I, too would like to pass on my empathy for Wandering Jarhead's problems.
I've posted here a couple of times, including starting this thread. Lots of suggestions, slogans like "you get what you pay for", etc. There are even a few happy FR customers. I'm not, but not terribly unhappy either. Mine's had a few problems but has never been back to the dealer. I'm handy enough to fix about anything that comes up.
Well, I disagree... I don't think you get what you pay for. I think you get far less. I object to someone robbing me of my limited vacation time because they're too cheap to use good materials, or too lazy to do the job correctly. The money and RV I can replace... the time I cannot.
The suggestions of buying an older unit and gutting it are OK, if you want to do that with your free time instead of camp. I don't. I want to go and have trouble-free camping time with my children and grand children.
The suggestion of buying a $140,000- Airstream is, frankly, ludicrous. Why should I have to pay even half that much for a decent quality-built camper... Answer... I shouldn't.
This isn't a problem exclusive to FR, It's an industry-wide problem. It just happened to show up on the FR page because I own a FR product and come here more frequently than other RV pages. I have a friend that's less than handy, and I'd buy another FR product over his brand without even thinking about it. I work on his more than mine... yes... he's that good a friend.
And... I have a compressor and an air nailer.
Those that are willing to pay hard-earned money for mediocrity are the problem with the RV industry. As long as we accept it the money will continue to roll in, and the crap will continue to roll out... literally. And, before anyone throws the hypocrite card at me... I'll admit it... busted... guilty! I am part of the problem. I'm about to be a part of it again as I am in the hunt (it'll take me a year to decide) for a new TT. I'm going to try one of the upscale models like Jayco Eagle, Grand Design Reflection, and a few others. Will it have problems? Most assuredly... What a shame. American quality has come to this. Again... what a shame. Lucky me, though... I'm handy and I have tools.