Here Are The 26 Best Quality RV Brands You Need To Know About
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
Buying a new RV can be overwhelming.
There are so many RV brands out there, how do you figure out which ones are the best?
Additionally, which RV brands should you be sure to avoid?
If you do what most people do and try to find the answer via Google, you will be faced with a lot of bad information (and I'm being kind here).
Everyone seems to have an opinion about which is the best RV manufacturer with little to no reasoning to back it up.
On this page, I will not only tell you which (I feel) are the best RV brands, but I'll back my choices up with facts and reasoning.
I'll discuss what makes a quality RV.
Lastly, I'll inform you where you can educate yourself on how to identify top RV brands and which RV brands to avoid.
In other words, this isn't just me throwing darts at a list of RV brands or telling you who has the prettiest paint schemes.
Here you will find information that will help you spend your hard-earned money correctly, with less chance of buyer's remorse.
More importantly, I'll give you the tools to learn how to figure out who are the best RV manufacturers on your own.
Not All Types Included!
No, we don't include all RV types here.
We only mention RVs that are hard-sided and don't require any setup. This means we don't include hybrid trailer or pop up camper trailer types.
The RV Consumer Group does rate some of these types of RVs, so join them (as you all should anyhow) and see what they feel are good brands in the different categories if these interest you.
Ultimate Guide To RV Types
Confused about the different classes of campers? Read our guide that explains the differences between the types.
Is Marshall An 'Expert'?
What makes me an 'expert' on what are the best RV brands and what are the worst RV brands? First off, I don't claim to be an expert.
But I do know a thing or two about what makes a good RV and what RV brands I'd never buy.
I've been looking at RVs for years - over 20 now (crap, where has the time gone?).
I didn't purchase my first RV until 2014, but by the time I made the purchase, I had looked at hundreds of RVs.
Honestly, I never convinced my late wife that we should sell everything and hit the road. But we did shop for RVs. A lot.
When I found myself in a situation where I was suddenly alone, I decided it was now or never.
So in 2014, I purchased my current RV (which I've been living in full-time ever since).
I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew which RV brands were best. And I knew which RV brands to avoid.
Years of research made the buying process easy. Also, my background as an aircraft mechanic didn't hurt.
It allowed me to identify good construction compared to junk (though a lot of this is just common sense). On this page, I share some of my knowledge with you.
And more importantly, you get the tools that teach you how to tell the difference between the best RV manufacturers and poor quality RV manufacturers.
Poor Quality RV Manufacturers Are The Norm
The truth of the matter is that there are more junk RVs available than quality RVs.
If you walk into an RV dealership not knowing what you are looking at, chances are you will buy a piece of crap.
Because the vast majority of what's out there is poor quality. Also, RV manufacturers expect you to not know what you are looking at.
Instead, they expect you to step into a unit and fall in love with the floor plan or slide.
They know you'll likely covet the big fireplace and the fantastic kitchen island. Manufacturers sell fantasies.
They know you want to hit the road in your very own home on wheels, exploring the country in style with your family.
What they aren't telling you is that the 'dream' RV you buy without being educated about the best RV brands will probably end up giving you nothing but grief.
Because of the crappy workmanship and junk materials used to make it.
Built To Last A Few Weeks
Think about this - most RVs come with a one-year warranty. Also, most buyers use their RV just a few weeks a year.
An RV manufacturer only needs your RV to hold up for a short period - as little as just a few weeks of use.
Then, once it's out of warranty, it's your problem.
The manufacturer wipes their hands clean. It's a sneaky business plan. But it works.
Full-Time Use? Think Again
Want to live in your RV full-time? You'd better read your warranty VERY carefully!
Many (most?) RV manufacturers will put a statement in the owner's manual to the effect of "not suitable for full-time habitation."
Many RV warranties don't cover full-time living. There are only a few brands that stand behind the products they build.
Think about this for a second. Why would they fear full-time living?
It sounds to me like they know if you use it every day, you're likely to realize issues and glitches in far less than a year.
That would mean more repairs for them to fix under warranty.
It might hurt their bottom line if they didn't 'disallow' you to full-time in it, eh? Or worse, it might require them to build an RV that could stand at least a year of full-time use.
Gasp, the horror!
Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better
The RV market is controlled by very few large companies. This is not a good thing.
Quality suffers when the bottom line is the most important part of RV manufacturing.
This results in you, the end-user, having to spend an excessive amount of time dealing with problems if you purchase one of the worst RV brands.
Of the 26 best RV brands listed on this page, only nine are publicly held RV manufacturers.
That means roughly only 1/3 of the best RV manufacturers are owned by companies with a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to maximize profit.
Considering that only 4 RV manufacturers control over 90% of the North American RV market, you'd hope they would represent a larger share of the best RV brands.
Privately held companies tend to give you the best RV for the money from a quality standpoint.
Additionally, you may find that you have an easier time getting things fixed when dealing with a smaller company.
What Makes A Top RV Brand?
The best RV brands have one t in common - a company willing to put quality over the bottom line.
They possess the willingness to manufacture an RV that will last for many camping seasons (and possibly survive the rigors of full-time use).
Yes, all companies exist to make money.
That said, it sure seems like RV manufacturers aim to please their shareholders over their customers.
They do everything possible to make the most profit.
This means you, the consumer, are at the bottom of their 'let's make them happy' list.
If you look at most RVs, it's quickly apparent that one of the first places inferior quality RV manufacturers cut corners is on the materials they use to build the rigs.
'The cheaper, the better' is the mantra for many companies.
You should poke walls. Open cabinets and look inside. Lift up the bed.
Peer into the exterior storage compartments.
If an RV manufacturer uses junk material right out in the open, imagine the 'quality' materials they are using in the places you cannot see or aren't looking.
Are All Appliances Created Equal?
When it comes to appliances and fixtures in an RV, there are very few suppliers a manufacturer can use.
Stoves, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners are examples of what goes in almost every RV.
Even so, there are just two or three suppliers of these components that all manufacturers buy from.
The difference is in the quality (or grade) of the individual component.
The worst RV brands cut corners wherever possible, so they purchase the cheapest appliances from the supplier.
Alternately, the best RV brands will spend a few extra dollars and put in better-built appliances, ones that have better materials or a few more bells and whistles.
For example, Kelly has a two-burner stove that requires her to ignite the flame using a lighter.
My three-burner stove has an electronic ignitor. The difference is probably a $10 manufacturing cost to add an ignitor.
But money is money, and it all adds up when you are buying appliances by the thousands.
DO NOT Buy An RV Without This!
The smartest decision you can make during the RV buying process is to utilize the resources of the RV Consumer Group to learn who the best RV manufacturer is for you.
The RV Consumer Group is a non-profit, completely independent organization that has been rating RVs since 1990.
I purchased my first RV rating guide from them well over ten years ago and used them extensively when I bought my current rig over five years ago.
As I have been recently searching for a new rig (for me, a very long process), I've been once again using their up-to-date RV rating guides.
It's interesting to see how the best RV brands have changed over the years.
RV manufacturers that once made top-rated RVs are now among the RV brands to avoid (mainly because many of these brands are now owned by large corporations).
The RV Consumer Group publishes annual RV rating guides for towables and motorhomes.
They also publish a less comprehensive guide to truck camper brands. (Past year issues are also available.)
In addition to the rating guides, the RV Consumer Group publishes books on how to inspect RVs and how to purchase one properly. (Learn what to look for when buying a used RV.)
No Longer Updating
Due to health reasons (they are a tiny business) the RV Consumer Group had to make the hard decision to stop publishing new annual guides. They just are no longer able to personally inspect recreational vehicles in the future.
What does this mean to you, the RV consumer? If you are in the market for a used rig, then consider buying a prior year annual guide to see what brands made the best new rigs as these are going to be the best used rigs as well.
If you are shopping new, the guides will still give you an idea what brands were the best in the past. Just keep in mind that past performance does not necessarily predict future performance (like so many things in life).
Indispensable Source of RV Purchase Information
If you are going to spend from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on an RV, then you MUST first purchase the appropriate RV rating guide from the RV Consumer Group.
For under $100, you can purchase an RV rating guide, plus a 3-book set that shows you most of what you need to make an informed RV purchase decision.
It would be foolish not to properly educate yourself before making an RV purchase.
Utilizing RV Consumer Group resources is one of the best ways to quickly learn which RV manufacturers are rated best and what to look at when shopping for RVs.
One of the highest costs in making RVs is labor.
If an RV manufacturer can reduce the number of labor hours that go into building an RV, then it's money in their pocket.
How do they reduce the number of labor hours?
They take less care in what employees are doing. By demanding their employees produce 'Z' number of parts in an hour when they should be only making 'X' in an hour, to build a quality RV.
They cut back on the number of inspection points because quality control inspectors cost money.
The end-user is never going to see what's behind that wall anyhow, right?
Remember, this RV only needs to last a few weeks' worth of use before it's out of warranty and is no longer the manufacturer's problem.
There are a lot of ways to reduce the number of hours it takes people to build RVs. Most practices result in a low-quality RV.
The best RV manufacturers understand that you can only ask so much of a human if you want quality work.
And that quality control inspection procedures result in a better end product.
RV Manufacturer Customer Support
How well does a manufacturer stand behind their product? This is one of the best tests of how good an RV manufacturer is.
When you have a problem with your new rig (and you likely will, even with the most reliable RV brands), you want the issue resolved fast and with the least amount of fuss.
There are plenty of horror stories of manufacturers jerking owners around when it comes time to get something resolved under warranty.
And there are stories of how easy it was to get something fixed because the best RV manufacturers wanted to get your rig back on the road.
The best camper brands will have a process in place to help their customers when an issue arises.
RV brands to avoid sometimes make you jump through hoops, and they drag their feet, even with clear-cut, valid warranty issues.
Best RV For The Money
Unless you love frustration and aggravation, do your research and buy the best RV your money can buy.
Do everything in your power to purchase a rig that will spend more time on the road and less time at the dealership.
Hundreds of thousands of new RVs sell each year, from a finite number of dealers.
The number of dealers isn't increasing drastically. Additionally, the number of RV service bays isn't growing drastically.
What is increasing is the amount of time some people have to wait to get their RV worked on.
RV service wait times can be outrageous. As in waiting months just to been seen, then more months to get the issue fixed.
Therefore, do yourself a favor and learn what makes a top RV brand. Then, buy one of those rigs.
This will stack the deck in your favor and will allow you to enjoy your RV as intended.
My Opinion Only! Your Mileage May Vary
The following listings of the best RV manufacturers for each type of RV is just my opinion, based upon my experience and research.
I'm sure some will disagree for one reason or another, but that's one of the things that's great about life - the ability to have your own opinion.
I'm confident that owners of RV brands I don't list that are perfectly happy with their rigs. If that's you, great!
I'm also confident that owners of the brands listed below have had a miserable experience with their rig. This doesn't surprise me.
RVs are made 100% by humans (unlike automobiles which have large processes automated via robots, yet lemons are still produced), which means even with the best RV brands, there will be units that display more than the usual number of problems.
This is just the case when you have humans building things.
Best Quality Travel Trailers
RV trailers are the most common type of RV.
They are the least expensive type (though you can spend a pretty penny on one - Airstream is an example) and come in smaller sizes capable of being towed by almost any vehicle that can tow.
They are also the easiest RV to build. It seems like everyone and their uncle is in the travel trailer building game.
The list of travel trailers manufacturers is the longest of all RV categories.
Just as a point of reference, we list 37 travel trailer manufacturers in North America (this doesn't include fifth-wheel only manufacturers).
There are only 24 motorhome manufacturers that we list for all motorhome categories - Class A, Class B, and Class C.
So, yeah, travel trailer manufacturers are prolific.
Only nine trailer manufacturers are listed below (or roughly 25%, which is a higher percentage than I would have guessed, but it still means you have a 75% chance of buying a trailer brand you might want to avoid).
Not All Models Are Top Rated
The following are the best travel trailer brands, in no particular order.
Well, I did list the ones I'd genuinely consider buying at the top. That said, I have particular needs that you might not.
Outdoors RV Manufacturing
Outdoors RV builds a very high quality rig that suits my style of travel.
If I were to purchase another travel trailer, they are at the top of my list.
Built for off-grid, all-season living, Outdoors RV has some of the best built travel trailers money can buy.
However, they are not light. Therefore, you'll need the right sized tow vehicle.
Meaning you wil need a heavy-duty truck for anything but their smaller trailers.
Northwood Manufacturing is closely related to Outdoors RV.
They were started by the same people, owned by the same parent company (Northwood Investments), and are both located in La Grande, Oregon.
Northwood makes the Arctic Fox brand, which is renowned for its all-weather camping ability and great construction (but are heavy).
This top RV brand is also high on my list if I were to get another travel trailer.
Oliver Travel Trailers
Oliver Travel Trailers is a uniquely built, fiberglass travel trailer that has dual 'hulls' with the utilities and systems installed between the 'hulls'.
They use a construction technique fairly unique to the industry and offer a superior build quality when compared to the average RV.
Unfortunately, the RV Consumer Group doesn't rate the Oliver RV, but it is a brand with a stellar reputation for quality and service.
Both I and my Camp Addict co-founder Kelly have carefully gone over an Oliver first-hand as it was once on each of our radars as a potential new rig.
Bigfoot Industries is a Canadian RV manufacturer that builds trailers with a solid two-piece fiberglass exterior.
They are fairly short, ranging from 17 to 25 feet and can be towed by half-ton pickups.
Escape Trailer Industries
Escape Trailer Industries is a Canadian RV manufacturer that builds lightweight travel trailers with a two-piece fiberglass exterior.
Lengths range from 17 to 21 feet for their bumper pull trailers.
Casita Travel Trailers
Casita makes very much sought after, lightweight, two-piece fiberglass travel trailers. They are manufactured in Texas.
Their 16 to 17-foot trailers are some of the best small travel trailers you can buy.
Eveland's makes the Scamp trailer line of lightweight travel trailers with a two-piece fiberglass shell (see a trend here?).
Their 13 to 16-foot rigs are some of the best small camping trailers money can buy.
They are similar to the style of the Casita.
Airstream is one of only four Thor brands (out of 16) that made this best RV brands post.
Airstream trailers have the iconic aluminum riveted shell and the shiny (almost blinding) exterior.
They are pricey but people seem to think they are worth it, snapping them up. (How much is an Airstream?)
They make trailers from 16 to 33 feet and can cost six figures. (Why buy an Airstream?)
Grand Design RV
Grand Design is owned by Winnebago and makes a very good product considering they make a large number a year.
Grand Design is one of the top trailer brands.
I know several people that are very happy with this manufacturer.
Best Built Fifth Wheels
Fifth wheel (or 5th wheel) trailers are very popular with people who live in their RVs for an extended period.
With their wide-open living spaces (including high ceiling height) and comfortable layouts, it's no wonder they are popular.
I consider 7 manufacturers to offer top-rated fifth wheels, out of the 26 North American fifth wheel manufactures we list.
So roughly only 27% of the manufacturers can be considered to make the best built fifth wheels.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
Following are the best fifth wheel manufacturers, in no particular order:
New Horizons RV
New Horizons RV builds top rated 5th wheels and arguably has the best fifth wheel construction available.
Additionally, New Horizons specializes in coaches for full-time living.
This Kansas manufacturer makes some of the best built fifth wheels available today (and some of the most expensive 5th wheel RVs you can buy).
Outdoors RV Manufacturing
Outdoors RV builds one of the best 5th wheel RV for the money.
Their Glacier Peak is one of the best fifth wheel trailers if you boondock in remote places.
If I were getting this type of RV, I'd seriously consider one of these units (yes, I love Outdoors RV products).
Northwood Manufacturing, along with Outdoors RV, makes their top-rated 5th wheels in Oregon.
The Arctic Fox fifth wheels are well-insulated rigs, where their Fox Mountain models are lighter-weight fifth wheels.
Grand Design RV
Grand Design is owned by Winnebago and makes a very good product considering they produce a large number a year.
Grand Design is one of the best fifth wheel manufacturers.
The Reflection and Solitude models are good bets.
DRV Luxury Suites
DRV Luxury Suites is one of only three Thor brands (of 15) that made this best RV brands post.
DRV makes top-rated 5th wheels intended as RVs to live in.
Escape Trailer Industries
Escape Trailer Industries is a Canadian RV manufacturer that builds lightweight fifth wheels made with a two-piece fiberglass exterior.
The Escape 5.0 TA is one of the best small 5th wheel trailers, measuring a mere 21 feet in length.
Eveland's makes the Scamp line of lightweight fifth wheel trailers with a two-piece fiberglass shell.
Their 19-foot rig is one of the best-rated small fifth wheels available today.
Best Toy Hauler Manufacturers
RV toy haulers come in three different styles:
- Motorhomes (Class A and Class C toy haulers aka, motorhomes with garages)
- 5th Wheels
- Travel trailers (known as travel trailer toy haulers or bumper pull toy haulers)
Except for one of the toy hauler brands listed below (Newmar, which makes a single motorhome floor plan), all make either a bumper pull or a fifth wheel toy hauler.
I consider 6 manufacturers to offer top-rated toy haulers, out of the 26 North American manufacturers we list.
So roughly only 27% of the manufacturers can be considered to make the best built list below.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
Following are the best toy hauler manufacturers, in no particular order:
New Horizons RV
New Horizons RV builds top rated 5th wheels, including toy haulers.
New Horizons specializes in fifth wheels for full-time living.
This Kansas manufacturer makes some of the best built 5th wheel toy haulers available today.
Outdoors RV Manufacturing
Outdoors RV builds one of the best bumper pull toy haulers you can purchase, specializing in off the grid, four-season capability.
This Oregon manufacturer only makes bumper pull toy haulers.
Northwood Manufacturing makes the Desert Fox bumper pull toy hauler.
Like Outdoors RV, Northwood builds their quality toy haulers in Oregon.
Grand Design RV
Grand Design (a Winnebago company) makes both fifth wheel and bumper pull toy haulers.
DRV Luxury Suites
DRV Luxury Suites (a Thor brand) specializes in fifth wheel trailers built for full-time living.
They do offer a 5th wheel toy hauler version.
Newmar offers a single toy hauler floor plan of their Canyon Star gas motorhome.
Newmar is known for making top-notch motorhomes and was privately held until it was announced in September 2019 that Winnebago Industries was purchasing them.
Best Tear Drop Trailer Manufacturers
Tear drop campers are shaped like, well, a teardrop. (Shocked?)
This shape makes for an aerodynamic trailer with a very distinctive look.
While there are a rather large number of teardrop manufacturers out there, very few of these manufacturers offer a trailer that is little more than a bed on wheels.
Below, we ONLY focus on teardrop trailer manufacturers that make fully-contained rigs.
This means in addition to an RV mattress, the trailer will have full kitchen facilities and a bathroom with indoor shower.
This greatly reduces the number of available candidates.
If you are curious about other options without all the bells and whistles, check out our page on the best teardrop trailer.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
The following are the best teardrop trailer manufacturers, in no particular order:
nüCamp RV builds the TAB teardrop trailer in Ohio.
They are known for their high quality construction.
Little Guy Trailers
Little Guy Trailers are manufactured in Pennsylvania and offer fully contained trailers with the classic teardrop shape.
Best Class A Motorhome Manufacturers
Class A RVs are the traditional motorhomes that you think of when you picture the category.
They are the boxes on wheels traveling down the Interstates.
A Class A RV starts life as a bare chassis (nothing more than a powertrain) mostly purchased from a very small number of suppliers.
On top of this bare chassis, coach manufacturers build their version of a house on wheels.
Everything from the floor, roof, all four walls, and interior finishings.
Some do an excellent job. Others, a decent job.
Then, some such a poor job, I wouldn't want to be in it moving at 60 miles an hour.
I consider five manufacturers to offer top-rated fifth wheels out of the 13 North American manufacturers we list.
Therefore, roughly 38% of the manufacturers are considered to make top-rated Class A motorhomes.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
Following are the best Class A motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:
Newmar has been making RVs since the late '60s and knows what they are doing.
They make a quality Class A motorhome, both gas and diesel coaches.
In September 2019, Winnebago announced it purchased this formerly privately held company.
Tiffin Motorhomes started in 1972 as a family-owned business based out of Alabama. Thor Industries purchased Tiffin in late 2020
I've spent a lot of time looking at Tiffins back in the day and really wanted one of these.
Then I decided a Class A wasn't the right type of RV for me.
Entegra Coach is part Thor Industries and makes some of the best Class A diesel motorhomes, as well as gas coaches.
Their top of the line Class A diesel model is one of the best-rated coaches available, but be prepared to pay a hefty entry price.
American Coach is part of the REV Group and formerly part of Fleetwood (pre-bankruptcy).
They make higher-end Class A diesel pushers.
Winnebago Industries is a publicly-traded company and is what many people think of when they think 'motorhome'.
Building RVs since the early 1960s, Winnebago makes everything from relatively simple gas Class A's to fancy (and pricey) diesel motorhomes.
Top Class B Motorhome Manufacturers
A Class B RV is also known as a van conversion.
The traditional Class B takes a bare van chassis and adds a motorhome interior.
They maintain the traditional van look from the outside (for the most part).
A Class B+ motorhome starts with a van cutaway chassis (just the van cab and a bare frame behind that contains the powertrain).
On this, a Class B+ manufacturer will install their own 'box' and motorhome interior.
A Class B+ will look very similar to a Class C but doesn't offer a sleeping area over the cab.
I consider eight Class B manufacturers to be top-rated out of the 14 North American manufacturers we list.
So only roughly 36% (or a little more than a third, which isn't too bad) can be considered to make the best built Class B/B+ motorhomes.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
The following are the top Class B motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:
Coach House is a privately held company that manufactures Class B and B+ motorhomes in Florida.
They are known for their one-piece fiberglass bodies (B+), which helps make one of the best quality motorhomes you can buy.
Leisure Travel Vans
Leisure Travel Vans is a Canadian company that makes very high-quality Class B+ motorhomes using both gas and diesel chassis.
I'm seriously considering Leisure Travel for my next rig.
Pleasure-Way is another Canadian company that manufactures Class B and B+ motorhomes.
Pleasure-Way offers a variety of floor plans utilizing both gas and diesel chassis.
Phoenix USA is a factory direct RV manufacturer out of Indiana.
Their B+ motorhomes come in a variety of floor plans, including a 4x4 option.
American Coach is part of the REV Group.
They manufacture a couple of different diesel Class B coaches built on the Sprinter van platform.
Winnebago Industries is a publicly traded company that is one of the larger RV manufacturers.
They build both gas and diesel Class B motorhomes.
Midwest Automotive Design
Midwest Automotive is part of the REV Group and is based out of Indiana.
They manufacture Class B motorhomes, in both diesel and gas versions.
Renegade RV is another REV Group RV brand that has been manufacturing motorhomes for over 20 years.
They make a couple of different Class B+ motorhome models.
Best Class C Motorhome Manufacturers
An RV class C is generally smaller than a Class A, being built on a cutaway truck or full-sized van chassis.
Manufacturers will then build the box (living quarters) on the rear portion of the chassis.
A Class C has the characteristic overhang above the driving area (cab), which is often an additional sleeping area (overhead bunk).
Additionally, the Class C+ (or Super C) is built on a medium-duty truck chassis, giving it the ability to tow an impressive amount of weight, have a larger living area, and greater cargo-carrying capacity.
The Super C RV is a 'regular' Class C on steroids.
I consider five manufacturers to offer top-rated Class C motorhomes out of the 12 North American manufacturers we list.
So roughly only 42% of the manufacturers can be considered to make the best Class C RV brands - the highest percentage of all RV types.
Not All Models Are Top Rated
Following are the top rated Class C motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:
Lazy Daze is, to some, the best Class C RV you can buy.
They are incredibly well built, top-rated, and offer good bang for the buck.
Sure, they aren't the sexiest coaches out there (not by any stretch of the imagination), but they are quite possibly the best Class C RV for the money.
Unfortunately, Lazy Daze went out of business in 2022, so they are now only available on the used marketplace.
Winnebago Industries makes a wide range of Class C motorhomes, ranging from smaller rigs built on the Sprinter and Transit diesel chassis, up to larger coaches built on the Ford E-450 gas chassis.
Dynamax is the only Forest River RV brand to make this best RV brands list.
They make a number of different Class C models, ranging from gas rigs, up to Super C diesel RVs built on Freightliner medium-duty chassis.
Entegra Coach is part of Thor Industries and makes both gas and diesel Class C motorhomes.
Renegade RV is part of the REV Group and has an impressive lineup of Super C motorhomes, in addition to more traditional Class C coaches.
That's a wrap!
Through my own knowledge, my extensive RV research, using RV Consumer Group, and through input from numerous friends' experiences, these are currently the best RV manufacturer brands money can buy.
Even the best brands will have lemons.
But buying a good brand increases your chances of NOT getting a lemon. Also, it increases your chances of a speedy fix if there's an issue.
There you have it! That's the list.
Lastly, I will be updating this list regularly to keep it up to date.
Author: Marshall Wendler
As the co-founder of Camp Addict, Marshall Wendler is a seasoned expert in the world of RVing, with years of hands-on experience living the full-time RV life in his travel trailer. From 2014 to 2020, Marshall learned the ins and outs of the lifestyle and has enjoyed sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. After a brief hiatus as a part-time RVer in 2021 and 2022, Marshall is back on the road full-time, embracing the vanlife and all the exciting possibilities it brings. He particularly enjoys the freedom and flexibility of boondocking and is excited to share his technical insights with the Camp Addict community. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the RV world, Marshall has valuable insights and information to share, and is here to help you navigate the exciting world of RVing with confidence and ease.
Great website. I’d love to hear your suggestion on this. We are looking for a travel trailer 13-19ft, keep pricing 40s or below, so used or new in that range. I am sensitive to the glue/chemical off-gassing found in most these days. We don’t need fancy or gadgets like TV/satellite, just solid build and well-made. We are checking out a 2008 Oliver (it’s not one I would have gone for based on price and fanciness but it’s in our price range). What else would you look at with what we are going for? And what do you think of a 2008 Oliver that an inspector says is in good shape. Thanks!!
The Oliver is a solid choice! Going for an older model with any rig should help keep any off-gassing down to a very minimum.
We’re sure you are aware of them but the Scamp and Casita are similar and also are great fiberglass egg trailers. Get an older one and the off-gassing should be minimal to nothing. But if that Oliver works out for you, go for it! Just make sure you don’t feel claustrophobic inside of one. I do. But that’s me. I like that Casitas have more windows, at least in the floorplans I was looking at in the past.
Bigfoot also has older models that are in your size range. Great product as well.
Great Work Lots of Research. I was especially looking for The Winnebago Minnie Winnie travel trailer as it’s still part of a good name any thoughts , I’d be curious. Keep up the good work .
Thank you for the kind words.
Yes, Winnebago is still better than many other brands. In fact, we each just bought the new Winnebago Solis. Me the Pocket, him the 59P. Decent brand, but as always, things can and will go wrong. Just gotta hope you get the best one you can, and be sure to do an EXTREMELY thorough inspection, even if they tell you they already have. Marshall’s solar was not working when we did our walk-throughs, and I had two USB ports that were installed incorrectly and didn’t work. “Great work” on their service department, right? They didn’t catch it so they really didn’t test everything.
Test, test, test, and don’t leave the place until you are ASSURED yourself that it’s all working.
Good luck in your search!
Have you considered Safari Condo’s Alto teardrops and somewhat larger travel trailers for your “Best of” list? They are well built with quality materials, and their light weight and favorable aerodynamics make them favorites for those of us towing with an electric vehicle.
Thank you for the suggestion! We understand that there are some other great quality RVs out there, but as stated at the top of the article, it doesn’t include any RVs that need any type of setup, including pop-ups. That said, we LOVE the Safari Condo Alto! In fact, I saw one on the road yesterday and so wished I could have looked at it in person.
The windows on that thing are amazing- so much higher than traditional RVs. You can see out and see the treetops instead of the ground, lol!
Do you have a Safari Condo?
We don’t, but we have started the 2-year wait in ordering their fixed roof Alto F2114. You’re referring to their retractable roof R1713/23 models, which are very cool but we need a more traditional trailer with a little more space that could be pulled behind an EV without killing the range. All but the two retractable models would qualify for your consideration here I would think. BTW thanks for all the reviews you guys provide – you’ve saved us a ton of time and money by avoiding buying the wrong stuff!
Well how exciting! Congratulations, and sorry you have to wait 2 years, lol! Geez. Patience is a virtue. Thanks for the kudos, happy to hear you’ve enjoyed our content. You’re very welcome, we’re happy to save you time and money!
We appreciate your reviews, as we do our research. Disappointed to find out about RV consumer group, but that raises the question [in my mind]; have you considered partnering or buying the company outright?
Thanks for your kind words!
We also are very disappointed to hear about the RV Consumer Group stopping doing RV ratings.
We are flattered that you think we should take over for RV Consumer Group. However, Camp Addict isn’t in the position to take over their duties. That would be a whole different direction for us, and would require a team that we don’t have.
Kelly and I want to concentrate on what we do best – bringing the best quality RV content that you can find online.
Thanks for visiting and supporting! We greatly appreciate it!
I’m new to this site and thank you for your extensive research that has been of great help to the consumer such as myself.
My husband and I, between the two of us, have owned Class A’s, a fifth wheel and travel trailer.
We are doing our research now to trade our Class A in on either another class A or a fifth wheel to travel in full time.
I really like the Grand Design fifth wheels, but my husband just found quit a list of BBB complaints (60) to be exact. Many revolving around customer service let alone the defects themselves and for this reason we have decided to stay away from anything Grand Design products. Very disappointing to say the least.
Another fifth wheel I really like is the Keystone Montana. Keystone having over 160 BBB customer service complaints. Many people saying to stay away from Keystone, that they don’t stand behind their product.
We have also had our eye on the Newmar Dutch Star and the Ventana. my husband found 11 BBB complaints on all the Newmar models. It seems, for the most part, that Newmar is working with the customers.
I know no matter what RV you get not a single brand is going to be perfect, but then again when you are getting ready to spend your hard earned money on something of this expense that’s going to be your home on wheels you want to be able to enjoy using it and not have it sit in the shop 80-90% of the time for months at a time. With your home in the shop now you’re in a hotel. Unless you’re independently wealthy who can afford that.
It’s also very discouraging when you think you’ve narrowed down your search to a few different options to find your back to square one.
I would like to hear what your thoughts are.
Thank you, Jeri and Bill
Glad to hear that you are enjoying Camp Addict!
Regarding the number of BBB complaints against Grand Design versus Newmar – keep in mind that Grand Design is a much higher volume manufacturer than Newmar is. GD builds towable rigs and has models ranging from entry level units up to palatial recreational vehicles. They have some units that are at a MUCH lower price point than Newmar, which means they sell a lot more of them.
Whereas Newmar only sells Class A and Super C motorhomes, which are at a much higher price point than the entry level Grand Design trailers. Consequently, they sell less units on an annual basis (therefore have a smaller customer base).
You have more customers, you are going to have more complaints. That’s just the nature of business.
It doesn’t mean that one company does a better job at customer service than the other. It simply means one has more customers than the other.
Did you know that both Grand Design and Newmar are owned by Winnebago? All three brands have a good/very good reputation of taking care of the customer. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from any of the three.
As I’ve mentioned here in this article, all RVs are very much made by hand by humans. This means that even the best brands will create units that have issues. Some brands just do this more frequently than others. You can only do so much to stack the deck in your favor. Bottom line is though, no matter who you buy an RV from, expect something to be wrong with it. Just the nature of the beast. Unfortunately.
Also consider buying a lightly used rig that had the kinks worked out of it already. I know it may be difficult to find your dream rig (either new or used) in the current market, so it may take some time and you may have to be flexible in the floor plan that you ultimately settle with.
Bottom line is that I wouldn’t write off Grand Design just because of the BBB complaints. People like to complain. This is human nature. They are less likely to praise. So it’s a bit harder to find good things about a brand, but dang, if someone doesn’t like the way a screw was put into a panel, they will pitch a fit all over the internet!
Thanks for checking out Camp Addict and best of luck finding your next rig!
Why do I get the feeling that this blog is no more than advertisement for ‘RV Consumer Group’.
Tell me the truth Marshall, what roll do you play for ‘RV Consumer Group’ and how much do they pay you?
I’d be very surprised if this comment even makes the message board, and if it doesn’t at least I’ll get the answer to my question.
A very suspicious reader who is researching 5th wheels before making my purchase.
Thanks for taking the time to read Camp Addict and for the comment.
We (I or anyone else involved with Camp Addict – all two of us!) have zero affiliation with the RV Consumer Group. In fact, I doubt they know we exist.
Possibly you missed the following at the top of the page? “Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.”
I firmly believe in what they do, and that’s why I support them. Have you had a bad experience with the RV Consumer Group that you’d like to share?
As I’m sure you are well aware (since you are researching 5th wheels to purchase), there are many options out there. And if you’ve taken any time to visit RV dealers and indeed poke around rigs, you’ll also know there is A LOT of junk out there. And it’s tough to figure out the best options to spend your hard-earned money on.
At Camp Addict, we strive to educate and inform people who are new to the RVing lifestyle or are thinking about taking up this great pastime. Part of this education is done by showing you other resources out there to help you, the consumer, figure out the best option for you.
Wouldn’t you rather spend time using your 5th wheel rather than having it sit for months at a time at an RV repair facility as it is waiting to get fixed? I sure would!
How do you do this? By buying the best quality rig you can afford (or justify).
How do you know what the best quality rig is? By doing your research (as you appear to be doing). Finding sources of information you trust. Educating yourself. Looking at a ton of rigs and being a sponge for all things RVing and RVs.
This is the only way that you have a fighting chance not to be utterly disappointed in your purchase.
Camp Addict is just one piece of the puzzle. The RV Consumer Group is another.
Thanks for the comment, and I hope that helps clarify our relationship (or rather, non-relationship) with the RV Consumer Group.
To have missed LANCE campers in the travel trailer and truck camper categories may be a serious sign of inexperience. Odd, although typical of bloggers.
It’s hard for me to miss Lance considering I’ve been living in one for the past 7 years. So it is safe to say I’m very familiar with Lance quality.
You must have missed the comments below where I’ve addressed the lack of Lance several times. This is typical of people who comment before reading the entire contents of a page. 😉
I’d take a 20 year old Chinook or Country Coach over most of what’s out there today, especially what they want for one. The heyday in the Northwest in the 90’s will most likely never be repeated, where innovators, craftsmen, and labor who gave a darn used to build Rv’s. Those were the days.
I’d take a 20-year-old Chinook or Country Coach as well, as long as it didn’t look like a 20-year-old rig and had up-to-date systems and amenities, and, and, and…
I get what you are saying, and I agree that most of today’s RVs don’t fit in the ‘really well built’ category. I also understand that RVs weren’t meant to last forever, no matter how well built. And after years (or decades) of use, rolling down the road, the old ones are most likely going to need a heck of a lot of maintenance, repairs, and upkeep to continue being great RVs.
I do wish most RV manufacturers cared more about the end product rather than their corporate overlord’s bottom line. But we live in a society that puts profit ahead of quality. As long as the RV buyer understands this going into the RV shopping process, then we have done our jobs.
I would be interested in your thoughts about the Intech brand.
The inTech brand has been on my radar for a while. Only problem is, I’ve never seen one in real life. Well, that isn’t entirely true. We did see one last week when we were checking out a boondocking spot in Silverton, Colorado. But it was just a glance of the exterior. Since we weren’t staying up there, I didn’t have a chance to talk to the owner.
They seem like a decent brand, but the RV Consumer Group doesn’t rate them, so I don’t have a good feel for their quality/reliability. It appears that there isn’t going to be a dealer anywhere around where we will be traveling this summer. I am very much looking forward to having a chance to check them out at a dealership when I get the opportunity.
I’d definitely look at them in person, if you can. Talk to some owners (I’m sure there is an online owners forum somewhere) to get a feel for the quality, etc.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they are a decent brand. Unfortunately, I just don’t have any personal experience with checking them out.
I’ve had many RVs from a high end class A diesel pusher Beaver Patriot Thunder to a high end class B Coach House to a tow behind Lance Travel Trailer 2375. I agree with most of your selections however you tend to favor fiberglass tow behinds which are a niche market in my opinion, not high end in interior appointments but light weight and a strong shell. I also note that you excluded truck campers which are very popular among sportsmen. In the area of travel trailers and truck campers I doubt there is a much better manufacturer than Lance. Please review their manufacturing video. I found my Lance to be a build quality similar to Coach House or Dynamax Corp. Thank You
Thanks for the comment and for checking out Camp Addict!
As an owner of a Lance travel trailer for the past 7+ years, I agree that they are a darn good brand. I’ve discussed the reason why they currently don’t appear on this list (subject to change) in the comments below several times, so I won’t rehash the discussion here.
Suffice to say, anyone who buys a Lance product could definitely be doing worse (and in most cases, much worse). Glad to hear that you’ve had a good experience with Lance, as have I!
I’m surprised Lance didn’t make the list or travel trailers. They would be on my list in addition to some of the ones you’ve listed.
I actually own a Lance travel trailer, so I have some pretty good first hand experience with them. 🙂
I’ve answered this question several times in the comments below so I won’t go into great detail here. Bottom line is Lance is a good brand. I’ll be revisiting the list of brands soon and Lance may appear on it. They had a slight dip in quality after REV Group bought them, but I’d definitely choose Lance over the vast majority of brands out there.
Thank you, Marshall. After I had commented I continued through many of the previous comments and saw that you had responded to this multiple times – sorry for that.
FYI – CampAddict and RVTravel are by far my two favorite sites for useful information.
No worries, Warren!
We love hearing that you find Camp Addict useful! Thanks for visiting.
I found this to be very helpful. I have been shopping for RVs of various types for 20 years myself and only wish I found this type of information available sooner. We bought our View class C 10 years ago and did well. Shopping again now for small towable. I agree with you that much of the “information” on the web is suspect at best. Thank you for the excellent research and organization of the information.
We’re right with you there with the suspect information out there on the internet! It’s a big part of why we started Camp Addict.
We are so happy to hear you found help in this article. Marshall has been researching RVs and manufacturers for decades now, and somehow he seems to remember every little detail!
He’s a good resource to have on hand, that’s for sure.
Thank you for the great complimentary comment and we hope you keep enjoying our content.
Five years ago, we had a Nash 17K as our first travel trailer from Northwood Manufacturing. Very nice trailer for entry-level. We sold it to move up to a larger trailer, and we ended up buying used from a family member (I won’t mention the brand or model here). The trailer is nice and the larger size is perfect for our needs, but is easy to tell that the quality is just not there compared to the Northwood trailer.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood of La Grande, Oregon, which is in the NE corner of the state, but right off I-84, make arrangements to take the tour of the manufacturing plant. They take small groups on a regular schedule. Call ahead to get on a list. We were very impressed with the quality of components, the manufacturing process and the engineering and design that goes into their line of trailers. The wall sandwich lamination process is fascinating! Certainly you can tell that some of the components are for the entry level models. But you can also see the kind of overall quality that goes into the higher-end units, as well. We were very impressed.
We look forward to full-time retirement and getting a new trailer from Northwood.
Thank you for your input, Mark! While Marshall has likely been to tour a factory or two, I have yet to see one. Looking forward to it!
Good luck with your new Northwood!
Appreciated your article on RV Brands. I noticed you did not mention ForeTravel (www.foretravel.com). Is that a company you have researched? If not, I would be curious to hear your opinion on them. My understanding is that the company is still privately held, despite the founding family having sold their ownership in the early 2000s. I most often hear their product line compared as being just below Prevost and Newell and equal or above Newmar.
Glad you liked this article!
We don’t consider Foretravel as they are $1 Million+ RVs and are on the ‘custom’ side of things. They are definitely a niche product that isn’t something that the average RVer considers. Though they are darn nice!
I think your assessment of them is correct. They are a quality coach and definitely worth looking at if that’s the market you are in.
The RV Consumer Group rates them very favorably.
I don’t know anything about who owns them, or their ownership lineage as I haven’t looked into them.
Hope that helps! Thanks for checking out Camp Addict!
Thanks for this great article. I was going to buy a used 23’ Airstream but ended up with a 16’ new Lance which I really liked but after adding solar, 2 LiFePo batteries, doubled the propane storage, I realized I needed MUCH bigger water and waste tanks. After tons of research I bought a 2021 ORV 21AWS with 4 solar panels and 4 batteries. We absolutely LOVE it and don’t even hook up when we are able too.
Glad you liked this article and thanks for checking out Camp Addict!
Sounds like you have a pretty nice setup with your Outdoors RV. Sure is one great RV brand!
I’m assuming you had the 16 foot Lance with the 26 gallon tanks? My (larger) Lance has 45 gallon tanks, and that works out well for me (solo).
Both Kelly and I are in the same situation as you – we don’t plugin even when we have a chance (which, to be honest, is very, very rarely). There just isn’t any need when your RV is setup to be off-grid.
Hello Marshall. I live in Ontario and have been considering a Lance as well. I would be interested in hearing about your recent experience with your Lance during the recent deep freeze across North America. Are you camped out in a relatively warm location? If not is your Lance unit insulated and arctic packaged to your liking and comfort level; any issues with condensation or other unexpected surprises as a result of the chilly temperatures ?
Thanks for the comment!
We are actually not in our RVs right now, but this time of year we are down in Arizona either way. Where it’s fairly warm. Though we did have a touch of the cold earlier this year. Nothing like say Texas got.
Though I have camped in some very cold temps in the past. Last time was this last September in Colorado when we got a foot+ of snow. In September!!! It was a great test of my new lithium batteries as we were a solid 36 hours without any solar. Total cold weather event was several days. Fun in that it was a unique experience. But not something I’d want to do in an RV long-term (but I don’t do cold very well).
That is the worst I’ve been in (longest stretch of cold weather), but I’ve had several other shorter times of snow and cold weather. We tend to not camp where it’s going to be cold for long stretches. There is a reason our houses have wheels. 🙂
My Lance handled these shorter stretches of cold just fine. The furnace heats the tanks, and I’ll crack open cabinets when it’s going to be below freezing overnight so that the water lines and such back in the bowls of the cabinets keep warm.
The only time I’ve had an issue with condensation was in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State a few summers ago. That part of the world is just wet (as is many other parts of the US) and I had some condensation issues in the bathroom. No biggie. And not something I’ve had to deal with in the winter. But since we always winter in warmer, dryer areas (Arizona), we don’t have to worry about being closed up for extended periods of time.
But let’s be honest. RVs are not good cold weather lodging units. Our good friends Matt and Diana are currently dealing with a major moisture induced issue in their Outdoors RV (a very good RV brand). Not sure what caused this issue yet (they are currently on their way cross-country to the Outdoors RV factory to have the roof ripped off, at which time hopefully the cause will be know), but they have been living in their trailer this winter in the Northeast.
Overall, my Lance has performed just fine in the cold weather I’ve encountered. But where you live (Ontario) you will be dealing with much more severe weather than I deal with (as I purposely steer clear of it).
I hope that helps! Thanks for checking out Camp Addict!
You did a great job offer objective opinion on all best RV brands. I’ve come back to this page more than a few times!
I’d like to ask your opinion about Lance travel trailer. I read that they have pretty good quality but so wondering why it’s not in your list?
I actually own a Lance travel trailer, so I have some pretty good first hand experience with them. 🙂
I’ve answered this question several times in the comments below so I won’t go into great detail here. Bottom line is Lance is a good brand. I’ll be revisiting the list of brands soon and Lance may appear on it. They had a slight dip in quality after REV Group bought them, but I’d definitely choose Lance over the vast majority of brands out there.
Appreciate your quick response and sorry for missing your earlier detailed comment.
You are welcome, Yi!
I mainly mentioned that I had talked about Lance before so that I could get away with a shorter response this time and if you wanted to know more, you could look below. 🙂
Love my KZ Connect. They are a small company that build quality RVs. Hardly ever see a complaint about them on the Facebook boards.
I’m glad you’ve had good experiences with K-Z. They are hardly a small company though, as they are owned by Thor Industries, the largest RV manufacturer in the United States (and possibly the world?).
Thanks for this well written review. I’ve read other internet lists of the best (or worst) RVs and am thoroughly at a loss as to how they come up with a rating. Several brands are on both the “best” and “worst” list…how is this possible? Most reviewers don’t even mention the structure, or axles, or insulation etc. We’re on the coast of BC and own an Outdoors RV Travel Trailer and did a lot of research prior to purchase, and we love it! They do make a very good trailer. Thanks again.
Thank you, Greg!
I’m glad that you found this article to actually be of use. Yes, there is a lot of ‘junk’ (and I’m being kind here) about the best/worst RV out there. It’s actually kind of amazing. This is why I created this page in the first place. To have a list of ACTUAL best/worst rigs based on facts, not based upon the phase of the moon or picked by throwing darts at a wall.
Glad to hear that your ORV is treating you well! They sure do make a great product.
Thank you for a well written article. There is a lot of poorly made homes on wheels on the market. I was surprised not to see Vanleigh (Tiffin) in the running for well made 5th wheels. One of my issues with some of the models is noisy AC units. I’m limited in the models that offer ducted AC. Are the newer AC’s really “whisper” quiet?
I have yet to meet an RV AC that is ‘whisper quiet’. It’s all relative. Some of the ducted ones (that also have ducted air returns, as opposed to ones that have air returns straight into the AC unit) are definitely quieter that the non-ducted versions.
There are some newer AC units that claim to be quieter. I haven’t experienced one myself, but I have serious doubts that an RV AC unit will ever be as quiet as a whisper. RVs just don’t have the structural mass to dampen/hide the noise of an appliance such as an air conditioner. And there is only so much engineers can do to quiet something that is designed to cool down a large chunk of air.
I hope I’m wrong and sometime in my lifetime I’ll see a truly quiet RV AC. But I’m not holding my breath.
As far as Vanleigh not being included, one of my New Years chores is to check out the latest ratings to see who has made the list and who has slipped. Though I wouldn’t hold out long term hopes on any Tiffin product (including Vanleigh) as they were just bought by Thor. Thor is notorious for taking a once good brand and squeezing the quality right out of it. Here’s hoping this doesn’t happen (but they have yet to not do this).
I want to thank you for the effort you have made in providing this Site for folks to get an idea of what to seek in the huge assortment of trash out there. I can see a lot of work and study went into this information. Thank you.
“Huge assortment of trash”, lol! That’s quite the perfect way to put it! You are most welcome, and we are happy you see the benefit in our site. Hope this article helps you choose your RV!
I’m looking for a used travel trailer for my daughter and 12-yr-old grandson. If you could email to me what you believe would be the safest and most reliable ones to look for, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
The best used travel trailers start life as the best new travel trailers.
A great place to look for a good RV brand to purchase is by looking at used units made by the best travel trailer manufacturers listed on this page.
We are a family of five with three boys ages 11,10 and 7. Can you recommend a manufacture who offers bunkhouses and a floorplan for families?
That’s quite the crew you have there!
A bunkhouse would definitely be what you’d need as space is going to be at a premium for a larger family.
You didn’t mention what type of RV you are considering. You’d have to narrow that down and then start looking at some of the brands that we mention on this list of the best RV brands.
At this time we don’t have an easy way to narrow down the choice of floor plan, etc. Maybe in the future we will offer this, but as of right now it’s up to the purchaser to figure out what floor plan might work for them.
You can check out our post on buying the right RV for you to get an idea of the things you can consider.
So start with narrowing down the type of RV that you are considering. Then take a look at the brands listed on this page. Finally, go look at a lot of RVs and use the tips in the above article when you’re shopping.
Best of luck finding that ‘good enough’ RV for you and your family!
Thank you! All your information is very helpful. We are looking into a fifth wheel. Of your list, it looks like Heartland Elkridge and Grand Design have bunkhouse models. We’ll start there. The others on the list had better options for a smaller “crew.” 🙂
What an amazing resource you’ve created here! My wife and I have 6 children and after moving from California to Oregon and staying in a small 27′ travel trailer on my mom’s property, we’ve considered purchasing our own trailer to better meet our lifestyle needs (since the housing market in is fairly soft where we’re at). Since we’re such neophytes, brand name has carried little weight in our search but this guide is definitely helping us. I’m looking forward to researching more of the brands you recommended but you also mentioned in the beginning of this guide that there are brands you’d definitely avoid. Do you have a list of those brands on another page or am I simply not seeing it? Thank you again!
Glad you found Camp Addict and you found our best RV brands post useful!
I haven’t specifically called out the horrible RV brands. For a variety of reasons. But one can infer what they are (i.e. not on this list is a good place to start, though there are some decent brands that came close to making the cut but didn’t).
A good rule of thumb is to think twice about brands from the big RV companies (there are only 2 that control around 80% of the market share – nothing frightening about that!) that aren’t on the best brands list. And most of the big 2’s brands don’t make the best list. Should make you go hmmm…
You can see a breakdown of who owns what on our RV Manufacturers page, specifically under the Who Owns What section.
Thor and Forest River are the two industry heavyweights, and most (the vast majority) of their brands leave something to be desired when it comes to quality.
Winnebago is a distant #3, but their brands actually produce good products.
REV Group is the 4th big player, and they are pretty good as well (I’ve personally owned a Lance travel trailer for 6.5 years. Lance is now a REV Group brand but was independent when I purchased my rig).
I hope that helps! Best of luck finding that ‘good enough’ RV for you and your family!
Thanks for the reply, Marshall!
I appreciate all of this invaluable info, I’ll be sure to join the RV Consumer Group as we delve deeper into our search. Thankfully, I’ve already found a few models made by some of the brands you recommended that seem to fit most of our needs!
I’ll be sure to post an update when we find our perfect RV.
Have a great weekend 🙂
Hi Marshall! We are shopping for our first RV and were hoping for a gently used bunkhouse model for our family. This article (thank you!!!) led us early in our search to the 2019 Entegra Odyssey 31F. It seemed to meet most of our needs, but when we purchased the Consumer Group reviews, we found that model was not included in the 2019 review book. To try and get some sort of perspective, I checked the 2020 ratings which were included for the Odyssey. They receive incredibly low safety and handling ratings in 2020 and I’m feeling a bit confused about that. The wheelbase measurements in the consumer report seem to be incorrect (listing 158” instead of the 223” we are finding online) which is leading to a very poor wheelbase ratio (41% vs an actual 57%). Could this just be a mistake that is affecting the ratings? Also the rating doesn’t specify if it’s evaluating the floor plan with the full length slide or the two smaller slides which I imagine could affect handling also. We are looking at the floor plan with the two smaller slides, one on each side. If we understand correctly, these are built very similarly to the Jayco Greyhawks, which get excellent handling and safety ratings with this floor plan in the consumer review book. If we went with the Odyssey our plan was actually to upgrade the additional sway bar and springs to match the Esteem/Greyhawk and hopefully improve the handling even more. But it just feels unnerving to go with the Odyssey with this horrible review from the consumer reports. I know you said even an excellent brand can have duds, and we don’t want that! I also realize the consumer reviews cover a very high number of models and wonder if this could be a mistake from the inaccurate wheel base. Any insight you may have would be so helpful!
Glad you found Camp Addict and that it’s helping you out!
From RV Consumer Group: “…wheelbase is the primary factor for highway stability…”, so you are onto something with the wheelbase question.
If they have the wheelbase incorrect, then that would affect the highway stability rating.
When you look at enough motorhomes, you can easily identify the ones that the RV Consumer Group is talking about with the poor highway control. These have the large rear overhangs (rear axle/wheels are quite a ways from the actual rear of the RV).
Looking at the Entegra website, I agree that the 2019 Entegra Odyssey 31F has a 223″ wheelbase. Seems like the 158″ wheelbase is for the shorter Odyssey’s.
Having said that, 32.5 feet is getting pretty long for a Class C, and you might want to start looking at a Class A. The Odyssey 31F does appear to have a pretty long rear overhang from the pictures I see, so that’s something that might give me pause.
Thank you for wanting to learn about what to look for in a safe RV, as well as a quality one! It’s amazing how many people won’t take the time to do this. You are one of the exception and it puts a smile on my face!
We bought a Tiffin 2019 and it was in the shop all the time. It even went to Red Bay 2 times To be repaired. We got to use it for 5 days during the year we owned it. It was a piece of junk. The last straw for us was when we were driving down the road and the door just opened. It had to be held shut till we could get home. Tiffin at one time made a good quality product but not anymore,
Sorry to hear of your bad experience with Tiffin, Sandra.
As I’ve stated several times in the comments below, even the best brands produce rigs with issues. The only thing you can do is stack the decks in your favor by purchasing an RV from an RV manufacturer that has a reputation for better reliability.
I also state the following above (and your unfortunate experience is an example of this):
“I’m also confident that there are owners of the brands listed below that have had an absolutely miserable experience with their rig.
This doesn’t surprise me.
RVs are made 100% by humans (unlike automobiles which have large processes automated via robots, yet lemons are still produced), which means even with the best RV brands there will be units that display more than the usual number of problems.
This is just the case when you have humans building things.”
Thanks for the real world experience. Again, I’m sorry to hear of your troubles.
Quick question: we are looking at getting our first class C to travel to campgrounds…do we need to stay under 30 feet? do many campgrounds have length limits?
Smaller is always better when it comes to a Class C motorhome or any RV in general. Because this allows you more options when it comes to places to camp.
Sometimes larger sites will be taken, leaving just smaller spots that are restricted to ‘X’ number of feet (where the big rigs won’t fit), allowing you access to campgrounds that you otherwise might not be able to stay at.
The length limit of 30 feet is usually associated with older campgrounds. Modern/newer campgrounds will built to accommodate the larger rig sizes that seem to be popular. People, for whatever reason, think that they need large RVs with all the bells and whistles to go camp and enjoy nature. To each his own, but just remember, the bigger rig one has, the less camping options you might face (not to mention the hassle of having to drive/maneuver a large RV).
So yes, if you go with over 30 feet (heck, sometimes the limits are as short at 25 feet) you will find that some older campgrounds will not be able to ‘fit’ you. This is especially the case in some National Parks, State Parks, National Forest Campgrounds, and the like that were built a long time ago and haven’t been updated to accept large rigs.
If you stick with newer private RV parks, then you shouldn’t have any issues.
Best of luck with your first RV! I hope it brings you years of happy traveling memories.
My sincere thanks for your time
New to the rv world and looking to buy our first rv towable. My husband is looking at the Jayco Jay Flight bunkhouse, the Grand Design Reflection bunkhouse, the Flagstaff Classic bunkhouse, and the Coachman Spirit bunkhouse. What one would you recommend? What kind of budget do we need to have?
Of the four RV manufacturers that you listed, only one is found on this page – Grand Design.
We recommend that you join the RV Consumer Group and check out what they think of the other brands you mentioned.
When you say budget, do you mean what these rigs cost or how much it costs to actually RV? Rig pricing is easy enough to find out online.
RVing budgets range from next to nothing a month to the skies the limit. It all depends on your RVing style, what your normal monthly expenses are, whether you are a full-time RVer or just a vacationer, if you boondock or stay in RV parks, etc, etc, etc.
There are soooo many variables when it comes to RVing, that we cannot tell you your budget will be ‘X’ dollars a month. Sorry that I can’t narrow it down more for you.
Holly, we are full timers. We bought a 42 ft Jayco Northpoint fifth-wheel. In the Jayco fifth-wheel it is in the luxury edition. We did some homework before buying it. It has a beautiful interior with an awesome floor plan. You may check out Jayco fifth-wheel. The luxury edition is on the pricey side. You are looking at 85- 100,000.
Nice to see someone actually did their research instead of just copying the top ten list off the intent and changing a few words around like everyone else.
I’ve personally had multiple different RVs on that list and I can tell you one that everyone else had in the top 5, if not top 3, is total garbage, but they sell lots of them because they’re cheap.
People see high sales numbers and see that as a good thing, it means nothing.
Look for quality construction and customer service, and if you don’t have any experience when shopping for an RV find someone who does.
Thanks for the kudos! I couldn’t agree with you more! 🙂
It is truly amazing some of the ‘top RV lists’ that are out there. It seems as if the author just randomly pics RVs that look pretty, have a nice floor plan, or picked using some other irrelevant metric.
Great advice you give! Thanks for the comment!
Thanks for this list – very helpful in identifying some less well known manufacturers.
Glad you found our list of the best RV manufacturers helpful, Rebecca!
Could you rate park model campers
As Camp Addict is an RVing website, we discuss RV manufacturers only. Park models are a totally different beast and not a subject we venture into.
Just discovered your site as we are one of the many who have jumped into the camping world due to the pandemic. We rented a jayco class c and had a great time. About 2 days into the trip, I decided I wanted some sort of rv! Fast forward several weeks, and we are now the owners of the lance 1685. I’m excited to get started on this new adventure! Glad to hear that you have liked the lance. Anyway, wanted to let you know that your site has been very informative and I really appreciate how you respond thoughtfully to all these comments. Keep up the great work!!!!
Glad you found Camp Addict and you’ve found it useful!
You have a shorter version of my trailer. I think you’ll find it’ll serve you well. Here’s to many successful and fun camping trips in the coming years. Welcome to RVing!
Hello again! What would be a handy resource would be a list of the ‘rock solid’ super revered RV’s of each year in each category, such as the Glacier Peak for example, so that in looking on the used market one could keep an eye on those offers. Any resources come to mind? maybe someone has already done it. tx!
I’m not aware of a year-by-year list of the best RVs, but the RV Consumer Group does cover older rigs, so you can put together a list yourself. Should keep you out of trouble for a while! 😉
Reguarding your comment–‘Read the fine print of the warranty “not suitable for full-time habitation,”‘
—Whats the best RV Class A motorhome for full time living? I’m on a budget and will definitely be buying used. On that thought–if I’m buying an older 2014 or before Class A Rv Motorhome, can I get older additions of the RV Consumer Group publications? Any recommendations for resources on shopping used from 2000 – 2015? tx!
You can read our thoughts on what to look for in a rig by reading our post on the best RV for full-time living.
If you visit the RV Consumer Group’s website you will see they offer reports for motorhomes from year 2011 to newer. You can contact them directly to see if they cover older model years, though I’d be hesitant to buy an older rig unless you like to spend money fixing things (sometimes very major things).
Marshall, I need to know why you purchased a Lance camper, but Lance is not listed in your favorites for travel trailers. My husband and I are strongly considering a Lance trailer. You said you researched for years before your first RV. Why the Lance? Thank you.
You are correct in that I purchased a Lance trailer in 2014 and have been living in it full-time for the past 6.5 years.
Lance is a great brand and just barely missed making the top list. They were purchased by the REV Group in 2018 and had a slight hiccup in their quality. Though it’s not enough to make me run away from the brand.
As I mention on this page, we highly recommend you join the RV Consumer Group and check out how they feel about Lance quality.
You could do (much) worse than buying Lance, so I like the direction you are looking.
Thanks for your prompt response. We have joined the RV Consumer group based on your recommendation.
You are very welcome, Susan! And thank you for wanting to be an informed RV buyer.
I’m glad to see this because I wondered the exact same thing! A family member who is a longtime travel trailer camper recently purchased a Lance & I was very impressed by it. It is on the top of our list for size, features, price, quality. We’ll join the RV consumer group, thanks for your info.
Glad you found this, Lucinda.
I think you’ll find the information that the RV Consumer Group provides to be well worth the small investment you make with them. They certainly help you become a much more informed RV buyer.
Marshall, for retirement – year round living, doing some traveling across U.S., sole female – which would you recommend? I did read your entire list, but hands down – if you were a sales men, where would you steer me?
While I understand your reasoning for asking your question, I cannot give you a exact answer. I haven’t a clue about what type of RV you are considering as this often is a very personal preference. There are sooooo many questions that only you can answer before I can even start to narrow down an RV manufacturer. Here are some of the questions:
Do you have a tow vehicle already that is suitable for a travel trailer or 5th wheel?
Do you want something small and nimble so you can easy explore and get to harder to reach places, or do you want something large and luxurious because you don’t mind dealing with a 40+ foot RV as you move between spots?
Do you want to stay in RV parks, or do you want to boondock?
If you get a self-contained RV (motorhome), do you want to tow a small vehicle so you can explore without taking your house?
So. Many. Questions.
And then once you narrow down what type of RV is right for you, then you can look at what the different manufacturers on this page offer to narrow down your choice.
Check out our post on the Best RV for Full-Time Living for some more insight into this.
Super helpful read! It got me looking at grand design. In my search I’ve been looking at GD’s Imagine XLS and the new Transcend Xplor and can’t find hardly any information on the Xplor series. I really like some things about it over the imagine but am concerned with a wood construction base and the lack of consumer information/feedback on it. Just curious if you’ve come across anyone who has experience with GD’s Xplor line. I would like to travel in 2021 for a longer period of time in it. I currently have an e-pro with fiberglass/aluminum construction but it has no counter space and for longer travels that is frustrating.
Glad you found this page to be helpful, JP!
Grand Design’s Transcend Xplor line appears to be their attempt to create a cheaper trailer for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a rig. Wood construction doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality. There are good manufacturers who use wood construction (The Nash trailer line from Northwood Manufacturing is one example). But there is also a large number of poor quality manufacturers that use wood construction as a base.
Another hint at cost cutting is the sidewall construction. The corrugated aluminum is a cheap way to make an RV sidewall as there is no laminating required. You simply build a wood frame, throw in some pink household type fiberglass insulation, and slap on sheets of corrugated aluminum outer paneling. Boom! Cheap, quick, simple.
Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean bad construction quality, but it’s definitely the technique that most of the RV manufacturers that are aiming to build the cheapest possible unit use.
I don’t know anyone who has personal experience with the Transcend line (either one) from Grand Design. And I haven’t personally checked out any of these units (that I recall), so not sure what to think of them.
If you are aiming to live in the rig full-time, why not go with a couple year old rig? Get something that uses better construction techniques for less than what you’d pay for new.
I know that in today’s crazy RV environment of everyone wanting to jump on the RVing bandwagon, it’s harder to find the used unit that you’ve got your heart set on. But my advice is try, try, try!
Thank you for the advice Marshall! I have been looking for used as well but as you said, that’s easier said than done right now. I will be patient and see what I can find.
Great article I enjoyed reading thanks
Glad to hear you found this article useful, Larry.
Hi Marshall, this is super helpful guide! What brands or models are best for winter? Think – Montana or Canada winter which we would love to do. We would love an Airstream but they don’t appear to be very good for that kind of winter. Thank you!!
Glad you like this page, Sasha!
You are correct about Airstreams not being great in cold weather. They have large, single pane windows that offer very little in the way of insulation, and their inside aluminum walls love to transmit cold (try sitting with your arm near the wall when it’s cold outside).
We actually mention our picks for winter environments in the last section of our Best RV For Full-Time Living post.
We recommend looking at Outdoors RV and Northwoods Manufacturing (Arctic Fox) as two great brands that put up with cold weather.
There will be others that state they handle cold weather well (I believe Jayco is one).
Just keep in mind that most RVs will not handle severe cold weather situations well. It’s just impractical to put the kind of insulation necessary for temperature extremes in a mobile vehicle.
Best of luck finding the right RV for you!
Thank you so much, Marshall – I greatly appreciate you being so responsive! Will look into the Fox and Outdoors RV models. cheers! Sasha
Thank you for this article. It’s eye-opening and insightful. I’m looking into a hybrid because I’ll be towing with an SUV and not ready for a full trailer but still need the sleeping space. I initially looked at Rockwood Roo but since you’re not a fan of Forest River, where can I get some info on good hybrids? RV Consumer does not seem to cover hybrids. Thank you!!