You have decided to get an RV so you can enjoy the open road and your RV lifestyle in comfort and style. Then you realize there are so many brands and styles out there to choose from. You have planned your finances and savings, and your travel itinerary is all set. The family is excited so it is important to get the right RV. The last thing you want is to spend your savings and the RV you get ends up being a real dud.
Getting the best brand and avoiding others is the best way to protect your investment. You are spending enough already and don’t want to end up paying for more than you bargained for. When you know you are getting a quality RV, the higher cost doesn’t hurt as much and your investment is better protected.
Within the world of RVs and recreational travel, there are brands that are known to perform less than satisfactory and are historically bad brands. According to reviews, the trailer brands you should be more worried about are below.
Coachmen is a subsidiary of the Forest River RV Brand which happens to be one of the best RV brands around. Unfortunately, the Coachmen recreational vehicles have received a big number of complaints in the past few years. Despite the fact that Coachmen has produced several types and models of recreational vehicles, the vehicles fail to meet or barely satisfy the unique needs of the RV users. One of the biggest draws to Coachmen is that the RVs have an impressive design and elegant features such as the programmable thermostat and the electric leveling. More importantly, there are reasons to avoid this RV brand like the plague including:
- Lack of a valve on the freshwater drain (in the Coachmen Brookstone, for example)
- Parts like the screws and the electrical insulation bits fall off when you are moving
- Many loose and crooked screws indicating poor quality
- Broken lounge chairs
- Leaking showers
- Poor quality material on the passenger seats that wears away within months
I must add that I do own a Coachmen RV, and in the last three years things broke but they were easy to fix. My constant battle is screws falling out, the cabinet hinges break and certain things like the backup monitor and the hot water heater sometimes don’t work but other times they are working just fine. However, I cannot complain, it is still a good deal considering its price.
Fleetwood is one of the most respected RV brands that has been around for decades. The performance and the quality of the RV have been praised for many years. As you take a closer look at the brand, there is an increase in the number of negative reviews and complaints. Some of the most commonly cited complaints include:
- Poor customer and after-sale services
- Battery and charging problems
- The seat covers deteriorate fast
- Water damage
- Warranty not honored
- Leveling issues
The decline in positive reviews for Fleetwood shows that even a great brand can fall from favor with time. When shopping for an RV, you cannot go on brand alone as there is more to quality than just a name, as Fleetwood’s downfall demonstrates.
Thor is a name many people trust but the popularity of the Hurricane brand is not so great, despite being created by Thor. This RV brand comes burdened with numerous issues that leave owners with regrets. Based on design alone, this is a great RV with a ton of family space and working stations. This is not enough for people looking to invest in a quality RV. Hurricane does not make the “best” lists because of several reported issues. The problems with this travel trailer include, but not limited to:
- The hydraulic lines used for the auto-stabilizer jacks are of poor quality, ooze hydraulic fluid, and are flimsy.
- The company delivers poor customer service to its customers
- Warranties get denied leaving you to pay out of pocket for repairs
- Most materials used are not new, even on a “new” RV.
Keystone RV was founded in 1996 and their goal was to offer its customers feature-rich travel trailers for prices below the market average. The brand experienced well-known for problems such as cabinet doors falling off their hinges. To keep costs down, they use pressboards and other wood substitutes. But, over time, these materials break down, and the screws lose their hold. The brand is marketed as a durable RV with exceptional fuel economy and spacious accommodations. The technical and structural issues seem to outweigh these benefits and many customers are left unsatisfied.
The Winnebago brand elicits mixed reactions. For some users and owners, it is their best, but for a large majority, this travel trailer brand is just a waste of resources. As one of the newer travel trailer brands on the market, it has several fans. Unfortunately, their good name isn’t upheld when you look closely at some of its drawbacks. For many, Winnebago RVs have several issues associated with the finishing on the walls and the installation of the front walls. There are several reports of the inner walls being bent which makes the trailer unsafe. There are also numerous complaints regarding poor customer service and a failure to honor warranties. They come with electrical faults as well. This RV brand appears to pay little attention to the quality of its products and by failing to respond to the complaints or giving insufficient answers, it makes it difficult to trust the brand.
So, How Do You Choose a Good RV?
Your choice of the best recreational vehicle will depend on your needs and bank account. These brands discussed here do have a few positive reviews, but you should look at the big picture to make sure that you don’t start complaining after you make the investment. Some of the important things you should consider when buying the best RV include:
Make sure you get an RV that will fit on the camping sites you plan to visit. The Class A RVs are suitable for the full-amenity RV parks. You also have to take into account power. While small travel trailers are easy to pack, the large travel trailers offer more space but you will be hard-pressed in terms of parking space.
What are other buyers saying about a brand or the models under a particular brand name? If there are many complaints, you should avoid buying that RV. Not all RVs are perfect, but you can certainly choose the ones that come with minor issues you can fix.
When you know what you need and what you can afford, start the search for your dream RV. Keep these names in mind and conduct your own research and collect reviews. A name is not everything, so read between the lines and make sure any issues are ones you can handle and fix easily. Protect your investment and your fun road trips by getting a quality RV brand and staying clear of the names on the “Do Not Buy” list.