If you’re in the market for an RV, you’ll want to research and make sure you’re purchasing a quality product with great after-sales service. Unfortunately, not all RV brands are created equal; some are notorious for poor quality and unreliability, while some are claimed about the unsupportive customer service. Since buying a camper is a substantial financial commitment, you must be aware of the RV brands to avoid, so you can get the most for your money.
So what are the worst RV brands? Companies like Forest River or Thor, and a few more have a history of poor customer service and reliability. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an avid RV enthusiast, you’ll want to stay informed about some of the poorest quality brands and models on the market. So, keep reading to learn more and stay informed about which RV brands you should avoid or at least you should check the RV carefully before making the purchase!
When choosing an RV, it’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reliable source. The following is a list of some of the worst RV brands to avoid, including travel trailer and motorhome manufacturers.
Since there are a lot of different opinions for the question: “Which are RV brands to avoid?”, to provide a fair answer, we conducted a survey to Camping is our life – a reliable Facebook group for RV campers with more than 128,000 members, in which there were appropriately 3,000 respondents.
According to the survey’s result, here are what we got for the query what RV brands to avoid:
- Forest River Travel Trailer
- Keystone Travel Trailer
- Winnebago Travel Trailer
- Fleetwood Travel Trailer
- Thor Hurricane
- Coachmen RVs
- Gulf Stream
- Dutchmen Coleman
With the above result, we already did the research and interviewed some RV owners to understand the reasons which are shown below.
Please note that:
1. We’ve not maintained any order here. So, the lists are not for travel trailer ratings best to worst brands.
2. Not only the craftsmanship, but the experience of buyers with customer service is also taken into account to evaluate the brands.
3. Not all products of these companies are low-quality and obviously their customer service can be improved day by day. All these listed brands have a few units that run well and a large number of customers highly appreciate.
4. If you’re a first-time buyer and you’re interested in any models from these RV manufacturers, you should have someone with experience come and checked with you. Of course, you should always go after a product that suits you the most even if it comes from a brand in this list.
Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid
If you are thinking of buying a travel trailer, think twice before choosing one of these brands. After the research, here are the reasons we’ve collected:
1. Forest River Travel Trailer
Owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Forest River is one of the largest USA manufacturers of RV vehicles. They produce travel trailers, pop-up campers, fifth wheels, and other RV options.
Forest River was once the most reputable name in the industry. But over time, they lost consumers’ trust with their shoddy construction and poor quality and became one of the worst camping trailer brands.
According to RVInsider, it’s one of the worst travel trailer brands to avoid because most consumers gave it an average rating of only 3.6 out of 5.0 stars overall.
Reasons to Avoid Forest River
- Forest River travel trailers often come equipped with cheap materials and questionable construction.
- Many units are prone to leaking, sinking floors, rusting, and overall wear and tear much faster than other models in the same price category.
- Their one-year warranty coverage often leaves RVers helpless if something goes wrong.
- Some customers reported issues with faulty or disconnected wiring and improper installation.
- Poor customer service and lack of responsiveness to customers’ complaints.
2. Keystone Travel Trailer
Founded in 1996, Keystone is one of the largest RV manufacturers in North America. While they offer fifth-wheelers, toy haulers, and travel trailers, they’re best known for their spacious and fuel-efficient production.
However, technical and structural design issues are common among Keystone RVs. According to various online forums, most owners report problems with roofs, skylights, drains, waste valves, and flooring. All these complaints make them the worst toy hauler brands to avoid.
Reasons to Avoid Keystone
- The cabinet doors fail frequently and result in expensive repairs.
- Many customers reported that the A/C is unable to cool down the temperature properly.
- There are difficulties in using the control board of these trailers.
- Lack of airflow in the cabin due to blocked heat vents.
3. Winnebago Travel Trailer
Winnebago, a company that has been in business for quite some time, provides several excellent options for you. Still, only some Winnebago units meet the quality standard.
Users of many Winnebago models complain about bent panels and damaged walls during routine operations. It’s common for parts to become loose and lights to go out without any prior notice.
Reasons to Avoid Winnebago
- Customer service unable to properly handle the constant influx of service requests.
- The heater vent under the dinette is incorrectly aligned.
- Some models may develop bent and damaged walls.
- The black water tank does not drain properly.
- The cabinet doors do not close properly.
- The wiring and screws may come loose.
Jayco is one of the leading RV manufacturers in the US and comes with many attractive features but has unfortunately received negative reviews from customers. Many customers have complained of electrical malfunctions and access problems.
Due to their inferior craftsmanship, lack of customer service, and wide range of issues with their RVs, most RV campers recommend Jayco as one of the poor quality RV manufacturers.
Reasons to Avoid Jayco
- Improper ventilation and missing parts are common problems.
- Many units show electrical and wiring issues, fuel problems, and poorly constructed cabinets.
- Lack of quality and dependability.
- Manufacturing defects lead to leaks and storage issues.
5. Fleetwood Travel Trailer
Fleetwood has been a leading and trusted brand in RV manufacturing for over six decades. You must be surprised to see it in this list of RV brands to avoid. Well, the brand’s recent RV models are less reliable than the older ones, so use your best judgment if you still want to buy from this company.
The quality has slowly decreased, and customer service could be more satisfactory. Not only are there several potential safety issues with their models, but they also need to add the latest same technology and amenities in their units.
Reasons to Avoid Fleetwood
- Using low-quality materials that can rust easily.
- The batteries in some units show recharging issues.
- Inadequate insulation causes water leakage.
- The RV’s electrical system can be prone to causing fire hazards.
Motorhome Brands to Avoid
Some brands don’t hold up to the reputation they had in the past. We’ve taken the time to review some of the worst motorhome brands out there.
6. Thor Hurricane
Thor Hurricane has some features in its Class A motorhomes that appeal to many RV owners. However, reports of poor performance and quality are enough to make it one of the worst camper brands.
Many customers have complained about inferior parts and numerous mechanical problems. There are also different structural malfunctions and weaknesses.
Reasons to Avoid Thor Hurricane
- There are reports about slide issues and defective awning and wiring.
- Users have found problems with the tow bar and braking system.
- One major issue is the wrong weight rating on the hitch.
- Some other problems include fire hazards, gas leaks, and improper components.
7. Coachmen RVs
One of the main complaints about Coachmen is that their vehicles are less reliable than other brands.
Quality control issues have plagued the brand for years, and some owners have experienced frequent mechanical breakdowns and electrical problems.
Additionally, users complain about poor-quality construction and materials. This can lead to various issues, including rusted bodies and frames, crinkled roofs, and structural cracks.
Reasons to Avoid Coachman
- The slides and drawer are flimsy and can’t hold heavy loads.
- Water leakage is common, which causes damage to the floor.
- Loose and damaged electrical connections.
- Defective wiring that fails quickly.
8. Gulf Stream
The affordable price tags may look attractive, but you’ll ultimately pay more for a unit because of broken parts and frequent repairs.
However, it was once a great RV brand to buy from because of its admirable performance and reliability. But with time, Gulf Stream’s quality has diminished, becoming one of the worst class C RV brands.
Reasons to Avoid Gulf Stream
- Rusting and leaking problems are the main concerns.
- The roof edges are made of plastic material that appears very thin and fragile.
- Improper sealing.
- The customer service has been very disappointing.
- Users need to pay an extra charge for repair services.
9. Dutchmen Coleman
It could be shocking to many to see the name of Dutchmen Coleman in this list of RV brands to avoid. Well, the truth is many Coleman units are cheaply made and prone to deterioration.
In terms of durability and craftsmanship, they’re usually below average. Some of their models also have major issues with their electrical systems and the roll-up door mechanisms.
Furthermore, customer service from this company could be better. It’s common to hear complaints about their slow response time and lack of help.
Reasons to Avoid Dutchmen Coleman
- Showers spew water and toilets leak in many units.
- They’re poorly constructed.
- The AC or heater stops working often.
- Faulty electrical systems and leaking roofs.
This brand offers convenience in compactness and versatility. The flip side is that they don’t have the same quality and construction that you would expect from motorhomes.
In addition, some owners report that parts and pieces break down more frequently than other brands.
Reasons to Avoid Chinook
- There are reports of water leaks in Chinook RVs.
- Some owners complain about how flimsy and poorly built their Chinooks feel.
- Exposed wiring, structural issues, and faulty parts are common problems.
- Chinook RV’s customer service is pretty much a joke.
There are many RV brands out there to choose from, but there are some RV brands to avoid when making a purchase. Brands that don’t offer high-quality materials, craftsmanship, and customer service should be avoided.
If you are not careful when buying, you can get a below-par unit from these brands. Be sure to research and read reviews when considering what RV to purchase.