RV Consumer Group

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PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Anyone ever give this a try?  Have an opinion on the validity?  You can get them on rv.org I think, but they claim to be a non-profit group dedicated etc, but the only info you can get is by joining and buying the rating CD.  The CD gives you their opinion on the driveablity etc of RV's. 

I have see some of their judgements on RV's and on some I agree, others are so far off.  Makes me wonder about the validity.

Consumers Digest has seemed to be an authority, yet when examining items I had some knowledge in I was appalled at the tests, the conclusions.  Made me doubt their views on items I wanted info on.  Wonder if this other place is the same. 

I just wondered if any of you have bought the CD and if you have, did you agree with their findings?

 

Ned

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While the intentions of the RVCG are good, the reality is they publish subjective ratings of RVs made by untrained volunteers and must be taken with a grain of salt.  We joined when we were shopping for our full time motor home in 1997 and the weight numbers for our model were very wrong.  I even spoke with JD on the phone about it and he requested we send him the actual numbers when we got the coach.  We did as he requested yet their published numbers were not corrected, and remained misleading.  As a result, since I couldn't believe the values they published for our known coach, I decided we couldn't believe any of the others either.  There have been other people that have discovered similar discrepancies in the RVCG publications that were not corrected.

While I can't recommend using their ratings without a lot of personal checking, some of their suggestions in terms of general guidelines are valid.  However, you can get the same suggestions right here for much less money :)
 

Ron

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While we never purchased the RVCG material I did have the opportunity to review the material an a few occasions and IMHO they were way off on several points as Ned has pointed out.  No I am not a supporter of RVCG and I do not recommend spending the money for their material.  Like Ned IMHO you can get much more valid information right here.

As far as I know the RVCG does no inspection of RV/s nor do they do any actual testing.  Now how in the world can a valid rating be made on a product that the rating organization never test or inspects?

IMHO there are better ways to spend the money their information costs.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm another skeptic of the RV Consumers Group.  They surely mean well and represent the consumers view of an RV, yet their analysis is purely subjective and their actual experience or testing of RVs essentially nil.  I have conversed with JD (founder and leader of RVCG) on a other RV wesites and he is personally experienced in RV travel and a knowledgeable guy, but the group as a whole does not appear to be either experienced RVers or trained engineers or even quality analysts.

In my opinion their ratings rely on a few rules of thumb that have not been proven to have any particular importance in choice of RVs and some safety-oriented but highly subjective principles concerning occupant safety.

Too bad - the RV industry could use a qualified consumer spokes-group, but so far RVCG has not demonstrated that it can be the one.
 

JerArdra

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Mar 3, 2005
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PancakeBill,

During 1998 when I owned a 30'  Lazy Daze Class C and was researching a 34' Monaco Windsor Class A coach I joined the RVCG.  At that time I exchanged several emails regarding both my Lazy Daze and my prospective Monaco Windsor with the founder of the RVCG.  His answers to me gave me the impression that the RVCG did their reviews without testing and also they seemed not to question any of the complaints submitted to them.  I know there are two sides to a story and they, the RVCG, gave me the impression that they had it in for the MH mfgrs.

The bottom line was, I wrote and told the RVCG to cancel my membership even though I knew that I would not get any refund.  I quit and never used their recommendations again.

JerryF
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
Your comments reflect my feelings as well.  I am in the positiion that I get a customer armed with his information from the RVCG and so far they are such belkievers that they are predisposed to believe.  A bad rating will foster a bad test drive.  However, if you want to buy a Counttry Coach, RVCG can be the best thing out there! 

I thought back to my Consumers Digest experience and figures it was similar.

 

Bob Maxwell

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Feb 1, 2005
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Holbrook, Arizona
I don't have the time to respond as fully as I'd like; yet, I support the RVCG and their work. What I've read here doesn't represent wha5t the RVCG does.

1. In regards to the ratings they publish, the RVCG uses only the weight, wheelbase and lengths as published by tthe manufacturer in their published literature.
    a. The RVCG always says to do your own weighing and measuring as those stats come usually from the prototype of first run units. Later units are modified.
    b. Since the do collect differernt stats from owners, I've seen those reported in the past to their members, yet thay cant change the manf's official literature.

2. The formulas they use to determine drivability and road safety are based on engineering  and math, not subjective opinion.

3.  Their one subjective area [and JD admits to it,] is their long term projections of quality base on user reports  [that's subjective] and value ratings. Example: they think BB's depreciate too fast and are over priced. Most of them are still on the road and that can't be said for many high priced coaches produced in the 70's and '80's. Those tanks keep rolling along!

So, when you knock the RVCG's stats, you are really knocking the people that built and puiblished the stats for that model in the first place. It's the best and only collection of such original data collected that one can use as a starter to get informaed from many sources  and eventually get into the type of RV that we might want.

JD also defined "weekender, vacationer, snowbirder and treker" rv units, giving us helpful ways to look at units for the way we want to use them. We all use thise terms now.

No one wants to fund the testing that Consumer's Union does on RV's as that would be run into multi millions per year -every model of every type of RV. Take them for what the do, not what you would like them to do, and use their ways to approcah RVing, as most of us already have.

No one like prophets and that the kind of person that JD Gallant is. He won't be quiet and can't be baught off. And he won't run for president  line someone elase that many call prophetic, Ralph Nader.

     
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Sorry Bob but I have to disagree with your interpretation of the value and correctness a rating based on supposition's that does not include inspections or even test driving by qualified person.  If we had believed the material JD puts out we would have missed out on two excellent motorhomes.  I know others that feel the same way.  But then to each there own.
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
One of the figures that RVCG uses is wheelbase divided by overall length.  This gives a percentage which he uses as a hard and fast rule.  Below a certain number he deems unsafe.  Seems to have no regard for other qualifying factors, such as suspension etc.  I do give him the nod that there may be a difining number, just don't necessarily agree with his.

 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
I can not speak to the RVCC but I can speak about Consumer's Reports.

To make a long post short.. I do not subscribe to CR any more... Used to, but after reviewing a few of their reviews I dropped them.

What's more I recently met an on-line friend fact to face and he gave me his opinion of CR, and his reasons for feeling that way, I'll tell his story (it is shorter and I can shorten it more)

As you know Ford (And GM) sell the same car under multiple labels,  Example, Ford Escort = Mercury Tracer, 100% parts interchangablity, some differences in color selection and options.

Well, it was not those two, but it was a pair of "Same car, different label"  CR loved one, hated the other

AND THEY ARE THE SAME CAR.

What more is there to say
 

Phil

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Mar 5, 2005
Posts
982
PancakeBill said:
One of the figures that RVCG uses is wheelbase divided by overall length.  This gives a percentage which he uses as a hard and fast rule.  Below a certain number he deems unsafe.  Seems to have no regard for other qualifying factors, such as suspension etc.  I do give him the nod that there may be a difining number, just don't necessarily agree with his.

That dodo brain uses the same formula for a diesel pusher with the overhang divided between the front and rear axles and a gas rig with nearly all of the overhang behind the rear axle.

I apologize for calling JD a dodo brain but the other word I would like to use can't be used in the forum.

By the way, I did join his group for a couple of years while I was looking for a new rig.  The book was of great value to get me thinking about the important items to look at to make a purchase decision.  The data in his book was wrong about half the time but, he did talk about the right stuff. 

PhilB
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Gentlemen,  and I mean that sincerely, for the discreat method of which you, John and Phil, discribed the situation of JD.  As you know, I don't go by the book most of the time, and his book I would never consider.  Over the many years of being affiliated with the auto and RV business,  I find him totally full of BS, knowing nothing of what he supposedly checks out.  He doen't know Ford from GM, nor what they manufacture or he wouldn't make the statements he does.  As I've stated before, If you want a good report from him, on agiven car, Pay the bucks and you'll get it.  I won't go into the other reason I dislike his book and methods., cause with me stating the way I truly feel would be very brutal. So I'll just politely say He can Shove it; anytime anywhere.
 
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