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Old 05-14-2021, 05:24 AM   #1
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Starting to Think They're all Junk...

Are there any brands that are truly built to a higher quality?

I've been shopping for my first (used) RV and have been astounded by the poor build quality that I've seen so far. Rusty parts with sheets of paint falling off, sloppy/missing silicone, cabinets barely held together with staples and tacks, flimsy mechanicals, crappy components, and on and on.

It's really shocking to see something so expensive, cobbled together with the same level of quality as a Chinese barbecue grill.

Are there any brands that are truly higher quality and actually built to last?
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL View Post
Are there any brands that are truly built to a higher quality?

I've been shopping for my first (used) RV and have been astounded by the poor build quality that I've seen so far. Rusty parts with sheets of paint falling off, sloppy/missing silicone, cabinets barely held together with staples and tacks, flimsy mechanicals, crappy components, and on and on.

It's really shocking to see something so expensive, cobbled together with the same level of quality as a Chinese barbecue grill.

Are there any brands that are truly higher quality and actually built to last?
That's one of the reasons I looked for a Newmar. Not perfect, but not bad.
I would just figure no matter what you buy (new or used), plan on spending time and money to go front to back and maintain, derust, paint, align, repair lots of stuff. Or plan on paying a handy advanced DIY'r to do this for you while you sit and watch.

The worst part is the lack of rust protection underneath. I powerwash, then sandblast, air blast, prime and paint and sometimes undercoat all at different points of time. So many folks post pictures of their RV underbodies that make me cringe. But maybe that's just my OCD.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:48 AM   #3
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We got a used Monaco executive 2000. I would say the build quality was excellent.

All the cabinets were done with pocket screws, Real walnut cabinets, Corian counter tops, solid wood doors even the pockets and floor is still solid as a rock.

At that time and that company built them like tanks IMHO.

Today you need to move way up the food chain for the same build quality to marathon or liberty.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:51 AM   #4
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Take a look at a Prevost.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:57 AM   #5
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The bus chassis coaches (prevost, et al) seem to be built to a higher standard. You can have whatever you can afford. Much like chinese merchandise the reason you see such low standards in mainstream units is people buy them. It becomes a bit of a race to the bottom where builders aren't going to improve their quality because why bother when people will buy crap and there's good margin in it? Slap it together, put LED strip lights in everywhere to add some bling and off they go. From my economic perspective the $500K unit isn't going to happen, so it's the POS or nothing.

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Old 05-14-2021, 06:03 AM   #6
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What exactly have you been looking at?
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:18 AM   #7
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I'v always said there all Sh!t. No matter the brand. There all built the same. As one gentleman said to me while admiring my Entegra, " Yea, but you have shinier Sh!t"
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:19 AM   #8
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Solid wood cabinets with finger joints, solid countertops, tile floor, built on a chassis designed for the structure with 10 air bags connected to Active Air. Brand new is was pricey. Used, with under 20k on it? Less than a new class C that is built with chipboard and vinyl sheet.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SWFL View Post
Are there any brands that are truly built to a higher quality?

I've been shopping for my first (used) RV and have been astounded by the poor build quality that I've seen so far. Rusty parts with sheets of paint falling off, sloppy/missing silicone, cabinets barely held together with staples and tacks, flimsy mechanicals, crappy components, and on and on.

It's really shocking to see something so expensive, cobbled together with the same level of quality as a Chinese barbecue grill.

Are there any brands that are truly higher quality and actually built to last?
Sure, get an airstream for three times of price of a floorplan equivalent. I just assume the quality issues and start fixing them as soon as I get it...but not everyone has the tools or ability so I can see the frustration. I just had to add a corner piece because the screws they used had completely broken the support piece in three places. I've run a couple of long pieces of 1X3's "clearl poplar" through my table saw in the dimensions they use for "structure." As noted, I have already used some. The screws had become the support. I always have to drill a pilot hole if I am going into the original wood if you can call it that, or it will crack.

I also have gotten a Kreg jig up for appropriate pocket hole structures. Ninety bucks well spent. As far as paint, black rustoleum spray, the kind that stops rust is your friend and matches Lippert black almost perfect. And I love those staples. I have a foot long pair of needle nose pliers and you can pull all the ones that stick out a bit and then carefully remove whatever piece they were supposed to be joining. A 23 guage pin nailer can also be a valuable tool. Milwaukee has just come out with one in 12 Volt. It's great, small and useful.

I'm on trailer three and have gotten pretty good at it. but also remember, our travel trailers are going through a hurricane every mile they travel and if you used 2 X 4 rigid structure, they would collapse. It is a fine line they have to run on structure. Too bad they always go with the cheapest side of that line. So, in retirement, I have learned to enjoy the fixing... Did I tell you about the outside storage area doors they forgot to use caulk on?
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:40 AM   #10
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Sure some are better than others regarding build quality. But what are you comparing motorhomes to? Cars, I hope not. Even a sticks & bricks home isn't fair. Unless you are looking at a bus chassis all class A's are just a box built on a supplied chassis. All built by hand with very little automation. Unlike cars, etc. Highly labor intensive and built to a price point. Weight of build out is also a big consideration. Might as well not even mention how much they all cost because it won't make any sense. Many components are built strictly for RV's so they are low in quantity and high cost. I found Newmar to be better than some but I have fixed a lot of crap & I'm sure I will be in the future. But we love the lifestyle and have accepted all that comes with it.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:44 AM   #11
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They are built to be somewhat light weight, and then we bounce them down these crappy highways, these things will happen. Add to that they use whatever fastener they have in their pocket to assemble them; screws when they should have used rivets, staples when they should have used glue and screw, etc. [Mod Edit]
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL View Post
Are there any brands that are truly built to a higher quality?

I've been shopping for my first (used) RV and have been astounded by the poor build quality that I've seen so far. Rusty parts with sheets of paint falling off, sloppy/missing silicone, cabinets barely held together with staples and tacks, flimsy mechanicals, crappy components, and on and on.

It's really shocking to see something so expensive, cobbled together with the same level of quality as a Chinese barbecue grill.

Are there any brands that are truly higher quality and actually built to last?
RV's use the same functional parts across brands. Allison, Cummins, Equalizer Systems etc. The difference between brands is the fit and finish of interrior and exterior parts. Rv's that are 2 or 3 years old have most of the bugs and ill-fitted parts corrected BUT, the parts can and do wear out. I repair things as they break and some people ignore things that break and as broken things start to accumulate, your RV becomes a rolling problem. Fix things as they break, don't ignore signs like oil dripping, hydraulic fluid dripping or water dripping. RV's are expensive because no matter who built it, things wear out or break. There is no such thing as a trouble-free motorhome
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:13 AM   #13
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You get what you pay for. The more you pay the better the quality!

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Old 05-14-2021, 08:15 AM   #14
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What exactly have you been looking at?
I looked at a 2008 Winnebago Adventurer yesterday that I was told was in very nice condition. The steel boxes below had sheets of black paint falling off, rust bubbling up everywhere, globs of black silicone around the drivers door windows trying to keep the water out, the auto-folding couch would only go down about 1/2 way, generator wouldn't run, several large lines/cracks in the "full body paint", pieces of trim falling off, screws half in/half out in places, and many more QC issues that just shouldn't be there.

Prior to that I looked at a new 2021, 32' Gas class A, there were pieces of trim falling off already inside, shades that didn't work right, gaskets falling off, cheap, chinsy looking mechanical parts, ect.

I looked at a couple of 5-10 year old class C's that were just terrible everywhere you looked. The more I looked the more disappointing they got.

It just looks like they've cobbled these things together with the absolute lowest quality materials and lowest level of craftmanship that would (sort of) hold them together long enough to get them from factory, to dealer and into a driveway. For the prices they sell these things for, there is no excuse for the poor quality.

I guess as long as people are willing to buy them, there is really no reason to improve the quality.
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