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Old 07-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #1
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Brands and lines to avoid?

For full time living would there any brand or line to avoid? what would be good to look at. Been trying to get a feel for whats decent without breaking the bank . interested in TT or 5er
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Sad thing is, they can all have problems of some kind from minor to major. I've even heard some people say the same about Airstream. Some component manufacturers like Lippert, supply to about 95% or so of the RV market. If they have poor quality components (and they do), they will show up on most RVs out there. Frames are an example of something you can end up having problems with.

There are many posts about people asking this same question on this and other RV forums. Try RV.net for example or the Forest River forum. I have read about so many issues with FR products and some say they would never buy another one. I have read lately that many are saying Lance and Nash are making better quality, but I don't know. Have seen Lance at a show and they do seem to be good. On the cutting edge of product development. I saw a Nash at a show too and was not impressed, but that could just be me.

Don't just look at the obvious that you can see like cabinetry, layout, colors, etc. Dig deeper and try and look at how things are put together (fit and finish). In particular, look at the frame (most wouldn't). If it's a longer travel trailer (like say 30' and up) see if the frame I-beam is made from 3 pieces of thin sheet metal welded together. These frames flex like crazy leading to serious problems down the road. When comparing trailers, you might try comparing the GVWR. Chances are the one with a significantly higher GVWR has a stronger frame and related components.

Personally, I would look for a trailer that either comes with shock absorbers or has them as an option.

Look closely at the interior features. Think carefully about the functionality of cabinets. You might think the 32" LED TV looks great. But try sitting down in seating and see if you can actually see the screen. In our trailer, you couldn't see the screen because of the viewing angle. I had to add a tilting mount to the factory articulating mount. Some of these things are easy to overlook but danged annoying afterwards if you missed them.

Be wary of published dry weights (tongue, trailer or pin). They are meaningless in the end because the actual weight is always much higher. Do not use these figures as a guide in determining if your tow vehicle is adequate. Read this or other forums for the reality on towing (or post a question). Never believe what a salesman tells you for tow-ability with the your TV. They want to get an RV into your hands and your $$. Don't use the "1/2 ton towable" label or KZ's new 1500 or 2500 tow-able label (1/2 ton and 3/4). They never give you the actual total trailer weight or tongue weight as delivered with the propane tanks, etc. added and the options. |And then there is the weight of all your gear, food, clothing, etc. All of this adds about 1,000 to 1,500 lbs. You would also be wise to weigh your tow vehicle at a scale and subtract it from the GVWR on your door jamb sticker. This is the actual payload that your TV can handle is is typically the most important thing to watch for over axle ratings and tow capacity.

Beside the build quality of a trailer, be careful about dealer quality too. They range from less than awful to outstanding. Do your research on this. For example, if you have a warranty issue, some dealers want you to take your RV in to them. Then it sits there while they contact the head office or the supplier (Lippert, eg.) to get authorization. Maybe a week or more. If approved, then they order the part(s) which can take a week or two or more. When the part(s) finally arrives, they phone and tell you that they have to schedule it in along with all their other customer's jobs. Overall, it *can* take a month or two. BTDT. Not good in the middle of the camping season. They can have a don't care attitude. Our new dealer is great. Have a problem? Take it in and they fix it PDQ. On our first trailer, it took over a year to fix faulty brakes. Not impressed. Never going back to that brand or dealer.

Keep in mind that RVs (thinking of trailers) are whacked out by the thousands in assembly lines. They typically hire low-skilled and low-paid workers for a lot of it. You can read lots of stories about sewer pipes being cross-connected, parts missing, things grossly out of alignment, eg. Very little quality control in the industry if any.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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Wow I never expected to read that. Truly awesome advice. Thank you
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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I have the same trailer that Myredracer owns. We have been thru way too much with this junk.

Here are some photos, you should get an idea of what to really look for.

lynnmor's Library | Photobucket
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #5
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Wow...i was gonna say stay away from KZ.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
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For full time living would there any brand or line to avoid? what would be good to look at. Been trying to get a feel for whats decent without breaking the bank . interested in TT or 5er
You can get a lemon with any brand. I would go to a full timers forum and ask what the majority use for full timing.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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Check Winnibago----they are making travel trailers now.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
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Try here RV.net
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:37 AM   #9
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Most TT's aren't made for full timing (even though people do it all the time), some 5th wheels and Type A MH's are. Even our 2002 Dutch Star manual says it's not designed for full time living even though that's what we bought it for and there are lots of people out there doing it.
We bought a new '98 Santara Type A MH, had lots of problems with the house portion. In fact we've had fewer house problems in 11 years with our Dutch Star then we had in 2 with the Santara.
We haven't had a TT since 1988 so I'll reframe from getting into good vs bad TT's
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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Try here XX.net
Why send him over there. You will get much better information here with facts...not just fantasia.


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Old 07-13-2013, 02:56 AM   #11
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Why send him over there. You will get much better information here with facts...not just fantasia.

Ken
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
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For full time living would there any brand or line to avoid? what would be good to look at. Been trying to get a feel for whats decent without breaking the bank . interested in TT or 5er
I have been RVing for 50 plus years. I have owned everything from tents to large class A and diesel Motor homes and 5th Wheel trailers. I have observed that Most full timers have 5th wheels or class a motor homes, although that could be changing. I just traded off my 5th wheel and Got a Travel Trailer, which we will live in about 4 or 5 months out of the year. Take your time and explore every possibility. If you have never done much RVing, then I would say buy a used unit to start with. Then if you find RVing full time is for you. You can always trade up or down.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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Lot of great info in this forum, and from the above info^^^^.
I agree buying used first is the best, of course I've never bought rv's or my trucks new. There is a lot of good used ones out there I had two.5 good ones!
It just need some work which nothing wrong with that either.
A lot of people will find out what they though was a great floor plan really wasn't. I've had three 5ver's and feel like we finally have the right one for us. There could still be a better one out there.
I was told once when you go look at a rv set in it for at least two hours. Just to get the feeling for it. Act like your cooking and see if two can do it, no biggy if 2 can't. Being comfortable with the kitcken is good because it means you won't mind eating in. Set on the toilet look, stand in the shower look, lay in the bed look and act like your watching the tv. Crawl on floor and look under cabinets did MFG leave saw dust, it makes a different if they didn't clean up what else did they not do you can't see? Cabinets did they us screw or staples(are not good). Crawl under the unit look at axles any damage, LOOK at frame(it's foundation of your new to you home), crawl in the storage area as good as you can honestly can and the roof. If it's the one you want LOOK LOOK GOOD no joking I learned this over three units. If it's the one you want get serious about it..
Also don't believe dealers or sales people they want your money, the rv and you gone. I was told by one sale person they figure buyers are lying to them first. I was told by a dealership on(looking 2 buy new)IM not making money of this, I said wow and yet your lights are still on! There are some good dealers, but I've failed to see many, 1 and I wonder about them.

When we bought our 2011 Cameo I went to 10 dealership, we narrowed it down to one floor plan and then went to four more dealership.
This post is actually the short story version of how we shopped, learned and before we bought last unit. We logged over 900 miles looking. I did forget one thing when I bought a 2nd AC..


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Old 07-17-2013, 08:44 AM   #14
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My two cents.

We bought a Salem 27RLSS, 32' TT, love it. Second trip was from Tx to Niagara Falls, New Hampshire, NY, DC then Tx. We we got home I noticed the tires were worn out. Took it to our dealer, Mays RV in Lewisville. Service manager looked at it and claimed the axles were bent. They contacted Lippert, sent pics of our axles and tires. Lippert sent two axles and 5 tires. Repairs took one week.
The issue is, axles installed are under size. Ours were rated at 3000 each. Dry weight of TT is 6200. Most new owners don't go on 4600 mile trips, the axle issues don't show up til warranty is out. Check axle rating b4 buying.
We insisted on better axles. We had 3500 LBS axles installed. Hope this helps new owners.
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