Here Are The 27 Best Quality RV Brands You Need To Know About

PublishedJune 26, 2019

(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 know which one is the best?

And which RV brands to avoid?

RV Manufacturer Logos

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 as to 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.

Ultimate Guide To RV Types

Confused about the different types of RVs? Click here to read our guide that explains the differences between the various RV styles.

RV Types

Lastly, I'll inform you where you can go to 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.

NO!

...we don't include every type of RV here.

Only RVs that are hard-sided and don't require any setup. This means we don't include hybrid trailers, pop-up trailers, or tent trailers.

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.

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 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.

I never was able to convince 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 the 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 since I bought it).

Marshall and Bob Tiffin

Marshall With Bob Tiffin (Tiffin Motorhomes Founder) 10+ Years Ago

I knew exactly what I wanted.

I knew what was a good RV brand.

Which RV brands to avoid.

Years of research made the buying process very easy for me.

My background as an aircraft mechanic didn't hurt either.

It allowed me to identify good construction compared to junk (though a lot of this is just common sense).

On this page, I will share some of my knowledge with you.

And more importantly, I will give you the tools that teach you how to tell the difference between the best RV manufacturers and poor quality RV manufacturers so you can educate yourself.

Poor Quality RV Manufacturers Are The Norm

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that there are more junk RVs than there are 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.

Why?

Because the vast majority of what's out there is poor quality. RV manufacturers expect you to not know what you are looking at. 

They expect you to step into an RV and fall in love with a floor plan.

With the location of the three TVs and the amazing island in the kitchen. RV manufacturers are selling you a fantasy.

The ability to hit the road in your very own home on wheels. To explore the country in style with your family.

RV dream

This Is The Dream, Right?

What they aren't telling you is that the 'dream' RV you end up buying without being educated about the best RV brands will probably end up giving you nothing but grief.

Why?

The crappy workmanship and the junk materials that were used to make it.

Built To Last A Few Weeks

Think about this - most RVs come with a one-year warranty.

Most buyers use their RV just a few weeks a year.

All an RV manufacturer has to do is make sure the RV you buy holds up for a short period - as little as just a few weeks of use

Once it's out of warranty, it becomes your problem.

They wipe their hands clean. Sneaky business plan. But it works.

Ultimate Guide To RV Types

Confused about the different types of RVs? Click here to read our guide that explains the differences between the various RV styles.

RV Types

Full-Time Use? Think Again

Want to live in your RV full-time? Better read your warranty VERY carefully!

Fine Print

Many (most?) RV manufacturers will put a statement in the owner's manual to the effect of "not suitable for full-time habitation".

In fact, many RV warranties will not cover full-time living. There are a few brands that stand behind the products they build.

Think about this for a second. Why would they fear full-time living?

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.

Might really 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 tends to suffer when the bottom line is the most important part of RV manufacturing.

This results in you, the end-user, having to spend an inordinate 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 9 are publicly held RV manufacturers.

That means roughly only 1/3 of the best RV manufacturers are owned by companies that have 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.

And 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 something in common - a company that is 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.

Stock market ticker

That said, it sure seems like more often than not, RV manufacturers aim to please their shareholders over their customers.

They will do everything possible to make the most profit.

This means you, the consumer, are on the bottom of their 'let's make them happy' list.

Ultimate Guide To RV Types

Confused about the different types of RVs? Click here to read our guide that explains the differences between the various RV styles.

RV Types

Quality Materials

If you start looking at most RVs, it becomes readily apparent that one of the first places poor quality RV manufacturers will cut corners is on the materials they use to build the rigs.

'The cheaper the better' is the mantra for many companies.

Poke walls.

Open cabinets and look inside.

Lift up the bed.

Peer into the exterior storage compartments.

If an RV manufacturer is willing to put junk material right out in the open where you can see it, image 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 many fixtures in an RV, there are very few suppliers that a manufacturer can choose from.

Stoves, water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners are examples of what goes in most every RV.

Even so, there are just two or three suppliers of these components that all manufacturers buy from.

RV Fridge

Photo by Matt Knight of Adventurous Way

The difference is in the quality (or grade) of the individual component.

The worst RV brands will want to cut corners wherever possible, so they purchase the cheapest appliances from the supplier.

Whereas the best RV brands will spend a few extra dollars and put in appliances, purchased from the same suppliers, that are built a little better.

Ones that have better materials or a few more bells and whistles.

For example, Camp Addict co-founder Kelly has a two-burner stove that requires you 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 10 years ago and used them extensively when I purchased my current rig over 5 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 (mostly because a lot of these brands are now owned by large corporations).

RV Consumer Group 2019 Towables Rating Guide

Travel Trailer Quality Ratings Guide

RV Consumer Group 2019 Motorhome Rating Guide

Motorhome Quality Ratings Guide

The RV Consumer Group publishes annual RV rating guides for towables (travel trailers and fifth wheels) and motorhomes.

They also publish a less comprehensive guide to truck camper manufacturers. (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 properly purchase one.

RV Owner Survey

The RV Consumer Group relies heavily on actual owner input to properly rate RV brands.

This is one of the ways they differentiate between the best RV manufacturers and poor quality RV manufacturers.

If you are an RV owner, PLEASE complete their confidential RV owner survey.

Customer survey

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.

You'd be absolutely foolish to not 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 you are shopping for RVs.

Quality Control

One of the biggest 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 you 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 produce a quality RV.

Motorhome production line

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 ways 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 they stand behind their product is one of the best tests of how good an RV manufacturer is.

RV Salesman

When you have a problem with your new rig (and you most likely will, even with the most reliable RV brand), 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 thru hoops, and they drag their feet, even with clear cut, valid warranty issues.

Ultimate Guide To RV Types

Confused about the different types of RVs? Click here to read our guide that explains the differences between the various RV styles.

RV Types

Best RV For The Money

Unless you love frustration and aggravation, do your research and buy the best RV for the money for your situation.

You want to do everything in your power to purchase a rig that will spend more time on the road and less time at the dealership waiting to be worked on.

Hundreds of thousands of new RVs are sold each year. From a finite number of dealers.

Motorhomes for sale

The number of dealers isn't increasing drastically. The number of RV service bays aren't increasing drastically.

What is increasing drastically is the amount of time some people are having 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.

Do yourself a favor and learn about what makes a top RV brand and then buy one of those rigs.

This will stack the deck in your favor and will allow you to enjoy your RV as it's intended to be used. 

Marshall Headshot

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 there are others that 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 there are 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 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.

Best Quality Travel Trailers

Travel trailer

Travel trailers are the most common type of RV.

They are the least expensive (though you can definitely spend a pretty penny on one -  Airstream is an example) and come in smaller sizes capable of being towed by almost any vehicle that has the ability to 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 trailer 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 manufactures that we list for all motorhome categories - Class A, Class B, and Class C.

So, yeah, travel trailer manufacturers are prolific.

Only 9 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

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top-rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

The following are the best travel trailer brands, in no particular order.

Well, I did list the ones I'd truly consider buying at the top, but I have very specific needs that you might not.

Outdoors RV Manufacturing

Outdoors RV logo

Outdoors RV builds a very high quality rig that suits my style of travel very well.

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, so you'll need the right sized tow vehicle.

Meaning you wil need a heavy-duty truck for anything but their smaller trailers.

Northwood Manufacturing

Northwood logo

Northwood Manufacturing is closely related to Outdoors RV.

How?

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 Trailer logo

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 Oliver's, but it is a brand that has 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

Bigfoot Industries is a Canadian RV manufacturer that builds trailers with a 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 logo

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 logo

Casita makes very much sought after, lightweight, two-piece fiberglass travel trailers that are manufactured in Texas.

Their 16 to 17-foot trailers are some of the best small travel trailers you can buy.

Eveland's, Inc

Scamp logo

Eveland's makes the Scamp 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

Airstream logo

Airstream is one of only three Thor brands (out of 15) 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.

They make trailers from 16 to 33 feet and can cost six figures.

Grand Design RV

Grand Design logo

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

5th wheel

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

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

Following are the best fifth wheel manufacturers, in no particular order:

New Horizons RV

New Horizons logo

New Horizons RV builds top rated 5th wheels and arguably has the best fifth wheel construction available.

New Horizons specializes in coaches for full-time living.

This Kansas manufacturer makes some of the best built fifth wheels available today.

Outdoors RV Manufacturing

Outdoors RV logo

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 like to 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

Northwood logo

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 logo

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 for full-time living.

Escape Trailer Industries

Escape Trailer logo

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, Inc

Scamp logo

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

Bumper pull toy hauler trailer

Bumper Pull Toy Hauler

5th wheel toy hauler

5th Wheel Toy Hauler

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 toy hauler manufacturer listed below (Newmar, which makes a single motorhome floor plan), all make either a bumper pull or a fifth wheel toy hauler.

I consider 7 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

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

Following are the best toy hauler manufacturers, in no particular order:

New Horizons RV

New Horizons logo

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 fifth wheel toy haulers  available today.

Outdoors RV Manufacturing

Outdoors RV logo

Outdoors RV builds one of the best toy hauler travel trailers you can purchase, specializing in off the grid, four-season capability. 

This Oregon manufacturer only makes bumper pull toy haulers.

Northwood Manufacturing

Northwood logo

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 logo

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 Corporation

Newmar logo

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

Teardrop trailer

Teardrop campers are shaped like, well, a teardrop.

This shape makes for an aerodynamic trailer with a very distinctive look.

While there are a rather large number of teardrop trailer manufacturers out there, very few of these manufacturers offer a trailer that is little more than a bed on wheels.

Below, we focus on teardrop trailer manufacturers that make rigs that are fully contained.

This means in addition to a bed, the trailer will have full kitchen facilities and a bathroom with indoor shower.

This greatly reduces the number of available candidates.

Not All Models Are Top Rated

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

The following are the best teardrop trailer manufacturers, in no particular order:

nüCamp RV

nuCamp logo

nüCamp RV builds the TAB teardrop trailer in Ohio.

They are known for their high quality construction.

Little Guy Trailers

Little Guy logo

Little Guy Trailers are manufactured in Pennsylvania and offer fully contained trailers with the classic teardrop shape.

Best Class A Motorhome Manufacturers

Class A motorhome

Class A RVs are the traditional motorhomes that you think of when you picture the category.

They are the boxes on wheels that you see traveling down the Interstates.

A Class A motorhome starts life as a bare chassis - nothing more than a powertrain - that are 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 a very good job.

Some a decent job.

And some such a poor job I wouldn't want to be in it moving at 60 miles an hour.

I consider 5 manufacturers to offer top-rated fifth wheels, out of the 13 North American manufacturers we list.

So roughly 38% of the manufacturers can be considered to make top-rated Class A motorhomes.

Not All Models Are Top Rated

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

Following are the best Class A motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:

Newmar Corporation

Newmar logo

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.

It was announced in September 2019 that Winnebago was purchasing this formerly privately held company.

Tiffin Motorhomes

Tiffin logo

Tiffin Motorhomes is a family-held business that is based out of Alabama. 

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

Entegra Coach logo

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

American Coach logo

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

Winnebago logo

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

Class B RV

Class B Motorhome

Class B+ motorhome

Class B+ Motorhome

Class B motorhomes are also known as van conversions.

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 5 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) of the manufacturers can be considered to make the best built Class B/B+ motorhomes.

Not All Models Are Top Rated

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

The following are the top Class B motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:

Coach House

Coach House logo

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 logo

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 Industries

Pleasure-Way logo

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

Phoenix Cruiser logo

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

American Coach logo

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

Winnebago logo

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 logo

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

Renegade logo

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

Class C motorhome

Class C Motorhome

Super C motorhome

Super C Motorhome

Class C motorhomes are generally smaller than Class A's, 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).

There is also the Class C+ (or Super C) that 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 5 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

  • Be aware that just because a manufacturer is listed here as being one of the best RV brands, not every model/type they make may be worthy of a top rated designation. Some of the best RV manufacturers make models that have reliability/quality issues. Educate yourself so you know which model from a top manufacturer is worthy of your money.

Following are the top rated Class C motorhome manufacturers, in no particular order:

Lazy Daze

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.

Winnebago Industries

Winnebago logo

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

Dynamax logo

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

Entegra Coach logo

Entegra Coach is part of Thor Industries and makes both gas and diesel Class C motorhomes.

Renegade RV

Renegade logo

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.

Conclusion

That's a wrap!

Through my own technical knowledge, my extensive RV research, by 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 or just RV's with some issues.

But buying a good brand increases your chances of NOT getting a lemon and increases your chances of a speedy fix if there's an issue.

I will be updating this list regularly to keep it up to date.

Ultimate Guide To RV Types

Confused about the different types of RVs? Click here to read our guide that explains the differences between the various RV styles.

RV Types
Marshall Headshot

Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020, Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spent the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit. 

Other Articles You Should Read

  • 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.

    • Hi Bob,

      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.

      Cheers!

  • 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.

    • Hey Jeremy,

      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.

    • Hi Andrew,

      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 ?

        • Hey Brian,

          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!

  • Marshall,
    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?
    Regards,
    Yi

    • Hi Yi,

      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.

        • 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.

    • Hi Venessa,

      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?

    • Hi Phyllis,

      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.

    • Hi Danny,

      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?

    • Hey Heather,

      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.” 🙂

  • Marshall,
    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!

    • Hey Brent,

      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).

      We also highly recommend you join the RV Consumer Group and see how they rate the different brands.

      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!

    • Hey Sarah,

      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?

    • Hi Georgia,

      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.

  • 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?

    • Hey Holy,

      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.

  • 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.

    • Hi Steve,

      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!

  • 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!!!!

    • Hey Katie,

      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!

    • Hey Andrew,

      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! 😉

  • Hello,
    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!

    • Hey Andrew,

      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.

    • Hey Susan,

      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.

      • 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?

    • Hey Monica,

      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.

  • 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

  • Hi Marshall,

    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!!

    • You are most welcome, Madz!

      Actually, RV Consumer Group does cover hybrids. They call them ‘expandables’.

      So I can’t believe I’m about to say this… But the Rockwood Roo isn’t the worst hybrid/expandable you can purchase. It’s not terrible in the reliability side of the house, according to RV Consumer Group.

      Unfortunately, none of the top RV manufactures make the type of trailer you are looking for, but I’m pretty sure you can find something that will work for you (I totally get the weight restrictions of your tow vehicle, so smart move on looking for something lighter!).

      I’d say go ahead and join the RV Consumer Group (they are a good organization to support) and see what they say about trailers in the ‘ET’ category (which is the ‘Expandable Trailer’ category, as they call hybrids).

      Thanks for checking out Camp Addict and good luck with your search! (And remember there isn’t a perfect RV, so just look for good enough.)

  • Hi Marshall,

    I like your website. I have a 2014 13 ft Scamp I pull w a vehicle rated tow 3500 lb. I have over 400 nights in my Scamp. I would like a slightly larger unit w full time bed (54” or bigger) & a table. Do not care for larger Scamp/Casita. Floor plan I like best is R-pod 171, there smallest, no slides. Even tho, not great construction, understand problems with toilet & plumbing, can I make this work for me? Will probably not use toilet much.

    Your opinion please

    • Hi Rich,

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the R-pod isn’t known for quality.

      If you are fine with an RV that may have more quality issues than better manufacturers, then only you can determine if a particular model and floor plan works for you.

      You definitely have experience RVing, so find an RV that will work for you and give it a go.

      Best of luck finding your next rig!

      • Thank you Marshall! You said it , it’s a compromise. Even tho I like Rpod layout, sure I will be happier w overall build of tab 320 or bigger Scamp/casita.

  • Hi Marshall. I’m on the search for a smaller travel trailer with a slide. What do you think of Imagine XLS 22RBE. I want something with good quality. I value your opinion. Thanks!

    • Hey Valerie,

      That floorplan looks pretty cool! While we aren’t currently in the business of giving personal recommendations, Grand Design is a good brand at a glance I don’t see anything glaringly wrong with that floorplan.

      As we’ve said many times, we highly recommend joining the RV Consumer Group and checking out a specific make and model for yourself.

      Best of luck finding the right RV for your camping adventures!

  • Hi there!!

    Thank you so much for creating this website. So very helpful. It helps weed out all the noise that you find time & again on other sites.

    We have been looking/researching for about 2 years now. Hoping to take the plunge soon.

    Details on us: Family of 3, traveling with an 80 lbs dog, and we want a separate bed room for us and an area for our 8 yr old daughter to sleep (could be a bunk). We want to do short weekend camp trips at least a couple times a month…and also some 2 week or longer trips as well. We want something we could take in the cold as we live in the south and we have promised our daughter trips with seasons & snow (and it seems a lot of the companies you recommend offer that option.)

    We own a 2006 Toyota Sequoia but it can’t pull what we are wanting & it’s getting older. Runs great for around town which is all we use it for…so logically its hard to part with a paid off fine running SUV….just to get ourselves into a new truck payment & an RV purchase.

    Question: If YOU didn’t already own a vehicle that could pull an RV…would you look into getting a Class C instead? Would that be a more fiscally logical choice?

    We have held off buying a truck until we decided on a 5th wheel…but then that sent us down the rabbit hole of should we even Go out & buy a new vehicle just so we can tow a travel trailer?!?! Should we just look into a Class C since we are traveling with pets & an 8 yr old and it would make the driving parts of the trip easier?

    We also know, that if we get a Class C then we are stuck unhitching it every time we want to leave camp to go somewhere and gives us less spaces for our bicycles etc. but we could also tow our Camry behind us (and honestly if I were to get another New vehicle I’d want a 4×4 Jeep over a truck for off road adventures and we could tow that).

    Holy cow the choices & sorry this is so long! So thank you for hanging in there with me and for any input you can give us to help with this vicious cycle of what about this…or this!!!

    I think sometimes my husband & I get too much into our heads…but sometimes you have to when money is the issue. And if money wasn’t the issue…well…we have probably bought that darn truck and 5th wheel (Grand Designs Reflections) 2 years ago and would be camping right now. LOL

    Thanks a million!

    Sincerely,
    Confused Family in Texas

    • Hey Staci,

      Glad to hear that you find that Camp Addict cuts through the noise! That’s a major goal of ours.

      That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Which RV, or rather, which type of RV should you purchase?

      A Class C would be fine if you have a vehicle you can tow. Sounds like you do. Because you are really going to want another vehicle to explore areas that isn’t your house. Especially a house the size of a Class C.

      I agree that you shouldn’t run out and buy a new truck just to tow a fifth wheel unless you are 100%, absolutely sure that’s the route you want to go and that you’ll get enough use out of the new setup to justify it.

      Why not just get something that’s not the ‘perfect rig’ (not that the perfect rig exists) that is small enough to tow with your existing Sequoia. I have a Sequoia also, but it’s a 2008, so the current generation that’s able to tow more than your 1st gen Sequoia. But the Sequoia is an awesome vehicle to use for exploring and it can tow an alright sized trailer.

      Again, it won’t be the perfect trailer, but one’s first RV is rarely the perfect one, so you are better off not spending a small fortune to figure out what you really want in an RV.

      Get a trailer that checks enough of the boxes for your family, is a few years old so it depreciates slower, and is able to be towed by your existing truck so initial out of pocket expense is lower.

      And a trailer that you could tow with the Sequoia would (most likely) be a lot less expensive than a Class C, so less financial risk. Less potential regret.

      But most of all, JUST DO IT! You have been planning long enough. Precious years slipping by. Do it now before your daughter is too cool to go camping with her parents.

      Definitely smart not to sink a whole bunch of money on your first RV. Get something that will work well enough.

      Best of luck and I hope that y’all get out there this summer!

      • Thank you so much for getting back with me and sharing your experience. Hope you had a great 4th of July.

        That’s neat you also have a Sequoia!

        Since you know some about Sequoia’s would you mind pointing us in the direction of brands that could be towed with a first generation Sequoia with a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs.

        I had looked into towing with the Sequoia in the past but it seemed everything I was drawn to was always too big, or the manufacturer didn’t make anything in the weight size needed without putting us too close or over…so I just gave up searching that idea…but willing to pick back up on it if pointed in the right direction.

        I don’t have a clue as to what to look for to ensure that I’m staying in that weight limit and not Just clicking on floor plans that are going to clearly blow that weight limit.

        I assume I start out by looking at the smallest trailer size, such as length, but even that can be deceiving.

        I wish from the start when they listed models they added the weight beside the length of RV.

        Thanks ever so much for your help and direction.

        • Hey Staci,

          Unfortunately I don’t currently have a way to quickly give you a list of brands/models/floor plans that fit your needs. I wish I did, but I’d have to do the same legwork you have to do and unfortunately I just don’t have the time to do that on an individual basis.

          However, a lot of websites will have a shopping tools section that (may) shows the main specs of a trailer.

          Or you can download the PDF brochure of a specific model and look at the specs section.

          The number you are looking for is the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) which is the maximum weight allowed for the trailer.

          Yeah, with a tow capacity of 6500 you may be limited, though my Lance has a GVWR of 5700 pounds and the vehicle I towed it with for the first 5 or so years had a tow rating of 6200 pounds. Would I like to have had more margin in the tow capacity? Absolutely! Did I struggle sometimes in the mountains of Colorado? Yep! But it was the vehicle I had and the trailer was under the legal limits, so I went with it until I could get something with more towing ‘overhead’.

          Check out Lance, Winnebago, and Grand Design (owned by Winnebago) as a starting place. No, they all currently aren’t on the top RV brands list, but I wouldn’t have a problem buying them.

          Will you get exactly what you are looking for (bunk area for your daughter)? Probably not. But like I said before, in order to limit your initial expense and to see if RVing is really what your family wants to do, you are going to have to make some compromises.

          Good luck!

          • Thank you ever so much for getting back with me! Agreed, on compromises. We will take a gander at the brands you listed.

            Hope you are doing well!

  • Hi Marshall. Enjoyed reading your blog. We are in the market for an RV and I learned alot from your blog. We want a small travel trailer with a slide out. I’m also looking for good quality built. I see that Rockwood and R pod did not make your list of best quality. Can you recommend something similar with great quality? Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Valerie,

      Both of the makes you mentioned are Forest River products, who isn’t known for their outstanding quality.

      You want a small, lightweight travel trailer with a slide? Hmmm.

      We aren’t currently in the ‘give an exact recommendation business’ so I can’t pin-point and exact make/model for you, I can suggest you look at Winnebago and Lance as another alternatives. They aren’t on the list of best brands, but they come really, really close to making the cut.

      I have had a lance for 6+ years and it’s treated me well.

      I do highly suggest that you join the RV Consumer Group and do some poking around on your own. There may be other brands that didn’t make our best RV brands list that still offer good enough quality.

      Also remember just because a particular brand is known for good quality doesn’t mean that every single unit they make is top-notch. There will always be the occasion unit that comes out the door that has more than it’s fair share of problems. That’s just the nature of things made by humans.

      Best of luck with your search!

  • Hello Marshall…your site has been more than helpful..thank you for all your research. Do you have anything particular to say about the Grand Design Reflections 150 series 260RD fifth wheel?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Glad you’ve found Camp Addict to be helpful!

      The one thing I see immediately that may be an issue with that floor plan is access to the bathroom and bedroom with the slide closed. It’s sometime hard to tell by just looking at the floor plan drawing, and not being inside an actual unit, but it appears that the slide may block access to these two critical area.

      You really don’t want to buy an RV that cannot be ‘lived in’ with the slide(s) closed. You will find yourself in situations where you cannot open the slide, yet need to sleep (such as when you are overnighting in a Walmart or other such place as you are traveling from one spot to another. Or if you simply want to use the bathroom while traveling during the day.

      Other than that, it’s a Grand Design, which is overall a very good brand. They are owned by Winnebago, which is also a very good brand.

      Just keep in mind that even if you purchase an RV from what is considered a better brand, you may be an individual unit that suffers more quality issues than you’d normally get from that brand. This is just one of the ‘joys’ of purchasing an RV, but it’s best to stack the odds in your favor by going with a better brand to start with.

      Best of luck

  • Hi Marshall,
    This is a wonderful resource!
    We are not ready to buy at this point, but would really like to travel in one this summer. Are there any reputable companies you might recommend?
    Thank you,
    Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Glad you like Camp Addict!

      It’s definitely a good idea to ‘try out’ RVing before you buy, just to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family.

      I assume you are asking about a company that allows you to try before you buy, like an RV rental company?

      I don’t have personal experience with any because I bought an RV before I ever tried one out. After decades of looking at them, so it wasn’t exactly a spur of the moment decision! In year 7 of living in the same rig full-time so I guess I made an alright choice.

      Anyhow, El Monte RV, Cruise America, and Road Bear are some of the larger RV rental companies.

      Or you could try one of the peer-to-peer rental websites like Outdoorsy or RV Share, that allows you to rent RVs owned by individuals.

      Can’t say one is better than the other as I have no first hand experience with any of the above. But that’s where I’d start looking.

      Best of luck and I hope you have a great time traveling via RV this summer!

  • Hi Marshall,
    Finally found a good review sight. What do you think about the Genesis brand toy haulers?
    Lisa

    • Hey Lisa,

      Glad you like Camp Addict!

      Genesis is OK to good quality, according to the RV Consumer Group, who I HIGHLY recommend you join so you can learn how to spot a good brand, and what they think about the different brands.

  • Hi Marshall,
    New fan here. Had to cancel regular vaca plans due to COVID. So sad. Now considering a travel trailer. The idea of choosing a camper with so many available, and it being a big ticket item, is mind boggling. This article is the first I’ve read that puts it in perspective. I’ve love camping and adventure, my husband has NEVER camped day in his life. So the figuring out is all on me. I so appreciate your breakdown of manufacturers and quality! My number one requirement is quality. I’m a Lexus owner for three reasons: 1. Reliability/quality 2. Offroad capability 3. High end interior/comfort. Looking for the same in a travel trailer. I have become enamored with the OPUS line, and wondered what your thoughts are on that brand. However, I want hard-sided and that is not our price range. But I love the look, capability, functionality, the minimalist interior and finishes, and seemingly good quality. Any advice on other comparable brands, or advice on this brand, or anything all to guide me would be so appreciated. Please let me know if you offer consultations to help individuals narrow down the choices. If so, I’m interested. I am a researcher but don’t have enough time right now with kids home to wade through everything and feel confident that I have all of the information necessary to make the best decision. Thank you in advance! Rebecca

    • Hi Rebecca,

      I like new fans! 🙂

      I’m not familiar with the OPUS RVs as they are more of the overlander style trailer. There are a lot of these styles of trailers that fit a niche that I don’t ‘live’ in and am not familiar with. I’m more of a ‘normal’ RV kinda guy.

      If you want reliability and decent off-road capability, I’d look at Outdoors RV and Northwoods. They are sister companies out of Oregon and have very well-built trailers that do well on Forest Service roads and such that you might take this type of RV on. They aren’t designed to take the same places that an OPUS trailer is made for.

      As far as high end interiors, this isn’t something any travel trailer is known for. Airstreams have some of the nicest. And you’ll pay for that ‘privilege’.

      But it sounds like you are looking for more of an off-road capable, overland style trailer. I’m not going to be of any help with that.

      We do not offer consultation services. Camp Addict isn’t setup for that and we don’t have the time for this as it takes an incredible amount of time to build the high quality content we produce.

      Best of luck with your search and I hope you find an RV that brings you many happy adventures!

  • Hi Marshall

    New Fan of yours! Quick question on quality comparisons between Phoenix Cruiser and Dynamax Isata. Love the Factory direct quality of Phoenix. Just do not know the history of Dynamax product…Thx!

    • Welcome new fan! Glad you like Camp Addict.

      You can read a touch more about Dynamax on our RV manufacturer page, but the quick history is that they’ve been around since 1997. Were purchased by Forest River in 2011. And are the ONLY Forest River brand on our best RV brands list.

      Forest River isn’t known for their outstanding quality with their RV brands. Dynamax is the rare exception.

      Given the choice between Phoenix Cruiser and Dynamax, I personally would lean (heavily?) towards Phoenix Cruiser.

  • Thanks for the post Marshall, it’s been very helpful.
    I’m a first time buyer..
    Any suggestions on a 2006 casita spirit deluxe 17’ trailer?
    Thanks!

    • Glad you liked it, Rafael!

      Casita is a good brand and they seem to be popular when it comes time to sell them. In other words, anyone I know that’s tried to sell one has had zero problems doing so.

      Casita is also a brand I wouldn’t hesitate buying a 14 year model of. They are pretty simple, built well, and as long as they are in good shape and haven’t been abused, I’d imagine it would be a good buy (assuming the price is right).

  • Marshall,
    Any thoughts about the Nucamp Avia? I know it’s a pretty new model and I am having trouble finding other owners to get the reactions. Heard anything negative?

    Thanks,
    Todd

    • Hi Todd,

      The Avia is new, as you mentioned. I haven’t heard anything either way about it, but Nucamp is overall a good brand.

      Here’s hoping that the Avia continues with their good quality!

  • Hi Marshall, great information here. Have you had any experience with the Itasca Navion Class C? I am looking at a low mileage 2008 but am a little concerned about maintenance costs on the Mercedes diesel. Another question for you, do all RV slides have a manual override? I would hate to be stuck with my slide out and the motor fails! This will be my first motorhome.

    • Hey Brian,

      I’ll start by answering the question I’m more sure of. The one about slides.

      Yes, all slides (at least that I’m aware of) have some sort of manual override. The real question is, how much of a PITA is using the override?

      Take my slide for example. It uses the Schwintek slide mechanism. This means it has two small electric motors at the top of each slide side. These motors have to be disengaged from the gear mechanism before the slide can manually be pushed in. This can be ‘fun’ to say the least. Fortunately I’ve never had to do it.

      I have had to replace one of the motors, a few years back. It was the one that was easier to get at, but it was still a pain. I have no clue how I’d get at the other motor, since the access space is tight.

      While I love the amount of interior space that opens up when my slide is extended, I really don’t like the idea of it being a (big) potential failure point.

      I’d really like my next rig to have no slides. Not sure if this is going to be possible since there are so few desirable floor plans that have no slides, but it’s a goal of mine!

      OK, Mercedes question. Yeah, I don’t want anything on a Mercedes chassis just because of the potential maintenance costs. And trying to find a place to work on them.

      I’m no Mercedes Sprinter expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do understand that there is some emissions issues with a certain vintage of Mercedes Sprinter chassis. As in if it hasn’t had a problem with the emissions system yet, it most likely will.

      However, there is also a vintage of Mercedes Sprinter that doesn’t have emissions that has the problem (maybe early DEF systems? I’m not certain what the actual issue is). I think the switch to the emissions that has the problems was somewhere around the vintage you were looking at. Maybe 2008 is OK? Or maybe it was the first year of the ‘problem’ years?

      Just something to be aware of and look into. Don’t take my word for it. I just wanted to bring up a potential problem spot for that vintage Mercedes Sprinter that you really should look into.

      Good luck with your first motorhome purchase!

      • Funny, the more research I do the more I am in agreement with you. No slides, no Mercedes. Oh well, the search continues…..

        • Take a look at Coach House if you haven’t already. I love their construction techniques and I wouldn’t have a problem buying an older one.

          They have used Ford chassis a lot, which would be a better choice from a maintainability stand point. And the ‘house’ is really well built.

          Yes, you’d probably have to get one with a slide, but I’m pretty sure they use really good slide mechanisms.

          Problem is they are pricey and rare. But if you could find one in your price range that checked the boxes, it might be worth looking hard at.

  • I am thinking about buying a rv and this is my first one. I would like to buy a 26 inch class c motorhomes- or a 26 inch class a. I was told that I would have to have a license for anything over 26 inch and I don’t want to have to take a test because I already have a driver’s license and I can use that for a 26 inch or smaller. Won’t be living in it- just for travel. Your info is really helpful. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Barbara,

      I believe (but I’m not 100% sure since I’ve never looked into this) that certain (not many) states require you to have a special license for an RV that weighs over a certain amount. And it’s a pretty big amount.

      I’ve never heard of a state requiring a special license for a rig over 26 feet. Again, I haven’t looked into this personally, but I know a lot of people with larger RVs and this topic has never come up.

      You will need to do a quick Google search for RV/motorhome licensing requirements for the state that you are licensed in. Shouldn’t be hard to find. And chances are you won’t need any special license.

      On a side note, I prefer smaller RVs. They just make a lot more sense, especially if it’s just you in it. Easier to deal with. Easier to drive.

      So it’s not a bad idea to consider something under 30 feet. I just don’t think you have to worry about the driver’s license part (but double check with your state).

      Best of luck!

  • We looked at class B RVs for a year…. We are very surprised that the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour is not on your list…. Further, we are very surprised that one that is on your list is on your list, so to speak… We like all of your suggestions except for that one… We looked at over 75 class B’s in person….We are full time and purchased ours used….

    • Hi Bill,

      The Airstream Interstate missed the cut-off by a single point. In other words, it’s not a bad choice for a Class B.

      Nice to hear that you purchased used. That’s the smart way to go!

      I’m a bit confused as to what one you are referring to, as far as Class B’s. We list multiple manufacturers – not just one.

  • Hi Marshall, very nice work. After having had several RV’s we ended up buying an Arctic Fox 27-5 and we love it. I do not agree with your rating for class A motorhomes. We had a new class A diesel pusher 34 Ft for 7 years and quality was well below expectations. My conclusion is that for the same money I should have bought a ten year old Prevost/ Newell / Foretravel and would have gained significantly in build quality / comfort / riding quality. We do regular winter travel and we were just miserable in the Rv despite the heated basement and two furnaces. Now in our Arctic fox under very cold winter conditions we are enjoying life again!

    • Hi JM,

      I love the Arctic Fox 27-5 floor plan! It’s nice and short, for a fifth wheel and I really like the layout.

      Plus it’s a quality rig.

      Glad you are back to enjoying the RV lifestyle after the diesel pusher experience.

  • High Level of Agreement. I think we need to watch Endeavor model quality post-Thor purchase. Also, cannot tell you how disappointed we are in our MB Sprinter-based chassis. Too expensive to fix or maintain. Too many problems for a supposed high-end manufacturer. According to manual, can’t use B20 or B30 diesel except for emergencies. Would recommend avoiding all models built on this chassis.

    • Thanks for the comment, Ray!

      As much as I’d love to have a Class B or B+ van, I’m really not excited about having one on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. The extra costs associated with it being a Mercedes don’t excite me. From a maintenance stand point, and if something should ever go wrong outside of warranty.

      Also, there are a lot less Mercedes dealers to chose from than say Ford dealers. Seems like it makes a lot more sense to go with a chassis brand that has a lot more dealership availability for the inevitable times you need to have your RV serviced.

  • We purchased a used 2015 Thor Siesta. We had never heard of them before. We sold our 2006 Fleetwood TT because my wife did not want to tow it. To big with truck and trailor. Guess maybe we were just lucky but the Thor has great. Everything seems to be good quality and fits very good. Only one problem was the batteries but when I changed them they were 6 years old. Very happy we purchased the Thor. I guess you are correct just depends on the luck you have no matter what you buy.

    • Hey Bob,

      Glad to hear you’ve had good luck with your Thor.

      Yeah, with RVs it certainly seems like it comes down to the luck of the draw, even with the best of brands. And not everyone who purchases a brand not on this list has bad luck.

      Here’s to many years of RVing happiness in no matter what make, model, or floor plan you have!

  • Hey Marshall, great write up. I am a first time buyer and looking for a toy hauler. Not sure to buy new or used. I know they don’t hold there value that’s the only reason I say used. I am mechanically inclined but don’t want to fix something ever time I get in it. With a family of 4 it would be weekend use and possible a week vaca in the summer. Aside what you stated above do you have any other recommendations or where I can find the others on the list? TIA

    • When in doubt, always buy used! OK, maybe that isn’t a real slogan, but it isn’t bad advice.

      Go for a couple/few year old model from a top brand. If you are smart with your purchase, you can end up with a good unit that won’t need fixing all the time.

      My 6+ year old Lance Travel trailer, which I live in full-time so it definitely gets used, rarely/never has issues (knock on wood). And these things aren’t made to live in full-time so that’s saying something. So it’s possible to buy a good used RV that will treat you right!

      Just take care of it. Don’t abuse it. Be smart.

      Look at RV Trader and Craigslist to get an idea what is out there and what the asking price is.

      Always remember, it’s just an asking price. Some people, especially private sellers, are going to think their rig is worth a lot more than it really is.

      You can use the NADA Guide to RVs to get an idea of used values.

      Spend a lot of time looking at what’s available on these sites that list RVs for sale.

      If you are a spreadsheet kinda guy, track what’s out there with a spreadsheet. Make, model, year, price, location, etc.

      Get a feel for the market. Smartest move you can make. Then pull the trigger when you find something that you can live with, but only after you’ve gone over it with a fine toothed comb.

      Hope that helps! Best of luck with your search.

      • Thank you so much for the info. I think that will be the way I go is used. I’ll keep doing research for sure.

    • Hi Yana,

      I don’t think I mentioned what brand of RV I own on this page since it’s not one of the top brands listed (close to being one of them, and I suspect will be in the future as they have been in the past but were recently bought by REV Group).

      I’ve owned a Lance trailer for the past 6 years and am very happy with it.

  • Putting aside the one million variables that you cannot know, nor can I, what do you think of buying a much older (2006) lazy daze with only 11k miles and was stored inside all of these years. They added 400 watts, 4- 6v agms, banks power and more. They drove it once a year, only some years, to an rv park in state. That is all. Do you think a lazy daze mostly sitting is still valuable with such little use? Its a 30 rear queen and we have them down to $40k.!! thoughts- no I wont blame you, but i do want your honest opinion.

    • Hey Russ,

      Well, if I was going to buy that old of an RV, I’d want to buy one that started life as being a quality unit from a top RV brand. Lazy Daze definitely is one of those brands.

      That is extremely low miles for such an old rig, so I’d be concerned about what the lack of use did to the drivetrain and chassis. So before I purchased it, I’d want a mechanic well versed on that particular chassis (it’s a Ford I’m assuming) to go over it with a fine toothed comb.

      And I’d want to look at the ‘house’ carefully as well.

      Assuming all checks out, then that may be a unit taking a risk on and purchasing.

  • Hi Marshall. Very informative site. We are considering a Fleetwood Jamboree Class C. We have researched the Winnebago Aspect and the Jayco Greyhawk. I know how you feel about the Jayco Brand and the Winnebago is on your top brands list. The Fleetwood Jamboree has a king bed and also the cabover bunk, which are both important to us. The 2019 Jamboree appears to have been redesigned a bit with some added features etc. We are going to purchase the guides you recommend, but I looked at their brands included list and I don’t see the 2019 Jamboree on it. So… can you tell me what you think overall of Fleetwood and any other tidbits possibly about the Jamboree model if you can? Thanks for any input that you can provide.

    • Hey Mike,

      Glad you found Camp Addict to be helpful!

      Fleetwood is owned by REV Group which does pretty well overall with quality, including the Fleetwood brands that RV Consumer Group does rate. Interesting that the Jamboree isn’t showing up (I took a look at the actual 2019 ratings, and indeed it’s not in there).

      Jayco used to be a good brand, until they were purchased by Thor, who seems to be really good at tanking the quality of the brands they buy.

      I’d definitely use the RV Consumer Group resources to learn how to inspect an RV to find out the quality, and then take a good hard look at the Jamboree. I haven’t look at one in a while, so I don’t know what they are like, but being a Fleetwood, I would possibly consider it if it passed my inspection.

      I hope that helps, Mike! Thanks for checking out Camp Addict!

    • Hello,

      Winnebago is one of the top RV brands, and the Aspect gets good ratings from the RV Consumer Group. So if I was in the market for a Class C, I’d take a look at them.

  • I am glad to see the Grand Design brand I just purchased made your top travel trailer list. I have purchased many other brands in my lifetime. There is just something about the fit and finish of the Grand Design that is so much more appealing. They are really proud of their construction and customer service. I think a many of the owners are too. They actually hold rallies every month for their customers. Thanks for all the great information!

    • Hey Rich,

      You are very welcome! Glad you liked the page.

      Also glad to hear that you are happy with your Grand Design. They do seem to be trying to do the right thing.

    • Hey Del,

      Glad you like your ATC!

      The RV Consumer Group doesn’t rate them and I don’t have personal, hands-on experience with them so can’t vouch for their quality.

      While they may be a great brand, until I can independently verify it, ATC won’t be on the list.

  • We purchased a Grand Design TT, model 2670MK, 2020. We looked for a long time before narrowing our choice to the GD. They are not the cheapest TT around but seem to give you a better quality toy. This winter we are spending 4 months in Bullhead city, AZ. We have a few issues with the layout but we plan to correct when we purchase an upgrade in a few years. Overall a good product for the price.

  • Hi Marshall, We’ve rented a few class C’s and both grew up camping so have taken a few months to zero in on what will work for us. We think we’ve landed on a Dutchmen Kodiak Ultimate but weirdly see little to no consumer comments online for these, either good or bad. It is a relatively new line, and from what I’ve found about 10% of comments were not favorable which is pretty good for this industry. Wondering if you have any insights on this brand/make/model?
    Cate

    • Hi Cate,

      The RV Consumer Group isn’t enamored with that particular model.

      As I’ve said a bunch in the comments, and in the main text, you would be doing yourself a great service if you joined the RV Consumer Group and learned what brands are good and what brands you might want to avoid. As well as learn what to look for in quality RVs.

      Good luck with your search!

  • Marshall, interested in your take on Jayco/Entegra customer service and initial quality. Looking at Greyhawk vs Odyssey but the research is all over the place. I’d appreciate any overall impressions you have of the brands.

    • Hi John,

      Entegra is a higher-end motorhome builder that is part of the Jayco family. Jayco is owned by Thor and has been since 2016. They were an independent brand until then.

      Jayco’s quality has taken a hit since Thor ownership. Not surprising since Thor isn’t known for their quality. However, it appears that Entegra has been able to maintain quality after the purchase.

      So with the Jayco branded RVs you may have quality issues. Entegra Coach seems to be alright.

      As far as customer service, I don’t have any personal experience with either brand. Other than just looking at owner’s forums, I don’t know of anyway to judge customer service. Keep in mind that most people go to forums to vent so that may be a skewed perspective, but should give you a general idea.

      Best of luck with your search for the ‘perfect’ RV.

  • Thank you For your response.
    I’m going to keep that in mind.
    I’ve seen and heard of problems with slides myself.
    I’ll probably get the RV Guide, do
    My homework and see what happens.

    Who knows maybe I’ll bump into you sometime in the future.

    Safe journeys for you

    Billg

  • Thank you for your research. I am in the market for a class c that will make my wife happy and if she is happy I r also. 🙂 I did not realize how much information is out there. We are looking for a 24′ to 26′ hopefully with a queen bed in the back. What is your opinion on pull outs?
    Thanks again

    • Hi Bill,

      By ‘pullouts’ I assume you mean slide outs, or the bit of an RV that expands to create more interior space?

      Slide outs are great in that they can greatly enhance/expand the interior living space.

      Slide outs aren’t so great in that they are one more failure point, and sometimes a pretty major one.

      Many RV manufacturers, especially those that are know for lessor quality, will not do such a great job with slides. They may use an insufficient slide mechanism on too large of a slide, or they may just do a really crappy install job at the factory that will lead to issues down the road.

      I don’t have any numbers, but I get the feeling from listening to friends and my own person experience, that slides are a major source of issues with RVs.

      I have had a Lance travel trailer (one of the better brands) for 6 years. The only issue I’ve had with it is the slide.

      While the slide really increases the interior living space on my fairly small RV, I really wish I didn’t have it. My next RV will be without slide if I can help it. Just not worth the added headaches that having a slide can bring.

      But good luck finding an RV floor plan that works for you that doesn’t have a slide. Just know that if you choose a rig with a slide, you are greatly increasing your chances of issues down the road.

    • Hi Santi,

      I own a Lance and have for the past 6 years, so it’s a brand that’s definitely on my radar. And a brand that has been mentioned multiple times in the comments below (including why it’s not on the list).

        • Lance just barely missed making the cut and it will be interesting to see if their quality has improved over the last year. I wouldn’t hesitate to look at their new or used units. They still make a good rig.

          As far as who they compare to quality-wise, they compare well with many of the top brands. As mentioned in this article, we highly recommend you spend a small amount of money and join the RV Consumer Group so that you can see for yourself how the different brands stack up. It’s really a very small cost in comparison to what you are looking at spending on a trailer, and really helps you figure out who makes the better rigs.

          I believe they just released their latest rating guide. We need to get our hands on that to see what changes in quality have been made over the past year.

  • Hi! So glad I found Camp Addict. We have been tent camping for over 40 years.
    Now we are actively researching travel trailers in our budget (looked at 10 2019s yesterday).
    I read the info on the best and the other information.
    The ones we liked include Winnebago Minnie, KZ ESCAPE, KZ CONNECT, and Highland Ridge models SILVERSTAR (used) and Open Range. Can you please comment on these?
    You ranked Winnebago only for Motorhome and I cant find much about quality on the Minnie’s. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Beverly,

      We are glad you found Camp Addict too! 🙂

      The Winnebago towables are slightly under the cut-off point to make top brands but I wouldn’t hesitate to look at them.

      If I was doing a Highland Ridge (Jayco), I’d look at pre-2016 models. Jayco was purchased by Thor in 2016 and has seen decreasing quality ever since. Thor brands, with the rare exception, aren’t know for their quality – quite the opposite actually.

      As far as the other brands you mentioned, we highly recommend that you join, and support, the RV Consumer Group and educate yourself on the top brands, and how to tell junk from decent RVs.

      Best of luck with your search for the ‘right’ RV!

  • Looking to either purchase a 2020 2600RB Imagine Grand Design or a 2020 2285 Lance. Upgrading to our first travel trailer from a pop-up. Which would be best purchase?

    • Hey Mitchell,

      Both brands would be a decent choice. As far as a particular model/floor plan, that’s up to you. Depends on your needs, what your tow vehicle can handle, how much cargo carrying capacity each rig offers and you need, etc.

      In other words, a specific rig is totally dependent on you and your specific needs. I can only suggest what brands you might want to check out, and other of those would make my list.

      Thanks for checking out Camp Addict and best of luck with your move up from a pop-up trailer!

  • Spot on with your recommendations. We had purchased a Class C motorhome from Forest River. Almost 60 days in the shop, with less than 2000 miles on our maiden voyage! Then we had two major issues within a few months of when we got it back, of course, like you stated, it was out of warranty by this point. We’re smiling now, it’s GONE!! We will NEVER buy another Forest River product

    • Hi KKT,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. Well-made brands can also have horrible problems, but are much less likely to have them. Unfortunately, you’ve experienced a poorly manufactured RV showing its true colors.

      Glad it’s gone! Hope you got yourself a better quality unit so you can still go camping!

  • So the most expensive travel trailer brands are the best! One thing I have learned after owning two, you better be handy. Rv service departments are just below motorcycle ones imo. And I am an automotive service advisor. We are back in the market after 6 years without one. My top pick is the Holiday House 18RB. That’s if we decide we can spend $30k. My next three are: Keystone Bullet 1900RD, Gulfstream Vintage Cruiser 19ERD, and the Apex Nano 191RB. Hard to find a decent made rear living/dining model under 3500 pounds. The Apex is not, but closely fits what we want. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

    • Hey Mike,

      You often get what you pay for when it comes to RVs. If you spend $15k on a new RV, it’s going to be of less than stellar construction. This may be fine if you want to use it one week a year and don’t mind dealing with issues, but if you want a well built unit that minimizes the chances of headaches down the road, it’s gonna cost you.

      I sure do like the rear dinette units as they often have great windows in the back. And one can never have too many good windows in an RV!

      I don’t have any particular recommendations for the unit you are looking for. I’ve only listed what I believe to be the top RV brands. What floor plans might work for you, as well as alternative manufacturers, is up to you. Big help, right? 😉

      • I do hear you about you get what you pay for with rvs. I did just find a Micro Minnie 1706FB for a steal brand new. I’ve read really good things about them, just not my floorplan of choice. We may just step up in price and get something made to use and last. We used ours at least 10 weekends a year. Just discovered you guys’ site. Thanks for all the research and info!

        • You are welcome, Mike! And welcome to Camp Addict!

          Go with something used, from a reputable manufacturer to cut back on the initial cost and to keep from taking that initial depreciation hit. That way you can get a quality unit and maybe stick more to the price range you really want to pay.

          I bought new 6 years ago, but I’ve got 6 years of full time use out of it. Considering I mainly do boondocking, my campground fees are ridiculously low ($36 in 2019) so my trailer has paid for itself several times over.

          Kelly bought used and is very happy with her purchase (even though it wasn’t from a top brand). So even if you don’t go with a top brand, you may actually be happy with your purchase. 🙂

          Best of luck with the search for your ‘right’ RV!

  • Hi Marshall-
    First time on the site and it has been very helpful!!
    I will eventually be a first time RV owner (this Spring) and plan on living in it full time.
    I am focusing on a Travel Trailer. I do like the Grand Design Imagines!
    I have been looking at new RV’S. I am a bit hesitant to buy used because I do not have experience with accessing their quality.
    Any feedback would be helpful!!

    • Hey Jeff,

      Glad you’ve found Camp Addict to be useful!

      A top RV brand is going to make the best used units, so if you want to go the used route, check out well taken care of examples from any of the brands listed on this page.

      Like with cars, going used is often a wise choice when it comes to RVs. They lose a good portion of their value in the first couple of years of ownership, so why not let someone else take that hit?

      As long as the used unit is well maintained and not abused, then it should treat you well.

      Best of luck with your search and we hope you find the full time RV lifestyle as enjoyable as we do!

      • Any comments on a Rexhall Roseair 2003 diesel with only 29000 miles. Looks to be in excellent condition. $33,000

          • Hey Jeff,

            Unfortunately Rexhall is no longer in business. They went bankrupt back in the early to mid-2010’s (don’t know the exact year off the top of my head).

            They were a good brand back in the day, so buying a used one might be a good idea. But a 2003 RV, no matter who made it, is really old.

            RVs weren’t meant to last for decades. And if they’ve been sitting around (low milage), that’s even worse (like any machine, they don’t like NOT being used).

            I have zero idea if $33k is a good deal for that rig. But they way I’d look at buying a 13+ year old RV is that the money I spend on it is expendable. And I would have to be willing to put more (a lot more potentially) into it to make it livable and road worthy.

            I’d also have someone who REALLY knows RVs (and hopefully Rexhall’s in particular – no I don’t have anyone I can point you to), as well as the chassis that is used on that rig, go over it with a fine toothed comb and make sure there aren’t any ‘gotchas’.

            Would I buy a 2003 RV? Even one made by a (once) reputable RV brand? Probably not. Unless I am willing to kiss the money I spent on it goodbye, was really good at fixing RVs (and was willing to put in the time potentially), and don’t mind if things (sometimes big things) break on me more frequently than I’d like them to.

            Hope that helps!

  • Marshall, my wife and i want to purchase an rv to spend extended time in when i retire in about 6 years. Using a Nissan Titan as a tow vehicle. What are your suggestions? Thanks

    • Hi Edward,

      Six years? Wow, well, it’s good to plan ahead and do lots of research ahead of time for sure.

      But a lot can, and will, change in six years with manufacturers as well as your wants and needs.

      We would recommend you start researching now… subscribe to the RV Consumer Group, look at as many RVs as you possibly can, and get a feel for what you do and don’t like. This is what Marshall did for over a decade, and finally ended up getting his Lance 24′ TT.

      He’s been very happy with it for the most part.

      We can’t tell you what will work for you or what you will like. We simply suggest that you consider the brands we spoke about in this guide, check them out, and keep up with your research on how brands are changing, who bought out who, and decide what you want.

      In 6 years, you may have decided you want a motorhome and not a TT. Who knows!? You may decide to boondock half the time. Or campgrounds full-time. All of these factors will have to be considered in figuring out what you want.

      You have plenty of time. You’re doing the right thing by starting your research NOW which is great. Keep it up.

      Good luck and have fun with it. : )

  • Marshall,

    Thank you so much for sharing your advice. My wife and I are just beinning our journey to find our full-time living 5th wheeler, and had come across the Thor brand Redwood, namely because they use the word “Residential” in their name. But in findng your site I was reminded of the harsh realities of share-holder companies. I work for a puplically traded company, and you speak the absolute truth. Every decision is only made if it benefits the bottom line. New Horizons is now on the top of our list to begin researching thanks to you.

    • Hey Ron,

      You are very welcome!

      If I was looking for a truly residential, high quality fifth wheel designed for full-time living, I’d definitely be looking at New Horizons. Only downside to them is they are very heavy, so you need a heavy duty, medium duty, or even semi truck to haul them safely.

  • Hi Marshall. If you kindly let me know which RVs Brands are the best for Dessert experience. What I mean by that the one that are capable of moving in and out without being stuck and can handle the high temperature during the summer day. Thanks for your valuable information.

    • Hi Rami,

      No RV is going to be really well suited for high temperature living. A small space such as an RV gets heated up very quickly and will need air conditioning to be livable in summer desert heat. Running air conditioning is very power intensive so you will need to be hooked up to shore power or be running an onboard generator.

      You will get very tired of living in an RV in hot desert environments.

      As far as an RV that won’t get stuck, any RV will get stuck in the right circumstance. They are large, heavy vehicles that aren’t designed to be able to go into really extreme off-road environments.

      However, if you purchased an expedition style RV, then you’d have one that is suited for off-road environments, but these too can get stuck if you go into extreme terrain.

      We don’t mention expedition RVs as they are a very specialized category and are built by low volume manufacturers.

  • Hi Marshall:

    Long time RVer here. Perhaps due to their smaller size they may not be making the list of contenders but some other high quality manufacturers:

    Class C: Tiger Adventure Vehicle (often known as Tiger Provan) who make a really great 4×4 Class C. I only know of Earthroamer, Host and Tiger Adventure domestically in this space and I prefer Tiger of these 3.
    TT: Safari Condo (they also make Class B’s)
    TT: Armadillo Trailer

    And I quite agree with you about Leisure Travel Vans (a misnomer if there ever was one as they are not even remotely “vannish”) are stunning.

    • Hey James,

      Thanks for the great comment!

      Yeah, Tiger isn’t on the list because they are a very small manufacturer but I have no doubt are high quality units.

      Neither Safari Condo or Armadillo Trailer made the list either as they are Canadian Manufacturers that the RV Consumer Group doesn’t rate. But I’d have no issue with either of them as they appear to be high quality units.

      I did add both Armadillo and Safari to the RV manufacturers page as they weren’t on their for some reason. Tiger didn’t get added to the list as we specifically don’t include very low volume manufacturers.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  • Marshall,

    Great information. I am a junior Camp Addict and would like your opinion…..I like the Keystone Cougar Xlite 33sab, and I have been looking at other campers to compare the quality. It looks like a quality build, but I am not sure. Still looking it over. Keystone was not on your list of companies. I really want a well built unit. I am looking at other brands and like a couple of Grand Design travel trailers. How do they compare?.

    • Hey Brian,

      One brand makes the best RV brands list and another doesn’t. What more do you need to know? 😉

      I’d start with spending a few bucks and joining the RV Consumer Group so you get an unbiased opinion about RV quality and start the RV education process.

      Keystone RV is a Thor Industries brand. Thor isn’t exactly know for their quality. I’m not a huge fan of Thor, but there are those that love it.

      Grand Design is owned by Winnebago, which has a much better reputation for quality.

      Given the choice, I’d pick Grand Design over Keystone.

    • Hi Brian, I saw where you’re looking at keystone and Grand Design. We purchased a Montana a year ago and took it to Colorado for a 2 week trip. We had to take it to the dealership on july 9th and just got it out January 30th. Keystone would not let the dealership do the repair in the process they wanted to do. Instead the dealership had to work in a limited space on the slide. Plus it took forever for keystone to give permission then send parts. I’m now looking at the Grand Design Reflection after doing a lot more research. I have to agree with Marshall, we gave over 70 thousand for our Montana. The Reflection that we’re looking at MSRP about 48 thousand. Just my opinion good luck!

      • Thanks Ted. I like the floor plan of the 33SAB Cougar, but have read too many comments like yours on Keystone. Grand Design Reflection has several nice floor plans that are nice and similar to the 33SAB. We are still discussing 5th wheel vs pull behind….So this is a good time to listen and focus on a good brand first. Thanks again for the information.

  • This is a great resource. Thank you for putting this together. My husband and I are looking for a small travel trailer that has a walk around queen bed. Do you have any suggested brands to look at. Rpod has new floor plan with this. Would this be a good company?

    • Hey Mary,

      I’d suggest at looking at one of the best brands listed here. 😉

      You can join the RV Consumer Group and see what they have to say about Rpod and other brands that didn’t make the cut.

        • Hey Rick,

          I can tell you I’ve never heard of “Hartford Class C” motor homes, nor does anything come up in a Google search. So I wouldn’t know where to start regarding discussing them.

          I’ll give you the same advice as I’ve given many, many times here: join the RV Consumer Group. It’s the best money you will spend in learning about RV quality.

  • What are your thoughts on Jayco as a brand? I know they are not on your list of recommended manufacturers. I’m in the market for a TT with a bunkhouse 28′-35′ and they seem to have the best layout for my family’s needs. But I obviously want something that is going to last.

    • Jayco isn’t a horrible brand, unlike other manufacturers. They came close to making the cut, but are just a bit below what I used as a cut-off.

      They were recently purchased by Thor after being an independent so that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Be interesting to see if they can maintain some quality, or if they go the way of so many Thor brands.

      You can join the RV Consumer Group and see what they have to say about Jayco.

    • I purchased a Jayco 31 qbds travel trailer 2 years ago. It developed a leak in the rear corner and mold developed inside ruining the wallboard. It was within warranty period and Jayco refused to fix it. They said it was my fault because I didn’t find the leak before it caused damage. I said, “Well what about fixing the leak?” They said that was my problem also because sealant doesn’t have a life expectancy, and it was my job to fix leaks. I know this sounds crazy, but its true. The warranty is only as good as a manufacturer is willing to honor it.

      • Hi Rusty,

        Sorry to hear about your experience with your Jayco trailer.

        RV manufacturers definitely have certain requirements in order to have their warranty honored.

        My Lance trailer’s manual says to inspect the roof sealant every 6 months and renew it every two years. I suspect Jayco’s manual says something similar.

        If the owner doesn’t maintain their RV, then the manufacturer may be able to reject a warranty claim.

          • Hi Bill,

            Thanks for pointing that out. I meant every two years. I have updated my response.

  • Marshall,
    We are in the market for a travel trailer. Our plan is to lease a lot in a RV park close to a lake. We have a boat at the lake and need a RV to enjoy our time at the lake instead of driving back and forth. We went to our local RV Boat show this weekend. We loved the layout of the KZ 364BH. I always look at reviews and found good & bad reviews on KZ Recreational Vehicles. I don’t want to throw away our money.

    Thank you for your help!

    Theresa
    Columbus, Ohio

    • Hi Theresa,

      There is a certain amount of risk involved in buying any RV. Whether it’s from the best brand or one that is known to have issues. None of them are perfect and all you can do is try and stack the cards in your favor.

      While K-Z doesn’t make our list of best RV brands, it’s not a horrible brand. There are much worse ones out there.

      If you are only intending on keep your RV parked in one spot and never move it, then you might be able to get away with not buying the best brand out there.

      Your RV won’t be subject to the harsh conditions road life subjects RVs to which will help keep it from falling apart quickly.

      Have you considered looking at a used RV from on of the top brands? I know it’s often hard to find exactly what you are looking at on the used market, but if you were able to find a floor plan/model that would work, you don’t suffer the initial financial hit of buying new and may come away with a higher overall quality unit.

      Best of luck on your RV purchase journey!

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for your comment/question.

      While we don’t offer travel buddy services, we do have a few tips about finding people on the road. We found our people through Escapee’s group called Xscapers. It’s a group made for the working-age, very active RVer. Escapees also has other groups, ALL kinds, called BOF, short for Birds Of A Feather.

      There is also the RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous) group. They are a diverse group with many car dwellers and thrifty types. Bob Wells started that group and they are the biggest group out there I am aware of.

      A Google search for “RV social groups” will give you a day’s worth of research. Good luck out there! There are a TON of RVers on the road, many full-time. You’ll find your people!

  • Hi Marshall and Kelly,

    I read your list with interest as I’m planning on buying a TT this summer. I had 3 rv’s in the past, so, I’m not a complete newby. After paring a list of 20 units of interest to 3, I find only one brand on your list — Grand Design. The floor plan I’m considering is the XLS 17MKE.

    I was wondering if the XLS floor plans are acceptable in your view. I know they are not the top-of-the-line Grand Design, but I’m hoping the same care goes in the XLS floor plans that are apparent in their other floor plans.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    John

    • Hey John,

      I normally don’t comment on individual floor plans since it’s such a personal choice, but I am suffering from a head cold right now and apparently felt compelled to look at the XLS 17MKE floor plan instead of doing actual work. It’s your lucky day! 😉

      Interesting floor plan. Actually kinda like it at first glance. I haven’t seen this one in person, which is definitely necessary to know for sure, but on paper it seems doable. I’m a fan of Murphy beds because of the space savings. And this rig is definitely the right length (I’m not a fan of large RVs, but that’s just my personal preference).

      The only thing I’d be curious about is if the Murphy bed is usable with the slide closed. In other words, can you actually sleep in this rig without extending the slide? As in if you are traveling and staying in a rest area, Walmart parking lot, or another place where it isn’t cool to extend your slides.

      This would be a deal breaker for me right off the bat. Otherwise it has a lot to like (at least upon first glance).

      • Thanks for your response Marshall,

        I saw one video where they said “yes” to that question. However, they didn’t demonstrate, and now, I can’t find it.

        The main question I had with the unit is CCC. We have a nation wide dealer based in Michigan that has one unit listed. It has a listed 5,100 lbs. UVW and a 5,795 GVW. When one subtracts 43 gal. fresh water, it only leaves 343 lbs. CCC. Doesn’t seem like a lot of leeway.

        Great site, keep up the good work.

        John

        • Hey John,

          Yeah, if that is the true CCC then walk away. No, run away! But the UVW and GVW don’t match what the Grand Design website say. UVW is going to be unit specific, but the GVW is model specific, so should be the same as what is on the manufacturer’s website.

          I assume you are getting this information from the individual unit’s listing on the dealer’s website? I’d take that with a grain of salt. If the pictures of the specific unit don’t include the actual unit’s weight sticker (the yellow one) then contact the dealer and have them email it to you. If they want to sell the unit, they’ll walk out, take a pic, and email it to you.

          That’s the only way you will know the actual CCC of a specific unit.

          Good luck!

    • Hi Nicki,

      Cougar is a Keystone product. Keystone didn’t make the list. Keystone is owned by Thor Industries. Thor owns around 50% US RV market share. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Often times, it’s quite the opposite. I’m not a Thor fan. I wouldn’t buy a Thor product. But that’s just my opinion.

      As we mention in this article, the best place to start learning which brands to look at (other than this very page) is to buy the RV Consumer Group literature.

      Spend a very reasonable amount of money now and have a fighting chance at buying a good RV brand.

  • We purchased a Grand Design Imagine in 2017. We have had nothing but problems. Leaking, skin delamination , door cracking and molding inside falling off. Had a Thor for 9 years we purchased for 1/3 the cost new and never had any problems. We loved the layout of the Imagine but the camper is not worth the money.

    • Hi Debbie,

      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with Grand Design. Glad to hear that Thor was good to you. I’ve known several people who’ve had the exact opposite experience.

      As I’ve mentioned in an earlier comment (at least one time), when it comes to RVs you have to go in with your eyes open knowing that even if you do chose an RV from a top brand, these machines are still hand built by humans which means quality control can vary from rig to rig or you might be the ‘lucky’ one to purchase a rig built on a Tuesday after a long holiday weekend where everyone spent too much time at the beach. If you want to eliminate the chance of buying a lemon, I wouldn’t look at RVs. Things happen when you have humans involved so heavily in the construction of something.

      Bottom line is that buying an RV, even from a top brand, is a crap shoot of sorts. If you want to be guaranteed of having zero problems, then I wouldn’t purchase an RV.

  • The 28-5c Artic Fox Fifth Wheel is our next purchase. The manageable size for most parks, the quality, the all-weather materials and the new floor plan and the fact you can’t find used ones for sale are what is drawing us to the product. Only drawback for me is the decor, but something I am more happy to trade for quality.

    • Hey Paula,

      That’s a terrific choice for an RV! I’d definitely give that model a look if I were in the market for a fifth wheel. Just remember they are heavy so you’re going to need an appropriately sized tow vehicle (heavy duty truck).

      Yeah, it’s a shame that most RV interiors are so, well, so damn boring. At least they no longer remind you of grandma’s house anymore. For the most part. But they are less than inspiring.

      Kelly is always walking into rigs and making some comment about how horrendous the interiors are. You’d think that the RV industry would put a little style into their rigs. As in hire someone with a sense of interior design. But, hey, why go to the extra expense when you are selling as many rigs as you can make?

      Enjoy your Arctic Fox fiver!

  • I was sad (and surprised) to see many of the most popular brands didn’t make the list (like Dutchman or Forest River). You mentioned Grand Design. What about Winnebago as a whole? Thanks!

    • Hey Clint,

      Don’t be sad! Be glad you found this list. 😉

      Just because a brand is “popular” doesn’t mean that it is quality. It means that it shows well at the dealership. Has floor plans that people like. And all the “ingredients” of attracting customers who don’t know any better. (Or are offered at such a low price that people buy because why not?)

      As I’m sure you saw above, Winnebago places in the motorhome categories. Overall they are a good brand and you could do (much) worse by going with other brands that aren’t mentioned here.

      Best of luck with your search for the “perfect” RV!

  • Thank you so much for these lists. After all the research I’ve done the past 3 yrs, I thought the Phoenix Cruiser was the one I liked the best & I noticed that one cannot find used ones very often. That tells me people don’t get rid of them. I hope I can get a used one, when I’m ready to get on the road. I need something reliable since I’m an elderly woman with her dog wanting to go full time.

    • Hi Jackie,

      Yes, it seems like the truly good brands are really hard to come by on the used market. I found that to be the case with Coach House also. They are out there, but few and far between for any floor plans I’d be interested in. And usually on the other side of the country from where I am.

      I like that you are looking for a quality unit that will treat you well as you go full time. That’s a VERY smart way to go!

  • Hello.
    Thanks for all your efforts, feels like jumping into the deep end.
    Does Vintage play a part of evaluation?
    2008 Fleetwood Expedition 38 N.
    Cummings 330 HP, 41,000 miles. $60,000.
    Any thoughts from anyone appreciated.
    Please delete of this request is inappropriate, I am very new to the process of discovery. People here seem sane and savey.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Nona,

      Yeah, it sure does feel like jumping into the deep end, doesn’t it? At least you are learning about this stuff before you leap. That’s a big step ahead of most!

      Definitely not an inappropriate question, but we aren’t in the position to comment on specific purchases.

      I can tell you that yes, the vintage of a rig does make a difference. RVs aren’t necessarily meant to last for decades so the older a rig, the more potential problems you have. This is the case even with the best RV brands. Though, if I were to buy an older rig, I’d definitely want to buy one that was a quality unit when it was new. Junk units aren’t going to age gracefully.

      So how do you know what brands to start looking at when it comes to used RVs? I’d visit the RV Consumer Group’s website and buy one of their guides covering the years of rigs I was interested in purchasing. See what makes/models were good when they were new and start looking at those as potential used units.

      Then it’s a roll of the die from that point. With an older rig, even one that started life as a ‘good’ unit, it will depend on how well it was maintained, how hard it was used, etc as far as how good of a used rig it will be. And you cannot really tell some of this stuff. Abuse should be obvious if you know what you are looking at, but how well it was serviced may not be so apparent.

      Always get a potential RV inspected by a trustworthy RV inspector. No, we don’t have anything written about that so you are on your own there. Just something to consider.

      Best of luck with your RV hunt. Welcome to the deep end.

      • Also remember the RV Park 10 year rule. Even a clean 10 year old plus rig could be turned away at certain “resort” type locations. Of course who wants to stay at a place like that anyhow?

  • Thank you! Currently I work retail at a Camping World. There is so much to know. My next RV will be the4th. Any you would really suggest in class C for full time?
    Thanks again.

    • Hey Maureen,

      Sounds like you’ve got some experience in owning RVs, so you should have a pretty good idea what rig will work best for you living in it full-time. It’s such a personal preference as far as floor plan and size, that I cannot recommend any particular one unit.

      As far as brands, I’d start looking at units made by the Class C manufacturers we list above. Lazy Daze would be my top pick, but they can be a bit, well, boring. If you care about that sort of thing, you might want to look at one of the other manufacturers.

      Best of luck finding the ‘perfect’ rig for you to go full-time with!

    • Hey Kerry,

      The Forest River brand didn’t make the list. I personally wouldn’t purchase one.

      As we mention in this article, the best place to start learning which brands to look at (other than this very page) is to buy the RV Consumer Group literature.

      Spend a very reasonable amount of money now and have a fighting chance at buying a good RV brand.

    • Hi Tom,

      Correct! Good to see you read the entire page. 😉

      I’m not an expert on truck campers, but I’d look at some of the brands that are highly rated that also make other types of RVs.

      The RV Consumer Group doesn’t rate truck campers with the same regularity as they do the other RV types, so that complicates matters. But if I were serious about truck campers, I’d start by purchasing their Truck Camper Rating Guide and then start looking at brands I was interested in using the information they provide.

      Best of luck and Camp On!

    • Hi Catherine,

      Tiffin is a good brand, but not all their models make the cut. The Wayfarer is made in a separate factory from their other motorhomes and it comes in just under the cut-off for reliability.

      Overall, Tiffin is a good brand and you could certainly do worse!

  • Mr. Wendler
    It’s safe to say that I’m going to start following your writing. I have been RVing since 1994. Starting with a 29’ Sportsman trailer. Cheap low priced no slide out version. We have had two Bigfoots and now we have a Tiffin Alegro Bus. And I have battled with all of them.
    You speak the truth.

    • Thank you for your kind words, David!

      Both Kelly and I see zero reason to mislead or speak anything other than what we feel is the honest truth.

      RVs in general are definitely a hit-or-miss affair. Even with the ‘best’ brands. But most of the time they are worth it!

    • Hi Eliezer,

      Roadtrek has a history of being a top-notch brand. However, in 2016 they were acquired by Hymer who ended up doing some very shady financial stuff with the brand which resulted in its downfall. Ultimately the Rapido Group picked up Roadtrek this year and is restarting production.

      Because Roadtrek is just restarting production, the quality of new units is an unknown. Therefore didn’t make the cut. But older units (and you don’t have to go that far back) are worth looking at.

      Check out the RV Consumer Group to see what years they recommend.