Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Travel Trailer Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-23-2015, 08:34 PM   #43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 302
Since the Winnebago line was mentioned in this thread, I checked it out online at that point (before I finished the thread). The TT models have pretty light axles. One model has a GW of 10,200 pounds, yet has only two 3500 pound axles. That means that the hitch has to carry 3200 pounds. Normal loading is for the hitch to take 10-15% of the weight.

I just checked the specs on a 34' Airstream. GW is 9800 pounds, 3 3200 pound axles. That is for a 1999 coach. The 2005 has a GW of 11,500. Can't see anything about the axles, but even if they were the same 3200 pound ones that has about 2000 pounds on the tongue, which is about right.

I've been checking on high quality TT models, too. We're full-timers, currently in a 40' DP. The Airstream, Arctic Fox, and Open Range were the brands most often mentioned. The AF and OR seem to be similarly priced, about half of what an Airstream runs. I'm guessing there is a reason for that.
__________________

__________________
David, kb0zke
Mercury Mountaineer towing mpg 181(both sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 40'
kb0zke is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-23-2015, 11:34 PM   #44
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 4,682
Tom,
I'm sure there are some manufacturers who are trying to do a good job while still staying competitive and for that I applaud them. The fact still remains that most are not. Also the number of manufacturers of good quality units is very small.

We bought our first TT in 2010 and finally ordered the MH in May of 2013 for the 2014 model. So we did buy recently and I guess it was my lack of looking that got us into Heartland then a Forest river product. Neither one had much quality.

I also was active on both of those forums and read about all the issues many were having. The TT industry is also the only ones who require the owner to inspect and repack wheel bearings every 12,000 miles or 12 months. Other than boat trailers which get dipped into water every so often they are the only ones who require that much service. On cars/trucks it's every 30,000 miles or more. Why such frequent bearing packs?? Are they afraid of something falling apart to soon???

Why did our Heartland product wear out the spring shackle bushings after only 2,200 miles??? We went to FL for our first trip. When I got home I decided to put in wet bolts so I could at least grease the bushings. All of them were noticeable worn and had to be replaced. That's just poor quality.

What would it cost to at least offer bronze bushings and wet bolts, shocks as well???

TeJay
__________________

__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 12:23 AM   #45
Member
 
Sparechange's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
TeJay
My OutdoorsRV 250RDSW weighs about 7K empty and came with 5200 pound axles and D rated 15 inch rims. You will find that the Outdoors and Northwood products use axles and tires well matched for the weight.
X2.
My creekside 23 dbs weighs less than that and came with the 5200 # axles and load range d tires. A big reason I bought it. I found the floor plan from a different manufacturer but after looking at axles and tires realized I need to shop somewhere else.
__________________
Sparechange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 10:53 AM   #46
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,205
Tejay, I think what's happened is you didn't do your home work and made some poor decisions on what TT's you bought. You say you bought 3 TT's and all were junk. Why didn't you put 2 an 2 together and look for a TT with better suspension components? They're out there. All you have to do is read the manufactures web site and look at the TT's CCC rating. It took us buying 3 trailers to figure out what was built right as opposed to a generic trailer.
You say all TT's are junk because you bought some low end under built units, so therefore all TT's are then junk. That's just not true. Many units out there are built well enough for the average user. Some are built with FT in mind. If you are a weekender then by all means buy a lesser built unit. If you plan on putting 4-5000 miles and spending 40-60 nights in it then you need to look for a unit that can withstand that type of use.
And by the way cars and trucks haven't needed their bearings repacked for the last 30 years or longer. They all use sealed bearings. I'm not sure where you're getting some of your info from but some of it's just not true.


With all this being said, yes the RV industry does pump out some junk. Buyer beware. Problem is as you have mentioned is that too many buyers rely on the dealer or other misinformed people to help them with decisions. As an example. The last RV show we were at I overheard a young couple ask the RV salesman " which one do you think would be best?". I also watched a video from the CEO's of Grand Design RV say that 30% of RV buyers are 1st timers. That's a pretty high number IMO. That explains part of the reason why there's so much junk out there. Other than an under paid labor force that could care less and a management team that's only concerned about the bottom line, if 30% of buyers are 1st timers then it's a lot easier to fool them with all the fancy exterior colors and schemes. They have no clue what they're looking for or at.
__________________
Cumminsfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 11:45 AM   #47
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 4,682
Cumminsfan,

I taught HS for 35 years starting in 1971 and finished in 2006. I am aware that most vehicles these days use sealed bearings but TT's don't and I was referring back to the time when there were few if any FWD vehicles and almost all RWD vehicles had the same set up as today's TT's. I am not that uninformed and I didn't go into that complete explanation because I figured you'd know what I was talking about. I guess I was wrong.

No I didn't do my homework and paid the price. The 2nd and 3rd TT's were the same. It was a FR product that we did like except for the thin frame. On our first trip and with less than 1,000 miles on it we were broadsided (totaled) by a dump truck at a fuel stop in IN. It was his fault and within 30 days all insurance was settled. WE ordered another one just like it. I really liked the Dexter Tor-Flex axles and was going to put shocks under it as wellwhen the DW said, "Lets get a MH" So we did.

TeJay
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 04:16 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 4,682
Added point. We had to do some shopping for a trip.

Three trailers still use the standard two bearings with an inner seal: Boat, Utility and TT's. That still does not make the need to service them every 12,000 miles or 12 months does it? If it was good enough to do every 30,000 before it should be good today.

My statement is still the same. Most, and that's the operative word, TT's are junk a bit harsh or built on the edge of destruction. Yes some are good but they are few and far between. I think I've heard of around 3-6 manufacturers who do a decent job. Where did I get my information? From reading scores of posts on the Hartland and FR forums. Yes I know the squeaking wheel gets the grease or those with the issues speak the loudest and they may not be the majority but there were a lot of them.

I've worked on a few 70-K 5th wheels and it was the same. Any manufacturer who installs shocks on a 5th wheel almost horizontal and the suspension travels vertical is just a joke. And the shocks had studs at both ends. You know this but i don't want to leave any stone un-turned. Studded shocks are designed only for shocks that work when the suspension moves on a vertical plane. There is no or little arc when the suspension compresses. Those shocks could not work. It was an engineering impossibility.

I realize just because a 5th wheel costs 70+K does not mean that it's better than an entry level TT but is should mean something. I've even had master RVIA techs tell me that most TT's are junk.

Enough of the negative crap. Onward and upward life is to short. Besides I don't have a TT and I've got issues with the MH as well but i like solving the issues. IOf you have a home on wheels you have things to fix. Challenges every day.

TeJay
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 05:04 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Davie, Florida
Posts: 719
Unfortunately this discussion seems to center on quality points that the average 1st time buyer would not recognize. May I suggest looking for visible quality points like AC duct work that is actually just carved slots in the Styrofoam insulation. Messy grout lines or missing grout work. Missing screws anywhere but noticeably behind window valences or screws set at bad angles in cabinet hinges. Litter and construction material found in the bottoms of cabinets and water leaks. I would further suggest a water test of all tanks to see if they leak and if they actually hold the advertised amount of water.
__________________
Denis, Ruth and Gracie
the K-9 Dashboard Ornament
2007 Newmar Baystar 3202
D in Davie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 06:11 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 4,682
That's an excellent point Denis. You are correct. Looking at the fit and finish might give a clue as to the quality.

The industry touts the fact that 30% of TT buyers are first timers. That fact was pointed out by poster #46. They are not knowledgeable enough to see the weak areas of the TT industry. I was knowledgeable but just assumed that they were doing everything they were supposed to do.

Look at it this way. I had 40 years of vehicle buying experience. Everything I had ever bought for the previous 40-45 years had shocks and self adjusting breaks. Why would I think somebody had all of a sudden decided to not put those items on my first TT???

That mind set was created by the fact that everything that I had bought over the previous 40 years always came with those items as standard equipment. What would lead me to believe that they wouldn't come on a TT??? Daaaah!!! Needless to say I was surprised and shocked as well.

TeJay
__________________
TeJay Auto Instructor/4-yrs USAF/ Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/CHF/5-Star/Koni * Bella & Izzy * Golden /Cocker mix/ Louie The Cat* All Retired
TeJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2015, 08:10 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 302
The American automobile industry thought they were doing quite well. People were buying their cars as fast as they could build them. Then a funny little car from Germany arrived. A few years later there were all sorts of funny little foreign cars running around, and they were eating into the sales of American cars. The manufacturers started paying attention to why people were buying those foreign cars instead of the American ones. They found out that price, fuel economy, and quality were driving those sales. Eventually the few American manufacturers that were left got the message. Today the American-built cars are as good as the imports.

Somehow I don't think that anything like that will hit the RV industry, although it certainly needs it. I'm on several RV forums, some general and some brand-specific, and quality (or lack thereof) is one of the top discussion points. It doesn't matter the price. On the other side of the question, there are buyers (usually first time buyers) who think that whatever they buy should be absolutely perfect.

To continue with the automotive analogy, when we buy a new car, it comes with a warranty that will be honored by any dealer for that brand. That isn't true for an RV. We must go back to the selling dealer for warranty work. (Yes, I know that some don't follow that model, but the majority do.) The dealer, thanks to the short warranty period, has every incentive to delay the warranty work until the warranty runs out. After all, the dealer will get more money for his labor from a paying customer than from the factory.

What to do? First of all, those who are buying new coaches need to educate themselves about what quality looks like and then demand it in the coaches they buy. Join the owners association and the brand forum. Start lobbying for higher quality there, and then put your money where your mouth is. When the manufacturer builds a high quality line, buy it. Second, start lobbying for the factory to franchise dealers. That means that the dealer agrees to carry a certain amount of inventory (both coaches and parts) and that any warranty claim will be honored by any dealer. That also means that the factory needs to pay warranty claims at the normal rate.

I realize that I'm far from an expert in any of this, since I've purchased exactly one new car (actually a left-over from the previous year) and one new trailer in my life. Everything else has been used, with little or no warranty. The one new trailer was our mpg, and we knew that it wasn't a high quality unit going in. We bought it as a learner. We had very few warranty issues with it.

Back to the original question, though, what are the high quality travel trailers out there? I suspect that there are a few brands that are no longer being made, thanks to the economic downturn, but still were high quality coaches. I'm thinking of brands like Avion and Silver Streak, which were competitors of Airstream. Open Range has recently redone their lineup, moving their Journeyer TT coaches into another line. Arctic Fox has already been mentioned, as well as Airstream. What else?
__________________
David, kb0zke
Mercury Mountaineer towing mpg 181(both sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 40'
kb0zke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2015, 12:14 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Davie, Florida
Posts: 719
Some of the most interesting designs and quality standards are coming from the manufacturers with the smallest products. Cricket, and a number of teardrop trailers that I've seen seem to be exceptional but just not functional for a guy of my size and age. Some of the trailers made in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe are very creative but they are not here yet. I also think the great recession weeded out some of the worst manufacturers as well like R-Vision. Unfortunately Thor bought up a number of failing manufacturers so you still have to be vigilant.
__________________
Denis, Ruth and Gracie
the K-9 Dashboard Ornament
2007 Newmar Baystar 3202
D in Davie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 09:14 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 2,454
Update - my friends ended up with a Rockwood V-Nose 30' trailer with the kitchen in the front and bedroom in the back. They liked the floorplan. They gave up looking any deeper.
__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 11:47 PM   #54
Lac
Senior Member
 
Lac's Avatar
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Kamloops BC Canada
Posts: 1,088
It's intersting that we all complain ( me included) about the quality of TT and yet we still buy them...we are own worst enemies.

Why do we accept sub standard product?

We own a Windriver an Outdoors RV Manufacturing product...great chassis/frame with shocks and 15 inch tires. I did a tour of their plant and can understand how they have quality issues.
I wish there was a Europeon manufacturer making TT in Canada or the US or better yet a company in North American that makes good ones. ( that is my budget)
I think our Windriver is a good one..but there is a lot of room for improvement.

IMHO

Coops
__________________
2013 Wind River 250 RDSW
2012 Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins
Member Outdoors RV Forum
Lac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2015, 01:05 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 2,454
I think there are so many new people buying TT's the the manufactures can get away with building trailers just good enough.

You know if you built your own trailer you would use all screws and no staples. And all screws would be torqued nice and tight. You would use heavier axles and solid wood for cabinets. To me both the material and the workmanship are shoddy at best.

But after looking and looking my friends crossed their fingers and picked a trailer that they liked the floorplan...bottom line.
__________________

__________________
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
quality



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ensuring water quality? Jpdkmd iRV2.com General Discussion 31 07-15-2015 09:36 AM
Why is there even a need to discuss Quality? dpinvidic iRV2.com General Discussion 130 05-07-2015 01:32 PM
Today is the day wadders Class A Motorhome Discussions 15 04-05-2015 08:19 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.