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Old 07-08-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
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Sierra 5th Wheel - craftsmanship is BAD

I hope this message finds its way to Forest River Corporate head quarters. Two or three months ago I ordered a new 2013 Sierra 5th Wheel with 4 Slides and an outside kitchenette. We received it right before Memorial Weekend and used it right away. I have to say, I have bought new before and I anticipated problems, but boy, does this one have problems.

Let me back up a few years. My mom had purchased a 1978 Winnebago Motor home that our family used for many many years. Quality was great, even after 30 years!! We sold it in 2006 to purchase something bigger. What we bought was a brand new Jayco Eagle 5th wheel and it came with a 2 year warranty. Of the 6 years we owned it, we really only had one issue with it and they fixed with no issues. It was the water heater. Again the quality was still good and when we sold it, I was told it still looked like brand new! The reason we sold that and was looking for something different, was because it didn't have any storage underneath. We used it all the time and it got old moving stuff around.

We really liked the floor plan of the Sierra or Sandpiper and it had storage we were looking for. We purchased it and used it memorial weekend to find A LOT of issues. I have to say Forest River must not care about the craftsmanship of their products they put out. The interior looks like crap. I took it back to dealer I bought it from and showed them the many many many issues. They said I was not the first to complain about the craftsmanship of their campers. A LOT of exposed bare wood, handles on doors that you could see all the way through. Doors on cabinet the couldn't even close properly, the camper actually damages itself when trailering because doors and drawers don't stay shut. Scratches and deep scraps on the wood. I could go on and on but I won't. I would be very embarrassed putting out a product like that. The coach was in know way cheap!! I would expect more for what I paid for. Actually, I would expect more for a lot less then what I even paid for it!

To top all of that off, the dealer didn't know if most of it was covered under the warranty. I said I wasn't going to pay anymore and I would share with everyone that is how Forrest River puts out their products. I am very disappointed in my camper and I wish I would have never bought it!

Buyer Beware! Denise
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #2
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I have to agree with you on the quality or lack there of with Forest River products. I recently traded in my Jayko TT for a Flagstaff TT. I was looking for more room and an outside kitchen that was 1/2 ton towable. I first looked at Jayko products because of the good luck I had with my previous unit. I owned it 4 years with ZERO issues. However, I couldn't find the floor plan that I wanted that fell within the weight range I was shooting for. In the end I chose the Flagstaff because it had everything I wanted. I now understand why the Jayko weighed more with less options. They are built much better. With quality comes weight. In the end I only blame my self for not being better educated about the difference in quality from one manufacture to the next. I enjoy my Flagstaff as it gives us the extra room that we need. I'll deal with the issues as they arise, which seems to be on every trip. If I had to do it over I would have upgraded my TV and stayed with the Jayko line. As it turns out I'm towing at my limit when fully loaded and now looking for a new TV.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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just so you know, FRF is not connected, in any way, to Forest River Inc.
we do have some of their reps that post here, but not all brands have reps as members here.

you need to work with your dealer in either trading for another, sending it back to the factory, or refunding your money.
they bear partial responsibility in not doing a proper PDI before you picked it up.
that's what a dealer PDI is supposed to do. fix issues that weren't caught at the factory.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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I will have to play devils advocate here, as I also have a new Sierra, mine is a 365SAQ which by your description is what it sounds like that you have, but I beg to differ, yes every unit has issues, I have had a couple so far as well, but none relate to anything you describe. My converter went out, which the dealer couldn't help to fix for several weeks, but I called FR directly and they brought me right in to their plant repair facility the next morning (I was passing through Indiana). They had it for 4 hours or so, and repaired EVERYTHING, then went on to give us a better PDI than the dealer ever could. Most of the things you describe are cosmetic, and if they were that way, why did you take delivery in that condition?? I love my Sierra, and after FR stood behind their product and helped my family to get it fixed real quick, I believe they do take pride in their work but anything that passes through 200 plus people's hands while being built is bound to have some issues. I'm not sure why you joined the forum just to say that, and all dealers are like that. And why did you not state your model number but rather put a description of the unit? Not implying anything but just seemed strange and different.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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i will have to play devils advocate here, as i also have a new sierra, mine is a 365saq which by your description is what it sounds like that you have, but i beg to differ, yes every unit has issues, i have had a couple so far as well, but none relate to anything you describe. My converter went out, which the dealer couldn't help to fix for several weeks, but i called fr directly and they brought me right in to their plant repair facility the next morning (i was passing through indiana). They had it for 4 hours or so, and repaired everything, then went on to give us a better pdi than the dealer ever could. Most of the things you describe are cosmetic, and if they were that way, why did you take delivery in that condition?? I love my sierra, and after fr stood behind their product and helped my family to get it fixed real quick, i believe they do take pride in their work but anything that passes through 200 plus people's hands while being built is bound to have some issues. I'm not sure why you joined the forum just to say that, and all dealers are like that. And why did you not state your model number but rather put a description of the unit? Not implying anything but just seemed strange and different.
bingo!
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mike06081969
Content deleted by user request. MFR blamed inappropriately
By all means, i agree, it sucks if you get a lemon of anything, and im not lambasting her in any way for venting, but with that said, don't put it all on the dealer and FR. If everything she said is true it should have been caught by a good dealer, but i do believe in self ownership as well. Last time i checked her name and signature would be on the PDI as well saying the dealer did their job. And i honestly believe their is a difference between cosmetic and mechanical issues as well. Everything she listed appeared to be cosmetic and didnt see the "hidden" mechanical losted as any problems thus if all is true, FR didnt quality check, dealer didnt PDI right bit the new owner obviously didnt inspect their new investment. As i said, i understand if there are mechanical issues that creep up or issues like floor bubbling appear, but in no way can i see a gaping hole in a door handle not noticed by anyone along the line....
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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Oh ya forgot the number part, the FR number is right on the back of the owners manual, i called it about my converter, they connected me to the liason for sierra service who called me back in 5 minutes with the service manager and had me in their shop the next morning. Its only my .02 but that one number seemed to get me whatever i needed. Please dont take it bad as im being mean or rude, just putting my thoughts in, take it or leave it
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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... but i do believe in self ownership as well. Last time i checked her name and signature would be on the PDI as well saying the dealer did their job. And i honestly believe there is a difference between cosmetic and mechanical issues as well. Everything she listed appeared to be cosmetic and didnt see the "hidden" mechanical losted as any problems thus if all is true, FR didn't quality check, dealer didn't PDI right, but the new owner obviously didn't inspect their new investment. As I said, I understand if there are mechanical issues that creep up or issues like floor bubbling appear, but in no way can I see a gaping hole in a door handle not noticed by anyone along the line....
I have to agree with Beausdog, the OP must take responsibility for the cosmetic issues not being addressed during the PDI. Otherwise, why waste the time? You sure wouldn't buy a new car with a dent in it or a big scratch on it without bringing it to the attention of the dealer BEFORE you drove it off the lot.

On ours, what minor things were missed on the PDI, I fixed myself and have to accept that it was MY fault for not catching it during the PDI.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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I have to agree with Beausdog, the OP must take responsibility for the cosmetic issues not being addressed during the PDI. Otherwise, why waste the time? You sure wouldn't buy a new car with a dent in it or a big scratch on it without bringing it to the attention of the dealer BEFORE you drove it off the lot.

On ours, what minor things were missed on the PDI, I fixed myself and have to accept that it was MY fault for not catching it during the PDI.
Same here on doing some of the repairs/adjustments myself rather than take it back. Our dealer probably didn't do a great job with the PDI but then again maybe I didn't either.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #10
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I see this thread (and others like it) as an example of the dynamics involved with an RV purchase. Three parties (Factory, Dealer, and Owner) all have to contribute and one or two of these parties might have to make up for the faults of the third. Or, not depending on the situation.

To the OP: Denise, I feel for you and wish you the best.

Mechanical issues should be taken care of by FR or your dealer.

Cosmetics - well, they should never leave the factory that way but we all know that they unfortunately do - some looking okay and others making you wonder who was supervising that day. That is when the dealer steps up to the plate and conducts their own QC fixing problems as they come along them before you even get the chance to step in the trailer.

And finally, not to sound harsh, but your greatest power was the moment just before you signed the paperwork to accept your unit in the condition that its in today. This is not a lambast as someone said (whatever that is) but I feel its necessary to stress that point, too, if we are also going to concentrate on what the factory and dealer could have done better.
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