Nailing down the best RV brands is a bit of a subjective task. One RVer may appreciate an affordable model that’s easy to maintain, while another RV buyer may prefer a luxury coach that's big on style. Because no RV is perfect, you’ll also encounter issues with whichever brand you choose.
That said, we’ve found RV companies that we consider highly reputable and reliable based on our extensive reach of the industry. In this article, we’ll introduce the five best RV brands, which collectively cover a broad range of products and price points.
In this article:
- 5 Best RV Brands In 2021
- 1. Grand Design RV
- 2. Airstream
- 3. Oliver Fiberglass Products
- 4. Newmar
- 5. Winnebago
- What To Consider When Shopping For An RV
- Be Prepared For These Common RV Problems
- Shop Around To Find The Best RV For You
- FAQ: Best RV Brands
5 Best RV Brands In 2021
Below are the five best RV brands in 2021. While there are dozens of RV brands on the market, these five have reputations for consistent customer satisfaction and quality products.
|Brand||RVInsider Average Rating||MSRP Range for New RVs||RV Types Made|
|Grand Design RV||3.8/5.0||$30,000 to $160,000+||Travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers|
|Airstream||4.4/5.0||$41,000 to $260,000+||Travel trailers, Class B and B+|
|Oliver Fiberglass Products||5.0/5.0||$57,000 to $65,000+||Travel trailers|
|Newmar||4.2/5.0||$150,000 to $1.39 million||Class A and Super C motorhomes|
|Winnebago||4.1/5.0||$30,000 to $414,000+||Travel trailers, fifth wheels, Class A, B, and C motorhomes|
1. Grand Design RV
What sets it apart: 300+ point pre-delivery inspection and reputation for after-sales service
We rate Grand Design RV as the best RV brand overall for its reliable construction, variety of price points, and after-sales service.
Grand Design manufacturers travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers in Middlebury, Indiana. Its Reflection and Imagine line of trailers and fifth wheels is very popular among long-time RVers and can be good options for first-time owners as well. The company makes lightweight versions of its flagship lines that can be towed by a variety of SUVs and trucks.
Grand Design is known for its reliable build quality. This is in part because it employs a 300-point inspection process performed by a separate team after the standard factory inspections.
Grand Design also offers online support with knowledge bases and forums for owners to learn about their RVs and troubleshoot issues on the road. The company has hundreds of reviews on RVInsider.com, where it has 3.8 out of 5.0 stars.
|Grand Design Pros||Grand Design Cons|
|Good after-sales service and online community||Not as affordable as some competitors|
|300+ point pre-delivery inspection||No motorhomes in lineup|
|Above-average reviews on RVInsider.com|
|A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)|
What sets it apart: Iconic design and high-quality construction
Airstream is a household name in the RV world and one of the best RV brands out there. The company is known for its bullet-shaped shiny aluminum travel trailers that come in a range of sizes. While its trailers can be a bit pricier than other options, they are often better built.
Airstream customers on RVInsider give the company a 4.4-star rating out of 5.0. According to reviewers on the site, the most popular models are the Interstate Class B line and the Flying Cloud and Classic trailers. For entry-level shoppers, Airstream’s 2022 lineup includes the Basecamp trailer starting at $41,100.
|Airstream Pros||Airstream Cons|
|Iconic midcentury design||Models can get expensive|
|Quality construction||Exterior requires more care and is expensive to repair|
|4.4 stars on RVInsider|
|Few issues compared to other brands|
3. Oliver Fiberglass Products
What sets it apart: Specialty fiberglass RVs sold directly from the company
Oliver Fiberglass Products is based in Hohenwald, Tennessee. The company made the Oliver RV in 2007 and 2008 and has kept it in production since 2014.
What makes Oliver one of the best RV brands is its fiberglass construction technique. With its curved and aerodynamic exterior, the Oliver RV looks more like an Airstream than a traditional fiberglass RV, which is shaped like a box.
Today, you can get two travel trailers from the company: the Oliver Legacy Elite and the Oliver Legacy Elite II. Both have curved walls made of four layers of fiberglass, which have good durability and low weight. The Legacy Elite II is longer and wider than the standard version.
Oliver doesn’t sell RVs through dealerships. Instead, you can schedule a visit with an Oliver RV owner to get a feel for the product. Owners are not paid salespeople, so you can get an unbiased opinion on the brand.
|Oliver Pros||Oliver Cons|
|Fiberglass construction||Scheduling an RV visit can take longer than visiting a dealer|
|High-quality product||Expensive for some shoppers|
|Lightweight travel trailers that are easy to tow||Trailers only sleep up to three people|
|Reputation for longevity|
What sets it apart: Luxury living spaces with high-end appointments
Newmar offers premium and luxury Class A and Super C motorhomes. The company has a solid reputation on RVInsider, with an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.0. If you want all the comforts of home and then some, Newmar is the best RV brand to check out.
Newmar’s 2022 entry-level line is the Bay Star Sport, a Class A motorcoach starting at $150,402. At this level, you get a well-designed interior with accents such as a kitchen backsplash and glass shower door.
For ultimate luxury, the Newmar King Aire model is the way to go. It’s the most affordable luxury model from the company, starting at $479,747. This model’s features include:
- Independent front suspension
- Bay window
- Tiled shower
- Smart appliances
- Super-polished countertops
- Tiled floor with slide-outs
|Newmar Pros||Newmar Cons|
|High-end Class A RVs||Not for an entry-level or mid-tier budget|
|Reliable build quality||Fewer approved service centers nationwide than other brands|
|Masterpiece™ paint finish technique for high gloss and durability|
|4.2-star rating on RVInsider|
What sets it apart: Long-standing industry leader with a range of products
Founded in 1958, Winnebago is another household name in the world of RV manufacturers. Winnebago Industries offers most of the main types of RVs, including:
- Class A motorhomes
- Class B motorhomes (camper vans)
- Class C motorhomes
- Travel trailers
- Fifth wheels
Winnebago also offers accessibility-enhanced models of one Class B RV and two Class A RVs. This makes the RV lifestyle available to more people, whether they want to explore full-time or enjoy vacation-style RVing.
You can find a variety of price points and layouts with Winnebago. The Minnie, Micro Minnie, and Hike are all popular lightweight travel trailers that many vehicles can pull. The Class C View is one of the most popular Winnebago models. It’s built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and has a number of luxury features.
|Winnebago Pros||Winnebago Cons|
|Reputation for solid construction|| |
Can be more expensive than similar models
from Forest River or Jayco
|Wide variety of models and price points||Warranty work can take a long time to complete|
|4.1-star rating on RVInsider|
What To Consider When Shopping For An RV
Here are a few things to consider when shopping for the best RV brand for your situation.
RV Build Quality
Research the RV company’s manufacturing and inspection processes. Does it have a separate pre-delivery inspection process, or do the same workers do installation sign-off on the inspection?
You’ll run into issues with any RV you buy, but some have better reputations for build quality than others. Build quality is also more nuanced than laminated construction over stick and tin or Azdel over lauan sidewalls. Many manufacturers in the Elkhart, Indiana, area give tours of their factories, which is a great way to gain more insight into construction.
After-Sales Service Reputation
Consider whether the RV manufacturer provides good service after the sale. Is the service department easy to reach? Does it work with dealers to provide quick service? Online knowledge bases and forums can also go a long way toward helping you diagnose and solve issues on your own.
Look at RV reviews on websites such as RVInsider.com to find out the general consensus on particular brands and models. You’ll see that people have issues with almost all models, but some RVs have better average scores than others for a reason.
Most RV warranties last one year, and some are transferable to secondary owners during that time.
Grand Design, for example, offers a one-year warranty against factory defects on the entire RV, plus a three-year warranty on structural components. Forest River, however, only offers a one-year warranty that doesn’t transfer.
If you’re buying a lightly used RV that is less than a year old, see whether the manufacturer allows warranty transfers.
Having a relationship with your home dealer is important. An RV company may say you can go to any dealer in its network for service, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get quick or reliable service. Your home dealer has an interest in maintaining a relationship with you, so it’s best to stick with that one for repairs whenever possible.
This means you should look around for a dealership while shopping for the RV. Find out how dealers treat their customers before and after a sale. Would you get the service you needed if you had an issue with your RV?
Of course, nothing substitutes for comparing RV floor plans in person. Spec sheets can only tell you so much. Take time to sit inside the RV and imagine being with all your family members and friends who might come along. Some RVs feel more liveable on the inside than others, and that’s a personal thing.
You should be able to test drive a motorhome if you present yourself as a serious buyer. You probably won’t be able to hitch up a travel trailer to “test tow” though, so make sure you’re shopping well within your vehicle’s tow capacity. You can also rent a fifth wheel or camper for a few days to get a feel for how it tows with your vehicle.
Be Prepared For These Common RV Problems
No matter the RV brand, there's a good chance you’ll deal with some issues even during the first few years of ownership. The unfortunate truth is that trailers and motorhomes aren’t built to the same standards as automobiles.
We recommend improving your skills in electrical and mechanical maintenance if you’re looking to buy your first RV. Dealership repairs can take weeks or months, so it’s good to know how to fix as many problems as possible on your own. Below are several issues that RV owners have reported across brands:
- Broken valves in the plumbing system
- Electrical issues such as incorrectly installed wiring and certain outlets having no power
- Interior trim coming loose over time
- Exterior sealant on roof and around windows coming loose
- Slide-outs not opening fully or getting stuck
- Awning issues
- Malfunctioning water heater
- Interior panel finishing coming up
- Screws coming loose inside and out
An RV is basically a lightweight house on wheels, so regular maintenance is important.
Shop Around To Find The Best RV For You
The key to successfully buying an RV is comparing as many quality RVs from as many brands as possible. Shop around by visiting dealers and attending RV shows. This will help you find the best product for your RV lifestyle.