Recently, a popular YouTuber, Bruce Wilson, released a video where he calls out Thor for making “crap” RVs.
One of the largest manufacturers of motorcoaches, the company plays a significant role in the outdoor industry. But are they making subpar products?
Today, we’re looking at Wilson’s claims and running down the laundry list of issues owners face.
Let’s pop the hood!
YouTuber Claims New Thor RV Is Unsafe Piece of Crap
Bruce Wilson’s recent upload opens with children screaming, his children. As he and his wife drive down the road in their rig, windows open, the kids cry in the back. Maybe it’s the roar of the roadway disturbing them, but we discover they didn’t have a choice.
The next shot cuts to Wilson at the gas station, and he’s visibly angry. Over the next few moments, he describes the reason he’s upset. They found a dangerous flaw when they took their new vehicle on a camping trip with family. Exhaust from the engine was venting up through the cab and living areas.
Gaps in the paneling allowed the toxic carbon monoxide fumes to reach the interior. They all could’ve been poisoned if exposed for too long.
Throughout the rest of his nearly 30-minute rant, Bruce shows viewers problems that shouldn’t have made it past quality control. Broken fridge mounts, shoddy slide-out motors, random cables, and hoses are all on display. For a Thor RV with less than 11,000 miles on it, it’s clearly got problems.
Because of their track record, Wilson doesn’t expect the company to fix the issues. After spending $250,000 on the rig, he’s ready to eat the losses and dump it on the side of the road. But his bigger concern is for retired folks who’ve sunk their entire savings into dumpy campers.
From the look of things, this one isn’t even worth the paper left in the blackwater tank.
About Thor Industries
Founded in 1980 by Peter Orthwein and Wade Thompson, Thor Industries didn’t always have a reputation for making crappy RVs. It used to be known as one of the strongest indicators of quality. So, what exactly changed in the last 40 years?
Home to 16 brands, the company’s first acquisition was Airstream on August 29, 1980. The two purchased the struggling imprint from Beatrice Foods with a vision for something huge. They built on the brand’s reputation and created the industry leader we know today.
Along the way, they brought more and more manufacturers under their imprint. And while each maintained its identity and style, something else also started happening. Overall quality began to decline. When they started making Thor Motor Coaches, plenty of their portfolio proved problematic.
Home to Jayco, Dutchmen, Entegra, and Tiffin, among many others, their rigs crisscross America daily. Chances are, if you’re in the market for a new RV, you’ve looked at one made by a company that Thor Industries owns.
When they started cutting corners, their reputation suffered. The biggest complaint is the lack of quality work, but plenty of other criticisms exist. And, as we’ve seen, these problems aren’t going away. In fact, they’re getting worse.
Learn more about Thor: Thor’s RV Empire, Explained.
What Are the Most Common Problems With Thor RVs?
While Thor Motor Coach may let crap RVs roll off their production line, some matters rise to the top.
One of the top reports has to do with slide-outs. In Wilson’s video, he shows just one of the issues plaguing this part. Low-cost motors make moving them in and out difficult. Other users report theirs are misaligned, jam easily, and leak when open.
Basic plumbing is another regular snafu for the manufacturer. Frequently, the water systems aren’t connected properly or are missing essential elements. Sometimes, you have to redo them after purchase.
Floor coverings are also a serious contender. Thor’s problematic RV flooring bubbles up, peels away, and gaps while driving. And they hardly ever own up to it.
Leaks haunt owners around the country. Most report missing caulk and seals rather than damaged components. Simply running a bead of silicone could solve many of their issues before they roll off the line.
Electrical failures, dangerous seating, and faulty shocks are the most frequently reported problems in Thor Motor Coaches.
It’s important to note that they weren’t so bad before the 2021 model year. Although, with so many quality concerns now, it’s surprising they’re still in business.
Good purchasing preparation can help avoid issues: 11 RV Buying Tips You MUST Know.
Does Thor Offer Good RV Warranties?
Since they have so many unhappy customers, you’d be forgiven for thinking Thor RVs have crappy support. Depending on the model and year, you could actually have surprisingly decent coverage.
Their new Class A and C RVs have an industry-leading six-year lamination warranty. This covers the skin of the rig, which they’ve had trouble with. Currently, the standard for most brands is only three years, so they’re in the lead.
Another area where they’re ahead of the curve is structural. Thor offers 12-year coverage for their new rigs, something they think will help entice buyers.
But the biggest problem with these warranties is that you must trust them to fix it. If they built a higher quality product in the first place, you’d never need to put your rig in the shop. As it is, you’ll likely lose significant camping time while waiting on parts.
How to Avoid Problems With Thor RVs
Buying something else is the best way to avoid problems with potentially crappy Thor RVs. But their reputation for variety keeps buyers coming back. They have over 120 different floorplans, something most manufacturers can’t touch.
As Wilson says in the video, a thorough inspection is crucial to ensure you don’t buy a lemon. He suggests looking on your own. And this makes sense if you’re a seasoned RVer. However, if this is your first time, we recommend hiring a professional.
A qualified inspector will look at hundreds of items during their once-over. Just make sure they’re certified. Anyone can claim the title but should list which organization they’re backed by. The National RV Inspectors Association has a tool to help you find a reputable professional.
Since you’re already planning to spend money on an RV, hiring someone who’s looked at hundreds of them is worth the extra scratch.
Plus, if you’re buying from a seller in a different state, they’re your eyes and ears on the ground.
Do a pre-inspection yourself before hiring a professional: RV Inspection Deal-Breakers.
Inspectors Can Sniff Out the Crap
Whether you plan to camp on the weekends or live in your rig full-time, unexpected problems will cramp your style. As a brand with serious name recognition, you’d expect a quality product from Thor RV, not a piece of crap. But there’s more than cosmetics at stake. Some of the issues can be life-threatening.
If you can’t avoid buying a Thor Motor Coach, at least hire an inspector to check it out first. With your savings on the line, it’s worth a little more investment upfront!
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