Hail No

I was searching the RV forums and found one talking about a trailer that was hit by softball size hail. The question led to a discussion on the quality and craftsmanship of RV’s. The following comment gives some good advise that I felt was worth repeating.

“Looks to me like you have all the information to buy a unit that will satisfy your quality concerns.  Nothing like maintaining a vehicle for a period of time to point out poor design, or poor quality.  Looking at a new rig at the dealer (I always suggest a show where side-by-side comparisons are easier) and really inspecting it can give you the information on quality.

A few things I’ve learned to look at – Does the wiring look neat and organized, or are their bundles of wiring behind the sink or converter, wiring pulled across underside that should have been secured?  Are wood braces cracked by screws or staples?  Is there excessive caulk covering poor fitting trim.  Are their screw-heads dog-eared out from poor workmanship?  If you stand back and look at the rig, are lights, trim, windows in line and mounted straight?  Are the axles sized with enough extra capacity or are they the minimum for the weight of the trailer?  Are the axles provided with shock absorbers?

I’m a professional QA/QC person, and travel the country (and a few places outside the US) to buy transit vehicles, commuter rail cars, locomotives, and subway cars.  My experience is that if it “doesn’t look right” it most likely isn’t.  Finally, it is possible to make and sell a perfect RV.  Problem is no one can afford it.  Quality is what we, as consumers are willing to accept.  You may want a Lexus, I may think a Ford is fine, both of us will be happy if our expectations of quality are met, neither if the vehicle is a lemon.

No travel trailer is made to withstand softball sized hail. Your best plan for that is store it under cover, and make sure you have insurance coverage.  How often does hail like that appear anyway? I’ve never seen or heard of it in the West.

There is wisdom in knowing what you are buying and a quick look for quality control will give you a pretty good idea of what you are getting into.


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