This blog post will discuss 10 RV brands that you should avoid. These brands have not been doing well in the last few years and it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere anytime soon. They may be worth looking into if you’re on a tight budget, but for most people these brands offer nothing new or exciting.
That being said, any brand can have a lemon, and any brand with a poor reputation likely has some redeeming features. So, I would still advise judging each RV on a case-by-case basis. We’re focusing on the negatives here which might not necessarily reflect your experience.
We picked the RV brands to avoid by looking at:
- The number of complaints for each brand, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- The average age of the models available on their websites and in dealerships. i.e. they have not released any new models in a number of years
- Finally, we look at the price to feature and values when compared to other brands.
The 2008 financial crisis affected every industry in the U.S., and this included RVs as well. Winnebago Industries, Inc.—the household name of RVs—was on the verge of bankruptcy due to a significant decrease in sales during this time period because most people were not buying anything at all, especially luxury products.
Many manufacturers have struggled since then and it shows in their product lineup.
What RV Brands Should You Avoid?
Founded in 1980, Thor Industries had some big plans for what it wanted to accomplish and so they went ahead with acquiring a couple of well-known RV brands. They are the parent company of Airstream, Damon, and Dutchmen among others.
In 2010, they were the number one producer of Class-A motorhomes. In 2016, however, this was no longer true with them now in fourth place while their production dropped to just over 11% of all RVs manufactured that year. There are a lot of reasons for these changes and it is not clear if Thor Industries has any intention of trying to change their methods or how they view themselves as an RV company.
The decline might have something to do with the fact that most people don’t see Thor’s products as being high quality anymore.
I am not sure how many RV brands there are out there but I think it is safe to say that most people know of the brand Winnebago, they managed to survive through this last recession and even came back strong with new products such as motorboats and camping trailers – however all has not been well at Winnebago for some time now; recently we’ve found reports from owners of recent RVs stating that the newer production line appears less tightly controlled than before, leading us down a road where our optimism about them coming back stronger after all.
The 2011 models were ranked lower than their earlier counterparts due to a decrease in quality control which seems to have taken place since Winnebago’s recent cost-cutting measures.
Fleetwood RV is the company that made one of the most notorious RVs ever, a camper called The Classic. With its huge exterior dimensions and low profile it’s not hard to see why people thought this was a great idea at the time, but these days everything has changed- in more ways than just fashion trends.
The problem with Fleetwood campers comes down to mostly two things: Poor customer service reviews (particularly when it comes to honoring warranties) and some claims of poor builds.
The Gulfstream RVs are manufactured in the United States, however, they have an average rating that is lower than other RV brands.
Gulfstream was once a great name in the RV world. After taking six years off to focus on travel trailers, they are beginning their comeback by focusing on Class C and B+ motorhomes. Their main markets include lightweight coaches that are some of the most affordable for travelers looking to save money without sacrificing quality or style!
Fingers crossed they can bolster their reputation.
Coachmen is a company that has been around since 1964. They were the number one RV manufacturer in America at their height, and they are now owned by Forest River after being bought out in 2008.
Coachmen RV is known for producing budget-friendly RVs. That might not be a good thing though, as the company doesn’t seem to prioritize quality over cost. According to some reports, Coachmen has had more recalls than any other major U.S. manufacturer in recent years – and that’s saying something considering they’re only one of the most popular brands!
There are stories about dissatisfied customers who say their vehicles were poorly designed or built too quickly with low-quality materials with little care made available for customer satisfaction from the service team (according to reviews).
Forest River RV’s have done so poorly in consumer surveys of new RVs that it was removed from the annual industry list. Consumers don’t want Forest River – and there are plenty of other better brands to choose from.
Founded in 1996, Forest River is based out of Elkhart Indiana which they claim as their hometown brand. They offer a variety of RV types including recreational vehicles for weekends at campgrounds or lake houses, fifth-wheel trailers suited for longer campsites and full-time living situations, towables with more convertible features than most competitors’ offerings, and Class A motorhomes built on trucks to travel long distances without fuel restrictions common to many other large gas-guzzling models.
Jayco is an American company that creates pop-up travel trailers with its folding design. They also created the first fifth-wheel trailer in 1976, which was acquired by Thor as of 2016.
Jayco is an American company that creates pop-up travel trailers with its folding design. They also created the first fifth-wheel trailer in 1976, which was acquired by Thor as of 2016. Jayco’s foldable designs are popular but they tend not to last for more than a decade or two before tearing at the seams and falling apart. The best brands will have warranties because they know how their products can be prone to defects over time.
The Jayco owners forum provides an insight into the many Jayco problems and complaints owners have had over the years. The company has been cited for having a high rate of defects as well as not being reliable or durable in most cases with many customers who are experiencing Jayco’s durability issues while traveling on their RV road trips.
Keystone RV is one of Thor’s most popular brands. It offers a comfortable and reliable ride for many users, which can be seen in the number of its customers that return to buy new RVs over time.
Flagg RV explains two reasons why it might want you to consider buying a Keystone: 1) their quality standards are aligned with what they hope will satisfy customer needs; 2) their service staff delivers on those expectations every day by responding quickly when any issues or concerns arise.
However, the brand is not without its faults. Keystone has been criticized for not researching the industry enough, which has led to them making decisions that don’t always make sense.
Some users have reported that Keystone’s service department is difficult for them to work with and that the warranty process is just too complicated.
Thor A.C.E. Motorcoach
The Thor ACE has had some mixed reviews on iRV2.com, and while a few of the videos online show unhappy customers there are still many out there that enjoy their RV as an entry-level model.
The most common complaints involve the shoddy build quality, the lack of reliability, and poor customer service.
The Thor ACE is not one to avoid completely but it’s important for any potential buyer to be aware that they will be purchasing a budget RV with an inferior level of craftsmanship.
If you are looking for something in this range then there may be better options available on the market.