The best Class C motorhomes offer a comfortable, reliable, durable RVing experience at a reasonable price. However, even among reputable RV brands, there are always things to look out for. Here are a few aspects of a camper van you should always consider.
If there is one complaint consistent across RV brands, it’s that things don’t always hold up on the road. While minor issues are to be expected, such as fixtures coming loose or moving out of place, some manufacturers have better reputations than others.
Build quality is more than just materials – it’s also about manufacturing. Different factories in the RV manufacturing hub of Elkhart, Indiana, may employ different standards. However, many of them offer tours of their facilities. Given that most of the best Class C RVs cost close to $100,000 or more, it may be worth your time to see each manufacturer’s attention to detail and quality for yourself.
One thing to keep an eye on is whether the RV company uses separate teams for installations and pre-delivery inspection. When companies use the same team of workers to do installations and inspections, it increases the likelihood that something could be missed.
With models built on different chassis, some manufacturers are reluctant to publish a towing capacity estimate. You can get a rough estimate by subtracting the published gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) from the gross combined weight rating (GCWR). However, it’s also a good idea to ask the dealership directly for the estimated towing capacity and be sure not to exceed it.
Warranties can demonstrate a manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Unfortunately, most camper warranties only last a year.
Another point of concern is whether or not the warranty transfers. Some do, but others – like the Forest River RV warranty – don’t. This is especially important if you’re buying a second-hand RV, as you’ll want to know whether or not repairs will be covered.
Class C RV Reviews
When you search for information about the best Class C RVs online, you’ll encounter a lot of marketing copy that tells you what you want to hear. While you can learn the specifications and features of your RV this way, it’s not a good way to learn the truth about how an RV performs under real-world conditions.
For that, you can turn to customer reviews. But remember that a handful of bad reviews may not paint the whole picture. However, if you notice patterns and repeated complaints about the same issue in reviews, it likely indicates a consistent problem. Paid reviews are also common across almost every industry, so use the same caution with positive reviews.
Enthusiast sites like RVInsider.com are a great place to look for customer reviews.
RV companies might claim that dealerships are basically interchangeable when it comes to finding service for your vehicle, but not all dealerships offer the same level of service. Issues that need fixing are a reality of owning an RV, so knowing that you can trust your RV dealer is important.
A few things to consider when evaluating a dealership:
- How efficient is their service department?
- Do they maintain a relationship with customers after the sale?
- How do their service prices compare to other dealerships in your area?
- What is their reputation online?
You’ll want to do research on the manufacturer before making a purchase. Some manufacturers have a sterling reputation for things like build quality and customer service. Others fall short.
Sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are great places to learn about a company’s reputation among both industry professionals and customers.
No amount of video tours, 3D renderings, or photos can tell you what it feels like to spend time inside an RV. Learning first-hand about considerations like how sturdy the hinges on the cabinets are, or how comfortable the furniture is, makes this experience worth the investment.
A reputable dealership should let you test drive an RV as long as you make it clear you’re serious about buying one. If you’re unsure of how well you’d do spending time inside an RV, it’s worth renting one for an extended period of time to see how you enjoy it.