Cruiser RV Reviews: Is Cruiser RV a Good Brand? (Quality)

The RV industry is always open to those people with a better idea of how to build a top-quality RV or trailer. Unfortunately, the big boys of the RV manufacturers do not always like competition, and these better mousetrap builders get swallowed up and lose that top-quality purpose.

The reviews for this RV brand are very mixed. Some owners love the Cruiser models they have bought while others bought what turned out to be a lemon. The company’s response has not been the most favorable for the latter group of owners.

To learn more about Cruiser RV, just continue to read our article. It contains the information you want to know about so you can decide if this RV brand is for you or not. Some owners have said it is a great couples' trailer. But you decide for yourselves after reading our article.

Is Cruiser RV Still In Business?


According to their website, yes this company is still making RV trailers. The company says it makes 6 ‘brands’, the Shadow Cruiser, Mpg, Radiance, Embrace, Hitch, and one toy hauler called the Stryker.

The toy hauler is not the longest of these 6 trailer options and you will not find any self-drive RVs in their line-up. The company has been in business since 1988 and it was supposed to be a family affair.

While owned by another company now, it has been reported that family members are still in leadership positions. This is done to maintain continuity and quality control.

Unfortunately, Cruiser RV does not waste time on any personal company details on its About page. Their website is focused on their products, their business model, and other pertinent RV sales business.

According to the Better Business Bureau, this company is not accredited by that organization and it holds a D- rating. That rating is based on too few reviews and should be taken with a grain of salt.

There are reports that the company advertises itself as a family-owned RV manufacturer but we have not seen any reference to that on their website.

Is Cruiser RV Owned By Heartland?

Yes, it is. Heartland bought the company around the early 2000s and if you like Heartland RVs you may think this is a good move. However, Heartland is not an independent RV company anymore either.

It was bought out by Thor Industries in 2010. This purchase put Cruiser RV under Thor's ownership and direction. While there may be family members involved in the Cruiser side of the company, it is not a family-owned business anymore.

Thor is a publicly traded company meaning that the shareholders put the CEO and board members in place. The company is not under one owner and you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen.

It has been said that the Thor CEO and board members let different companies they control operate without too much interference from the parent company. This is so with Cruiser RV.

However, that does not mean that Thor does not have any say in what Cruiser RV does. Given the reviews on the different websites we have come across, Thor seems to be very influential in how this company builds its trailers.

With that said, there are a lot of Cruiser RV owners who love this product and would buy and have bought this brand of RV again.

Who Makes Cruiser RV?


From what can be gleaned from all the information out there that is available about this company is that Cruiser RV has a fairly freehand in the construction of its core models.

Then if you check the Thor website, you will find that it has one page dedicated to this company. For any further exploration you want to do, the website sends you to the Cruiser RV website.

If you want to be technical about it, Thor Industries makes Cruiser RVs or you can say that Heartland RVs makes Cruiser RVs, and finally, Cruiser RV makes their own. It does get a bit confusing when one company is owned by more than one parent company.

But to keep it clear and non-technical, Cruiser RVs are built by true craftsmen and women who build each RV like they were building their own (from the Thor Cruiser RV web page).

Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. Judging by some of the reviews, there must be days when those true craftsmen had time off, and someone less skilled filled in for them.

Like any RV manufacturer, there will be top-quality RVs built and some lemons that escape the quality control section’s attention.

Where Are Cruiser RVs Made?

This company has its manufacturing facilities in Howe, Indiana. If you think that is great and that it is not near Elkhart, then the reverse will be true. Howe, Indiana is only about 30 to 40 miles east of Elkhart if you take the nearby I-80 interstate.

Also, state Highway 120 goes through the heart of Howe and leads you directly to Elkhart, so the company is in the middle of the RV-making country. The company is supposed to have up to 10 production facilities in this city but that number has not been confirmed as of yet.

One of those facilities is dedicated to quality control where they inspect their products before sending them out to their dealers. Like any RV maker, they contract out to other companies to make different components for their trailers.

The company’s website, linked to above, does have a contact web page. On that page, you will find a PO Box number for their address but they do list several phone numbers you can use.

On that contact page, they also include a form you can fill out and let them know your concern.

Are Cruiser RVs Good Quality?


This is supposed to be a very popular travel trailer brand. We have seen many owners rave about this RV company and its different RVs. They have said they would buy a second one if the need arose and many of them have kept their word on that promise.

You will find that this company does produce some good quality trailers. They may not be perfect though and some owners have not received the same level of construction quality.

According to one former RV salesman for a Cruiser dealership, the quality of the trailer in 2010 and moving forward was not as good as say the original trailers built by the company.

He said they had a lot of issues and had a hard time taking care of these issues due to the company’s customer service attitude. This took place back in 2010ish just when Thor took over ownership of Cruiser RV.

It is fair to say that over the years the dedication to quality is there and the company does produce some very good RVs. But not all the time. You just have to be careful when purchasing from the dealer and make sure you ask the right questions before buying.

One good question would be to ask about the warranty and the warranty process. Make sure you have what you want covered till the warranty expires. But be careful again, sometimes the company is not as nice when that expiration date has passed.

One owner experienced this change of attitude on the company’s part just 2 weeks after the warranty expired.

Is Cruiser RV a Good Brand?

The best answer here would be yes and no. The company has made some very good travel trailers over the years and it seems they have made some very bad ones as well.

This undecided answer may be due to the fact that there are too many business leaders involved in the construction of their RVs. YOu have the Cruiser leadership, The Heartland Leadership, and the Thor leadership involved in the overall construction and other aspects of building these RVs.

That many leadership personnel can lead to some very interesting yet not so quality decisions that affect the buyer and their RV dream. In other words, it may be a game of hit and miss.

Some owners have bought 3 Cruiser RVs and have enjoyed them all while others are turned off of the brand with their first purchase. The company may have started out fine but as the big boys of the RV industry took over, quality control and customer service seem to have disappeared.

To protect yourselves from any problems that can arise, purchase the extended warranty. One owner loved their model and luckily they had purchased the extended coverage. That purchase saved them over $5000 in repairs.

It can be a good brand but you may be stuck with a model that needs a lot of repairs. One former dealer said they had claims right after they received a shipment of trailers and before they were used. It is going to be hit and miss with this brand.

Cruiser RV Reviews


As we said earlier, the reviews are mixed. Owners either love their RV or they hate them with a few in the middle. The ones that loved their RV have either owned them for a very long time or they have continued to upgrade to other Cruiser RV models.

They cannot say enough good about these trailers and one owner described them as a good couple's RV. The majority of these trailers are 25 to 30 feet in length and a couple are under 23 feet so they are not that large and would be good couples trailers.

The negative reviews that we have come across paint a different picture. It seems that these owners have had nothing but trouble with their models and tell people to not buy this brand.

While we take most negative reviews with a grain of salt, it is hard to ignore the average low rating of 3 stars. It is also hard to ignore the fact that the negative reviews outnumber the positive ones.

One former dealer did not have the best to say about this brand but he held out hope that in the intervening years since he left the dealership, the company improved on their product. He was not happy with the quality of construction their dealership received.

This company is not making any of the top 5 or 10 best RV lists or brands on those review websites. They haven’t made the worst RV brand lists either. But that may be due to the fact that all Thor subsidiaries are lumped together.

The reviews will depend on the experience of the owners. Take those reviews for what they are worth and make up your own mind.

Shadow Cruiser RV Construction

The company's website states that they are dedicated to building the best trailer for your RV life. They do that by using the best quality materials possible.

Then the company goes on to say that they only handpick the best true craftsmen who work on these models like they were building their own. Not to mention that they give personal attention to each trailer constructed.

It all sounds good but the experience of some owners has stated the opposite to those claims. The floor plans seem to be the most favorite part of the trailer’s construction but there are very few kind words for the construction.

In this model, there is supposed to be prewiring for air conditioning, heating, TV antenna, and cable. If you want solar, a back up camera, and other features, then this model does not have any prewiring for those features.

This trailer model comes with the basic features like a stove, full-size fridge, furnace, and fairly large holding tanks. The toilet is made of plastic and it is one of the parts that most owners have to replace first. It is not the best option made.

Shadow Cruiser RV Reviews

Cruiser-RV-Reviews (2)

One of the good aspects about this trailer which has been mentioned by a former dealer is that this trailer comes with a king-sized bed and a domed ceiling. Both items provide ample space for larger-sized owners and users.

However, on one review site, this model received an average of 3 stars with only 3 people giving it more stars than that. This was out of 15 reviews. There are other reviews on the same Insider website but different pages and the trailer still got an average of 3 stars.

While some people loved their trailer other owners complained about the poor construction quality. They did not have a shortage of complaints as their trailer had many issues within the first 6 months of ownership.

What some reviewers liked about this model is that it could sleep up to 10 people, has ten floor plans, and has great headroom. They also liked how some floor plans presented a cabin-like atmosphere the moment they walked inside.

Not all is bad about this trailer model and for the most part, it does seem to be put together quite well. The hard part about reporting reviews is that not every owner will post what they think and the results may not reflect the overall quality of the trailer.

How Are Cruiser RVs Made?

Not to be coy, this company makes their trailers in the same way that other RV makers produce their products. According to the company’s website, they only employ hand[picked craftsmen and women to do the building for them.

These craftsmen are said to use the highest quality construction materials. The reality is that these claims may only be partially true. Some of the models do not reflect the claim and instead seem to fall apart before the first year of ownership has passed.

The company claims that they give attention to detail but some owners have yet to experience that after they have purchased their model. Even one dealer said the quality of construction was suspect as they had to make claims when their new models arrived on their lot.

It is hard to say how these trailers are made as some owners get some great trailers while others get the lemons that escape quality control. It is said that the best car or truck to buy is the one that is built on a Wednesday.

The reason they say that is that workers take Monday and Tuesday to recover from the weekend and then Thursday and Friday, the workers are looking forward to the weekend. Their minds are not on their work except for Wednesday.

This may hold true for Cruiser RVs as well.

Some Additional Words

This may be a good RV-making company. It is said to be one of the more popular brands you can buy. However, it is not a company that is immune to RV issues.

You are taking your chances when you buy an RV trailer made by this company. It could be the best one ever built or it could be the worst. Do thorough research before buying.

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