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Old 09-08-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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RV Consumer Group - Are their ratings any good?

Would anyone care to provide their thoughts on the RV Consumer Group ratings? As with any consumer rating service, I find that they are not a substitute for one doing his/her own due diligence, but they can provide helpful information that can assist with the due diligence process. As for the RV Group, are their ratings reliable? Do they provide useful information that can assist with the selection process? As always, thanks for any comments you might be willing to offer.

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Old 09-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
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Would anyone care to provide their thoughts on the RV Consumer Group ratings? As with any consumer rating service, I find that they are not a substitute for one doing his/her own due diligence, but they can provide helpful information that can assist with the due diligence process. As for the RV Group, are their ratings reliable? Do they provide useful information that can assist with the selection process? As always, thanks for any comments you might be willing to offer.

Regards,
OWV
I looked at their ratings back when I was shopping for a full timing coach. I concluded that their rating might be one piece of a very large puzzle. J D Galant is extremely opinionated and that is not always a good thing. The rating on "handling" is generally pretty good but not always.

So long as you understand that their ratings come mostly from manufacturers brochures and not from inspections or test drives and take them as a possibly flawed guide.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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I agree that their info is just their opinion. They don't test RVs, they just read about them.

There are thousands of RVers, both part time and full time that are perfectly content with their RV that RVCG doesn't approve of.

I take their info as just another source and not definitive.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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I used the RVCG ratings to narrow down my selection of used motorhomes 4 years ago. I found their information to be very accurate.

It is also true that most people that I talk to like their RVs. And most people like what they chose to buy.

If my current motorhome would burst into flame and burn down and I wanted to replace it the first thing I would do is get the latest information from the RVCG.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:07 PM   #5
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I used the RVCG reports extensively when deciding which type, brand, and then model to shop for. I found their ratings to be generally accurate in areas having to do with manufacturing quality or fit and finish. Suitability ("fulltiming", "snowbirding", etc.) is a designation with a broad overlap between categories, derived through a combination of manufacturing quality and owner opinion. Handling ratings are opinions derived through the analysis of company provided engineering data.

Mr Galant clearly has no high opinion of motorhome manufacturers, but that alone does not render his conclusions erroneous. His explanations of the methods used to reach his conclusions seem reasonable, and his discussion of chassis design factors make sense to me, particularly in the area of wheelbase::length ratio and its effect on handling and stability.

Most of the criticisms of RVCG that I've read online are based on factors already addressed and discussed on the RVCG site. They do not perform testing or test drives, primarily because manufacturers will not provide motorhomes to them. They base analyses on personal observation, company provided build or engineering data, or user information. A commenter on one forum even suggested we should disregard Galant's opinions because he and his staff are not active RVers.

Steve, Route66, and B Bob above are essentially correct, and I would concur. RVCG information should be used as one factor in a decision that you can feel comfortable with. That being said, I will comment that I personally did not find their ratings or opinions to be wrong regarding any coach that I looked at while searching, and in general found their advice to be very helpful. I would use their information again.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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RVCG's ratings represent JD Galant's opinions about RVs.You can get dozens or even hundreds of other opinions right here, and free too. Are Galant's opinions any better? Maybe better than some of those who have experienced only one or maybe two RVs, but probably not better than some of the many very experienced RVers you will find here (and elsewhere on the net as well). Use all the opinion sources you can get, but don't equate any of them with Gospel Truth.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #7
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Gary RVRoamer - I think you misrepresent the RVCG's work. Most of what they publish is not subjective. Certainly their handling ratios are not. The CCC capacity number is not. Their approx new price is not. And their quality ratings are based in a large part by volunteers that belong to the RVCG and go out to inspect coaches at places like RV shows and so on.

You are correct that come of the information presented on this web site is very useful. However, they are not a substitute for what the RVCG does. When I shopped for a used motorhome 4 years ago I would take their compilation CD with me and a laptop when my wife and I would visit dealers or go to see coaches listed by private parties. I could easily get the CCC, tow rating, and other capacity information within one minute. You cannot do that easily with this web site.

I find this web site very entertaining and informative. I enjoy using it and have watched it for a number of years. But it is in no way a replacement for what the RVCG tries to do.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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+1 on B Bob's post. The iRV2 and RVCG are two different entities that serve different but slightly overlapping purposes. iRV2 is invaluable and broadbased in dealing with day to day RVing information, camaraderie, and problem resolution. The RVCG provides specific, targeted research data for those who need rapid, succinct information on a specific RV model. Neither can replace the other.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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Gary RVRoamer - I think you misrepresent the RVCG's work. Most of what they publish is not subjective. Certainly their handling ratios are not. The CCC capacity number is not.
My perspective is a bit different. Simply putting a number on something doesn't make it objective. RVCG sets arbitrary and subjective standards for "handling ratios" and CCC. It's not the number itself that is subjective, it's the conclusion based on comparing numbers. You may choose to believe the RVCG premise that a certain number is OK and another is not, but I think they are just opinions.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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I used their ratings to compare coaches but in the end reading this blog in the owners forum section gave me 10X the information versus the RV Consumer Group.

The one category I have issues with is the handling rating. I expected a rough handling coach based on the ratings but found a much different (Pleasant) experience.

I have found the busier the owners section the more trouble. People tend to not blog about how great their coach is but when they have issues. I steered clear of several manufacturers just from reading this blog. And as always steer clear of a first year model, unless you like to trouble shoot for the manufacturer.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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I used RVCG's ratings when researching which RV to purchase for full-timing. I found them very useful.

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Old 09-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #12
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....The one category I have issues with is the handling rating. I expected a rough handling coach based on the ratings but found a much different (Pleasant) experience. .
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Philip, I'm not trying to be a wise ass here, but could you clarify as to whether the suspension mods went in before or after you test drove your coach? And, why?
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:31 PM   #13
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Philip, I'm not trying to be a wise ass here, but could you clarify as to whether the suspension mods went in before or after you test drove your coach? And, why?
Sure, it's a fair question. My answer is easy. If you have spent any time reading this blog and researching the Ford Chassis you would also know that all the gas class A coaches with the Ford chassis have all recommended some chassis mods. I felt it best to just do them all and not worry about it. I enjoy doing the mods and felt they were just as much for safety incase of tie blow out, high winds and rough roads. I've found the rear track bar was well worth the time and money.

All of the Gas class A owners with the Ford chassis will tell you these mods do make a difference. The coach handled fine on the drive home, but I'm always looking to improve.

Thanks for asking. Home work pays off and if you owned a gas class A with the Ford chassis I doubt you would have asked.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #14
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+1 on B Bob's post. The iRV2 and RVCG are two different entities that serve different but slightly overlapping purposes. iRV2 is invaluable and broadbased in dealing with day to day RVing information, camaraderie, and problem resolution. The RVCG provides specific, targeted research data for those who need rapid, succinct information on a specific RV model. Neither can replace the other.
I found the information on RVCG to be very general in nature. The manufacturers and model breakdowns all were cookie cutter with no details. This blog gives very detailed information including pictures of mods and issues and how to correct any issues. The RVCG has no pictures, details of consumer complaints or potential fixes as does this blog.

There has been a big consolidation in the RV industry and RVCG lacks many of this data and many models are missing from their rating charts.

The rating system used on RVCG is very basic and general. If you want to know the real stuff about any coach just research or inquire on this blog for straight answers, not a rating or a guess like RVCG.
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