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.