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You don’t have to scroll through the posts of large Facebook groups before you see someone complaining about their RV.
If you feel like you’re hearing and seeing more complaints about new RVs, it’s because you are. Recently, the RV industry has experienced a massive increase in the demand for new RVs as RVing has become trendy.
Today, we’ll dive into why we’re seeing so many complaints about new RVs and what you can do about it. Let’s get started!
Why Are There So Many Complaints About New RVs?
The RV industry was nothing but chaos shortly after 2020. As a result, manufacturers ramped production and rushed RVs out the door as quickly as possible.
While they may still inspect rigs before they send them out, they’re still speeding the process.
In addition, manufacturers have battled supply chain issues. They’ve adjusted production and materials to get RVs out of the factory and onto dealership lots. Rushed decisions can sometimes backfire; in this case, the consumer must deal with it.
If all that wasn’t enough, the RV industry wasn’t immune to the massive shortage of workers many sectors experienced. As a result, manufacturers used undertrained and inexperienced workers in essential roles.
Any training workers received was typically rushed through to get them on the line as soon as possible. Do you want someone with little to no experience building your expensive rig?
What RV Brand Has the Most Problems?
You don’t have to be an RVer for long before realizing that all RV brands have problems.
It doesn’t matter whether you spend $15,000 or $250,000; things will break in an RV. However, one of the most popular brands, Jayco, receives some of the most complaints.
We want to be clear that Jayco trailers experiencing some of the most problems doesn’t mean they’re the worst. Jayco trailers are lightweight and cheap.
They’re the perfect combination for any RVer who enjoys weekend camping trips to a local campground. They’re also one of the most popular. As a result, more are out there to experience problems.
However, don’t expect a lightweight and budget-friendly trailer to withstand a full-time lifestyle for long. They don’t design it to handle it. If you plan to camp regularly or embrace a full-time traveling lifestyle, you’ll want one of Jayco’s premium models or a more capable RV from another brand.
Is It a Good Time to Buy a New RV?
Some indications show that the RV industry is on the verge of a shift. Increased inflation and rising interest rates make the market incredibly unstable.
Manufacturers are catching up with supply shortages as the demand cools off. The RV Industry Association reported a decline in shipments of approximately 5,000 new RVs between August and September 2022.
While the RV industry was utterly unpredictable from 2020 through 2021, this could signal that things are cooling off quickly. Consumers may be less likely to make massive luxury purchases as the future is uncertain, and the trend of RVing could be on its way out the door.
The interest rates we’re seeing today will likely only get worse before they get better. However, prices for RVs could drop as demand slows down.
You’ll probably still pay the premium price as manufacturers, and RV dealerships are riding the wave from the high demand. If you can put off buying for another year or two, the market may look very different than it does today.
Common Complaints About New RVs
There are some common complaints across all brands regarding new RVs. Let’s look at what many people are griping about with their new RV.
Everything is more expensive these days, including RVs. The RV industry has faced a double-edged sword due to inflation and increased demand. These factors combined to drive prices through the roof.
Over the last few years, RV manufacturers have released new units with modern conveniences and other popular features. However, they also featured higher price tags.
If you’ve walked through an RV dealership’s sales lot lately, you likely had some sticker shock when you first saw the prices.
Warranties Are Worthless
RV dealers promote RV warranties like a golden ticket that magically fixes any problems an RVer may experience. However, many RVers quickly learn that these warranties are worthless when they use them.
Warranty providers will look for any possibility to get out of paying for a claim. Some even require expensive annual inspections by approved service members.
When you factor in the cost of some of these warranties and the additional fees for maintenance inspections, you could pay out of pocket for most repairs.
We won’t say that all warranties are worthless. However, many aren’t worth much more than the paper they’re written on. Many RVers like the feeling of security that warranties often provide.
However, this typically only increases the disappointment when insurance denies an RVer’s warranty claim.
Read more: Should you consider buying an older RV? See these 5 Reasons New RVs Suck Now
Repairs Take Too Long
If you want to stay busy, open an RV service center and hire a qualified staff. Many RVers needing a professional to fix something on their RV discover that it will take much longer than expected.
You may need to schedule your appointment at the service center weeks or even months ahead. If the parts you need are hard to find, then the service center will need time to track them down.
This could leave your RV out of commission for weeks, possibly even months. If your issue occurs during the camping season, you could spend most of the season without a camper.
Build Quality Stinks
The build quality we’re seeing from many manufacturers is highly disappointing. Inexperienced workers often take shortcuts that allow them to do their job as fast as possible.
However, when they take too many shortcuts, the result is a less-than-ideal final product.
RVs lacking in build quality is nothing new. It’s been a significant complaint from RVers for decades. RV manufacturers want to use the lightest and cheapest materials to maximize profits.
Unfortunately, until consumers demand that manufacturers improve their build quality, nothing will change.
Keep in Mind: If you’re purchasing a used RV, you need to see these 6 tips before buying a Used RV!
Are the New RV Complaints Legit?
Unfortunately, many new RV complaints are legit. However, most of these complaints have been the same for decades. Consumers can bring about change by refusing to spend their hard-earned money on RVs from brands that stink.
On the other hand, we’ll throw RV manufacturers a bone. Some of the chief complaints from RVers aren’t the manufacturer’s fault.
Many RV owners fail to do essential rig maintenance and abuse them. Manufacturers may take the lion’s share of the blame, but most RV owners aren’t without fault.
What are your biggest complaints regarding your RV?
I think what we all need to understand is we are essentially pulling a home done roads that are terrible for cars and trucks let alone trailer that is for the most part built like a home. Instead of being built on a sturdy foundation of concrete, these are built on a foundation of steel or aluminum on wheels. Factor in roads that are at best deteriorating at worst just plan crumbling, you can understand why
RVs have problems. It is virtually impossible to make them sturdy enough to stand up to that kind of abuse. Have you ever been behind a semi trailer and watched how the trailer flexes as it is being pulled down the highways? Our RVs are flexing as well while we pull them down the highway. Hopefully not as much as the semi trailer but flexing none the less.
My husband and I purchased a 2021 Flagstaff Superlite 26FKS in October 2020. Due to an unexpected medical issue, the trailer sat (properly stored) for a year. Bye bye manufacturer warranty. Since October 2021, we have used the trailer FIVE times, highway travel only. Upon arrival at our last destination (trip five), we noticed upon entering the trailer that the electric heater/fireplace mantel looked odd. Upon a closer look, we noticed the mantel and fireplace were separating from the wall. Fortunately, the fireplace itself was not broken and my husband was able to place small blocks of wood under the fireplace to support it until we got home three weeks later (this temporary remedy was recommended by the tech department of dealership where we purchased the trailer). To try and make a long story short, the problem was diagnosed-the fireplace was not properly attached to the brace in the wall. Everything has to be removed from the wall, the wall taken off to make sure the brace isn’t damaged/broken, and then reassembled. The almost $4,000 extended warranty we purchased at the time we bought the trailer will NOT cover the repair because it’s structural. We don’t even care about the cosmetic surface of the wall, we can cover that with wallpaper, we just want the unit attached properly. Unfortunately, until this is fixed, we don’t feel comfortable traveling because we are worried the fireplace will come off the wall completely and the unit will be broken (guess what, if the heater/fireplace unit is damaged, extended warranty won’t fix that either because the damage would be caused by a structural issue). I have reached out to Flagstaff as a last resort-come on-we used the trailer FIVE TIMES. Oh, and when we got home from the trip, our refrigerator failed (extended warranty DID cover that). Sigh…disappointed, discouraged newbies, but not quite ready to quit yet.