Are RVs trash ?

scotjimland

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I quote from an RV writer

Author Tom Sturgeon once wrote (paraphrased), "90% of everything is crud." It's not really that bad, but most of us have to start with a routine RV. Even the best leave a lot to be desired. Cabinets, beds and some of the furniture are nothing but cheap, stapled-together trash. Appliances are inefficient, expensive, hard to repair and unreliable. Most of the money we spent was wasted on "flash'n dash" idiot lights, gauges that don't gauge, converters that don't convert, leaky windows, "attractive decorator fabrics"

Well, having owned an RV for almost four years and lived in it full time for over two, I feel I can make an honest and fair assessment.

Our GeorgieBoy is now eleven years old, done around 60k miles and has had a hard life.. I've maintained and upgraded as needed, by and large I'm pleased..

Cabinets, beds and furniture:

1 Cabinets are sturdy and well made, no hinges or catches broken.
2 New mattress bought for full timing, the original was indeed 'crap'
3 Chairs and sofa now showing their age but still in good condition.


Appliances and Electrics

1 Cooker had been replaced by previous owner to a SMEV, apparantly the US Stove was crap..

2 Fridge by Norcold has performed brilliantly in all climates, only repair has been a new igniter board, cost around £80 .. it was easily replaced.

3. Water heater, by Atwood.. no problems, I fitted a Hotrod electric heater last year, works great.

4 Hot Air heaters (2) no problems but they are inneficient, too much heat is lost from the exhaust, drink LPG and drain the batteries quickly.

5. Air con (2) by Dometic.. they are efficient and have not broken down.

6. Battery Charger was replaced with a Victron Multi Plus. charger/convector, the original was little more than a 12v power supply.. useless.

7. TV Replaced, nothing wrong with the old but the valves were taking a while to heat up .. :roflmto:

8. Shower, sinks, taps and toilet all good as new .. no issues.
new fresh water pump fitted this year.

Coachwork

No complaints, no leaks, windows are sound, blinds are good, lockers are water tight.
Roof re coated last year.

Idiot Lights

Black and grey tank gauges never work, but you know when a black tank is full without an idiot light .. :winky:
Fresh water and LPG gauges work fine.

Chassis and engine

Cummins 5.9lt turbo diesel, 14 mpg never misses a beat, but I had to fit a new starter motor £150 and fuel solenoid valve, £289
a DIY service including fan belt, oil and fuel filters costs about £115

Chassis by Spartan, purpose built RV chassis , built to last, no problems. takes about half a day to grease.

Summing up,
It is a well built RV that could have benefited from a better bed, cooker and charger.. other than that.. :thumb:

So is it crap ? .. no, but there is plenty of room for improvements.
 

haganap

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Hi Jim,
Well I have to say no,, Yes they could be better, but they are good enough from what I have seen.
 

Sundowners

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I don't know about now, with massive change in exchange rate ($-£) but US rv's do offer fantastic value for money!!! They do have problems, as Jim has said, but I have just replaced my central heating furnace with a (slightly) better new one, it cost me $660 delivered, a friend just got a price for a replacement for his Euro. van and it was nearly 3 times the price, from my limited experience, I believe that RV's are good value for money.
I don't think the build quality is any worse than the Euro vans that I have seen.
Nigel
 
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scotjimland

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I don't think the build quality is any worse than the Euro vans that I have seen.
Nigel
I would say it would very much depend on the constructor, some euro vans are very well screwed together, others not.. same with the yanks.

Maybe someone can confirm this,
but I read somewhere that some European constructors would invalidate the warranty if you used it full time..
the warranty was for 'leisure use' up to but not exceeding 90 days use per year.. ?
 

Bulletguy

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Maybe someone can confirm this, but I read somewhere that some European constructors would invalidate the warranty if you used it full time.....the warranty was for 'leisure use' up to but not exceeding 90 days use per year.. ?
Hmmmmm......i'd reckon that's nigh on impossible to enforce. How can anyone tell whether a m/h has been used full time or not? Mileometers can easily be disabled (illegal i know but it is done) though many do such low annual mileage, even fulltimers, it's not particularly necessary. As for '90 days use per year'.......forget that. If a manufacturer is so uncertain of his build quality that he thinks it may all fall apart on the 91st day after rolling out of the factory doors, then he wouldn't stand a chance of selling a single light bulb!
 

tuscancouple

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Jim, agree about the US oven, it is c..p! We have one of these half time ovens which we've given up on and will replace with a SMEV type in the new year.

Mick
 

monacosteve

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Had a diplomat for the last 4 years and i am very pleased with the build quality
being 9 years old it would be hard to find that quality build again.
after puting new carpets and sofas in. it looks as good as new,
and i dont think i would find a european with that kind of build quality
and its warm as toast in the winter.

steve
 
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