– Disclaimer – The rankings for what are the worst RV brands list are based on consumers’ experience data.
RVs are an excellent way to explore far-off lands and unknown places and live your nomadic dream. If you are a traveler by heart, RVs are for you. But are all RVs good? And what are the worst RV brands you need to be cautious of?
One of the primary reasons you need for answering what are the worst RV brands – is the hefty price tag RVs hold. Buying a new RV is a huge investment, and you can not take chances. And a not-so-good RV can make RVing a nightmare.
Out of millions of RVs out there, it is very hard to say exactly which model is good and which one is bad – but there are certain brands that are notorious for their make.
And to rule out the worst RV brands, one must do detailed research and explore customer reviews, and only then you will have a clear idea of what RV brands to avoid.
What Makes Some RV Brands Worst?
RVing is becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. The demand for RVs today is higher than it was ever before. This makes room for low-quality and poorly designed RVs in the market.
Manufacturers often rush with their regular procedures and end up with terrible RVs! Sometimes companies even compromise with safety inspections before releasing their motorhomes into the market. This is a matter of an even bigger concern as it puts the user at risk of road hazards.
Moreover, RV manufacturing is a competitive industry to be in. Profit margins are tight, and raw materials costs are high.
As a result, some RV manufacturers reuse the parts of old-retired RVs in their new products. It leads to faster breakdowns, resulting in shorter RV life.
And one of the fastest issues to land yourself in what are the worst RV brands list as a manufacturer is poor customer care –
Poor customer service provokes customers unevenly to include your name in answering what are the worst RV brands.
Read here what Heath and Alyssa have gone through –
Worst RVs To Buy
Now, before I begin ranting about the flaws of each RV on the list, let me tell you, no RV is perfect. Of course, even the below-mentioned RVs aren’t complete ‘garbage’!
It’s just that some issues are impossible to ignore, and it’s best to avoid RVs having them. Why buy a poor product when you have got tons of other better options?
Also, let me clarify that it’s not like each product manufactured by the below brands is as terrible as I have described. It all has to do with the percentage of flawed products manufactured.
You might get lucky and end up with a completely fine RV from a brand I described as awful. It is very much a possibility.
Everything written about each brand below is based on extensively researched customer reviews and my personal experience. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Forest River RV
Forest River, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, has been in RV manufacturing since 1996. The company produces class A and C motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, destination trailers, and camping trailers.
It is a big name in the RV industry, but not without flaws. Especially in recent years, their manufacturing has only earned a bad reputation.
Forest River RV takes the first spot in our list of what are the worst RV brands to buy. There are good reasons to justify it. Many users have experienced trouble with slide-outs in their RVs. Very often, the slide-out is broken, stuck, or won’t open at all.
Now, as a regular RVer, I know how important it is for slide-outs to work well. Having your slide-out stuck when you need it open while camping is so annoying. It takes all the joy away from a fun family outing.
Besides the slide-out, Forest River often messes up with the wirings in their RVs. Many users have complained about faulty wiring and instances of disconnects.
Moreover, the plumbing in the RVs isn’t that great, either. Consumers have reported leakages that started right in the first month of their purchase.
Additionally, Forest River RV users have complained about improper installation of several components, including the bypass valves in the hot water tank. Moreover, the cabinet doors aren’t of good quality. It does not take more than a few trips for the doors to get all loose and shaky.
And a not closing door is the first one to open up a lot of mouths to include the manufacturer in what are the worst RV brands answer.
The complaints don’t end here. Flooring is another issue Forest River has been criticized for. Users have reported cases like sinking and waviness with the floor. Surely, the flooring doesn’t seem to be sturdy enough.
Leakage, as discussed, is one of the prime troubles travelers with Forest River RV have faced. Leaking water can be a trouble in so many ways. Besides the apparent dripping from the roof, leaking means rusting metal, rotting wood, and mold on your walls.
I don’t like being so critical about things, but honestly, Forest River themselves earned a spot in the what are the worst RV brands list.
For a brand with an international reputation, they are yet to match its standards. No doubt, they are our number one, i.e., the worst RV brand to buy!
Coachmen Recreational Vehicle Company is our second pick in the ugly list of motorhome brands to avoid.
Founded in 1964, Coachmen has been in RV manufacturing for about 58 years now. You will hope for some reliability from a brand as old as Coachmen. But unfortunately, they ended up quite early in the what are the worst RV brands list!
There are many flaws in Coachmen RV that get it a bad name, the first being leakage. Users have complained about leakage issues pretty much everywhere in the RV, from sinks, windows, showers, and whatnot.
The caulking is terrible, and as many customers claimed, the problem didn’t go away even after multiple repairs.
Besides poor plumbing, the flimsy particleboard shelving is just as big of a pain. As many RV users have reviewed, the shelves bent and couldn’t serve for long, even with the usual kitchen gear’s weight.
Low-quality design and poor workmanship are evident throughout the RV. Additionally, even basic issues, like the proper installation of electrical appliances, aren’t addressed.
Poor rig setup and wrong arrangement of parts like refrigerators, slides, and drawers remain a headache.
Moreover, if the leaks weren’t enough, the roof is also complained to be loose. Ceilings, shelves, and slides are all reported to sag out right after the very few first trips.
Hearing all this for Coachmen is heavy on our hearts as well. We expect a brand like it to maintain the basic standard.
One would hope for decent customer service after such a terrible experience. But sadly, on this front as well, Coachmen doesn’t meet our expectations.
Users have complained about the customer assistance being unsatisfactory. Something you don’t expect from a well-established brand like Coachmen.
I am not too picky about my choices. I am usually pretty optimistic and prefer to let go of the flaws if they are manageable. But somewhere Coachmen seemed to cross the line.
There should be no room for compromise with issues as basic as leakage and improper design. Poor quality RV manufacturers are not where a brand as huge as Coachmen should lie. But unfortunately, it does find its way into the list of worst motorhome brands.
In the market since 1996, Keystone RV Corp is another big name in the RV industry. Their trailers are known for being spacious and more fuel efficient.
But here is the catch, since Thor acquired the company, the manufacturing quality has only degraded.
The control board of Keystone RV is complained to be too technical. Users have found trouble operating their RVs smoothly.
The interface isn’t as user-friendly as one would expect. It’s as if the control board was designed to be used by teenagers. Clearly, Keystone RV failed to cater to the needs of all age groups.
When you finally learn to navigate the problematic control board, you will start having issues with the interior cabinetry. The thin veneer will quickly lose its strength, and after a few rides, the screws will get loose, leaving you with new trouble.
The customer service, as reported, isn’t decent either. Keystone users often complain about poor customer support, including delayed responses and unaddressed requests.
Additionally, many RV users have also complained about lousy furnishing. Poor quality furniture is a big turn-off as it degrades the whole look of the rig. Moreover, the fishing kit provided with the RV isn’t as you would expect, mostly mediocre if not awful!
Even after all the terrible things mentioned, if you still have plans to buy a Keystone RV, buggy electronics will change your mind. Like so many other things in this RV, electronics also fail to meet the proper standards.
The faulty equipment will not spare you a day without a frown and you are going to shout out loud “Keystone” when asked, “what are the worst RV brands?”
The bottom line is that Keystone RVs are a poor choice to go with. Keystone has very little to offer if you leave the fuel efficiency, extra rig space, and vintage looks.
The poor appliances, terrible customer service, and lousy plumbing will make you regret your purchase every day. Unfortunately, Keystone RVs do fall on the list of worst motorhome brands by many reviewers. Better give a pass on it and invest your hard-earned money on something positive.
Thor Industries has been in the RV manufacturing business for more than 41 years. Founded in 1980, Thor has acquired many other firms in its four-decade-long journey.
But unfortunately, consumer trust in the company has only gone down in recent years. And as their list of acquisitions grows, they are listed in a lot of articles writing about what are the worst RV brands.
The company is often criticized for salvaging scrap in its “newly” manufactured RVs. This leads to poor build quality and weak parts, resulting in early damage. Not to ignore the cost of frequent repairs that comes with it, which is another headache.
But the prime issue with Thor Hurricane is its terrible braking system. Whether or not it is a consequence of salvaging scrap remains a question, but poor parking brakes in Hurricane RVs are a reality.
I do not need to emphasize how critical the concern is. It is not only dangerous for people inside the RV but also for others on the road.
Pathetic parking brakes are enough for anyone to move away from the brand. But if you are still unsure, Thor Hurricane has got more flaws.
The charging system in the RV is low quality. Failure of the 12-volt electric system is common. You don’t want to be without power some 100 miles away from your home.
Besides that, no one likes paying for costly batteries every now and then. With such grave issues, it shouldn’t be surprising that Thor Hurricane is included in what are the worst RV brands list.
Moreover, to add to the never-ending concerns with Thor RVs, users have reported inferior fabric on furniture. Only after a couple of years, the material wears out, demanding a replacement. Clearly, Thor Hurricane is a disappointment on many fronts.
As I mentioned before, I don’t like being harsh about brands. I believe every company has something better to offer than the others. But with issues as serious as poor parking brakes, Thor Hurricane deserves some badmouthing. We are sorry but they have earned a spot on the list of one of the worst RVs to buy.
Gulf Stream, founded in 1971, has been a reputed RV brand for the last 50 years. But lately, there has been an evident decline in the company’s manufacturing standards.
Once a reliable and trusted brand, Gulf Stream is losing the dominance it once enjoyed and slowly they are also being included in what are the worst RV brands list. The good old brand is fading away.
The biggest concern with the newer models of Gulf Stream RVs is their open doors and unreliable locks. I don’t need to stress the importance of door locks here.
It only takes a couple of weeks for a perfectly fine RV to show its true colors. You can expect a visit to the repair center right after a few trips; this is how notorious Gulf Stream locks are.
Besides the door and its locks, leakage is another issue faced by many Gulf Stream users. The use of poor quality build material costs the company its customer’s trust.
It’s as if a constantly leaking roof is becoming synonymous with Gulf Stream RVs. The company better work on this, or they might eventually have to sell only roofless cars.
As if a leaking roof wasn’t enough, the RV also comes with terrible heating and cooling systems. The thermostat almost always reads wrong unless you get a replacement.
Poor air circulation and indoor humidity from propane heat are annoying. And sweating on a hot day or shivering in the bath on a pretty cold day makes you frustrated and provokes you to comment the manufacturer’s name for what are the worst RV brands question.
Buyers don’t notice these little things during their purchase and regret them later. Moreover, other crucial appliances like the refrigerator are not as good as expected.
All in all, Gulf Stream RVs are frustrating. From faulty equipment to a leaking roof, you have got it all. It is best to move away from the brand, and let’s wait if they come up with better models. Unless Gulf Stream makes significant changes in its manufacturing process, the brand seems to lose it’s glory.
Fleetwood Enterprise has been in the industry since the 1950s and some years back it would have been taboo to include them in what are the worst RV brands list. With an experience of more than seven decades, you would expect the brand to be reliable.
But it’s far from reality. Fleetwood users have come across a plethora of issues, including broken equipment and poor build quality.
First things first, the electrical system is full of faults. Improper wiring is evident. This leads to issues with proper extension and retraction of the slide out.
Besides that, Fleetwood slide-outs are found to be expensive to replace. Such extra bills spent on repair sting more than one can imagine during a purchase.
The troubles with Fleetwood don’t end with the poor electric system. Flooring, upholstery, broken equipment; the issues are endless.
Once the warranty period is over, you need to pay for every repair on your own. With time, each repair becomes more and more frustrating. Eventually, the RV you once loved so much will end up useless in your garage.
Coming to customer service, we have bad news here as well. Many users have reported that their issues go unaddressed. Also, if the defect is large enough, the customer service bails out, and the consumer needs to pay on its own.
Something we didn’t expect from a well-established brand like Fleetwood.
Also, just like other mentions in this list, Fleetwood RVs are bad with leakages. The rubber roof wears out quickly and leads to leakages, minor at the beginning but eventually bringing you big trouble.
Leaks affect other appliances in the RV, including electronics. Faults in electrical circuits are often associated with these minor leakages.
To summarize, Fleetwood has been in the RV game for a long time. But lately, the quality of their products is raising questions. With a poor electric supply system and bad appliances, Fleetwood adds to the list of “what RVs not to buy.”
So don’t naturally expect reliability if a brand is old. It’s best to give a pass to Fleetwood. And this line is for Fleetwood – Every single dime in repair urges the users to vote the manufacturer for what are the worst RV brands survey.
Coleman is another once reliable old brand that is losing its credibility. Founded in the 1950s, Coleman is still known for its durable and sturdy RV parts.
But unfortunately, the company doesn’t seem to do justice with RV manufacturing. And because of other positives and pluses, we have listed them last for what are the worst RV brands.
The primary complaint from Coleman RV users is that they find the rig design uncomfortable and odd. The finishing seems to be rushed and doesn’t satisfy its customers.
It becomes evident with time, as only after a couple of trips the RV starts demanding repair and maintenance.
Poor management of appliances is another headache. The showerhead isn’t rightly placed and sprays water outside the bath, creating a mess.
If that wasn’t bad, let me show you the toilet. The valve is faulty and doesn’t shut down completely, allowing the sewer to waft into your RV. More than enough things to ruin a great trip.
The wiring is improper and loose. It degrades and leads to flickering lights. Additionally, essential appliances like refrigerators aren’t satisfactory either.
The fridge really tests your patience, as it just doesn’t cool down. As if it waits for the moment you need it the most to bail out.
In my opinion, Coleman doesn’t deserve to be on this list. They are known for their quality RV equipment but somehow fail to put them together into an awesome RV.
But until Coleman comes with new designs and updates in their RVs, it’s best to avoid it and go for other better options. I have a gut feeling that they will improvise. Let’s wait and watch!
So this ends our list of worst RV brands. Remember, no RV is perfect, but some have a more significant share of flaws. Buying a new RV is a major investment with no room for blunders.
We picked seven what are the worst RV brands for you to avoid at all costs. But not every player is crap. In fact, these 7 too have some great models. We have covered these in one of our other posts.
Below are some of the RV manufacturers who have skipped far from what are the worst RV brands quotient. You can choose any of them and hopefully, they will secure your investment and your outdoor fun experience.
Who is the number one RV manufacturer?
If we go with revenue earning, Forest River, REV Group, and Winnebago Industries top the list. All three firms have estimated revenue of more than $2 billion annually.
But evaluating the “best” RV manufacturers solely based on income earned might not be the best idea.
Other factors like quality controls, rig designs, contemporary reputation, etc. need to be considered as well. So make sure you do enough research and go through many detailed customer reviews before betting on an RV brand.
Which motorhomes hold their value the best?
According to the Consumer Reports (CR) data, class B motorhomes are best valued. Compared to other RVs, class B models tend to hold it the best.
Additionally, class B models are easier to drive and maintain. Besides that, Class B motorhomes are also considered the safest. Moreover, their lavish looks make them even more impressive.
So this brings us to the end of the article. Hope you enjoyed reading this long post on what are the worst RV brands. It wasn’t a cheery topic, but we tried keeping things light.
We will see you next time, and until then, keep RVing and keep hustling!