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Old 02-17-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Columbus Transport issues

While we were anxiously awaiting the delivery of our Columbus 295RL by the end of January, we called and the factory was running behind, while that was frustrating for us as we had a pre-paid campout planned for Feb. 8th. We were patient and the factory was only 9 days late rolling it off the line.

Then the worst began... the transport driver picked up our unit on Friday Feb. 1st for the 2300 mile trip to Temecula, Califonia. That should be a 4 to 5 day trip. This would allow the dealer plenty of time to prep and do the PDI for us on Friday Feb 8th... IF the unit arrived on Tuesday or Wednesday as was expected.

Well that never happened. The transport driver actually took 8 days to do the trip and when it finally arrived on the following Friday the 8th, it was damaged and full of rust and debris.

The damage consisted of scratches and scrapes on the front and rear end caps, there's a broken roller on one of the kitchen slide. The two left slide toppers were both torn and roller tubes damaged because the driver hit a tree or some other overhang. The undercarriage looks like an older trailer now with rust and debris everywhere.

There's no excuse for this damage or the length of time that the driver took to get to California. He probably had other business to take care of on the trip and probably took the trailer to parts unknown to accomplish that.

All that week I kept track of the weather along the southern route (I-40) that should be used during this time of year. There were no major storms and there wasn't any snow, so the damage wouldn't have happened on that route.

Just to comment on the time issue... the same dealer had another Columbus delivered from the factory that left the factory the day after ours left and it arrived at the dealer the day before ours arrived. Where did our driver go during those extra days? I got underneath that other unit and it was clean and looked new, as it should.

Because of our time constraints we took the trailer on Saturday the 9th to give it a shakedown and to salvage one night of our pre-paid campout. In hindsight we shouldn't have accepted it, however when the dealer gets it back to repair the damages I will request that it be properly detailed and cleaned, maybe they can get the rust and debris removed.

We are upset and irritated about this whole ordeal. We ordered a 60k recreational vehicle and had it built the way we wanted it, only to have it come in late and looking like a used 5th wheel.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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That is a sad story. Get that trailer back there ASAP. Hope it all works out to your satisfaction.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Sorry about you ordeal. Hopefully your dealer will do the right thing.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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You are right it should not have taken 8 days. Being a transport driver I can make it from Ontario Canada to California LA in less than 5 days following the hours of service rules for a single driver. Even with a 34 hour reset it still should have only taken him 6 days. So very good question where did he go.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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You shouldn't have accepted it - niether your dealer or FR would have held you liable for the rejected unit. I know you were pressed for a trip but not knowing what other issues occurred in the long trip to Cali would make me nervous.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starret View Post
You are right it should not have taken 8 days. Being a transport driver I can make it from Ontario Canada to California LA in less than 5 days following the hours of service rules for a single driver. Even with a 34 hour reset it still should have only taken him 6 days. So very good question where did he go.
Thank you for the insight. I knew that the 8 days was way out of line.

I think he hit some back roads too, since there is Styrofoam debris from the ceiling everywhere... indicating lots of bumping and jolting. There's Styrofoam chunks in the AC ceiling vents and there's Styrofoam balls in all of the ceiling light fixtures as well as the outside scare lights. (The roof/ceiling is constructed of laminate wood with Styrofoam sandwiched in between.)
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How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
• 2012 F250 6.7L Lariat 4x4 long bed
• 2013 Columbus 295RL
• 1952 Blonde Nurse
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #7
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Wow - I've never seen foam debris of that size in any of the previous 3 campers I've owned....
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Bill After looking at the photos that you posted on the Columbus RV Group I don,t think I would ask for repairs but a complete new unit
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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I really think Columbus needs another building to GA these trailers,one bay is not enough with the volume the are trying to turn out,wakeup Columbus you you are getting a bad reputation,you build a beutiful 5th wheel but your quality is starting to suck.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mwebber78 View Post
You shouldn't have accepted it - niether your dealer or FR would have held you liable for the rejected unit. I know you were pressed for a trip but not knowing what other issues occurred in the long trip to Cali would make me nervous.
In hindsight we probably shouldn't have accepted it. The more we look at it the more we find. Forest River says that they will make it right and we will love it, I hope that's so.

Like you says, what other issues are going to come up, like today I discovered the the kitchen slide-out is also misaligned and has been chaffing the Beau floor, and additional debris coming is from the ceiling.

We would love to just get a replacement trailer and a fresh start, however we don't want to wait another 8 weeks and then possibly end up with another unit like this with a bunch of problems. On the other hand we're not looking forward to having this one repaired and dealing with the dealer and factory to get it done.

If they could get us a replacement within a couple of weeks we would be open to that. We have some long-planned trips in March to Death Valley and to the coast and we don't want to be without an RV for those trips.

There are quite a number of problems with the unit that we received, too many to list here... I've posted some pictures online of most of them, you can view them at this link:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10344...313?banner=pwa
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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It is sad that the dealer even sold it to you in that condition!!! That dealer should not be allowed to sell the Columbus line!!!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
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It looks like the driver not only went through some pretty salt infested roads but also might have taken your unit boondocking somewhere. ... And who knows what else. Camping trip or not, I would have not accepted it like that.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:49 AM   #13
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Ventura,

I really think you need to get your priorities straightened out. You just spent $$,$$$ thousand dollars on a brand new rig, and your concerned that you'll lose a couple of hundred bucks on pre-paid camping??

That expense would be attached to my claim to the dealership.

I am SHOCKED that any dealership would allow you to take the unit off the lot after the PDI finding it in that condition.

Also, now the you have accepted the unit and USED it, you have to prove that the damage was done enroute from the factory and not while you had it out galavanting.

I'll tell you, I just bought my 320 today, I have yet to fill in the build sheet. Have being a warranty manager, if I find that the unit has 1 little paint chip on delivery, it will be documented and repaired before I accept delivery.

As you say, hind sight is 20/20... but man, you have to look at what you invested verses entertainment. (Just saying!!)
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:54 AM   #14
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"In hindsight we probably shouldn't have accepted it."

Life has a habit of working that way. No need to add insult to injury so I will just say I hope everything works out well and this story has a happy ending. Please do keep us updated.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:53 AM   #15
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I would like to offer a view from a dealer's side of things....


That trailer would never have been left at our dealership. As a sold/ordered trailer, you would have been contacted, and told that the trailer came in damaged, and was refused.

Unfortunately, if you made plans prior to having your new trailer, that would have been your responsibility.

Most of the issues appear to be driver related. That driver would have been responsible for running the repairs through his insurance company, or paying cash to us to fix any items.

After seeing the condition on the pictures, I can honestly say that your 5th would never, ever, have been left on our lot. It be on the same driver's truck, headed back to the factory.....
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:27 AM   #16
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Every new unit We have had (Debris) has appeared everywhere after traveling. Styrofoam is a way of life with the R/Vs. Remove panels and you will find (screws,sawdust,plastic wire covers,) Overhead lights are put there to (Catch Debris). I have NEVER found a Smooth Road on a Long trip! In regards to your first trip loss because of late delivery,Dont spend your money before you Make it! Youroo!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
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Who was the selling dealer?

RVs break and then need to get fixed and you will loose vacation/trip time and money. This happens with toys - boats, motorcycles, atv, rv, etc. We have a saying at my work that problems and things going wrong are actually a good thing for a company. This allows the company to fix and heal things and the relationship. When a company takes care of a customer the relationship gets stronger.

So many people buy something and then that customer never returns because nothing went wrong. A customer is great. A returning customer is even better. Getting a customer to return should be every dealer's challenge.

Bill's Columbus will get fixed and the situation sucks. I went through it when I got my Columbus - truck broke down in 105 temps 50 miles from selling dealer and my vacation is ruined. After truck got fixed 3 days later, I get RV hooked back up and tornado sirens go off. Poor Columbus is parked and survived 60 mph wind gust Tornado 5 miles away and now freeway is closed due to semi trucks wiped out on freeway. Wait some more and take a 20 mile detour. Spent first nite in RV at a rest stop. Passed out in bed and woke up to a semi with a refer buzzing away next spot to me. Drove home and parked RV in the resort I am now at - next to dumpsters as it's July 4 weekend and my spot I reserved is given away as I could not check in due to truck breaking down.

We all go through trying times with our toys. Lesson learned is don't fight situation to save vacation plans. The fight will cost you waaaay more money in the long run.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #18
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Bill,
I just looked at your google pics. I would never have accepted a brand new camper in that condition and like others have posted I'm shocked a dealer would let you drive off with it in that condition. I sincerely hope FR and your dealer do the right thing and either get everything fixed/repaired to your complete satisfaction or get you a new one ASAP.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #19
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We all go through trying times with our toys. Lesson learned is don't fight situation to save vacation plans. The fight will cost you waaaay more money in the long run.
Real good advice.........
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #20
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the one picture you have of what looks like the roof has some pretty serious damage marks. I would make sure they reskin it and check the underside.
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