When it comes to RVs, you will find many makes, sizes, and features. But one thing is sure, the RV brand will give you insight into an RVs quality and what to expect when buying one, no matter the model. But what are the best RV brands?
When buying an RV, you have three options: buy from a new RV dealership, a used RV dealership, or an online platform. The most reasonable RVs are usually used RVs as they give the best features on an RV at a much lower price than a new one. Many people have also found good value RVs on online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace.
In this article, we look at good RV brands and what makes them so and give some info of the current top RV brands. We also answer questions on reliability, quality, and value for money. Keep reading for all the information on the best RV brands that you will need.
Best RV Brands : 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide | RV Expertise
What Makes a Top RV Brand?
If you are tempted to look at prices to determine the best RV brands on the market, you may be disappointed. The best materials, attention to detail, and build quality separate the top RV brands from others rather than price.
Good RV brands are well thought out in their layout and design. Because an RV is a home away from home, often the small touches, attention to detail in the building, and quality artistry will keep customers returning.
Top RV brands will include some of the following features in their design:
- Visibly superior materials
- Good craftsmanship on all fixtures and furniture
- Good storage space and counter space
- Dining areas to seat at least 4 people
- Conveniently placed appliances (TVs, microwaves, etc.)
- Single sheet roofing
- Well-appointed and useable bathroom facilities
Good RV brands also consider safety on the road and vehicle safety. They will include safe tires and good wheel-base ratios. Designers will have considered the best materials to build the RV, such as aluminum or fiberglass walls on the outside and good roofing material (aluminum is best).
In short, top RV brands are well-designed, well-built, and well-priced!
Grand Design RV
Grand Design offers more than just a good experience when buying an RV. They also offer good after-sales support and a great community knowledge base to help with any issues you may have with your RV along the way. The company makes building relationships with customers a priority.
Grand Design RVs are known for their good build quality and durability. They boast a 300+ point inspection of each vehicle before a customer receives it. Grand Design also consistently use high-quality materials to build their RVs across their range, giving a better-quality finished product. Because of this, they are a good choice for both seasoned and new RV enthusiasts.
Grand Design was bought out by Winnebago in 2016. Still, Winnebago recognizes Grand Design as an independent business that will grow independently.
|RVInsider – 3.9 out of 5.0
|Jalopnik – 4.5 out of 5.0
|Low end: $30,000
|High end: $160,000
- Excellent community of RVers
- Good after-sales support
- 300+ point inspection before delivery
- A higher average cost per vehicle than some other RV brands
Airstream is a well-known and respected brand in the RV world. The all-aluminum outer shell of their travel trailers has become synonymous with silver bullets! There is no mistaking the iconic teardrop and bullet-shaped trailers. The company produces travel trailers and touring coaches.
Airstream is known for its quality build and even boasts on its website that they don’t build their RVs the fastest way, but the right way. Ratings websites, customer reviews, and RV blogs regularly rate the company as producing good quality products.
Airstream produces a wide range of travel trailers and touring coaches, with sizes and price ranges to suit all needs. With small models like the Basecamp as entry-level going all the way up to 33-foot trailers, there are many options.
|RVInsider – 4.3 out of 5.0
|Low end: $41,000
|High end: $180,000
- Good quality construction
- Instantly recognizable design
- High customer rating
- A higher average cost per vehicle than some other RV brands
- Aluminum exterior requires specialist care
Oliver Fiberglass Products
If you search the internet or speak to RV owners, they will say that Oliver Fiberglass trailers are expensive but worth it.
Oliver trailers are durable and built to last by using a double hull design for better insulation and solid structure. The company says their trailers will last a lifetime with the adage that they can be passed on to the next generation. Reviews and comments from owners will often claim this is true.
There is only a limited product line of trailers from the company. Since 2007 they have only produced two models of trailer from them: the Oliver Legacy Elite and the Oliver Legacy Elite II.
The company doesn’t use dealerships to promote or sell their RVs but rather has a network of Oliver RV owners who will show you their RVs for a real-life demonstration of their RV. The company does not pay these people, so their reviews will be honest and genuine.
|Oliver Fiberglass Products
|RVInsider – 5.0 out of 5.0
|Low end: $48,900
|High end: $73,500
- Lightweight for easier towing
- Quality fiberglass construction
- “Built to last a lifetime.”
- Only available for purchase from the factory
- Viewing is difficult and can take a long time to arrange
- The biggest size is a three-sleeper trailer
Newmar coaches are reported to be built one at a time by hand. This means that Newmar is often found near the top of the list on RV reviews and comments. These RVs are luxury models with accents and finishes not seen in other RV brands.
Newmar coaches produce premium and luxury Class A and Super C motor homes. These coaches come fitted with premium features such as flush floor slide-outs, custom wood cabinetry, and a Total Comfort air system. Newmar prides itself on great customer care, using feedback and customer discussion to improve the design, build, and delivery process.
Top-of-the-range Class A motorhome models have smart appliances, tiled floor slide-outs, bay windows, and independent front suspension. For people looking for the highest luxury options in RVs or as a size scale down from a regular house but without losing the comforts of a home, Newmar RVs are a great way to go.
|RVInsider – 4.3 out of 5.0
|Low end: $150,000
|High end: $1,300,00+
- Excellent accents and finish
- Good quality design and build
- Luxury and premium RVing
- Outside of the budget of most RV enthusiasts
- Limited repair and service centers
Without a doubt, Winnebago is a household name for RVs. This is because Winnebago has been leading the RV industry for decades and have a track record over that time as reliable and trustworthy.
Winnebago produces a wide range of motorhomes, travel trailers, and RVs. There is something for everyone!
Winnebago is a customer-friendly RV construction company. Using customer feedback in improvements and high-quality materials like aluminum, real wood, stainless steel, and high gloss fiberglass in the construction of their RVs means standard features are useful, and customers are happy time and again.
|RVInsider – 4.2 out of 5.0
|Low end: $37,200
|High end: $439,000
- Decades-long reputation and customer service
- Excellent range of all classes of RV
- High-quality production value
- A large company with sometimes slow warranty work
What To Consider When Shopping For An RV
Buying an RV shouldn’t be a quick or rash decision. Do your homework, chat with friends and other enthusiasts and always make an informed decision. You are buying an adventure investment, and a few key considerations when shopping for an RV will save you time, money, and some frustration.
RV Build Quality
Next to quality materials, build quality is an important considerations to make when shopping for an RV. If the best materials in the world are put together poorly, you will still have a problematic RV!
Check the inside finish work of the RV, and check that there aren’t unnecessarily exposed bolts or screws or patched-over areas. Ensure inside corners are rounded where appropriate and the countertops are sealed properly.
After-Sales Service Reputation
Whether you are dealing with new or used dealerships, check what warranty options there are on the RV and ask for after-sales service options in writing. Go one step further and check online reviews of the after-sales service for the brand or dealership you are buying from. Honest opinions from previous customers can help a lot.
Online reviews and review sites are always useful but remember to take them with a pinch of salt. Also, take a close look at the content of the reviews. If people say the RV is great, but after-sales service is not good, it may not be a deal-breaker about the RV.
Look for websites with RV brands ranked in descending order and see where your preferred brand ranks. You may find a better RV at the same price from another brand!
If you want to do some old-school reviews, try to speak to someone who owns an RV made by the company you want to buy from. Someone you trust who has used the RV on tips will give you an honest assessment.
Manufacturer’s warranties usually last between one to three years, or a certain amount of miles, on a new RV. If you buy a second-hand RV less than three years old, it may still be under warranty. Check the type of warranty and what is covered, including if it is a limited warranty, structural warranty, or other types of warranty.
Not all dealerships are the same. Some are family-owned and personal, while some are large businesses and less personal. Decide for yourself the type of dealership and dealer you would like to buy from and find one in your area that you like. Most dealerships will be able to order or source different sizes and spec RVs, so being comfortable with the people and the dealership is important.
Again, dealership recommendations from friends or others you know are a great way to find one that will meet your needs. Find online reviews of the dealership and visit the dealership for a personal evaluation.
The best advice is from those who have experienced buying and road-tripping with an RV. Online RV forums and communities are great ways to get to know what to consider when buying an RV.
Your own experience is also important. Keep a log of your own in-person experiences. Not only will these notes help you in any future RV purchase, but you may be asked by friends and family about your experience when they buy an RV.
Be Prepared For These Common RV Problems
While all top brands of RV are well manufactured, there are some common problems that RVers face. In many cases, there are solutions for them!
The most common issues are:
- Water pump/Water line issues
- Tire issues
- Appliance issues
- Roof/water leak issues
- Ablution issues
Water pumps and water lines break, burst and leak. If you are experienced in DIY plumbing, you can get under the counters and diagnose and fix the issue. Unfortunately, with water pumps, the best solution is usually to send them away for repair.
Tire issues should not be ignored, as safety on the road is of utmost importance. Tires wear unevenly and may wear more quickly than on a car due to the extra weight. To correct uneven wear, take your RV for balancing and alignment.
Appliance issues are many and varied, from glitchy toasters to warm refrigerators. The best solution is to contact the RV dealership first and see if they will cover the repair of the issue. Contact the appliance manufacturer if these are not covered by the dealership or warranty.
Roof and water leak issues happen after damage to the roof occurs or from age. Schedule an RV exterior and interior inspection appointment. This diagnosis should tell you where the source of the leak is. Depending on the roof’s material, you can repair it yourself or have it repaired at a dealership.
Ablution issues are usually one of two problems: leaks or hardware malfunction. Small leaks may be fixed by applying some silicone sealant in the right place. Bigger leaks will need to be diagnosed at a dealership and repaired there. Faulty hardware of doors, taps, hinges, and tiles can usually be replaced by the owner or dealership.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the most reliable RV brand?
Many RV enthusiasts consider Grand Designs RVs the most reliable RV brand.
- What is the nicest brand of RV?
Newmar RVs are considered by many RVers to be the nicest overall brand on the market.
- What are the worst RV brands?
Online and user reviews suggest some brands of RV to be avoided are Forest River RVs, Coachman, Jayco Travel Trailer & Skyline.
- What RV has the best reviews?
According to RVInsider, these three brands have the best online reviews:
- Forest River Cherokee Grey Wolf (4.8/5.0 from 5 reviews),
- Keystone Outback Ultra-Lite (4.7/5.0 from 5 reviews),
- Winnebago Micro Minnie (4.6/5.0 from 8 reviews)
- What is the best brand of RV trailers?
While personal preference between brands plays a big role, the high market share of Airstream shows they are one of the best brands of RV trailers.
- What is the best brand for a motorhome?
The most reliable brands of motorhomes are Newmar, Leisure Travel Vans, and Heartland RV.
- Who makes the highest-quality travel trailers?
The Oliver Fiberglass Products set of RVs are some of the highest-quality travel trailers. Newmar RVs are considered a great RV for a luxury and premium trailer.
- What is the best RV for the money?
These are the best RV for the money in each class: Class A – The Newmar Dutch Star, Class B – The Coachmen Galleria, Class C – The Winnebago Navion, Fifth-Wheel – The Keystone Montana, Travel Trailers – The Airstream Flying Cloud.
- What is the best RV for a family of 4 people?
The best classes of motorhomes for a family of four are travel trailers, fifth wheels, and Class C motorhomes. These classes of RV have multiple sleeping areas and can be equipped with side slide-outs.
The best RV brands are built with the best materials, have been put together with care, and tick all the boxes RV enthusiasts want: good storage space, conveniently placed appliances, and usable bathroom facilities. A big bonus is after-sales service from manufacturers and dealerships and a price tag that matches your budget.