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 > Are all new RVs built this bad or is it just mine?

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GDS-3950BH

DC

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Posted: 08/23/20 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

GDS-3950BH wrote:

JimK-NY wrote:

Fortunately when I looked for my RV, I found a dealer who could help. He recommended a manufacturer who does a quality job. Maybe the fashion and style were a bit lagging, but the construction and design were not.


And that manufacturer is???????


When I was looking for a camper, I was lucky enough to find Bill Penney at Truck Camper Warehouse. There were several brands he advised against including a couple of the most popular brands. He recommended Northstar. I ended up buying a used Northstar from him.

My Northstar is now approaching 20 years old and is in great condition. It has been used for full timing and has been driven for close to 100,000 miles. Sure some parts have worn out. I have had to replace 2 of the Happijac motors and 1 jack due to water intrusion. The water pump wore out and I also had to replace the sensor for hot water tank. The plastic hinge on the stove vent broke and I replaced that with a metal hinge I made from a coat hangar. I have had to replace the propane sensor twice and I am on my third set of propane pigtails.

When it comes to poor design and poor construction, I have only had two issues. The kitchen countertop was made with a pressboard core that does not hold up to water. Northstar used a router to bevel the edges of the countertop and water started to damage the countertop. I had to seal the edges with epoxy, otherwise there would have been substantial damage instead of barely noticeable swelling. The second design issue was just crazy. There is a plastic box where the wiring from the happijac motor enters the camper. The cover was installed upside down with the wire entering from the top instead of the bottom. After years of use the seal failed and left just a pinhole where water could enter the camper. I did not notice that when the camper was left outside over the winter. The water damaged the corner of a storage compartment and I had to spend an entire weekend fixing the damage.

All things considered I feel that I got a well made camper.


Thanks.

But 20 years ago was 20 years ago. I can see drop that has taken place in quality industry wide just in the last 10 years. And truck campers are a niche market that includes a few manufacturers whose only make them exclusivly like the one you mention. Very few are produced on a yearly basis compared to travel trailers and 5th wheels. Some folks swear by Artic Fox, Nash, etc when it comes to travel trailers. I have seen POS's in those brands just the same as the big manufacturers

Cloud Dancer

San Antonio and Livingston TX USA

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Posted: 08/23/20 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm trying not to let you get me started.


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CFerguson

on the road

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Posted: 08/23/20 10:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wish i had bookmarked it, but several years ago i read a story about some fellow who spent his life traveling and picking up a job only when he needed to rebuild his bank account. Basically, he stopped into the Indiana area and took a job building TTs at one of the big plants. His horror stories of WHO was building these things is still seared onto my brain. Lots of drug addicts (and yes i include alcohol) who stayed stoned all the time. He was amazed someone wasnt hurt on the job every hour. Even the Amish workers didnt care about anything other than slapping cheap materials together to make production goals. And he said his plant was one of the good ones; others were much worse.

My takeaway was to nitpick the heck out of anything i was going to buy. And to realize that it was not a product i should expect to last very long.

irishtom29

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Posted: 08/23/20 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep in mind that talent chases money in the blue collar world, just as in the white collar one. The good paying blue collar jobs are in NW Indiana, not NE Indiana where the RV makers are. Those in Goshen and Elkhart with some moxie head west over Hammond way for a job in the mills or refineries. Or a few more miles west to Chicago.

Now if the RV makers raised wages they'd attract better help. But even the best help is constrained by the policies of management and if management wants it cheap and fast and stuck together with staples then what can the workers do but satisfy those goals? It all comes down to management.

Anyway, people value good work...until they have to pay for it.

* This post was edited 08/23/20 06:41pm by irishtom29 *

Frank55

Texas

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Posted: 08/23/20 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So many of the issues I have had with my 5th wheel were design flaws, not shoddy workmanship. The clothes rod pulling away was the final straw! The worker putting the rod up has a plan that says put two rod hangers here. How much longer would it have taken to put in three hangers and use a support that had a place for 4 screws instead of two. The window shade that had the small metal rod that seperated from the shade is not the fault of the worker at the factory but whoever designed the shade to begin with. The wallboard seperating from the interior wall did not seperate because the worker did not put enough staples in the board, it is the fault of whoever decided to use staples that were not long enough.

memtb

Wyoming

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Posted: 08/23/20 09:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m sorry that all of you go through this! Sadly, this is a very common theme. There are very few posts, with folks proclaiming how great their rv’s are. I am so thankful that we discovered quality rv’s almost 30 years ago, and have stayed with that manufacturer since 1993.....sadly they, along with several other quality RV manufacturers went under in the late 2000’s. I hope that our 2004 will carry us through to the end of our RVing days! There are a few good RV’s out there, all are used and older models.....except for the 1 or 2 very expensive independent brands. If more people would shop for “used” high end rv’s......there would be less “unhappy campers”! An educated, careful buyer of a used high-end RV will spend about the same as what was spent on a “new” unit.....and have a far superior RV! JMO. memtb


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bigorange

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 08/23/20 10:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumpyroad wrote:

I figured out your problem when I got 7 words into your post.
bumpy

Same...I have a much longer list of issues from my brand new Forest River...luckily most of them were fixed under warranty.


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MattFromPA

Harrisburg, PA

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Posted: 08/24/20 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is making me not want to buy a new (or even newer used) TT. My 2005 Keystone has its problems but they're manageable. The actual build quality is overall pretty good, as I've learned while digging into various age-related problems.

I do feel for those living through the RV dream-turned-nightmare.

And yet my friends who have bought new the last two years have had good experiences - both had minor warranty issues but nothing eyebrow-raising. And one is a Forest River.

Frank55

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Posted: 08/27/20 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I can add two more things to my list. A blowout at 65 mph on I40. Tire was 2 years old. And both batteries went belly up. Tire will be replaced under warranty but there is only a one year warranty on the batteries. I told the battery manufacturer that the batteries lasted two years longer than they expected. Directly, Forrest River was not at fault,I did tell the tire manufacturer, Lions Head, that I hoped they can sleep well, knowing that there tires are so sorry that they could have killed someone.

ford truck guy

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 08/27/20 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:

Sounds like you got one of the better ones, my list would make yours look like nothing.


I agree.. I feel that you may have gotten off pretty easy.. In the big scheme of things . . .


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