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Old 01-18-2015, 08:14 PM   #21
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I purchased a new 2013 Jayco 1206 popup in March of 2013. In May, the electric lift system broke and it took the dealer 62 days to repair because "no parts are available at the factory." I called and argued with the factory - still said no parts but sent me a check for $100 for my "inconvenience." Dealer said that it was the hot part of the year for camping anyway. Ditched both Jayco and the dealer. This past September I traded said popup and purchased a new 2015 Coachmen Catalina 263 RLS. Upon getting it home and sanitizing the water system, I detected a water leak behind the shower wall. I returned it to the dealer so that it could be checked for damage behind the wall and it took them 3 1/2 weeks to get it looked at and determine that it was a loose connection. First time out, under city water pressure, there was a leak at the pump - loose connection. Also smelled propane - defective fitting in stove. Needless to say, I fixed both myself in the matter of an hour and a half. So much for Coachmen's pressure testing either the water system and gas lines as advertised in there brochure. Absolutely no QC.

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Old 01-18-2015, 09:04 PM   #22
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You cannot compare automotive industry to the RV industry. I have come from the automotive industry and it is an entirely different animal. On the automotive line, labor is actually paid better (motivated) but are nothing more than assemblers. We designers have engineered in the quality measures meaning it has been taken away, in large part, from the individual worker. Parts only fit one way; fasteners with head selection to have positive, slip free drive; tooling designed to install only to specified torque and at regulated speed; tolerances in all components such that everything fits the same every time; and, I could go on and on. It's a multi-billion dollar a year industry with production volumes that simply dwarf the RV industry in every way... So quality is kept in check with the price tag on the car for your GMs, Fords, Chryslers, and imports. Even if you want to argue the hand-built exotic cars, you cannot use them to compare to the general RV Industry either because in that exotic market you truly pay for craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality. I suppose if you have ever had the pleasure of being in a hand-built-to-owner-needs travel trailer, 5th wheel, or coach you see outstanding quality that also comes with the price tag - i.e., those would be the exotics of the RV Industry I suppose.

The general RV industry will probably never be able to follow in the mass-production automotive model. There's simply not enough demand to tool up to those levels and mass production as far as I can estimate. So you're going to continue with production lines of per-piece workers who are compensated on the low end commensurate with skills, which aren't high given semi-repetitive job function. Thus, it doesn't necessary nurture a pride-in-the-work/ownership mentality in general. So then you have to catch things in quality control checks, but then what are the acceptable tolerances and where do you have the checks? If at each step of construction, you will turn out a better product and it will require a higher price because of the slower steps making construction time longer. If inspected at the end, your tolerances of acceptable will be huge because it'll be too late to turn back to rework some things (e.g., damaged flooring is rarely replaced because it's caught too late in the game when walls and cabinets are in so you end up with some sort of bad patch or filler). This approach keeps the build cost down, fast production, greater margin of profit, and aligns with an acceptable business practice to accept that X% will have issues needing repairs/replacement post-delivery, and on occassion X% will require a monetary compensation or reimbursement.

Final thought, it is generally not MANAGEMENT involved with quality at all. Management concerns itself with the business, profits, returns to investors, and investments needed to keep the company thriving. You can argue that quality is a function of all of these responsibilities, and you are correct, but, for instance, take the membership of this forum, and really the sum of all the internet forums for campers, and then compare it to the numbers of units sold and then the number of units registered. You will arrive quickly at why the larger RV manufacturers are not pursuing quality enhancements as goal #1... The complaints with quality and problems are not as high as perceived when you compare actual numbers.

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Old 01-18-2015, 11:52 PM   #23
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geotex1 ARE YOU SERIOUS!! All the excuses and bs are worthless when poor workmanship is viewed for what it is. I would be thrilled if a manufacturer of any origin would build an rv that doesn't require the buyer to finalize. If we as buyers are skilled enough to modify or complete a project whereas people doing the job daily can't do better....The sorry excuse for a company and the semi-skilled workers should be unemployed.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Villager View Post
geotex1 ARE YOU SERIOUS!! All the excuses and bs are worthless when poor workmanship is viewed for what it is. I would be thrilled if a manufacturer of any origin would build an rv that doesn't require the buyer to finalize. If we as buyers are skilled enough to modify or complete a project whereas people doing the job daily can't do better....The sorry excuse for a company and the semi-skilled workers should be unemployed.
I am quite serious. This is how industry works in this day, and unfortunately long before current times. There's not enough "voice" to counter what lies in the "number$..."

Now understand, I am not defending them nor am I agreeing with it. I'm simply relaying how the machine churns for a high production company. My personal perspective is one that is very different because I am an engineer, and my training and very nature are to design and build the very best! Unfortunately, we engineers have no such freedom if we also look to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads... Something that bothers me is the layman's tendency to blame the design or the engineering for whatever short-coming discovered because they have no concept of how bean counters and management disfigure, roughen, and cheapen designs to maximize profit, but that is the name of the game...

You certainly do have options to have a RV of any sort constructed just the way you want it (within weight, legality, and constructability considerations) and with very high quality. However, those are not high/mass production units and come in at a very different price point from small, specialty coach and trailer builders like New Horizons where a custom 5er can set you back a $200K+.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:52 AM   #25
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goetex1, you couldn't be more incorrect. 99% of the problems owners have are from poor workmanship, and nothing else. It's not the materials or the process that is failing. As long as we keep buying them, I guess they won't change anything.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:31 AM   #26
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I have owned 2 previous Heartland RV'S. They were so poorly constructed. I had pages of things wrong which I won't go into on this forum. We have had no problems at all with our new Rockwood. What a difference in the workmanship. I would never buy another Heartland product but that's just my experience
I also think what you pay for these RV's you should get at least a 5 year warranty that covers everything with no loop holes
Then maybe they would take more time building them.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:41 AM   #27
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All this complaining about shoddy workmanship, poor QC, etc., etc., and yet, we're part of the problem because we keep lining up to buy this junk. What's wrong with this picture?
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:08 AM   #28
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Many good thoughts here! As a former QC manager in the Aerospace/Military industry I can agree with most of what is being said here. Management MUST be involved with the quality of the products being manufactured. Design, manufacturing processes, and material does have a hugh impact on the final quality of the company's product. And YES, it's always less expensive to do the job correctly the first time. Rework/warranty repair is very expensive and seriously effects the bottom line. Excellent inputs everyone!!!!
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:36 AM   #29
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I hear you, we bought a new 2013 Sandpiper 376BHOK and took delivery Sept 5,2013 and had major flood in bathroom because shower stall was not caulked, major water intrusion through nose cap into master closet ruining everything, still not repaired, had mold inspection done in December 2014 and came back positive and nobody cares. Still not fixed, brutal dealership and all forest river can say is will put in your file, oh then motor for awning quit, complete lemon and now being forced to look at legal action
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:47 AM   #30
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The CEO mentioned in the earlier referenced article " we made record profits this year" . His job is to have the company make money. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Yes until we stop lining up to buy the products there is little motivation to change.


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