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Old 08-28-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Confidence in the TT industry

The more I research the travel trailer industry and the brands offered, I become more and more concerned with the issues that may arise. Me and my wife are looking to purchase our first TT so it makes us weary. I start to feel good about a certain brand(s), but then the more I dig, those too have issues in shocking numbers. I read of quality issues and problems with getting warranty services. Can anyone shed light on this or offer any positive experiences they've had. I don't want to invest $20k+ just to end up with a lemon and hole in my pocket.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
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Nearly all RVs regardless of price paid are junk. They are slapped together by a bunch of low paid assembly line workers.
Stay away from new, instead look for a used about 5 years old. There are a few brands that are better, but may not be available where you live. Search for a used Arctic Fox, Nash, or one from Outdoor RV. Their all made in the Pacific Northwest on in house built frames. All designed for longevity and strength. Not necessairly light.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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I agree with what you said about the quality for sure. It opened my eyes to the lack of detail and worksmanship. They are slapped together on an assembly line, sent to dealers, sold, and then the dealers are stuck fixing the builders problems which seems to be an issue in itself.

I have a 1/2 Chevy with a payload of 9400 so light is my key. I guess I was naive to believe that they could still be build with quality. Lesser quality material and less material all to meet a weight requirement. Even if I would to upgrade a truck and then a heftier trailer, still think thats a gamble.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:37 PM   #4
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Mine has held up quite well.....Monday will be the start of it's 4th cross country trip, and I live in it 6 months a year....and it's never been into any repair shop....
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:37 PM   #5
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I have had 2 trailers and 1 5th wheel. 1st new trailer was a 2008 Gulfstream Streamlite 22 SLB. I had zero issues with this trailer. I had this trailer for 4 years and it had heavy use.

My 2nd RV was a 5th wheel. A new 2011 SunnyBrook 3510 Bristol Bay. This 5th wheel had extreme use as my wife and I lived in this unit about 10 months a year. We had a house we lived in 2 months. This trailer was used to snowbird in Florida and then was used in Pa. in the summer. This 5th wheel did have 2 nagging issues.

1. After towing the Dometic Refrigerator door front would slide down. When opened it would slide down to the floor. I had to get on the floor and fiddle with it to get the bottom plastic piece snapped to hold the fridge door up.

2. The 6 point leveling system control panel was finicky to get turned on. Like the on button would not work.

3rd RV was/is a 2013 Vantage 25 RBS. This trailer had the window blind cord holders break. But these were fixable by me.

I have never had a problem with a RV refrigerator cooling. But I have friends that always have a problem with their RV refrigerators....go figure.

If you buy a RV you do need a tool kit to fix various minor things. Towing a trailer on the highway is like an earthquake. I had to tighten up the sink drains because they were leaking after towing 950 miles. I had to reseal the shower after every 2,000 miles of towing.

I never (knock on wood) had a problem with hot water heater or A/C units.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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I understand not all will have issues but seems to be a fair number having some issues especially after even short use of less than a year. I also understand that not all things are perfect, but I feel alot of the issues could be fixed with better quality control and simply putting out a better product. If I haven't read and watched so many videos on the nightmares of getting warranty work, maybe I'd feel a little more at ease. If you are willing to make it right and stand behind your product, I would feel better about it.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:49 PM   #7
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I can deal with minor things I can handle...but delaminating countertops, sagging cabinets, weak/broken supports on dinnette table and bed supports are the things I'm more worried about. Those are all structural. Those require repair/replacement.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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Agree that those catastrophic issues do exist. I also agree that the work force sometimes care and sometimes not. I consider myself lucky that I have had a myriad of smaller issues.

One thing I hate is everytime I try to force something it breaks. Also when I fix something I fix it better than the factory. Like rusty exterior screws are replaced with stainless steel screws.

My next trailer is likely to be a Winnebago Mini Plus. Fingers are crossed that it will be a good trailer.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't want to invest $20k+
I know you probably didn't mean it this way but RVs are in no way an investment. As your research has shown and as the previous posters have confirmed, RVs are low quality and problems come up.

There is some good news, though. The horror stories you read of are a very small portion of what goes on. People are far more likely to take to message boards or social media to share bad stories.

I've owned 5 RVs over the last 20 years and have yet to have anything I'd consider significant or surprising go wrong. 2 of the RVs I bought new and was very happy with both the price and depreciation curve. I've never understood this whole idea of buying used to avoid a problematic unit. Countless times I've read of people fed up with an RV so they just trade it in.... and it becomes a used RV.

As for price, if you negotiate a good deal, new is just fine. The people complaining usually overpaid and got burned. You should be able to get a TT or 5th wheel for around 65-70% of MSRP.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Agree that those catastrophic issues do exist. I also agree that the work force sometimes care and sometimes not. I consider myself lucky that I have had a myriad of smaller issues.

One thing I hate is everytime I try to force something it breaks. Also when I fix something I fix it better than the factory. Like rusty exterior screws are replaced with stainless steel screws.

My next trailer is likely to be a Winnebago Mini Plus. Fingers are crossed that it will be a good trailer.
I have folks I know that bought a Minnie Winnie w/1 slide. It has a leaky roof after 1 year of use. It had supposedly been checked and sealed at winterizing time fall of 2018 and was leaking spring of 2019. Unsure if everything is fixed but seems quite typical on most modern RVs,
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:40 PM   #11
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Investment wasn't the best word choice and not how i intended it. Simply mean't its alot of money involved in it. I had an eye opening experience today. I took time to email Grand Design to stress my concerns with all I've mention in above posts and never was expecting a response....an hour or 2 later I got a call from the main office and we spoke for 20 mins going over all they offer before and most importantly after the sale to ease my mind. Is it legit? Who knows, but they've given me some hope in this search.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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My daughter and hubby looked at everything out there for a 30 ft bunkhouse travel trailer and were really discouraged. They finally saw a Winnebago Minnie Plus and bought it. They refused to take delivery until the dealer had everything 100% to their liking. So far, no real issues and still love the trailer.

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Old 08-28-2019, 04:58 PM   #13
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We bought a 2006 25’airstream safari two years ago and love it. We did pay $36,000 for it but if we take care of it we will be able to resell it down the road.
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:12 PM   #14
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Yeah well with super sized rv dealers that have such a high volume, I'm sure alot pass out of pure complacency. Another problem is that alot may appear fine on visual inspection but add weight to structures, towing strain and basic use and problems will start showing their ugly faces.
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