An RV is not only a car, or a way of traveling. It’s so much more. An RV is a home on wheels. There are many challenges in living in an RV, from the constant moving to the small space. But that’s exactly what makes RVing such an exciting experience.
Figuring out what is the best RV brand for you also depends on your personal needs. Maybe you don’t want to give up your home and move in an RV. You must be aware that an RV is a serious investment and is not something you can easily replace if you get bored of it.
That’s why choosing the best RV brand is essential for you if you plan to live or travel in an RV. It’s also one of the hardest decision that you have to take when purchasing your RV. The majority of people that have owned only a brick and mortar home don’t know what to expect from an RV or what requirement they should have so they do research and trust authority blogs (like we strive to be for you).
We noticed that one of the most frequent questions that we get from our readers is:
“What is the best RV brand and why do you think so?”
Due to the importance of this question, we decided to offer you a variety of opinions from experienced RV bloggers. Check out their answers in the post below.
Alan Sills – RV Across AmericaWith over 7 years experience living in motorhomes and trailers, I've come to realize that quality comes down to two things: design and engineeringClick To Tweet
If these two are not “there”, then what follows (features, bells, and whistles, etc.) does not matter.
Let’s talk about Outdoors RV and the engineering of their trailers. Starting with the use of a steel plate above the tires thus protecting the interior of your trailer in the event of a blowout. Outdoors RV uses American made Goodyear tires – far more reliable!
The chassis is custom to the floor plan, cambered for off-road durability, combined with oversize axles, and shock absorbers to protect the trailer as it travels on even the roughest terrain. The custom chassis also pulls better and allows for the use of an 80-gallon freshwater tank in most of their fleet.
Good insulation is important in both cold AND very warm weather. Outdoors RV uses solid block foam insulation covered by luan plywood making a total thickness of 2″ in all walls including the walls and ceiling of the slideouts!
The ceiling has an arched roof and a raised heel truss allowing for 3 layers of insulation that do not “pinch” at the edges of the roof. Triple layers of insulation under the floor are not “pulled tight” along with thermopane windows, a fully sealed underbelly with forced air, tank heat pads and double layers in all skylights complete the picture for an incredibly well-insulated trailer.
I could go on a talk about the use of fiberglass in the underside of the slide and its importance, the construction of the front cap, extensive use of diamond plate and more, but suffice to say, these are the best trailers being built today.
Kate Mullen – The Road To Adventure
The RV industry is in a huge growth mode but is viewed by some as being stuck in the past with outdated marketing methods, designs, and interiors. I’ve been a Winnebago owner for almost two years now and have watched this brand start to transform reaching out to new generations of RVers while maintaining it’s rich legacy.
The Winnebago community has traditionally been strong with events like the Grand National Rally hosted at its headquarters in Iowa where thousands of Winnebago owners congregate enjoying social events, parades, and seminars. They have added new events to reach RVers that are interested in the outdoors like the Sea Otter, a bicycling event in California, and exhibiting at the Outdoor Retailer show.
I have attended the Grand National Rally twice and also went to the Sea Otter event, and a caravan to several stops around Lake Superior. My Winnebago Travato is a class B RV, which is the van style, so it’s geared to the RVer that moves around a lot both in travel and lifestyle. I had a class A previously, by another brand, and did not feel as connected to the brand or community. With Winnebago and the Travato owners Facebook group it was instant.
As a solo traveler, this is a nice benefit; I often meet up with fellow owners on the road and attend several events throughout the year keeping me as busy as I want to be social. At this year’s Grand National Rally Winnebago had several voices of the customer events to see the unique uses and modifications their customers have made after purchase and solicit input on new desired features and interior styles. Winnebago is responsive to customer feedback incorporating changes in new models.
They are also evolving their marketing methods. Winnebago just launched three new RV models broadcasting the events on Facebook live and leveraging social media in new ways for the RV industry to reach the Millennial market. Lastly, my experience with service and support has been positive with no major items to date.Winnebago is a brand and company that is passionate about their product and customers.Click To Tweet
Dawn Gondeck – Random Bits of Trial and Error
There are as many answers to this question as there are RVers and their personal preferences, needs, and budget—it’s like the Ford versus Chevy debate.
We have owned two Keystone products (Outback travel trailer and Fuzion toy hauler), and a Heartland Road Warrior fifth wheel toy hauler. The workmanship on each of those units was low quality (helpful hint: avoid anything put together with staples) and there were mechanical and cosmetic problems with every one of them requiring time in the shop.
When we started full-time RVing, we wanted a class A and chose a 40’ Thor Tuscany diesel pusher with the floor plan to fit our needs for both working and living. So far, the Tuscany has needed the least repairs and was built using better quality materials. While this works for us, there are definitely units out there with a better-built product—a Marathon coach built on a Prevost chassis–but that’s way, way, way outside our budget.The Tuscany serves our needs and makes a perfect home for us, and making it home is what it’s all about.Click To Tweet
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Making Sense of Cents
The best RV brand is Tiffin Motorhomes.I have a 2016 Tiffin Allegro Bus 37AP and the quality just cannot be beaten.Click To Tweet
We’ve had other brand motorhomes in the past and the quality is just not up to par, and either was the service. The quality is amazing, and the value you get for your motorhome is high. You could pay a similar amount for a motorhome from another company but not receive the same quality as you do with a Tiffin.
Tiffin has a great warranty program, and in fact, it is probably the best in the industry. Their service and warranty is one of the reasons for why we bought a Tiffin, because you can bring your RV right to them and they have experts to fix any problem that you may have. Plus, you can watch their technicians work on your RV and see exactly what they do, so if you later need to fix it yourself then you can easily do so.
Tiffin also has great customer service, which you can see from the very beginning with their family run business. The employees all seem to care about the product they are producing and selling too.
Steve Johnson – Road Pickle
My wife and I full time in a 28 foot ATC Toy Hauler, made by Aluminum Trailer Company, and it’s the best livable toy hauler we’ve found after carefully examining dozens of other brands.
This is for three reasons.
1. It has the largest cargo capacity ranging between 5,000 to 6,000 pounds because they use larger axles than the competition, and because the entire trailer is made out of aluminum instead of steel and wood.
2. Its all-aluminum construction means it won’t suffer from water damage. You could full time in the wettest areas of the planet, and not have to worry about wood rot or metal rust.
3.ATC offers the best customer support of any brand and has the most loyal owners.Click To TweetTheir factory produced a special doorstep for my wife so that she could more easily step in and out of the trailer, and they also produced custom-made work desks so that we could run our marketing business from inside the RV.
We considered travel trailers, Class-As and Class-Cs, but we wanted a toy hauler to carry our two motorcycles so that we could really get out and see the country while set up at a camp spot. ATC stocks these toy haulers with 100-gallon fresh water tanks, 32 gallon generator tanks, and tons of storage space for long-term boondocking.
Lisa Brown – Always On Liberty
When we were shopping for our RV four years ago, we had no idea of all the brands, models, floor plans, etc. that were out there. And if you didn’t think that was enough to confuse us, adding in the RV Super Show in Tampa, Florida flustered us even more. Then we started following some RV groups on Facebook and some manufacturer’s online forums to learn not only about the RV’s themselves but also the manufacturers, their warranties and customer service.
Our search led us to our current RV Manufacturer “Heartland RVs” homeported in Elkhart, Indiana. It wasn’t too long after researching their units that we ordered our “former” Cyclone 4100 5th wheel toy hauler. We were pleased with the construction, durability, and attraction but there’s more to that.
Our first test we endured to prove reasoning of why we chose a Heartland RV and further, the Cyclone, happened less than a year after taking delivery. We had a few warranty issues that needed dyer attention. With us doing everything according to Heartland’s warranty protocol, this manufacturer stepped up making every one of them right.
After full-timing in it for over a year, we decided that the toy hauler was no longer fitting our needs so it was back to the drawing board of finding something suitable for full-time living and our requirements. It didn’t take long for us to be drawn back to Heartland brand to look at the Landmark 365 fifth wheels. The Landmarks are one of the three Heartland brands that are warrantied for ‘full-time living’. Their craftsmanship surpassed everything else we looked at in our price range. The storage in these units has been plentiful and spacious. Even today, I have empty cabinets in the living area. The full-body paint turns every head every time we pull into a campground or RV park.
This past summer, our Landmark 365 had to get some warranty items rectified and again, Heartland RV left no stone unturned. It is because of the customer service and warranty promise that will keep us their customers.
There’s always something that stands out with any product that separates them from the rest. Also, worth mentioning is the amazing Heartland Owners Club. We joined for the camaraderie amidst the ownership of these wonderful RV’s. We enjoy meeting up at their Chapter, Regional, and National Rallies.
If I had one word to describe Heartland RV’s….FAMILY…because we didn’t just buy an RV, we bought a family.
Marshall Wendler – Camp Addict
Ask 100 people what the best RV brand is and you will get 150 answers. Seriously. It’s that kind of a question. The truth is that there are a bunch of junk brands in the RV world, yet there are some manufacturers that make quality products. I live in a travel trailer so I’ll stick to that segment of RVs.
I literally studied RVs for almost two decades before I decided on what to buy. Yeah, I’m that guy, but it means I learned more than I really wanted to know about them.The brand of travel trailer I ended up is Lance.Click To Tweet They have an excellent reputation for quality and (knock on wood) in the 3.5 years I’ve been calling my Lance home, I’ve had zero problems with it (besides having to change the water pump). When I hear horror stories of the issues other people have with different brands, I feel like I’m living in some sort of alternate universe.
I’ll throw out my dream brand of trailer for good measure – Oliver Travel Trailers. Olivers have dual fiberglass hulls and are made with top quality components. You have to see one to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into this trailer. The small, family-owned business only sells factory direct and isn’t as well known as the big brands, but definitely worth a look.
Logan Akio Johnston – Outdoorsy
At Outdoorsy, we work with thousands of private owners to help them make money by safely renting out their RVs. We’ve gotten a sense for what RVs are reliable and durable.
Vintage trailers such as Airstream are a great investment.Vintage trailers such as Airstream are a great investment.Click To Tweet
But if you’d like something cool and modern, I recommend Happier Camper travel trailers as a good RV brand. They don’t break down and the wear and tear are much less than other RVs. The company is great for owners to work with, and they provide many custom options to make it suited to your lifestyle. There is a huge demand from renters and they usually pay themselves off in a years time.
Margo Armstrong – RV Lifestyle Experts
In researching this topic, I relied on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) as my backup. They publish monthly recalls of all recreational vehicles made in the USA. My choices are not based on cost or availability, just quality. If there are very few recalls, or none at all, this brand is quality made, the bottom line for buyers planning to spend over $100,000 this year on a new RV.
You can rely on me to always tell the truth as I see it. I have no association with any RV manufacturer or dealer.The Best Brands Available via Mass Market Sales (dealers) for 2017Click To Tweet
Class A Motorhomes: Foretravel (best), Tiffin
Class C Motorhomes: Hymer (best), Leisure Travel Vans, Renegade RV
Fifth Wheels: Redwood, Open Range, Northwood
Quality Coaches Direct from Manufacturer for 2017:
Class A Motorhomes: Liberty Coach
Class C Motorhomes: NeXus, Lazy Daze
Fifth Wheel: The RV Factory
As you probably know by now, once you started writing about this industry, the number of recalls issued by what most “best brand lists” call the best, are huge. Some range in the 100s of vehicles recalled every month. Thor, Jayco, Forest River (the worst offender), Fleetwood, and Winnebago are churning out thousands of RVs with serious and dangerous problems. Most new owners are spending their first season trying to get their RV fixed. Some problems are so bad that they cannot be fixed (bent frames, etc.). The owner is left with no support. I cannot name any of these companies as the “best.” They look good in the ad, the price is right, but they are junk.
Marko Mihajlovic – Tour Makers
My preferred brand would probably be Monaco.
My preferred brand and model would probably be Monaco Camelot 42KFQ.Click To Tweet With its 42 feet (around 12 meters) in length and 425 horsepower engine, it has both the size and the drive of an average European inter-city coach.
To those not so savvy in mechanics, this should still tell that the Camelot is not exactly a complete gas guzzler for RV standards. Its size is also a big plus. Who did not want a party bus at least once in their life? While Camelot is very unlikely to be bought by people who would throw parties inside, it most definitely has space to fit one.
The only negative side could be its price as even those with more than 60,000 miles under their tires are well into the six-figure territory – but this is also a positive side if you are buying newer models of Monaco vehicles such as Diplomat and Dynasty as they would be likely to keep their price high for a while after purchase.
Nick Palmer – Regal Furnishing
Having holidayed in caravans all my life I’ve come to know several different brands. Some I’ve known and loved, others I’ve known and…not loved. It’s difficult to pick a favorite because it depends so much on so many different factors.
There are two factors which I value more than any of the others. Comfort and reliability. When it comes to those two hallowed factors, nothing beats an Adria. A good night’s sleep and a caravan where everything keeps working with no fuss is the most valuable thing when you’re on a holiday. You can keep all of the fancy flat-screen TVs and gas fires in your giant motorhome, I’ll happily tow an Adria for the rest of my life. I have owned only two over my lifetime and would have loved to own more, but they just keep giving me reasons to hang onto them.
My first Adria was an Altea 432 PX, a fantastic little tourer that lasted me for 8 years between 2008 and 2016 when I upgraded to a 472 DS Eden. Both of these budget level caravans have boasted surprisingly high-quality interiors for the price and truly staggering longevity.I am 100% sure that both of my Adrias will keep on going long after I’m gone.Click To Tweet
Nemek Nowaczyk – Camper Champ
I love Campers and RVs.
The camper that I've been most recently impressed with is Avida Esperance C7934SL.Click To Tweet I do like the extra bit of luxury that it packs,
I do like the extra bit of luxury that it packs, the space and the storage. It’s not the cheapest one out there, but for a comfy RV, you cannot really go past it.
Although I’m used to going around in “budget campers”, having the extra sense of luxury to have a home away from home whilst being on the road makes a big difference to the travel experience.
There’s a space expansion feature that has wowed me, as well as the power feature to run electrical equipment for a few days at a time. So this is interesting because we can go out bush for days (provided we take a backup generator) and enjoy the wilderness in comfort.
Also, the additional storage space helps as it allows us to carry more so we can live “off grid”
Thank you so much to all the bloggers that participated in this roundup! Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and someone from our team will soon reply. Also, feel free to share with us your experiences about the RV that you have or had. Good or bad we would love to hear it. Thank you for being part of our community!