An Open Letter to the RV Industry: Take This Opportunity to Build Trust

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

An Open Letter to the RV Industry: Take This Opportunity to Build Trust

Dear RV Industry,

Summer RV season has arrived, and we’re glad to see your industry has proven to be pandemic-proof. We’ve read the headlines. From the Wall Street Journal to the local main street courier, Americans are taking a chance on RV travel this summer.

As a seasoned, full-time RVer, this makes me worry.

Americans see outdoor recreation as the safest way to travel. And, with this, I agree! 

RVs, especially entry-level travel trailers, are booming in sales.

It worries me because these newly purchased RVs (by families longing to connect with each other and with nature) will most likely have the same warranty issues as their predecessors. 

I get it. It’s good for the bottom line to pump out these units quickly and efficiently. Using cost-effective materials keeps the consumer price down.

But, at some point, earning consumer confidence must be a factor. Generations of RV owners have lost trust in the quality of RVs and have become disenchanted with the warranty process.

RV manufacturers, are you content with losing the trust of the next generation of RV owners who choose this lifestyle in response to the current pandemic?

In these uncertain times, as people see RVing as a safe vacation option, will you be content to let them down with hastily manufactured units?

Here’s hoping that you understand the gravity of this newfound RV demand and raise the bar of gaining consumer trust after an RV is purchased.

Concerned RV Vacation Advocate,

Drivin’ & Vibin’

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16 comments

  1. Why are you calling out RV manufacturers? Is this something that is prevalent in the RV world? Crappy RVs?

    1. If you dig deep during your research process, you can have success. Join owners groups on Facebook. Read through brand specific forums. You’ll be able to identify weak points and choose the best brand for your needs.

  2. I’ve whittled down my list to just a couple RV manufacturers I will be buying from in the near future due to good warranties, fullfilment of repairs done , and customer satisfaction.

  3. Absolutely. RV manufacturers have a terrible reputation for poor quality. We’ve experienced this first hand with a 2018 new fifth wheel. We had multiple issues including a broken furnace, a broken water heater, poor welding on the frame, stuck slides, misaligned molding, torn wiring, cracks, and many more. I have no problem with common fixes due to travelling but when you run the wiring to the slide through the wheel well one inch above the tire with no coating over it you have to know that’s not going to work long. When you use steel screws you have to know those will rust eventually. When you do poor welding on the frame and the crossbeams in front and behind the axels fall off while driving down the road you have to know that weld inspections were missed. When you keep installing Dometic furnaces that have a known issue with the Sail Switch you have to believe they are not willing to fix a known problem and push it on the consumer. Unfortunately it appears that only a class action lawsuit will get them to change.

  4. yeah the old “profiteering bit” which is typical all too often. why care about the long range concerns on the quality of your product when the main concern is inflating your profits and moving on down the road when the crap starts hitting the fan? saw this at my old firm GE. hopefully the smarter manufactures will heed your words. it can take a decade or more to build your brand but only a year or 2 to trash it with customers.

    1. The problem is no regulations on this industry they can build what ever they want however they what warranty if they want there self regulated almost impossible to Sri them it’s a organized mafia of trailer builders

  5. Nice Letter! Would be great if they would start building RVs with quality in mind, NOT mediocrity. They use things in RVs that they know are shoddy and will break. The manufacturers need to REGULATE themselves and have the decency to put out something decent!

  6. I couldn’t agree with all the negative comments more, they need to stop installing China shit in RVs for one thing.i bought a brand new 2018 Coachman motorhome on a Ford E450 chassis and had problems right from the start, furnace, roof vents , clearance lights on the Coachman, it wouldnt pass north Carolina safety inspection.when I bought the unit I wondered why the finance guy wouldn’t stop until I purchased a 7 year protection package 2500.00 now I’m glad I did, this unit is more work than my house,I understand it’s bouncing down the road but c’monput some quality products in these things! For what you pay for them, I was so pissed I went to trade it in and found out it wasn’t worth half of what I paid, so your stuck with these shit boxes.and if you think the more you pay for one the better it will be your wrong, they use the same crap in all of them, well maybe not a prevost,lol. Oh well good luck to all and carry a lot of tools!

  7. Unfortunately yes. It even became more apparent after we took factory tours 3 years ago in Elkhart, IN, The Airstream factory in Ohio, and the upholstery factories that support them. There a few that still put out a quality product, but not the current high volume mainstream rigs.

  8. You’re so right about quality. Many people may abandon RV living a year or two from now when they’re wiser but underwater on their loan, and have experienced repair nightmares that can force them off the road for months.

    Beyond the severe quality issues, RV manufacturers are losing the next wave of younger buyers and digital nomads because they don’t know what those buyers want. Hint: it’s more than extra USB ports.

    By not innovating and building quality RVs, they’ve created the demand for custom and DIY campers which cannibalizes their sales.

    I looked at ready-built class B’s, C’s and towables for months before getting a custom build. I got MUCH higher quality and technology for WAY less money, and it was worth the 6 month wait.

  9. We own a 2016 a Fleetwood Storm, after esperianing some rough road in Kentucky potholes being the worst problem on interstate highway. Now we have a wall seperating from.dash and floor. Also seeing vertical movement of this wall. A unit with 25,000 miles on it shouldn’t have issues like.this. We have no idea how this is going to impact our current 6 month US tour??? This unit was $135,000 new, now may be near junk?

  10. Most of the “affordable” ultra light trailers we looked at this weekend seem like junk! Thin walls, flimsy storage doors, and shoddy finish work. I realize it’s not going to be perfect but I expect the trailer to work as intended and not end up in the shop all the time.

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