I was very surprised by what companies made this list of worst travel trailers. However, there is no denying the hundreds of posts in online discussion forums with customers venting their frustrations.
When planning a trip away, adventure and excitement tend to be at the forefront of your mind, not the concern that you will have issues with your RV or travel trailer. With trailers being quite the investment, it’s vital to research and ensure you are purchasing a trailer with unquestionable high standards, longevity and functionality.
Unfortunately, there are brands of trailer having severe issues from leakage and plumbing problems to poor quality workmanship and simply need to be avoided at all costs.
The top 7 worst travel trailer brands:
Having been in the RV and travel trailer business since the 1960’s, it is disappointing to place Coachman on this list. With a repeated bombardment of complaints over the past few years, the reliability of the Coachman brand has diminished considerably and with many customer service issues, it is clear to see why people are looking elsewhere for their high quality travel trailers.
Aside from customer service complaints, the main issue arising with Coachman is the sheer lack of quality in the construction of their trailer builds. Having sold over 600,000 units, it is rather frustrating to see countless reports of the cheap materials now used in the construction of the trailers.
The list of poor quality aspects varies substantially from broken chairs and flimsy interior storage to technical failures. Adding further to the extensive list of issues are many reports of water leakage being unavoidable throughout the trailer, occurring from the sink to the shower to the roof vents, causing nothing but frustration and damage.
A travel trailer should be sturdy and rigid, but it seems as though Coachman have recently not hit the spot with their trailer builds. Coachman were once a reputable, dependable brand that has sadly lost its magic over time and should be avoided if you’re looking for a well constructed trailer with a long life ahead of it.
With countless episodes of poor and arguably dangerous issues with their trailers, it is disappointing to see the established name of Winnebago on this list. Dating back to the late 1950’s, it seems as though as the demand and popularity for Winnebago RVs and trailers increased, quality and customer service has decreased; especially over the past few years.
Common issues repeatedly reported include but are not limited to electrical failures, poor workmanship, questionable quality, costly repairs and maintenance and even dire construction leading to bent interior walls. As Winnebago is a household name for many, their trailers have received a mixture of feedback and reviews.
It seems however, Winnebago have yet to acknowledge the disappointment and dismay many of their loyal customers are feeling with the variety of issues that come with their trailers. Although Winnebago remains a brand with very divided customers, it is clear to see why so many are disappointed with the surprising quality lack in their trailers.
As Winnebago trailers come with a rather substantial price tag, it is even more frustrating to see that repair bills will also be high in an effort to keep these trailers going. Even when customers contact the customer services team, there are reports of very delayed responses and even lack of honoring warranties, making this brand far more difficult to trust.
At first glance, Coleman may seem like a great, far more affordable trailer option for the avid adventurer, however, it is the sheer lack of quality and poor construction that has left countless customers disappointed and frustrated. One of the several great concerns with Coleman trailers are the bunk windows which have had many reports of blowing out while the vehicle is in motion on the road.
The interior issues continue on with failings from technical aspects such as the air conditioning to plumbing issues with the shower spontaneously spraying water everywhere. It seems as though with Coleman trailers, the list of potential problems truly is endless.
The poor assembly of the trailers is also a heavily reported problem with many customers deeming the trailer unsafe and uninhabitable within the first year of purchase. It seems as though there are issues with most aspects of the trailer and as though anything can go wrong at any time and anywhere on or in the trailer.
There are reports of the awnings locking up, interior door issues and even problems with the exterior detailing on the trailer. Coleman has struggled to impress in the RV and trailer market and with far more reputable and trustworthy options available, it is probably best to give Coleman trailers a miss.
With over 60 years of experience, Fleetwood are usually renowned for high quality builds, reliability, durability and quality craftsmanship. In recent times however, it seems as though the constant praise for this brand has instead changed to a host of negativity with contemporary trailer models being reported with numerous issues.
If you are planning a trip to the wilderness away from urban areas, a Fleetwood trailer may not be suitable for you. There have been an abundance of reports detailing the grand failures of the electrical system, meaning any electronic functions in the trailer are deemed completely unusable – far from ideal for those wanting to take trips off the beaten path as you could easily be stranded with zero power.
The technical issues seem to arise from the battery refusing to charge and with Fleetwood’s customer service being less than satisfactory, it is hard to find a solution to all of these rather large problems. When considering the interior of the trailer, there are complaints that Fleetwood’s fabrics are poor quality and deteriorate quickly when used and in warm areas.
When placed alongside their unsatisfactory customer service team and the persistent leveling issues of the trailer, it is easy to recognize why so many customers have been left feeling cheated after purchasing a Fleetwood trailer.
Founded 30 years ago, Hurricane are a rather young brand in comparison to others on this list, yet they arguably have struggled the most with their weak travel trailers. The materials used have been described tirelessly as flimsy, low quality and fragile, meaning even after minimal use, the trailer is particularly prone to showing external damage such as dents.
The worrying safety issues are simply staggering with this brand, with customers reporting faulty parking brakes with Hurricane trailers. Many customers describe the aesthetics of Hurricane travel trailers as ‘scrap’, with lots of individuals questioning if the trailers are built using second hand materials which is why they are so susceptible to damage.
Hurricane are unsurprisingly a rather unpopular brand in the travel trailer world. Customers are initially presumably attracted to the lower price tag compared to other trailers on the market, however, they are then hit with the realization of the low quality construction materials and safety concerns seemingly unavoidable.
With countless reports of the hydraulic lines cascading off the trailers when driving, it is probably best practise to avoid this brand when looking for the perfect trailer.
Renowned for their functional and innovative creations in the RV and trailer world, it may be surprising to see this household name taking a spot on the list of some of the worst trailers out there on the market today. Over the past few years, there have been a substantial number of negative reviews from disappointed customers with Jayco’s trailers.
At the forefront seems to be the sheer lack of quality and functionality of the interior build. Repeated issues surround water leakage, poor installation, ventilation failures and problematic fixtures. It seems as though many of those who purchase a Jayco travel trailer seem to spend more time fixing issues than using the trailers for their intended purpose.
With repairs and regular maintenance coming with a hefty price tag, it’s unsurprising that the reviews of this once dependable brand are now very much mixed with customers left dissatisfied and frustrated. Jayco’s trailers may aesthetically be very pleasing to the eye, but with the list of problems seemingly ever growing, it seems lack of thought was given to the interior functionality of the trailers.
It is clear that a sleek exterior simply cannot forgive the interior flaws or expensive maintenance bills required to try and keep these trailers from falling apart.
7. Forest River
Although Forest River is not the worst travel trailer on this list, it still earns a place for its many mishaps over the last few years. There seems to be a pattern of what were once very established and trustworthy brands losing their reliability in modern times and unfortunately Forest River does not escape this.
The main issues that seem to have been reported from their trailers begins with severe water leakage, collapsing floors and deteriorating quality before even touching on the poor customer service received by their customers.
Arguably one of the most frustrating aspects to the Forest River brand is the fact that when customers experience these issues, there are either no representatives available to take their call or those who do manage to answer seem less than helpful to resolve any problems. It is this diminishing care for quality and customer satisfaction that has led Forest River to losing its much valued reputation.
The customer services department has had reports of being both unresponsive and not eager to solve the issues at hand making it difficult to both support and trust this brand.
It seems as though many brands are aging poorly with a magnitude of issues ranging from technical faults to fire hazards to simply ill constructed trailers. With Coleman ticking the boxes in each of these fields, they are arguably the worst travel trailer brand on the current market today.
With many customers deeming the trailer inhabitable within the first year of purchase due to a horrendous list of exterior and interior problems, it is clear that these trailers are built without longevity in mind. It is also disheartening that most of the brands mentioned have reports of poor customer service teams, another issue that Coleman are unable to escape.
What travel trailers last the longest?
With many travel trailers being a large investment due to their high price tag, it is crucial to choose a trailer that will both perform well and last a considerably long time. Airstream is a brand that seems to struggle to disappoint when considering both the quality and longevity of their trailers.
There is also a guaranteed comfortable interior as Airstream tailor make their furniture pieces to fit each trailer, meaning everything fits perfectly with the shape and angles of the trailer. It is important to remember that just like an RV, a travel trailer will require care and maintenance in order to last.
If a travel trailer is maintained well, it should keep going on the road for many years; Airstream trailers are no exemption to this. Their heavy duty construction and infallible high quality has been known to last over 3o years.
Is Jayco better than Forest River?
In terms of travel trailers, both Jayco and Forest River have their problems but they both also have differing numbers of negative feedback and complaints. It seems Jayco have substantially less poor reviews in comparison to Forest River, and with Forest River arguably focusing more on quantity than quality, they do rank lower than Jayco.
In addition to this, alongside a Jayco trailer purchase comes one year free roadside assistance; something that can be very handy for when you venture a little bit too far into nature.
Which RV is easiest to drive?
With RVs rapidly growing in popularity, it is important to consider how different they are to drive, navigate and park in comparison to the average car. Class B RVs are unquestionably the easiest RVs to drive due to their compact nature not being too dissimilar to smaller sized vehicles.
Another benefit to the Class B’s is their ability to be parked in smaller spaces such as parking lots and driveways and driven in areas with height barriers or low bridges.
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Erick is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up in Nairobi Kenya and now calling Glasgow, United Kingdom home. Sipping on homemade spiced swahili tea and enjoying a good book is his idea of bliss.