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Old 06-25-2016, 02:12 PM   #1
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1 year too many.....

Sadly, after only 1 year, we are trading in our 2016 Freedom Express Liberty Edition 322RLDS.

In the past year, our unit has been in the shop for almost 9 months out of 12 with a punch list that was well over 50 items that ran the gamut from shoddy workmanship to outright issues that could literally cost us our lives.

We have had the same types of "normal" issues with our trailer that many have like moldings and trim coming loose, water leaks, and other general workmanship issues, to other more major issues with failures of the AC, water heater, furnace, tongue jack, and oven which although are not directly the fault of FR/Coachmen, they do speak to the equipment choices that they have made when building their units and this many issues should never happen to any unit in our opinion. Thankfully, they have all been covered under warranty up to this point.

Some say that we are thru the "hard part" and that now that most everything on the unit has been rebuilt, we should have much smoother sailing from here on out.

But even if we were to accept the fact that the RV industry is in general, full of shoddy products, and that our problems up until now are common, there is still one outstanding issue that is anything BUT common, could be referred to as the "proverbial straw" and one that we just cannot "live" with, LITERALLY.

While camping in the unit this past year, on 3 different sites, in two different parks, the shore power in the unit just quit. No breakers tripped, no fuses blown, no error codes on our Progressive Industries PT30C and it showed we should still have power, and neighbors in adjoining sites had no power issues. Then suddenly after an indeterminate amount of time (from 2 minutes to an hour) the power came back on. I suspect a short somewhere, possibly an unseen one inside a wire sheath somewhere because no one can find any loose connections or other more obvious issues that could cause this. But the real troubling part for us is that the dealer says that FR won't authorize any labor to investigate the issue unless they can recreate it and up until now, they have not been able to.

So we are just not willing to put our lives in the hand of a Coachmen/FR product any longer if they don't take an issue like this any more seriously. I also hope that who ever ends up with this trailer in the future can figure out what the issue is with the shore power before it burns to the ground someday.

I wish I could say it has been a pleasure, but it has been nothing but and I hope that we can actually enjoy the RV lifestyle at least a little more than we have so far with our next trailer. I can't imagine it being any worse.
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Old 06-25-2016, 02:28 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear of the issues. One thing comes to mind on power issue. Shore power cord may have been defective loose connection in able. Later RJD
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:40 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear of the issues. One thing comes to mind on power issue. Shore power cord may have been defective loose connection in able. Later RJD
You are correct as the OP said if there was a short you would know it. Loose connections may be harder to find.

I feel the place you bought the trailer is to blame also. They should do there best to help. I know my dealer would.

All Campers have bad build issues. Wife and I have owned lots of brand new campers as we trade about every 2 to 3 years. We just traded again. LOL

When I get them home I just about take apart everything and do alot of upgrades and installs of stuff we want added. I always find loose wires in connections, Loose Crimps, Etc... One time there was a switch in a camper we bought that did not even work. I ended up fixing myself. I know you should not have to do this, but I don't trust anyone. You know they are hiring kids at min wage to throw these campers together...

I have seen some crazy stuff getting into them.

Here is are latest trade and pics of some of the stuff I did to it within days of ownership. I probably void warranties but I don't care.... We pay cash for them and the major things that cost the money are the fridge, AC Unit, Water Heater... Etc and they have there own warranties.

New Camper Post:

Traded Flagstaff 25KS for a Catalina 253 RKS

Good Luck with you next camper if you even get one. Sounds like you are over this hobby.



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Old 06-25-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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The dealership supposedly checked all the physical connections and found nothing wrong or loose so it must be something else and I am just not willing to wait and see what happens going forward.

I guess I am just unlucky in this stuff because I also had an old 57 Chevy that would just shut down on the highway for no reason. No rhyme or reason, but every once in a while, it would show it's ugly face. Everything would be running just fine, then suddenly no lights, engine died, and nothing had power whatsoever. After letting it sit for a while, it would start right up and act like nothing was wrong. After months of troubleshooting and replacing one wiring harness at a time, we isolated it to an issue with one wire inside the steering column that was broken inside the sheath.

I can't say for sure if this is the problem this time around, but the symptoms sure look the same. Regardless, if FR wasn't willing to address this issue under warranty, I was not about to try and start doing this stuff with this trailer out of warranty, nor should I have to. Our last year of camping with this unit has been nothing short of a nightmare.

As for being over this hobby? Not by any means since we already ordered a new one. However it is NOT a Coachmen/FR product. Going to try our luck with a Jayco Eagle 330RSTS TT this go around. Can't say if it will be better or worse but at least the Jayco has a 2 year warranty!!!!
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:55 PM   #5
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If you haven't ordered yet, look at the Open Range. Bought mine in April, have camped nine nights and have only had to have a window crank knob replaced. Love the Floorplan and build quality so far. Also, we have an excellent dealer.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:35 PM   #6
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Do you know what they will give you on trade? I can fix that problem.
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:10 PM   #7
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Hey ~~~ I had a 57 Chevy convertible. Now I finally know why it would shut down not that it makes any difference now.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:18 AM   #8
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I had the same problem about a year ago . A friend of mine who is an electrician & I traced it down to a bad plug on the cord at the trailer .
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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If you haven't ordered yet, look at the Open Range. Bought mine in April, have camped nine nights and have only had to have a window crank knob replaced. Love the Floorplan and build quality so far. Also, we have an excellent dealer.
We have already ordered. We actually looked at the Open Range Roamer 323RLS. It looked very nice and seriously considered it. However, when we actually sat down and discussed the pros/cons of each in regards to design and features, the Jayco came out slightly ahead, at least for her and we all know she gets two votes to our one!

Things in the Jayco that beat out the Open Range for her were things like how much bathroom counter space there was, the size and configuration of the shower seat/shelving, where the TV connections were located in the bedroom (she hates cables), size of the kitchen island as well as size/configuration of the residential refrigerator option and recliners instead of theater seating were just a few of the things that made the Jayco the winner.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:02 PM   #10
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Do you know what they will give you on trade? I can fix that problem.
Trade in is 27,000 which we thought was fairly good. We have to roll the difference into our new loan.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #11
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I had the same problem about a year ago . A friend of mine who is an electrician & I traced it down to a bad plug on the cord at the trailer .
Well, according to the dealer, they checked all that type of stuff and found nothing wrong. How hard they actually looked, who knows but FR/Coachmen wouldn't authorize them to start replacing things without knowing exactly where the problem was.

So when I look at the big picture in regards to how many other things have gone sideways besides this, and what has yet to and how much it would cost if they do, I have no confidence whatsoever that this particular trailer won't end up being a much larger money pit than the average RV is.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:08 PM   #12
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Hey ~~~ I had a 57 Chevy convertible. Now I finally know why it would shut down not that it makes any difference now.
Yeah, would have been nice if there were websites like this back when I had that car and was having the issue. Would have saved a LOT of time and effort for sure.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:24 PM   #13
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Well my friend you may not be out of the woods yet

I had a friend buy a Jayco, had it back to the dealer
for a shower drain not glued, electrical problem in
the power panel, loose gray water tank, trailer was
in and out of the dealers shop for the 1st 3 months.

I wish you luck, seems to be the norm now no matter
what brand you buy they all need some repair.

That's why I am keeping my 2006 Coachmen till the
wheels fall off, have I had repairs you bet ya. Trailers
are like boats, big holes in the water you throw
money into
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:43 PM   #14
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Well my friend you may not be out of the woods yet
Oh, I trust that there will be issues with the new one as well and I can deal with that knowledge or I wouldn't have bought one to begin with.

What I cannot deal with is knowing that that there is an electrical issue with this particular trailer that at some point could turn out to be nothing more than a bad plug and an intermittent nuisance, or turn into something MUCH more serious, very quickly.

I could start replacing the shore power electrical system one piece at a time to isolate and fix the problem at MY cost, or move on and hope that any issues next time won't quite be so severe.

But the truly deciding factor in all of this is that the DW isn't happy and is unable to relax in the trailer until this issue is resolved, one way or the other. So guess who else isn't happy or able to relax!?!?.

Although I just love being able to tell someone "I told you so" when I know there is an issue but no one believes me, I just don't have the inclination or the time and money to start troubleshooting this problem out of warranty. I also am not willing to put my family's safety at risk until I know for a fact that the problem doesn't exist any longer, which could be much longer and way more expensive than just bailing now and hoping for the best.

Guess time will tell, eh?
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:53 PM   #15
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The RV business is different from the auto business so its somewhat common to have some issues but what you experienced is awful. Hopefully things will be better with the new RV. I have to ask - did you buy it from the same dealer? Some dealers are great in servicing other other dealers just passes the buck.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:09 PM   #16
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Actually, tried to buy the new one from the same dealer because up until this point, their service had been great. But long story short, they pulled their offer when I tried to dicker. Guess they took it personally and were having such a banner sales year that they could throw my business away!?!?

Anyway, ended up with a deal that works better for us from another about 60 miles away so maybe it was "meant to be".
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