Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid
You may be wondering, what are the worst RV brands in the market today? The purchase of a recreational vehicle (RV) is a significant investment; however, not all brands are deserving of the high price tag they carry.
When looking for a recreational vehicle (RV), what should you do to avoid making an expensive mistake? This guide will enlighten you on which RV brands to avoid.
The Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Own and Why
Even while no RV manufacturer is ideal in every way, the finest manufacturers have a firm grasp on the dynamics involved in towing a house down the highway for thousands of miles.
Regarding other companies, they prioritize design over durability, but the “wow” element here completely overwhelms any concerns you may have regarding long-term maintenance. Who cares if the slide-outs leak? You are on the safe side as long as you have an excellent cooking island to prepare your meals.
By avoiding the worst RV manufacturers in the list below, you can avoid taking your brand-new RV into the shop for repairs just a few days after making the purchase.
Hurricane by Thor
The Thor Hurricane is a consistent mishmash of unfavorable reviews for being one of the poor-quality RV manufacturers. This notoriety leads to the product’s poor reputation.
Why? The primary reason for this is that it is common knowledge that the manufacturer uses reconditioned or salvaged components in “new” builds, which ultimately results in more frequent malfunctions.
Recalls include many issues, including defective parking brakes and faulty seals on the hydraulic jack system. Both of these issues present hazards while parking at a campground.
It is also usual for the house batteries to have charging problems, which leads to the breakdown of the 12-volt system responsible for powering items such as the refrigerator and the lights.
To suggest that replacing the four to eight batteries that are within a large motorcoach is a costly endeavor is an understatement.
Fabrics in the upholstery of the driver’s and passenger’s seats, as well as other pieces of furniture, typically need a replacement after only a year or two of use. This manufacturer is not the best for either new or used vehicles because it has issued more than fifty recalls.
RVs manufactured by Forest River are common, but most people agree that the brand’s quality has been declining over the past ten years. This is in terms of the materials it uses and the level of service it provides to customers.
After the company has successfully hooked you with a sale, you may anticipate that the cabinet doors and trim work will become loose after a few excursions. It may swell if the particleboard underlayment on your countertops becomes wet or if you live in an extremely humid region.
Many homeowners have voiced their dissatisfaction with the sinking or waviness of the flooring on Forest River models. The main problem is that you paid insufficient attention to the detail of the external caulking and trim, which allows water to flow in when it rains.
Even after returning their vehicles to the shop for repairs, many customers still express dissatisfaction with water leaks, particularly through slide-outs. Because of water leaks, the wood in your walls will decay, the metal will rust, and mold will grow. Please do not consider purchasing this brand, regardless of how much pig lipstick they put on it.
Because Gulfstream RVs usually have leaks, the manufacturer might as well make all of them available with open roofs, given the company’s track record. Inadequately functioning locks on doors and hatches are another issue you must address.
Leaks are a significant concern. It is cause for serious concern if, while stopping for gas, you discover that the door to the basement is wide open and your camping gear is falling out. The RV’s heating and cooling system presents a continuing challenge due to the thermostat’s inability to provide an accurate reading, which results in either too warm or too cold settings.
Condensation on ceilings that continually drip because of poor air circulation, indoor humidity caused by breathing, and propane heat are all sources of frustration. There is no point in investigating this brand when you can find alternatives with superior construction for the same price.
Before 2001, Keystone RVs were of a satisfactory quality; however, after Thor bought the company, trailers and fifth-wheel models had a lower overall rate. The pressboard for interior cabinetry has a cover that is a thin veneer, giving it an initial substantial and pleasant feel.
However, due to the vibrations that traveling causes, this veneer will gradually lose its strength at the joints and screw attachments.
Customers have been expressing dissatisfaction with doors coming off their hinges and “buggy” electronic components. The control panel arrangement is another issue to worry about. It makes it difficult to obtain reliable readings of the levels of your propane, black or gray water tanks, or other containers.
Stay away from recent RVs from Keystone unless you want to purchase a well-traveled antique model.
Another once-reliable firm, Fleetwood, now produces one of the lowest-quality interior builds in terms of both the craftsmanship and the quality of the materials in use.
Consumers complain about problems such as loose trim work, popped seams, delamination of walls, bad wiring, malfunctioning fans, rising flooring, or damaged or very worn upholstery within months.
As each minor problem snowballs into the realization that the RV isn’t worth the money, the warranty will have expired, and you’ll be responsible for the total cost of the repairs.
Worse, owners who encounter major manufacturing problems during the warranty window frequently find that customer support gives them the runaround to avoid completing the necessary repair. You may prevent many headaches and save money if you detour around the Fleetwoods in the RV parking area.
Although Coachmen has been in business for more than half a century, it is true that “They don’t make them like before. The new versions, which Forest River has acquired, include plumbing connections that have been through poor assembly, which results in leaks both inside the walls and under the sinks.
Another issue that raises concerns is that the particle-board shelving inside cabinets can easily twist and bow when you subject them to the weight of common kitchen equipment. After putting some miles on the RV, it is usual for there to be leaks around the roof edges and slide-outs, and ceiling panels can become loose and droop after a while.
You might believe that customer service would go out of their way to satisfy customers, considering the number of problems the customers have reported, but you would be mistaken. Stay away from this brand because most existing customers are unhappy with the after-sales support.
Since Coleman is popular for producing a wide variety of high-quality camping supplies, there is no need to steer clear of the brand’s RVs. The company has hastily entered the recreational vehicle market despite lacking the expertise necessary to construct a robust and habitable unit.
Customers report that the general layout of the recreational vehicles (RVs) is strange or uncomfortable to navigate when you use the RVs in real-world settings. The finishings are fragile and require continuous reattachment because they get loose after only a few trips.
The worst thing is the appliances, which break down unexpectedly without warning. The showerhead may spray water out the side, the toilet valve may not close completely (allowing the delightful aroma of sewer gas to enter your RV), or the refrigerator may not cool down.
Wiring comes loose, resulting in short circuits or lights that flicker, and even the decals on the exterior quickly fade and break. Because there are so many ways in which things might go wrong, you shouldn’t bother with this brand until they fix the design flaws and enhance the quality of the construction.
The major issues with the finish of the inside and exterior walls of Winnebago RVs are the primary sources of the poor quality of certain of the company’s models. Wall panels tend to detach themselves and seem wavy or uneven because their attachment to the underlying structure is inadequate.
To address the issue, adding one or two nails to an interior wall should do the trick; however, repairing the delamination on the exterior walls will take a lot of time and money.
Electrical issues are another frequent source of customer complaints and discussions between RV mechanics and their customers. Because most RV wiring is complex and away from easy access, it might be challenging to localize the source of the problem.
Key Features to Consider When Buying an RV
Purchasing a recreational vehicle (RV) is not cheap. It might take a lot of years to buy it. Carrying out a preliminary investigation is critical if you want to avoid dissatisfaction. Putting one’s faith in what a salesperson says is not advisable. When deciding what sets apart different RV brands, some important factors to consider are as follows:
Building and Operations
Each manufacturer produces a variety of travel trailers. As a result, you have various choices regarding the types and models. No single best option will serve as the ideal recreational vehicle for you. Make it a point to go behind the wheel of a few different recreational vehicles before committing to buy one.
Be sure to investigate the RV’s building material since this will help determine how long it will last. If you observe some problems with the construction, you shouldn’t assume anything; you should keep looking for a better deal.
Additionally, look for a travel trailer that can accommodate most of your requirements. This is mostly concerning both the performance and the comfort levels. Ensure all the components and appliances are functioning properly to avoid them letting you down while you are away.
Reliability is of the utmost importance because you will most likely use your travel trailer whether you are on vacation or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
You don’t want a trailer that requires too much maintenance while you’re away on vacation. For example, when you should be relaxing, you might be mending some of the appliances in your home or caulking some of the leaking sinks and showers.
Consequently, before making that purchase, you should ensure that every trailer component works well. And when it isn’t, make sure it’s something that you can readily fix and that won’t prevent you from having a good time camping.
Your satisfaction with the trip will also be directly proportional to the size of the trailer you rent. In addition, you should not overlook the size of the building, despite the significance of its aesthetic qualities both inside and out.
Initially, you will need to purchase a travel trailer that your towing vehicle is capable of pulling easily. You don’t want a trailer that requires your car to put a lot of effort into pulling.
Second, have a look at the dimensions of the floor. The travel trailer ought to provide sufficient space for both you and all of your belongings. Consequently, before even venturing out to look for a trailer, you should ensure that you have thoroughly evaluated the requirements of your travels.
Doing things this way gives you a better idea of the kinds of things you want to bring camping and the amount of space each item would demand.
Camper Trailer and Camper Van
If you are unclear whether a travel trailer is an ideal choice for you, it is a good idea to compare it to a camper trailer or a camper van. This will help you decide which option is best for you (RV). Instead of attempting to camp in a camper trailer, you might think about purchasing a camper van instead.
Camper trailers put more emphasis on durability and efficiency, in contrast to travel trailers, which put more emphasis on comfort and room. On the other hand, a camper van will provide you with all of these amenities in addition to elegance and safety.
When you have a camper van, you don’t have to get out of the vehicle to access the eating area, kitchen, or restroom; you can go straight from the driver’s seat to any of those areas.
Therefore, select a camping vehicle that caters to your requirements effectively.
What Makes a Good Camper Van?
RVs have long been one of the most popular modes of transportation for going on the weekend, vacation, and on-road trips across the country. Camper vans are now the most popular type of recreational vehicle on the market. Class B recreational vehicles, also known as camper vans, are significantly more compact than their Class A counterparts.
This makes them an excellent option for off-road and off-grid excursions. Due to the surge in popularity of adventure vans and van life, many different designs are now available on the market.
So, tell me, exactly what characteristics are necessary for a good adventure camper van? And, what makes the worst camper brands? Let’s look at the 11 features for a camper van to differentiate itself from the competition.
Capabilities for Use Off-Road
The design of an adventure van should be such that it makes maximum exploration possible. It ought to be with the highest-quality wheels and tires that you can purchase so that you can ride securely no matter where the trail may lead you.
For this reason, selecting a camper van capable of driving on unpaved terrain will give you the most flexibility in deciding where you travel. Off-road capabilities give you more freedom to explore, making it much simpler to find places to camp in popular areas with tourists.
If your van can drive on rough roads, you’ll be able to escape the crowds easily. Keep an eye out for an all-wheel-drive (AWD) van and upgrade wheels and tires.
If you can navigate bumpy roads, you will be able to reach more remote locations and spend more time there. When you combine this with the ability to live off the grid, you are no longer reliant on a campground for its amenities. Find a camper van with a solar power system that can supply enough energy for your needs.
You can enjoy the benefits of dispersed camping and spend more time in the woods if you harness the sun’s power. However, you won’t have to give up the luxuries and conveniences of electricity.
Constructed Upon a Reliable Chassis
The base of a camper van can never be more reliable or capable than the camper van itself. The Ford Transit is an excellent option for a reliable chassis that you can choose.
The Ford Transit has been in use for many years as a reliable chassis for commercial applications. Due to its dependability, it is an excellent option for a recreational vehicle. This camper van chassis has a towing capacity of 5,200 pounds (2,358.7 kilograms), making it suitable for transporting boats, trailers, and other recreational equipment.
In addition, getting a Ford Transit serviced is simple regardless of where you are or how far you travel because the chassis is so widely in use.
Designed With an Abundance of Storage Space
When you go on a camping trip, you will want to ensure you have plenty of room to store your supplies and equipment. Find a camper van with storage space inside and out for your belongings.
A good adventure van should have plenty of storage space. This includes; roof racks and interior closets, so the occupants can bring along enough provisions, clothing, and sporting goods for their trip.
Ideal for Powering Remote Work
An increasing number of people are pursuing careers that allow them to work from home. Therefore, permanently or temporarily, maintaining a nomadic lifestyle is becoming increasingly feasible.
Suppose you are considering becoming a digital nomad. In that case, you should look for a camper van equipped with a specific seating area that you can use for work. It is essential to the lifestyle of a remote worker to have access to comfortable seating, a desk or table surface, and a place to plug-in electronic devices.
Equipped With Standard Upfits
Camper vans are a more compact alternative to their Class A RV counterparts. However, they can still pack a significant number of amenities and features. When looking for an adventure van, make sure it comes equipped with the following standard fits:
- Roofing struts
- Step bumper
- Power awning
- Screens for insects and screens for privacy
- A port for the exterior shower
- On-board air compressor
- Roof vent
- The kitchen has a sink, a cooktop, and a refrigerator
Crafted With a Quality Interior
When you buy a camper van, you are purchasing a space where you can unwind and relax after a long day. You should make sure to pick a camper van that has an interior with high-quality materials rather than a fiberboard that is easily damaged.
A high-quality interior will last for a longer period, in addition to being more comfortable and practical. In addition, a well-built interior can withstand driving on off-road terrain. It can remain in good condition regardless of where the road may take you.
Maximize the Use of Your Space by Using a Modular Layout
The building of camper vans has to be in a way that makes the most efficient use of their space. This is because of their compact designs—because of this, utilizing a modular design is the best way to guarantee the greatest amount of usability. A plan you cannot alter in any form is not nearly as practical as one that features.
For instance, you can fold a bed area into the wall and transform it into a dining area. Because of its modular layout, you can rearrange your room at any time of the day to accommodate the specific needs of the various activities that are taking place.
Includes a Warranty
You can take your camper van off the lot in a perfect world without worrying about a single mechanical problem. On the other hand, having a warranty is the best way to protect your investment if something goes wrong. Pick a camper van with a guarantee of anywhere from one to two years long.
In addition, selecting a camper van constructed on a common chassis, such as a Ford Transit, will make it simpler to locate a dealer to acquire parts and perform any necessary maintenance.
Adaptable to Any Adventure
Adventure vans have a wide range of sizing and design options. On the other hand, the best vans on the market make traveling comfortable regardless of the type of adventure you are undertaking.
For instance, Antero Adventure Motors’ Pikes Peak adventure van is suitable for use by groups as large as a family, as well as by couples and individuals. Because of its adaptable and adaptable design, it is an excellent choice for a wide variety of camping adventures.
Adapts to Your Specified Trip and Requirements
Finding your way through life is the most important part of living in a van. When looking for a camper van, you should prioritize finding one that satisfies your requirements. For instance, if you want to bring your mountain bike, you should ensure that the truck you buy has adequate space to transport your bike easily.
On the other hand, if you want to kick back and relax at your campsite with complete ease, you should look for a camper van with an integrated awning that can shield you from the sun and the rain. The objective is to find a camper van that provides all of the comforts and luxuries that you will require to have a good time on the trip that is to come.
Tips for Avoiding Bad Quality RV Purchases
Take your time, don’t be in a hurry, and do your research before making any significant acquisition. It is tempting to buy a recreational vehicle that looks great. Still, you must dig a little deeper to understand your purchase.
No matter what the manufacturers and salespeople tell you, quality isn’t always at the forefront of their minds.
You don’t want to join the long line of people who have lost out financially because of a bad purchase, so spend an hour or two reading reviews from previous customers. This will show you that quality isn’t always at the forefront of the minds of manufacturers and salespeople. So, how do you avoid buying a bad RV?
Before you make your final choice, there are a few really helpful methods below that you can employ:
- Do some research on the market by going to RV shows, reading reviews, talking to people who already own RVs, and just generally shopping around for the best price.
- Try before you buy. When you think you’ve found the right RV, renting one for a week might be worthwhile to become familiar with all of the features and determine whether or not any issues could arise in the future.
- Obtain an inspection; that is, have the recreational vehicle (RV) you are considering purchasing inspected by an impartial professional or an expert. They will be aware of everything that they should look for and may even be able to negotiate a lower price for you if you find problems.
- Read the fine print and ensure that your warranty provides a good value for your money. As was just discussed, many RV owners have gotten into heated arguments with the manufacturer over the scope of their warranty and what it does and does not cover. You should also consider the length of the warranty and the possibility of extending the warranty.
The importance of avoiding the RV brands with the poorest reputations should receive greater emphasis. In all seriousness, these recreational vehicles are so pricey because they are to be real habitats. Nothing is more frustrating in the world of travel than shelling out a ridiculous sum of money for a residence that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of being habitable.
Now that you have access to this article, you should be able to make more informed decisions on which of the RV manufacturers will provide the greatest service. Is there a single one of these terrible travel trailers you might see yourself renting in the future?
Before investing in the worst travel trailer, we strongly advise completing an extra study into both the positive and negative aspects of the various options. We have high hopes that our list has been helpful in providing some vital insight into the travel trailer brands to avoid and what makes an amazing travel trailer brand.