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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 02/12/18 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One quick thing to look for is a arched/crown roof (Jayco calls it their Magnum Truss). It is almost and industry standard, but any company NOT using it is trying to save a buck.

"Rubber" roofs are pretty standard, but take a lot of maintenance (inspections, washing, UV protectant, caulking) if you want it to last a long time (or park it under a roof). Fiberglass or aluminum are better, but not common ($$$).

There is, what seems to be, a never ending debate between wood/fiberglass insulation/aluminum siding and aluminum/solid foam/fiberglass siding. Both have their positives and negatives.

Some of the "light weight" models use aluminum frame/foam core/composite floors (very similar to wall construction). If not properly engineered, these will get soft in high traffic areas. Many companies gave up and went back to plywood.

Pocket screwed cabinet frames are much stronger than stapled.

If you are serious about a 5er, try to find one with a residential refrigerator, unless you are planning on doing a lot of boondocking. If you do decide to go with a residential refrigerator, the battery box should hold two 6V golf cart batteries and the unit should include at least a 1000W inverter. Converter/chargers are another place where companies go cheap. You are better off with a top of the line inverter/charger with built in transfer switch and just a "dumb" DC distribution panel.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 02/12/18 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stickdog wrote:

We purchased 6 year old 5er and lived and traveled in it for 7 1/2 years. It was a well constructed unit but the parts were ageing out, Refrigerator, water heater, fucets, converter, furniture. Not complaining but these were all componets the structure was still sound.

I highly recommend starting out with a SMALLER, USED trailer, just to see if you really like using it.

My daughter's family of 6 is past the "honeymoon" period, but they struggle to use their RV more than 5-6 times a year.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/12/18 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Of course there are differences In quality between models, low to high end.
I've not experienced anything I'd consider a quality issue with our 2 older campers, but I'm not well versed in differnet brands and what they offer.
But I will offer this. Campers just like homes are mostly get what you pay for. Look around your house and decide if it was "thrown together " or quality.
I call our house the "nicest looking p o s" we've ever lived in. Outward appearance is a nice looking custom home, built in 2001. Quality is HORRIBLE. ALL the window seals were blown when I looked at it the first time. All were replaced with the same cheap cr ap again before purchasing, some are fogged again.
Insulation is horrible, electrical work was done by a 7 year old, foundation sank once and was shored up long time ago, apparently they make 17 year rated shingles because they're shot too and they installed linoleum in the laundry and 1 bath! List goes on. That was just the highlight reel. Oh, pretty sure they forgot the glue gun and nail gun the day they sheeted the second floor. Squeaks more than an old barn loft.
We've had better built tract homes.
Same difference as RVs. There's good and bad.
You need to expect a few issues though. I don't think overall it's as bad as you think. Remember the Internet posts way more "issues" than praises and it's also subjective.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 02/12/18 10:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They are big complicated objects that have more in common with a house than a car except they are expected to cruise down the road at 60mph.

While there are legitimate issues, most are just unrealistic expectations.

High end units don't seem to solve the issue. If anything they make it worse because the systems are more complicated and there is more customization.


Tammy & Mike
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paddock_rat

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Posted: 02/13/18 07:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

Sorry but quality in a trailer is hard to find. Last winter I was at several shows and looked at a bunch of big DPs...I'm not going back to a trailer. My two biggest impressions were they need to put these DPs on a diet and I'm full of it but I do not need a bath and a half. It was hard to find a big DP that was not a bath and a half and many had 365/80/22.5 tires on the front and some even on the tag axle.

As for quality...between the dark colors and lots of mirrors, it was hard to tell unless you looked carefully. I can tell you this, none had better woodwork than my 04 Dynasty (three from the top in the Monaco lineup). No, I did not look at any Prevost, Newell, or even Foretravel DPs as I'm not going to spend that amount of money on anything other than maybe a big house on a lakefront lot. Bottom line...I'll keep what I have.


Everybody has a point of view, so I'll share mine.

We simply can't ignore market forces when considering what new big diesel pushers offer. The actual buyers of new big DPs dictate what is offered, not those that are not buyers for whatever reason.

So put DPs on a diet? How? The driving force in the weight of 40 to 45 foot three-axle DP products is buyers demanding horsepower when they can afford it. Buyers of these products want powerful, heavy 15 liter 600 and 605 horsepower engines. That means the big, Allison transmission is required. The combined weight of this powertrain means a (heavy) tag axle. Until and unless similar power is available in a much lighter engine/transmission package, taking significant weight out of these coaches is an unattainable goal.

Don't want a half bath? Most DP brands offer floorplans with and without half baths so this really should not be an issue for those who don't want it. Everyone has a preference, but in fact most actual buyers prefer half baths, voting with their checkbooks.

365/80/22.5 tires on the steer axle and tag axle? The 365s are the tire of choice on the front because they simply don't have the catastrophic blowout issues that the 315 tires have had when loaded to rated capacity. The 365s offer a big margin of safety. And the tag axle? In the event of a front axle tire failure, one of the tag axle tires can be moved to the front to limp in to where a replacement tire can be found.

As far as a Newell, Foretravel, or Prevost costing as much as a big lake home, many people spending their social security checks at Walmart would envy ownership of a Monaco Dynasty and a Dynasty would certainly be a lower priority than a home.

ependydad

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Posted: 02/14/18 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It looks pretty sparse, but I just came across this site that is trying to collect reviews on different brands. It'd be great if everyone submitted to it:
https://rvrater.com/

(No affiliation- just happened to come across it yesterday.)


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myredracer

Langley B.C.

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Posted: 02/14/18 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this is your first FW or TT and think quality issues are exaggerated, just wait until you own one. [emoticon] Some owners are more willing to live with issues or can't recognize what's wrong while others can spot every issue that comes up and get them dealt with pdq. Trying to do research to figure out what's good and what's not is not an easy thing to do. Go to an RV show and you'll find they all look basically the same... Learning how to fix things on an RV is a good thing to do.

Then there are often some dumb design things like TVs you can't see from the seating area, nowhere to put a garbage can, closets that aren't deep enough to hang clothes, inadequate lighting, blank panels on cabinets instead of doors, etc.

The vast majority of RV owners do not use RV forums and you will only get a small reporting of the actual problems out there. We spoke to one such TT owner in a CG who had roof leaks from day one. The dealer couldn't fix it (no surprise there) so it got sent to the factory and they only made it worse. He ended up fixing it himself.

FWs and TTs all share the same brands of components like fridges, AC units, entry doors, roof fans, converter/panel, frames, etc. and misc. materials. While there can be issues with these things, it boils down to how well/poorly a factory puts the units together. There is no quality control at the plants and with today's record high demand for RVs, they are slapping them together even faster. Some units like ultralites are built with the thinnest, lightest and least substantial materials to make them lighter and just aren't built to last. Besides the quality of an RV itself, there's also the question of how well a manufacturer stands behind it's warranty, how the dealer handles warranty issues and how well a dealer repairs things (that's *if* they can repair things).

We went through 3 TTs in 3 years and all have had quality issues. One of them got returned under warranty the problems were so bad and it was only the 2nd day of ownership that we discovered the problems. Our current TT has had plenty of issues and still find them after 3 seasons - mostly cabinetry related and electrical but now it looks like we could have water intrusion from under the slide. I could write a book...

With a background in building construction as an engineer, I'm flabbergasted with how poor overall construction quality is. IMO, there's also a lack of regulations on some things, esp. frames. The NEC covers electrical work in detail, but they don't get inspected by a gov't authority and there's nobody to report problems to, unlike in bldg. construction.

If we were to buy another TT, I'd be looking at a Northwoods product like their OutdoorsRV line. They build their own frames in-house, they're one of the few remaining independent manufacturers and they don't use Amish craftspeople.


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ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 02/14/18 10:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

buy the best you kind find like Arctic Fox.

GKAbbott

On the road

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Posted: 02/19/18 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been full timers for about 2.5 years now. I have yet to find a single person that hasn't had some issue with their camper. Find the floorplan you like that meets your quality standards on the surface. Plan to fix any issues that come up. If you are not handy, run as quickly as you can from any Rv.

goducks10

There

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Posted: 02/19/18 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GKAbbott wrote:

We have been full timers for about 2.5 years now. I have yet to find a single person that hasn't had some issue with their camper. Find the floorplan you like that meets your quality standards on the surface. Plan to fix any issues that come up. If you are not handy, run as quickly as you can from any Rv.


If the OP's pockets are deep then owning an RV won't be so bad. Other than maybe the down time for repairs and regular maintenance. Which if you're not a handy person you've probably gotten used to waiting on someone to fix your stuff.

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