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Old 04-15-2024, 11:41 AM   #1
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Who makes the highest quality campers?

I know this can be very subjective and perhaps strange since this site is specific to one brand, but I am trying to discover who might make the "Cadillac" of RV's? Within a few years, I see us upgrading to a 30+/-ft 5th wheel. It seems all these campers look pretty nice, but once you start living in them, you discover how cheaply they are made. We have a Covid Built "Black Label" unit, so I am not even sure how that would compare to previous models.

I am hoping to narrow down brands so that we can then look at the floor plans instead of doing it the other way and find something that has most the comforts we want, as opposed to adding them ourselves later (drawer slides for one).

I have done some research and it seems Grand Design is a brand we should consider. Are there models within certain brands that are built better?

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:03 PM   #2
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Word on the street these days is that “Brinkley” may be your Cadillac of RVs.

I’ve seen them. Been invited inside by owners. Crawled around them at RV shows. My opinion…..They are a cut above, and so is their price.

https://www.brinkleyrv.com/
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:23 PM   #3
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"I have done some research and it seems Grand Design is a brand we should consider. Are there models within certain brands that are built better?"

I looked at a couple new, 2023 versions of GDs. They all had what I considered a soft roof. Bought a Surveyor instead.

Since you're thinking of a 5th wheel, might want to check up on Frame Flex. Some GD customers are NOT happy with how they've been treated.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:30 PM   #4
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I wouldn't consider Grand Design as "the highest quality". Overall I think they are pretty good.
Brinkley is a high quality product. I don't any FR brand could be considered as "highest quality".
There are some boutique brands like Brinkley and Tiffin and Outdoors RV.
But you never stated whether you are asking about a motorhome or trailer. That would narrow the field some. Then I could move your thread to the appropriate area.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I wouldn't consider Grand Design as "the highest quality". Overall I think they are pretty good.
Brinkley is a high quality product. I don't any FR brand could be considered as "highest quality".
There are some boutique brands like Brinkley and Tiffin and Outdoors RV.
But you never stated whether you are asking about a motorhome or trailer. That would narrow the field some. Then I could move your thread to the appropriate area.
I think he needs to be in the 5th wheel section. He said.....I see us upgrading to a 30+/-ft 5th wheel.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I wouldn't consider Grand Design as "the highest quality". Overall I think they are pretty good.
Brinkley is a high quality product. I don't any FR brand could be considered as "highest quality".
There are some boutique brands like Brinkley and Tiffin and Outdoors RV.
But you never stated whether you are asking about a motorhome or trailer. That would narrow the field some. Then I could move your thread to the appropriate area.
I did state looking for a 5th wheel in the first post, but I didn't realize there were more specialized sections to be posting in.

Thanks all for the replies. I will do some research.
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:58 PM   #7
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Before considering a Grand Design 5th wheel a person should research the current discussions concerning frame failure, which media is whitewashing as "frame flexing". Lots on YouTube and forums about this situation.

Quote:
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"I have done some research and it seems Grand Design is a brand we should consider. Are there models within certain brands that are built better?"

I looked at a couple new, 2023 versions of GDs. They all had what I considered a soft roof. Bought a Surveyor instead.

Since you're thinking of a 5th wheel, might want to check up on Frame Flex. Some GD customers are NOT happy with how they've been treated.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jesus_man View Post
I did state looking for a 5th wheel in the first post, but I didn't realize there were more specialized sections to be posting in.

Thanks all for the replies. I will do some research.
Moved your thread to the General TT/5th Wheel Discussion section since that is the most appropriate area. If you wish to ask the same type of questions about a motorhome, you need to post it in the General Motorhome Discussion section.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:40 PM   #9
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Not a FR product, but the Artic Fox by Northwoods are very stout, well built units. At least the one I owned before was. If my truck could handle the pin weight, I would still have it.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:42 PM   #10
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I don't any FR brand could be considered as "highest quality".
Riverstones are up there imo, above Brinkley for sure. Then again, I may be biased. Factory service is still great, dealer service still stinks ime.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:47 PM   #11
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While you will, no doubt, find some excellent 5th Wheels, I think you need to take the investigation into bumper pulls like Airstream and motorhomes such as the higher end diesel pushers.

In both cases, as you explore, you'll find out your pain point for "quality."

To my knowledge, there's only one Airstream with a slide (other than a Class B motorhome)...I could be wrong, because my budget doesn't accommodate an Airstream price tag. And if an Airstream is out of your budget, a diesel pusher motorhome will be 3X or more out of your budget.

So, perhaps a better question would be, what's the highest quality coach, of any type, that I can afford on $XXX,XXX.xx budget? And what trade offs am I willing to make between quality and amenities (size, # of slides, features), and what are my expectations for 4-seasons usability (sub freezing)?

You specified a fiver, and that seriously narrows the field. Are there good quality fivers? Yes. Is any fiver built to the quality of an Airstream or similar? Not so much. A hunch...you can somewhat ensure higher quality by narrowing the field to choices that are truly 4-seasons capable. But you're gonna need a bigger truck to tow them, because 4-seasons rigs get seriously heavy in a hurry.

I suggest that you spend some quality time on an Airstream dealership lot. See how they are made. Then take that knowledge with you to a fiver dealership and compare. Airstreams aren't perfect, but they are substantially better built than most RVs, and you pay dearly for that quality...not only in cash, but also in space and flexibility.

There are several other considerations to factor in.
1) Will you boondock? If so, for how long?
2) Will you need the ground clearance for dispersed camping? It's all well and good to pull into a paved RV park with pull thru sites, but if you're going to do any dispersed camping, you need adequate ground clearance.
3) Toy haulers can be outstanding, spacious, versatile fivers...even if you don't tote along toys. The rear decks, spacious garages with chain-hoist queen beds for guests and older kids, half baths, and so on can really be worth having, and they are typically setup for dispersed camping...even having onboard fuel storage for toys and such...and plenty of ground clearance to get into the boonies. But they are often huge beasts.

That's my 2 cents...perhaps all it's worth.
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Old 04-15-2024, 02:32 PM   #12
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Not a FR product, but the Artic Fox by Northwoods are very stout, well built units. At least the one I owned before was. If my truck could handle the pin weight, I would still have it.
Yep, Northwoods Manufacturering Inc is known for making quality trailers, especially true 4-season trailers. Outdoors RV is in the same area of Oregon and their trailers seem to have more luxuries than Northwoods products.
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Old 04-15-2024, 02:38 PM   #13
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Thanks Jim. Knowing Airstream doesn't meet our criteria, am I setting myself up for disappointment by comparing them to any others? I've always been intrigued by their designs and reputation for sure, but I know they aren't in our budget even if our criteria was different.

Yeah, I think a 5th wheel suits our scenario best. Family of 4 and a dog, with kids 10 & almost 14. Like the flexibility to setup camp, and have a rig to drive around and explore with. Currently own a nice 1-ton diesel tow-rig that has other towing duties, so, I don't want another drivetrain to maintain. And I would have to think about 4-seasons. I think we could develop other winter hobbies in not worry about camping then. But I wouldn't mind the ability to camp in 30 deg and warmer during those shoulder seasons. My current non-4 season did fine in 28, but it wasn't a hard freeze. Just enough to frost the dew.

I do want the flexibility to boondock and probably my preference because for me, camping is about getting into nature and enjoying more elbow room, which most RV parks do not offer. I didn't realize that many toy-haulers generally offer better clearance, which is appealing to me. We do like to bring along bikes, and SUP's etc on many trips. So having storage for those inside the camper would be nice. But, as you say, I wasn't really targeting those because of their size. I also see the appeal of those that have a porch setup on the ramp. That could be useful. I don't want something so large that I am forced into an RV park.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:11 PM   #14
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jesus man, with 2 teenagers, it sounds like a bunkhouse trailer may be another requirement. That will narrow down the "quality" choices.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:14 PM   #15
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Another plus for the Northwood products, they make their own frames for off road strength and ability.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:25 PM   #16
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jesus man, with 2 teenagers, it sounds like a bunkhouse trailer may be another requirement. That will narrow down the "quality" choices.
I didn't really want to bore everyone with specifics, but yes, we want to be able to sleep 4 people without having to tear down a table, or perhaps even fold up a couch twice everyday. I figured I'd look at the offerings at each of the brands for pricing and floorplans and make decisions then. Ideally, we'd find something a few years old when it's time, so researching now gives me a list of what used models to look at in when the time comes.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:40 PM   #17
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Every time I look at a Brinkley I think it is the nicest and best built 5th wheel I've ever seen. Now that they are coming out with a TT plan my son is planning on upgrading to a Z295 bunk house. I've already told him the "Bank of Dad" has went under...
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Old 04-15-2024, 05:57 PM   #18
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Just an opinion. There is no best. It’s just too subjective. What is right for you is not right for me. There are obviously different levels of quality but as the OP said the truly high end stuff is out of range. So under what conditions shall it be used? Twice year? If so you will be fine with most anything. Just pay attention to the floor plan. 10 times a year? Probably still fine. Going cross country damn near full time? If that’s the case you want one of the highest end units you can find.

My bet is you will be fine with something you “like” not something high end.
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:47 PM   #19
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Be careful in what your looking for

Quality does not necessarily equal function, usefulness, or even meeting your needs.
We have looked at many models, brands and have learned a few things during the hunt for the best rig.
The first thing is many don’t consider storage as a necessity, and is completely forgotten.
Second, the need to be able to entertain or sit comfortably more than two people in your rig is often overlooked in many.
Third, overall weight of rig could make you buy a whole new puller.

Keeping money as a factor to also consider and what your requirements are as your two main focus points, then fill those needs and the best rig will go to the top of the pile.
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:53 PM   #20
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Northwoods, Outdoor RV, Arctic Fox, Nash and Desert Fox.
Lance.
The list is short after these.
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