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Old 05-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #15
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See post #3, welcome to the club, you are one of the few people that would pay more for the same RV.
Now the million dollar question... do you replace the hardware with SS when you remove it for any reason? I have about 1/3 done on my box trailer, no where near as much in the RV.

On the Camry, I am going to guess you do not want to compare the 110,000 Toyota pickups that were recalled for frame rust. There was also a gas pedal fix recall involving 3.8 million or so (but not rust). Camry is in at least a couple recalls.

Point: everyone has recalls at one time or another. It is how they are handled that makes a difference.

Oh, according to ABC news, 80% of the Camry "contains U.S. parts."
It is hard to make generalizations anymore.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:43 PM   #16
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So, what sort of person would come onto an RV enthusiast forum, and with his first two posts try to convince the members that no one should buy an RV?

Besides, if his argument is that it would be cheaper to just rent or stay in motels, then his argument is moot. I'm not interested in the cheapest way to go on vacation, I'm interested in the BEST way. And that, without question, is in MY RV.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #17
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This is "Negative Neils" 2nd post and I'm guessing he's not going to make a lot of friends. Do I naively think my travel trailer is going to last 30 years? No. Did I worry about the rust on the frame when I bought it? No. We live in Wisconsin - we deal with corrosive salt every winter. Rust is a matter of fact in our climate. If he's telling people not to buy an RV and to stay in hotels instead, then what the heck is he doing owning and driving one? Seems to me he should have sold his unit and started making reservations at the local Holiday Inn. Frankly, I can do without his piss poor attitude and "advice."
We deal with the same corrosive salt every winter up here too. I'm always intrigued by those concerned with surface rust on the 1/4" - 3/8" thick steel frames. OK. It's rust. How many years do you think it will take to eat through or even weaken that frame? Betcha it'll out live you!

In our environment, you want to see a real problem, join aluminum and stainless steel parts together and watch the corrosion event!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:58 PM   #18
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Anyone who doesn't believe that the Japanese didn't give us a lesson on how to put quality into our autos is just blind. Do any of you older folks remember 20k valve jobs, 20k tune ups, fenders rusting out in 2 years, brake jobs at 25k, carb. rebuilds at 30k & numerous paint problems & the car going to the junk yard at 100k if you were lucky. Not to mention the poor resale value of US cars. Today we drive American cars that are far superior as a result of those lessons.

So why can't those lessons be transferred into our RV's. Expense yes, but not as much as many of you all think. The price difference for quality would be minimal if spread over the entire assembly line. RV assembly at times is just sloppy. Shove it out the door & let the dealers deal with it. Many will disagree but that was the attitude in our US automobile factories in the 60's & 70's. Some took notice & kicked our rears. Time for RV manufacturers to take notice & improve the quality of their product.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #19
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Five years ago we contemplated buying a new Country Coach in Hastings, Nebraska. All the compartment struts were solid rust. We now own a 1989 Foretravel 36' Grand Villa with 74,000 miles on it and it still has no rust!! And we live in North Central Wisconsin where they use a lot of salt!!
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:36 AM   #20
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Anyone who doesn't believe that the Japanese didn't give us a lesson on how to put quality into our autos is just blind. Do any of you older folks remember 20k valve jobs, 20k tune ups, fenders rusting out in 2 years, brake jobs at 25k, carb. rebuilds at 30k & numerous paint problems & the car going to the junk yard at 100k if you were lucky. Not to mention the poor resale value of US cars. Today we drive American cars that are far superior as a result of those lessons.

So why can't those lessons be transferred into our RV's. Expense yes, but not as much as many of you all think. The price difference for quality would be minimal if spread over the entire assembly line. RV assembly at times is just sloppy. Shove it out the door & let the dealers deal with it. Many will disagree but that was the attitude in our US automobile factories in the 60's & 70's. Some took notice & kicked our rears. Time for RV manufacturers to take notice & improve the quality of their product.
Yes, I remember back in the 60s and 70s. We ran two Ford pick up trucks in our business. Traded them every 2 years /40,000 miles. We had to trade them in to avoid spending the same money in repairs.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #21
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You are right of course but will agree with the original poster on one point, there is some room for improvement. For example, the last RV show I went to, I was looking at brand new trailers that already had rusting fasteners. While it might be impractical to get a TT made of stainless, would it really kill the manufacturers to us stainless screws particularly in areas that are exposed to the elements. I have done a lot of my own replacements and it literally cost me about $40.00 in screws. It is pure laziness so far as that is concerned, not price, not weight. A company like Winnebago could order stainless fasteners for almost nothing compared to retail buyers like myself. The same goes for particle board. Far too much of this used and when it gets wet it crumbles. Why not Marine Plywood or something bound to endure a little better? It need not cost $$$ to make a few subtle improvements that would make the end owner happier and more satisfied. I would rather spend a few hundred more for something made with some improved materials than not.
Sirpurrcival, you're right on about the fasteners used. Our previous RV was a 2003 Trail-lite TT that was really a fairly well made trailer for it's design, ultra-light weight. However, the screws started rusting shortly after we bought it. I replaced all the exterior screws with SS and it cost me about the same as you.
And the overall quality of our Winnebago Aspect is quite good. We bought it used, so all the problems had already been taken care of. Yes, we have some frame rust but that doesn't concern me.
I'm always amazed that you can drive a house down our lousy roads and not have cabinets flying off the walls. Somebody must be doing SOMETHING right!
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #22
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Sirpurrcival, you're right on about the fasteners used. Our previous RV was a 2003 Trail-lite TT that was really a fairly well made trailer for it's design, ultra-light weight. However, the screws started rusting shortly after we bought it. I replaced all the exterior screws with SS and it cost me about the same as you.
And the overall quality of our Winnebago Aspect is quite good. We bought it used, so all the problems had already been taken care of. Yes, we have some frame rust but that doesn't concern me.
I'm always amazed that you can drive a house down our lousy roads and not have cabinets flying off the walls. Somebody must be doing SOMETHING right!
But PA has the worst bridges, if the RV can survive the bridges you have got it made... LOL... ...hey wait I live in PA... ...sigh...
Guess I should check for loose screws... in the RV.

I know I have a few.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:50 PM   #23
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Just bought Fleetwood Jamboree, had some minor problems, but overall good quality build. Dealer took care of all complaints, nothing I couldn't fix myself, but had dealer do it so they were aware.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #24
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After spending 14 years in the US Navy one thing I learned about metal is that it rusts. On any ship in the US Navy there is a constant battle between the rust and the crew. Your camper is no different but you can retard the process. Washing the RV on a regular basis can retard rust and where you store it makes all the difference. If you store it near the ocean it is going to become toast in no time at all but if you store it at an inside storage place you will find that it will not rust as fast.

RV is a lifestyle you go to the RV parks to have fun and meet new people. If you want to see high maintenance buy a boat... Definition of a boat is a hole in the water in which to throw money an RV is a land yacht.

Yes the RV industry could make the changes that would make our lives better but that would mean increasing the cost. You could remove your bumper and have it sandblasted then powder coated for about $2000 or you can get a can of rustolium and spray the rust away...
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:36 AM   #25
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So the conclusion is still: Stay away from buying an RV and either rent or take a vacation in an expensive hotel. Because owning an RV and paying for its yearly maintenance is easily going to top your expensive hotel trip bill by far and that hotel trip will not give you headaches throughout the rest of the year.
It been said many times, but it's not the destination but the trip that matters.

We have all read a lot about rust but that's what happens to a vehicles that sits outside 24/7 that are made out of steel.

I guess that one might try 300 pounds of Ziebart but that wouldn't work and a stainless steel framed vehicle would place it out of most people's budgets.

You opinion although valued will not keep me from riding my rig down the road ... rust and all included.

Now take this to the extreme and tell the Navy that they shouldn't sail their ships out to sea because they will rust. That's why they make bosun's chairs and gray paint.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:53 AM   #26
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Well... I guess we could have aircraft quality RVs. Have you priced an aircraft lately? Have you priced maintenance on an airplane lately? Airplanes last for MANY years, primarily based upon the materials used, and the maintenance schedules involved. Your RV, car, boat, etc. would last 50+ years if it had a maintenance schedule like a 747...

But, having just started using an RV to facilitate going to model competitions, trout fishing, etc., I am truly removed from the motel croud, because the fun is being where the fun is... not at the motel. I recently went to a large model glider competition in Queen Creek, AZ. Every night for 6 nights, we had a big campfire and lots of fun around it... That's why I RV. Those at the motels... weren't there...
Hate to tell you this but those large aircraft you trust in when you fly have corrosion issues also. We don't see them falling apart due to the extensive maintenance that is performed on a regular basis. That you are correct about. In my 30+ years of aircraft maintenance I have replaced countless belly skins, frames, stringers and floor beams all due to corrosion or cracks from fatigue. I'll take my chances with a surface rusted area on my RV frame rather than deal with a fatigue crack on an aluminum frame that was not detected or intergranular corrosion that can't be detected with out ndt inspections.

I love the idea of traveling with my RV and would/will buy another one that will cost more than I could ever pay staying in motels. As previously stated is not about the cost its the experience.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:11 AM   #27
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My background is in nondestructive testing an quality control and I have worked on everything from the space shuttle to carnival rides and a stint in a steel mill producing for the big three.
When we decided we wanted a trailer and true to my QC background I stared with studying what fails, starting with restorations and the conclusions were in order of importance rot and rust.
Our trailer is custom built and has an all aluminum frame and what wood there is, is minimal and good quality well protected. I selected the components that went into fitting it out and in most cases sent them to the manufacture. Marine LED lights, Bullfinch shower and gas points I imported from the UK solar mounts I found and imported from the manufacturer in China.
There are manufacturers that make a quality products but you need to be involved in searching them out and being prepared to dig into processes. If it is a steel frame how are they protecting or not protecting it. EU trailer frames are often galvanized, horse trailers in the US are mostly aluminum. I have never heard of quality complaints concerning Airstream trailers, though I am sure there likely are.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:14 PM   #28
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I have been driving an RV for 5 years now and as quality is an overall issue on the RV's I wondered if the RV industry made some improvements.
My RV Winnebago 2001 on a Ford E450 has many quality related issues. The one thing that's sticks out is RUST. Rust is everywhere; any part of the RV that is made from metal is totally rusted and makes the vehicle look old and dilapidated in less than 5 years. This and many other issues can be read in this blog: Why you should not buy an RV that I found the other day.
So we are now 5 years later and we just went thru a big financial crisis where especially this industry got hit hard. Many RV makers went belly up and I was hoping that lessons learned would put this industry in a different thinking mode, ie "Let's see if we can make them better and customers might come back".
Nothing is further from the truth. I went to an RV dealer and looked at the 2012 Gulf Stream VISA 23RBK. The one thing that I noticed immediately is that the formaldehyde scare after Katrina got their attention (http://do-not-buy-an-rv.tumblr.com/Formaldehyde) and this trailer had a certification in low VOC.
So that's good, however one dip under the trailer revealed a rusted area of over a foot long on the frame. Knowing that this trailer had not driven one mile and spend it's entire live in the showroom you and I know what this means once you own the vehicle. Rust, rust and more rust. So looking more closely at the vehicle and comparing the other issues I have with my RV I must report that nothing has changed.
So the conclusion is still: Stay away from buying an RV and either rent or take a vacation in an expensive hotel. Because owning an RV and paying for its yearly maintenance is easily going to top your expensive hotel trip bill by far and that hotel trip will not give you headaches throughout the rest of the year.
After reading that blog and not being able to get that time in my life back he is clearly slanted and couldn't be happy with an American made anything. Yes quality could be better but I have owned Mercedes, Acura and Lexus and none of them were any better than my current 2010 Taurus, in fact all of the above were in the shop and my Taurus has never been in except for oil changes. Does that make the Taurus better, of course not, but my experience with Ford since 1982 has been much better than foriegn car makes, so I buy Ford. Thats what we all do, buy what has worked for us.

I have seen some European RV's when I traveled to Norway, wasn't impressed. In fact I'd put up the average Winnebago or Newmar against any of them quality wise. As for an RV being expensive, nobody is forcing anybody to buy one, if staying in bed bug hotels where somebody pissed in the shower (expensive hotel experience here) I'll take my RV any day of the week.

I do agree about RV dealers, they are as bad as used car lots in how they treat you, I personally HATE going to them. I have heard of the good ones though, Lazy Days and a few others are supposed to be very good and I hope to visit them some day.

Are there horror stories for RV's, yes just like for every other thing we humans do but in MOST cases the experience is what YOU make of it.
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