Your RV Was Likely Slapped Together in 7 Hours (Or Less)

Last Updated on April 21, 2023 by Jess

Rushing into a project usually doesn’t end well. Unfortunately, many RV manufacturers have not yet embraced this idea.

In fact, a representative of a major manufacturer bragged on camera about how quickly he produces RVs.

RVers may not like to hear this, but it’s quite possible that workers are assembling their RVs far too quickly. And many people wonder why new RVs often have so many problems. I think we have found the reason.

Today we’re going to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing process of most RVs.

A look inside a fast moving RV factory

We recently stumbled across an interesting video created by John MacDonald, an employee of Jayco’s marketing department.

While we didn’t expect it to be easy to build an RV, his footage shows that it’s no walk in the park.

MacDonald takes viewers through the process of building a motorhome from start to finish. As he explains each step of the manufacturing process, hurried workers can be seen in the background.

Although it may appear that the footage has been sped up, it definitely is not. The workers have to do their work at incredible speed.

Are all types of RVs built this fast?

Manufacturing processes for towable and drivable RVs vary widely. However, many industries rely on a fast assembly line for production.

Workers work incredibly fast to complete their specific tasks and have very little time to make sure everything is done right.

It is important to note, however, that our experience was exclusively in the RV market. We have never considered an RV, so we have never visited these manufacturing facilities.

It wouldn’t be fair for us to assume that just because it’s happening in the trailer market, it’s happening in the drivable market segment.

Are manufacturers still building RVs this fast?

One would hope that the process has changed since MacDonald uploaded his footage nearly a decade ago.

Unfortunately, that is most certainly not the case. We’ve seen more recent footage from the Changing Lanes YouTube channel that shows nothing has changed.

We have been involved with several RV manufacturers over the past few years and have seen footage. Unfortunately, what we saw in the factories matched what you see in the MacDonald and Changing Lanes videos.

Almost all manufacturers that build RVs require workers to move at breakneck speeds to get their jobs done. Workers run around their work stations like they’ve had too many cups of coffee.

Otherwise, they fall behind, hold up production, and risk losing their jobs.

Why are towable RVs being manufactured so quickly?

When it comes to manufacturing towable RVs, manufacturers don’t make money until the vehicles are delivered to dealers. That is, the faster they can manufacture RVs, the faster they can sell them to dealers.

At the height of the RV boom, dealers were selling many RVs before production had even started. Let’s take a look at why RV trailers are being made so fast!

Pro Tip: If you’ve never towed an RV before, it can take some getting used to! If this is your first time towing an RV, take a look at our RV towing guide for newbies

Manufacturers follow the same industry formula

Almost all manufacturers of RVs with trailers use the same formula to design their vehicles.

They divide the process into different phases and stations where workers have a set amount of time to complete their work. This has become standard for RVs and many other industries.

Like a chain, the process is only as strong as the weakest link. If a single worker or station can’t keep up with production, the entire process goes haywire.

Unfortunately, far too many manufacturers are content to solve problems after the sale rather than produce the most reliable product possible.

Some components are prefabricated

Thanks to the prefabricated parts, workers can work so quickly. These include walls, chassis, sliding boxes, skirts, front caps and many other components. RV manufacturers often have entire departments dedicated to component assembly.

In addition, many RV manufacturers maintain incredibly close relationships with their suppliers. Some of these suppliers assemble or prepare parts and deliver them to the factory for installation in the RVs.

In this way, a manufacturer can dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce a fully functional RV.

New fast built motorhomes for sale at a motorhome dealer.

Workers paid by units built per day

Another reason for the fast pace is the wage structure for workers. Most assembly line workers in industry are paid per unit.

That means they make more money if they produce more RVs. Like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, the workers shout to the manufacturers, “Show me the money!”.

While this may seem like a bad idea, it is one of the most effective and efficient ways to keep the process from taking longer than necessary.

Without the incentive to produce RVs quickly, production costs would increase because a job that takes 20 to 30 minutes could take an hour or more with a distracted and slow worker.

In addition, due to a lack of quality standards, RVs are assembled much faster than regular cars.

Manufacturers face no legal consequences if they produce an inferior product. If RV manufacturers were held to the same standards, they would not be able to produce their vehicles as quickly.

In addition, many consumers have adjusted their expectations after decades of substandard production. Although they pay high prices, they settle for inferior products.

Many know that even if they buy a brand new appliance, they will probably have to make repairs and check the quality themselves.

Remember: Is it legal to ride in the back of a semi-truck? Let’s find out.

Should these RV factory videos worry you?

The production methods used in mobile home factories are extremely concerning. Not only can they result in inferior products, but they can also increase the risks to workers.

We would like to see more care and attention in the production of RVs. However, consumers should adjust their expectations of manufacturers and get used to paying higher prices.

Consumers can’t have everything they want – at least not until something changes.

Have you seen any videos about RV manufacturers?

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