Travel Trailers are an excellent option for travelers. They can be attached and unattached to a truck that you already own which gives you flexibility, and they offer the comforts of home like beds, bathrooms, and kitchens. But, they are a big investment, and not all brands are reliable, which is critical if you plan to be out on the open road. So, here are 6 Travel Trailer Brands need to Avoid.
What to look for in a High-Quality Travel Trailer
First off, Safety should be your number one priority. Well-constructed travel trailers are less likely to malfunction due to manufacturers cutting corners.
Some common malfunctions might include poor electrical and wiring which increases the risk of fire, bad hitches which could cause the trailer to come un-hooked which could have horrible consequences for both you and the cars behind you.
When shopping for a travel trailer, look at things like safety ratings, and check out what kind of extra features a brand has included in terms of safety. And remember, that construction has a lot to do with safety.
Look at plumbing and electrical, and check to see if there are any issues that you can see. Ask to see the tubes, test the toilet and shower, turn on the lights, and basically, just make sure everything is working.
Another important factor associated with construction is durability. As poor quality trailers see more and more miles, they tend to start falling apart. Repairs can be extremely costly, but more than that, this could put you at risk of being stranded out in the middle of nowhere.
You will encounter some things along the way that are inevitable, but they should not be occurring prematurely.
There is absolutely no substitute for good customer service. Some manufacturers are known for bad customer service which includes long-wait times, warranties that are not honored, and a “tough-luck” attitude — The last thing you want to have to deal with while you’re on vacation.
To avoid these types of situations, look for companies like that offer stellar customer service. Tiffin, out of Alabama, is a good example. These types of brands will offer ways to get a hold of them quickly, have a dedicated person for troubleshooting, and have people that will help you fix issues and honor warranties if it’s a manufacturing issue.
Inspect First, Pay Last!
Last, but definitely not least, before buying, have the sales rep walk you through their construction methods (It’s their job!) Many companies will tell you an inspection is included but these are usually done after payment and before delivery. Do not settle for this. Have them inspect it BEFORE you buy.
Have them look inside and out, and have them go over every detail around safety and construction. If there is a large repair, reputable and fair companies should be the ones to fix the problem.
Most importantly, never buy a trailer that has glaring flaws, and remember to take a test drive to check that everything is working correctly.
Once you have a thorough inspection done, sit down with your rep to go over the warranty. Review every single detail and read through it. Ask questions! I recommend coming up with any crazy scenario you can think of and see if it covers it. Usually, these types of questions will lead to other questions and detailed explanations.
Here are 6 Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid
Coachman has been on the scene since 1964, and are known for flashy styles and lavish interiors giving the appearance of a well-made, high-quality travel trailer. Unfortunately for many, this brand leaves a lot to be desired. Owners are underwhelmed by the number of issues that come up immediately after purchasing rather than after a long life and a lot of use.
Reviews of this trailer have noted that certain models don’t have basic things like important valves where they should be, missing or bent screws, broken levers, leaking showers, and even poor quality material on the seats causing them to disintegrate.
While some still think this is generally a good brand that works, it’s clear that unless you are prepared to deal with a money-pit, avoid Coachman brand travel trailers.
Keystone Travel Trailers are known to be durable and fuel efficient, which is precisely what you should be looking for in a trailer. However, it isn’t without its issues. Those who have purchased these have said that they have experienced things like cabinet doors falling off of their hinges.
Other negative reviews talk about poor structural construction and technical issues as well as a website that’s hard to use. It’s not clear if these are systematic issues, or if they are one-offs, but either way, it’s good to be aware so that when you do your inspections you can look at these specific things.
Most of the criticisms surrounding Winnebago are focused primarily on the fact that they seem to have a severe lack of quality control and inattention to obvious flaws in the construction. These include bent interior walls rendering the trailer unsafe, electrical issues, unfinished interiors, and poor electrical.
All of which will cause you to stress, and cost you money.
Apparently, they are also known for having poor customer service, the inability to solve problems, and even simply failing to respond to any complaints. Combine this with the physical issues, and you’ve got a supremely unprofessional brand that doesn’t put it’s clients first. If you’re looking for a brand that you can trust, Winnebago may be out.
4. Hurricane by Motor Coach
Among Travel Trailers to Avoid is The Hurricane by Motorcoach. When it comes to interiors, actually has positive reviews. They make practical and efficient interiors that maximize space, allowing plenty of room for families or those traveling in larger groups.
But, it’s clear that consumers are looking for more than just beautiful interiors, and its rating has dropped significantly due to a number of reported complaints.
Issues with The Hurricane include the fact that the hydraulic lines that make the auto-stabilizer jacks function are so flimsy that either doesn’t work at all, malfunction, and there have even been reports that say that the lines have fallen off while driving (yikes).
On top of that, they have been known to put used materials in your brand new home, and horrendous customer service.
Many people feel cheated after buying this brand of travel trailer because so many of the parts don’t work the way they are supposed to.
Malfunctions have been known to pile up leading to huge repair bills for owners. It has to be said that most agree that the outside condition and towing ability is awesome, but that’s not enough to outweigh the fact that the interiors fall apart very quickly.
Unhappy customers explained how water leaks led to flooding, over hoods and ventilations improperly installed, and even one even says that a toilet seat was on crooked! Jayco prides themselves on the ability to build a trailer in seven hours, but from what we can see, it’s clear that seven hours is not enough time if you want to do the job right.
Fleetwood is one of the best known and most loved of any travel trailer brand, and so it’s surprising to find out that folks are not happy with the product. For years, Fleetwood was highly desirable because of the quality and innovation behind their designs, but in recent years, things have changed and they are receiving more and more negative reviews.
This negative feedback notes that in recent years, Fleetwood’s customer service has dropped off substantially, specifically after purchasing. Owners have complained that despite the number of defects, Fleetwood refused to honor their warranties!
These specific complaints are varied, but included problems battery charging, water leaks, malfunctioning systems, poor fabric quality that deteriorates in hot weather, and the inability to get the trailers to level off when parked. All in all, a good name isn’t an excuse for a bad product which means you should probably avoid this travel trailer.
While reviewing different travel trailers it was shocking to see how many of these brands lack basic quality control and cut corners. More surprisingly was the reports on the refusal to honor warranties after reports of manufacturer defects.
This is why it is critical to pay attention to all of the minor details no matter how small, review your warranty, and choose a travel trailer brand that has a good reputation and great customer service.