I had the pleasure of talking with a bonafide RV restoration specialist.
He restores vintage and New RV's and everything in between.
I learned a lot from just spending the day about the difference from a by gone time to newer technology. He explained ,,as most of us know that the Older RV's were built to last,, like Dads old Chevy.. to last 20 plus years,, with quality,proud workmanship in each model. Time goes on and manufacturers were falling into a slump with RV sales dropping due to cost and fuel prices sky rocketing. Approx, 60% of the RV builders had to close shop because they couldnt sell their models.. people just couldnt afford them,, and add the cost of fuel to get around wasnt in the finances. The manufacturers had to cut a lot of corners just to ride out the RV depression. Add D.O.T's new regulations to reduce weight and E.P.A;s regulations to reduce emmisions.
So, The newer RV's,, Being a puller,pusher or trailer had to reduce weight. Another driving factor was,, The RV's were lasting to long,, making it tough for the dealers to sell a newer model to prospective return buyers.. The consumer would buy their rig and keep it 5,10,15 years,,Pretty much a ONE TIME SALE. The solution was like the automotive companies,,, build a car that needs replacing within 5 years,,and the consumer by then will want a new and improved spiffy model. So,, RV manufactures followed that idea. Build a basic rig to have a life expectency of around 5 years, and make a trade in more appealing. The manufacturers also cut employee count and outsource a lot of the process,Makes for a corporate tax loss if they get cost over runs.. the blame it on consumer confidence index. The model years from 2011 through 2015 was a very bad year for the RV industry as the buyer was again in full buying mode and more people were jumping on the wagon to buy and RV and take families on vacation,, in other words a good BOOM in sales. Production vamped up, and the demand was exceeding the the production, More and more Outsourced contractors did the final assembly and 1 out of 10 or 20 rigs was given a full inspection,, leaving a majority to slip through with shoddy workmanship and defects.Appliances were shipped in mass quantity,, 1000's at a time,, and the damage in transit was usually 5%,, and add the rapid build,, that damage count jumped another few points,, bounced around,carted down the assembly line quickly dropped in, hooked up and sent on its way. Several advocacy groups have confronted several RV manufactures about the workmanship and are finally getting the ball rolling on getting back to a better built RV intended to last a 10 yr life span. You will notice over the next couple years,, The so called smooth side laminates will be faded out and the ripple skins will be making a comeback, and the 1x2 framing will be upgraded back to the 2x2 and 2x3 framing. This includes wood and aluminum structures,, falling mostly on aluminum framing. The newer rubber roof applications are getting better with technology. Isometric roofs are finally getting better. The RV rebuilder still agrees,, He would rather repair and older rig,, pre 2000 over the new ones any day.One piece of wisdom he did pass on is,, The pre 1970's all had measurements on spacing in INCHES,, Not Millimeters. using the 12 and 16 inch spacing to keep it universal.
Keep on,, keeping on... Hope this bit of trivia and info helps someone,, I learned something new and wanted to share with other members.