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RV Technician Says Campers are “Designed to Start Breaking After Around 44 Uses”

RV Technician Says Campers are “Designed to Start Breaking After Around 44 Uses”

RV Technician Says Campers are “Designed to Start Breaking After Around 44 Uses”

Are you considering buying a travel trailer in the future? 

If so, proceed with caution. 

Even the most aesthetically pleasing travel trailers can be deceiving. Here’s what the manufacturers and RV dealers aren’t willing to tell you about travel trailers. 

What are Mass-Produced Travel Trailers?

Mass-produced travel trailers are campers that are quite literally produced in mass. Manufacturers pump out as many of each model as they can to fill dealership lots. Mass-produced travel trailers are usually budget or entry-level campers. 

Rapid travel trailer assembly done in-mass can pass on a lot of problems to the new RV owner.

The Problem With Mass-Produced Travel Trailers

Travel trailers that are made in mass are also made with low price, lightweight materials. Rapid manufacturing combined with low-quality building materials is a recipe for disaster.

These types of travel trailers will begin to give owners issues almost immediately. Some problems may be minor, like a cabinet knob falling off.

However, other issues can be significant. The roof may leak, there may be poor fittings on the plumbing system, the walls may not be joined together well, and more. 

Some Manufacturers Cut Corners

The harsh reality is that most RVs are not made to last. And RVs are usually not made for full-time living.

Most brand new RVs come with a one-year warranty and are made for weekend use. With only 52 weekends in a year, manufacturers can cut corners with build quality and materials. 

Most travel trailers just aren’t made to live up to heavy use and wear and tear. 

According to an “industry secrets” thread on Reddit, an RV technician claims that most RVs are only built to last 44 uses. An RV service manager confirms this claim, adding that many are made from the “cheapest materials possible.”

How to Know Which Brands Are High Quality

There are more low-quality RVs on the road today than high-quality. And if you want a high-quality travel trailer that’s going to last, expect to pay top dollar for it!

So how do you know what brands are high quality? 

Customer Reviews and Stories

The first place to look is online. Look at brand-specific owner forums and reviews. Reading stories from actual owners is the best way to get an accurate idea of the RV quality. 

Choose Well Known Brands

Go with a well-known, trusted brand. Seek out brands that put customer service and experience above all else. There is no “perfect” RV. So when purchasing an RV, it helps to know that the manufacturer is on your side!

What To Look For When Purchasing a Travel Trailer

In addition to doing online research, there are many things you can look at when you physically go to see a travel trailer. 

When looking at potential travel trailers to buy, don’t be afraid to really get into it. 

Examine seams around the ceiling and walls. Push on the walls. 

Look in the storage bays and look at the plumbing. Operate all the systems: put out the slides, awning, leveling jacks, etc. 

Take a look at the assembly of cabinets, drawers, and doors. You’ll see the build quality pretty quickly!

Should You Buy New or Used? 

With the problem of low-quality new RVs, should you buy used instead? 

This is a highly personal preference. New RVs depreciate immediately upong purchase. Buying used is a good idea if resale value is important to you. 

New RVs come with manufacturer’s warranties that usually last a year after the date of purchase. If you purchase a used RV, you can always get an extended RV warranty.

Many RV owners will argue that older RVs contain higher-quality materials. This is anecdotal, and used RVs will have their own set of issues simply due to age and use.

Ultimately, the decision to buy new or used comes down to your personal preferences and budget. Every RV will have problems at some point, so don’t think you will avoid issues by choosing one over the other.

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Dennis Taylor

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

I am a retired RV tech, 45 yrs. The guy that said RVs start breaking down around 44 uses is completely nuts! Every RV dealer has to go through every RV on the lot, before selling it, just to fix the myraid of mistakes, missing parts, parts not installed, etc, etc. That's why RV tech's have a job. 44 uses? Unless living in them full time, the average rver uses them about 12 times per year and that's if they're not in the shop being fixed. 44 times? The warranty would run out before that!

5 Ways to Void Your RV Warranty - Drivin' & Vibin'

Tuesday 26th of October 2021

[…] Keep in mind: This RV Technician reveals exactly how many uses an RV is meant to have before breaking. […]

Luther Smith

Monday 4th of October 2021

Well, very informative and interesting read. Been living in my class A Forest River Georgetown 36B full time with my family for a year straight now and although I can definitely tell the guts of the interior are not super tough I’m thankful that the mechanical side of things have been outstanding on my rig. Small issues through the winter but Nothing major. I will say it is definitely not built for very active kids to be climbing on everything and playing around inside too much. I plan on getting and switching to a super C to see if it’s better built. We shall see.


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

I was going to buy an airstream travel trailer until I spoke with an attorney who handles cases regarding lemon RVs. He said not to waste my money told me about the horror stories of his clients. After 10 minutes of talking to him, I put that plan on the shelf permanently!


Thursday 30th of September 2021

Hi, I am an engineer at an RV company. It is well known that RVs are not all made to be lived in or heavily used, there is no intention to purposely have them break over a certain number of uses. That is absurd. You have to consider that RV trailers are basically houses on wheels. Many of the items in an RV are build much like a home. Cabinets and interior walls are built much like the ones in your home. The cabinets and walls are all tied in together and are part of the structure of the RV. There are alot of forces acting on the structure and items in the coach when taking it down the road. It would be very difficult and expensive to design an RV that would not have these problems. It would also be extremely heavy. While some manufacturers do use cheaper materials or the build quality is poor, this isn't because they don't want to or are incapable of providing a quality product. If RVs were built to have 0 problems, it would price most consumers out of a unit. Your standard travel trailer would cost as much as a premium fifth wheel. Companies want to provide a unit that will fill the needs of the customer and be within a price range they can afford. They are not maliciously designing an RV to break so you buy a new one. That would make no sense. If your RV broke soon after your warranty expired, you wouldn't be a repeat customer for that brand. RV companies are providing the best possible product they can for any price range.

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