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Old 08-05-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Quality issues..... Long

I really hesitated in posting this thread. I do believe Rockwood has a nice and useable product. With that being said I am having a tough time keeping a positive attitude. I have a list of issues and some history with my unit. These are the things I have had to bring to the dealership's attention since I purchase the unit last August 3rd.

Last fall the trailer went into the dealership for the following issues.
1. Slide floor on curb side felt weak.
Trailer was sent back to Indiana for repair. Still seems to set at a noticeable slant, have noted this to the dealer as late as July 9, 2013. When the trailer was transported to Indiana and back the universal lock out for the hitch had been removed and was missing, this was corrected by the dealer before it was removed from the lot. The pigtail was pulled loose from the connection box under pin box. This was stuck back in but not properly addressed by the dealer before it left the lot.
2. Water leaking from fresh water tank.
Dealer found frame work bent and was to be repaired in Indiana. No further problems have been detected.
3. Grey water holding tank monitor was incorrect.
Dealer fixed, no further problems detected.
4. Genesis 3 Did not work in video mode.
Dealer fixed, no further problems detected.
5. Skylight recall issued.
Replace by dealer when unit was returned from Indiana in January. There seemed to be a prolonged problem of moisture in skylight after new unit was installed. New skylight was sent by Forrest River but never installed. Problem seems to be gone with no further work from dealer or Forrest River.

A few other minor problems were addressed at this time.

Issues addressed since the trailer was returned last winter.
1. Center Island has been loose since date of purchase. Anchored to the floor using L straps on interior of cabinet.
2. Floor in center of living space on main level has a fair amount of flex and there is some popping and cracking near island and entry when stepped on. Floor on curb side has notable sag towards the wall; it drops 3/8” in a six inch span from the wall toward the center of the floor. Notified dealer July 9 and also expressed further concern with the slant in curb side slide. Nothing has been addressed to date.
3. Suspension seems to be drooping on both sides of trailer. There are signs of tires rubbing under side of trailer. Notified dealer of this problem July 26, 2013. He took pictures of the rubber pushing out of the ends of the axle tubes. This trailer has always been run loaded very lightly. Seldom has full load of water. Nothing has been addressed to date.
4. Notified dealer of brake failure on July 29, 2013. Problem has proven to be a bad brake magnet on curb side back wheel. Nothing has been addressed to date.
5. Water leaking in street side emergency window and center stationary window in the back of trailer. Noted later in the day on August 3, 2013, called dealer as soon as they opened today to have it noted before warranty was past.

I have left a message with Kevin Myers as well as Sheila at Forrest River 08/05/2013.

I am not whining or complaining. I will not be unhappy with the rig once these issues are resolved. To date the service has been good. But I have to admit it is getting tough not getting negetive about this rig. I don't think these are picky little issues I am dealing with.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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Wow...sorry to hear about your issues. Hopefully they will get them fixed to your satisfaction. I have to say - knock on wood - I've not experienced any major issues on mine and the ones that I have, like sheared landing gear bolt were more user error (taking gear up too far) than factory. Although we have have only been out 4 times with the new camper for a total of about 400 miles thus far.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Tomjsas. I am deffinitley not going to bash Forrest River or knock the product. They are in the business to make money and save wherever they can. I bought this rig with the knowledge that they all have issues. I do believe more come off the line with no problems that with problems. I just got lucky!

I spoke with Sheila at FR this morning. Again I am impressed with the way they handle customers. We don't always get everything the way we want but I do feel they try to step up to the plate and take care of things. All these issues were noted and are in the process of being handled. I will bide my time and hope that none of my camping plans are interfered with and just maybe if it does have to go back to Indiana I will take it myself this time. I am always ready for a road trip.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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Zero quality control is normal in RVs

The problem with the RV industry is that there are too many manufacturers making entirely too many different models. The result, is that there are not enough units of any single model being produced. These things are essentially "hand crafted." Under these conditions, it is virtually impossible to establish any meaningful quality assurance procedures.

Having worked many years as a Director of Quality Assurance in the medical device industry, I have some knowledge of the field. Amongst quality professionals, Quality in a product is not judged as good or bad. Rather, quality is judged as degree of conformance to specifications.

Does anybody think that you can find a single RV manufacturer who has written specifications for such mundane processes as how to hang the kitchen cabinets, or how to run the wires from the converter to the batteries. The crafters (I hesitate to call them assemblers) can't comply with the specifications, because there are no specifications.

I don't quite understand why this situation persists. I have no doubt that GM, Ford, and Toyota each produce more vehicles per year that the entire RV industry. Despite this, alt three of them put together probably don't offer as many models as does Forest River (including subsidiaries).

I understand that RVs are more complex than autos, and that more different styles, floor plans, options, price ranges, etc. are inevitable. However, is there any valid reason for Forest River to continue producing essentially the same unit under two or three or four different names?

One would anticipate that as the industry matures, there would be a shake out. Oddly, any such shake out is taking far longer than what should be expected.

The bottom line is that we should not be surprised by the absolute lack of any quality control. I'm still trying to figure out how Puma (one of Forest River's Palomino brands) managed to get my fresh water tank so full of sawdust, that it took 3 days to drain when the valve was opened.

Joel
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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Very well put Joel. With the lack of quality control I think the real story is in how well the company and dealerships take care of the issues that do arrise.

One company on the motorized side of RVs that I was always impressed with but could not afford was Tiffin.

So far with what I have seen from friends and my own experience FR does step up to the plate and I am hopeful that they continue to do so.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
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Wow! I have the same 5er so far no problems nock on wood. But I will be looking. Sorry for your problems. Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:47 AM   #7
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I hope you get all the issues taken cared of... I have the same year model hopefully mine do not have the same issues you are having.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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2013 3008 w

Just to let you know that my new 2013 windjammer 3008w has been at the dealer for over 50 days for rather minor repairs. The front counter top started to separate. The radio would not work on AM and a few other very minor repairs. The dealer elected to replace the entire counter top because the particle board counter top had been damaged. It took a month to get the new top from Forrestriver. In the process of re and re the moulding next to the fridge was damaged and needed to be replace hence 3 more weeks so far waiting to get an other moulding from the factory. Meanwhile the factory warranty is running out. We have not been able to use our new trailer for most of the summer. I recently made a trip to the dealer to check things out. My trailer is stored in a locked compound. In the middle of no where. The battery was absolutely flat. Even a deep discharged battery can be damaged by a long period of deep discharge. The dealership and the factory do not seem to communicate very well and I do not know when I will get my tt back. Hopefully before winter. We love the trailer but reserve judgement on the dealer and especially Forrestriver. Customer service in my case are dirty words at Forrestriver. Just to let you know.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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Until competition sets in there will be very little change. Remember the Ford, GM and Chrysler products before the 90's. All junk and high priced items. The Japanese set us straight.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrapperman View Post
Until competition sets in there will be very little change. Remember the Ford, GM and Chrysler products before the 90's. All junk and high priced items. The Japanese set us straight.
Actually, that is not the whole story. In the early '50s, "made in Japan" was synonymous with "pure junk." They manufactured cart that nobody would buy because they were so bad. Their government decided that something needed to be done.

They located an American quality guru named W. Edwards Deming. He had some great ideas, but nobody in the U.S. was paying any attention to him. They all believed that his methods were too expensive to implement. The Japanese auto makers put Deming's theories into practice, and the results were astounding. Not ony were they producing some of the world's best cars, bur they discovered that rather than being expensive, a well designed quality program actually saved huge amounts of money.

The U.S. auto industry resisted for a few more years, but eventually they began to see the light. It is ironic that Detroit had to "import" an essentially American quality system from Japan.

The real problem with the RV industry is not too little competition. They actually suffer from too much competition. No manufacturer has high enough production rates to be able to emerge from the "hand crafted" production methods that prevail today. See my earlier post in this thread.

Joel
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