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Old 07-03-2015, 06:44 PM   #1
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Thor VS Winnebago Vs etc, what's the perception?

Everyone knows that the luxury perception of a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus is greater than a Ford, Chevy or Toyota because they are touted as more high end. However, what is the overall perception of Thor in the market place? I feel like Thor is a high end brand when I see how nice they are but then I look at Winnebago and they are often times more expensive but why so? They really don't look much different/better and often have less features in my opinion. Is Winnebago considered more of a high end RV? What is higher than them? Airstream? What is below Thor? Coachmen or Jayco? Is Forrest River comparable to Thor?

I'm just trying to figure out about where "Thor" (specifically the Axis) sits in the marketplace. Love to hear your thoughts/opinions.
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:32 PM   #2
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Thor is junk!
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:46 PM   #3
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Thor makes from the entry level to high end motorhomes. They have several different lines now. As far as the travel trailers go CrossRoads has entry level to high end, and Thor owns Airstream also. Thor is more on the line of Forrest River. Winnebago also has entry to high level. They all will have their problems The trick is to find a floor plan you like Sold by a good service dealer.
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kayak Angler Drew View Post

....cut....

I'm just trying to figure out about where "Thor" (specifically the Axis) sits in the marketplace. Love to hear your thoughts/opinions.
Since differences in chassis costs are minimal (according to Ford advertised prices), and the Axis/Vegas is at lower end of price range, based on my own research I expect the quality to be somewhat lower than more expensive Thor coaches. I doubt being smaller in itself saves Thor that much in materials. The last new Axis we saw at a Camping World had a lot of issues. Trim pieces had fallen off the outside and fit and finish inside was poor also.

My wife and I visit a very large RV consignment center to inspect how RVs hold up after use, among other things, and I can say that most of the time we walk away discouraged because most units are either built poorly, or owners abuse them unnecessarily. I get we need to use them to enjoy them, but some owners are just careless. And on cheap stuff carelessness turns into failures.

I like the size of the Axis a lot, but would prefer that Thor invest more in build quality than in features I don't want/need or could do without. As I've mentioned before, I would like them to offer a simpler higher-quality Axis without a slide, without a generator (with inverter and more batteries), and without stretching the OEM chassis' wheelbase 12 inches. I know I'm not typical, but would personally prefer these costs be spent in other areas.
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chance
My wife and I visit a very large RV consignment center to inspect how RVs hold up after use, among other things, and I can say that most of the time we walk away discouraged because most units are either built poorly, or owners abuse them unnecessarily. I get we need to use them to enjoy them, but some owners are just careless. And on cheap stuff carelessness turns into failures.
In the storage lot where we keep our Axis there are several old or very old campers that just seem to be rotting there: I never see anyone visit them, I never see them gone (e.g. in use). They all are decaying to the point where they are useless (roof rotted away, doors falling off, etc.). In addition there is another Axis in our lot--it arrived about 6 months after ours did. I don't know what they've been doing with it or where they've been camping with it but it already looks like its 1 or 2 years older than ours!
A lot can be said of owner upkeep on that cheap stuff.
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:37 PM   #6
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In the storage lot where we keep our Axis there are several old or very old campers that just seem to be rotting there: I never see anyone visit them, I never see them gone (e.g. in use). They all are decaying to the point where they are useless (roof rotted away, doors falling off, etc.). In addition there is another Axis in our lot--it arrived about 6 months after ours did. I don't know what they've been doing with it or where they've been camping with it but it already looks like its 1 or 2 years older than ours!
A lot can be said of owner upkeep on that cheap stuff.
Jamie, to be clear, I wasn't saying that Axis is cheap. It's not. And the price, while lower than most larger Class As, is still higher than what I consider cheap units. I won't mention brands. At shows I've seen small cheap Class Cs sold for $20,000 lower than an Axis. Some of these brands fall apart more quickly in my opinion. Granted, cheaper RVs may also attract less experienced owners, or some other factor that compounds the problem.

Many of the motorhomes of various brands have broken dinette table supports, broken or missing trim, water leaks, and the thing that bothers me most is damage associated with slides. We see water leaks, sagging structure, damage to floor, etc. all the time. And almost all have the top of the slide very dirty. And that dirt that accumulates on top of slide often comes with a smell I don't like. Could be one of those out-of-sight out-of-mind things that doesn't get cleaned often, or ever.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:10 AM   #7
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There aren't many options on the Vegas/Axis probably because it slows down the production line, and requires more inventory and accounting, thus increasing the cost. It's a marketing strategy.
We were on some bumpy county roads today, and it is amazing that any of these rigs don't shake to pieces. I've seen some RVs that were less than a year old and were trashed, and some that were over 10 and still looking like new. Some folks can trash out a luxury car, and some folks can make the cheapest crap car last forever.
Back to the OP, I believe our 2016 Thor is just as well built as the other brands mentioned, and better than some. It's really hard to compare the abused rigs brand to brand with a small sample.
At their price point, I consider Vegas and Axis entry level. Yes, there certainly are cheaper Class Cs, but you get much less value. I expect issues with our Vegas both initially and for the entire ownership time. they all have issues. However, I will take care to maintain it as like-new as possible. The last coach did pretty well for 8 years, and will give the next owner several more. When we were shopping, this is the coach that gave us the floor plan and the pricing we wanted.
Good luck with your shopping!
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:01 AM   #8
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I am on the (cheaper) end of motorhomes with a Four Winds 23U. I do have to say though we have had 0 problems (knock on wood). The interior is finished very well including the cabinets, dinette and the bedding. The counter top is nice and the sinks are fine, the faucets are cheaper but functional. The shower surround could be better but works well. You have all ranges of RVs because of different needs, The windows and window dressings are what I see in more expensive units. We could have went bigger and more expensive but what we have has served us very well.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:10 AM   #9
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Chance: no issues with the top of the slide getting dirty on the Axis/Vegas: a slide topper is standard.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:53 PM   #10
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Chance,

Page 127 of the owner's manual provides instructions for the "Care and Maintenance" of Slide Outs. Also page 141 provides a maintenance schedule, although it is not all inclusive it is a good start.

Over the years I have found that often times when an owner complains about problems the troubleshooting into the actual problem would end if the owner looked in a mirror.

Two principles have been a guide to me for well over 40 years. Those principles are:

"If it's not inspected it's neglected" - Basically if you don't take the time to check things out and take corrective action stuff will break.

"Failure to follow-up is failure" - If you find something out of place and then fail to ensure it is corrected and it remains uncorrected then you failed in issue resolution.

I believe in the concept of before, during and after operation maintenance.
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Old 07-04-2015, 02:09 PM   #11
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Chance: no issues with the top of the slide getting dirty on the Axis/Vegas: a slide topper is standard.
Toppers were present in almost all units so that doesn't prevent the dirt I mentioned. I live in a very wet and windy area with thunderstorms so that may change things some. Often water stains with mildew are present.

I would guess that same topper, while it keeps it cleaner, also makes it harder to clean the top of the slide from outside. And from inside it's hard to get to that area.

Next time you see an older RV with slide retracted, climb on something and take a look at the top of the slide. You may be surprised.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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When I shopped and bought a year ago, I have the impression that there's not much difference.

I didn't look that seriously at the ace/axis class, but my observations are
at a given price range/class of coach
the major components are all 3rd party and come from the same few vendors.... things like fridges, converters, stoves, water heaters, etc....

There are minor differences in style and design, which can affect quality, but not usually much....

after considering other classes and types, I ended up looking mostly at low end class c coaches.
My read was that they were all pretty much on a level field
Winnebago and Jayco in some cases maybe slightly better that Thor which might be slightly better than forest river & coachman. I'm only talking tenths of a point differences on a 1-10 scale.....
& this based mostly on little things... switch placement, material choices, perception of fit and finish.... mostly personal opinion stuff.

As others have said, I think you'll see differentials as you look at different classes of rigs.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:11 PM   #13
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On Thor's website the other day asking them to send me a replacement LED light that all of a sudden died as the nearest service center is 2.5 hrs away and I noticed their new Owners page. I watched the factory tour video and was so impressed with the craftsmanship and quality control they place in their products - I wanted to rush out and buy one! Then I remembered I have a 2015 Hurricane in the driveway and how talk is so cheap!


Still waiting for their reply about the LED light. Hope to have it prior to driving to Pigeon Forge next Saturday for two weeks in the Smoky mountains! Not holding my breath though!
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #14
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Two principles have been a guide to me for well over 40 years. Those principles are:

"If it's not inspected it's neglected" - Basically if you don't take the time to check things out and take corrective action stuff will break.

"Failure to follow-up is failure" - If you find something out of place and then fail to ensure it is corrected and it remains uncorrected then you failed in issue resolution.

I believe in the concept of before, during and after operation maintenance.

Dave, were you a sniper? You are always spot on. Excellent guiding principles that I hope my sons will learn.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:57 PM   #15
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....cut....

I believe in the concept of before, during and after operation maintenance.
I fully agree.

On the other hand, the less required maintenance, the more time for hiking, cycling, or relaxing.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #16
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I fully agree.

On the other hand, the less required maintenance, the more time for hiking, cycling, or relaxing.
Depends on your perspective. For me the more required maintenance the less time for senseless crap like television and video games.

When I'm at a campground I can have the tops of 3 slides brushed off, the slide rails lubricated and an inspection of all three slide seals performed before I finish my 1st cup of coffee at 6:00 AM. In the five minute trip back inside for a second cup of coffee I can sweep the patio mat and dry off the folding lawns chairs.

When it is raining and hiking or cycling are not possible I do what needs to be done inside rather than fry my brain on some useless "reality" television show.

When I return home I can have all three slide toppers and the awning cleaned, to include mold and mildew removal in less than an hour. I always have some solution (per manufacturers instructions) mixed up and in a 2 gallon pump sprayer sitting inside my shed.

Again it is a matter of perspective. Even a tent requires maintenance.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:49 PM   #17
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Depends on your perspective. For me the more required maintenance the less time for senseless crap like television and video games.

When I'm at a campground I can have the tops of 3 slides brushed off, the slide rails lubricated and an inspection of all three slide seals performed before I finish my 1st cup of coffee at 6:00 AM. In the five minute trip back inside for a second cup of coffee I can sweep the patio mat and dry off the folding lawns chairs.

When it is raining and hiking or cycling are not possible I do what needs to be done inside rather than fry my brain on some useless "reality" television show.

When I return home I can have all three slide toppers and the awning cleaned, to include mold and mildew removal in less than an hour. I always have some solution (per manufacturers instructions) mixed up and in a 2 gallon pump sprayer sitting inside my shed.

Again it is a matter of perspective. Even a tent requires maintenance.

Amen.

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Old 07-04-2015, 10:22 PM   #18
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Dave, were you a sniper? You are always spot on. Excellent guiding principles that I hope my sons will learn.
No, not a sniper. Mechanized Cavalry, Armor for a 12 years and then Ordnance for the remainder.

"The horse comes first"
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kayak Angler Drew View Post
Everyone knows that the luxury perception of a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus is greater than a Ford, Chevy or Toyota because they are touted as more high end. However, what is the overall perception of Thor in the market place? I feel like Thor is a high end brand when I see how nice they are but then I look at Winnebago and they are often times more expensive but why so? They really don't look much different/better and often have less features in my opinion. Is Winnebago considered more of a high end RV? What is higher than them? Airstream? What is below Thor? Coachmen or Jayco? Is Forrest River comparable to Thor?

I'm just trying to figure out about where "Thor" (specifically the Axis) sits in the marketplace. Love to hear your thoughts/opinions.
I was told that Thor was flooding dealers with new units and then having to heavily discount later on. Winnebago doesn't seem to over build so there's not a lot of inventory sitting around. Not sure if they do this on purpose or they cant manufacture at Thor's rate. Last 3 new Thor motorhome that I've bought I've gotten 35-37% off but with Winnibago I could only get about 20% off.
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:31 PM   #20
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I was told that Thor was flooding dealers with new units and then having to heavily discount later on. Winnebago doesn't seem to over build so there's not a lot of inventory sitting around. Not sure if they do this on purpose or they cant manufacture at Thor's rate. Last 3 new Thor motorhome that I've bought I've gotten 35-37% off but with Winnibago I could only get about 20% off.
When you read Thor's annual report to the SEC and stock holders the picture portrayed is Thor manufactures to dealer orders and they do not flood the dealers with new inventory.

Now, I imagine the dealers have agreed to a minimum number of units sold and they may be locked into that number or face loosing license to sell Thor products. This is similar to what happens in the automobile industry.
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