Are you looking to purchase an RV? Maybe you want to start traveling more. Or maybe you’re selling it all and moving into an RV full-time.
How do you know which RV to get?
Many RVs don’t hold up well.
They aren’t made of superior materials, and the craftsmanship isn’t top quality. But don’t let that deter you from purchasing an RV.
There are some great brands out there, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
How Long Do RVs Last?
Many RVs can’t withstand full-time living. The daily wear and tear take a toll on the structure and systems.
But following a proper maintenance schedule is vitally important to the overall health of your RV. Its longevity depends on how well you take care of it. If you don’t get up on the roof a couple of times a year to check the seals and inspect for cracks, then your roof will deteriorate more quickly.
If you don’t lubricate your slide-outs and seals monthly, then they’ll crack or operate less efficiently. S
o how long your RV will last will reflect on how consistently you follow a maintenance schedule.
Which RV Brand Lasts the Longest?
Airstream has been around for 90 years. It’s the oldest RV brand and one of the most successful because of its superior quality and craftsmanship.
When you purchase an Airstream, you know you’re getting a top-of-the-line RV and excellent customer service. Let’s look at what makes them a long-lasting brand.
Airstream has been around since 1931, when its first factory in Culver City, Calif., opened. During the Great Depression and World War II, most manufacturers went out of business. But Airstream remained.
By the 1950s, the small factory in California could no longer handle all of the business, so a second factory opened in Jackson Center, Ohio. In the 1970s, Airstream’s first motorhome debuted, and in 2004, the Interstate Touring Coach class B RVs launched. Finally, in 2018, a new 750,000 sq-ft factory opened in Jackson Center.
Airstream continues to change with the trends and needs of travelers.
In the past decade, the company launched the Basecamp and Nest models for travelers needing smaller travel trailers they can pull with an SUV. And the Pottery Barn Special Edition travel trailer will debut in 2022.
Depreciation of Airstreams
Airstreams depreciate just like all RVs. But they don’t depreciate as much as other RVs.
If you want to purchase a travel trailer that holds its value over decades, then an Airstream may be what you’re looking for. Although pricing greatly varies from model to model and year to year, today, you can purchase a vintage Airstream for around $30,000.
You can go to a dealership and pay that much for a brand new travel trailer from another brand.
So yes, Airstreams are expensive when new. But they’re also expensive when used.
Which RV Brands Are the Most Reliable?
Based on quality construction and longevity, these are the most reliable RV brands. This doesn’t mean if you have another brand that your RV is going to fall apart.
But overall, these four brands rank higher than the others.
Grand Design RV
Awarded again and again with Quality Circle distinctions, Grand Design RV product quality ranks above most of the rest. The company attributes this to its initial quality inspection.
Rather than waiting until the last step of the manufacturing process, Grand Design RV chooses to spend time at the beginning of the process to take a fine-tooth comb over every nook and cranny.
Grand Design RV also pays attention to the details. Every wall is laminated aluminum framed, not just the sidewalls. The rear wall, slide walls, and slide roofs are also laminated aluminum framed.
The one-piece TPO roof features a 12-year warranty, and Grand Design equips all of its products with a three-year limited structural warranty.
Grand Design RV is also one of the few manufacturers that prepares its products for full-time living. They’re “extended stay approved,” which means you’ll find residential-type amenities and features.
Oliver Fiberglass Products
Oliver produces walk-in bathtubs and fiberglass showers, but it also specializes in fiberglass travel trailers. Since 2007, Oliver has made high-quality, durable travel trailers featuring a double-shelled fiberglass and composite hull.
The intention from the beginning was to build travel trailers to last a lifetime. You can easily pass down your Oliver travel trailer to the next generation.
Oliver also provides a five-year limited warranty on the hull and custom-built chassis. The mechanical systems, ducts, plumbing, and tanks are all enclosed between the fiberglass shells.
Because of the craftsmanship and top-quality materials, it takes more than 400 hours to build an Oliver RV. With an Oliver travel trailer, you’ll receive four-season camping, easy towing, a double fiberglass core, and an aerodynamic design.
Newmar began producing motorhomes more than 50 years ago. With an Amish and Mennonite background, Newmar’s values and principles still follow these Christian traditions.
The high-end motorhomes produced by Newmar feature a one-year, unlimited-mile expressed limited warranty and a five-year limited structural warranty.
Newmar’s Comfort Drive makes handling a large motorhome feel like driving a luxury car. Other features include porcelain tile, cathedral ceilings, and a Total Comfort climate system. The wood cabinetry is custom-made, and some luxury models also feature a high-gloss finish.
Newmar works with Ford, Freightliner Custom Chassis, and Spartan Motors to produce a top-of-the-line chassis on each Newmar motorhome.
The ride is quieter and more stable than other motorhomes, and the chassis itself is more durable and stronger than competitors. The full paint is standard on all Newmar motorhomes and certainly sets these coaches apart.
Finally, Newmar was the first company to offer power and flush-floor slide-outs.
The giant “W” on the side of an RV is about as recognizable as the silver bullet Airstreams. Winnebago has been producing top-quality RVs since 1958. This company produces the most variety of RVs on the list, from gas to diesel, travel trailers to camper vans.
Whether you’re looking for elegance or ruggedness, Winnebago offers an RV to fit your travel lifestyle.
Winnebago Industries actually owns a family of brands: Winnebago, Grand Design RV, Newmar, Chris-Craft, and Barletta Boats. In 2004, Winnebago Industries reached $1.1 billion in annual sales and was named “most admired RV manufacturer” by an RV Business poll.
New in 2022 is the Roam camper van. This accessibility-enhanced van was created for wheelchair users. It features a remote-controlled wheelchair lift, integrated tie-downs, controls and switches within reach, and an open floor plan.
The new Vista 33K motorhome features 33K holding tanks, the largest in its class. They’re enclosed and heated for four-season use.
The Vista 33K also features the Winnebago trademark SuperStructure steel construction and fiberglass roof.
What Major RV Manufacturer Has the Longest Warranty?
Airstream offers the longest limited warranty at three years, along with three years of roadside assistance. Grand Design RV offers a one-year limited warranty with a three-year limited structural warranty.
Oliver offers a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser on the fiberglass body along with a five-year limited chassis warranty.
Other brands have similar offers. Newmar offers a five-year structural warranty with a one-year limited warranty.
Winnebago offers a three-year limited structural warranty on diesel motorhomes and a one-year limited warranty on other models.
Shopping for an RV can be stressful
You don’t want to spend that much money and make a bad decision. Buying one of these top brands won’t guarantee that you won’t have issues.
But the likelihood of having to deal with poor craftsmanship and low quality is less. If you’re looking for an RV that lasts, check out an Airstream or one of the other reliable RV brands listed here.
Which brand piques your interest?
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No mention of Jayco’s 2year warrantee? Was good to have when in the second year one of our slides broke. and was fixed at no cost.