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Old 11-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #1
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Lazy Manufacturing

Yesterday I purchased a brand new 2013 Palomino Puma Unleashed 27SBU. Brought it home, and my son and I decided to spend the night in it, while parked out in front of the house. It gave me a bit of time to get comfortable with the electronics and all the other features inside.

First thing I did was pop in a DVD and attempt to watch it on the included TV. What a mess. First thing I notice is that everything is connected via a standard composite video cable... You know, video cables from 10+ years ago. What a let down. I was surprised an HDMI cable or component cables weren't run. So we start watching Iron Man, and I notice that all the voice is coming out of the right rear speaker. Knowing that voice comes out of the center speaker, I start doing some investigating. After ripping out the stereo, I notice that they didn't clean up anything in the stereo cabinet. It's loaded with saw dust, and the cutout pieces for the stereo, XM radio, and switches. Moving on, I realize that literally EVERY speaker, except the subwoofer, in the main room is connected incorrectly. I had to disconnect all of them and redo them all. Then I notice the center speaker doesn't work, so I had to pull that from the ceiling to find that the worker had not even crimped in the speaker wire for the negative terminal, so I had to redo that one too. Finally... working audio that was coming out of the correct speakers.

While dealing with speaker reconnection, I start to realize that that they did indeed run a component cable from the stereo to behind the wall of the TV, but then decided composite is good enough since the stereo doesn't have component outputs, but does have HDMI. An extremely strange mix of technologies as if nobody ever thought about how it should be done correctly. Then there's the two wall plates behind the TV. One for composite video output, and another that seems to be both an input and out put for the TV, but wasn't really connected to anything. I couldn't get OTA TV audio to play over the stereo, so I had to rewire all that stuff too. After 2+ hours of working, I finally figured it all out. I still have to order a new component video wall plate for behind the TV, as well as an HDMI to component converter for behind the stereo. Seems like it should have just been wired correctly from the start.

Going through the rest of the stuff, I started to notice that many many many screws are put in at an angle, rather than being straight. One of the bed mounts literally has all 4 screws put in at a 45 degree angle, where the one on the other wall is perfect. It's this way all over the place. The stove hood even has a wire that got between it and the cabinet, and is exposed. Had to loosen the hood to shove that back so it's not seen.

I did a lot of research about Forest River products, and a lot of the complaints lately are specific to shoddy work. I've definitely experienced exactly that so far. I absolutely love this trailer, but I really hope it doesn't become a maintenance nightmare. I'm going to hook up all the water today and run everything to make sure there's no water leaks in things like the tub/shower and sinks. It survived all the massive rain and flooding we had here a couple months ago, so at least the outside seems to be ok.

Sorry, just had to rant a bit about what a disappointment it is to have to spend hours redoing something in a brand new RV.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #2
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I bet I cleaned up 2 pounds of saw dust after I brought mine home, and lots of scrap trim in out of the way places.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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I think the sawdust thing is a normal occurrence with these campers now. And lack of professionalism in build quality. Some one said that if you want a good one, buy an Airstream. Dont like the statement, but what I was told.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
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How about this for excess trim left behind? My grey valve would not close fully upon our last trip in October. I removed the valve assy and found this piece of wall/floor? stuck in the valve.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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Found this in our grey valve.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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The quality of some FR products has been discussed here many times.

The fact that sawdust and scrap material are left behind is a well known complain and why that happens has never been explained as far as I know. I don't know what or when a more opportune time to clean up sawdust and scrap pieces would be other than during the manufacturing process.

The other issues that you bring up here, plus there are many many more, indicates that FR needs a better Quality Control/Assurance system than the one they now have,if in fact they have one.

They also need a better system of overseeing the quality of their vendor (s) as many of their vendor supplied products/appliances, such as refrigerator fans, aren't up to par.

FR has their defenders who often say a RV is a house on wheels and you should expect some problems - I say to them that yes it's a house on wheels and it should be designed and built to that standard.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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That seems to be all too common with many different trailer makes, not just Forest River. The industry itself needs a kick in the ass. If the Japanese thought it a money maker and decided to build units here employing their assembly techniques, many Amish would be out of a job real quick.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevanb View Post
I bet I cleaned up 2 pounds of saw dust after I brought mine home, and lots of scrap trim in out of the way places.
Yah, even had saw dust in the light covers.
Loose screws, eight screws just laying in the storage under the bed three in the front storage.

People making minimum rage and being told to work faster, go figure.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rattleNsmoke View Post
That seems to be all too common with many different trailer makes, not just Forest River. The industry itself needs a kick in the ass. If the Japanese thought it a money maker and decided to build units here employing their assembly techniques, many Amish would be out of a job real quick.
I totally agree - I failed to mention in my earlier post that it's not just a FR problem, but appears to be industry wide.

Agree on the Japanese input also.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
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I had similar problems with my stereo wiring. All wires were cross wired so that if I played over EITHER the A,B, OR C set of speakers sound came out of all of them. Disturbing to my neighbors at night when the outside speakers are on all the time. I used a 9 Volt battery and the wiring chart to figure where all should go. My wires were all crimped onto a the stereo factory pig tail so I had to cut and splice, what a pain. On completing this task I never could get any sound out of the sub woofer. I worked for hours so when I returned home I crawled behind the basement wall to see the sub wires laying on the deck and guess what NO SUB installed. A sub is standard in my rig. I had an 35 additional item on my punch list. Thankfully I have a great dealer and FR worked well with them to repair them ALL....It is always something. We are going out Monday on our second trip. Only time will tell.

Good luck
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