(Also known as the Airing of Grievances)
I really like my job. Seriously. I enjoy checking out RVs and learning about all the cool things they’re doing these days (solar panels, clean diesels, back-up cameras, etc.). And I like writing about these things and getting feedback from owners. Earlier this week I received an e-mail from a reader in Alaska with a few comments about my recent DEF articles. In this day and age of instant communication I still get a little thrill thinking of something I wrote being read in far off Alaska and that reader replying to me with a few simple clicks of his keyboard. It never fails to amaze.
But there are a few things that bug me that may be worth mentioning. These are issues we encounter every day here at RVReviews.net and they never vary. I promise I’ll be brief…
- RV manufacturers selling a product that costs from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars with a factory warranty more suitable to a mid-range bicycle. A $250,000 motorhome with a 1 or 2 Year Warranty? Are you kidding me? Considering the average RV will be used less than 3 months annually, this translates to a warranty covering only 3-6 months of actual use. I would encourage any prospective RV buyer to challenge their dealer about the warranty and tell them they think it’s subpar. Maybe if enough of us start doing this word will get back to the manufacturers. Until then, the Extended RV Warranty industry has taken off to fill the gap but this is an extra expense on top of an expensive RV. The folks at WholesaleWarranties.com do a great job but I think the manufacturers need to step up, too. Mention “RVReviews.net” if you get a quote from WholesaleWarranties.com and they’ll give you a nice discount. I do like that part.
- The use of stupendously heavy granite or solid surface countertops in many of today’s RVs. I know, these look great but the added weight for this superficial perk kills the amount of baggage today’s traveler can safely load in many RVs. Personally, I’d rather cut 500 lbs. from my countertop weight and add 500 lbs. of stuff I can bring –or just cut 500 lbs. and travel that much lighter. Once this granite phase passes I predict we’ll go back to good old bullet-proof laminates –and that day can’t come soon enough for me.
- Sloppy fit and finish/ quality control from the majority of RV manufacturers. A year ago we started selling our Pre-Purchase Inspection Checklist because we were hearing so many complaints from buyers about the poorly assembled systems on their new RVs. It’s now one of our top sellers. That should tell you something. Every single week we hear of HVAC ductwork not hooked up properly and plumbing with leaks and trim pieces barely fastened to floors and walls –and these are on brand new RVs. Do you think there is any correlation between this and the brief warranties mentioned above? I do. I also think the first manufacturer to tighten up their quality control and offer a killer warranty will reap the rewards. Any takers?
- RV buyers that only shop for the newest model. Every summer the next year’s production models are introduced and we see a rush of report requests for the latest models even though in most cases the differences between a 2016 and a 2015 (for instance) are minimal (usually some new graphics or fabric choices) except for the price. Since one of our core goals at RVReviews.net is to help RV buyers save money on their purchase, I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest you compare the latest offering versus the previous year’s model and if the differences are insignificant to you –DON’T buy the latest model. Buy the additionally discounted previous year’s model and pocket the difference. I guarantee you that no one will ever know the difference expect you.
- Dealers that let a new owner pull their RV off the lot without checking tire pressures. Most RVs spend several months sitting on a dealer’s lot before finding a new home. In that time tires can deflate significantly without visibly looking low. It costs nothing for a dealer to top up the tires and that first towing or driving experience for a nervous new owner could be the most dangerous one he’ll experience. A blown tire at this time could be catastrophic –especially if the RV is loaded down with heavy granite countertops. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Insist your tires are checked before leaving the dealer’s lot.
I think that’s it. Five isn’t too bad, is it? Heck, Letterman comes up with a Top 10 every night.
Don’t be bashful about comments, folks. Contact me at John@RVReviews.net. Even if you’re not in Alaska.