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Old 07-01-2016, 10:01 PM   #51
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Brain, is there any chance you will be adding a cab over bed model in the near future? Finally got a chance to look at a 3 today and was impressed but would prefer the cab over bed option.
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:30 PM   #52
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A cab over bed is in the works....but we're still a little bit out. Our fiberglass designer is working on the E450 cap right now. Sprinter will be after that.

As for the previous question on the Atwood water heater. The Atwood's worked really well. I think they have become much more finicky once they did the recall. Basically the recall moved the "trigger" from about 0.4 gpm to about 1gpm.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:02 AM   #53
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Regarding the hot water heater.....Yes, ours is so finicky that we are unable to take showers in our isata 3. The water cannot be adjusted to a temperature that's usable. It's either scaling or freezing. That goes back to my question as to whether or not Dynamax is willing to take out the Atwood and put a Truma in our coach under warranty. Any thoughts on this? As it stands now, we have a brand new isata 3 that is plagued with problems.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:05 AM   #54
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I'm surprised

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator2thdoc View Post
Just saw this thread and wanted to comment on my family's experience with our new 2017 isata 3 as it ties into your question regarding quality versus the Winnebago. We've owned two trouble-free Winnebagos. We traded a Winnebago Travato in on the isata 3 and have had nothing but trouble. The shower floor leaks causing water to spill all over the bathroom floor, the water pump also leaks (separate leaks), the on demand hot water heater is either scalding or non functional freezing, the grey and black water cable sheaths melted on the generator exhaust rendering them non functional and preventing us from dumping without crawling under the RV so I can hold the cables together while my wife pulls the cable handle, one wall in the bathroom is detaching from the material under it and starting to bow( we use the exhaust fans every time we shower to prevent moisture), way more squeaks and rattles than our Winnebagos. Large slide is nice but cause the RV to tip toward the drivers side when it's extended. The 2 hydraulic jacks only stabilize a bit(dynamax used one of the cheapest sprinter 3500 systems that Bigfoot makes). The chassis is the stripped down version....the Winnebago gives you controls for your phone and radio on the steering wheel as well as an onboard trip computer. The chassis on our isata has none of this. There are a few nice features, but they are outweighed by the faults and lack of support. I completely regret the purchase of the isata 3. I left a message with the technical department at Dynamax but got no response. On the surface this RVlooks nice enough to pass the test on the dealership lot, but when you have enough time to take a good look at it, it's clear that the workamanship is careless.( a pile of saw dust and wall trimmings under the shower. Some other things to note are cheap faucet fixtures, poorly placed water filter, flimsy building materials, no lighted switches for water pump, coach battery or anything else except hot water heater, poorly located monitoring and switch control panel....I could go on all day. I'm happy to answer any specific question you guys may have. I can't wait to get rid of our isata 3...it's been nothing but trouble with no support or response from the factory.
This is not exactly a rousing endorsement of what is supposed to be a "premium" line within the Forest River stable. Sounds like some of the issues common on the "cheaper" models are here too. I would have thought product selection and build quality would have been better to go along with the higher price points. But at least you got the better Atwood air conditioner with yours! Maybe you really do have to spend considerably more (thinking LTV Unity) to get top of the line quality.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:15 AM   #55
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A change out like that is not as simple as it sounds. To match the paint lines, it would have to come back to the plant. So first and foremost, the key is to get you an appointment with a dealer and resolve the issues that you have. In addition, we'll contact Atwood directly to have them involved with whatever needs to be done.

I also wanted to comment on a few issues that you brought up, which relate to a larger picture type of thing I like to call "the fly in the ointment". I walk our product on a daily basis, and you can ask my guys, I have pulled units from "ship row" for things that I felt were not up to par with what I expect from Dynamax. In addition I have spent years walking competitor product as well. So it does not always sit well with me, when our product gets blasted, citing all the competitor upgrades over ours, and yet any advantages we have over the competitor are sort of dismissed as inconsequential. I don't want to call this an "unfair" comparison...because, life is not fair. BUT, I do like to see a more apples to apples comparison, so that users reading this take everything into account. While I have only seen a handful of user reviews formatted in such a manner, I like to follow up with the hows and whys for better understanding and education of potential buyers. I also like to ask in situations like this "why did you buy our product instead of theirs?" because it seems like a lot of that gets lost.

Rattles: all RV's have them. We test drive these units to minimize them, but some features are simply a result of trying to provide more residential features (like undermount sink with Corian sink covers compared to View laminate with plastic sink inserts). The Travato is a non-slide, B van and is hard to compare to a larger, slide out model. Even the View would have more rattles and squeaks. I agree though, that there are too many and we're always striving to find better suppliers and methods to eliminate them. (counter extensions are a real headache, but great feature, another thing I have not see on a View)

Leaks: we rain test 100% and pressure test 100% of our units. Without knowing or seeing the issues, I can't really comment as to the exact cause. But we will be in close contact with the dealer to see a root cause. I know we install showers a different way now to avoid supplier caused issues with the door leaking. I will not be happy until 100% of units are leak free for their maiden voyage.

Cable Sheaths: No excuse for that. They do not hang down when they leave the factory, but they should have been secured better to avoid that. They are routed differently now and that is certainly something that would be replaced and corrected under warranty.

Wall Bowing: would need to see a picture to comment.

Exhaust fans: one thing to note here...we were the first mfg to offer MaxxAir vent fans with built in rain cover at every fan opening. At one time Winnie did not even offer one...not sure what they are doing now, but we have one in the bathroom, living room and bedroom, standard. All feature remotes. most mfg's offer one at best and a cheap 12v fan in the bathroom.

Hydraulic Jacks: "we use one of the cheapest sprinter 3500 systems"??? Does Winnie even offer this? I was at Sunseeker when we worked directly with Bigfoot to develop this "first" and is the only 2 point hydraulic stabilizer around (I am working on a lighter independently operated electric one now) If by "cheap" you mean we don't use the 4 point, no one offered the 4 point system because it required you to weld on the chassis...which we are not allowed to do. So you could have Bigfoot do it yourself....but we were prohibited as an OEM. Now, they have since developed a bolt-on application which we are looking at. HOWEVER, the issue there is weight. No one wants to take away more CCC from an already light chassis. So at the time, we offered the best stabilizer that could be had. not the cheapest.

Large Slide: please make sure the stabilizers are down before the slide is put out. If need be, you can place a block under one side before the stabilizers go down. But remember, these are stabilizers, not a substitute for leveling the coach with blocks.

Chassis: yes, they offer steering wheel controls which comes with the upgraded dash. I would not call our chassis stripped, we offer an Upgraded helwig sway bar that you'll find is highly regarded on this site. I am 100% sure Winnie does not offer this as an option and we would still be thousands less than a View. (I have requested that we ad steering wheel controls, but we share chassis with the other FR divisions)

Cheap Faucets? I would agree that there could be a better faucet in the shower...but we run a single lever, metal high rise faucet with vessel bowl sink at the lav. A metal faucet with pull out sprayer at the kitchen. Unfortunately there are not a lot of options for the shower faucet that does not need rear access for service (like we run on our trucks), but we are looking.

Factory Response: I think we can lay that one to rest. Chris is still having some health issues and is in only sparingly. I apologize for the early lack of response, but I'll have Matt Swihart contact you directly next week to get things rolling.

Winnie builds a nice vehicle with some nice upgrades. The upgrades we put in were based on user feedback and where we thought you would get the most bang for the buck. A few examples:
Corian galley with solid surface sink covers and counter extension.
Large 3-burner range (not 2) and glass cover (although a towel might be needed to prevent rattles),
MaxxAir went fans with built in ran covers at all openings.
Armless awning with auto retract in high winds.
AGM batteries (not flooded),
Full body paint with hand painted drop shadows, all paint Cut & Buffed (no one else does this),
Frameless windows,
Azdel composite instead of wood substrate on the exterior sidewall,
Soft close residential drawer guides,
Wood grain dash (Hydrographic), not decals
Helwig Sway bar
2 point stabilizer. Early on, I asked a winnie rep what they were doing to handle the rocking motion of the Sprinter. He said..."that's just the nature of the chassis and customers have to understand that". I did not agree.

All I am trying to do here is get a clearer comparison. There is no doubt that each mfg has their own pros and cons. But, you need all the data and costs to figure out which vehicle is better suited for your family. At the end of the day, we want everyone to be happy with their purchase and we'll do everything in our power to make things work as they should.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:11 PM   #56
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My first RV was a 2014 Solera-R. Well built in my view. I had issues with stabilizer system shorting-out, but fixed it by grounding to the main chassis vice the extension and finding B5 or less fuel. The Force HD fits us well.


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Old 07-04-2016, 05:35 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatanaPilot View Post
This is not exactly a rousing endorsement of what is supposed to be a "premium" line within the Forest River stable. Sounds like some of the issues common on the "cheaper" models are here too. I would have thought product selection and build quality would have been better to go along with the higher price points. But at least you got the better Atwood air conditioner with yours! Maybe you really do have to spend considerably more (thinking LTV Unity) to get top of the line quality.
I agree. It's definitely concerning that the Isata 3 we purchased left the factory with what I feel are obvious issues that should have been discovered somewhere in the quality control process (particularly a leaking shower floor, non-functional hot water). Since Dynamax didn't take the time to provide me with the "ounce if prevention" before the coach left the manufacturing facility, I must now endure the time consuming and frustrating process of working through the "pound of cure". My thought is that if these obvious issues went unnoticed on the quality control line at Dynamax, what else was missed that's waiting to spring up. It makes me hesitant to plan another trip for fear of what else is going to go wrong in the middle of it. Our first trip was a month long trek from Florida to California, and I feel like I spent more time trying to diagnose and put band-aids on problems than I did enjoying our road trip. If Dynamax is going to market the Isata 3 as a premium RV, I think thy should tighten up their quality control process including spending an extra 10 minutes at the factory to make sure the hot water works and the shower doesn't leak on each unit before it leaves the line.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:54 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
A change out like that is not as simple as it sounds. To match the paint lines, it would have to come back to the plant. So first and foremost, the key is to get you an appointment with a dealer and resolve the issues that you have. In addition, we'll contact Atwood directly to have them involved with whatever needs to be done.

I also wanted to comment on a few issues that you brought up, which relate to a larger picture type of thing I like to call "the fly in the ointment". I walk our product on a daily basis, and you can ask my guys, I have pulled units from "ship row" for things that I felt were not up to par with what I expect from Dynamax. In addition I have spent years walking competitor product as well. So it does not always sit well with me, when our product gets blasted, citing all the competitor upgrades over ours, and yet any advantages we have over the competitor are sort of dismissed as inconsequential. I don't want to call this an "unfair" comparison...because, life is not fair. BUT, I do like to see a more apples to apples comparison, so that users reading this take everything into account. While I have only seen a handful of user reviews formatted in such a manner, I like to follow up with the hows and whys for better understanding and education of potential buyers. I also like to ask in situations like this "why did you buy our product instead of theirs?" because it seems like a lot of that gets lost.

Rattles: all RV's have them. We test drive these units to minimize them, but some features are simply a result of trying to provide more residential features (like undermount sink with Corian sink covers compared to View laminate with plastic sink inserts). The Travato is a non-slide, B van and is hard to compare to a larger, slide out model. Even the View would have more rattles and squeaks. I agree though, that there are too many and we're always striving to find better suppliers and methods to eliminate them. (counter extensions are a real headache, but great feature, another thing I have not see on a View)

Leaks: we rain test 100% and pressure test 100% of our units. Without knowing or seeing the issues, I can't really comment as to the exact cause. But we will be in close contact with the dealer to see a root cause. I know we install showers a different way now to avoid supplier caused issues with the door leaking. I will not be happy until 100% of units are leak free for their maiden voyage.

Cable Sheaths: No excuse for that. They do not hang down when they leave the factory, but they should have been secured better to avoid that. They are routed differently now and that is certainly something that would be replaced and corrected under warranty.

Wall Bowing: would need to see a picture to comment.

Exhaust fans: one thing to note here...we were the first mfg to offer MaxxAir vent fans with built in rain cover at every fan opening. At one time Winnie did not even offer one...not sure what they are doing now, but we have one in the bathroom, living room and bedroom, standard. All feature remotes. most mfg's offer one at best and a cheap 12v fan in the bathroom.

Hydraulic Jacks: "we use one of the cheapest sprinter 3500 systems"??? Does Winnie even offer this? I was at Sunseeker when we worked directly with Bigfoot to develop this "first" and is the only 2 point hydraulic stabilizer around (I am working on a lighter independently operated electric one now) If by "cheap" you mean we don't use the 4 point, no one offered the 4 point system because it required you to weld on the chassis...which we are not allowed to do. So you could have Bigfoot do it yourself....but we were prohibited as an OEM. Now, they have since developed a bolt-on application which we are looking at. HOWEVER, the issue there is weight. No one wants to take away more CCC from an already light chassis. So at the time, we offered the best stabilizer that could be had. not the cheapest.

Large Slide: please make sure the stabilizers are down before the slide is put out. If need be, you can place a block under one side before the stabilizers go down. But remember, these are stabilizers, not a substitute for leveling the coach with blocks.

Chassis: yes, they offer steering wheel controls which comes with the upgraded dash. I would not call our chassis stripped, we offer an Upgraded helwig sway bar that you'll find is highly regarded on this site. I am 100% sure Winnie does not offer this as an option and we would still be thousands less than a View. (I have requested that we ad steering wheel controls, but we share chassis with the other FR divisions)

Cheap Faucets? I would agree that there could be a better faucet in the shower...but we run a single lever, metal high rise faucet with vessel bowl sink at the lav. A metal faucet with pull out sprayer at the kitchen. Unfortunately there are not a lot of options for the shower faucet that does not need rear access for service (like we run on our trucks), but we are looking.

Factory Response: I think we can lay that one to rest. Chris is still having some health issues and is in only sparingly. I apologize for the early lack of response, but I'll have Matt Swihart contact you directly next week to get things rolling.

Winnie builds a nice vehicle with some nice upgrades. The upgrades we put in were based on user feedback and where we thought you would get the most bang for the buck. A few examples:
Corian galley with solid surface sink covers and counter extension.
Large 3-burner range (not 2) and glass cover (although a towel might be needed to prevent rattles),
MaxxAir went fans with built in ran covers at all openings.
Armless awning with auto retract in high winds.
AGM batteries (not flooded),
Full body paint with hand painted drop shadows, all paint Cut & Buffed (no one else does this),
Frameless windows,
Azdel composite instead of wood substrate on the exterior sidewall,
Soft close residential drawer guides,
Wood grain dash (Hydrographic), not decals
Helwig Sway bar
2 point stabilizer. Early on, I asked a winnie rep what they were doing to handle the rocking motion of the Sprinter. He said..."that's just the nature of the chassis and customers have to understand that". I did not agree.

All I am trying to do here is get a clearer comparison. There is no doubt that each mfg has their own pros and cons. But, you need all the data and costs to figure out which vehicle is better suited for your family. At the end of the day, we want everyone to be happy with their purchase and we'll do everything in our power to make things work as they should.
If by a fly in the ointment, you are implying that these are minor annoyances or inconveniences tarnishing the image of a wonderful coach, I would completely disagree. I would say that my Isata 3 has a swarm of flies in the ointment, and if this is any reflection of the product you guys put out on a regular basis, then Dynamax has major issues with not only the quality of their workmanship, but also the competence of their quality control department. If I can see this many examples of shoddy workmanship in plain view, I can only imagine what is hidden within the parts of the coach that the consumer never sees. Dumping this many problems into the laps of the consumers who support your company is pretty terrible. After this purchase experience, I'll need you to send me some of that ointment you speak of so that I can rub it on my wallet.

Regarding the water heater: When you reply with, "A change out like that is not as simple as it sounds. To match the paint lines, it would have to come back to the plant.", it sounds like you're more concerned with trying to keep things simple for Dynamax than you are with providing the best remedy for me as the customer. I think we both know that replacing the Atwood with a Truma would provide me with the best quality solution, however, it would cost Dynamax more money and effort to do this than it would to run me back and forth to my dealer while they try to band-aid the unit in my coach. With a custom paint department available in-house at Dynamax, it would seem pretty simple to have me send in my existing Atwood water heater cover and have the Dynamax paint department paint a Truma cover to match it. Instead, you're suggesting that the dealership monkey around on this Atwood unit that has been well documented to be a flawed designed and involved in a recall for scalding people. Please don't say that the Atwood is a good unit...if it was, you guys never would moved away from using them.

The answer to your question about to why I chose the Dynamax over the Winnebago at the time of purchase would be marketing/advertising. Dynamax marketed the Isata 3 as a premium RV, that in addition to having all of the latest and greatest features, was built with pride in craftsmanship and attention to detail. In my experience as an Isata 3 owner, the great craftsmanship and attention to detail are deeply lacking. In short, I purchased the Isata 3 because I made the mistake of trusting the marketing claims on the sales brochure. It all sounded wonderful on the surface, but the end user experience has been awful. I've already provided a partial list of the problems we're having in my first post (there have since been more issues), so I'll spare the forum members the redundancy. Dealerships don't permit buyers to fully explore the coach on the lot before the purchase, and because of this, I made the choice to trust that Dynamax was being truthful in their marketing representation of the Isata 3. You state above that with regards to quality control, "you walk your product on a daily basis". I never imagined that a coach with problems as obvious as the ones in ours would ever make it out of the manufacturing facility. How can you guys permit an RV to leave the factory with so much wrong?

Regarding factory response: How can we lay anything to rest? You guys haven't done anything yet except defend your brand and suggest that we rehab my turd of a hot water heater instead of replacing it.

In closing, I just wanted to respond to the following statement that you made in your reply:

"In addition I have spent years walking competitor product as well. So it does not always sit well with me, when our product gets blasted, citing all the competitor upgrades over ours, and yet any advantages we have over the competitor are sort of dismissed as inconsequential."

To politely clarify, I didn't blast your product based on the features it may or may not possess compared to the Winnebago. I blasted your product because my new Isata 3 was delivered to me with a list of problems that Dynamax should truly be ashamed of. If I were a Dynamax executive, I would be embarrassed to put my company's name on this particular coach.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:58 AM   #59
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Given this response, I have to ask - how much more would it cost (say on an MBS chassis) to (1) clean up after yourself, (2) install fasteners into something that will hold them and drill holes with care vs. knocking out a hole with a hammer or other improper tool, (3) use quality components and (4) install pre-built wiring harnesses vs. the haphazard wire installation currently used?

Would doing this put the MH out of contention price-wise or cut into your margins beyond an acceptable level? Or is the reason things are done this way is because of the production targets that have to met, customer be damned?

It is interesting that this poster is having the same build quality problems that those of us who bought the "cheap" MBS motorhome. I guess the Isata 3 has more fluff but basically the same quality of the entry level MH.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:58 AM   #60
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1. it has absolutely ZERO to do with the cost of a Truma. You can't just send the door back and have us match lines, as the covers are different sizes. We would require the entire unit, or we risk you being unhappy because the lines don't match perfectly. We have been running the Atwood's without issue for some time on our REV model, so I'm not sure why you assume we know of some major issue. We made the change to the Truma on the REV first and that was simply a weight savings. The REV was too heavy for the new EPA weights and we saved about 35-40lbs by going from an Atwood water heater and furnace to a Truma-combi. We liked the performance and added features, so we made a change on the other Isata lines.

In any event its not my intent to sit here and banter back and forth....Please email your current location and full punch list to MSwihart@forestriverinc.com
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