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Old 01-22-2016, 10:21 PM   #1
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F.R. (Rockwood) Is broken

How can it be this hard to buy a trailer?

To make a long story short, or at least attempt it. Nope, not going to be short.

We ordered a Roo 23WS Oct 23.
It was built 12-2-15 and arrived at the dealer around 12-11-15.

The dealer let me inspect it prior to them doing any of their prep. It was literally untouched since leaving the factory. I did this on 12-15-15. This was simply sitting on the lot with no power or water other than a 12 volt jump pack, call it a visual inspection. I had a ladder and tarp with me and spent about two hours going over, under and through. I am a carpenter by trade, and have been a commercial and industrial project superintendent for over 25 years. I look at straight, square, and details more than most people but I still don't think I'm being overly nit picky. $20K is $20K. I'm not worried about missed staples, stripped screws, unfilled holes and loose trim or other minor crap although I put some on the list regardless.

I found around 20 things I took issue with. A lot of them were minor and cosmetic but a few were what I consider concerning to say the least. I won't post them all to keep this short but....

*Exposed raw luan plywood edges in wheel wells where it will take water off the tires. This is the luan that the exterior fiberglass is laminated on.
*Wardrobe slide inside cabinet face falling off, entire box of slide installed out of square, aluminum trim and seals installed crooked.
*Rear corner curbside has 3/4" bow in about 3'.
* Slide seals falling off on main slide.
* Roof items, such as the removable maxxair covers, set in the wet lap sealant and the sealant more or less a general mess overall. I don't expect it to look pretty, but when you can see places that something was brushed against it on the line while its wet and its almost scraped off with nothing done about it?
* End false cabinet attached to and that moves with slide is crooked as can be.
* Here's a good one, When you rotate the Winegard wingman TV antenna, it hits the radio antenna

I provided an email on 12-15 with the issues and pictures. Printed it comes out to 24 pages, mostly pictures. I don't feel I'm being unreasonable at all or making mountains from molehills. This will be our 3rd new hybrid since 2010 so I know what I am looking at.

Now it gets interesting. I wasn't really pushing the issue as this went down right before Christmas. I had sold my 2013 Keystone around Thanksgiving for a lot more than the trade allowance so I had paid off that loan and have a nice surplus in the bank. I had put $1000 down on the 23WS. Technically I don't even own it yet, we never closed on it as once I did the initial inspection and seen the issues, I canceled the formal PDI and turnover.

So I didn't push. My salesman was on vacation. I knew the dealer was closed from 12-24 until 1-2 and I had heard the factories are also on a limited schedule during that time. I also figured the dealer then would be somewhat busy with the Pittsburgh RV Show which ran from 1-9 thru 1-17. On top of all that I am not making payments on something I can't use so why push, but I at least thought some progress was being made.

On 1-14 I received a call from the service department and was told they had a technician do their dealer prep and review my list. It was all being packaged up and sent to Rockwood for approvals to make corrections and they would be in touch soon. They (dealer) didn't take issue with one thing I had on that list. Today, which is a week and a day later I stopped at the dealer and talked with service. Now they are waiting for Rockwood. I have seen the paperwork so I have no reason to think they (dealer) are giving me the run around and why would they? They are the ones who have not closed the sale yet. It has to be costing them something. The salesman says they just have to deal with the system.

Apparently every single item has to be submitted and approved.....separately. WTF? Are you kidding me. Then the parts guy who overhears our conversation says "Then once they approve it we can order parts and sit around with our fingers crossed that they will be the right parts when they arrive". That's a nice thought? Now I don't even own this trailer, and this is what I can expect if I have a warranty issue in the future? Apparently I can't get timely service before I own the trailer. I don't think its the dealer, at least I'm 99% sure of that. Maybe I need to attend the Goshen Rally and have the trailer fixed prior to buying it. I am really thinking that every time I see these posts about the bad dealers and how long the warranty work takes, its not the dealers. Hell, I wouldn't even consider my issues warranty work, its actually finishing the manufacturing. I can see why the dealer has to do it this way because he wants paid for it. On a side note I overheard the writer talking with some factory warranty rep, not sure what brand. He was saying they were approved for 1.5 hours to change a fresh water tank but were looking for direction on how to do it in that amount of time, since the only way to remove it was to drop the axles? Why would a dealer want to do warranty work if that's the kind of crap going on? Even having to call the factory to ask that question simply adds more time to the customers inconvenience. The factory does not know how long it takes to change the fresh water tank and that the axles need to be dropped to do it?

Or, am I being unreasonable? Should I cancel the sale? The problem is we really want the trailer. Nobody else makes a 2 bunk 23' floor plan like this anymore except Jayco, and I'm not going there. Maybe I should go back to a tent? I could tell them to order another one and take another 8 weeks or longer to get it, and then have the same or different problems. I looked over plenty of trailers at the Pittsburgh show, and looked at every Rockwood there in detail, including crawling under them. I'll tell you I would stand a good chance of re-ordering and getting one a lot worse. The exposed wheel well plywood is in every one I have looked at, as well as in a 2012 and a 2015 that I know of. There was some real crap on the fit and finish side at that show, and the dealers don't even try and hide it.

I think the dealer is doing his job, I could sense the frustration in the service writers voice about it. I am wondering if I need to start firing off emails to Rockwood and Forest River as the purchaser, or potential purchaser, about this screwed up mess of a situation? I am trying hard to buy this thing and there are many more things about it I like as opposed to what I don't.

My other two hybrids were Thor products, An Aerolite and a Keystone. They were not perfect by a longshot either, but I didn't have to go through this exercise in frustration to buy them. I'm not trying to bash Rockwood with that statement as Keystones support is non existent. Do you think its just how much workmanship has went to hell in a hand-basket between 2012 and now? That could be a lot of it.

So, I guess I'm looking for suggestions. Should I start firing off nicely worded polite emails to Rockwood and maybe further up the food chain at F.R., or sit back and give it more time? I was holding off even posting anything about this. I figured it would be easily resolved eventually, then at some point I would of made a general post about the entire experience. Man was I wrong about that, easily resolved . One of the main reasons we went back to F.R. was hearing about the great factory service and support from people. Sorry I am not feeling the love yet.

And to top it all off I still have to get through a powered/gassed up and tanks wet PDI.

This entire industry is apparently more screwed up than even I thought it was.

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Old 01-23-2016, 05:51 AM   #2
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I have no knowledge of TT or 5th wheels as I have only owned Class A units.

What I will say is that my previous coach was a Thor. Now if you want real issues buy a Thor.

I spent 22 month of dealing with real problems and finally took my loss (big) and just moved on.
I could write you a real essay on my issues but that not help on here.

Maybe look at another unit on the lot and see if it has these same issues. Or give the dealer a date to have your issues repaired. Dealers will deal with issues when they have too generally not in any hurry.


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Old 01-23-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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I think you would be better off having it sent back to the factory for all that stuff. I would talk to your dealer about that option. Most people who have them sent to the factory for the repairs have seem to be happy when they get there unit back. Hope you get it resolved. Good Luck with it. If you order a new one there no guarantee it will be any better.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
I think you would be better off having it sent back to the factory for all that stuff. I would talk to your dealer about that option. Most people who have them sent to the factory for the repairs have seem to be happy when they get there unit back. Hope you get it resolved. Good Luck with it. If you order a new one there no guarantee it will be any better.
Thanks, that thought had crossed my mind. I have confidence in the dealers abilities. My rant is more over the process of this dog and pony show they have to go through to even get approved for the correction.

I honestly think they have every incentive to push this along since I have only given them a deposit. It has to cost them something every day to have it on the books.

I have just about decided I need to contact Rockwood directly about it. I know a new one will not be any better and could be worse, not an option. I expected issues, just not the time it was going to take, or what it appears its going to take, to get them resolved. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and getting impatient?

CAT-RN, Thanks, but its not about the issues, how many, or if they're "real" which they are. I expected to have issues which is why I requested to do an inspection immediately upon delivery. My rant is all about the process.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:38 AM   #5
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Having worked as a service and warranty manager in the truck and car side of things. I can tell you it even happens there. I started working by turning the wrenches and moving up to the management side. As the mechanic turning the wrenches you always hated the warranty work. It almost always paid a fraction of the time it would take. As the service manager you hated the answers to fixes and parts.

Later on went on to work for the manufacture and found it no better when you had to deal with suppliers, and components. Your local dealer might be just one of possibly 50 or more they have to deal with daily.

If you gave them a list of 20 items on just one unit and they have 20 dealers giving them a list of 20 things, just think how long it takes to get each department and parts to get things going. Give them the time they need to address it right.

You are in the best place right now. You have not picked it up and paid for it. You are not out camping some were on the road and broken down.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:49 AM   #6
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Get their attention!!

Warren Buffet owns Berkshire Hathaway who owns Forest River. I think it would be appropriate to send a copy of the posting to Forest River and cc Berkshire Hathaway and ask them if they think Warren Buffett would be happy to hear how his company is not performing. I would also send a copy of your posting to Trailer Life Magazine with a cc to Forest River. Nothing succeeds like negative press and Trailer Life has a responsibility to help improve the RV industry by pointing out examples of poor quality and extremely bad customer service. I certainly would not buy that trailer.

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Old 01-23-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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As for the factory giving short work time to do repairs. That's normal on most company's. I have done work at four different shops with three different manufactures and they all required me to pay the difference that the factory did not cover. Be carful when you sign a work order some of them give them this ability to back charge you for there out of pocket.
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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Give them a time limit and if they do not meet it, cancel the order.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:24 PM   #9
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We bought a different (2504S) Rockwood trailer in January 2015 that came with many defects and issues. It took many months to get all of them resolved. It was mind-boggling to us that a manufacturer that had such high ratings would deliver the unit in its state. Obviously, the quality control process is seriously lacking and I let Rockwood know that. The dealer did make the repairs, but it resulted in the trailer being on the RV Sales lot for several months. The latest...the microwave almost fell out the last time we used it (screws are stripped out on one side). Dealer solution...they told me to put in bigger screws! I will likely do that since I don't want to go through the hassle and cost of taking the trailer in (several miles away) to get this issue resolved. As others have told me, "Welcome to the life of trailering!" I hope you end up satisfied.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:32 PM   #10
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It's an everyday battle with manufactures putting out these very poor excuses for RV's at such high prices . it's no wonder people with warranty issues have to wait months for work to get done . it's not the dealer but the manufacture process .
1. go to service writer to write up your issues
2. gets into a tech's bay he looks it over does a write up on what's wrong , what's needs to be done and then what parts need to be ordered none of this does the tech get paid for
3. then the unit goes to the lot while the warranty person puts in a claim
one week two weeks a month later they get approval for the work .
4 then parts are ordered
5. then the techs gets a message parts are in . a few days later he calls the unit in to start the work .
6. wrong parts send the unit back to the lot for another week or 3 .still no pay for the tech
7.back to the techs bay to tackle the list of warranty issues . he got 12 mins to replace the bad faucet , 6 mins to remove and re-chulk the shower because it was done so badly
1.5 hrs to remove and replace the ac that never worked .
.50 to install new fender flares that where cracked and broken on delivery. none of which covers the tech's diag time so he loses one hr minimum for every hr he might get paid for . flat rate sucks for all except the manufacture

no wonder it takes so long to get anything done
some items turned in for warranty get the NPF no problem found as all the units built have the same poor workmanship that it's considered just the way they are .

we have had several winniebago tours come in lately $400,000 ++ units and in all of them the slide either doesn't work at all are were built so out of square they only work part way or their using schwinn tech slide hardware on slide rooms much to big for the systems to handle .
The only answer is for the factory's to start caring about what they put out . but as long as the money is flowing the units moving it will stay the same .

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