Travel trailers don’t come cheap. This is why you need to do your research to make the best possible investment.
In particular, you should be well aware of the worst travel trailer brands so that you are not lured into buying a travel trailer that keeps falling apart.
To help you out, we have perused a wide range of reviews to find out some of the worst travel trailer brands that you should avoid.
What are the worst travel trailers? Here’s a brief look at 9 travel trailer brands in 2021 and why should you avoid buying the:
- Hurricane: Poor material quality and workmanship
- Jayco: Unreliable features, appliances break easily
- Coleman: Poor build quality, bad assembly, unreliable appliances, subpar furniture
- Fleetwood: Bad customer service, water leaks, poor fabrics, trailer not level when parked
- Winnebago: Inclined walls, poor wall finishing, poor build quality, low-quality interior
- Coachmen: Design problems, poor build quality, leaking showers, fragile furniture
- Keystone: Bad customer service, unreliable features
- Forest River: Leakage problems, sinking floors, poor customer services
- Gulf Stream: faulty materials, leakage issues, rusting, unreliable appliances
Worst Travel Trailers Guide
Since travel trailers are one of the most expensive purchases that you will likely make in your life, you need to know about the travel trailers you shouldn’t buy. Investing in these trailers is a decision you should avoid at all costs.
We have judged these brands on the following criteria:
A product is only as good as the materials it is made from. This is why we have scrutinized the quality of materials for all travel trailer brands mentioned below.
Wherever these brands have fallen short, we have discussed the subpar materials used and their consequences.
All features of the travel trailer should be made using the best design practices, high-quality workmanship, and precise manufacturing methods.
This is imperative for ensuring maximum durability for all parts of the travel trailer.
The worst travel trailer brands have tried to cut corners to save costs. These cost-cutting measures come at the expense of durability.
whether it is the appliances or the fixtures and fittings, reliability is imperative since you do not want to spend your eagerly-anticipated vacations fixing things that break for no apparent reason.
You should be aware of the reliability problems that customers face with the worst travel trailer brands because there is a high likelihood that you might end up facing the same problems if you purchase these travel trailers.
This guide offers some of the most common customer complaints and pain points regarding the travel trailers listed above.
9 Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid at All Costs
Let’s start with the worst brand of them all.
Hurricane takes the top spot in the list of the travel trailers you shouldn’t buy. The low popularity of the brand might be one key reason why people stay away from it.
However, it pays to know what you might run into if you are lured by the low price tag.
Few people know about the Hurricane travel trailer brand, which is a good thing. Once they’ve been lured, hapless customers often find to their dismay that Hurricane is a veritable whirlwind of problems.
But it is too late by then. These customers now only brace themselves for the impending storm of more serious problems.
To begin with, the materials look and feel so cheap that customers deride them as scrap. This sarcastic description may not be too farfetched since the travel trailer is highly susceptible to dents and dings.
There are also apocryphal accounts of the brand salvaging scrap to fabricate these travel trailers. The truth behind this story may be debatable, but one fact certainly isn’t.
The travel trailer suffers an array of problems, not the least of which is the faulty parking brakes. This creates a serious safety issue.
The travel trailers are also fraught with instances of poor workmanship, which is unmistakably apparent from the bad fitting and installation.
The Hurricane brand takes the world of travel trailers by storm- for the worst travel trailers, that is.
The Jayco brand is notorious for its unreliable quality. While there are users who adore these travel trailers, there is no shortage of customers who hate it.
The company manufactures trailer vehicles that are supposed to have certain attractive features.
Unfortunately, these features prove to be more troublesome than helpful. They create more hassle than what most outdoor enthusiasts are willing to tolerate.
You may end up incurring major maintenance expenses as these features gradually begin to fall apart.
There is a high chance of recurring maintenance costs due to repetitive failures in ventilation, plumbing, and fixtures.
Don’t be too surprised if you end up feeling cheated when it suddenly dawns upon you that the product is simply not dependable.
There is no doubt that these vehicles provide a nice environment and have a good towing ability. However, there is a limit to what you can endure for these two qualities.
The brand name does not compensate for the fact that things start falling apart quickly and without warning.
It quickly becomes apparent that the company resorts to cost savings in manufacturing that, unfortunately, compromise reliability and durability as well.
Don’t be fooled by the trailer’s beautiful exterior. You may end up having a torrid time as you struggle to keep the interior in working order.
Travel trailers will do well with better functionality, so steer clear of this dud. Jayco ranks high on the list of the worst travel trailers that you are better off avoiding.
Coleman has managed to create quite an impression in the travel trailer market, even though it is less than a decade old.
However, it is known for all the wrong reasons. So be warned.
This is one of the worst travel trailers that you should steer clear from. It is known, in particular, for the poor build quality that disappoints numerous unsuspecting customers.
Customers find to their dismay that they need a replacement within the first week of use. Neither the finishing nor the fit of Coleman travel trailers is satisfactory.
They are poorly assembled and deeply lacking in terms of reliability.
It is not unusual to find owners complain of a problem during the very first use. Something or the other always seems to be wrong.
There might be something wrong with the freezer one moment, and before you know it, the heater or AC has failed. The shower suddenly starts spewing water everywhere and the bathroom is soon drenched.
Although several kinds of complaints are possible, the most frequent ones are related to the design of the trailer.
Everything appears to give way too easily. It could be the outside lights; followed by the bedroom door and then the slide trim later on.
The bunk windows, in particular, are problematic since they are known to blow out during a drive on the open road. You can’t count on the furniture to last even a year.
There are other minor issues that you should be warned about. The detailing may rupture from the siding and the awning is also known to lock up.
Dissatisfied owners feel that Coleman travel trailers are neither usable nor livable.
The brand may be forgiven since it is relatively new in the market. However, you will want to keep this brand on your blacklist and go for something better until it improves.
Who knows when that will happen?
Here is one brand that may take you by surprise.
Fleetwood has been on the travel trailer market for many years, and it is a very well-known and reputable brand. But does it live up to its expectations?
Is the brand as good as the hype that surrounds it?
While the brand has done well for many years, several things are starting to look bad of late. Users complain about the dramatic plunge in customer service.
Even after users complain of a genuine defect, the company does not honor its warranty. There are several complaints concerning water leaks, battery charging, and malfunctioning systems.
The trailer seems to have trouble leveling even when it is parked. The fabric quality is third-rate and it deteriorates in heat.
It is deplorable that a company of this stature is churning out poor quality and unreliable products. You will be better off with a brand that gives more attention to quality and honors its warranty. The brand name alone just won’t do.
The troubling part is that the RVs are not too bad. For some strange reason, Fleetwood simply does not transfer the same level of product quality to its travel trailers.
Its travel trailers have always had a high market share on account of their reliability, but now it seems that they have fallen prey to cost-cutting shortcuts.
Fleetwood can’t go too far with such tactics. It may lose the goodwill of its customers for good if it does not get its act together.
Till Fleetwood gets serious about quality and reliability, it will remain a travel trailer you shouldn’t buy.
Winnebago is a new entrant in the travel trailer market. Despite its rather pleasant and perhaps innocuous-sounding name, it may be a good idea not to put your faith in this brand. Winnebago is a brand with mixed reactions from customers.
It may not be the very worst travel trailer out there, but the surprising number of complaints certainly warrants closer scrutiny.
The dubious mixed reaction makes it a travel trailer that you shouldn’t buy. On one end of the spectrum, there happen to be customers who are content with their purchase and seem to have no problems.
Due to this fact, the brand has accrued a small group of loyal followers. However, many are unconvinced and asking for their money back. It would help to know what these distraught customers are unhappy about.
Users often complain about problems associated with the front wall, and they are also not happy with the wall finishing. They claim that the inner walls are not straight and may, therefore, be unsafe.
Most of the parts on this vehicle suffer from poor construction quality. To buy this travel trailer, you should have a liking for time-consuming and expensive repairs.
Besides structural and construction quality issues, there are also electrical problems that you will have to contend with.
The interior finishing is not the very best either- it is pretty much subpar. Seeing the plethora of faults, you cannot fail to realize that quality is a low priority for these vehicles.
There are also many complaints about poor customer service. The customer service representatives may not even have an answer to your problems.
Quite often, their reply is inadequate for resolving your issue. There have also been some instances where the brand failed to honor its warranty. It is hard to trust a brand that cannot provide reliable customer service to angry users.
Considering that this company has been in business since 1964, you wouldn’t expect to see it on this list of travel trailer brands to avoid.
The company used to be known for its diverse range of high-performing travel trailers. The reliability and quality of this brand used to be second to none.
Sadly, this is not the case anymore, and it is now one of the worst travel trailers that you should consider staying away from.
It is heartbreaking to think that this is the very same brand that did remarkably well during its inception in the sixties.
Later on, it saw several ups and downs.
Now, it stands at rock bottom.
Although its travel trailers have an assortment of features that satisfy highly-demanded needs, the brand suffers from questionable quality.
There is no denying the fact that these vehicles have intriguing and useful functions like the programmable thermostat and electric leveling.
However, Coachmen vehicles are plagued by several problems that may be deal-breakers for quality-conscious customers.
Some of these problems are so bizarre that you can’t ignore them. For instance, one model that the company launched in 2016 had no valve for the water drain.
There are other problems as well. The screws are loose and crooked, which shows that focusing on build quality is no longer a priority for the company.
Even with slight contact, the screws and electrical insulation can fall off suddenly.
If you choose to go with this brand, then you will have to brace yourself for the possibility of leaky showers, fluctuating electricity levels, and broken lounge chairs.
The passenger seat upholstery is third-rate and it begins to fray quickly. The interior design is not worth the money because it is too fragile and its parts seem to fall off easily.
The drawers are too flimsy and they give in if you put even a little extra load.
You will have to brace yourself for the possibility of a sudden leakage that will drench the floor with water. The leakage problem has been observed in several travel trailer models from this brand.
You’re likely to find a leakage practically anywhere there is water: the sink, shower, and the vent. The leakage issue deteriorates during rainy weather.
These problems are hardly conducive to the tranquility that you would desire for an epic outing.
Reliability and good build are the key attributes of a travel trailer that are essential for a pleasant sojourn.
The Coachmen brand fails to deliver on these fronts. This brand is no longer worth your hard-earned money.
Keystone markets its travel trailers as remarkably spacious and highly durable. Its main selling point is the good fuel economy that comes with the sleek aerodynamic contour of the vehicle.
However, frustrated owners have made innumerable complaints especially vis-à-vis technical and structural faults.
The customer service does not fare any better. They may be less than helpful and cannot be relied upon.
Furthermore, the website is not user-friendly at all and navigating it to find answers can be a complex ordeal.
Users frequently complain about badly-designed control boards and cabinet doors that fall off without warning.
Not only is the build quality of the control boards poor, but the functionality is also horrible. The brand fails to deliver on its lofty claims in the reliability department.
Despite its numerous slick functions and futuristic look, this is a brand that should be avoided.
8: Forest River
There used to be a time when the Forest River brand was considered one of the more venerable and trustworthy travel trailer companies.
The brand was known for its impeccable product quality. However, the company has now eroded that trust due to several issues inherent in the newer models.
This is quite sad since the company makes diverse products that are of deep interest to camping enthusiasts, like fifth wheels and pop-up campers.
The travel trailers have leakage problems that can affect ride quality while traversing the open road.
Another issue that owners complain about is the sinking floors.
As if this is not bad enough, flustered owners receive no helpful replies from customer representatives who appear aloof and callous.
Poor product quality, along with unhelpful customer service, has cost the brand a big share of its formerly large market.
There is no doubt that the brand had an aptitude for launching reliable and innovative travel trailers in the past.
However, due to deteriorating quality, the brand has lost much of its reputation in the present era. The company should take serious note of user complaints to avert a survival crisis.
The negative reviews don’t help the company in any way and they point towards serious reliability issues.
Since the brand still has a large following on the strength of its record, many hope that it will change its ways.
You should look elsewhere until the brand reverts to the core values that took it to the top. If you push your luck, you may run into a forest of problems with Forest River.
9: Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream used to be a reputable travel trailer that attached high priority to design and quality.
The company is now beleaguered with several issues, and customers have noticed a deterioration in its once high standards.
The unappealing appearance and faulty materials are not doing the brand any good. There are also other crucial reasons why customers are better off avoiding this brand altogether.
The most ubiquitous problem has to be the longstanding leakage issue. This, in turn, leads to other problems like rusting, for instance.
It is truly lamentable that upset customers have been complaining about the leakage issue for a long time, but apparently, no one is taking any notice.
The leakage problem originates from a design flaw and the manufacturing process, and the brand should duly address these problems.
After all, no one likes to have a travel trailer that is slowly succumbing to rust.
The refrigerators and heaters tend to fizzle out, leaving you helpless for the remainder of your trip.
Certain parts are also installed badly, indicating poor workmanship. It is not worth going along with a brand that shows little concern for quality assurance.
The company is also widening its profit margins at the expense of user experience by using cheap materials.
High-quality materials are imperative for a robust and reliable product.
Unfortunately, Gulf Stream is not showing due regard in this critical aspect. Therefore, it is not worth investing your precious money in a brand that refuses to use good materials.
The brand will also charge you extra for customer service that is less than exemplary. It would be a much better idea to invest your precious money elsewhere since you can find much better quality at this price range.
Mentioned above is a comprehensive list complete with meticulous details about the worst travel trailers.
Reliability problems with your travel trailer while traveling down the lonely country road in the middle of nowhere is a harrowing experience, to say the least.
This is certainly not what the average camping enthusiast has in mind when exploring the great outdoors across the US.
If you concur with this, then take note of the travel trailers you shouldn’t buy.
Make sure that you consider the following points while buying a travel trailer so that you do not face serious issues later on.
You should know what you want and what your budget permits. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can purchase a travel trailer for exploring the scenic beauty of the states or a motorhome for a more comfortable and spacious accommodation.
Several brands are competing in the travel trailer market. You should do your research so that you do not fall for brands that ignore the importance of customer service, material quality, and reliability.
Although research requires some effort on your part, the time that you put in is worth it. Doing proper research helps you avoid a plethora of problems that have ruined the vacations of many.
Make sure that you search the internet for customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect from the travel trailer you want to buy. You will come to know about many important things like customer service, build quality, and reliability.