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Old 09-11-2014, 06:51 PM   #29
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Our Jayco Eagle TT is nearly three and a half years old, has over 12,000 miles on it, and gets brutalized every time we take it out of the barn and down our 5-mile torture track of a road. We held up taking it in for warranty work until near the end of that 2-year period. And then, just two very minor fixes both of which I'd have fixed myself if they happened out of warranty.

We've spent 515 nights in it (winters in AZ).

The only complaint I have is it's been so flawless that I'm actually hesitant to buy a larger rig, which would be more comfortable in the winter. The only other manufacturer I'd seriously consider at this point is Peterson. Their Excel Limiteds and Winslows look sweet, but those fivers are not only expensive, but I'd probably have to buy a new truck to haul them. Not sure I'd get another TT.

You'll have to decide for yourself, but if you've got a dealer reasonably close (I don't), and the dealer has a good rep, (mine does) it might be a good choice for you and yours.
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:31 PM   #30
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Why New?

I have owned 3 RV's over the past 24 years. I started with a new Pinnacle 32' motor home on 1990. Over the next 10 years it was essentially trouble free. Very few problems....which was good, because we moved just a few months after buying it. Our second rig was a 2001 Excel 28 RGO fifth wheel. We bought it from the original owners in 2004. Over the years we owned it we never had a problem until 2010 when a major de-lamination developed, probably due to spending a year in Seattle and a lack of maintenance on my part. It cost over $5 thousand to have it fixed at the factory, which of course didn't include the trip to Smith Center, Kansas. This particular experience convinced me that old school, aluminum would be on any trailer/5 wheel I owned in the future. We sold the Excel in 2013. Our current trailer/Mobil motel room, is a Northwood, Nash 22GQ. It's a 2007, we just bought it last month.

The Pinnacle cost us almost $50,000. The Excel, which had a new price of $49,500, was three years old and in immaculate condition when we bought it for $20,000 in 2004. The Nash was also a one owner rig and had very little use, it is almost like new, and had a new cost of over $15,000......a new one today is over $20,000. We paid $7500. Northwood products really hold their value, and are one of the best trailers out there. One interesting fact about Northwood, is they are still making many of the same floor plans that they were making in 1995, when they started their business. To me that says a lot about the quality of their designs.

The point here is if you know exactly what you want in your RV, like floorplan, specific manufacture, or model, and you are willing to put in the time, there is no need for a dealer you like or a warranty. If something on my new to me rig fails I fix it or have it fixed. Buy your next rig from the first owner, he took all the initial depreciation and got all the warranty word done for you, the second owner.

Mike
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:00 AM   #31
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Northwood products are nice but they aren't what they used to be. Just go over to Northwood RV Owners Association Forum and read about some of the issues they are having. Most owners over there agree that NW has slipped in QC. And that the earlier built trailers were built better. Since Ron Nash (founder) has left, so has some of the QC that made NW what it was. Can't live buy past laurels forever.
Don't get me wrong, they still build sturdy trailers. But now they seem to have issues like the rest.

FWIW the wife and I recently visited a local RV show. We looked at AF trailers and I pointed out to the wife how stiff the walls inside were. Particularly walls that aren't tied into anything. I told here to try and wiggle one of the door jambs that was not attached to a counter or anything. It was rock solid. Then we went into SOB's and I had here do it again. They were all wiggly. Cabinet doors we also solid. When you open the bigger closet doors they don't shake. SOB's did. Lots of little things that NW does sets them apart. But it's the issues like an exterior door not closing right, front caps fading, squeaky floor, window valance not level, etc. Those types of issues just bring them down to the rest of the RV world.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:45 AM   #32
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Opinions without data are like shirt pockets, everybody's got one...

I'm not sure about "most" Northwood owners agreeing with "QC" slipping because of Northwood management changes. As you may know, quality, what we used to refer to as "big" quality back in the day, is not some guy at the end of the production line sorting the good from the bad. Quality starts with the design, goes thru produceability, selecting the best suppliers to supply conforming parts on time, building repeatable tooling and processes, training operators, and measuring process output. The QC guy at the end simply identifies departures from output expectations and applies statistical process control tools to either leave the process alone (if the data shows the process is in control) or provide objective data to manufacturing to adjust the process to improve output "quality". What most people don't understand is the inherent varibility of processes. Which is to say that every process will likely produce nonconformances......but if the level of nonconformances remain within the statistical expectations of the process the process is left alone. The one qualifier in all this would be the classification of the nonconformances. A critical or major nonconformance is of course treated with more vigor than a minor process nonconformance........but in any case, major or minor, some expert on a forum will find something wrong with his new trailer and declare that QC has gone bad and the feeding frenzy begins.

What this all means in simple terms is that any RV is likely to contain defects of some sort. The really good RV companies have their processes in control and deliver very few defects to the customer. With the right design and processes, they can all deliver great RV's.

An example of assuring delivery of a high quality product is my personal experience at Peterson Industries with my Excel. While I had it back in Smith Center being worked on, I spent somewhat of a busmans holiday touring their plant. Most people doing a plant tour didn't have the manufacturing experience needed to know what they are seeing. I spent hours looking at their line lay out and what they built vs what they bought from subcontractors. One example is they built their own hide-a-bed couch, window valances, and mattresses. Not because they couldn't find a supplier, they just couldn't find a supplier that did it as good as they wanted it done. They built their own frames, because they couldn't find a supplier that could do it better. Their design and process controls were then and probably still are the best in the industry as evidenced by their place as the number one rated 5th wheel manufacturer in the country......at least the last time I looked at RV Consumer ratings.

I apologize for my long winded comments, and I really have no intent to start an argument, but in another life I was responsible for an organization of 1100 people buying $20 billion a year in defense hardware....and actually know a little about manufacturing quality.

Mike
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #33
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LDR, I appreciate your post. I believe you are expanding on the term "specifications." No doubt, the quality of the product out the door is dependent on what the folks at the top determined would go into the product.

At the risk of over-generalizing, it seems that a large percentage of consumer products are "improved" to the point they no longer do their intended job. But profit margins improve. And when that is the primary goal guiding design, everything below that matters less. Some designs give no consideration to repeat business, most aim to avoid pushing consumers beyond their tolerance level, and a few aim to stand out in the crowd as superior. For all the complexities of production it often boils down to: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:33 PM   #34
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Did a quick read through on this post ( it's one that could go on forever and that ain't a bad thing ) I remember a RV rep telling me the one thing you have to remember about RVs they are built by people not robots things happen no matter the cost of the RV.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:38 AM   #35
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I suppose what would make a difference to we the buyers is to feel like the goal of the manufacturer was to actually go into production with the idea of producing something they would be proud to sell for more reasons than the bottom line. My Kodiak actually had a clamp crimping the fresh water line from the pump so no water could pass thru it. This clamp was put on by someone knowing what it would do. Then was never inspected or tested at the factory. And then even the dealer did not test it so I was out in the middle of no where land with no fresh water on a 2 week trip.
I really do not expect a vehicle to be perfect and usually perform most repairs myself but it would be nice to feel like someone cared how it was put together.....
We have learned quite a bit over the years of camping with various T/T and a Class A. Looks like some real quality comes from places like Northwood, Excel and Outdoor RV. These are a bit more pricey but as LDR commented, a few year old model that has gone thru the shakedown with the first owner would be a good choice and a money saver.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #36
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Every brand has good and bad. What someone loves, others don't. What is an issue for some, others it is fine. Some get good service, some do not. Some get upset if the TP holder is not installed. To me it is all about the dealer, find a good dealer that will service in a reasonable time and all is good. If your dealer does not go to bat for you then you might not be happy. Good luck.
I agree with GaryWT. First you need to decide your budget, then start your search. I would disagree with those saying you should stay away from the fiberglass side units. We bought our Sprinter new in '08 and when not being used it is stored outdoors in the elements. We have not had a problem and the unit has traveled about 15k miles. Personally, I wouldn't own another "stick-n-tin" trailer.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:27 PM   #37
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I agree with GaryWT. First you need to decide your budget, then start your search. I would disagree with those saying you should stay away from the fiberglass side units. We bought our Sprinter new in '08 and when not being used it is stored outdoors in the elements. We have not had a problem and the unit has traveled about 15k miles. Personally, I wouldn't own another "stick-n-tin" trailer.
I can only speak from my personal experience, but my Filon sided 5th wheel was 9 years old when it delaminated. Having some experience with both methods I come down on the side of old school when it comes to siding on trailers. If you ever look at the lamination process in almost any RV plant you will find that things like humidity, temperature, shelf life of adhesives, dwell times with vacume applied (the typical process involves a big bag placed over the structure with a vacume applied to hold the Filon down while the adhesive dries), are not well controlled......which is to say the process contains uncontrolled variables that will likely effect the "quality" of the output (siding).

So called stick and tin siding is assembled with a mechanical connection, and the environmental conditions that have such a negative effect on Filon have no affect.

Having said all that, at least one manufacturer has decided to apply aerospace tried and tested process controls to the lamination process. That manufacturer would be Outdoor RV. The company has invested big bucks to solve a problem that has been plaguing the rv industry for years.....delamination of Filon siding.
Their facility is world class, total control of all controllable variables effecting the lamination process.

Bottom line, if you buy and sell often you will probably never have the problem. In my case, I don't have much of a turn-over rate. Three RV's in 24 years is probably extreme. My wife has owned only 3 cars in the past 28 years and I just replaced my 2004 dodge 3500 with 248,000 miles with the truck I'll probably be buried in, a 2014 dodge 2500HD.
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:57 PM   #38
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Stan 827 Be careful with Jayco, quality control isnít what it used to be. People want to blame the dealer because Jayco is rolling them out and repairing them later. If you buy a Jayco find you a well-known dealer to help you with warranty repairs.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:19 AM   #39
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Stan 827 Be careful with Jayco, quality control isnít what it used to be. People want to blame the dealer because Jayco is rolling them out and repairing them later. If you buy a Jayco find you a well-known dealer to help you with warranty repairs.
I wonder if the Great Recession had anything to do with this. I know other brands have fallen off as well. Is it a cost cutting measure?
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:39 AM   #40
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There seems to be very little pride in what is produced today. You have to look hard for quality but I am finding there are a few out there attempting to produce a good product and proud to tell their stories. So far as I can tell it appears Outdoor Rv Is pretty high on this list.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:04 PM   #41
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I went to the Pomona RV show and spoke with a few Factory Reps and here is a few comments. Winn factory rep says their fit and finish is the best. That same person said that Sunnybrook TT's are on a hold for mfg now and might be built again, maybe. Winn owns the name and everything else. Another rep, prev a Northwood rep, but now with another RV company, said that Arctic Fox is the top TT, even better than OutdoorsRV. Looking at the TT's, the Lippert name or companies owned by Lippert are all over just about every TT. Example, Winn uses Lippert frames. I have no problem with Lippert, I just see them as the Wallmart of the RV industry. Windows, doors, stabilizers, Jenson electronics, entry steps.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:32 PM   #42
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I agree, our first trailer was a Sunline and they are also out of business now. It was a very solid T/T and never went back for any service issues..
Also agree. Our first TT was a Sunline Solaris. Loved it and would buy another in a heartbeat if available. Now we have an Arctic Fox, also an excellent rig. It's definitely not an ultralight, but it is well built. I would not hesitate to recommend the brand and others by Northwood.
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