Buying an RV Camper? Learn from these buyers COSTLY mistakes…

Here’s what NOT to do when buying a camper!

Subtitle: A damning report on a major RV manufacturer

As I reviewed the video posted by Liz Amazing on YouTube (below), I decided I needed to share my thoughts with you (in the video above.) As the buyers in Liz’s post shared their story, I KNEW there were several lessons to be learned here. The fact that this is their 4th RV camper, makes the situation all the more unfortunate when you learn of the mis-steps and outright mistakes they made.

Note: I refer to any type of RV as an “RV camper.” This includes BOTH motorized and towables.

As you review Liz Amazing’s video, consider the situation. See if you can identify where this RV Camper purchase went completely “off the rails”…

Video from Liz Amazing channel. Motorhome owners tell all about their experience buying this Thor Tuscany new… What can WE learn from their mis-steps? (You may wish to review her video before watching my commentary posted above.

The RV camper these folks purchased was a Thor Tuscany 45MX. They purchased it as brand new. It cost them over $400,000. At that price point, you’d think they’d qualify for some “TLC” from both the dealer and manufacturer. Instead, their behavior was indifferent and borderline criminal.

Lets consider their LITTANY of mis-steps and mistakes…

  • They purchased NEW. Virtually ALL RV’s undergo a MASSIVE depreciation in their first two years.
    • Considering the fact that most RV owners only use their campers a few days each year, it’s common to find campers that are several years old that are in “like new” condition.
  • They purchased a THOR
    • As many of my readers know, I run my own Concierge RV Buying and Selling Service, and before that I worked for a RV dealer in Casper, Wyoming. I would often tell friends that the world of RV sales made used car salesmen look like angels! Why? MOST of the RV’s produced today are NOT worth owning at ANY price! In my video I explain in a bit more depth about who makes most of the RV campers today.
An inspiring photo of Williams Lake (see my post about Salmon Idaho for more)

Even though this camper had the right “specs” (or did it?)…

Had they been clients of mine, I would have immediately shared my concerns about Thor and (strongly) suggested a “gently used” Tiffin or Newmar or possibly a Renegade. The point is, while Thor makes (in “NY speak”) crapola, there ARE better quality builders of Class A motorhomes and I just named at least two. Renegade makes “Super C” campers which may work for some instead of a Class A.

We can learn about Thor’s “quality” as we listen to the owner of this camper detail the problems they’ve had, most of which relate to build and quality control issues.

Incidentally, buying a 3-6 year old RV from Newmar or Tiffin would likely NOT lighten their bank account by the $400,000+ they spent on the thing they purchased!

My section header above questions “or did it?” Here’s where I’m going with that thought –

Yes, the Thor Tuscany is a diesel pusher with a Cummins engine and a Freightliner chassis, both of which are generally good choices, this camper is 45 feet long!

There are some RV’ers for whom this length is appropriate, but for many (most?), its WAYYYY too long. I wrote a post a while back which I still hold to about the “ideal length” of a camper, you can read it HERE. Simply put, for where I want to camp AND the roads I drive along to get there, 45 ft. is not an option! Though the interior is nicer than most Park Avenue apartments in Manhattan!

**Nearing 65? Turning 65? Be sure to check out my Medicare Post – what I learned when I turned 65 a few months back – and the choices I made as an RV Traveler.**

“It had the perfect floor plan”

This is a direct quote from the buyer, and it is a fundamental mistake made by many RV buyers. I’m NOT saying you should consider a floor plan that won’t or can’t work for you, but, QUALITY matters and SHOULD be your “first filter.” Interestingly, the buyer DID mention they wanted quality, yet they landed on Thor!!

In other words, wouldn’t it make sense to limit your search to RV manufacturers who build a quality product? Once we narrow down the world to those manufacturers, we can then consider the floor plans they offer and see if any will work for you. Makes sense?

More Williams Lake (has nothing to do with this post, but hey, its inspiring, isn’t it?

The buyers KNEW the consequences of “driving off the lot”

And yet, they did it anyway!

In most states, you do NOT own the camper until you sign papers and drive (or pull) the RV off the dealers lot. This means that any issues detected during a test drive (which they say they did) AND during the “walk-through” are on the dealer to fix BEFORE signing anything or providing the dealer with any funds, other than a deposit ideally on a CREDIT CARD.

Bottom line: do NOT accept or “close the deal” on any camper that has issues – especially if its new. At a minimum, this buyer picked up on a windshield issue when doing their test drive AND had they climbed onto the roof (a MUST during the walk-through) they would likely have seen the screws that were driven through the roof!

After just those two issues, I’d have likely walked away. At a minimum, I would have left the camper with the dealer while THEY still owned it and either shopped elsewhere, looked for another, or waited for repairs to be executed BEFORE I would consider making the final purchase.

Again – the walk-through is YOUR final opportunity to get the dealer to make things right BEFORE closing on it and taking possession. In most states there is no 72 hour “buyers remorse” clause or right of return once the wheels touch the street pavement.

Want some camper walk-through tips? Read this post HERE.

Concluding Thoughts

And yet, more Williams Lake!

The term “buyer beware” comes to mind when it comes to purchasing a RV Camper. If you want a “guide by your side” along with someone who has your back (and does quite a bit more throughout the buying process), you can read about my Concierge RV Buying (and Selling) Service HERE.

And when you do purchase a camper…

best rv accessories
Click the image to see my recommendations for important RV Accessories

Be sure to watch my video (above) as I provide particular thoughts and insights. I believe sharing those thoughts by video is a more effective means of communication than the written word. That said, I hope you’ve found value in this post. If so, please leave comments below. I also invite you to sign up for my newsletter below to be notified of upcoming posts.

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11 thoughts on “Buying an RV Camper? Learn from these buyers COSTLY mistakes…”

  1. We just found this out the hard way with our Thor. We were definitely noobs to this whole thing. I did so much research, but never came across anything negative about Thor. So we stupidly went forward, thinking we were doing the right thing. Then we experienced the crap build quality our Gemini has. NOW, all of the bad information about Thor is showing up. Wish we would’ve known and learned this before buying it. Now we’re stuck with a unit that’s been in service almost 90% of the time we’ve owned it. This unit is definitely a lemon or bordering on one, especially with all of the water damage it now has. There are so many issues with our unit, it’s not even funny. Sure, the dealer is in the process of “repairing” the unit, but we’ve lost so much already. Money, time, etc. And it seems like the dealer is fine with continuing to partner with Thor, telling us “this all falls within INDUSTRY STANDARD.” Wow, well your industry needs better standards. Anyone know how to force a buyback or something in our favor?

  2. 3-minutes into the other video is the watershed moment: We knew the moment we drove off the lot, they would ghost us. And they did. Trust your instinct and walk away. But that’s so uncomfortable for buyers (new or used). This is not uncommon. Friend bought a Tiffin Allegro. He’s spent more time in Red Bay, Alabama getting major repairs than imaginable. Little to no regulation, it’s a free-for-all.

  3. Thanks for your videos. We have had many rvs , so not a new to camping. But now over whelmed by all the junk in the small TT. world. We need a quality coulples tow behind in the 20 ft. range. No bunks. Pulled with a GMC Canyon 6 cyl. 300 hp 4×4. Have not seen any thing with Quality. Any advice ?

    • Larry,

      I have a couple of thoughts, but I need to know the towing capacity is of your truck. If you call GMC w/ the VIN, they can give you a precise figure. Call me at 307 269 2546 (mountain time) – I was able to find its towing cap is 7700 pounds, but not knowing the year, I can’t put much weight on the stat I located. I’m also going to email you directly from my gmail account (


    • What brands DO you think are quality? I’m looking for a small (<20 ft). TT for me and my dog. Where do I look at the trailers you are selling?

      • Terry,

        What is your tow vehicle? What is its towing capacity? Based upon that I can be of greater assistance. I do not maintain my own website to sell my clients trailers. I place ads strategically to get them gone! If you’re interested in what I do for a buyer, beyond my information page (, feel free to call me (307 269 2546- mountain time) and I will be glad to explain further and get into specifics with you.

        Alan Sills


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