EPDM Coatings
Desert Valley RV Park
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems rvupgradestore.com Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?  (Read 12412 times)

budtobias

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« on: January 22, 2011, 12:40:42 PM »
I am new to the RV world and have a question that I haven't been able to find anywhere in the Forum:

Are there any 5th wheel / trailer brands that are to be avoided? I have read that brands such as Jayco, Forest River, NuWa, Newmar, Sunnybrook and Carriage have good overall reputations, but what about any brands that have overall mediocre or even bad reputations? Is there an independent organization (such as Consumers Union) that rates different companies' overall reliability and/or customer satisfaction ratings?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Buddy Tobias


Johncmr

  • ---
  • Posts: 201
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 12:35:08 PM »
None by name to avoid, but something to consider.  With the current recession (some would argue depression) many RV companies have gone out of business.  If you are comfortable with a unit that will not have factory warranty support, OK.  Just be an informed buyer.  There may well be some attractive deals for units left over built by these bankrupt builders.

johncmr

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7274
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 02:21:08 PM »
Trailers, from pop-ups to 36 foot 5th wheel palaces are just simple boxes set on 1 to 3 dead axles.   The boxes are filled with appliances like fridges, furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and A/C units all of which carry their own manufacturers' guarantees -- not the trailer maker's.    There are no drivetrains or complex suspensions to maintain.   Even the wiring, AC and DC,  is pretty simple

 In evaluating a given trailer, beyond those appliances, what you see is pretty much what you get.   Shop for fit and finish and floor plan.   Cheap and light trailers will use cheap and light cabinetry and fittings.   Upscale and heavy trailers will use pricier and heavier.     Operate all appliances.

Tires are the one exception.   Any RV tire over 7 years in age is a blow-out about ready to happen.  Figure on replacing any tires over 7 years regardless of tread condition.  Dates are marked on sidewalls -- see our library for date coding.

In any case, most non-appliance trailer problems tend to the screw driver and glue gun variety.    This is fortunate since RV manufacturer QC is less than awe-inspiring.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

budtobias

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 03:05:43 PM »
Gentlemen, thank you very much. You have given me some very valuable information to consider.

Buddy T.

Tony_Alberta

  • ---
  • Posts: 1297
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 10:07:33 PM »
My biggest concern in purchasing a used RV is water damage.   How can you tell if there is hidden water damage?  There have been two postings recently each with their own story of hidden water damage.

Johncmr

  • ---
  • Posts: 201
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 11:42:24 AM »
Water damage is indeed a problem.  The short answer is - stains - smell - spongy.  Stains around and below windows, air conditioner, roof vent, doors.  Look close and look deep into areas behind drawers, in closets and in the basement.  Smell - ANY mildew like smell needs to be thoroughly investigated.  Leave no carpet unturned!  Spongy - some places in a RV are not rock solid, like the slide floor, but it should just move a little, not be spongy.  Areas of concern are rear corners (seems like water goes there) and areas around the edges of slides, doors and where the front fiberglass cowl is attached to the sides.

A careful inspection for water is also a good time to look for drain line leaks, pressure water leaks, and rodent condominiums.  Bright flashlight and crawling around is in order.

Carl is right, the RV industry doesn't seem too interested in good, documented QC, and water issues are most likely not covered by any of the appliance people. 

Good luck,

johncmr

MPI_Mallard

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
  • "I'd rather be camping"
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 01:45:58 PM »
This summer we were at a local rv resort with quite a few fiver owners and i put out the same question during a campfire get together and was very surprised to hear what i did,i posed these questions on a scale of low,medium,high and only to the inividual owners fiver and manufacturer. Now just in case some of the fifth-wheel manufacturers might be seeing this post i'll suggest they pay close attention to this cause' if i was a fiverbuilder i would!!

These were the questions/answers;

Q-How was the manufacturers warranty response?
A-Cedar Creek,Forest River/high___Mobile Suites/high___KZ/med to high___Keystone,Montana/low___Jayco/high

Q-How is your fiver holding up over the years,is it becoming a maintenence problem?
A-Cedar Creek,Forest River/high___Mobile Suites/Med___KZ/med___Keystone,Montana/low___Jayco/high

Q-Would you replace your fiver with the same manufacturer?
A-Cedar Creek,Forest River/high___Mobile Suites/Med___KZ/low___Keystone,Montana/low___Jayco/high

Q-How do you rate your fiver overall?
A-Cedar Creek,Forest River/high___Mobile Suites/Med___KZ/low to med___Keystone,Montana/low___Jayco/med to high

 Now mind you this was a casual discussion around a campfire so i'm not saying this is real,unbiased poll simply owners with their opinions but i did record the answers in my laptop for my own purchacing information,also i was horrified to hear how some manufacturers totaly screwed some of these people and delighted to hear how some went far out of their way to back their product.

budtobias

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 02:21:50 PM »
This is EXCELLENT information. Much of this confirms what I have gathered in bits and pieces from other sources. Thank you VERY much.

MPI_Mallard

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
  • "I'd rather be camping"
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 03:13:15 PM »
I'm glad i was of some help,that night's discussion put us in our Cedar Creek Daydreamer,we were looking at the new front livingroom Montana until several owner's related Keystone's shotty workmanship and lousy customer service and we were ready to sighn the dotted line! one thing to note the overall winner that night was Forest River/Cedar Creek,my wife and i were told a great many cases of them standing by their products and in alomst all cases going way beyond what they needed to,that sold us! One other thing there were a few [including myself] who owned A-class motor homes and the overall worse was Fleetwood wich i unfortunatly owned. It's funny to me how manufactures seem to think that they can build a crappy product and not think that we consumers will keep it to ourslves

  Good luck!!!

Rancher Will

  • ---
  • Posts: 502
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 08:50:04 AM »
MPI Mallard; I am not surprised, but disapointed, with your experience.

I am not surprised that you have heard the comments you noted, since I have observed over the years that many, if not most, people make and take comments based on their second or third hand hearsay. Over the past 5o years we have owned and used four different makes of RV and have been very happy with each. And, I have heard numerous times people say that the ones we have are "junk, poorly made, not reliable, poor service, etc". all without any experience themselves. Usually after I hear such comments, when I mention that I have and like the one they have just dissed, they are embarassed and admit that they never had one, or most of the times, never even examined one. Other member of our extended family, who own other makes and models than ours, and members of our local RV Club, will tell you the same as I am telling you here.

In most situations, I suspect that you will find that you get about what you pay for, with RV's or anything else. this is something you must judge for yourself. If you select wisely, within your budget, and work with a good relationship with your dealer, (as we do with Ranch equipment, RV's, Motor Vehicles, Etc.,) you should not have much problems.

As for the Front Livingroom. We do own and are very happy with the Montana Model 3750, the one with the front livingroom. It is the best one we have ever owned. We bought it while trading in our previous brand RV for the reason that we took a year to examine dozens of other makes and models and deciding which one suited our needs that have evolved over time.

MPI_Mallard

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
  • "I'd rather be camping"
Re: 5th wheel/trailer brands to avoid?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 11:01:40 AM »
I never insinuated that i was giving scientific fact,however the comments regarding the individual builders were relayed to me by their owners just like my low opinion of all things fleetwood,an opinion made as both an owner of their product and as a master carpenter of some 30+ years. As far as the Montana 3750FL even though it is their second attempt at the layout i was floored by it's innovation,but as they say the devil is in the details and i found the overall fit and finish was shotty at best and i rember telling the rep that i would have been ashamed to offer the trailer i saw as a demo! To be honest it was two montana owners who talked me out of buying the 3750FL by relaying their horror stories of delaminated walls and faded graphics,pin boxes that come loose and such,man talk about dodging a bullet!!! I'm not saying this to piddle in your cornflakes,i only wish you great times with your rig,i just wish forest river would take a stab at that layout,,,WOOF!!!!