Outdoors RV Factory Tour Part 1 (How 4 Season Travel Trailers are made)


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We were so excited to be able to film the Outdoors RV factory tour! We had a private tour so we managed to capture a lot of details. This is part 1 of our 3 part series. In Part 1 we cover how the chassis is made, how the floor is constructed, some of what makes it a 4 season and off-road capable RV, and how the water & propane line testing is done. See all of the topics covered with timestamps below.

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02:44 Custom designed and built chassis for each floor plan
04:20 Fully enclosed underbelly – first layer of climate designed four season package.
04:58 Oversized axles that give greater carrying capacity
06:12 Auto-leveling system for the new Anniversary Series trailer. Testing of new features.
08:26 Next layer of four season package: R15 reflective insulation under the entire trailer.
09:15 Integrated A-frame design that increases ground clearance.
11:23 The rear hitch is welded into the overall frame of the trailer and is rated to 250 lbs.
13:06 Off-road chassis features: camber weld on the frame, extra angle support
14:02 MORryde CRE 3000 suspension, KYB shock absorbers, and MORryde shackle kit on every single trailer.
17:34 They use Goodyear Endurance tires which are made in the USA.
18:53 Custom cross members on the chassis to be able to put in larger holding tanks, for example, 80 gallons of fresh water, 40 gallons of grey, 40 gallons of black tank capacity on a 25ft travel trailer.
20:51 Wiring protected in auto loom.
21:25 Holding tanks are also wrapped in R15 reflective insulation.
22:18 Heat ducting has route outs into the holding tank area so that when the furnace is on, it keeps the holding tanks from freezing.
22:46 12V heating pad option protects fresh tank from freezing when the furnace is not running, ie. going down the freeway.
23:39 How cold can we go?
26:14 Construction of the floor.
28:03 Underside of the trailer. Double layer of Pink Panther insulation in the floor.
28:52 They use galvanized sheet metal for wheel wells.
29:45 Introducing Dave, the director of manufacturing at Outdoors RV.
30:02 Attaching floor to the trailer.
31:57 Cabinet making and assembly on the trailer.
32:59 Wiring harness.
31:41 Plumbing. The first of three tests to test for leaks before any appliances are put in.
36:24 Propane line testing.

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23 replies
  1. Tim In San Diego
    Tim In San Diego says:

    Another comment… this is a really really god video. It seems you're extremely knowledgeable about RV construction. You might consider doing this with Tiffin, Newmar, Winnebago and others. I really liked this. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Karen McCloskey
    Karen McCloskey says:

    We knew we had purchased a quality trailer in our Outdoors 24RKS but having not been on the factory tour we didn't know the construction details that you showed in your great video. We are very much looking forward to parts 2 and 3 of the tour video.

    Reply
  3. jay super
    jay super says:

    We cheated. We bought our Timber Ridge the previous day on the other side of the pass (Deadmans Pass) from Thompson RV. The next day we stopped to do the factory tour there in La Grande OR. As a added bonus that day they were building our floorplan (24rks). As Darin said at the beginning, if you don't start with a robust frame and suspension everything built onto it is mute. I can say after two years of use, it's as solid as day one.

    Reply
  4. Ron Glickman
    Ron Glickman says:

    Great job by both Adventurous Way and Outdoors RV. We did the tour about 8 years ago (Northwoods and Outdoor RV) in 2018 we bought a Mountain Series 24RKS and very happy with our trailer.

    Reply
  5. RVLIKEMIDGLEY
    RVLIKEMIDGLEY says:

    I wish I never watched this video, LOL!!! We were looking at Outdoors RV, and Northwoods before deciding on our Keystone Cougar. If I had watched this video before hand, I would of NEVER purchased the Keystone. Night and day difference in build quality for sure, while Keystone is still a decent bargain, its still junk in comparison to Outdoors RV. I would like to see them start building a model or option of having a Natures Head toilet installed, and increasing the Fresh and gray tanks even more. If you have an ear to bend at the factory, I would mention to them that I looked at some of their rigs last winter while near Phoenix, and noticed that all the rubber bushings on the shocks were dry rotted and cracked. I also noticed that some welds were of high quality, and some were very subpar, as if they had two welders on staff, but only one knew what the hell they were doing 🙂 I think I'm ready to trade in now, and you just made their company some extra money by producing this video, so I hope they take good care of you.

    Reply
  6. Reflected Miles
    Reflected Miles says:

    09:00 The video is quite well-done, and I like Darin and have discussed this part with him in the past, but sooner or later the RV industry needs to take responsibility for thermal science and engineering in its designs and marketing. Mass-market manufacturers like Grand Design are some of the worst offenders, publishing ridiculous numbers they could never begin to achieve in real-world lab testing, but then there is pressure on all their competitors to keep up with the nonsense. What you are seeing at this location is not insulation at all, let alone R-15. It’s just a radiant barrier with an air space. That’s fine—that is how radiant barriers are supposed to be installed, which is good—but it is not insulation, and therefore has no demonstrable R-value above about 1. The only real R-value is in the trapped air, and it is trapped very imperfectly, which is why wind can be a problem. On a bitter windy night in the middle of nowhere, it’s not radiant loss underneath your rig that will bite. It is conductive and convective loss. Convection and radiant heat transfer are the lesser of the three types at issue in this application. The RV industry, especially when using aluminum framing (part 2 of the tour apparently), struggles with isolating its very high thermal transference rate (conductivity) affordably and without increasing wall-delamination risks. It can certainly be done, though, as others have proven. Hopefully they’ll continue improving at Northwood and ORV. I was pleased to hear about them adopting the increased insulation in the storage bay. I would suggest that owners who are using these units regularly in inhospitable temperatures cut a 1/2-to-1-inch-thick piece of cork or an equivalent, fairly durable material to cover the inside surface of the access doors such that it doesn’t interfere with their operation. It won’t eliminate that major source of conductive loss, insulated or not, just due to their sheathing, but should help a bit. High thermal door losses can be readily seen with an IR camera. This is true of nearly all other RV manufacturer’s doors as well.

    Reply
  7. Joseph Gagliano
    Joseph Gagliano says:

    Good stuff. Well made video. Cannot thank you enough for doing it. Darin Nelson is an articulate spokes person. The work performed by workers on the floor must be complimented. Fast and efficient as far as I can tell. They are the ones doing the actual welding, assembly and quality control. Kudo's to them as well!

    Reply
  8. Kenneth Bush
    Kenneth Bush says:

    Wow! Great job guys! I learned a lot when I went on the tour, but this is much more in depth and Matt asks some great questions. Outdoors RV is truly money well spent on a quality product.

    Reply
  9. Brian Crispin
    Brian Crispin says:

    Since a 2,000+ mile trip to the factory isn’t in the cards right now, this is the next best thing. Thanks Diana and Matt for reenforcing why we will be going with an ORV real soon.

    Reply

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