Problems with the RV'ing Industry

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lschorer04

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Aug 15, 2018
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2
Hello!

I am very interested in areas that the RV'ing industry can improve on (trailers and motor homes). I would love to hear about some of the drawbacks/hassles/problems with owning or renting trailers and motor homes that need to be addressed.

Thank you for your input!  :)

Lucas
 

sadixon49

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Jan 14, 2016
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453
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Fishers, IN
Search for the RV Daily Report, download and read the RV Industry Death Spiral. It will answer several of your questions.
http://rvdr-cdn3.appxtreme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/RV-Industry-Death-Spiral-compilation.pdf
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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Hi Lucas, and welcome. Just curious what your affiliation with the RV industry might be.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Cedar City, UT
  Having been in the RV community for over 40 years,,methinks the "death spiral" thing is grossly overstated and self searving.. You won't convince anyone at Quartzsite that.>>>Dan  ( This will be my 21st year attending)
 

Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
If there is one thing the RV industry needs to focus on is quality control.  Over and over again on these forums we see examples of things that should be caught at the factory by even the most rudimentary quality control efforts.

One that comes to mind that I saw a few months ago was an RV of some type (a travel trailer I think) where the absorption refrigerator was not working because the upper vent hole had not been cut in the side wall.  Basically the plastic side vent cover was covering a plywood wall.  The level of incompetence, negligence, willful sabotages needed to get away with that is simply staggering.

Lesser offenses may involve such things as wood screws poking into propane gas lines or electrical wiring, or window sealant being only applied around the lower parts of windows that one can reach from standing on the ground.
 

solarman

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Texas
Isaac-1 said:
If there is one thing the RV industry needs to focus on is quality control.  Over and over again on these forums we see examples of things that should be caught at the factory by even the most rudimentary quality control efforts.

One that comes to mind that I saw a few months ago was an RV of some type (a travel trailer I think) where the absorption refrigerator was not working because the upper vent hole had not been cut in the side wall.  Basically the plastic side vent cover was covering a plywood wall.  The level of incompetence, negligence, willful sabotages needed to get away with that is simply staggering.

Lesser offenses may involve such things as wood screws poking into propane gas lines or electrical wiring, or window sealant being only applied around the lower parts of windows that one can reach from standing on the ground.

agree 100%..

also judging by the wiring in my last TH, these guys need to hire the services of a professional engineer.
 

timjet

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Aug 7, 2012
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Tampa Bay
This has been a topic that's been discussed so often that you'd think anyone that buys a new RV is crazy. But I think the lack of quality control issues is a bit overstated. I know 2 people that have purchased new RV's in the last 3 months, one from Tiffin and one from Newmar and they both have been very happy with their purchase. This is not to say the purchase is without some issues as both have had to have minor work done, but not to the extent that either would not purchase their unit again.

An RV is hand made by people and the quality each individual put's into their work is different. But based on my very limited knowledge from those who have purchased, I believe as I said above the lack of quality control issue is a bit overstated.
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
[quote author=timjet]This has been a topic that's been discussed so often that you'd think anyone that buys a new RV is crazy. But I think the lack of quality control issues is a bit overstated. I know 2 people that have purchased new RV's in the last 3 months, one from Tiffin and one from Newmar and they both have been very happy with their purchase. This is not to say the purchase is without some issues as both have had to have minor work done, but not to the extent that either would not purchase their unit again.

An RV is hand made by people and the quality each individual put's into their work is different. But based on my very limited knowledge from those who have purchased, I believe as I said above the lack of quality control issue is a bit overstated.
[/quote]
Tiffin and Newmar are exceptions to the poor quality by manufacturers.

Edit: Fixed quote tag.
 

Memtb

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North-Central Wyoming
  As long as, ?we? the buyer, want cheap....we will continue to get garbage! Add to that,  the ?lightweight? craze....and we get poor reliability. 

  We?re getting what we want....cheap! And then spend hours on forums....complaining of the inadequacies!
 

Back2PA

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Memtb said:
We?re getting what we want....cheap! And then spend hours on forums....complaining of the inadequacies!


:))  The same applies to most everything. Consumers have demonstrated that almost nothing really matters except price when it comes to airfares for example. Then everyone complains about small seats, add-on fees and lousy service. Everyone loves first class, but only if the seat is a free upgrade
 

Isaac-1

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Happiness after a few months is also no promise of quality, it may just mean that the faults have not became apparent yet.    For example, have they taken the time to inspect the roof, slide and window seals, if not and if there is a problem there they may be in for an unpleasant surprise at some point when a water stain appears inside the coach that is hiding extensive rot in the structure.    Earlier this year I saw a recent model (2016?) lower end travel trailer that had extensive rot of the plywood in the roof likely due to extremely frugal use of lap sealant during manufacture around the roof penetrations, yet showed no visible signs of water leak on the vinyl like headliner material inside.
 

Memtb

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darsben said:
For some reason the RV industry has not been subjected to rules that govern automobile manufacturers and their has been no foreign competition to drive quality.

  I?ve, for years, questioned why there were not more stringent government regulations....at least safety related! Also posted a year or so back that, we need the Japanese to get involved....forcing the American manufacturers to improve or close their doors. The consumer would ultimately benefit!
 

72cougarxr7

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Watertown NY
Memtb said:
  As long as, ?we? the buyer, want cheap....we will continue to get garbage! Add to that,  the ?lightweight? craze....and we get poor reliability. 

  We?re getting what we want....cheap! And then spend hours on forums....complaining of the inadequacies!
I hear this arguement a lot, but it seems many of the quality control issues are not really cost saving issues.
Sloppy caulk work that leads to water leaks.
Loose wiring connections, plumbing leaks, sloppy trim work.

A majority of the rv issues we read on these forums could be corrected at no cost if there were proper quality control measures  and employee accountability.
 

Hanr3

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Jul 5, 2012
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392
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Central Illinois
My frustration with the RV industry.

Too many units being built for full-timers and not enough for campers/sportsmen. Most sportsmen, especially fisherman want to tow a boat/trailer behind their 5th wheel. Hard to find a 5th wheel short enough to meet state length requirements (60') with a strong enough frame and were the manufacture warrants the frame for towing said boat/trailer.
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
I don't think there is any problem at all in the RV industry. I think they are doing fine. Yes there are lots of issues with new RVs but it is impossible to test an RV at the factory to find everything that is wrong. Many of the problems do not surface until an RV has been driven down a bumpy road and shaken loose.
 

Memtb

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Hanr3 said:
My frustration with the RV industry.

Too many units being built for full-timers and not enough for campers/sportsmen. Most sportsmen, especially fisherman want to tow a boat/trailer behind their 5th wheel. Hard to find a 5th wheel short enough to meet state length requirements (60') with a strong enough frame and were the manufacture warrants the frame for towing said boat/trailer.

  Much truth there, we wanted to travel while towing our boat or utility/PolarisRanger....but couldn?t find a small 5er with enough quality to consider long term ?doubles? towing. I also want my lead trailer to be substantially heavier than the last unit. Don?t want the ?tail wagging the dog?!    We ended-up buying a class c for the out of state hunting/fishing trips!
 

PopPop51

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Mar 30, 2010
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446
72cougarxr7 said:
I hear this arguement a lot, but it seems many of the quality control issues are not really cost saving issues.
Sloppy caulk work that leads to water leaks.
Loose wiring connections, plumbing leaks, sloppy trim work.

A majority of the rv issues we read on these forums could be corrected at no cost if there were proper quality control measures  and employee accountability.

But these are all cost issues.
More accountability follows from workers having more to lose (higher wages and/or less-demanding work conditions).
More care in assembly takes time, which comes at the cost of slowing the production line or adding more workers, both of which increase the cost per unit.
Adding more QA inspectors and/or enforcing tighter standards comes at the cost of additional QA personnel and time stopping the line or correcting issues in post-production.
Better management techniques can certainly help to some degree, but consumers seem to prefer low price to better quality, so that's where all types of cost savings tend to show up.
Businesses that require large capital investments and have high fixed costs are demand-driven. Air travel is the poster child for this. They could put half as many seats in an airliner and bring back free meals and baggage, but how many of us would willingly pay more than twice as much for the same flight? The answer is found in the ratio of business and first-class seats to coach. And many of those business and first class seats aren't filled by full-fare passengers, but by people who've suffered multiple trips in coach who upgraded using their loyalty points.

Frankly, considering its price new, I'm impressed at how well my trailer, not a high-end unit by any means, has absorbed wear of the past 8 1/2 years, 65,000 miles and 644 camping days. It hasn't been maintenance-free, but issues that were caused by poor quality or design have been minor and easily correctable, most of them permanently. Am I lucky or typical? I don't know which. A single anecdote doesn't define a market.
 

Chameleonxanth

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Jul 6, 2017
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227
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Mid Atlantic Region
SeilerBird said:
I don't think there is any problem at all in the RV industry. I think they are doing fine. Yes there are lots of issues with new RVs but it is impossible to test an RV at the factory to find everything that is wrong. Many of the problems do not surface until an RV has been driven down a bumpy road and shaken loose.

Coincidentally, I've just the other day watched a video about this issue which, being very new, I found interesting. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD8rYnKC2XY

The title is misleading, I think.
 
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