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Old 07-05-2010, 08:01 AM   #21
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I am a Mechanical Design Engineer and I always wondered if I took the best of most travel trailers and took the most of customer complaints I could probably design a nice travel trailer. This trailer would be light weight and of high quality but what would the final price be? I have been in manufacturing for a while now and the average ratio of operating cost to sales is around 4.3. This means if your total operating cost are 1 million per year then sales should be around 4.3 million per year. I still ponder the idea from time to time, but I do know that in a year or two I will start to purchase older travel trailers to renovate not for profit but for fun.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:13 AM   #22
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I agree that we all bought our units to enjoy camping in one form or another. It's hard to enjoy that time when the products fail to perform or you spend half your time at Home Depot picking up parts to fix what should have been correct from the start. I've done more than my share of repairs on my unit. Some from the use of it, things come loose, drawer brackets break etc. But when I'm replacing coaxial cable that never worked from day one to the rear TV is another story. Hounding the dealership for the counter-top extension that the factory forgot to install and wait for 6 months for them to ever ship the correct color. Third time was the charm. Repairing a bad ground when I had no headlights at 3:00 AM, non-existent fog light bracket mount, replacing the plastic-crap board or what ever it is that they screwed the trunk supports into. These are not including all the little things like wood dough that was so far off from the color of the wood and the Executive DVD Home Threatre system, had 3 of them. I don't know about all of you and it seems like there are a few that totally except this shoty work because it would cost more to do it right. ??????, but it ticks me off to know I'm doing the work that someone else got paid to do by me with my purchase and I'm the one fixing it or just totally replacing it on my time.

I need a beer!
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #23
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cfsoistman,
I understand what your saying and I donít necessarily disagree. The point I was trying to make was, while poor quality is not acceptable in any product it is unfortunate that it seems to be widespread in the RV industry. We can complain all we want, but nothing changes. So the reality of the situation is what we have to deal with and rather than sit back and complain I would rather do as you have done and take matters into my own hands and deal with it.

For experienced RVíers like you, you know what to expect. For those first time buyers, they have no idea and they are ďshockedĒ when they discover all the poor quality items and workmanship in their brand new $20K+ units (I understand your coach cost much more than that and when poor quality is found it hurts that much more). I think itís great that there are forums like this one where inexperienced people can get help from experienced people like you.

Problems happen, be it accidental or shoddy workmanship from poorly trained workers or just plain negligence. I do accept that, it's not a perfect world. Sometimes it's more about how a problem is handled rather than the problem itself. Although I expect problems with a new unit I didnít expect the delaminating problem I had, but my dealer and FR didnít shy away from the problem.

I, for one, probably wouldnít be able to afford my current TT if higher quality was implemented in the manufacturing process, so with that in mind I do accept what I received along with the knowledge that I will have to do some fixes and repairs that should have been done before leaving the factory or at least taken care of at the dealership before they sold me the TT.

Iíll agree itís all very frustrating at times and itís hard to believe some of the mistakes werenít caught at the factory. A brand new unit should be in good working order and put together correctly, but for me it's more about expectations. If I expect a brand new unit to work perfectly and be put together correctly I'm going to be very disapointed. We don't have to neccassarily accept that or like it, but that is the reality we all have to deal with.

It's hard to do, but try to put these things behind you and enjoy your time out while camping. When looking at the big picture, those times are too few and too far between.

If youíll accept, I would like to buy you that beer sometime.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:59 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by grhodes50 View Post
cfsoistman,
I understand what your saying and I donít necessarily disagree. The point I was trying to make was, while poor quality is not acceptable in any product it is unfortunate that it seems to be widespread in the RV industry. We can complain all we want, but nothing changes. So the reality of the situation is what we have to deal with and rather than sit back and complain I would rather do as you have done and take matters into my own hands and deal with it.

For experienced RVíers like you, you know what to expect. For those first time buyers, they have no idea and they are ďshockedĒ when they discover all the poor quality items and workmanship in their brand new $20K+ units (I understand your coach cost much more than that and when poor quality is found it hurts that much more). I think itís great that there are forums like this one where inexperienced people can get help from experienced people like you.

Problems happen, be it accidental or shoddy workmanship from poorly trained workers or just plain negligence. I do accept that, it's not a perfect world. Sometimes it's more about how a problem is handled rather than the problem itself. Although I expect problems with a new unit I didnít expect the delaminating problem I had, but my dealer and FR didnít shy away from the problem.

I, for one, probably wouldnít be able to afford my current TT if higher quality was implemented in the manufacturing process, so with that in mind I do accept what I received along with the knowledge that I will have to do some fixes and repairs that should have been done before leaving the factory or at least taken care of at the dealership before they sold me the TT.

Iíll agree itís all very frustrating at times and itís hard to believe some of the mistakes werenít caught at the factory. A brand new unit should be in good working order and put together correctly, but for me it's more about expectations. If I expect a brand new unit to work perfectly and be put together correctly I'm going to be very disapointed. We don't have to neccassarily accept that or like it, but that is the reality we all have to deal with.

It's hard to do, but try to put these things behind you and enjoy your time out while camping. When looking at the big picture, those times are too few and too far between.

If youíll accept, I would like to buy you that beer sometime.
Deal, can you have it here by 4:00, I'll be out by then .

I fully understand everyone's comments and some accept more than others. It's just a shame that with all the technical advances in manufacturing the one thing that falls short is the workmanship. As much competition there still is out there one thing every manufacturer can control is workmanship. These RVs aren't an every day neccesity and I'm sure there are plenty of people that wished they never bought one. Not me, I enjoy it too much to not have one, but the next time we go shopping I'm going to be a bit more nosey and really look things over. Products from outside vendors fail from time to time and with the number of things involved in the manufacturing process there are plenty of places where things can go wrong. Forgetting to put the supports in the bench where the dinette folds into a bed is pretty bad.

I'm not upset with anyone here, just the failure of the RV Industry to do a quality control check on their products before sending them off to the unsuspecting customer who then has to deal with the problems. In the first 6 months we had our unit it spent almost 3 of those months at the dealership getting repaired and waiting on parts. I was still paying my payments for those months as well as the cost of taking the unit back to the dealer twice. 256 miles round trip times 2. At $3.00+ a gallon and 8 MPG it cost me for their mistakes and they don't reimburse you either. That's my point, they need to see that their mistakes cost their customers, but I don't think they really care that much because there's always someone else looking at lowest price and that's their selling point.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:23 PM   #25
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People talk about higher quality meaning higher costs. Yes, costs would be higher if Grade 8 bolts were used rather than Grade 2 fasteners, but does it cost more to properly torque either bolt regardless of grade?

When I was looking @ popups back in '05, there were 2 dealers in my area that sold a lot of popups. One sold Viking & the other Jayco. I asked around, priced & did some research on the 'net. The Vikings were about half the price of the Jaycos & I was told they were near the bottom of the barrel qualitywise. Well I had issues w/ my Jayco, even by spending almost twice as much.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:59 PM   #26
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The RV industry is at the stage of American Auto manufacturers of the 1960-70's era. It took the Japanese Auto competition to straighten them out. Kiss the jobs good bye if the Chinese start shipping RV's to our shores. Everything else is coming from there like it or not.
They better shape up or ship out.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:05 PM   #27
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The RV industry is at the stage of American Auto manufacturers of the 1960-70's era.
I think you mean the '70s era. You can scratch the '60s. There was nothing wrong with Chevy, Ford and Dodge(Chrysler) vehicles in the '60s. Sure, they burnt lots of gas, and they had tons power, but gas was cheap back then. .25 to .30 per gallon. I know. I was there. When the '70 hit, the big three when down hill fast.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:52 PM   #28
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Construction quality

You're right Mike. I should have stated mid seventies to eighties. Lots of cool autos till then
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:00 PM   #29
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Thanks for your thoughts... Overall I think the best thing that we can do is to continue to send Forrest River photos and complaints when we find problems. The more they hear from us, the harder it is to ignore us. I also love this forum because I have learned about so many things that I need to know which have saved us greif and money.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:46 AM   #30
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Thumbs down Poor quality

One can complain as much as they want, it will never get you anywhere. You are still out time, money and the enjoyment of the rv that you purchased.
Not to mention all of the stress and anxiety while on an extended trip, especially when fr tells you to take to a dealer that is over 200 miles away. They never offer to pay travel expense.
The only thing they understand is money out of their pocket.
I finally had to file suit against fr and the dealer. This got their attention....................
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