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Old 08-29-2018, 02:00 AM   #1
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New Buyer / made mistake of reading BBB site

As a newbie looking to purchase my ( our) first RV ( Toy Hauler ) , I want thank everyone here who has answered my questions and given me advice in the past few weeks.

After hours of research on brands and "how to" stuff, I decided to do a google search on RV manufacturers complaints / warranties / BBB / etc. Geez it seems grim!!

Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time?

Other things I'm reading like " be diligent with your PDI walk through" / "take pics and document everything" because "there will be warranty issues" is just accepted as part of the process. I'm reading how there is very little quality control and regulation in building RV's coupled with poor quality materials. Does RV really stand for Ruined Vacation?
How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )

Is it possible that hiring a Certified RV Inspector to do my PDI on a new purchase is a good Idea?
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Deanm View Post
As a newbie looking to purchase my ( our) first RV ( Toy Hauler ) , I want thank everyone here who has answered my questions and given me advice in the past few weeks.

After hours of research on brands and "how to" stuff, I decided to do a google search on RV manufacturers complaints / warranties / BBB / etc. Geez it seems grim!!

Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time?

Other things I'm reading like " be diligent with your PDI walk through" / "take pics and document everything" because "there will be warranty issues" is just accepted as part of the process. I'm reading how there is very little quality control and regulation in building RV's coupled with poor quality materials. Does RV really stand for Ruined Vacation?
How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )

Is it possible that hiring a Certified RV Inspector to do my PDI on a new purchase is a good Idea?

Many will disagreed with me but the quality of RVs overall is not that bad. Do some have problems yes, but millions more do not. Will things go wrong over time yes but they do in your home as well. Yes they have standards, again they are different somewhat than a home.

RVs have to be made from a lighter material (cheaper) or a tractor trailer would be needed to tow them, and the cost would price most of us out of the market. Go build a house for 15K to 50K. Think about this put your house on a trailer bouce it down the highway at 65 MPH how well would it make out.

We have be camping for 35 years an RV has never ruined our vacation but a broken car has. Yes things from time to time have to be fixed, and maintenance has to be done (but so does a car).

As far as a certified inspector for the PDI bad idea as you learn a lot about the systems and your RV while going through it with the technician. Take notes, pictures and ask questions. The the PDI check list in the library here isa good tool.

For a Toyhauler I liked our Puma, almost no issues in the 5-6 years we owned it. The only reason we sold it was the DW wanted more living area.

Buy what you want enjoy RVing and not worry about the little things. There is nothing like camping there is good and bad to any vacation, RVing or not.


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Old 08-29-2018, 04:50 AM   #3
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So everything you said is true- but not as bad as it seems.

1.Quality control is an issue- and a good dealers will take care of all the little stuff. So find a good dealer- guess what you will pay more for good service.

2. Find a brand that has good factory support- Berkshire diesel division is very good.

3. DO NOT accept delivery till rv is 100%, You must be willing to walk away, and have that in writing. if you do not know how to do a complete inspection- hiring someone may not be a bad idea.

4. I think the rv industry is set to sell over 350,000 units this year- if 5% have an issue that 17,000 plus post about how bad things are. I have had 3 used rv's and one new, all have had minor issues, that I have fixed myself.

I think many people get buyers remorse, and go nuts with the little stuff.

One last thing- many states have lemon laws for cars but they do not apply to rv's for some reason.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:20 AM   #4
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dave-g covered the main points.

Another thing to understand is that the RV industry IS NOT like the automotive industry when it comes to regulation and warranties. The RV manufacturers crank them out the dealers work on them. The dealers can pick and chose what and when they want to work on something with apparently no repercussions from the manufacturer.

As pointed out a good dealer is the key, followed by a thorough walk through. When we bought our MH there were two on the lot, one was built about 3 weeks prior to the other. One was not assembled well at all, the other was acceptable. I do all of my own repairs and maintenance, so somethings don't bother me as much as they would someone else.

Also you need to understand that an RV is not a house or a car. They will ALWAYS need maintenance to keep them in top notch condition. Think of what would happen to your house if it went through a hurricane and an earthquake every time you used it.

We love our RV and won't be without one until the day I can no longer travel safely.

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Old 08-29-2018, 05:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanm View Post
As a newbie looking to purchase my ( our) first RV ( Toy Hauler ) , I want thank everyone here who has answered my questions and given me advice in the past few weeks.

After hours of research on brands and "how to" stuff, I decided to do a google search on RV manufacturers complaints / warranties / BBB / etc. Geez it seems grim!!

Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time?

Other things I'm reading like " be diligent with your PDI walk through" / "take pics and document everything" because "there will be warranty issues" is just accepted as part of the process. I'm reading how there is very little quality control and regulation in building RV's coupled with poor quality materials. Does RV really stand for Ruined Vacation?
How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )

Is it possible that hiring a Certified RV Inspector to do my PDI on a new purchase is a good Idea?
Since you are looking to purchase a Toy Hauler, know this, they are mostly much more heavy, particularly when loaded with toys than other comparable length RVs.

Make SURE your Tow Vehicle is capable of towing the weight and holding the payload capacity of the pin weight of your RV. If you already have a TV, then look for campers it is capable of towing, if you dont have a TV yet, then insure when you purchase one it is capable of towing the camper you just bought.

The PDI is a VERY important step in the purchase, but here is a thought to consider regarding the extensive list of complaints about RV Manufacturers:

You ONLY read about the bad from the the owners who have any problems. Those who do not have problems seldom post so there is a skewed database tilted in favor of those who have complaints, some legitimate, some not so legitimate.

Just do a thorough PDI, to include going onto the roof and looking at EVERY seam on the top and sides of the roof. Have them repair anything you find before you take delivery.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:14 AM   #6
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Had a loaded Dutchmen Voltage 3990 for three years. 13,000 towed miles. Very few issues. Never had a trip ruined. The key is to stay on top of maintenance, otherwise if you let them pile up, you'll soon have a piece of junk. Biggest maintenance issue with RV's is water intrusion. Nothing wrecks an RV faster.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:30 AM   #7
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Lightbulb

"... Geez it seems grim!! Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time? "


sounds like you're denigrating a work force that you don't even know anything about - why would you 'assume' any work force is 'underpaid' and 'just trying to get as many built...blah blah' ??

I have met many great 'workers' at several of these RV plants and they work just as hard as you do. They don't work there because they're 'underpaid', but because they are well paid, and because they enjoy what they are doing.

Any RV factory is a business - and just like any other business, they don't stay in business if they don't make a profit on a regular basis. Salaries cannot be too high, the number of workers can't be too great, and the number of units built have to be enough to warrant the business to 'be in business' in the first place. NONE of that means anything other than a thriving business that is providing salaries and jobs to those who want them, and even great monetary influx into the local community. And, YES, of course, a factory has to get 'as many units built' as they can - that IS the business - otherwise it's just an expensive hobby.

Go to Newell or Foretravel, or one of the Bus Conversion factories, and you'll spend the appropriate money to have one 'hand made', on a much 'slower' daily schedule... but, I'll also remind you that even THEY have a 'number of units' to build in order to stay in business.

RVs are not built by robots, like your Toyota(check out the factory tour in Georgetown, KY) ... they are built 'by hand', by people, just like you.

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Old 08-29-2018, 08:01 AM   #8
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we love our Toy Hauler! we have had no issues with it other than not reading a manual and messing something up ourselves. it is a very well built trailer. what model are you looking at? im sure someone here has one and can give you an unbiased review of it.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:44 PM   #9
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Good idea taking along a knowledgeable RV person when looking for the ones you've narrowed down, especially if it's used. At the PDI point you've about committed and are on a walk through to learn your RV, no distractions.
We even took a person to the RV show with us. They helped us consider and see functionality beyond what we saw and were dazzled by. Also pointed the units with very difficult access to areas of regular maintenance.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Oaklevel View Post
Many will disagreed with me but the quality of RVs overall is not that bad. Do some have problems yes, but millions more do not. Will things go wrong over time yes but they do in your home as well. Yes they have standards, again they are different somewhat than a home.

RVs have to be made from a lighter material (cheaper) or a tractor trailer would be needed to tow them, and the cost would price most of us out of the market. Go build a house for 15K to 50K. Think about this put your house on a trailer bouce it down the highway at 65 MPH how well would it make out.

We have be camping for 35 years an RV has never ruined our vacation but a broken car has. Yes things from time to time have to be fixed, and maintenance has to be done (but so does a car).

As far as a certified inspector for the PDI bad idea as you learn a lot about the systems and your RV while going through it with the technician. Take notes, pictures and ask questions. The the PDI check list in the library here isa good tool.

For a Toyhauler I liked our Puma, almost no issues in the 5-6 years we owned it. The only reason we sold it was the DW wanted more living area.

Buy what you want enjoy RVing and not worry about the little things. There is nothing like camping there is good and bad to any vacation, RVing or not.


X2 Have a different manufactured trailer, KS, and we love ours. Have had some minor issues. Nothing to "ruin vacation". As said, print out the pdi check list, and ask lots of questions.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:15 PM   #11
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How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )
You about answered your own question...
Yes most every buyer has an issue or two or three... some much more than that, and MANY NO ISSUES...

SOme on this forum have complained about an issue with a new RV that is "just not road-ready" and when they take them back to the dealer to get them fixed under warranty, find that the DEALER takes weeks if not months to fix the issue thereby using up the rest of the camping season to do a repair... That would certainly make me write a letter to BBB...

However, if you are a little handy with hand tools and can watch youtube vids and read this forum, then you can handles many problems by yourself and not involve the dealer.

Certainly have someone with you at PDI, and ask questions about anything you do not understand... video a demonstration or take notes... have nother pair of eyes watching also. Do not sign off until EVERYTHING is fixed to your satisfaction. The DEALER's BBB should be looked at more then the MFG, and let that help guide your purchase decision.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Deanm View Post
As a newbie looking to purchase my ( our) first RV ( Toy Hauler ) , I want thank everyone here who has answered my questions and given me advice in the past few weeks.

After hours of research on brands and "how to" stuff, I decided to do a google search on RV manufacturers complaints / warranties / BBB / etc. Geez it seems grim!!

Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time?

Other things I'm reading like " be diligent with your PDI walk through" / "take pics and document everything" because "there will be warranty issues" is just accepted as part of the process. I'm reading how there is very little quality control and regulation in building RV's coupled with poor quality materials. Does RV really stand for Ruined Vacation?
How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )

Is it possible that hiring a Certified RV Inspector to do my PDI on a new purchase is a good Idea?

You are correct . get them out the door let owner and dealer worry about finishing product or warranty . many more have issues then not , quality is a joke . cheapest materials cheapest labor , cheapest everything. you can get a good one every now and then . but plan on having issues . most are not so bad and can get taken care of but plan on the first 6 months being in and out of warranty . it would do you well to hire someone with experience to check it over before you pay
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:42 PM   #13
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As a hold it's not that the industry is at fault for poor quality units being built .
There is a lot of moving parts on a RV some times things go bump in the night
But what they are guilty of is there dealer network.if you want to call it that .
Until the the industry demands its dealers provide quality repairs on warranty work
It's going to be same old same old
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:48 PM   #14
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Just like it is wise to get a "Pre-Purchase Inspection" by a knowledgeable mechanic before buying a used vehicle, I would suggest getting a Post-Purchase Inspection on a new RV.

After you have camped/used the new RV a few times, find a well-reviewed INDEPENDENT RV repair shop in your area. Ask them if they can look over the new unit for problems, and have them do another "Walk-Through" with you to get familiar with all the systems.

Also a good way to establish a relationship with a shop.

Good source for Shop Reviews here:

RV Service Reviews


Best of luck with your new Toy.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:55 PM   #15
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I remember Bob Tiffin quote when he was President of RV manufacturer association. " We all need to improve our quality. If we could only control the quality of the thousands of parts we use in the units".
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Blazer View Post
As a hold it's not that the industry is at fault for poor quality units being built .
There is a lot of moving parts on a RV some times things go bump in the night
But what they are guilty of is there dealer network.if you want to call it that .
Until the the industry demands its dealers provide quality repairs on warranty work
It's going to be same old same old
Not at fault for poor quality ? you must not own an rv . the quality sucks they can't even drill holes they just use hammers . the list would take pages to write all the poor quality that comes from the manufactures . these are designed to be towed are they not . does the RV industry think are roads are paved daily
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:07 PM   #17
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When I worked in customer service as a manager for a major corporation, the saying was that if you don't do right with the customer he will tell 10 people. If you do it right, they tell only one person. I am on my 4th motorhome and have encountered very few problems from the factory or dealer during warranty. BUT you have to do a intense PDI and don't sign until EVERYTHING is fixed to your satisfaction. I had to delay one delivery for a week so all PDI items could be fixed. The dealer can do timely repairs when there is money on the line.
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Deanm View Post
As a newbie looking to purchase my ( our) first RV ( Toy Hauler ) , I want thank everyone here who has answered my questions and given me advice in the past few weeks.

After hours of research on brands and "how to" stuff, I decided to do a google search on RV manufacturers complaints / warranties / BBB / etc. Geez it seems grim!!

Are these RV's really built with no regulations and underpaid workers just trying to get as many built in the shortest amount of time?

Other things I'm reading like " be diligent with your PDI walk through" / "take pics and document everything" because "there will be warranty issues" is just accepted as part of the process. I'm reading how there is very little quality control and regulation in building RV's coupled with poor quality materials. Does RV really stand for Ruined Vacation?
How is it that I see / have seen hundreds of people in their RVs enjoying themselves? How did they all make it through their initial purchase and how did the industry end up here?! ( ok rant over )

Is it possible that hiring a Certified RV Inspector to do my PDI on a new purchase is a good Idea?
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:54 PM   #19
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We bought a new Graywolf 26RR Toy Hauler & we love it. Hauled the Harley all over the place with no problems or complaints. The only issue we weren't to happy with was the lack of wall switches in the bathroom & bedroom. Who wants to have to reach up to the ceiling to turn on a light or bath exhaust fan ? Not me. We knew this going in, so I knew it was something I would do on my own (self employed electrician). All in all, a very good purchase. First thing I did do, was to replace the Castle Rock tires with Goodyears. Sold the Castle Rock's on Craigs List for $150.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:14 PM   #20
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We've had 5 RVs over the last 35 years and have not had any ruined vacations. Things will need to be repaired along the way, but we have to fix things in our home also. Never have had more than nail pops and loose screws in our current RV which is a 2014. Some people have a problem but by far most RV owners don't have nightmares, they have fun.
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