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Old 01-10-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
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Quality control questions

So I still have SOB 5th wheel and am getting closer to selecting a FR product that I think I like. However I'm getting very concerned that there are support issues from FR or dealers that sell these. Having to fight routinely to get issues fixed does not appeal to me. Of all the post on this forum I would think FR would take notice of known issues and like vehicles issue a Repair Notice for affected models. I'm reading many negative responses regarding support for warranty repairs with finger pointing going on.

I wouldn't buy a vehicle that had issues like this so why should I consider purchasing an expensive item like this with the intention of enhancing family experiences and not get needed support from the manufacturer or from dealer to correct any issues. Having to fight to get obvious stuff fixed especially when under warranty just doesn't seem to be a good way to do business at all. How could any company get new or repeat customers with an attitude like many have described.

I get that mass production should for the most part improve as more units are completed and there are going to be more issues with newer models until the assembly line personnel become familiar with each model. I'm also pretty confident that not every single rig has issues.

The biggest problem keeping me from taking the jump and buy is that I don't read many post from members stating that the quality and support for their rig is amazing.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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I have had five campers and one was bad. I have had two Cedar Creek that have been great, I have had four Forest River products , a travel trailer, a fifth wheel Wildcat Sterling ( actually a Polecat) and two Cedar Creeks. The travel trailer was a Sierra and I brought it from a dealer that was going out of business but it was a great camper. The Wildcat(Polecat) was the worst one and I got no help from the dealer (Tom Johnson Camping in Marion, NC), and no help from Forest River. But with what I have learned on this forum I think I could have gotten more help from the factory. The Wildcat was the prettiest camper that I have owned, I wish everything had worked out. If I was going to buy another camper it would be another Cedar Creek. Each division at Forest River is different and I have been treated great at Cedar Creek. They have went out of there way to help me and after the warranty is over. Make sure you buy the second year warranty from Forest River, the dealer will probably try to get you to buy a extended warranty from them, take a fools advise and forget that. The second year warranty from Forest River is what you want to buy


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Old 01-10-2017, 08:22 PM   #3
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I guess we bought into the red headed step child part of the company, we love our Crusader, almost traded in for another FR product, but with the complete lack of customer service with this one, we decided not to trade up, instead we will keep this one for a while, but, we WILL NOT buy anything FR again! It amazes me that some get the greatest customer service one could ever ask for, and we got nothing. I just don't get it. As far as our 5er, it has not had a bunch of little issues, but it's the larger things we feel like we got bent over on. Good luck.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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You're right. For many of us, dealer service and timely, competent warranty work have proven to be essentially non-existent.
If you want to enjoy a new RV, I recommend going into it "eyes wide open". Do a very thorough pre purchase inspection. Make sure what you find is fixed correctly before you buy. Find a local RV service place with good reviews to use for significant repairs you can't do yourself - give the dealer a chance (maybe you will luck out and have a competent, responsive dealer service department) but as soon as they delay your repair or screw it up take your rig to the independent - no second chances! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...
Try to get the cost of parts for self repairs and the cost of repairs done by the independent reimbursed while under warranty (ask FR for pre-approval, submit your bills to them for reimbursement) but focus on fast, competent repairs so you can enjoy your rig. (I understand some independents will work with FR on warranty work - haven't experienced, so can't comment.)
In my opinion, Independent RV service places depend on service for their livelihood - RV dealers make their living on sales and many see service as an expense to be minimized.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quality control issues are not exclusive to Forest River...rather it is an RV industry wide problem. Go to the Jayco owners forum and you will see basically the same thing. It happens in the entry level RV's as well as the $500,000 RV's. If you buy an RV you have to be prepared to fix many of the little things yourself. First off many times it will be when you are away from home on a camping trip, so you fix it yourself so you can carry on. If one isn't prepared to do that, then perhaps RV ownership is better left alone.
Many of the posts you read are people looking for fixes to their issues, those that are having trouble free ownership are in here participating but for the most part they aren't posting saying all is good with their RV.
We are on our 3rd Forest River product, and although each one has needed some minor touches and fixes, they have all been pretty minor, and I have handled them myself.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lvn2tvl View Post
So I still have SOB 5th wheel and am getting closer to selecting a FR product that I think I like. However I'm getting very concerned that there are support issues from FR or dealers that sell these. Having to fight routinely to get issues fixed does not appeal to me. Of all the post on this forum I would think FR would take notice of known issues and like vehicles issue a Repair Notice for affected models. I'm reading many negative responses regarding support for warranty repairs with finger pointing going on.

I wouldn't buy a vehicle that had issues like this so why should I consider purchasing an expensive item like this with the intention of enhancing family experiences and not get needed support from the manufacturer or from dealer to correct any issues. Having to fight to get obvious stuff fixed especially when under warranty just doesn't seem to be a good way to do business at all. How could any company get new or repeat customers with an attitude like many have described.

I get that mass production should for the most part improve as more units are completed and there are going to be more issues with newer models until the assembly line personnel become familiar with each model. I'm also pretty confident that not every single rig has issues.

The biggest problem keeping me from taking the jump and buy is that I don't read many post from members stating that the quality and support for their rig is amazing.
Like most things on a forum, usually you hear majority from the people that have problems, while people that are happy don't say much.

We bought our FR 233S from house of camping in Chicago and just had it in for repairs.

1. Bad black tank gate valve
2. Failing trim
3. Melted lense cover
4. Broken netting

among others.

I'll items fixed within a couple of weeks and got the camper back after signing the warranty claim to FR.

So far, I have had great experiences.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFD View Post
Quality control issues are not exclusive to Forest River...rather it is an RV industry wide problem. Go to the Jayco owners forum and you will see basically the same thing. It happens in the entry level RV's as well as the $500,000 RV's. If you buy an RV you have to be prepared to fix many of the little things yourself. First off many times it will be when you are away from home on a camping trip, so you fix it yourself so you can carry on. If one isn't prepared to do that, then perhaps RV ownership is better left alone.
Many of the posts you read are people looking for fixes to their issues, those that are having trouble free ownership are in here participating but for the most part they aren't posting saying all is good with their RV.
We are on our 3rd Forest River product, and although each one has needed some minor touches and fixes, they have all been pretty minor, and I have handled them myself.
I agree that this topic is the RV industry in general not just FR. Only reason why I posted here is that I am, as I stated, getting closer to purchasing a newer 5th wheel and it just happens to be a FR product that I am looking at presently.

Your comment regarding fixing it yourself seems, from what I've read on multiple forums, to be the norm for all owners of other brands as well but the question of why it is this way still amazes me that we actually continue to tolerate this practice. Of the 3 5th wheels that I have owned I have actually done all the repairs, maintenance, and improvements myself instead of taking it to someone that I don't know or really trust. Granted everything so far has been minor issues but what are the chances that a major issue would force me to take my rig to a repair shop. I cringe at the thought but like many others still keep going because I enjoy the family time that the RV provides. I guess it is what it is but I don't necessarily like the quality we're getting for price we have to pay.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:45 PM   #8
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Far as I'm concerned, from some of the cabbage fix jobs I've seen posted on here (and other forums), I would be very hesitant in taking my unit to any repair shop. I fix everything myself and have for years. Ir's not just build quality, the repair expertise generally sucks too.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:03 PM   #9
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I was in Elkhart IN late last year and it seem like everywhere we looked we saw more campers being made. At the Cedar Creek factory they were talking about adding a day so they could make more campers. With more people retiring now campers can't be made fast enough.


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Old 01-11-2017, 03:09 PM   #10
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I was in Elkhart IN late last year and it seem like everywhere we looked we saw more campers being made. At the Cedar Creek factory they were talking about adding a day so they could make more campers. With more people retiring now campers can't be made fast enough.


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As a rule in any production enviroment, the quicker you produce something that isn't made with automation, the more the quality slides... Business 101.
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