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Old 03-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #1
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Manufacturers Ratings

I am about to by my first RV. It is probably going to be a 5th Wheel. I am well versed in the reliability of various brands of cars, TVs, washers, dryers et al, but I know know nothing of trailer quality.

Is there any Consumer Reports type organization that rates travel trailers?
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #2
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Yes, right here. Just post what your looking for as far as your price point and type of 5er. (toy hauler, mid profile, ect...) As I'm sure others with that brand will chime-in.

For myself once I kind of know what lay-out and size, I will start by looking at "Fit & Finish". Like how do the cabinet doors feel and close. When open do they feel solid. I look in the storage area, in a 5er I would look to see how things are finished off. Are there enough screws holding a brackets. On the outside of the unit are the trim pieces fitting nice and flush or are gobs of caulk used to fill in gaps. A big one for me, When you pull out drawers, do they wiggle side to side. Do they feel as if they would fall off the track if not treated with care.

When we started looking at hybrids, we looked at maybe 7-8 brands. Some just look darn right cheap. But the price accounted for that. In the end we felt the Aerolites were a $1,000 or two more than the rest, but the fit and finish was worth it. After 200-220 nights in 4 seasons, everything is holding up better than expected. I'm very happy.

Now we would like to move up the RV ladder too, and a 5er is what I have always wanted. I just need a larger yard to store it in. But if I was buying a 5er today, Carriage would be my brand. I like the price point of the Cameo's, which is their entry level unit, but I would really like a 2-3 year old Carri-lite. I have seen some incredable deals on 08 & 09' Carri-lite's on the net. I don't think I would pay the big $$$ for a brand new Carri-Lite. But some of the deals I mighty think twice.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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Thanks!

We are considering a new 265 KZ Spree 5th wheel. It appears to be very well built, I love the floor plan and the price is right.

I would appreciate any input from members.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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I don't have a link, but RV consumer group has a rating CD($$) with nearly all brands rated.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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Here's one problem with RV rating services - see the following from one of their websites (using my RV manufacturer simply as an example):

Quote:
Our RV Comparison Guide does feature some of the best selling models produced by DoubleTree RV based on our interviews with the company, which is the DoubleTree Select Suites, DoubleTree Bounder, DoubleTree Jamboree, DoubleTree Regal and DoubleTree Prowler.
So, what's the problem?

1. DoubleTree RV is now DRV Suites

2. DRV Suites manufactures the Elite Suites, Mobile Suites and Select Suites 5th wheels.

3. Some of the products listed above are/were manufactured by Fleetwood.

So, since they don't even know what a given manufacturer builds, how much would you trust what else they had to say about them, especially when many of these services rate an RV without ever stepping into it, let alone using it for themselves??

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Old 03-29-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Find something you like came back and ask about it. Make sure you tell us the brand and model. Don't be afraid to go to the Owners Forum and see if that manufacturer is listed. If so, post your question there.

You have real time users here, not a rating group. You will get response from those with similar units or same manufacturer. You may even get a response form someone with the same model you are looking at.

Everybody here is willing to help. It is like having a family of 35,000+ to help you shop.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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Every reply from an RVer will have a built in bias , both good and bad.. And remember , most will not tell you about the troubles--as many do not want to admit to having anything except the best- or having made a bad choice. The "rest of the story" will unlikly be told.

The only unbiased source that I know of will come from the RV Consumer Group. The RVCG is a nonprofit membership organization. They are completely independant from the RV industry.

Their website is http://www.rv.org

We have used their information several times and found it to be well worth the cost.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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you might also look at http://rvreviews.com/index.cfm or just look at the different owner forums and look at the postings..what are they happy about or un happy about and also is the company still in business or Chapter 11
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Every reply from an RVer will have a built in bias , both good and bad.. And remember , most will not tell you about the troubles--as many do not want to admit to having anything except the best- or having made a bad choice. The "rest of the story" will unlikly be told.
I have seen both positive a negitive posts about certain models. Even the most happiest RVer's like myself with the unit I have now, have found faults. Remember there are no Perfect RV's.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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I agree that there is no perfect RV. Generally you can "feel" quality in a unit. There is just something about a solid floor, cabinets that both look and feel well built. Get down on the floor and look inside the lower cabinets - can you see daylight? Look at how the wiring and plumbing is handled - the trick is to keep it neat as well as accessable (in case of a problem). I always look at how the unit will be to camp in - I go into the bathroom, sit on the head, close the door - do I have enough knee room? Is there enough head room in the shower? Where do I put towels etc. Other things I do is to sit at the dinette and sofa and of course try out the bed. A good trailer will both look and feel solid. Watch out for a bunch of frufru items in a low priced unit - you know where they did not put their money. I am also not a big fan of the new lightweight construction methods where the entire sidewall is one big laminated unit of filon, foam, and luan -no studs or other frame members - except one piece of alum tubing that runs around the edge of the wall - forming the corner of the walls and ceiling. I have owned one of these beasts and found it to be very prone to leaks - and a small leak can do lots of damage as the water tends to spread over a wide area causing lots of delamination as well as making it hard to find the intrusion point. I prefer either a well built wood or alum fully framed unit with filon exterior either laminated or glued to the studs. I am not sure where you are located but I would buy a unit that is made on the same coast as you are - this does save time if you do happen to have a problem that requires factory attention. All of this advice comes from the been there done that t-shirt club.
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