J R Consumer Resources Inc., Clarkston, Wash., in August will release an updated edition of its 170-page ”RV Comparison Guide” covering the years 2008-2010 with ratings of RV manufacturers broken down into ”premium,” “above average” and “economy RV” manufacturers.
”I try to be an non-biased as possible,” said J R Consumer President Randall Eaton. ”I don’t own an RV. Nobody pays me, and I don’t go to conventions or club gatherings. I’m an outsider in the sense that I don’t rub shoulders with anyone in the RV industry.”
The company since 1999 also has published comparison guides for the manufactured housing and modular home markets.
The ”RV Comparison Guide” doesn’t rate brands specifically, but rather details how they are made, what their MSRP and retail values are and the types of uses they are designed for along with other information. ”If a consumer isn’t going to be a fulltimer, he doesn’t need to buy a coach that is designed for full-time use,” Eaton said.
The company talked to representatives from more than 50 manufactures to determine construction techniques, MSRPs and other information.
”I know that a lot of the information is one-sided coming from the company, but we gather data from places other than the manufacturers,” Eaton said.
All of J R’s books, including ”2009 Top 100 RV Dealers,” ”How to Buy an RV and Save Thousands” and ”RV Extended Warranties: How to Select the Best Warranty and Save Thousands!” — are available for download online at jrconsumer.com or in printed versions for prices ranging from $19.95 to $49.95.
Because the books are published in PDF format online and ”on-demand” in printed form, they can be updated as necessary, Eaton said.
Additionally, the company has published on its website a variety of articles that explain the different types of RVs, their intended uses and other information the RV consumer might be interested in.
”How much a consumer wants to spend is a big part of it,” Eaton said. ”It’s a general rating using a number of criteria. How does Keystone compare to Jayco? How does Country Coach compare to Damon?”
The first guide was published in 2006 and updated through 2008. The next version will duplicate 2008’s reviews and add those from 2009 and new reviewed for the 2010 model year.