008 financial crash changed how buyers can relate to manufacturers of RVs and, from all indications, we’re not buying quality anymore. I’ve been shopping for a newer RV. Now I think I’ll keep my “old” tried-but-true.

Clay Causey
6 years ago

He is right, attorney Lehto is spot on! My wife and I live in a nice RV community. We are exposed to all classes of RV’s and have seen every example Mr. Lehto is warning consumers about. The overwhelming RV purchases are by folks with limited knowledge of the industry much less the product their shelling out hard earned dollars for. I have dear friends in the exact scenario attorney Lehto has described. A new Winnebago Ellipse with more major issues than you would think would ever exist for a $300,000+ beautiful motorhome. Sad, really sad!

The discussion of buying new versus used has been kicked around in various RV forums to such a degree that opinions are overwhelming and difficult to discern for the newbie. I’m amazed at the lack of QC exhibited by all present day production manufacturers. It’s boils down to the luck of a draw if your purchasing without a very extensive exposure and knowledge acquired by study and the field of learning by trial and error. Personally, I feel confident in purchasing a new or older RV. Why, I’ve seen, experienced and researched the industry and market for many years. I call it, “the school of very hard knocks and a very flat wallet!” Today’s market is controlled by demand and little or no government laws protecting the RV consumer. RIVA is a large lobbying body that is governed by the manufacturers. The same entities that cut corners to extreme so the bottom line is presentable to investors and stockholders. RIVA is not there to protect us, “the ultimate consumer/purchaser.” Unfortunately, only a thimble full of family owned manufacturers attempting to hold QC and customer service as a prominent long term business plan exist.

Today, if purchasing either new or used one must use “extreme due diligence”. There is no protection, you’re on your own and the manufactures are not going to give any of us any solutions other than perfumed lip service. We keep buying at record levels so we get what we buy, thus a large degree of consumer protection and quality control absence is our lack of responsible purchasing. Maybe the solution would be similar to what transformed several decades past. The Japanese auto makers came into the USA market and the entire quality and marketing of domestic auto manufacturing improved. Couple that with adequate governmental consumer protection and Voila’. Maybe, just maybe?

6 years ago

The RV manufactuers need to look no further than the auto industry and particularly GM who had over 50% market share. Then the Japanese came info Norh America in the 70’s and showed everyone how vehicle should be made and have led in quality since and with competitive pricing.
The same greed that GM was motivated by seems to be part of the RV manufactuers.