Who is the most reliable RV maker?

You Asked. We Answered: That's a tricky question.

Sisters camping in Airstream travel trailer next to a lake in Montana.
Darrin Klimek, Riser Collection / Getty Images | 

If you are looking to buy an RV, finding the most reliable RV on the market is important. You'll want something that finds your needs, size requirements, space, and affordability— not to mention, ensuring getting good value for your money.

Former camping expert, David Sweet offers RV buyer's advice, and camping tips to help you make reliable decisions. 

Question

Who, in your opinion, is the most reliable RV maker?

We are going to look at travel trailers and we also have a child in a wheelchair, so we will look at trailers with slideouts for more room for her. We only want to look at the ones that are dependable, mostly trouble free, but we're hoping you have some idea on who is top notch and what ones to stay away from.

We also may have to widen the doorway for a ramp for the wheelchair. Does the manufacturer do that? I'm assuming some do, just wondering. We're having a hard time finding anything used with a slideout. Any ideas or opinions, thanks!

Answer

You Asked. We Answered: That's a tricky question.

Reliability is a value that we each measure in our own way. To answer your question is really tough for several reasons:

For me to recommend a particular manufacturer I would have to have owned one of their campers in order to have formulated any opinion. I have only ever owned a Coleman popup, so I have a very limited amount of owner knowledge.

Just like automobiles, every year new makes and models come out. And then there are lemons and cherries that could come off of the same assembly line. Trying to find the "best" model from a particular manufacturer may not depend solely on the price.

A cheaper model could be great, whereas their top models may not have the same quality.

Service and repairs will vary, not based on the manufacturer, but more likely on the RV dealer where you have to return the RV for maintenance. A well-made RV needing minor repairs could turn into a nightmare if taken to a dealer who doesn't give good service.

Now, just because I can't recommend any particular models doesn't mean I can't help. Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare for an RV purchase:

When my wife and I went shopping for our popup we went to an RV show.

We checked out every make and model, and most of those on display were set up by the dealer. So at the RV show, you can get a chance to meet those that might sell you your RV and ask questions, besides trying out their RVs.

By trying out I mean get in them and open and close everything. Lay down on the beds, try to open doors and windows. Carry your daughter's wheelchair on and see if there's room to move around. Get in them and jump up and down, shake them to see how sturdy they are.

I'm an information junkie and I like to read all the material I can find. We've sourced a few other experts to review a few top-selling RVs including the Airstream Travel Trailer and a Four Wheel Pop-up camper.

I wish I could say that model X or model Y was the best buy for the money and will fit your needs, but unfortunately, I can't.

Hopefully, the information available online, and your trip to the RV show will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision as to what make and model best suits your needs.

Updated and Edited by Camping Expert Monica Prelle.

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