LESSONS LEARNED FROM 14 RV FACTORY TOURS IN A WEEK AT THE RV CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, ELKHART, INDIANA




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What we learned by immersing in tours for 9 days
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It’s one thing to see an RV on a dealer’s lot but it’s something else seeing it being built on the manufacturer’s factory floor. We got up close to see the construction and build process – under the floors and behind the walls, of the things you DON’T usually get to see. We visited 4 states, 14 factories and drove…

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45 thoughts on “LESSONS LEARNED FROM 14 RV FACTORY TOURS IN A WEEK AT THE RV CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, ELKHART, INDIANA

    Flyermark Big

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Great video and right on the money. They are self regulated (=unregulated) and focused only on profit. They boom taking place right now makes this the absolute worst time to buy a new unit in my opinion. Quality has always been lacking but I feel like there is even more risk of issues now.

    We were camping last weekend and our neighbor was doing an overnight test run. Loose faucets, water wouldn't continue to function, and a few other minor items. I felt bad for him but he had the right idea. Luckily his dealer is 10 minutes from where we were camping.

    There was a time that I was worried about buying a used trailer and having to fix stuff. Now I realize how simple these are and I know that what I do will be higher quality. Used only for me from now on. While I know there are issues I go into this informed. I do that because quite frankly I love camping. Been doing it my whole life. Won't let this stop me. If I know what I am getting into up front I can be prepared to deal with it.

    Do yourself a favor and do the same. It makes owning a travel trailer more enjoyable.

    Courtney Tokas

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Once again, generalizations, and no narrowed down info on who the better manufacturers are, typical of these videos. Given the fact that you went to great expense and time to visit these manufacturers to observe and witness the process and materials used, providing real insight as to who is doing it right and who is cutting corners would be most helpful. The question is not which manufacturer is right for me from the standpoint of features, size or class of RV as you alluded to, that's a cop out on your part. The question is from the standpoint of quality materials, execution, attention to detail, design, particularly on the underpinnings of the RV. The things you don't see on the dealers parking lot. I suppose I will have to take the various tours myself to ascertain that information. I understand, as you pointed out that there are a lot of similarities among them, but which companies stood out in other respects?, the similarities not withstanding? This is the crux of it.

    Susan Carter

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Not helpful.

    Claudette Monty

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    I am in electric wheelchair to shopping or visit when we have to walk, stand, etc. Can I go to visit with the wheelchair? Thanks.

    Katie Rae

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Did you buy her from one of the online wife finder website

    Katie Rae

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Them titties look really nice in that shirt

    Allison Reece

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Great video you guys, so thorough! Top Tours? Your favorite tours? My only question if I were there….why on earth do designers have to make RVs tan, brown, and black on the inside? Why can't we have beautiful white & bright kitchens and living spaces? I can't stand their color palettes we when looked at the new RVs on the lots. Honestly, they were ugly looking to us with big brown recliners, fake stone fireplace/mantles, dark, dark cabinets, dark tables, dark walls…dark bedrooms. I didn't like any of them!
    Buyers have to paint all the cabinets white and brighten the walls to feel like it has more room and not so depressing. I see this over and over, people painting their RV to "brighten" it up on YT. The older models are more way cuter compared to the new models. I wish I knew you guys were going, I would have asked you to tell the management to consult Chip & Joanna Gaines on space issues and decorating styles for today's families.

    James Oliver

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Saw another video where the host showed an RV that was demolished and pointed out that they are made cheap as hell, no or missing sections of insulation, pathetic under carriage and frames that are no where thick or strong enough. These include popular brand names. I think he said Airstream was a better bet but $$$

    Gail Weeks

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    I guess no one told you most of the RV manufacturers are owned by the same company which is Thor Industries which in turned is owned by Warren Buffett and another gentleman. Is there competition between plants? Sure. The more units they sell, the bigger the bonuses for the management team and stockholders.

    RUSSELL JENKINS

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    hi im thinking about a toy hauler what do you think about heartland model thanks

    D

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    jeez do you ever stop talking so we can watch them build?

    RVing With Schaef

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    "Made In America" used to be a good thing. No longer. I think all of the construction issues with RVs has yet to catch up to the industry. Not only are they issues of "quality", but they are also issues of "health and safety". The top bunk on my Forest River Salem FSX 179DBK collapsed on our first outing. There were only 2 screws holding it up. My 3-year old was playing in the bottom bunk just minutes before that happened. Thank god he wasn't under there at the time. Sooner or later a class-action lawsuit is going to hit a major manufacturer and that will be the end of this so-called "self-regulated industry".

    Laurel Reinking

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Some of the individuals who commented were not pleased that you chose to not recommend one brand or type of rv over another. However, had these individuals listened more closely, they would have heard you share many opinions about quality. I heard you say that, overall, quality control is poor and that if one wants to ensure the quality of ones rv, one had better go to the factory/plant and closely examine how that brand of rv is constructed. I also inferred that not only might quality vary from brand to brand but even within a brand, the quality of one rv might vary from that of another. Hence, it behooves an rv buyer to pay for an independent inspection of the rv, new or used, prior to putting any money down.

    Laurel Reinking

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    I love how the two of you work together to present such a well-thought-out and well-delivered video. Thanks.

    Jay Smith

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    It is interesting that those working for the RV Manufacturers don't own their own RVs or have any experience with use of an RV. In somewhat (self admitted unequal comparison) I work for Boeing and don't own a wide body aircraft, or any aircraft for that matter, nor have had the opportunity to fly on any with exception of the single aisle 737.

    Titan Remediation Industries

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Great information, planning a trip in June to learn more. I would like the mechanical things in your experience that are items to gear toward, regardless of the unit purchased. You hit me with this information at the right time. Your experience is valuable, share just a little bit more. Thank you,,,

    tlt40s&w 70

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    You guys did not tell us what you think was the product. I did my homework and I own a Heartland Elkridge. Far as warranty heartland is the best in my opinion. Class a RVs have money gremlins all through out so we went 42 5Th wheel

    Charles

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    You've dodged every question about getting specific information on individual manufacturer quality. Thumbing down.

    fit4ya1975

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    From the extensive research I have done, I think NorthWood MFG is probably built the best. Or at least one of the best built.

    Jerry Shannon

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Soooo…. you took the time to go through 14 RV manufacturing facilities and discussed some great points. But like others, I have no clue who builds higher or lower quality, who uses OSB, who uses aluminum, etc. There's lots more questions for me to ask sales people who aren't going to give me straight answers.

    Nonya Buz

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Just saw a Jayco manufacturing process and it left very little to be desired. I'll never purchase one. Actually, I'll reconsidering altogether. Expensive JUNK for Sale.

    pat wilcox

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Nothing new here

    jim g

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Watching this video was really not real informative in my opinion. Maybe for someone that has never seen an rv but you could of said what factory tours you took and your humble opinion. Sorry a waste of time unless you needed to be told to go do a factory tour..

    Tom Franta

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Not sure what the point of this boring video was
    I guess to just visit RV plants
    Could have been 30 seconds

    WayneP117

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Julie and Marc, once again…
    What should be your deciding factor if you are looking a several manufactuers and nothing are wrong with any of them….price?

    Gloria A

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Excellent video! Thank you! Take care.

    5664788

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    All cheap,..all made for profit,…no quality under $75,000,..all slapped together with the cheapest possible materials from staples,..nails, screws up to the shitty plexi glass windows,..,..all pure shit boxes that are way over priced …2 brands of Water heaters that suck ass,…converters that don't last,……….that's all you should of said.

    Aero HCH

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    ?

    WayneP117

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Ok….if you are deciding on 3 Motorhomes- Same floor plan and about the same price- None have anything major wrong with them—What should be the deciding factor(s)?

    Roberto Ghirotti

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    I couldnt see the factories, only a couple speaking during 16 wasted minutes.

    Robert Cathcart

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    She's obviously an Australian — that's good.

    rnordquest

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    I didn't read all the comments, but there is no worry that none of the workers or designers has an RV. That has zero to do with quality or anything else. After all, you flew all the way there and I can tell you for certain that none of those aircraft workers or designers owns a jet airplane.

    ferrelx

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    should of saved yourself a lot of time and just gone to Forest City, Iowa :/

    Total Composites

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Great video! You covered a lot of points. The sad fact is that 90% of all American made RV's are utter crap. It's all about the profit…

    brianburnett15

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    This was like eating a veggie burger….there was no meat in it. Make a part 2 video please and tell us what brands you would and wouldnt buy based on your tour observations. You are allowed to give your opinion. Love your videos but this one left me hangin. I must admit

    Gerald Lucas

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Learned nothing!

    Leon Allan Davis

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Those are nice…!

    Robert Ott

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    For what you pay for they are all junk. But if you really want one that bad buy a used one that has already depreciated and has most of the first time bugs worked out.

    MikesMadMachines

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Fun fact: The RV industry in Elkhart and Goshen, Indiana is running fast and cheap thanks to Methamphetamine abuse.

    Jeremy Leonguerrero

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Forest River travel trailers are JUNK !!!

    NJ O

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Thank you for this video I have enjoyed it.
    I am wondering if you would tell me the name and manufacturer of the rv you are inside of at the beginning of the video and mid way through. You are pictured in the kitchen area and it has white cabinetry with dark furniture. I would appreciate you help. Thank you.

    Sandi Bergstrom

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Thank you for posting so much useful information, in this and other video's. We are in the planning stages and you are a great help!!!! 👍👍👍

    Ernest Ciccotelli

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Definitely did not enjoy this – it was 99% seeing you guys sitting in chairs outside – just discussing various things without showing ANYTHING – should've showed infrastructure AND final products a lot more and you guys a LOT less.

    Üte T.

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    Disappointing video

    Christopher Philip Reyes

    (April 25, 2019 - 6:03 am)

    INCONSISTENT QUALITY CONTROL AND MOSTLY MANUALLY MADE. THEREFORE THE RV DEALERS AND COMPANIES HAVE A SECRET DEAL PRICE WAY MUCH LOWER THAN WE KNOW. AND THAT PRICE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MSRP AND THE so-called #DISCOUNTED RATES ARE STILL FAR MORE HIGHER THAN THE ORIGINAL BULK PRICE. SO IT IS JUST RIGHT AND GOOD TO ASK FOR MORE DISCOUNTS FROM THE ALREADY DISCOUNTED PRICE OFFERED BY THE DEALERSHIPS.

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