Outdoor Fact

Travel trailer brands to avoid

8 Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid Today [2024 Update]

Buying a travel trailer is a big investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. But with so many brands and models on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. And with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to be drawn in by the promises of a slick-talking salesman.

But beware: not all travel trailer brands are created equal. Some brands have a reputation for shoddy construction, poor customer service, and frequent breakdowns. In this guide, we’ll reveal the worst travel trailer brands to avoid. So if you’re serious about buying a travel trailer, steer clear of these brands at all costs.

If you’re serious about buying a travel trailer, it’s important to do your research and avoid these worst travel trailer brands. This following comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision.

Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid Purchasing in 2024

Since there are a lot of different opinions for the question: “Which are RV brands to avoid?”, to provide a fair answer, we conducted a survey to Camping is our life  – a reliable Facebook group for RV campers with more than 128,000 members, in which there were appropriately 3,000 respondents.

According to the survey’s result, here are what we got for the query what RV brands to avoid:

What travel trailers brands to avoid in 2023:

  • Forest River t ravel trailer brand: 45%
  • Keystone  t ravel trailer brand: 26%
  • Jayco travel trailer brand: 15%
  • Coachmen travel trailer brand: 5%
  • Winnebago travel trailer brand: 3%
  • Fleetwood travel trailer brand: 2%
  • Gulf Stream travel trailer brand: 1%

The rest 3% came to some other brands: Coleman, Thor,…

Why? Outdoor Fact did some more research on these brands trying to figure out the main reasons why they’re on the list of worst travel trailer brands to avoid.

Please note that: 1. We’ve not maintained any order here. So, the lists are not for travel trailer ratings best to worst brands. 2. Not only the craftsmanship, but the experience of buyers with customer service is also taken into account to evaluate the brands. 3. Not all products of these companies are low-quality and obviously their customer service can be improved day by day. All these listed brands have a few units that run well and a large number of customers highly appreciate. 4. If you’re a first-time buyer and you’re interested in any models from these RV manufacturers, you should have someone with experience come and checked with you. Of course, you should always go after a product that suits you the most even if it comes from a brand in this list.

Let’s check out the result now:

1. Forest River Travel Trailer

Forest River Travel Trailer to avoid

Forest River RV, which is currently owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is a large American manufacturer of recreational vehicles. Its inventory includes travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-up campers, and a few other variations of RVs.

Though it used to be the most credible name in the RV industry, Forest River has slowly lost customer’s trust due to various reasons. There are a lot of complaints regarding leakage in the interior which lead to reductions of performance on the field. In addition to that, the issues of sinking floors present a major worry for people that travel around the year. Finally, the customer service of Forest River seems apathetic while receiving feedback from RVers and that kind of treatment steadily turn away many loyal clients.

Although communities still hope that Forest River would eventually address its shortcomings, it’s a good idea to get your recreational vehicle from another brand. Until the brand manages to put a stop to the growth of negative reviews, you should exclude all of its models from your shopping list. It’s simply unwise for you to invest on Forest River RVs knowing that you likely have to deal with a plethora of frustrating troubles. So save yourself a headache and just pass over vehicles that come from the brand.

2. Keystone Travel Trailer

keystone travel trailer to avoid

Starting the journey in 1996, Keystone is a latecomer in the RV industry as being one of the well-known manufacturers of towable RVs in North America. The company produces travel trailers, toy haulers, and fifth wheelers.

Providing customers with spacious, fuel-efficient recreational vehicles, they are however structural and technical issues which make Keystone receive a lot of complaints from RV owners as one of the travel trailer brands to avoid. Most RVers frown upon the mediocre quality as well as the finishing of the furniture. They claim that the cabinet doors fall off the hinges within short periods of time.  Additionally, the control board of the vehicles proves difficult to manipulate which give substandard experiences.

Aside from that, the website of Keystone itself is a pain to navigate and that give people a fairly hard time searching for relevant information. The helpline of the brand offer negligible assistance to the consumers and that makes people feel Keystone is unreliable in terms of post-purchase support. Despite the fact that the brand already earns fame in less than a decade of operation, it needs to pay more attention to quality control. Before Keystone completely patch up the drawbacks of its vehicles, it’s far from ideal as one of the  travel trailers not to buy .

3. Jayco Travel Trailer

Talking about the experience with Jayco, customers tend to share different opinions. While some have been satisfied with their purchase, there are reportedly a great deal of RV owners complained about their Jayco travel trailer as a big waste of money. Jayco RVs feature a wide array of built-in facilities and facilities that appear quite attractive at first glance. However, such things usually fail after a while and that lead to huge maintenance expenses. Obviously, no one likes to foot the repair bill if the vehicle breaks down repeatedly.

Common issues include water leakage, improperly installed ventilation, missing fixtures,… A couple of RVers even claim that the toilet seat of Jayco RVs is shoddy. With multiple unhappy consumers, it’s clear that Jayco cut corners while assembling its recreational vehicles to reduce manufacturing cost. Aside from its stellar appearance, models from Jayco have nothing else to offer besides disappointment. Although certain integrated features perform adequately, RVers deserve more consider the money they have to pay to purchase the vehicle.

4. Coachmen Travel Trailer

Coachmen travel trailer brand to avoid

This is a rather well-known brand that has been in the business since the 1960s. They have introduced a wide range of recreational vehicles to the market. For most of the time, Coachman products are fairly good and will match a variety of customer demands. However, it seems that that later Coachmen RV has run into several issues that considerably reduce their usefulness in the field. The biggest customer complaint is that the product quality is not as good as it used to be. That’s the reason why Coachmen is in this travel trailer brands to avoid list.

Most of the Coachmen RV problems take place in the interior which greatly impact the user experience with the vehicle. The drawer and the slides are fragile and flimsy so they cannot hold too much weight. Leakage is another notable issue as well which can quickly degrade the floor.  In some models, leaking can be spotted around the vent, the shower and the sink. The problem will even get worse if you use the RV in rainy and humid weather. This makes the time you spend inside the RV to be stressful and extremely inconvenient.

The fridge upgrade in several Coachmen RVs has also lead to a rather annoying problem. After installing the new fridge, the wiring is left exposed with the wires ends visible. It’s serious enough that a recall has to be announced to fix the issue. Beyond that, you can face several technical difficulties while using the vehicle on the road that make it one of RV brands to avoid. The Coachmen Recreational Vehicle is surely not the worst thing you can get out there. But if you want to buy one of their recent models, do examine it carefully and know exactly what you are dealing with .

>> Read more:  Best RV Short Queen Mattress  <<

5. Winnebago Travel Trailer

Winnebago travel trailer brand to avoid

For a brand that has been around for quite sometimes, Winnebago does have some excellent products for you to check. Yet quality is a criterion that cannot be found on every Winnebago product. The market demand for a high number of RV seems to make the brand to scale back the quality control for increased production. Many instances of damaged walls and bent panels have been noticed in normal operations. Interior components frequently become loose and require tightening. Lighting system tends to fail unexpectedly without warning.

Plenty of other drawbacks have been reported which substantially lower the brand attractiveness in people’s eyes. Contacting customer service usually results in unsatisfied answers and little action from the brand. These are the reasons why Winnebago is named on the list of travel trailer brands to avoid.

6. Fleetwood Travel Trailer

Fleetwood travel trailer brand to avoid

Fleetwood is another long-running brand that has operated for more than six decades. Their products used to offer respectable performance with tight post manufacturing exams. However, as time went by, recent Fleetwood models have shown many defects and shortcomings. As a whole, the brand RV quality has dropped quite a lot from before. Customer spoke about the low quality of interior that it degrades very fast. Compare to other RV brands, the inner portion of the Fleetwood RV age much faster.

In operation, the RV battery sometimes refuses to be recharged which may render many functions of the vehicle completely useless. You could end up stranded in such situation. You soon have to replace with an RV battery on the market for better and stable performance. Not to mention the black water tank is prone to leaking even in the newer models. When being contacted by the customer, the company is commonly unresponsive.  All of those complaints about Fleetwood make it one of the worst travel trailer brands to avoid.

7. Gulf Stream Travel Trailer

Gulf Stream travel trailer brand to avoid

The last name we would like to refer in the list of worst travel trailer brands to avoid is nothing but  Gulf Stream . It is a once highly sought after brand due to their popularity and admirable performance. But there are plenty of problems that need to be addressed in later products. Leaking and rusting are the issues that really get the ire of the customer. They greatly degrade the RV interior and lower your comfort while you are using the vehicle. Certain components are incorrectly installed or just illogically placed. The customer service is quite responsive though they might charge you extra fees to deal with the problem.

8. Thor Hurricane RV

Hurricane RV brand to avoid

Most people never heard about this brand, and you’d better stay away from it. People that ever come into possession of a Thor Hurricane product have encountered a lot of issues. Brand new Thor Hurricane RV is said to be assembled of less – than – new components. To say the least, you can think that you own a collection of well-used parts than a complete RV. That being said, the quality of the brand product is definitely not up to specs. A wide range of operation difficulties, structure weakness and malfunction features can be found all over the vehicle.

Many recalls have been announced since the company foundation three decades ago. Fire hazard, improper awning installation, failing BCC and ineffective parking brake are several prominent problems that have been fixed. Some of the Thor Hurricane RVs are eve release with incorrect weight rating which can make the entire thing to uncouple if you load the vehicle with too much weight. For most of RV buyers, Thor Hurricane is one of worst RV brands to avoid.

>> Find out about Best time to buy a Travel Trailer, click here ! << 

What to Avoid When Purchasing an RV?

Buying a recreational vehicle (RV) is one of one of the biggest purchase decisions that people make in their lifetime. With so many options available, it’s easy to end up picking the wrong model. Making a wrong purchase decision is a part of our life. We often buy the wrong shoes, clothes, or gadgets. However, the difference, in this case, is buying the wrong RV will be a costly mistake. So, what to avoid when purchasing an RV? Besides the travel trailer brands to avoid shown above, let’s learn what steps you should follow to avoid a poor buying decision:

travel trailer brands to avoid

Rushing to a deal

You should be researching and taking notes because purchasing an RV involves lots of money. It’s an investment too because used vehicles have good value in many secondhand car markets. Avoid the RV shows because the salespersons push the buyers to make a hasty decision. Don’t be caught up in that excitement only to find out later that the trailer is the wrong size, type, or too expensive.

Skipping the legwork

There are so many brands and manufacturers to choose from. So, it requires some effort on your part to find the best product. Find out information online about the make and model and read the related forums to dig out the best deals. Attend local RV shows, request brochures from the companies, and take factory tours, if required. These will help you learn more about all the available options.

Video: If you are an RV first-time buyers, watch this to know more about the worst travel trailer brands to avoid and other useful tips!

Being unsure about the requirements

What do you need the RV for? A small travel trailer is enough if your plan is to go camping in the state parks or exploring the scenic backroads. However, it will feel small and cramped when you are looking for a cross-country adventure with one or two friends. In that case, a large motorhome will be the best choice.

Ignoring the tow weight

You should never do it because it determines how much the RV can pull and can take the weight of extra gear. It refers to the total weight that a vehicle can two and it varies from one model to another. If your RV has a low tow capacity, you can’t use it for long trips and carrying much stuff.

buying a recreational vehicle

Travel Trailer Buyer’s Guide

Similar to other purchase, calculating the budget is the first and foremost task while shopping for the ideal recreational vehicles. Nowadays, new models go as high as $20,000 while old ones tend to revolve around $10,000. Generally speaking, unless you have specific criteria, it’s unnecessary to grab premium recreational vehicles that might strangle your financial capability. One way to determine the budget is to make a list of wanted features, filter out suitable models and then decide the average amount of money you have to spend

2. Towing Capacity

For trailers, it’s of utmost importance that you need to learn the towing capacity. There are a total of two weight ratings listed on the owner manual: Dry Weight and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Between the ratings, you should be concerned with the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating as it tells you the weight of the loaded trailer: stowed gears, full water tanks and more. Furthermore, assess the hitch on your vehicle to make sure that it’s able to tow the trailer without incidents. Replace the hitch at once if its weight rating is incapable of handling the trailer.

3. Size and Floorplan

Comfort is one of the top priorities for RVs and it’s quite hard to make yourself comfortable if your RV lacks interior space. Take into account the number of people, the length of your travel and so on in order to ascertain the amount of room you need. For conventional trips, you and your family could get by just fine on basic models. On the other hand, if you travel extensively, it’s strongly recommended that you pick a sizable vehicle that possesses slide-out sections, upgraded cabinets, …  

Everyone wants to buy from a reputable RV dealership but there are certain travel trailer brands to avoid. One or two hours of scouring through online information will give you a good idea about the best and worst make and models in the market. Check the google reviews, ask in reputable forums , and if possible, contact the company’s customer service to see how professional they are in handling customers. You can also choose a comparatively new brand if it offers warranty on their sold units and has a good selection of parts and accessories.

By avoiding the  worst travel trailer brands  listed above and closely follow the steps, you can narrow down your search range and will eventually manage to make a wise and informed purchase. Remember that buying from a top-notch manufacturer can save you plenty of hassles.

Want to buy an RV, here are some tips for you.

Last Updated on January 1, 2024

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Carlos Perry

Carlos Perry’s passion for outdoor activities can be traced back to 5 years ago when he spent a significant time to conquer beautiful pristine lands and experience different cultures with his best friends. Currently working as a blogger, he takes pride in providing comprehensive contents about camping knowledge, survival skills based on his own experience. A lot of his work was published on well-known travel magazines like: Travel+Leisure, Thrillist


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The title to this is TRAVEL TRAILERS to avoid….Number 1 was travel trailers and the rest were Motorhomes. Gulf Stream, for you info, has not made the style of motor home for several years.

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Hi Kenneth, Thank you very much for your supporting comment. 1. It’s true that Gulf Stream have no longer manufactured that motorhome model >> Good info provided 2. FYI, 4/5 are travel trailers. As the title says, here we mainly focus on travel trailer brands to avoid (Worst RV brands in general). The problem is that we inserted the wrong picture that make you misunderstanding it. I’ve changed the photos to better explain the topic. If you have any question, feel free to ask! Thanks

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Puma trailers, I have a 2022 year model that was bought in April of 22, seem right after I had it for a year , two of the theee slide outs are leaking, seems that they use tape to hold the two pieces of roofing material togeather, and the also to tape it to the end of the slide which, the tape degraded in both areas and let water seep in , causing both of the roofs to rot and break down. Returned to the dealer and was told that it only had a year warranty on the roof, to which I replied the roof is rotted, so it’s been leaking for months. I was given a 20,000$ repair bill, to fix something the builder should have honored and repaired. Stay far far and away from Forrest River products, crap products that are held together with tape. I have mailed their customer service twice , with no reply’s. Thanks for any input.

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Shouldn’t the title of this be “Brands to Avoid?” Because the worst brands to avoid would be brands that you ought to buy.

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I have a 2018 Winnebago Micro Minnie and find its quality to be excellent. Mine has given no trouble whatsoever and its build quality and materials seem quite satisfactory, if not industry-leading. BTW, I’m a retired professional Quality and manufacturing Engineer with 40 years experience in my profession and have owned several RVs, too.

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I would have to agree with John, we also own a 2018 Winnebago Micro Minnie & the quality is above & beyond anything else that we’ve seen on the market. This is our 2nd Winnebago and I at this point I would not even consider any other brands!

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What are the best brands?

Hi Russ, the Airstream has an unwavering reputation in the market. The distinctive looks, shiny polish, and aluminum work, makes these caravans worth the investment in spite of their high price. Check out this list for your better choice: https://outdoorfact.com/best-travel-trailer-brands/

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Forest River is a brand you listed as worst to buy but would that also includes their R-POD line?

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My Forest River NoBo 19.5 has a kayak rack with a faulty design (per Rhino Rack specifications) they offer no solutions and my kayak rack is useless! No Bo ripped me off here.

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It’s usually all about preference and past experiences. So if someone had a good experience with a forest river they might like forest river. Then a person had a bad experience they won’t like them anymore. It’s like a car. I won’t buy a Pontiac ever again not just because they are out of business but many other issues. I like my Toyota much better.

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Amen! I’ve heard nothing but bad things about Forest River, but I have a friend that’s that’s all his dad has ever owned, so my friend just bought a brand new Forest River for himself and after looking it over, I’m thinking about getting a new Forest River myself.

Andy Knowles well I have an fr3. Lots of little things getting annoying. I’ve had it for three years but I came from tent camping so I have nothing to compare to. All I can say is you need to be a little handy.

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I certainly agree with Any K.. we have owned close to 10 different campers over the years (new & used & different makes & models). We now own a Forest River 26BUD & love it! (no issues whatsoever!) The workmanship is better than most & the floor plan is excellent. I would not hesitate to refer friends or family to buy one. I don’t care if you buy “the best” (whatever that may be based on who may be doing the review) or not but understand, the owners care & maintenance has ALOT to do with how well it holds up over the years.

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Buying trailers from any brand, check it carefully. There will be pros and cons of all travel trailer brands. If buying new go in restroom and stand in shower. Pretend you are taking shower and see how much room you have or see if you have to bend over to shower. Also check toilet for roominess. Other thing I would get a rv with a 15,000 btu ac and have them install a sewer flush as soon as you buy. If buying used get an inspector before purchase. They have a lot of people that do quick fixes to sell. But problems still exist. Find out what your tow vehicle can tow. If it can handle over 5000 lbs you can tow a under 4000 lbs trailer. You have to allow 500 lbs per person in gear. Never max out the vehicle. Just because it says it can tow 7000 lbs doesnt mean it will handle good and the sway is bad.

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???????? yes! What is the best Brands out there? I’ve researched for almost 3 yrs now. I was leaning towards a few, and then heard RUN! lol! First I was told to stay away from Jayco and Forrest River! So I look into the BEST rvs to buy and theres Jayco AND Forrest River listed! Its so confusing sometimes! And yes a list of the best of the best would be awsome! Bumper pull and 5th wheel is what we are looking into. Thank you for the list of bad! But which brand is the BEST to invest ? Lol

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Hi, Been in the business for forty years,your trailer or fifth wheel is only as good as the dealer you bought it from. I suggest to look at a cougar!

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I feel the worst ???? RV brand to avoid is Forest Rivers RVs . The warranty is is a joke no one wants to do repairs under factory warranty that have a hard time getting paid and have to wait forever to get parts. We have a new Avenger ATI and in the first month of owning it the walls are coming apart ,inverter Dead , furnace dead , stereo dead, floor buckling up , screws coming out of window frames , 110 out falling out of walls , and a hole lot more. Called company and all I could get was lying from top executives down. So would recommend not buying any of their RVs unless you are ready to throw your money away.

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I feel like we tossed our money but a good attorney will be your best advise

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If your buying used… DO NOT even consider anything fleetwood. (They’re out of business now) but I’ve never seen a trailer made by fleetwood that wasnt garbage or so rotten it couldnt move. Also… I personally will never buy another with fiberglass siding. I feel they’re more prone to leaks and delamination

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The new Shasta’s because they are not made with the quality of the older models. I am not trying to offend anyone, I love the way it looks but I have seen so many with poor workmanship, 20 or more. They had the name and could have produced a killer camper. I mean no disrespect, just trying to be honest. My friends have all sold theirs and many are still in a shop trying to be fixed, so sad.

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I’ve had 2 made by KZ, one Pioneer, and one Forest River. No real problems out of any other than some very minor items which were covered under warranty.

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Forest River, bad on warranty repairs and will not stand by their product.

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I camp in : hammocks, tents, our Teardrop camper and I have owned in the past a 29ft Mallard and 2 different 24ft Jayco campers. I love camping period. I could care less what I’m sleeping in as it’s only a vessel to rest my head at night so I can get out of it in the morning and enjoy the great outdoors! I see them only as camping gear. Focus on why you camp and less on what gear you choose to get out there. There isn’t a camper on the planet that won’t need something fixed or replaced at some point in time. Camper companies come and go and some are better than others but for the most part they are all pretty good once you get any bugs worked out.

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Forest river was definitely the junkiest camper we ever owned! Our nicest one was an MPG made by cruiser rv. We found the quality of materials inside were better in the MPG

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I would suggest doing some factory tours. We did this after the fact at rally’s we attended and were glad we bought the brand we did. Nothing is perfect, but when you see them being put together and meet the people working on them, you have a clearer picture of what you are gonna get, my opinion. For instance, after a Thor factory tour all the Thor owners were very upset that their units were all glued together and no nails or screws were used in putting them together. Someone didn’t care about the rattling and vibration theses rvs take each and every time they are out.

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We special-ordered a brand new 2019 Keystone and it was put together terribly we were very very disappointed and I’ve had to have a ton of things fixed in the first two weeks of having it was very disappointed are 2004 was built way better they just don’t make things like they used to and build in a rush 4 productivity

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We regret buying our Coleman. Made cheap. Had small roof issue at 8 months old. Black water pipe windy…not as straight as it should be so emptying can be painful.

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Avoid light weight/ feather weight. They are made cheaper in every way, in the name of tow weight. That’s my feeling anyway.

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Seems, your opinion differs from many others! I have read many articles and researched for almost 2 years, and about half the models you said, “Don’t buy” many others rate as some of the best! Such as Jayco, and Winnebago! I have looked at pretty much everything on the market and Jayco, Forest River, and Winnebago are above average in build in their price range!

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