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Old 08-14-2015, 10:14 PM   #41
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Cool RV Industry like NA Auto Industry in 80's

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Originally Posted by Evereddie View Post
I think you are witnessing something much bigger.

Have found out the hard way that the RV business and dealing with anyone in the RV business is like dealing with the mob, mafia, or our government. Everyone last one of you making RVs or being a dealer should be darned ashamed of yourself. Hardly an honest one in the bunch. JMHO but I can prove it starting with my dealer in the Triad NC. .

As many have said before, this industry is ripe for a smart Japanese company to step in and blow the socks off the local boys. I'd be first in line as long as they put the door on the correct side of the trailer! Then again maybe that's the next frontier for Trump after he.....well.....
I have been involved in the auto industry for over 40 years and thank goodness for Japanese intrusion into the NA market because without their much better quality and consumer great acceptance US automotive products would not be the great products produced today - truly an amazing turnaround and I agree the NA RV industry from the manufacturers to the dealers is in desperate need of a rude awakening as such. In my own experience with a Westland, Michigan Camping RV Dealer after I had to pay for my dealer's botched black water tank repair with another in park mobile service repair in Florida for which Forest River compensated me accept for the actual service call (appx. $100) my Westland dealer told me to essentially "go pound salt" including taking my business elsewhere! All of which I surely have including warning other consumers about him. As for Forest River, our new 2014 Flagstaff 5th wheel was full of small problem issues which were mostly fixed by me after being mostly botched by my dealer. At Forest River there seem to be some real fantastic craftsmen and then some other work looks like it was done by school kids on a summer job! I have talked to them about the quality programs and statistical quality control implemented by the auto industry but doubt the friendly Customer Service guy there was able to do anything! It seems that regardless of type of RV - C class, A class, 5th wheel, TT, they all seem to have issues from the lower cost to the higher as evidenced by discussions with fellow campers around the country. Even if one builder could emerge as a high quality, low issue builder, perhaps others would be forced to follow suit. I would say from my discussions that perhaps Winnebago is closest (but not there yet) to that ideal! JMHO !
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:54 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Joshua Cavitt View Post
Each dealer has a choice to provide warranty work or not. Not all non selling dealers refuse warranty.

Yes to all the above. Forest River and Our dealers for the most part work well with each other. We do our best to provide the best customer service. Someone is always readily available and willing to help.

I purchased my 2016 Forester from CW. I've been extremely satisfied with the entire sales and post sales experience. Service makes me a priority when I walk in the door with an issue. I know that that's especially challenging given how much growth they've seen this year. Sales are up and service departments are overwhelmed. They can't hire techs fast enough to keep up with the demand. The training alone happens in the off-season so it could take 8 to 12 months to get a new service tech ready. So, they prioritize the customers they've already sold to over customers that have purchased from somewhere else. Seems logical to me.

And by the way, my coach has issues but so do the $500,000 ones. I've never owned an RV that doesn't have problems. It's simply a reality of ownership.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:10 PM   #43
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Forest River warranty work and Dealer Network

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Originally Posted by Joshua Cavitt View Post
1) If they are a Forest River dealer they are certified to work on any unit from Forest River. That doesn't obligate them to. All of our reps preach buying locally, it says it on our websites, and in our brochures. We are not able to Micromanage our dealers so if they choose to practice business a certain way then that is their choice.


We wouldn't ever let a Forest River owner hang out to dry. IF a dealer is refusing work our service and warranty guys have found other certified locations in your local area.


2) On our product we carry a one year or 12,000 mile warranty. Our service and warranty guys are fantastic and are always ready to help. I also keep my phone on my me and try to respond promptly to any Messages, posts or emails.

My experience with obtaining service on my 2013 FR Columbus 320RS has been positive. I bought the camper from Collier RV Super Center who is a local dealer in Rockford, Illinois. Although I have had several issues with the camper, the dealer has always stepped-up in a timely and proper manner to resolve these concerns. Forest River has also provided support and stood behind their warranty in a proper and satisfactory manner. I have also had issues while travelling and found the Route 66 dealer network to be very supportive and cooperative. While travelling in Minnesota last year I had a major issue while on the road that needed immediate attention and found the local dealer (Noble RV in Stewartville, MN) that I was referred to went "above and behind" to help get me back on the road when I had hitch problems with a Pull-Rite Super Glide hitch. This dealer actually removed parts from a hitch they had in stock and got me back on the road within an hour of making my initial call to Pull-Rite from a rest area.

I realize that problems will exist with my "home away from home on wheels" so appreciate the support I have been given. I purchased the extended warranty when I bought my unit and have found it to be a good investment. In the final analysis I will recommend Forest River and their dealers, particularly those that go the extra mile to keep me on the road. I feel comfortable that I can travel anywhere in the US and will get service so long as I am understanding and appreciative of the challenges these dealers are faced with!
I also believe we should provide more support and recognition to those dealers that are stand-outs with providing great service. They need to be rewarded if we expect them to continue with the same attitude. At the very least we should help support their efforts and make an attempt to buy the next RV from them. Great Service should pay dividends for both the manufacturer and dealers. If we spread the word about the "great experiences" then maybe more dealers will be willing to provide outstanding service!
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:58 PM   #44
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Is good service worth fifteen thousand more for a 70 to 75 thousand dollar Rv of the six I have owned I have only bought one locally,but have always shopped locally first and always given the locals opportunity to come close
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:06 PM   #45
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Forest River - Dealer agreements

Sorry, but I find the "excuse" that FR does not micromanage their dealers to be just that - an excuse. RV's are for traveling and unless FR expects me to stay within easy driving distance of my selling dealer, then they can and should mandate warranty service from ANY FR dealer as part of their dealer contract.

Frankly, when I'm at home, I am probably better off fixing the issues myself - given the level of incompetence and dissatisfaction voiced in these forums with many servicing dealers. I need the warranty service when I'm on the road, much less so when at home.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:46 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by KatanaPilot View Post
Sorry, but I find the "excuse" that FR does not micromanage their dealers to be just that - an excuse. RV's are for traveling and unless FR expects me to stay within easy driving distance of my selling dealer, then they can and should mandate warranty service from ANY FR dealer as part of their dealer contract.

Frankly, when I'm at home, I am probably better off fixing the issues myself - given the level of incompetence and dissatisfaction voiced in these forums with many servicing dealers. I need the warranty service when I'm on the road, much less so when at home.
Warren, do you hear us? If you had even a little care for your product and your fellow man you would not let this happen. You could make an even bigger killing if you made this all connect and worried about the happiness of your customer not only your pocket book. WAKE UP MAN!
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:31 PM   #47
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Think of it this way, the warranty is only good for a year, not two like some other manufacturers, so once your unit is older than a year then dealers not wanting to do warranty work is no longer an issue!!
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:09 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ATVer View Post
Think of it this way, the warranty is only good for a year, not two like some other manufacturers, so once your unit is older than a year then dealers not wanting to do warranty work is no longer an issue!!
Oh, I see what you did there.
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:42 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by cal1951 View Post
I have my 2015 Columbus in for a leaking fresh water tank
All the insulation had to be removed and replaced. It has been there two weeks now.
They are working on it under warranty I'm told that FR gives them a hard time when it comes to paying them for the actual hours it takes.
We do not know this for sure but if that is true, it only filters down to us the owners. CW appears to be trying to me but time will tell. Oh I did buy it at CW. I think that there are so many problems in general with the units, they may only have time for units they sell. Remember some sales people will tell you anything to get you to buy from them.
Just like any auto shop, there is a "standard labor rate" for every job that needs doing to maintain or repair a vehicle. I.E. it "takes" 0.5 hours to change the left headlight on a 2008 GMC Sierra and that is what the dealership will be paid.

It takes into consideration the average time it will take an average employee with average knowledge and skills on an average condition vehicle.

All warranty compensation is based on this.

If the dealership does the job in less time because it has skilled employees they make a higher margin on the repair; if they have troglodytes they lose money.

FR provides training for dealer repair techs. Since it is at the factory, it is viewed as a "good deal" and generally the dealerships send the folks they want to reward and not those who actually need the training (like the ones working on YOUR camper).

A bad backshop can take years to "turn around" with even with good management and finding good managers is even harder than finding good employees.

This is really not the place to go into WHY this is so, but it is what it is.

I would also like to remind everyone that "Forest River Forums" is NOT associated AT ALL with ANY Forest River entity. We are Forest River Product OWNERS who come here for help and advice.

Folks who work AT or FOR Forest River SOMETIMES join to see what is going on and occasionally a BRAVE FEW actually identify themselves as such and we mark them as such in green (Vendor or Factory Rep) so YOU will know who is posting.

I applaud them for being so brave as to hang themselves out in the interest of HELPING US (and believe me they have in SPADES).

I have direct knowledge of MANY instances where these brave souls have interceded with unscrupulous dealers who blame the "factory" for their own incompetence either at the management level or the worker level to get satisfaction for the customer; YOU.

I, personally, have been told be my local dealer that "they can't get the parts needed from FR and that is why my rig is still sitting in their lot". A rep here checked and the dealer NEVER ORDERED THEM. They shipped the same day as the dealer actually put the order in.

Herk
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:12 AM   #50
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Thanks Herk! You just saved me a lot of typing!


Sent from my iPhone using Forest River Forums
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