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Old 12-06-2018, 05:18 AM   #1
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RV Consumer Group

I know there are some old threads on this and I can pull them up if it's preferred, but here goes.

I've noticed on this site that Winnebagos are favored quite a bit over Jayco, maybe because Thor bought out Jayco in 2016. However RVCG still gives higher marks (more stars) to Jaycos vs Winnebagos.

Any thoughts about RVCG? Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:17 AM   #2
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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Graphic says Jayco makes more defective units than Wini. However, the question is not relevant to making a buying decision.
If one mfg makes 10 units and they are all defective, is it better than a mfg who makes 1000 units and 11 are defective.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:36 AM   #4
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As a general comment on consumer groups I do not find them worth more than a casual glance for anything. There criteria for ratings are usually significantly different from mine.

In terms of Jayco vs Winnebago it could be the sales volume and it could be the ease of getting answers when there is a problem. Quite often a problem with an easy fix is never heard about while one that requires a lot of hassle is noted all over the place. Winnebago has a reputation for good documentation and parts availability. Jayco's is not as talked about.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:44 AM   #5
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I think that chart is dated due to recent buyouts, etc. not saying its that far off base either...
2016 Fleetwood Flair 26e gas Crossover
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:53 PM   #6
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Big whoop
Rarely (if ever) do you see a first posting yelling from the rafters about how great their RV is, but first posting rants trashing what RV they are having a problem with is a near daily experience.

I don't think a 600-700 response is a very representative sample in the grand scheme of things. Based on the internet keyboard warriors, my coach should have already had the walls fall in and the toilet backing up into the ice maker.
It goes to the thought process that one "complaint" will negate 100 attaboys. I almost got caught up in that cycle in our Class A search after reading a well written and produced video about issues with Entegra. Then the more I researched the deeper Entegra ingrained as as an option to consider for our full time coach.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:55 AM   #7
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Apparently RVCG bases their ratings pretty much solely on the specs manufacturers put out; how much consumer comments counted for I don't know. Consumer Reports puts everything they rate through a lot of lab and real life tests, but how can you do that with the thousands of RVs concerned? Also, Persistent is right. You have to consider the sheer volume of sales some companies do, but percentages of units sold should be a good guide as it's not just numbers, but the percentage of poor built units to well built units?

RVCG has its place in selecting an RV, but I tend to like to hear real-life experiences with any unit or manufacturer we're interested in.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:58 AM   #8
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RVCG is a "paper rating", based on subjective opinion about the advertised specs and design factors. It is not based on statistics for actual problems, warranty claims, or any other build-quality measure. RVCG doesn't even test drive RVs.

This doesn't make their ratings wrong, but it's only a small piece of the total picture. I would ignire the rating number and look at the analysis behind it to see why they think Jayco is better than Winnie. It may be factors you care nothing about, or a subjective opinion you disagree with.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:17 AM   #9
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Remember a couple of things. Not all of the companies mentioned make the same types of RV's in the same volume. While Jayco does make motor-homes, it predominantly makes smaller trailers. Winnebago does make trailers, in Indiana, but predominantly makes motor-homes in Iowa. I do not know if Jayco has more than one plant, but I suspect that the production lines are completely separate from one another.
I have owned two class C Winnebago's and one Jayco trailer. Based on that, I think that Winnebago makes far better product, but I have no experience in how Jayco motor-homes compare to Winnebago's.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #10
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If you watch the Jayco factory video on Youtube... well, uh... they guy narrating and leading the tour seems to think what he's showing us was good. No. I counted a half dozen worker safety violations, saw a worker nearly taken out by a side wall being moved, and saw tools thrown across roofs and finish surfaces.

Most of the workers I saw in the video would not be classified as "craftsmen", closer to crack heads. Not a personal slight or accusation - simply an observation of the speed and carelessness I observed in the official Jayco video.

If I were Thor corporate I'd have fired the narrator and whoever decided the video needed to be on Youtube. It's a disgrace (even - or especially - if it's accurate).
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To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world. - Dr Suess
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:37 AM   #11
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Thumbs up New owner rant

I am a new TT owner ranter being called an emotional dits.
I think my rant should be a caution to anyone intending to buy a new TT. This could happen to you. Similar scenarios have happened to thousands of others.

Bought new Dutchman Kodiak Cub 176RD 2018 in December 2017 for the purpose of winter camping in Wisconsin. Carefully examined unit on dealers lot. Rejected several other brands and floor plans as inadequate.
Advertising: "All Season" and "Four Season"
Tested winter performance in my driveway. Temperature dropped from 34 degrees to 29 degrees. Kitchen faucet plumbing froze within 2 hours.
It took two months of negotiation and another month and a half in the dealer's shop for resolution. Dutchman never acknowledged warranty was due. Contacted lawyers and government agencies with no results. Contacted local newspaper and got immediate results. Dealer agreed to fix it. Dealer fixed about 3/4 of the problem leaving me to do the remainder. Cost to dealer, $2300. Cost to me, two months of modifications inside the cabin to heat underbelly and the first camping trip delayed until March.
I asked the dealer to weigh the tongue before I paid for it. He said he could not. Dutchman specifications, 650 pounds. Later I found out a tongue weight gage cost $130. Bought one. It actually weighed about 900 pounds. Got it down to 850 buy emptying everything out of front storage. Barely within load capacity of my tow vehicle and severely straining the weight distribution hitch.

We are not done yet. There were many interior defects and issues, only one of which were covered under warranty. Here are some:
Two of four cornices above windows fell off the walls while towing trailer to dealer and back.
Leg broke off dinette table. (covered under warranty)
Water pump was cracked and sucked air into water lines.
Spaces under kitchen sink and bathroom sink were severely restricted to allow for sweeping installation of pipes and wires. (Totally unnecessary.)
Kitchen drawer was 15 inches deep. Not long enough for cooking utensils and for no apparent reason. Drawer could be 20 inches with nothing behind it to interfere.
Ok, so we are getting to some things that appear relatively minor compared to where we started.

What is good about the Kodiak Cub? There are lots of good features. Many of them I would have simply assumed all TT's would have until I started to read posts by others who had these dangerous experiences.

The Frame, axle, wheels and tires are rock solid. In one year, careful inspection reveals no signs of failure.
Roof, walls, doors, windows, and fittings all are rock solid. There are evidently no leaks.
Appliances, electrical systems, and electronics work as designed, although the Furrion entertainment unit can't be operated without a manual handy and a magnifying glass.

Why are the good features important to a new TT buyer? Because, the stories of total failure from hundreds of owners and how they solved their problems for the most part without warranty.

Yesterday I finished moving the battery off the trailer tongue and into the space under the rear dinette seat. This removes 70 pounds from the tongue and puts 70 pounds of counter weight on the rear. When the weather warms a little, I will weigh the tongue again. I think after a year of work my trailer is ready for the excursions I planned to do a year ago.

If you buy any brand and model of travel trailer, you must be prepared to spend time and money to get what you might assume was part of the deal. Manufactures support hot lines are trained to detect any plausible reasons to deny warranty. Legal recourse is nonexistent.

So, you still want to become a TT owner. What can you do?
Accept the odds and be prepared. This can lower levels of disappointment.
Buy a used TT. The previous owner probably already fixed all the design and build defects and the price will probably be lower to boot.
Choose a better brand that greatly improves the odds of a good experience. Here is a list I harvested from a particularly good discussion on iRV2 last winter. (I can't find it now.)

Quality Travel Trailer Brands
Last winter (2018) I joined the Dutchmen Owners forum and expressed my disappointment with my new Dutchmen Kodiak Cub. My opinion of Dutchmen travel trailers has not improved since then. I still have one required project left to finish on my Cub. My plan is to keep it and continue to use it because all the modifications and repairs have brought it up to my minimum standards. Total cost of ownership has not been lower than much higher priced trailers.
Yesterday I found a thread on a different forum started by a new member who wanted advice on what to buy for his first travel trailer. What followed was a compilation of 1000s of camper hours of experience and a list of brands from owners with firsthand experience. Needless to say Dutchmen and many other Thor companies were specifically not recommended. Their only advantage is low purchase price. Jayco is now a Thor company and the last 2? model years are also specifically not recommended. A short list of recommended brands and brief comments follow. I wish I had this information before buying.
Artic Fox
Difficult to find east of the Mississippi
$25k to $50k thermal pane windows
Hamersville Ohio (Cincinnati)
Outdoor RV
Difficult to find east of the Mississippi , $25k to $50k
Thermal pane windows, dealer in Denver.
Cooler in sun, Excellent support
Lance are $10-$25k more than the same length ORV Creekside or Timber Ridge.
2018 28'8" Timber Ridge was $34,700
Air Stream
Recent corrosion problem
Grand Design
Insulated well
Was Sunnybrook
Grand Design
One bad review
Elite Suites
Excellent service
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Nissan Pathfinder 2015
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:51 AM   #12
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Since both Heartland and Jayco are Thor-owned, perhaps the % for those should be added together? Heartland--26.55%; Jayco 4.39%; Thor 15.87 Total of 46.81%. This number by itself, off this chart, should steer one away from any Thor product.
If you are a real gambler, buy a Thor Ace motorhome....based on what I have read on various forums.
Possibly other co-owned brands on the chart.
'16 40QBH Phaeton
'21 Sahara HA toad
'15 38RSSA Mobile Suites--traded
'05 36TK3 Mobile Suites--retired but not forgotten
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