Most reliable brands?

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cubicle_zombie

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Hello all. I know this question has been asked ad nauseum, but what brands of travel trailers have the best quality?

I currently have a 2005 Komfort 252 bunk house slide (by Thor) that has been rock solid (GVWR 10,000) but my 15 year old son is now a 6'3 nose tackle, and the single bunks are just not cutting it.

I previously owned a Kit Companion, and ughhh, it was nothing but problems. Having had both a lemon and a quality trailer, I know that the added price is worth it to me to avoid having mechanical problems during my limited vacation windows.

I've checked out the Thor industries page (just because I thought the now-defunct Komfort was so well built) and have seen all the different brands, but it gets overwhelming. Airstream prices are a non-starter. Weight is not really a concern as I am constrained more by the length - hitch ball to rear bumper needs to be under 30 feet. But answering pre-emptively, I have a 2019 Ram 2500.

Any suggestions?
 

steveblonde

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Better the budget better the quality. And everyone has a different view of quality. Its really a case of looking at floor plans. I cant tell you what to like
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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As Steve says, it goes hand in hand with the original MSRP price. The cheaper the RV, the lesser quality materials & workmanship and the more likely there will be ongoing problems. However, usage, care, and the environment are huge factors in the life of an RV. An RV with a light duty design & construction can still last a long time with light use, good care, and protection from extremes of weather and road conditions.

Don't know if it was intentional, but you asked about reliability as opposed to initial quality (factory defects). Reliability is a long term measure; a product with a lot of factory defects could end up being reliable once the initial problems are fixed. And a product that has zero defects from the factory could still fall apart in two years, i.e. terrible reliability. See the difference?

Even the best (most expensive) models have a distressingly high amount of factory defects, but once they get stabilized the better construction and materials of the more expensive begins to assert itself. The exception is electronic gadgets - they can have short lives and are rarely repairable. Often quickly obsolete as well, so not even replaceable.

I gather you are looking at travel trailers, as opposed to 5W or motorhomes?
 

cubicle_zombie

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Yes, travel trailers specifically. I did not intentionally separate initial quality and reliability, but it would be nice to have both. I bought my Komfort used but could tell that it had hardly been used in 5 years at the time (tires were misshaped from sitting so long, no road grime underneath the coach, etc...), which leads me to believe the initial quality was good in addition to being reliable.

I'm have some to the conclusion there is not enough time to find a new trailer in the three weeks before we hit the road, so my boy will have to make due with small bunks for one more trip.

I think this is going to become a much longer research project than I had hoped :)
 

donn

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Depending on where you live Northwood has generally gotten better reviews that most of the mass produced stuff out of Indiana. Of course Northwood, which builds Arctic Fox among other models being a PNW company does not have the nation wide network other brands do.
 

SeilerBird

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The reliability of an RV is not dependent upon the brand name, it is a feature of the way it was taken care of. Any RV properly taken care of will last a long time. If it is ignored it will go into the toilet in a hurry.
 

scottydl

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There really aren't any RVs are are historically terrible, any more than there are others that are always great. Even though you've had both of those experiences. ;) Most of them are built in the same basic way, with similar materials. Floorplan/features/condition will mean way more than year/make/model overall. I'd recommend you find a floorplan with bigger beds that will work for your purposes... which may be available from several manufacturers. Then start the more specific search, to find one in the best condition possible.
 

cubicle_zombie

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Thanks for the replies... There is a Northwood dealer not too far from me, so may check out the Nash trailers. There are just too many options out there. My budget is probably on the higher side than most, but of course I'm always looking for a deal.

For this next vacation we will make do with what we have. I guess I'll be striking up conversations in the campgrounds getting feedback from other owners in a few weeks.
 

scottydl

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I guess I'll be striking up conversations in the campgrounds getting feedback from other owners in a few weeks.

That's some of the best feedback you can get! Similar to this forum, as most of us are actual RV owners. Unlike salespeople at dealerships!

I'm in a similar situation that you mentioned, with preteen and teen boys who will be outgrowing the trailer bunkhouse soon. This wasn't an issue 6 years ago when we got this trailer. ;)
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

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I have been more than pleased with our Winnebago Aspect. I know we are not talking about Class C here but there has to be some carryover across lines of product. Just minor stuff easily DIY for the most part to this point, Knock Wood!

JD
 

cubicle_zombie

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The Winnebego's look nice. But over 60k? Ouch. I didn't go into this with a well defined budget, but I think the feeling I got inside when seeing that price tell me I'm more in the 40-45k range. Things sure have got a lot more expensive since the last time I bought a trailer. Which shouldn't surprise me seeing what I paid for my truck. :)
 

scottydl

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You really should develop a defined budget for this purchase. Otherwise a sales person is going to end up making the decision for you, i.e. convincing you how much to pay.

For reference I paid $12k for our first RV (a 34' Class A motorhome from a private seller) and it was 13yo at the time. It wasnt perfect by any means, but still nice and worked great for my family for 5.5 years. I sold it for $8k at that point. The deals are out there if you research and hunt long enough and wide enough. Although this current 2020-2021 RV atmosphere is sales-crazy so that will be harder.
 

Carbonation

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Gary RV Wizard is spot on. It's a crapshoot either way. I've had Coachman, a couple of Forest River products, Jayco and now Recreation by Design.
Both the Coachman and Forest River products did surprisingly well. The Jayco spent 9 months of it's first 2 years in the service bay. My new RBD unit is having initial problems, but I'm hoping to get them worked out and then have a long stretch where it settles in.
Anything that goes down an assembly line can and will have problems. My Jayco was assembled start to finish in 18 hours. The final quality reflected it's rushed assembly. The RBD unit took 9 days in their plant. It's solid, and has had few problems.
On a good week, 10 thousand RV units are built in Elkhart. There are going to be some problems occur.
 
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