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Old 07-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #11
Robert Mayberry
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Point Richmond
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Solera Issues

Like you we are very happy with the layout of the Solera and with the Sprinter chassis. We bought it new at an RV show in January, 2011. Our first trip was a three month circumnavigatgion of US and Canada and so far we have almost 25,000 miles on it.

We never broke down or got stranded but have had dozens of "issues", some quite serious and others not so serious. Every trip results in another list of stuff broken, not working or, falling apart. I will say though that the lists are getting shorter with each trip. Last trip we only had a four item list. (laminate on vanity sink top is coming apart, the water pump started cycling again- this is our third pump, the slide seems to be coming in too far and causes the whole rear wall to flex inward and move the vanity in about 1/4 inch and, the raw water tank level indicator is stuck at 2/3 full even after I drove 600 miles with 1/2 tank of clean water and the tank freshener stuff to try to clean it off.)

The good news is that our dealer has been excellent. Never any question about fixing stuff that went wrong and they do wonderful work. I can not say enough about their service. They are amazing. And so far there has been no problems with Forest River even after the warranty expired after the first year. The man at FR told me they stand behind their products and so far I have absolutely no reason to doubt him. I was going to get the extended warranty and got several quotes but it seemed quite expensive. Have not bought it yet.

So I hope this all works out and that we will someday get all the kinks out.

Bob
San Francisco
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:03 AM   #12
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We bought ours in 2010 and only a single issue which was easily resolved and FR provided an upgraded camera to us that was installed at home by the dealer saving even the trip to them.

It all depends on the dealer.

In 12000 miles we have had not a single issue since - except not having enough spare time to enjoy the unit.

Reiner
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:45 PM   #13
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Solara slide problems

Still having major slide out problems with my new solara-just 2500 miles. As per previous note -picked it up in Albany,Ny from RV direct- thjey discovered slide problem-had three guys working on it for almost 4 hours-they were not happy with the extra work load. After replacing a bunch of fuses, adjusting, and finally they got it to goan into place two times. I drove off and regret the decision. To date, I have yet to get the slide to work-frozen in position. Called FR they gave me a bunch on dealers/repaires to contact. Nearest one to me is Little Rock Arkansas-some 3 hrs away. Emailed the warranty rep with the problem-first question was "where did I buy It?" Albany,ny. "I can probvably get to you next Feburary-you can park it in our lot and I won't charge you" He later changed that to mid September-at earliest. (This I think is a problem of NBH-not bought here. The dealer was some $12K over RV Direct price. Who in their right mind would be willing to pay some 12K for "Dealer loyaly?" In any event, I called FR corporate and spoke to a nice lady, who gave me the names of several other "Solara dealers' All some 4-7 hours away. No luck with any of them -best case was a 6 week wait for service. Called again and found out that they had some "authorized repair facilities"Called them and found out that they were Coachmen dealers and didn't do Solara work. Tried again and found out that I could use a local Rv dealer as long as they agrred to FR's labor rates and time terms. I even volunteered to drive up to the factory in Elkheart,Ind. "Sorry, we are booked up until at least second week of Septemeber" There's a facility down the road that takes our over load-call them." Finally went to a local RV guy on my own dime-(He's FR dealer-just not RV, and 30 years of experiance!) After screwing around with several changes of blown fuses and trying his best, his comments were "Take it back to the factory, it's poor design and anit't ever going to work right!" So, after spending all this money on what I thought was a great design for an RV, I wind up not being able to use it for the summer. Was planning a great trip of fly fishing up though Washington, BC and may be even Alaska. Now, I spent a lot of money on an RV that does't work, under warranty, and can't get it repaired. Couldn't even get an Email to FR corp to let them know what my problems were- they have no email contact facility on their web site. They want you to go through their dealers
_but the dealers don't care unless you bought the rig from them! Imagine going to a Ford, GM, Toyata dealer( etc.) and buying a new high end car in May, only to discover that the A/C didn't work. Then they tell you that they might be able to fix it some time in the fall. Would you be thrilled with their "dealer" Nework and warantee? Probably not. My plans for an extened trip this summer have gone down the drain. Do you think that I would be willing to recommend their product, or be a very positive consumer reference for FR? Probably not. Sorry, but in my humble opirnion, FR should have a policy of "fix any problems, as soon a possible , and at earliest, for the first 30 days. Give it a major priority! After all, we, the new buyers, are their best reference and recommendations for the next level of buyers! Not the case here! The dealer network is broken unless the coach was bought here! People will not spend an extra 10-15K just to get a local dealer that might listen to thier problems! The major car companies understand that! By they way, I think the Solara is an extremely smart design, the MB running gear is excellent, and I just wish that FR would get a better program together to fix and correct initital problems. This is my major issue, and I have'nt even begun on the GPS/Radio that also suck!

Sorry for the rant. Has any one else had a similar experience? How many other Solara owners have had similair problems? Is it just my Rv or is it a poor design/ engineering?

Thanks for reading

Wdnfins
Mountain Home Arkansashfredericks@centurytel.net
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #14
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this is customer service that is unacceptable. I would send a letter to Warren Buffett/berkshire hathaway and CC Forest River:

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
3555 Farnam Street
Suite 1440
Omaha, NE 68131
or:
berkshire@berkshirehathaway.com
who knows, you might get someones attention. good luck.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #15
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#1 The unit should have NEVER left the dealer with the slide in that condition. Who knows what they did or damaged trying to "hurriedly" fix it the first time. That is one problem with out of state purchase. If it's a local dealer you go home and let them fix it right..."get it out the door" cause I just flew in to pick this up

#2 if it is a 24S, the slide does not need to be out to enjoy it. I certainly know that it is not the best case scenario..but everything still works with the slide in. Make an appt with the factory, enjoy it as much as possible with the slide in.

#3 this is the busiest time of the year for RV's. Deliveries of new sales and everyone getting theirs worked on...local dealers are going to work on their customer first.

#4 Forest River has a policy that the Dealer fill out a PDI check list. They are to make sure each and every component is working. Again, shame on the dealer for delivering the unit in a non-working state.

If I bought a car from my Ford, GM, Toyota dealer and while delivering it I notice the "transmission is not functioning properly" I would not be taking delivery of that unit.

Having said that...is the motorhome completely unusable with a non-working slide?
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:27 PM   #16
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Did you finally get sound out of the dash speakers? If it has surround it will have an A-B-All switch. If not it might be the fader.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #17
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Personally I believe this “Smells” and looks very bad for Forest River and “RV Direct!” Customer service should be taking care of Wdnfins issues “Now,” not later. Even if he bought out-of-state or wherever,” Excuses will get you Know Where!”
bclemens-"Help Wdnfins!!!!!!"
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zama View Post
Personally I believe this “Smells” and looks very bad for Forest River and “RV Direct!” Customer service should be taking care of Wdnfins issues “Now,” not later. Even if he bought out-of-state or wherever,” Excuses will get you Know Where!”
bclemens-"Help Wdnfins!!!!!!"
Hey Zama, I'm already working on it
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:23 AM   #19
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wdfins: One other note I forgot to mention. The radio NOT turning off the with the key is designed that way. We used to run the radio off the chassis battery, but some people complained that they had to have the key turned to ACC to use the radio. They didn't want to have the key to play the radio. It now defaults to the house batteries but can still draw power from the chassis battery. If you press and hold the power button on the dash radio it will turn off.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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This is really disappointing to me as I have just purchased a 24M for a three month trip (just retired) to the southern USA and if something breaks down, I have no hope in having the Forest River portion of the RV repaired in a timely basis because "we are out of state".

I have to question if the RV life is for me in this case. I am trying to get away from the everyday stresses of life.
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