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Old 08-25-2018, 01:04 PM   #43
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I was a quality engineer at a manufacturing plant before I retired. I know how to recognized world class organizations when I see them vs a disaster. The plant and office was in very poor condition, trash and debris throughout the plant, very poor organization, poor working environment. Workmanship was poor as well. I have many photographs but won't be able to post any for several weeks....but I'm not trying to convince you of anything....I'm just stating my experience based on what I saw and my opinion. Go to Elkhart, take the tour and form your own opinion. But don't just go there, go to GD and DRV and tell me they are the same.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:47 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by manwithnorv View Post
At DRV there were two roof options: fiberglass with a one year warranty or rubber with a twelve year warranty. Is the rubber roof the same as EPDM? I can't find any other roof system (except TPO).
EPDM is the rubber roof. TPO is similar, but maintenance requirements are somewhat different. They both are very similar in function and construction.
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:05 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by manwithnorv View Post
Folks buy what they can afford to buy and just because an RV is cheaper doesn't necessary make it a bad decision. My apologies for offending Cardinal owners. I do realize that there are many happy Cardinal owners out there.

I did take lots of photos on the tours and may try to post some when I get back home which may not be until after Hershey.
some of us spend as little as we need to not as much as we can afford [or worse we really can't afford it]. i'm not buying a $200 dinner, $75,000 automobile, or $500,000 house when i can be satisfied eating the $7 buffet, drive my 17 year old car and have 2 of us in a 3 bed 2 bath house thinking it is time to downsize.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:50 PM   #46
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Stick built vs aluminum frame

Every 'stick built' wooden framed RV I've had experience with,either in person or thru video, as far as 'assembly quality' goes look like they're slammed together as fast as the people can do their jobs. Deciding factor is always going to be customer service / warranty work by the dealer you bought said unit from.
The units that impress me are the fiberglass skinned, aluminum framed, bonded wall structure expensive units. The fit & finish is way above the wood framed stuff, fewer water leaks, etc. The Gulf-stream Ameri-lite we had was 'garbage' when it came to hidden leaks and structural quality. If we ever get another unit it will be aluminum construction.
If you ever went camping in a VW Westfalia camper bus, you might be as old as me!
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:09 PM   #47
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We had a Tiffin Phaeton for 5 years and while we enjoyed living in it and driving it the experience was expensive. We had one problem with the Caterpillar engine (they don't make on road diesels now) and the bill was $3,500. Depreciation was off the charts.

We didn't travel very much and decided to go to a 5th wheel. Best decision we ever made. More space. Very comfortable living with three slides. The key was it was 10 years old when we bought it in 2012. It was a Travel Supreme. They made upper quality units but went down with a whole bunch of others in '07/'08. It was in mint condition and my buddy the RV repairman, who we got to know too well with the Class A, told me the quality of the units made before the recession was a whole lot better than anything made today.

Whatever you decide to do my advice is buy used and don't be afraid of the age.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:16 PM   #48
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So do you people tour automobile factories before purchasing a new car?

Or washing machine factories or lawnmower factories? or etc...
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:18 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by tcg View Post
So do you people tour automobile factories before purchasing a new car?

Or washing machine factories or lawnmower factories? or etc...
What's your point? But, YES, I watch every step of the building of my home. And I have fired several subs, on the spot, get your stuff and get off my property. My mh was built by someone I do not want in the aircraft industry. And from reading this forum, seems every mh was.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:22 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by tcg View Post
So do you people tour automobile factories before purchasing a new car?

Or washing machine factories or lawnmower factories? or etc...
Doubtful but when I ordered my BMW I was able to log on and watch it progress through the build process.

Washing machines and lawnmowers really don’t compare, worst case you end up with dirty clothes and long grass while being repaired. Class As can leave you homeless during repairs.

I can see why some do, spending a few hundred thousand is more like buying a house than a $500.00 washing machine. When I had the new garage built I watched the construction and prior to having it built I viewed similar project completed by my chosen contractor. It’s a lot of money to spend, for some worth evaluating the many manufacturers to make an informed choice.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:32 PM   #51
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factory tours

Wow reading all the responses I was amazed that nobody visited a class a builder. Take a tour of newmar and entegra and jayco. The entegra is an unbelievable coach. Yes they are pricey. entegra builds 3 a day and newmar builds 19 a day. I bought an entegra and the factory tour is great. There is a big difference between the newmar and entegra but you have to see for yourself and make your own decisions. I am a little bias but seems the newmar is the slap together go home early deal and the entegra is not. Go take a look and see for yourself. motordoc
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:58 PM   #52
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I just sold my Thor Tuscany that I owned with a good friend, and yes, we are still good friends. He was ready to quit RVing but I was not, so I bought a Thor Four Winds Sprinter. So far, I am satisfied with the downsize but I was surprised by several things during our week long trip back to Virginia. When I lifted the Queen mattress, there were probably a couple of dozen finishing nails left under the mattress. The screws in bathroom fixtures, like the hand holds or towel racks were driven straight in, not on a contour which would have made them smooth and not sticking out. Several places I found nails that had been hammered straight though the wood which means the sharp tips are sticking out and need to be cut off or hammered flat. The plastic mattress piece that covers the plywood mattress support rips partly off every time I extend or retract the slide. There are a number of other "finish" issues but we had a similar situation when our Tuscany was first delivered. I am not discouraged but a little quality control detailing before it left the factory floor would have caught all of these items. I think it is like anything else that is negative, you just hope the black ball does not fall in your slot!
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:33 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by manwithnorv View Post
At Cardinal, turnover was discussed as a problem. We were told, Thor (just 1 mile down the road) would offer a $500 bonus to take workers away, but would show up again back at Cardinal sooner or later (or somewhere else). They do pay workers based on piece work. Tour guide stated several times they produce 5 units per day right now but can churn out 13 units per day. That's 100 - 260 units per month. Who's buying all these.

I bought one of the Thor's. I've been repairing it or getting it repaired ever since!
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:46 PM   #54
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I tend to align with the sausage comment - I love a good steak, but if I toured a slaughter house I'd probably have to give them up. It's along the lines of the old, "Doc, it hurts when I do this." But do pay attention to detail in the rig you buy - I never considered new and spent a fat year looking before I found my '02 Travel Supreme 40 DS. Like the boat I used to own, it IS a money pit, but you have to keep after problems to limit the odds of a failure on the road. Peter
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:48 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by tcg View Post
So do you people tour automobile factories before purchasing a new car?

Or washing machine factories or lawnmower factories? or etc...
My truck comes with a good reputation, lemon law coverage, and a five year warranty. If the RV had that, I'd new less concerned with visiting the factory.

As far as lawn mowers and appliances.... Well, none of them have ever cost me tens of thousands, and most have a longer warranty than the average RV.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:12 PM   #56
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Should have got a Montana. 👍
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