Travel Trailers because

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Hannda, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. donmac

    donmac casual angler

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    Many LivinLite fans / conspiracy theorists believe that is why Thor purchased LL. They were trying to build a camper that would last for generations. No wood, rot/rust free construction, aluminum frame, alum interior framing, azdel inside, alum roof/walls. They were not perfect either but having owned 5 campers, 2 of them LL, I'm one of those all aluminum fans. I've done a bunch of mods on my current LL (Camplite 21RBS) and can say that I'm impressed with the basic construction that I have seen.

    After Thor bought them they started phasing in cheaper/fewer axles/suspension, smaller diameter interior framing, replaced aluminum siding with fiberglass and put a typical rubber up top, replaced aluminum flooring with composite alum framed floor, more wood inside, etc... etc..

    ATC Toy Haulers is still building aluminum campers. Won't be surprised if Thor buys them too.

    I'm hoping you're not going to tell me that you have seen LL and ATC built too and they suck just as bad. ;)
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  2. QuiChang Cain

    QuiChang Cain Freelance Pelican Photographer

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    This isn't a surprise.

    We "follow" several other full time RV nomads and the ones who purchased a brand new kit have suffered much. The older kits keep on trucking while the brand new owners are parked in motels for weeks at a time.
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  3. braindead0

    braindead0 Head Fisherman

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    I think TT/fiver manufacturers are trying to build to fit the smaller SUV's all the while trying to keep the floorplans that consumers are used to. They want to lie about what you can tow it with... while keeping a straight face and avoiding lawsuits.

    Our TT fully loaded with full fresh water tank/heater weighs 2780# resting on a 3500# axle. Nearly all of our trips are off road.. so far the axle/frame TT have held up fine. So far the issues we've had were minor, most of the work I've put into it have been upgrades (5 gallon black tank <> enough ;-). The worst item in the entire trailer has been the kitchen sink, on my third now hoping it'll last.

    There's certainly a lot of crap out there, if you're a smart consumer and do your research I think you can find something that has the right compromises for you. If you're not a 'do it yourselfer' be prepared to open your wallet for a higher end unit ;-)
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  4. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    I’m fairly handy at fixing stuff, having had sailboats for years. We bought a new Airstream and frankly I’ve been impressed with the quality. I’ve fixed absolutely nothing and the only repair was a replacement A/C under warranty. We use the trailer a fair bit. I’m in a state park right now.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to buy an older well maintained Airstream, based on my experience. They are owned by Thor, these days, but it doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact.
  5. braindead0

    braindead0 Head Fisherman

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    My parents are on Airstream #2, a 1974 Land Yacht.

    It's had some problems, they ran copper plumbing directly on top of galvanized steel duct work... it took a while but eventually that had to all be replaced due to pin holes (dad swapped out everything with PEX). The 'skylight' windows are a sealed affair that had some sort of plasticy stuff in between the layers which has all degraded and flaked off into piles at the bottom of the windows.. No replacements available. Tiny holding tanks that can't be upgraded without a major pain, 40 gallons of fresh and 15gallon gray.. I think black is about 15 also..

    All that said, they'd never consider anything but an Airstream. The tend to come from the factory with better components and most of the custom stuff is well designed. I wish I had their cabinets, the awning style doors in mine are a hazard to anyone over 5'8".. They've had a variety of 'consumer' grade TT's and they've all been more trouble than they are worth. It'd be sad if Thor destroyed Airstream...
  6. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    I picked up a 2018 LivinLite/Camplite 16TBS in December.
    Only wood in it is the cabinet fronts- I'm ok with that. You can get them in aluminum for something like $1000 more- not worth it IMO.
    Workmanship is a notch above Forest River but not by much.

    Still lots of screws shot in crooked, sloppy caulking, noticed the other day the tailights aren't centered-one is say 4" from the edge and the other is 2.5" from the edge etc.
    Some of the aluminum welding looks pretty poor- I have had the spool gun for aluminum wire for awhile, just haven't used it- might need to get the proper gas and start practicing...
    I actually prefer the fibreglass sides to aluminum- and since the fibreglass is not laminated to luan it shouldn't have delam problems- I hope.

    Here is an example of their workmanship> LeftSideWheelWell.jpg Left side- looks ok RightSideWheelWell.jpg Right side- uh oh

    I checked, the axle is straight across- just the guy that did the right side fender had a hangover and left his tape measure at home:eek7


    Does it affect proper operation or use? No.
    Sure makes one wonder what is done where you can't see it though.

    That job probably earned an A+ in the Thor world.
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  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Fuck.. looks like they're in some sort of race...

    I'd like to see, say a dozen good welders, craftsmen, etc go in that plant and let them build an rv

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  8. nevermind

    nevermind Slower, then Molasses

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    FAST does not mean poor quality. Are the robot welders in the car frame factories producing crappy welds? They are a ton faster than a human so I guess that means we should have cars falling apart all over our roadways.

    They could never produce one at a price point I'd be able to afford this century. FWIW, I have a 2016 Jayco. Not sure if it was built there, but I don't see any glaring or nagging quality issues. Solid as a tank, nice features and I've dragged it through a few very lumpy cow pastures whilst out and about and so far, nothing is falling apart.
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  9. braindead0

    braindead0 Head Fisherman

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    I think what's missing is any sort of quality assurance checks during the process. They rush to get them built, once built a lot of possible problems are hidden inside walls. Behind the clearance lights on my TT was a ragged hole cut through the aluminum frame to pass power for the lighting..when I found that it was shorting out. Should have been caught during manufacture I think.

    There's also the added aspect of crappy parts suppliers, the quality of a lot of RV appliances for example seems to be.. variable. Tank suppliers sell x gallon tanks that may only actually hold 1/2 or less of that... and the manufacturer passes along the BS to the consumer because it seems nobody checks these things...and of course 'specs subject to change'.

    It also seems that each manufacturer keeps a 'stable' of 'brands' that they can throw away if they're ever seen as sub-par.... and just whip up a new one, consumers have a short memory...
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  10. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Did you watch the vid.
    Your examples are not the same.. Fast is one thing, but fast and crappy is another. This looked like the latter. I'd have more trust in the robot.

    A fast robot welder is not the same as a dozen guys in tank tops firing nails thru a gun as quick as the trigger can be pulled. Then rolling on the floor and jogging back and forth to get the adhesive to set. The cabinet guy throws the cabinets around like toys. The roof truss installer took zero time to line anything up. Insulation doesn't cover the complete ceiling.

    Every step that was show in the video had me shaking my head. And IMO, not how quality work is done.

    It just had me wondering if they were building the rv for themselves would they be more deliberate.

    No offence, but not sure I'd compare your 2016 Jayco to a tank. If you still have it in 13 years, please let us know how it's holding up.

    Maybe if they used screws and glue vs just finishing nails, more precision and care, vs what I just watched, one may get another 7 yrs out of the thing instead of it being in a landfill in 9 years.

  11. donmac

    donmac casual angler

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    re: thor and airstream

    We do need to give Thor some credit for not screwing up Airstream. Thor was founded with the acquisition of Airstream in 1980 and since then they have acquired many other brands. Airstream was their first RV and they've allowed Airstream to maintain being perceived as the elite classic travel trailer (at a very elite price). Airstream owners do not appear to complain as much about quality as other brands from what I can tell.
  12. shores

    shores ElBandido

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    All this makes me think buying a wells cargo or similar quality trailer with rv door windows vents maybe ac and let me do the rest would be a far better plan
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  13. tattewell

    tattewell Mad Poser

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    Gonna agree with maggot here. From the guys I've talked to who have been around the industry for a while, I have never met somebody who isn't selling Jayco that said it is a quality product. For my money I'll stick with Bigfoot. I know what I'm getting and they hold their value many years later.

    That said if you're gonna only own it for 5 years and buy a new one, the price point on jayco is probably fine.
  14. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    Jayco used to be a very well made product.
    Those days are gone.
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  15. bross

    bross Where we riding to?

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    For those complaining about quality, there are a few brands that I believe do produce a quality product BUT your ARE going to pay for it. Our Newmar Canyon Star was put together well, even though the Canyon Star is their low end motorhome, the difference in quality shows, BUT we paid for it.

    We're just as happy with our Winnebago Minnie TT now, it's no where near the quality of the Canyon Star but it also cost 1/5th the price of the Canyon Star. Want quality, find a reputable, quality manufacturer and buy one of their RVs but it's not going to be from any of them mentioned here.
  16. bross

    bross Where we riding to?

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    Agreed, we have a Jayco Seneca on the Kodiak chassis in the family. They are horse people and pile on the miles regularly heading from Oregon to Texas to Canada and have had no trouble with theirs and it still looks good when cleaned up. Not sure of the year, maybe 2006?
  17. PMC

    PMC riding rider

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    The problem with watching a video of a production line that produces 14-20k dollar trailers is they’re making trailers that sell for next to nothing. They’re wood framed and the cheapest of the cheap.
    Is Thor the devil- maybe... is a Jayco Jaybird or whatever, a hunk of shit that will fall apart- likely. But damn, campers are a a bit shoddy compared to a new automotive vehicle.

    If you drop Newell or Prevost money you will likely still have issues. Sure they’ll kiss your ass because you spent 2 million but they'll still break down as I know people whose multi million dollar coaches have left them stranded.
  18. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    I am a firm believer in buying used, higher quality for your money. Since the industry collapse and reconsolidation 10 years ago, quantity, not quality, has been the new paradigm. If you read this thread, more people are interested in paying the minimum (long-term loaned money) for the biggest new bling and get what they pay for.
  19. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    What bothers me about it compared to vehicles, is that I doubt I can watch a factory Honda Civic plant build and say, yeah I can do better. In this case though, as a decent diy guy who takes pride in what he does, I could do better than what I watched in nearly every aspect.

    I've been watching more ATC vids and these guys look to do it right, although probably 2x the price od a Thor owned unit. Which I would pay.

    Just saw a 19ft 1982 Bigfoot trailer for sale locally for 12k... it'll be sold by the weekend.

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  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Give them the led awning lights, flat screen tv, and outdoor fridge, and we're good.

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