A quality trailer will be built on an integrated A-frame. You can spot one of these frames easily. Simply look under the front of any trailer, pinpointing where the hitch meets the frame. The frame of a less superior trailer will be tack welded, while a quality RV will have a frame that intersects the hitch through the trailer to prevent buckling.
Feel under the wheel well. A quality RV will use galvanized steel construction or high impact composite material in its wheel wells, helping prevent floor damage in the incident of a tire blowout.
On some fifth wheels, you might notice a seam running vertically along the wall that overhangs the truck bed. This area is usually where the bedroom sits. When a unit is built on a less superior frame, manufacturers add the seam to compensate for future cracks that might appear.
If you’re contemplating a motorhome purchase, make sure you go for a test drive. Some quality RV manufacturers have begun to introduce packages that improve the ride and handling of these coaches. You’ll even find these packages on some of today’s most affordable Class C models, so make sure you expect the most out of your ride.
We encourage you to pound on the walls of any laminated RV. If it sounds good and solid, you’ll know the lamination technique used was a high-quality process, known as vacuum bonding. Vacuum-bonded lamination is superior to the typical pinch roll process. In the vacuum-bonding process, nearly 145 tons of pressure are applied when materials are adhered together. In the pinch roll process, less pressure is exerted for a short period of time.
If you’re considering a toy hauler purchase, peek under the cargo area. In a quality toy hauler, steel plates are welded to the frame; the D-rings used to secure your toys are fastened to these plates. Less superior RVs won’t have this feature, meaning your toy hauler can no longer safely secure the advertised capacity. When these plates are absent, it’s also a good indication that the garage floor isn’t state of the art construction.
A quality RV will boast lumbercore cabinet stiles. These stiles create the skeleton for your cabinetry. Lumbercore stiles are made of real wood, not particle board. Pocket screws can usually be found in lumbercore construction. Peek inside the cabinet and see if you see these screws. If you spot staples, this is a sign of poor construction.
Considering a pop-up or an expandable trailer? Some manufacturers skimp on the tent. Single-seam construction creates a less durable tent. Look for the double-stitched tents. And while you’re shopping for camping trailers also peek underneath the unit. If the lifter system is enclosed, this system will hold up to road debris better than one with exposed components. A quality lifter system should have a lifetime warranty, and on a good pop-up you should look for lifetime component warranties on other components, such as the roof, floor, walls and bed frames.
It can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but the strength of an RV's roof is crucial. Not only is it directly exposed to the elements, like snowfall for example, but it's quality is a strong indicator of the unit's overall construction.