RV expert believes industry needs major repairs

ELKART — Chuck Woodbury, editor and publisher of the RVTravel.com is a full-time RVer and an industry advocate. But Woodbury says RV buyers must beware.

“There’s no international organization anymore that looks out for the interest of RVers,” says Woodury. “There’s nobody back in Washington, D.C., or in state legislatures lobbying for lemon laws for RVers. The only lobbying that’s going on is against lemon laws. The dealers and the manufacturers do not want lemon laws. It means they have to build better RVs pr take them back and they don’t want to do that.”

Read the full story from The Weekly Driver.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is a Wisconsin native currently living in Illinois with her husband, Eric, and two dogs, Maggie and Grace. She enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and, of course, camping in cabins and park models.

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  • William Watterson says:

    The problem with the rv industry is that all rv manufactures are basically owned by a very few high profile big money companies. I thought Grand Design might really do something till I learned who started and runs them. Then I heard Winnebago now controls them. It amazing how many Berkshire Hathaway controls. More smaller ones will be bought out by the bigger ones. And nobody wants to mess with the rice bowl of these heavyweights. This is why 15 different rv’s have the same floor plan and use the same furnishings. It is really sad to see this when shopping around for one.

  • Tom Boles says:

    Guys, check the source material-It’s ‘Expert” singular, not “Experts” plural.

    Chuck is the lone voice ID’d in the article…

  • Captn John says:

    I think there is going to be a lot of unhappy campers. Expensive units that do not work as intended and/or no place to take it.

  • Robert McBride says:

    Problems with RV’s are well known but I believe if a government backed agency such as the NH TSA got involved you would see a shakeup akin to Ralph Nader & the Corvair. Which would lead to stringent safety measures, raise prices & probably lead to restrictions on Hwy travel for certain types of RV’s (I’m thinking towables) & also licensing requirements for class A’s like a CDL.IDK but maybe a good thing.

  • Barbara hagen says:

    Please address the RV Park shortage. No one wants to hear that the more units that are sold the fewer places to park. Dealers should start building parks for their customers and for travelers since they are the ones filling up the parks.

  • Ronald L. Burdge says:

    Woodbury is not alone. Other independent experts I deal with have concluded likewise. Does anyone think overall quality in the Rv industry has gone up since the crash of 2007-09? There is no one pushing to pass an Rv lemon law, not generally and not with with specific standards. Not on the federal level, not in any state. Meanwhile the industry is still pushing against it. I was watching in the 1980s and have been ever since. Still, not too long ago the national attorneys general association was pushing Rv lemon law standards, but they gave up as conservative do-nothing politics took over one state House after another during the next two decades.. Meanwhile the crash of 2007–09, caused the industry to look for places to cut corners and still make a profit. Quality was the obvious first target. Quickly, it was business as usual all along after that for the Rv industry. And defects as usual for buyers. The industry touted long and hard the shakedown cruise idea, which allowed it to deliver new Rv’s laden with latent defects for the buyer to discover on their first trip out. Poor quality meant corporate savings, bigger profits, and putting off to tomorrow the warranty repair costs of today. The Rv loving or entranced public put up with bad quality out of a forgiving true love for the lifestyle, and the industry pushed poor quality to the max, trading long term quality for short term profit, time and again. And cutting corners in construction bled into other areas of the industry, in the lustful continuing pursuit of profits. Warranty claim reviews got really tight, not that the industry as a whole was ever loose with ready approval of dealer claims processing. And customer calls for help started getting the same poor quality handling that the rv’s got in the build process. So where does poor quality and sloppy claims processing lead? Ask Gulf Stream after a South Bend Jury verdict last year that exceeded the cost of one of their defective rv’s – they ended up paying multiples of 6 figures to settle a $125,000 Rv case after the jury let them know what they thought of poor quality and the customer runaround. Ask Forest River after a Hamilton Ohio jury returned its $250,000 verdict Friday night to an 80 year old widow who bought a lemon $43,000 Rv. There are lots of decent, honest and hard working people at the Rv factories in Indiana, trying to do their job right in the face of an industry that seems to have decided that getting the money in their corporate pocket, and keeping it there, trumps all else. The industry seems to have forgotten that you can fool some of the buyers all of the time and all of them some of the time, but you can’t fool all of them all of the time. Has every Rv company collectively decided to just make a buck and quality be damned? That’s what it looks like from my law office where since 1985 I have represented consumers who get stuck with a bad Rv and I have more cases than ever. Please, RVIA, build them right. When the manufacturers start building them right, I’ll go back to writing wills. Until then, I’m just too busy.

  • Roger says:

    If the RV industry would put the RV owners first, everyone will benefit.

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