Travel trailers are no small investments, so you must invest n some research before you settle on one.
Most importantly, you need to know of the worst travel trailer brands to avoid and steer clear of being lured into buying a travel trailer that keeps crumbling.
To make things easy for you, we have come up with this list of worst camper trailers to avoid and save yourself from unnecessary stress and strain.
What are the worst travel trailer brands? Here’s a brief glimpse at nine travel trailer brands and the reasons you need to avoid buying them.
- Hurricane: Bad-quality materials, no warranty, poor workmanship
- Jayco: Missing fixtures, poor-quality materials, bad ventilation
- Coleman: Bad built quality, bad assembly, defective appliances, low-grade furniture
- Fleetwood: Poor customer service, leakage issues, low-quality fabrics, trailer leveling problem
- Winnebago: inferior-quality materials, damaged walls, faulty electrical system
- Coachmen: Bad electrical insulation, leaky showers, appliance breakdown, flimsy furniture, bad built quality
- Keystone: Poor customer service, bad quality materials, inferior quality appliances
- Forest River: Sinking floors, apathetic customer services, leakage issues
- Gulf Stream: Leakage and rust issues, faulty appliances, low-quality interiors
Though relatively new to the trailer market, Hurricane travel trailers have garnered some popularity. Unfortunately, the popularity is fraught with several issues and customer regrets.
Hurricane is reported to be one of the worst travel trailer brands as most people have had bad experiences with the purchase.
These are some of the common problems that are commonly reported:
- The hydraulic lines used for the auto-stabilizer jacks are weak, fragile, and made of bad quality material. They often soar off while driving and spill hydraulic fluid.
- The customer service is poor and the purchase comes with no warranty. That means you may have to shell out quite a lot for the repairs, making it one of the worst RVs to buy.
- The materials used in the construction of the vehicle are reported to be of substandard quality.
- Parking brakes and BBC are bad.
Some positive features
- Good interior design with enough space
- Big kitchen and working stations
Jayco has received several mixed opinions but that doesn’t overshadow the bad reviews that it has received in bulk.
Most customers have complained about its malfunctioning parts that are nowhere deserving of the investment made. The numerous built-in facilities appear striking at first glance but show their flaws with time.
Some of the common complaints are:
- Missing fixtures leading to water flooding the interiors of the trailer
- Poor-quality interiors that wear off easily
- Bad ventilation and overall faulty oven hood installation
- Crooked toilet seat
Some positive features:
- They come with a 2-year warranty
- Interior design is family-focused
- They incorporate sustainability in their build and construction
Despite being just a decade old, Coleman has managed to hit the limelight but for all the wrong reasons. Several customers say that this is a brand of travel trailers to stay away from.
One of its main issues is the build quality that is exceptionally poor and inferior. Customers have had to find a replacement for several parts within the first week of purchase. Both the fit and the final finish have proven to be unsatisfactory as they are badly assembled and completely unreliable. Disgruntled customers feel that Coleman is one of the top RV brands to avoid.
Here are some of its other issues:
- Defective freezer, heater, and AC
- The shower starts spraying water suddenly, drenching the bathroom and sometimes flooding it
- Faulty designs resulting in the breakdown of lights and doors
- Bunk windows are loose and often blow out during drives
- Low-grade furniture and defective awning structure
Some positive features:
- Offers a wide range of floor plans
- Décor has a cozy warm feel
- Plenty of storage facilities
Though once a popular and respected brand in the travel trailer industry for its top-performing trailers, customers have been noticing the degradation in the quality of Fleetwood trailers, especially after the warranty expiration.
These are some of the problems faced by customers to date:
- Poor customer service after the purchase
- Inferior-quality seat covers that deteriorate quickly, especially during summers
- Battery discharges quickly and is found to be defective
- Warranty is not honored even after complaints of genuine defects
- Poor leveling problem even when it is parked
- Water leakage and malfunctioning systems
Some Positive Features:
- Previous good reputation
- Offers one year warranty
In this list of camper trailer brands to avoid, Winnebago is another brand you need to be wary of. This is a brand that has been around since 1958. Though it has some good reputation owing to its long tryst in the travel trailer industry, you can’t ignore its recent drawbacks either.
Here are some of the common problems faced by customers:
- Inferior quality materials used in appliances and build, resulting in bent panels, loose parts, and damaged walls
- Customers faced faults in the electrical circuitry and experienced shorts
- Manufacturers dishonored the warranties despite complaints from customers
- Poor customer service with several unanswered questions and responses
Some positive features:
- One of the oldest brands with a good reputation
- Wide variety of travel trailers catering to different kinds of travelers
Considering its reputation, you wouldn’t expect Coachmen to be on this list of travel trailers to stay away from. However, its name seems to have tarnished over the years because of a large number of complaints.
Here are some of the customer complaints:
- Unavailability of valves to drain freshwater
- Bad electrical insulation; customers have often complained about the insulation chipping away with bits and pieces falling off
- The trailer had several bent, loose screws signifying the poor quality of the materials used
- Breakdown of air conditioners and the outside paneling around the wheels
- Interior problems include cracked lounge chairs, dripping showers, and fluctuating electricity
- The upholstery of the passenger seat is of unexpectedly poor quality that begins to wear out after just a few uses
- The drawers are too fragile and crumble with the lightest weight
- Leakage problems in vent, sink, and shower that deteriorate further during the rainy season
Some positive features:
- Impressive design and stylish features like programmable thermostats
Keystone is a relatively new but well-known manufacturer of travel trailers and is marketed as the most durable travel trailer of recent times.
However, despite some good reviews, it has received several complaints regarding its structural and technical faults. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Poor post-purchase customer service with an unreliable website that is painful to navigate
- Customers have complained about its badly structured control boards along with several instances of cabinet doors falling off the hinge after a few days of purchase
- Poor quality materials used in the build that is apparent within a few days of use; simply driving on bumpy roads and in forested areas can cause dents and scratches on the van
- Appliances like fridges, stoves, and microwaves have many problems while the power supply has difficulty switching from gas to electricity or vice versa
Some positive features:
- It has spacious interiors and great pulling ability
- Economical on fuel and mileage
Though once a popular travel trailer brand, Gulfstream is now on the list of travel trailers not to buy. Moreover, despite the long-standing complaints regarding leakages, the manufacturers have been turning a deaf ear to them all. It’s no wonder that Gulfstream is on the list of travel trailer brands to avoid.
Here are some common recurring issues:
- Lack of quality in the materials used for the exterior construction has led to its unappealing appearance
- Most parts are improperly installed, causing leakages in several parts of the trailer that can then result in rusting
- The interiors seem to degrade pretty soon, thus diminishing the feel and the comfort of the travel experience
- The heaters and refrigerators constantly break down, dampening the overall experience of the trip
- Though customer service is mostly responsive, they charge an exorbitant amount for the faults that are caused during the manufacture
Some positive features:
- Lightweight and affordable travel trailers
Presently owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Forest River is an American manufacturer of travel trailers.
Forest River has been a coveted name in the travel trailer industry for a long time. In recent years, however, its quality and performance have been questionable. Some of its problems are:
- Leakage in the interior areas and other unexpected places degrades its performance on the road
- Complaints of its sinking floors have been common and is a grave problem for people traveling all year round
- Bad customer service with apathetic and callous representatives
Some positive features:
- Good past reputation
- They produce a wide variety of travel trailers
Travel trailers are likely going to be one of your major investments in life. That is why along with being aware of all good brands, it’s important to also keep a tab on what are the worst RV brands to avoid.
We have come up with this list of travel trailer brands to avoid based on the following standards:
Material plays a huge role in the final build of the product.
A travel trailer should also have robust storage spaces made of superior quality so that they don’t bulk or fall off during motion. The cabinets, overhead storage, and drawers must be able to bear the weight and handle the bouncy, bad roads.
We have thus carefully examined the material quality of the travel trailer brands in the list provided.
A travel trailer’s build construction is another aspect that must be carefully considered.
A travel trailer should be built using top-quality design practices, craftsmanship, and detailed manufacturing procedures.
A trailer’s build construction is directly proportional to its durability. Most bad travel trailer brands try to cut down on quality to cut costs, thereby leading to substandard end products.
If a brand and its product are not reliable, it can cause several inconveniences to the customers. Regardless of whether it’s a small problem or a big one, reliability is a must as no one wants to spend a relaxing vacation on fixing broken things every now and then.
These are the three main criteria that must be considered. And as a buyer, you need to be aware of the common inconveniences that customers face with some of these worst travel trailer brands. Because chances are, you may have to face them too if you decide to make your purchase from one of these brands.
Dozens of new models of travel trailers are pushed into the market every year. It can get overwhelming to consider all the different aspects before buying a new trailer. After all, this is not a cheap purchase.
So how do you make sure you don’t end up with a bad trailer and fall into a cycle of repairs and inconveniences?
Let us take a look at the things you must avoid before you buy a travel trailer.
It’s not going to help your cause if you rush to buy the first travel trailer you come across. There’s a vehicle out there for everyone. Make sure you invest some time in research before you finalize which trailer you will be buying.
You may need to visit several trailer showrooms, check online forums for reviews, or rent an RV for a week to understand if the brand’s features align with your travel goals.
To avoid unnecessary problems in the future, you must complete all the necessary paperwork before buying a travel trailer. Most states have mandated the completion of paperwork within a month of purchase.
Make sure that the seller is authentic and refrain from buying a used vehicle if there’s an unexplainable lien on the vehicle. Other important documents are the sale bill and title transfer papers.
Understanding your needs is very important before you set out to make that purchase. Ask yourself whether you want to purchase a brand-new vehicle or a used one? What kind of travel trailer are you looking for? Do you want a travel trailer, a motor home, or a pop-up tent trailer?
This decision is also based on several factors such as the parking space, maintenance expenses, internet connectivity, and if there’s an in-built kitchen.
You must consider the tow weight of your vehicle before making a purchase. Tow weight is the maximum weight your vehicle can tow based on its weight, framework, and engine.
The towing capacity of your vehicle should be more than the weight of your travel trailer by a huge margin. Not only does this reduce strain on your transmission, but it will also help in keeping you safe. Also, make sure that you check whether all the necessary electronic systems and braking are installed as it will let you tow safely and legally.
You might have noticed several scratches on the underpasses’ concrete where the RV or some other tall vehicle’s drivers miscalculated the height of their vehicle.
It is vital to know your RV’s width and height before you set out on your first trip. Your seller can usually fill you in on this detail. But don’t neglect this part as it can cost you a lot to get that roof-mounted solar panel, antenna, AC or the roof itself repaired.
You will have to look into the size aspect of your travel trailer, both interior, and exterior, along with its aesthetic appeal.
Make a list of the things you wish to take on your trip and compare the size of the trailer with those needs. It might be tempting to buy the smallest one given its economic pricing, but if you spend the entirety of your travel days feeling cramped up inside and tripping over people and things, you won’t be able to have that peaceful experience that you set out to gain. Do not overlook the shower and bathroom; make sure they are large enough for your needs.
We hope this guide has helped understand the things you should consider and what you should avoid before buying a travel trailer.
The choice of your travel trailer depends on your recreational needs as well as your financial capacity. However, it’s important to be aware of the brands that produce inferior quality vehicles so that you don’t end up wasting all that hard-earned money.
Travel trailer itself is a huge investment, one that can have a great impact on your lifestyle. If you make a wrong purchase, you may wind up spending unnecessary time and money on repairs and replacement.
We have provided you with a list of nine travel trailer brands to avoid purchasing and save yourself the unnecessary hassle. We hope this helps you in simplifying your search for the perfect travel trailer. Assess your financial capacity and experiential needs, and pick the best one that suits your style of camping.