My dealer and issues we’ve had. What do you think.( sorry this is long)
First the story and then a few questions for your opinions.
We received our Rockwood 2306 near end of May. Took it out for the shakedown trip the next weekend. Things went very good for newbies. 2 weeks later an unusually big storm knocked a tree limb down and right through the roof of our new trailer. In 25 years we have never had a tree limb fall where the trailer was parked.(we both about cried) It came through to the inside and right between 2 ceiling panels and right near the door. If it fell only a foot more over it would have missed the trailer. Limb penetrated about 6 inches. Pulled out the limb and covered with a tarp. Next day cleaned up the hole and the roof and put a patch on it using a circular piece of heavy white plastic and white silicon glue. Looked good and held for quite a while. Called insurance company and contacted our dealer. I wanted 2 estimates. Dealer said he could do one with pictures so I sent him photos. Insurance adjuster came to the house and gave his estimate. Dealer $5,500. Adjuster $3,800. ($500. Deductible) Adjuster low, or dealer high, but within reason given the type of damage. Asked dealer about his estimate and he told me how they had to tear out many of the cabinets to get to the ceiling panels. 2 cabinets over the beds, kitchen cabinet, and the one over the table. (I already knew that would have to be done) A whole lot of labor was on the estimate. Insurance company said once we bring it to the dealer for repairs and get a better estimate they would pay what was needed to repair, not to worry. Not too bad news at this point.
Insurance company agreed we could wait until the season was over before putting in for the repairs. A check came quickly from insurance and they said don’t worry this is not the final check and they would honor the actual repairs cost. I did not deposit it just in case.
Since the patched hole was not really preventing us from using it, we camped and Kayaked all summer. Most within an hour or so from our house but several longer trips of 5 hours or so. We loved it. Wife named her Mini, like it's says on the side and a tip of the hat to Mickey's girlfriend. It was a great summer and we didn't really notice the battle wound much. WE thought when it was repaired it would be as good as new and that took the sting out of the incident. Brought it to dealer end of October for updated estimate and to get repairs done. Now the estimate is 6,040. Said cost of roof went up $500 or so. Put the insurance company together with the dealer and they worked it out. The insurance company would send the difference minus my deductible. Repairs would start. I had told the dealer from the beginning that maybe instead of tearing down all of those cabinets in order to replace 2 whole ceiling panels, that maybe they could cut out a foot or so from each of the 2 damaged ceiling panels and a new piece could be put in. (running the width of the trailer) Result would be only one more seam in the ceiling, with only one more joint trim put over it. Could look totally natural. Dealer repair manager wouldn’t really address my question. Before I knew it a new roof was on the top of the trailer. I again asked about the internal repairs and he said he would have to go to the shop and see what I was talking about. WHAT? The rest of that conversation with him told me he had never even really looked at this trailer. I guess he was going on reports from the men on the floor.
Next day he called and I was not home so my wife talked to him. He told her that they could not repair the trailer like it should be because the ceiling panels were VACUUM SEALED to the Styrofoam and it would completely ruin the trailer if they tried to take that apart. Best they could do was put a strip of ceiling panel over the damaged part and run it the width of the trailer with joint trim over each side of it. There would be bump in the ceiling where the patch ceiling panel was. He was going to run an 18 inch piece the width of the trailer. Said it would not look too bad since the panels were very thin. Or he could run a piece from the front wall to the cabinets over the table and since it would be under the front cabinet, the cabinet would be just little bit lower. This was crazy talk. I went over there. After looking it all over and talking to the shop guys I could see that this trailer was not going to be fixed as good as new, like a car with a fender bender could. No ceiling panels could be removed and replaced. I came up with a plan to run a patch from the cabinet above the bed to the cabinet above the table. But to butt up to the cabinets and not to put it under the cabinets. I said to the repair manger how this should be far less expensive since no cabinets would be removed. He gave a little hint of a smile and said “ya, at least your deductible”. I said all that work not being done should be more savings than that, shouldn’t it? No answer.
Now the real bad stuff. 2 days later he calls and said it was done. Gave me the total and I almost really launched on him. It WAS only $500. less. I told him we would talk later and I sent an email with a carefully worded analysis of the charges as anyone could see it. (Interesting it was almost exactly $500. less, my deductible) He knocked another $ 300. or so off. I went over there to sign the check from the insurance company and took a quick look at it. Came out pretty well considering the circumstances. But it smelled of cigarette smoke. Someone was smoking in it. Wife and I don’t smoke and she is very sensitive to it. The next day when we went to drive it home she smelled it too and nearly flipped.
So now it is home. First thing I did, now that I had a ladder, was to look at the roof. !?!?XTF. My original roof was a TPO (Kinda grey with an orange peel texture) the new roof is a very white rubber roof or EDPM. Looked much thicker also. Found out the dealer just put a new layer of Luan wood panels over the old roof. Same reason, the original is Vacuum Sealed to the Styrofoam. (I think he means glued but not sure) Then they put this other type of roof on. Looking around we found that the cabinet over the stove was taken down, or maybe only partially taken down, and then put back. The workmanship was crappy. Just plain crappy. Trim pieces missing, brown sealant smeared all over the wall and cabinet. The panel between the storage area and the microwave was loose. I could pull on it and see inside the microwave area.
They also fixed two out of three waranatee items. New LED light strip in awning (original had many light burned out) and new power plug because the little blue light stopped working. The TV is missing a audio channel when you use headphones. Only comes out the right ear piece. They didn’t replace that.
So now the questions:
- Our camper now weighs more. Maybe 8 sheets of Luan plywood more. And maybe the rubber weighs more than the original TPO. What to think of this.
- They did far less work than the original estimate. Ya, I got some money back but that wouldn’t even compensate for the de-valuing of our trailer now due to the compromised repair.
- What about our warrantee of the roof. (Our original vs. the replacement) It is a Forest River authorized repair shop.
- The crappy cabinet repair. I guess when they started to take down the cabinetry they discovered how that approach wouldn’t work.
- Any other thoughts. We really felt totally let down. Do you think Forest River cares at his point? Should I bother telling them? I do NOT want to take the trailer back there. BTW. The new trim piece they put on the new ceiling panel didn’t even come from Forest River. They bought it at Lowes Home Improvement and paint matched it.
- Apparently trailers built like ours are un-fixable. Just patchable.