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Old 07-12-2016, 05:23 AM   #113
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FWIW Interesting to watch him contradict himself. I did not look but AFAIK Lippert makes most of the major parts we complain about. I also seem to recall Norcold and Dometic are owned by the same people.

I see the same parallel in the home DIY market. Look into Lowes, Home Depot and ACE Hardware and how they dominate. For that matter it's the Walmart model too.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:49 AM   #114
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FWIW Interesting to watch him contradict himself. I did not look but AFAIK Lippert makes most of the major parts we complain about. I also seem to recall Norcold and Dometic are owned by the same people.

I see the same parallel in the home DIY market. Look into Lowes, Home Depot and ACE Hardware and how they dominate. For that matter it's the Walmart model too.

I agree. I have been reading the articles and unfortunately they are, IMO, comprised as a lot of generalities and hearsay with few actual industry wide problems. The RV industry does have problems with quality and seem to be brought about to be the 'explosion' of people buying RVs, many of whom have no clue as to what they are getting themselves into, be it a simple no frills pop up to a 6-7 figure, all bells included, Class A. I see those folks in our very small summer retreat CG struggling with simple items - I can only guess as to what maintenance goes into each RV.

I was hoping that his articles would offer some solutions to the real and perceived problems instead of several thousand words b#$%hing and complaining.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:25 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW Interesting to watch him contradict himself. I did not look but AFAIK Lippert makes most of the major parts we complain about. I also seem to recall Norcold and Dometic are owned by the same people.

I see the same parallel in the home DIY market. Look into Lowes, Home Depot and ACE Hardware and how they dominate. For that matter it's the Walmart model too.
It's a series of articles, perhaps he's setting the scene with the first few articles and will offer suggestions as to how to change the industry in the follow-up articles.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:30 AM   #116
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I agree. I have been reading the articles and unfortunately they are, IMO, comprised as a lot of generalities and hearsay with few actual industry wide problems. The RV industry does have problems with quality and seem to be brought about to be the 'explosion' of people buying RVs, many of whom have no clue as to what they are getting themselves into, be it a simple no frills pop up to a 6-7 figure, all bells included, Class A. I see those folks in our very small summer retreat CG struggling with simple items - I can only guess as to what maintenance goes into each RV.

I was hoping that his articles would offer some solutions to the real and perceived problems instead of several thousand words b#$%hing and complaining.
I was thinking this on the previous article. He offers up a few stories about issues, but gives us no hard numbers. It's not eye opening, nor revealing. It's all stories we have read on these boards.

I'm not arguing the truth of QC shortcomings in the industry, but give me numbers. What is the average number of items on the first punch list. How many RV's have warranty work done in that first year? How many times? What are the most common failures? What is the average life span of a water heater, water pump, fridge, etc?

Of course, none of this is readily available. One would have to get off the couch and do some investigating.

Without numbers to disprove or prove the theory, the author is doing nothing more than what we do here on the boards.

The answer to the title of this thread:
Wake up call? More like an alarm clock, and the industry will just hit snooze.

Again.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:15 AM   #117
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I'm much more worried about crowded campgrounds and inadequate RV parks.
as part of the discussion, I would agree that more RV parking site options would be nice for travelers. While we use the 'large parking lot' of big box stores periodically, it's really due to the fact that easily accessible, easy-to-find, and economical RV parks are not always available to RV travelers who just need an 'overnighter' while passing through.
Granted, RV parks and Campgrounds are businesses, and must be profitable to keep the doors open, it would be interesting to see a new type of RV parking option open up for RV travelers that would cater to easy-in, very simple or self registration/payment, with only basic services needed.

One of the most interesting RV Parks we have ever had the pleasure of overnighting at was somewhere out in Kansas, if my memory is correct, and called 'RV EXPRESS', or similar name. It was right of the interstate with about 15 or 16 sites, most being pull thrus, with full hookups, on a gravel lot.

The 'office', if you'd call it that, was a small building for self registration. A large board on the wall showed the layout of the property and provided a TAG number hung from each available site. Instructions said to remove an available site TAG, insert into a provided envelope, along with your simple 'cash only' payment($15 maybe?), and insert the sealed envelope into the provided payment slot.

This RV Park is not reserveable, is not 'manned', and the owner/collector only comes by sometime during the night or early morning to collect the payments.

Maybe one or two of these will be my next venture : )
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:06 AM   #118
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Could you even pay your taxes and insurance on that with that revenue? Not to mention the first time "off balance Johnny" falls in the gravel parking lot and sues, or farsighted Sally backs into something because of "lack of proper lighting", or something is stolen, or someone is attacked because "you failed to provided proper security" ! ........or the cost of clean up when some knucklehead dumps his / her black tank there because "you failed to provide a dump station" !
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:36 AM   #119
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This story is a wakeup call for the manufacturers. All it will take is for a single manufacturer to scrap the current RVIA building standards and build to common sense standards and people will sing its praises in the forums. It's the old, build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, scenario.
The RVIA Standards only address the utilities in motorhomes and park models. The standards are all referenced to applicable Federal Standards such as ANSI, NFPA, NEC, and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and cover utilities such as the 12-volt electrical system, the 120 volt electrical system, LP system, plumbing system, etc.

There are no RVIA Standards or Federal Standards for quality control, design features, material types and quality, cost, longevity, ride quality, "earthquake resistance", fit and finish, etc. and there never will be or should be.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association: Standards

Consumers are the only ones who ultimately determine what quality is built into a motorhome or park model not RVIA or the Federal government.

I am not connected to Winnebago in any way, but I would like to see more manufacturers follow Winnebago's example. They have an on-site, nearly half-mile motorhome test track that replicates the worst roads in the US. New motorhome designs are tested on the track prior to production. They do the famous "motorhome upside down drop test" to test structural integrity on new designs. They do the leak test in a "hurricane" booth.

It would be wise for other manufacturers to give this same attention to quality and even more. It is essential for their very long-term survival.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:48 AM   #120
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A future article will be the subject of campgrounds and I will read it with interest as I think the future of RVing is in the experience one gets at the campground not with the RV itself.

That being said I think folks are expecting too much from the manufactures. Yes you should expect a new RV to be in working order when you receive it. The problem is most of us don't want to pay for the materials, engineering, and labor it takes to produce such a product. There is enough competition to weed out the builders with poor QC, but that's not happening because the manufactures know their competition is producing the same poor QC product and they are selling like hotcakes.

A comparison to the auto industry is not valid in my opinion. A car is a necessity and it's reliability is a necessity. Everyone owns and needs a reliable car. An RV is not a necessity and most folks are putting up with the poor quality control to own one.

I think most builders are pricing their products to appeal to the retiring baby boomers. Most of us boomers can't afford a mid level new 40' DP which has better QC, materials and engineering. So the manufactures build to what we can afford with the inherent problems.

The solution may be for the manufactures to increase the quality of their gas rigs and price them accordingly, stop producing cheap DP's and leave the mid and high level DP's to the rich folks.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #121
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I am not connected to Winnebago in any way, but I would like to see more manufacturers follow Winnebago's example. They have an on-site, nearly half-mile motorhome test track that replicates the worst roads in the US. New motorhome designs are tested on the track prior to production. They do the famous "motorhome upside down drop test" to test structural integrity on new designs. They do the leak test in a "hurricane" booth.
Then why do we read of Winnebago owners having roof and water problems?
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:02 AM   #122
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Which RV manufacturers or suppliers hold ISO certifications?
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:13 AM   #123
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A future article will be the subject of campgrounds and I will read it with interest as I think the future of RVing is in the experience one gets at the campground not with the RV itself.

That being said I think folks are expecting too much from the manufactures. Yes you should expect a new RV to be in working order when you receive it. The problem is most of us don't want to pay for the materials, engineering, and labor it takes to produce such a product. There is enough competition to weed out the builders with poor QC, but that's not happening because the manufactures know their competition is producing the same poor QC product and they are selling like hotcakes.

A comparison to the auto industry is not valid in my opinion. A car is a necessity and it's reliability is a necessity. Everyone owns and needs a reliable car. An RV is not a necessity and most folks are putting up with the poor quality control to own one.

I think most builders are pricing their products to appeal to the retiring baby boomers. Most of us boomers can't afford a mid level new 40' DP which has better QC, materials and engineering. So the manufactures build to what we can afford with the inherent problems.

The solution may be for the manufactures to increase the quality of their gas rigs and price them accordingly, stop producing cheap DP's and leave the mid and high level DP's to the rich folks.

Just my opinion.
I for one, and I'm sure I'm not alone, don't mind paying for quality. We started with a very nice Cherokee 22rr and I totaled it. My fault, not Forest Rivers. We moved up to more room and a better floor plan with a 26rr model. Love it but wanted more creature comforts and room. Now own a Keystone Impact 312. Love it!

Is it perfect? Not a chance. Am I pleased? Absolutely. Was it more expensive than my 26rr? Much more, but I don't mind because I believe that I have gotten good value for the cost.

That is the bottom line. If you feel that low balling a dealer gives you good value, then good for you! But don't complain when it falls apart. That was your choice.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:19 AM   #124
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That is the bottom line. If you feel that low balling a dealer gives you good value, then good for you! But don't complain when it falls apart. That was your choice.
Well the dealer doesn't have much to do with the quality of the unit, but your point is well made. You can't expect to pay for a Yugo and get the quality and performance of a Mercedes. Unfortunately many people do.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:53 AM   #125
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It's not eye opening, nor revealing. It's all stories we have read on these boards.
Agreed. But what makes this interesting is that he's the first industry insider reporter not to simply write glowing stories about the RV and motorhome industry. I'm hooked on this series and hope that in some way, it gets the right attention and makes a difference.

Let's face it, the RVIA standards used today are simply outdated. Hence, the never ending punch list.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:56 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
The RVIA Standards only address the utilities in motorhomes and park models. The standards are all referenced to applicable Federal Standards such as ANSI, NFPA, NEC, and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and cover utilities such as the 12-volt electrical system, the 120 volt electrical system, LP system, plumbing system, etc.

There are no RVIA Standards or Federal Standards for quality control, design features, material types and quality, cost, longevity, ride quality, "earthquake resistance", fit and finish, etc. and there never will be or should be.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association: Standards

Consumers are the only ones who ultimately determine what quality is built into a motorhome or park model not RVIA or the Federal government.

I am not connected to Winnebago in any way, but I would like to see more manufacturers follow Winnebago's example. They have an on-site, nearly half-mile motorhome test track that replicates the worst roads in the US. New motorhome designs are tested on the track prior to production. They do the famous "motorhome upside down drop test" to test structural integrity on new designs. They do the leak test in a "hurricane" booth.

It would be wise for other manufacturers to give this same attention to quality and even more. It is essential for their very long-term survival.
They build the prototypes knowing what kind of tests they will be put through. I'm sure that quality control on those "test" models is 100%. It's when they build yours that QC falls by the wayside.
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