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Camping World and THOR


gypsydan

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We have all heard different stories about how Camping World has dealt with people bringing their RVs in for repair. Either the repairs are not done competently, or new RVs are kept in theIr shop for so long that the warranty is almost gone, etc. In looking  Camping World stores I realize they sell THOR motorhomes, the most egregious company which seems to be hurting the RV industry by the shoddy construction. There is even now a class action lawsuit against THOR for their bad workmanship and noncompliance with making repairs.

On Camping World front doors is a statement from the owner, Marcus Lemonis, saying “if you’re not happy, I’m not happy. Call me.”  I wanted to find out more about Marcus, as I had seen his TV program The Profit, and discovered an article in Inc. magazine about his “shady side“ and realized one reason why he would be selling Thor motorhomes (Which may have a hi-profit margin) and why many would be complaining about the shoddy work ethics  in his shops.
An interesting read:

https://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/dark-side-of-marcus-lemonis-reality-tv-show-the-profit.html

2009 Four Winds Chateau - 25' class C          2002 Chevy Tracker

1458033694__statesVisitedas-ofMarch-2012.jpg.b173645da4a43150ba2820dc7a6bdfc5.jpg

 

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  • 1 month later...

I am trying to fing more information about Thor. Are they—even now—as bad as their reviews in the past? We are first time future buyers and I have been doing research for months now but they own Newmar-for example—one of the most well respected RV companies along with others. Also-in the Michigan area they are reasonably priced and everywhere. Plus they jave floorplans I want. Yet what good is any of it if it’s a pile of junk RV. Have they improved at all as of this writing do you know? 

Edited by Caroljv
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48 minutes ago, Caroljv said:

I am trying to fing more information about Thor.

Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are here to help so feel free to ask whatever you wish or to join into any thread.

To address your questions about Thor, they do not own Newmar. Until last year Newmar was a family owned company, when in Sept. 2019 they sold the RV manufacturing to Winnebago, which is not any part of Thor, but is an independent and well respected RV manufacturer and one of the oldest in the motorhome manufacturing industry.

As toThor Ind., they are currently the biggest company in the RV business and as such they own a large number of brands and several companies that operate independently, under the corporate structure. When Thor was created in 1980 the purpose was to purchase Airstream which was in financial distress and losing money. They were able to return Airstream to a profitable business in less than a year, but in doing so they also ended the long history of customer support above profits that had been the case for many years. They went public in 1984 and continued to buy up struggling RV companies. If you are interested there is a good general history that you can visit and read.

In the early days Thor was well known for their cost cutting measures in the companies that they acquired, but most of those companies were for sale because of financial difficulties and Thor. Industries has a sold history of profitability. Today they own companies that build everything from the lowest cost RVs to some of the higher cost, luxury models. Most of the companies that Thor buys do take a dip in reputation at least for a time when first taken over, but the overall reputation of the company's brand names has at least begun to recover. The Airstream has pretty much returned to it's old reputation for quality and longevity, and they are the highest priced production travel trailer on the market today. Because they build such a wide range of price/quality RV it is not possible to put a single label on all products built by Thor as good or bad, high or low quality. The primary purpose of the company is profitability, just as is the case for most public stock companies. From observation of the RV business and products for more than 40 years, in my opinion the total company does not stand out as either good or bad but they do still have some brand names that emphasize price above quality & service and so have poor reputations, while they also have some higher end lines that continue to be quality products, but perhaps with somewhat less factory support than before the Thor takeover. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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Ha ha ha ha! I definitely stand corrected.
 

Thank you so much for such a detailed and informative reply. 

Yes I did actually know Winnebago bought out Newmar, I am getting my buy-outs mixed up! I truly have been studying RV’s and the business of buying one for months just about every single day for over three months so I am getting my facts mixed up. Thank you for setting me straight. Sensory overload for me! 

What is your opinion about buying a Thor? Qould you buy one?
 

When we went to General RV in GR and then Midway, the sales rep in GR came right out and said (with regard ro Class A RVs but we are no longer interested in such a large rig) he did not recomend those to his customers even though they sold them as they were having too many complaints. Midway simply said, “We don’t sell any Thors.” He would not elaborate as to why but it seems that I see more complaints about Thor than any other brand and I don’t mean the usual mixed complaints. I see many “their RVs are junk” and “ spent more time in the factory being fixed than we used it.” 
 

Not just people being persnickity. 

Which was a little telling to me I thought.
 

What is your pwrsonal opinion? 

I mean obviously when you sell so many more rigs you’ll get more complaints but the complaints seemed really over the top. 
 

 

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11 minutes ago, Caroljv said:

I see more complaints about Thor than any other brand and I don’t mean the usual mixed complaints. I see many “their RVs are junk” and “ spent more time in the factory being fixed than we used it.” 

I would look for three things: the dates, the models, and the types of the complaints. Like Kirk said, many of their brands took a hit at the beginning of Thor's ownership as people no longer got what they were used to getting from the companies that were no longer profitable so sold out to Thor. If most of the complaints in a particular time frame about a particular model are about service maybe that will help you decide how much weight to give to those complaints. Quality, however, is quality so if that appears to have gone down you might want to give a bit more weight to those complaints.

Linda

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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The vast majority of RV's are built by one of two companies, Thor and Forest River.  And each of those companies has lines ranging from budget-level entry models to high-end. If you really dig into it you would be surprised at how many well-known brand names are actually under the umbrella of those two companies. And both of those companies have large amounts of complaints regarding quality which is no surprise based on the volume that they produce. 

There are a few smaller players in the market, and many folks feel like they produce better quality RV's, but there is no simple answer. Northwood Manufacturing, out of La Grande, Oregon is an example of a smaller manufacturer with a good reputation.  But their output is far lower than the "Big Two" so their units are harder to find and are available at far fewer dealers. 

Winnebago bought Sunnybrook several years ago, and Grand Design more recently so they have upped their game with towable RV's. They would also be worth a look if you are trying to compare different manufacturers. 

Mark & Teri

2021 Grand Designs Imagine 2500RL, 2019 Ford F-350

Mark & Teri's Travels

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Very good point Linda and something to consider. Lately we are looking at Class B+ and just when I was about to give Thor a thought about trying in this area I saw one review—granted it was just one- that said, EVEN in this newer catagory STAY AWAY. I just find it hard to believe that a company SO huge that makes such gorgeous RVs jasn’t at least attempted to polish their image. 
 

But I also do not want to be that first time buyer I’ve read about who said, “I wish I had listened to everyone about Thor!” 

But this is why I’m here. I am finding it difficult to find the RV we want with the specs we want — in the Class B+ and that is why I am even considering Thor. 
 

We do not want a slide out with a folding bed. So we want twin beds. We don’t care for Queen. My hisband is huge. So we want twins. This is proving to be very difficult to find. 
 

We found tow terrific models - The Wonder—-16-24 months to order the 2021. 

The Platinum III 2021 but the drawback to that is we live in Michigan and we’d have to fly to Florida to even test drive a new one! Not a fan of that. That’s if we want gas which we do. 
 

Most of the rest are diesel if they even have a twin floorplan which we are not big fans of. Not against, just did not want a disel rig. We prefer gas. 
 

I know I will hear from diesel fans and we are considering those models at present. 
 

That is why I am even considering Thor. I have gone through every known RV manufactor that is currently doing business and this is what I have come up with. 

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Thanks. I definitely have looked into Forrest River. We are only interested—after oir reaearch and for our needs—in a class B+ or small C right now. The sleeker newer rigs that usually do not have sleeping over the top of the deiver but now some of the B+ ones do. It depends on the make. 

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1 hour ago, Caroljv said:

What is your opinion about buying a Thor? Qould you buy one?

Better quality costs more and that is important to keep in mind, whether from Thor or someone else. While Thor didn't yet own them, my current RV was built by KZ and the company is now part of Thor and my dealer(I know the owner) says that there is a little more difficulty in getting factory support under Thor, but not a lot more difficult. He tells me that he thinks that there has been some cutting of corners and that the amount of dealer care needed has increased somewhat. But he does continue to carry the line and sees no reason to change that. 

To say that I would, or would not buy a Thor product without specifying a particular brand & model is impossible to answer. When compared to models of similar quality and luxury levels the Thor products tend to be lower priced and yet only an expert would be likely to detect significant differences on issues of quality or fit & finish. In addition, my answer would also depend on how I intended to use the RV in question. I would shop lower cost RVs for occasional use and Thro would be one of the leaders in that area. When it comes to a snowbird or extended use RV, I would get more selective and only consider the Thor products at the higher end of the range and while I would consider them, I have the experience (more than 40 years and a lot of repair experience) to judge quality versus price. I can tell you that if buying for fulltime, there are only a couple of Thor brands that I would even look at. If buying used, then I would get very careful because of the factory support history, but even then I would not simply say no. I would look at things more closely with Thro than with companies like Winnebago or Tiffin, butI would look. When we shop for an RV, our final step is to go through the unit under consideration with a check list like this link, spending several hours examining it before I sign any paperwork or spend any money. Since I have not shopped for an RV in several years, I really can't say what I would, or would not buy. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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On 9/13/2020 at 2:57 PM, Caroljv said:

Thanks. I definitely have looked into Forrest River. We are only interested—after oir reaearch and for our needs—in a class B+ or small C right now. The sleeker newer rigs that usually do not have sleeping over the top of the deiver but now some of the B+ ones do. It depends on the make. 

Unless you want to purchase "new", you might check out re-sale Jayco - models prior to 2016  (when purchased by Thor).  Don't think there were any B+, but (IIRC) - various Cs.  The 2005 Jayco 5th I own came with a two year factory warranty - which I never needed...🙂

"Lazy Daze"  is a well respected Class C mfgr since 1956.  Factory direct *only*, located in Montclair, CA. - know several repeat buyers.

.

 

Edited by Pappy Yokum
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Thanks to the sage advice here my husband and I found the Thor Vegas/Axis (they are essentially the same rig) and we think that is the one. At least that is our first choice. As first time buyers we understood it is important to identify  the rig you want before actually going in to the dealeship to buy.  And this Thor gets good reviews. It checks off everything on our want list. We have choices 2, 3, 4 etc. as we haven’t done a test drive yet but I wanted to thank everyone here. I read every response. Will consder everything said- we are looking to purchase new Pappy but you never know! Our minds are always open!  Thank you for all the advice. I really appreciate the help. 😃

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  • 1 year later...
On 9/17/2020 at 6:52 AM, Caroljv said:

Thanks to the sage advice here my husband and I found the Thor Vegas/Axis (they are essentially the same rig) and we think that is the one. At least that is our first choice. 

I was looking back at some old threads and read this one. I am curious, after all your research, what you ended up buying, and are you happy with your choice?

2009 Four Winds Chateau - 25' class C          2002 Chevy Tracker

1458033694__statesVisitedas-ofMarch-2012.jpg.b173645da4a43150ba2820dc7a6bdfc5.jpg

 

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