View Full Version : Appalling build quality

08-06-2018, 03:42 PM
Just purchased a 2017 Crusader 30BH and the chassis is already rusty.

Our old 2014 Hobby caravan shows no signs of rust the chassis is galvanised.

Do they build these things to last for just 4-5 years...... why so bad?

Are they all the same?


08-06-2018, 05:21 PM
I suppose depending on where it was built, when it was transported and in what kind of weather all plays a part in rusting. I saw a 2 year old trailer frame almost rust through from being just parked near the ocean. If you want to keep it from getting any worst, try cleaning with a wire brush and putting on a product called POR-15 (paint over rust) works fantastic.

08-07-2018, 03:16 AM
Fact remains the basic product is rubbish. A simple hot dip galvanised chassis would solve the problem. They don't make them to last they make them to trash. There are areas you cannot get to with the insulation covering the chassis beams. Even the paint they use to coat the metal is of the lowest possible quality. The Crusader is our first 5th wheel but compared to the build of the European RVs and caravans they are appalling. There is not much choice in Europe for a similar vehicle. Come on Guys tell the manufacturers don't just get the wire brush and paint out.

08-07-2018, 10:50 AM
Your complaint is industry-wide, as to quality of construction. Isn't going to change as long as they are selling 500k units/year.
Do more online research on next purchase paying attention to owners forums for quality comments.
Just paying more does not necessarily get you different results.
And trying to compare European standards to US standards for RVs isn't apples to apples...but check what they pay for them in US dollars?

08-10-2018, 05:43 AM
Crash, here is a nice RV made in England. Handy tow-behind in the 16 foot range. Uh, no air, but it has a galvanized frame. Only $33,000. Maybe they could make one for you in the 38 foot range.


08-10-2018, 06:15 AM
All caravans in Europe have a Galvanised chassis as standard. There is a Manufacturer in the UK but very expensive and limited layout. see http://fifthwheelco.com/celtic-rambler/
So we have to put up with the poor quality USA stuff and wow they are always so dark inside.

08-10-2018, 09:27 AM
Crash, this little thing has one slide, costs start at 52K pounds and has a cassette toilet? Really? At today's exchange that is going to top 75K and that was just to start. All that to get a galvanized frame? Dealers couldn't sell even ONE in the US.

08-10-2018, 09:53 AM
Yes I know that but a 2009 model still fetches very good money if the spec is what you want. Just galvanizing a chassis might add $100.00 to a USA build.

They are selling rubbish and it's time you told them.

Even on Youtube they say the basic build quality of the 5th wheel units is bad no matter what you pay! Please note I have purchased a Crusader 30BH here in the UK as there is such limited manufacturing and spec. but I'm not looking forward to repainting the chassis.

08-11-2018, 11:23 AM
I was in the construction business for years and frequently used a local galvanizer for builds. No way in hell would you even get someone to talk to you for $100. Maybe $3500 for a frame. European standards also are meaningless here. Same for Australian, since they are mentioned so frequently. People want bigger and better equipped.
Surface rust is meaningless anyway.


08-11-2018, 11:58 AM
I take your point Bill but even the paint they use is cheap and nasty. There is no need to produce such a poorly finished product that rusts after 12 months. Its great pity as the new shells of the units seem to be sound with roofs guaranteed 12 years. Am I the only person to look underneath?


08-11-2018, 08:28 PM
Do I understand you bought a US trailer in the UK?

08-12-2018, 04:31 AM
Yes there is VERY limited choice here in Europe of 5th Wheel units. Cost, well this unit had been on hire for a while but is a March 2017 model. Cost 34,000 but work has to be done to bring the electrics up to UK specification. I was impressed with the Gel coat outer and the fact I could walk on the roof to inspect it. No I won't be buying a tow car, we are paying to have it towed down to southern Spain for the winter then stored in the extremely hot summer months when we are home. My understanding is the basic construction is the same no matter what you pay the price in the USA going up with size and internal, external equipment? I'm sure that with a few cans of Hammerite paint I can get things underneath to last and not rust. By the way should the Leaf Springs be greased they are also rusty?


08-12-2018, 08:18 AM
How was it used for hire if the electrics weren’t up to UK specs?

08-12-2018, 08:57 AM
The Electrics are modded before hire to take 240 volts with a new transformer being fitted 240/110 and new wiring through out for the 240V circuit. This way the existing Equipment running on US voltage is catered for but new sockets throughout for 240V and new 240V input.

08-12-2018, 09:46 AM
Lot of work just to have a US-built fiver in the UK. Is this a normal situation?

08-12-2018, 12:51 PM
Yes lots are imported and sold but only about 200 a year.

08-12-2018, 05:18 PM
Interesting. No fifth wheels built over there?

08-13-2018, 04:12 AM
http://fifthwheelco.com/celtic-rambler/ very very expensive and no choice on size or layout. 5th Wheel units here are used often as statics or are hired out for living space at Music Festivals and Events. The road system and capable tow trucks are also a limiting factor. Keep in mind we are paying about $6.5 a US gallon for petrol and more for diesel.
There is a huge amount of tax added onto fuel prices in Europe.