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Old 05-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #29
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I am just so disappointed by 'the American product'. The Japanese solved these issues 25 years ago. My 16 year old 200000+ miles Camry does not have any rust and never had any mayor repairs. Sure I needed a new radiator once, change my oil faithfully etc.
I owned a brand new 2004 Acura TL, fancy car, not the most expensive but more so than any car Ford made at the time. Day 1 it was in the shop, the wifes brand new RSX needed a new computer in the first week, the headliner fell down in my TL because the smart Japanese use velcro to hold it up. That TL was in the shop so much I got rid of it, what did I go back to, Ford.

My wife had 240,000 on her previous Escape before we sold it, never had one issue aside for battery and one strut. The average American car made today will esily stand up to what Japan puts out. I plan on driving my Taurus until it dies, since I know how well they are made I know this will be a very long time.

You had issues with your American product, I have had too many issues with Japanese products, does that mean the Japanese make bad products? No, but I seem to buy the ones that do. Since 1982 I have owned 14 Ford's, never regretted a single one of them, is that luck? Don't think so, make it over 20 including my wifes cars.

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The issues we have with RV are easy issues. Let's look at the foot long spot of rust I mentioned earlier when I looked at this new trailer. It was easily detectable that just one layer of paint is the main cause of the rust. Instead of putting one layer of paint give it a primer layer and than a good top coating. Is that too costly? Nah.. it all about delivering cheap and making sure you need another one soon.
You take some examples and throw the entire industry into the basket. My rig is 13 years old, no rust, anywhere, maye I can re-blanket the indusrty with my brush because mine isn't rusting?

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So to all who are considering an RV... do yourself a favor and stay away.

Read the blog (Why you should not buy an RV) I mentioned earlier in my initial post. I wish I had before I bought.
That blog takes trailers that were built for FEMA and again blankets the entire industry with it. That is one persons view and come on, comparing the movie RV where Robin Williams takes a shower of shame and then compares himself to it just shows that perhaps an RV isn't right for him, that means any RV.

The mistake Robin Williams (in the movie) makes is not knowing how to properly dump the tanks, how is this an American product failing, in any way?

The decent points made in that blog like companies using particle board are bad choices I agree but if he thinks that Europe or Japan does it or will do it differently is making one heck of an assumption.

My Onan generator has no rust, most that I see have no rust so because his does all of them are crap. My brothers generator gets no care, yet year after year it starts, I don't get it, does he deserve a well running generator or should he thank Onan for building just him one and leaving the rest of us out to rust?

The noise while driving, it's louder than a car... I mean seriously? He's driving a friggin HOUSE. I have driven a lot of Class C's, none of them had a squeaking bedroom above the cab, the door squeaks, fix it.

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Old 05-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #30
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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.
I should have just read up to you so I could just say ditto instead of writing as much as I did so....

DITTO.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:04 AM   #31
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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.
I have spent the past 30+ years in the vehicle repair industry. I have had my favorites over the years ,minivans? a chrysler town & country , japanese vehicles?, nothing beats a Honda....american sedans? it depends on the year , I can say I have never been a fan of ford due to there method of manufacture but when it comes to motorhomes the e450 is the standard. When it comes to class c's ,and lazydaze is the premier manufacturer in my opinion, their attention to detail and their lack of change through the years shows why change is not always what it cracked up to be. If it works ,don't mess with it
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:04 AM   #32
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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?
Someone who is heavily invested in hotel/motel stocks?

His complaint about rust, well figure when incomplete chassis stack up in the back forty of RV assembly plants for up to a year, rust is going to happen. If it bothers you, get underneath with a wire brush and some Rustoleum and have at it.

My RV is seventeen years old. Most all of the parts are original. I've owned it for seven years. I've gone through the rig with a fine tooth comb, gotten rid of rotted wood in the frame, sealed up seams and recaulked where necessary, scraped and painted the frame, added accessories like satellite radio and television (which didn't even exist when my fiver was built), flat screen TVs, and put in safety features like backup lights and a backup camera that shows what's behind the fiver when I'm towing it. Owning an RV is a lot like owning a stick and brick house, both require periodic maintenance, both can be made more comfortable by owner customization, and both are made by men and women, thus are subject to the frailties of anything produced by human beings. They're not perfect, and are a balance between quality materials and price point. You want tip top quality? Break the piggy bank because it will cost you dearly. Are you willing to compromise your standards a bit to get a rig that you can afford? Then you'll have to make allowances for the compromises that make your choice of RV affordable.

I bought used. I'm fairly handy and being retired, I have a lot of time on my hands. I have the perfect balance in RV ownership. I had a low entry cost, I've fixed what was wrong as I went along, and added some creature comforts along the way. I'll probably never have a factory fresh rig. But then I probably won't have budget busting RV payments, either. I'll keep this fiver long after it qualifies for vintage status. So as for the OPs assertion there are no quality standards in the RV industry, I say there is no such thing as a maintenance free RV, just as there is no such thing as a maintenance free house, or a maintenance free car. Keep what you have maintained and you will have something for a long time. Owner upkeep is part of the quality equation that the OP has missed.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:15 AM   #33
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Should see the underside of my '89 GulfStream... looks like its 6 months old..
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:22 AM   #34
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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.
I agree the Japanese helped force the US to build better cars, but that goes both ways. I also remember my 1980 Honda, also needed valve adjustments, rusted to crap... this wasn't just an American car problem.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:24 AM   #35
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I have spent the past 30+ years in the vehicle repair industry. I have had my favorites over the years ,minivans? a chrysler town & country , japanese vehicles?, nothing beats a Honda....american sedans? it depends on the year , I can say I have never been a fan of ford due to there method of manufacture but when it comes to motorhomes the e450 is the standard. When it comes to class c's ,and lazydaze is the premier manufacturer in my opinion, their attention to detail and their lack of change through the years shows why change is not always what it cracked up to be. If it works ,don't mess with it

I agree we all have our favorites, I wouldn't touch a Mopar, my brother keeps buying them and every one of them ends up in the shop. What can ya do right. I saw a monster E550 based super C today with a powerstroke, damn thing sounded awesome and moved out like like it was pulling nothing.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #36
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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!!
There is a guy down the street from me who has an '89 Foretravel Grand Villa, what an awesome rig. Truley, awesome.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #37
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MANUFACTURING IS MANUFACTURING; It doesn't matter what the end product is. I spent a lot of years around manufacturing........the CFO calls the shots on EVERYTHING! If making an improvement, or changing a process does not add to the profit margin, it does not happen, NEVER. The only concern that management has today is maximum net profit for the stockholders. I have heard this many times while in management meetings. The philosophy on quality is to provide as much quality as your process will allow while still maintaining the profit margin you desire; if the margin is threatened, then back off of quality. The general rule of thumb is that, you will get a certain percentage of warranty claims ANYWAY! This just not RV manufacturing, but all US manufacturing. That is why the market is depressed; I have looked at $200K MH and found the same cabinet "look and construction" as my $20K TT. This disparity is simply not right. My TT is nice, but I would think that $180K more would get you high end cabinetry. Don't look for the issues to go away, unless the manufacturers get hit in the pocketbook, they will not change.

net profit margins and management "bonus" plans DRIVE EVERYTHING! I have sat in production meetings, and heard Corporate VP's tell all of us managers, "I know the production employees are maxed out right now, but, if we can improve our numbers 12% this month, then every manager in the room will get a bonus equal to 6 months salary. What that does to the actual worker is they have to produce irregardless of quality, the job goal is "get it off the line".......
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #38
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MANUFACTURING IS MANUFACTURING; It doesn't matter what the end product is. I spent a lot of years around manufacturing........the CFO calls the shots on EVERYTHING! If making an improvement, or changing a process does not add to the profit margin, it does not happen, NEVER. The only concern that management has today is maximum net profit for the stockholders. I have heard this many times while in management meetings. The philosophy on quality is to provide as much quality as your process will allow while still maintaining the profit margin you desire; if the margin is threatened, then back off of quality. The general rule of thumb is that, you will get a certain percentage of warranty claims ANYWAY! This just not RV manufacturing, but all US manufacturing. That is why the market is depressed; I have looked at $200K MH and found the same cabinet "look and construction" as my $20K TT. This disparity is simply not right. My TT is nice, but I would think that $180K more would get you high end cabinetry. Don't look for the issues to go away, unless the manufacturers get hit in the pocketbook, they will not change.

net profit margins and management "bonus" plans DRIVE EVERYTHING! I have sat in production meetings, and heard Corporate VP's tell all of us managers, "I know the production employees are maxed out right now, but, if we can improve our numbers 12% this month, then every manager in the room will get a bonus equal to 6 months salary. What that does to the actual worker is they have to produce irregardless of quality, the job goal is "get it off the line".......
And thats all, in a nutshell..
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #39
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RAW MATERIALS plus LABOR BURDEN divided by .54 equals DEALER COST
DEALER COST times .42 equals "SUGGESTED" MSRP for CONSUMER.

"ACTUAL" MFG. COST IS NEVER PUBLISHED UNDER THE DISGUISE OF BEING RELEVANT TO "MARKET TRENDS AND FLUCTUATIONS."

SUMMARY EXAMPLE CALCULATIONS: If END PRODUCT MFG. COST IS $25K, DEALER COST IS $46,296.30; "REAL" MSRP TO CONSUMER IS $65,740.74 (This why, when the season is nearing end; and a Class C with an MSRP of $98K is suddenly on sale at $65-70K; REMEMBER, A DEALER WILL WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT HE IS SELLING BELOW COST IN ORDER TO MOVE THE UNIT.)

"ACTUAL" MSRP IS BASED ON CALCULATIONS RELATIVE TO RETAIL DEALER SURVEY, AND NOT ACTUAL NUMBERS..."IN OTHER WORDS, WHATEVER THE MARKET WILL STAND."

THE ABOVE CALCULATIONS, ARE THE GENERAL RULE OF THUMB FOR MOST US MANUFACTURING. THE FIRST RULE OF BUSINESS IS OPERATE ON SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY. ALMOST ALL MANUFACTURING COMPANIES UTILIZE "THIRD PARTY LENDERS" WHO FRONT THE FUNDS TO KEEP THEIR OPERATION AFLOAT UNTIL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD AT THE END OF THE PROCESS. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY "BUY YOUR BOOKS"; THE GOING RATE FOR THIS SERVICE HAS BEEN 18%, AND HAS BEEN FROM THE EARLY '70'S. MOST OF THE "PROFITEER" THIRD PARTY LENDERS ORIGINATE OUT OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

ALL OF THESE THINGS....EXTENDED BONUS PERKS, OVER INFLATED MFG. COSTS, GROSSLY INFLATED MARKET SURVEYS..........ALL WORK TOGETHER TO CONVINCE THE PUBLIC THAT THIS IS THEIR ONLY CHOICE.

Let's look at this scenario: The Class C that was mentioned above with a "sticker printed" MSRP of $98K; if it is sold to you say at 10% discount; the dealer will list it as "discount" (because by doing so, it becomes a "loss" for his overhead at tax time.)...so at this point you are getting the MH for around $10K less, but the dealer is still profiting around $20-22K for the deal, and all for a few hours work. Please understand, I am not against the RV market, however, it is so outrageously over inflated that it is committing "market suicide" as consumers continue to leave the market. They are not leaving the RV experience, they are buying from local owners and also keeping what they have instead of trading up..........PRICE AND QUALITY being the issues.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #40
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so at this point you are getting the MH for around $10K less, but the dealer is still profiting around $20-22K for the deal, and all for a few hours work.
In my view this is your main point, but it's wrong. I dislike RV dealerships but to say they are making huge profits from just a few hours work is being ignorant of how it works.

The company that makes the RV doesn't pay the dealership to sell them, the dealer buys them, pays insurance on them, hires people to service them, sell them etc... They don't exactly sell them as fast as cars sell so many sit on the lot for longer periods, at times for an entire winter season until Spring comes and brings customers with it.

I'm not saying they aren't over priced but to say "all for a few hours work" misses the point completely when you go to such lengths to prove a point otherwise.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:32 PM   #41
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In my view this is your main point, but it's wrong. I dislike RV dealerships but to say they are making huge profits from just a few hours work is being ignorant of how it works.

The company that makes the RV doesn't pay the dealership to sell them, the dealer buys them, pays insurance on them, hires people to service them, sell them etc... They don't exactly sell them as fast as cars sell so many sit on the lot for longer periods, at times for an entire winter season until Spring comes and brings customers with it.

I'm not saying they aren't over priced but to say "all for a few hours work" misses the point completely when you go to such lengths to prove a point otherwise.
I couldn't have said it better ! That comment is from someone who has no clue as to the operations of a dealership...its a labor of love sometimes!
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:07 PM   #42
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I can't imagine going back to staying in motels. Having our own "home" no matter where we are just can't be beat. We always stayed in top end condos / motels when on vacation and have found questionable cleanliness issues. Once the stool leaked and obviously had been leaking for some time and the smell was horrible. We ran out of towels only to be told, we are washing as fast as we can. This was at a conference in San Antonio. Showered and dried off with a wash cloth until we could get to Wal Mart (where we should have been parked) for towels. These stories are unending. Don't have to deal with that any more since we have been RVing. DH will just have to deal with the rust and the rest.
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