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Old 08-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Is this normal?

After talking off-and-on about getting an RV during our 35-year marriage and seriously looking for the past 3-plus years, my wife and I finally picked up our very first RV on July 27, 2013. It’s a brand new, 2013, C-class Forester.

We don’t have any (for now) regrets about getting the unit, but we have discovered several significant problems. I fully expect the dealer to fix all of this, but is it normal to have so many significant problems in a new RV?

1. The rear camera/monitor stopped working about half way home from the dealership (a 30 mile trip).

2. When we got home from the dealership and opened the awning in the sunlight we discovered pinholes in the fabric. During our “walk around” at the dealership, the RV was under a roof with restricted lighting so the holes were not so obvious.

3. We also discovered the lock on one of the exterior compartments doesn’t work (the external TV compartment – using with the correct key).

4. And we didn’t get the remote and user’s manual for the external TV.

5. The quality on all three TVs is really bad when playing DVDs. I tried 3 different movies to make sure it wasn’t the DVD itself.

6. The CD player skips – and just like the movies we tired more than one CD.

7. The generator won’t start. The red light blinks 3 times meaning it needs servicing according to the legend on the side of the generator. The generator was being repaired as we were doing our walk around at delivery – but they assured us it was all okay before we drove off the lot.

8. The oven burner won’t stay lit. It will burn for a few minutes and then go out. After it cools down, you can relight the pilot and the burner will ignite but go out again after a few minutes. According to what I read on the internet, it is most likely a bad or misaligned thermocouple (?). The top burners work good.

I’m writing this from an RV park in Pacific Beach, Washington – our first weekend trip. My wife was not happy last night when we discovered she couldn’t cook dinner in the oven. Thank goodness for microwaves and 30 amp hookups.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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For a brand new unit, it seems that the dealer didn't do a decent prep job, nor did you and the dealer do a thorough pre-delivery inspection! I'd take it right back to the dealer, and check all repairs before taking it back!
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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agree with FI, it's normal if your dealer didn't do a good prep job and you didn't insist on a thorough PDI before leaving with it.

also, leaving for a trip without doing a nite or two, in Camp Driveway, to make sure everything is working, was not a good decision.

if you expected everything to be perfect, from the dealer, then you should have done some more research before leaving with it.
you would have found that a list like yours is pretty normal in today's RV's.
that's why we all suggest using Camp Driveway as a dry run, before actually taking off on a trip.

waiting to test everything on an actual camping trip, is not the way to go.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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It seems to me that a lot of folks (including myself) have a lot of issues with brand new FR products. Why is it unrealistic to expect everything to work in a unit that costs $30K - $60K?
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ts12i30 View Post
It seems to me that a lot of folks (including myself) have a lot of issues with brand new FR products. Why is it unrealistic to expect everything to work in a unit that costs $30K - $60K?
because that's the way the current RV industry has been working for a long time, NO matter who manufacturer it is.

go on some other RV forums, like RV.net and you'll see the same thing with all brands of RV's, from popups to Class A motorhomes.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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You definitely have issues that should have been caught at the factory or the dealer or at your inspection!

FR should have caught these issues. The dealer could have (and should have easily) caught the awning, lock, remote, manual, CD player, and generator.

And, I have to also add that a thorough PDI by you prior to accepting the unit is the third level of QC. I get it that not everyone buying a new RV knows that. Its not your fault if you did not know to be hyper vigilant but it is truthfully the way it is (unfortunately).

Bottom line: I understand the temptation to assume the RV industry would provide an A1 experience with a new unit but that is unfortunately not the truth. There are three parties involved in buying a new unit: Mfg, Dealer, Owner. I'm just being practical.

As suggested above, your best bet is to insist the dealer remedy the various issues you are experiencing. This is where they get to show their metal. A good local service center is worth their markup in my experience.

Best of luck to you. If you want to do the work yourself, let us know the details of each problem and I'm sure the people here will help.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Many of these items would have been caught is a good PDI which takes several hours to accomplish. Although they are annoying, the defects can be corrected rather easily. As for the state of the RV industry and quality...that could be much better but would come at a much higher cost. Yes, $30k is a lot of money for a camper but I don't expect everything to work perfectly time first time out...especially when most of the components are outsourced and just assembled by FR.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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My last three units, costing 100,000+, two by a different mfg have all had situations. Should they have been remedied at the factory? Possibly. Caught at the dealer? Possible. Reality is, with use and mileage they presented themselves
The truth lies with a quality dealer that corrects them.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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I would say that it is normal, we had started a couple pages of defects we found after spending some time in the trailer. Our first trip was only a couple hours from home just so we could "try" it out to make sure everything worked. A few more issues popped up along the way ( for example Furnace failure in May @ 5000ft brr! in second year)

The first year of ownership as a first time owner of a RV was frustrating, as it seemed I had free storage @ the dealership for the first year. But we used our trailer (alot) in the first season to get the bugs out and are enjoying it much more now.

This is our 3rd year of ownership, and so far, the battery is the only thing to have failed this year.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Unfortunately it's normal - take your punch list to the dealer and manage them to ensure all is repaired to your satisfaction.

I just bought a new 2013 Forester and took it immediately on a 20-day, 2800 mile trip. I did have a few problems, and had to repair things myself whilst camping.
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