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Old 04-09-2016, 05:50 PM   #1
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Pretty Disappointed in Forest River Coachmen

I got 21QB for full-time. Its less than 1 year old and already seen tons of quality problems.

Please be careful: RANT UP AHEAD.

The thermostat went bad after 8 months. OEM cost $50. A digital (works great) cost $25. Why do this FR?

I found about 6 months that the rivets under the coach had popped out. Even the ones that were there had never made it into the panel. They were just sitting there. Almost 2/3 were simply missing.

Found out that the OEM charger was just meant for float charge to keep the battery "warm" It only put out about 13.1v not a 14.1 - 14.3 v needed to really charge the battery. Dumb because the right one and the OEM are the same price.

I have a rear view camera and an in-dash monitor. You cannot play DVDs in the in-dash. I was told its a saftey feature. Wait you are parked with your parking breaks engaged and it doesn't come on? What kind of bone headed move is that. Even the manfacture said he didn't understand it. The monitor is specfically designed with a wire going to parking break where if parking break is engaged the in dash DVD should play.

The Microwave has a film to protect the buttons from wearing out. Its already loose and wrinkled like it was 10 years old.

The couch where I sit to do work has a lump and deep indentation in it. I only weigh about 128 lbs.

When you want to use the generator, you have to keep the tank a 1/4 full. That's ridiculous. I let it go on "empty" where the gas gauge was on red to see how far I could go. The mileage estimator said 80 miles. My car will only go 30 miles on the "empty" mark so that's plenty of room.

At a 1/4 tank there is about 10 gallons - that'll go another 100 miles or so on highway. So I've got to keep 180 miles of gas in my cab to run the generator. I was told to fix this the tank would have to be dropped. Another boned headed move. Even if you are the kind that wants to wear your belt and your supenders, is 1/8 of a tank more then enough?

That's about about 8 in reserve and about 6 or more in the main tank. Total of 14 gallons to get you back to wherever. And if you're stupid enough to run your generator so you have 1/8 of tank and in the boonies then it's your fault. I don't need a nanny.

They tell me the DVD is for safety. The tell me the 1/4 tank is for safety. Then if there concern is so much for safety then why do they not put in a 3-way refigerator. Think of all the people who run down the high way with their gas on to run refigerator. Yeah most people think its okay. But in most states its against the law for safety reasons.

I could point out at least 5 - 6 more things that are just plain poor manufacturing problems and some design problems as well.

I'm having to fix all this, when in most cases it would cost practically nothing or far, far less to do it right before the fact then after.

The word CRAP has been coming to my mind of late. Wonder why?
Oh point any of this out to coachman and you're told "cosmetic" or "design that way" (oh really ... missing screws are cosmetic? the city water connection breaks the first time its used?)

By the way, the fine folks in the RV world have legislated the "lemon law" away. You cannot apply it to RVs. Cute or CRAP.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:05 PM   #2
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Why would you play a DVD in the dash radio? CDs are designed for the dash. DVDs are designed to be viewed on your television. Or am I missing something? You need more fuel to run your generator so that you do not accidently run out of fuel. I am glad they designed it that way as I would not have to face running out of fuel. Forest River doesn't make the microwave and it should be covered by the maker's warranty.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:13 PM   #3
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You can't expect to much out of a unit not designed for full timing.


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Old 04-09-2016, 06:21 PM   #4
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With the exception of the rivets and screws? Everything else is pretty much industry standard. Forest River doesn't make the thermostats and converters or the DVD players. The 1/4 tank of fuel has been around for many years. If keeping that much gas in the tank is a problem, maybe you shouldn't own an RV?

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Old 04-09-2016, 06:21 PM   #5
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You're Right and and You're Wrong ...

I think you're right that you can't expect much from a unit that's not designed full time. But the bonehead part is that as I said it either costs the same or just a tad bit more to do it right. Right so that if you wanted to use it full time your could at least 90% of it.

And if you were a seasonal user then you'd have a unit that was much better and shouldn't cost an arm-and-a-leg more because as I said in many instances the part that proper is same price or cheaper then the price of the sub-par part that was put in.

That's my issue. If it took a major leap for man-kind to do it right, I'd be with you on it. But it's really a small step that wouldn't cost that much other then a little bit of common sense.

That's why I say, you're mostly right and partly wrong.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:28 PM   #6
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That's a good question about the DVD

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Originally Posted by Bob Montgomery View Post
Why would you play a DVD in the dash radio? CDs are designed for the dash. DVDs are designed to be viewed on your television. Or am I missing something? You need more fuel to run your generator so that you do not accidently run out of fuel. I am glad they designed it that way as I would not have to face running out of fuel. Forest River doesn't make the microwave and it should be covered by the maker's warranty.
Why would you want a DVD in the front, why not? I've found myself parked in a parking lot waiting for the Mrs. and what am I suppose to do, turn on the TV and use the generator to give it power or run down my battery? The battery in the cab is plenty powerful to run it for 20 - 30 min.

And if CDs are designed for dash and DVD's for the TV (which uses lot more power then dash player), why would the manufacture of the in-dash put this in as a feature.

And as I said you've got 140 miles even if you went to 1/8 of tank. What's wrong with 140 miles? When you consider 30 Miles reserve is what's been legistated by the DOT. Does an RV *really* need any more than 1/8 of thank when that gets you 140 miles?

And what a waste. When I get to where I'm getting to I have to keep in mind that the gen is going to go at 1/4 tank. So I have to needlessly fill up more 1/4 tank. So here's the problem with that, I can't use the generator and what if my battery runs out of juice. So to be prepared I've got to keep another 1/4 to 1/2 tank more just to avoid this "safety" feature.

If the really want to do this as a "safety" feature, then give me control and let me set it myself.

IMHO, suspenders and a belt. Who really needs both?
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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That microwave film??? Is that the protective film the manufacture put on the unit so it wasn't scratched prior to use by the purchaser? It is meant to be pealed off by the end user. If not, your dealer likely should replace it as it should be under warranty.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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Dealer wont do anything about "cosmetic"

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That microwave film??? Is that the protective film the manufacture put on the unit so it wasn't scratched prior to use by the purchaser? It is meant to be pealed off by the end user. If not, your dealer likely should replace it as it should be under warranty.
We went to the dealer, point this out. We were told that coachman consider this "cosmetic" and so would not be covered under the warranty. The same was said about all the screws missing under the mental strip that supports the panel.

The thermostat, well to be honest with you on this, I'm not sure if the dealership messed up or it was coachman. It took 41/2 weeks before we heard that it was okay to do this under warranty. By that time, I had already paid for a digital to be installed.

I say I don't know because after I paid for the Mrs had a hunch it wasn't coachman; she suspect someone at the dealership messed up because she felt no one would take so long to make a such a simple decision. Well I called coachman and they said they could find the warranty request in their system. The dealership claims they did it and could see it just fine.

So like I said, to be honest, I don't know where the fault lies. Our fault does not lie in the stars, but ourselves as the bard says. Our fault was to not do enough research on Coachman before we bought it. After that, I've been on other sites, where people have said their front end wasn't adjusted properly and much worst then I've experienced.

Maybe I should count my blessings.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:42 PM   #9
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I just looked up your unit. It looks nice. If you want to live in it full time, that is your business and I think there is no reason you can't except you will freeze up in the winter if you are in the wrong area. The radio in the dash is not designed to play a DVD. Sorry, CD only. They look alike but they are not. If you have a DVD player in the coach (I am not sure if you do or not) then it is likely 12volt as is your main television so you can watch it in the parking lot without running your generator as long as your coach batteries are turned on....I hope your dealer will take care of the rivets. I have a Coachmen Leperchaun 230CB (2015) and have not experienced any real problems so far and have traveled at least 10,000 miles since we bought it used. We service it regularly, keep it clean, and even have used it in Montana during the winter but without putting water into the system. By carrying two one gallon bottles of water in the bathroom we can even pour some in toilet and use it in an emergency. Not enough to freeze anything up. Hang in there, I think you have a nice little rig and yes, you should expect things to be done properly.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:52 PM   #10
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Not sure about your coach and mine ...

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Originally Posted by Bob Montgomery View Post
I just looked up your unit. It looks nice. If you want to live in it full time, that is your business and I think there is no reason you can't except you will freeze up in the winter if you are in the wrong area. The radio in the dash is not designed to play a DVD. Sorry, CD only. They look alike but they are not. If you have a DVD player in the coach (I am not sure if you do or not) then it is likely 12volt as is your main television so you can watch it in the parking lot without running your generator as long as your coach batteries are turned on....I hope your dealer will take care of the rivets. I have a Coachmen Leperchaun 230CB (2015) and have not experienced any real problems so far and have traveled at least 10,000 miles since we bought it used. We service it regularly, keep it clean, and even have used it in Montana during the winter but without putting water into the system. By carrying two one gallons of water in the bathroom we can even pour some in toilet and use it in an emergency. Not enough to freeze anything up. Hang in there, I think you have a nice little rig and yes, you should expect things to be done properly.
My in-dash is clearly meant to play DVDs. There is a button on the touch panel that says "DVD". When it first didn't work, I thought it was broken. But then I called the manufacture to see if they would replace it and was told nothing doing. The problem is in how it's been wired not a problem with the unit. I asked was that the "norm" to it that way. He said that's the design and that's the way it's suppose to be done.

If you don't believe me that that's the way it is look up:
AV61BH manufactuer AXXERA. Mine also has a USB stick, a SD card, and external AV. As best as I can tell the external AV has something to do with connecting your GPS so you can use the GPS through in-dash. Or I understand that is supports something called "miracast" which allow you to project your iPhone so you can use google maps off your iPhone.


I ended up taking it to Best Buy to get this "fixed" The guy said the same thing to me. Why wasn't it done right in the first place.

Oh I should mention the other thing the guy at Best Buy found. The in-dash unit had been put in wrong at the factory. It had crushed the 12v socket connector to the 12v plug on the passenger side.

As far as a 12v TV, mine isn't 12v. It's a 110v. And so is the DVD/Blueray player. I have to take an inverter and put in the the 12v plug that's there and feed it into the TV, unless I want to connect to shore or turn on the generator.
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