They say confession is good for the soul… but we all know confessions and apologies are hard to deliver. I feel the need to confess and to apologize… so here goes.
I didn’t know until I read the posts in this topic that my buying a Forest River product with a 20+ item punch list was the cause of F.R.’s drop in quality. That’s right. I did it. I bought a unit with some “construction oversights” and, by that irresponsible act, told the factory that quality didn’t matter. So, I apologize to the rest of you. Had I known I was causing so many quality problems for my fellow Americans (and others, I assume), I would have kept my Keystone Cougar which I bought used and from which the quality wrinkles had already been ironed.
I had been planning to buy from another manufacturer… was a member of forums of other manufacturers so I didn’t read the warnings on this forum. I changed my mind and started looking for a different set of features which I found in my Wildcat. I chose the closest dealership which sold this model. I did not choose the dealership or my model because it was cheaper as some have charged. I chose it because of its features… or did I already say that? Cash was not king for me despite the broad brush charge.
It has been said here that it costs too much for RV assemblers to do the job right. Hmmmm. Boss to hand: “I’ll give you $11 extra if you will shoot two inch brad nails through the wood ‘picture frame’ trim on the front of both big slides and actually hit the backer board put there to support the trim.” [See pic.] Or would he have to offer the hand $14 extra per occurrence to do it right?
Here’s another confession. I didn’t read all the definitive/exacting information on this forum such as “I highly doubt if these factories are not already running some type of quality driven process”. Those “facts” might have kept me from ruining everyone else’s chance at a quality product. And speaking of quality driven processes and especially the “fact” that “If their failure rate is above 5% I would be surprised which would be the reason why they are not fine tooth combing every RV out the door”. I don’t know about 5%, etc., but I DO know (no doubts or comments about being surprised) that the other 2 units like mine that showed up at my dealership while mine was being made ready had the same problem with the living room floor and the slide that dragged on it enough to cut the flooring. It seems odd that the 3 like units arriving at my dealership in a 1-week period would have the exact same “construction oversights” IF the factory line had a less than 5% “construction oversight” rate.
Here’s another apology. I’m sorry I didn’t fly 950 miles to the F.R. Wildcat factory and show their management and workers how to improve their quality. I’ve managed quality improvement processes before. I have experience… but wait, that wasn’t in the RV manufacturing field so nothing I know would have counted. I DID contact the Wildcat warranty rep. I did send him emails containing pictures of some of my “construction oversights”. I DID recommend how recurring requests for warranty repairs for the same defect should be formally communicated to plant management. I DID give my dealership’s owner contact information to the sales side of Wildcat. He already had service/warranty information. I DID help the dealership’s service manager upgrade his process for communicating with F.R. warranty people. I DID send information to Wildcat Chris. I did communicate with the “Wildcat by Forest River” rep. on Facebook. I DID recommend that this person join our forum so he/she could read about “construction oversights” and dealership incompetencies and forward suggestions to plant management. He/she said he/she would. Did he/she? I don’t know. I hope at least 1-2 of these things count as working with the company and not just ranting.
As I said, I didn’t choose my unit because it was the cheapest. It cost almost exactly the same as a well-appointed truck which has had ZERO punch list items. I have not contacted the dealership or the manufacturer one time – oh, yeah, I forgot. It’s a truck and I should expect it to be perfect for the same money as a trailer which is not.
With all that said (yes, I know!), I wouldn’t sell my unit back to the dealership or any of you for what I paid. I accepted the well-meaning, well-stated advice of several on here that it wouldn’t help to complain to peer owners about the “construction oversights” in my trailer or about the glacier-slow appearance of the F.R. warranty process. So, believe it or not, this is not about my punch list. I ASSume my list is down to (almost) zero since my unit is at the dealership now. I love the features of my unit. This is primarily a rebuttal to those who ‘bash’ other people for being disappointed in the quality of their units; this is a rebuttal to those who say “you shouldn’t have been so cheap… you should have paid more”; this is a rebuttal to those who say it costs too much to have a technician crimp the ring connectors on battery cables such that they don’t just fall off.
Over and out, and to all a good night!
Sent (I think)