Originally Posted by BandJCarm
I've been doing that for months and months. But when I read the thread on F.R. Quality, and other threads elsewhere, it's almost as if there's no viable hope!
There should be a Consumer Reports type of comparison. The models and makers are so numerous, there needs to be some kind of way to rate them. But there isn't. Just word of mouth from owners. And that leads me to Much Good and Much Bad.
Which is Much Confusing.
I see too much variation from unit to unit to have much confidence in a lot of the generalities about RV quality. Granted, I am talking about higher-end travel trailer, not 5ers, not toy haulers and not lower end products.
Want to see for yourself? go to a BIG dealer that you know has 3 or more examples of the same trailer on their lot (the dealer I purchased my yet to be delivered Rockwood from had 9 on their lot). Send the sales guy away because you need to sit and think in them or talk or whatever and just look around. Look at cabinet doors, moldings, alignment of things.
Choose a couple of drawers in each unit, like the ones down low in the kitchen, and pull each one out and see how it feels. Look at how an electrical outlet or a switch plate is placed and aligned in each unit. If there is any exposed plumbing, look as how it's arranged and located.
You could go on and look at electrical wiring by the tongue, sealing of windows, any place where it's possible to see the mark of the people who put the trailer together.
You will see differences. Not all are bad, but there are differences. now imagine what you can't see or easily inspect and you get an idea on the possible variations in a modern travel trailer. Some of those differences matter from a quality perspective and some don't. Quality has a visual or esthetic aspect as well as a functional or performance aspect. A high quality RV will have the right amount attention applied to all aspects. A lower quality unit will not. We have to make up our minds individually if the quality we see and imagine at what we can't see, is good enough for us.
As is pointed out in other posts, travel trailers are not cars. the production numbers are wildly different, the amount of production engineering is wildly different and the number of jigs, special tools and automated equipment is different as well. it's no surprise the real and perceived quality levels are different too.