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Old 05-19-2024, 11:30 PM   #1
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new owner first and last time buying forest river

Well bought a forest river 2 weeks ago (campsite reserve 26CJ) and just took it out for the first time boondocking at my in-laws. Here is a list of issues:

filter around water housing leaks terribly. I manage to patch it up well enough i can at least turn on the pump to use a shower/bathroom as long as i have a plastic water tub underneath it to catch the drips but i have to keep it off other times because it leaks too much.

No gas to the stove. Outside grill works. Tankless water heater works. but no gas to stove. I chased down the gas lines as far as i could, can't see any in line check valves.

keyhole to the door that opens to the bathroom is broken so the door can't be used the way it is intended.

nothing tells me that my heater/furnace actually works. I can't feel any hot air blowing out. I put it on heat mode. But nothing tells me the heater actually works and set the thermostat to 72 degrees. The first night there I froze all night. I used the led fireplace to put out some heat and that only lasted as much as the gas in the generator, after that it was cold. There should be some indicators that say "yes, you're furnace has gas, yes it's working" I certainly can't feel any hot air coming out of the heaters but nothing indicator wise tells me it's not working.

Overall the build/manufacture of the trailer feels cheap. It wasn't cleaned very well (sawdust, metal filings, wood chips in the drawers and recessed compartments. lack of attention to detail. The lippert cable slide feels overall pretty cheap. I've a feeling it'll eventually break. The only thing that seperates our hose storage compartment from the filter housing is a cheap piece of flimsy plywood held on by staples, and if you need access to the filter (you know the part that STILL LEAKS), you need to remove it. good luck getting it back in, because....well....cheap staples. YAY.

Still can't figure out exactly what the switches labled "aux/light" and "conv/light" do. Yes i flipped every damn switch i could find and nothing changes. I posted a picture earlier in this forum somewhere and still no one has been able to exactly tell me what they do. Where isn't there a manual for that? here's another picture just in case anyone figures it out.

I wish i could take this thing back to camping world and get every bit of my money back. I feel stuck with a lemon. the words "buyer's remorse" aren't even strong enough. All I feel is hate towards this trailer.
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Old 05-20-2024, 01:19 AM   #2
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Did you do a walk-through and pdi?

Water filter around the housing? Is the filter leaking around the connection?

I assume you used a lighter/match to confirm it's a gas flow issue and not an ignitor issue?

Pretty much everyone contends with sawdust, unfortunately.

You'll find that many people will make upgrades and modifications to improve their rigs. For you a first step may be replacing the flimsiboard along your wetbay, and possibly adding a door of done sort.
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Old 05-20-2024, 02:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NewToTheForce View Post
Did you do a walk-through and pdi?

Water filter around the housing? Is the filter leaking around the connection?

I assume you used a lighter/match to confirm it's a gas flow issue and not an ignitor issue?

Pretty much everyone contends with sawdust, unfortunately.

You'll find that many people will make upgrades and modifications to improve their rigs. For you a first step may be replacing the flimsiboard along your wetbay, and possibly adding a door of done sort.
Unfortunately the OP bought from Camping World, a new trailer line made specifically for Camping World.
And CW is infamous for charging extra for the PDI/walk-through and doing a poor job at it. So they probably got a rushed and incomplete PDI.
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Old 05-20-2024, 06:25 AM   #4
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Sounds like op skipped the PDI. Issues now would have been solved had the PDI been done. Lesson Learned. Later RJD
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Old 05-20-2024, 06:36 AM   #5
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Regarding “sawdust, metal filings, wood chips in the drawers and recessed compartments”…. Was this the case when you did your walk-through?
Did you have this feeling when you tested it at the dealership? ==> “The lippert cable slide feels overall pretty cheap. I've a feeling it'll eventually break.”
“Where isn't there a manual for that?” The lack of an automotive industry owner’s manual has been described on this forum at least 10 years.
‘There should be some indicators that say "yes, you're furnace has gas, yes it's working"’ On my furnace, warm air out the vents is my indicator - same as with my home/house furnace.
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Old 05-20-2024, 06:46 AM   #6
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As mentioned many of these issues would have been discovered during a through PDI. The good news is that all if them should be able to be corrected. Generally if you have propane to one appliance, you should have it to all of them. Some appliances such as the furnace have a safety feature that once they fail to ignite for several tries, they go into safe mode and need to be reset. Get the make and model number of the appliances from the build sheet or the item itself and go online and download the manual from the manufacturers website. It is frustrating and maddening that the quality is not what most buyers want, however with both price and weight pressure manufacturers then to cut corners. Pick one item at a time and resolve it then move on to the next one and you will be enjoying your new TT in no time. I am not making excuses for CW or FR, but rather trying to make your experience less stressful.
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:01 AM   #7
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I’m not for kicking a guy when he’s down, but I actually am curious… do other first time buyers who buy “toys” (Boats, Snow machines, ATV’s, etc) not do their homework or research before they buy something, and then just wing it after buying it?

OP… many of the things you listed are normal RV things, like the sawdust and metal filings left behind. If you don’t want to have an aneurysm, I wouldn’t look under the camper at the nest of wires that are there, or behind your converter, heck I wouldn’t even take off any of the receptacle covers to notice the fist sized (and maybe even fist shaped) hole to fit one wire through. Pretty much 99.9% of all RV’s have these type of things.

And unfortunately with you being a new owner you probably didn’t realize the importance of a PDI, and how once you buy it anything that is wrong is now considered warranty work and not presale fixing (and then still able to be considered original warranty work if it breaks again), and with warranty work dealers aren’t real keen on working on it in a timely fashion. My suggestion would be to skip going to Camping World for your problems, and go straight to the manufacturer of whatever appliance you have problems with. They will be able to help you quicker than the dealer will, and they will probably give you better advice and quicker service than the dealer would.

Unfortunately now that you have bought the trailer you are learning that they are a work in progress, the manufacture does 97% of the work, the dealer does 1% of the work, and you do the final 2% of the work. My suggestion, before you take it out camping any more you spend a weekend and go through the entire trailer and check out everything. Learn what each switch does, learn how to know if your furnace is actually on, and figure out how much energy (battery) you will need if you don’t use electricity hookup. The water filter housing could be as simple as no O-ring or a loose hose clamp. Your cook top try lighting with a lighter to see if it actually does work. But realize this… if you take it to the dealer for them to look at it, you have a 99% chance that you WILL NOT get the trailer back for at least a month or two because they already have your money, they don’t care about you much anymore. But I would not say that all of this is indicative of Forest River itself being a crappy manufacturer, because in truth FR is more like a parent company for many little manufacturers, like Cherokee, Campsite Reserve, Rockwood, Flagstaff, Surveyor, Dynamax, etc. Some divisions are better than others, some brands are more superior than others. And some brands are more expensive than others. (Look at a comparable Rockwood to your trailer and you’ll see the difference in price. That’s pretty indicative of the difference in quality between the two)
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:22 AM   #8
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I sympathize with the buyer. Everything on my trailer worked, but some only worked after i scoured the internet and fixed the issue myself. In most cases nothing had to be fixed, i just had to figure out why they were not working.

The factory manuals leave out a lot of basic operation information, and the dealer was so worthless that i just paid a non authorized dealer to fix a problem because I refused to use my selling dealer.
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Old 05-20-2024, 07:37 AM   #9
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Still can't figure out exactly what the switches labled "aux/light" and "conv/light" do. Yes i flipped every damn switch i could find and nothing changes. I posted a picture earlier in this forum somewhere and still no one has been able to exactly tell me what they do. Where isn't there a manual for that? here's another picture just in case anyone figures it out.

This is possibly to your outside scare lights. The convenience light would be the one on your door side (possibly even a stair light) and the auxilliary light might be on the opposite side or above an outdoor stove. Have you checked that? Also does your RV have a remote control for the lights and such.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:04 AM   #10
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To add to wmtire post 9, the scare light, mines located on the drivers side, is not visible from the coach. Must go outside and look for it to confirm it is on during the day and at night mine isn't obvious it's "on" because it's designed to cast light away from the side of the coach to "scare" people away
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:14 AM   #11
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I found this previous thread about the convenience/auxiliary light labels.

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ng-228662.html
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:28 AM   #12
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Camperman83 try to take a deep breath and relax. The problems you are experiencing a simple fixes even though they are very frustrating.

Many of the newer propane stoves now have a safety feature which requires you to depress and hold the burner knob while turning to the desired level and using the igniter.

The convenience light is likely located directly above your sewer drop. There is a small switch on the bottom of the light which is controlled by the convenience light switch inside. The convenience switch is not a on/off switch but a rocker switch. You need both the fixture and the interior switches to be live. The aux light switch should control a led strip (possibly blue) around the interior of your slide

A photo of the leaking housing would be very helpful. Most leaks can be fixed fairly quickly.

As far as your furnace is concerned make sure your thermostat is set to heat and is in the auto setting. You also require 12 volt power either from your battery or converter to power the furnace fan and the control.

You Rv should have had a sold check and been detailed completed by the dealer prior to delivery. They should have cleaned up the mess.

The vast majority of RVs are constructed using poor materials, a minimal amount of screws and glue and a whole lot of staples.

Hopefully you can get your issues resolved and enjoy your trailer.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:47 AM   #13
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Honestly, if those were the only problems I had with a new unit of any brand, I would be ecstatic! Get to know your RV, fix all that little stuff, use it for a year, and I bet you will be enjoying your RV thoroughly.

All RVs have problems. What causes buyer's remorse is any large purchase made without doing your homework.

Now you know what to do, and what NOT to do, when you buy your next RV.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:52 AM   #14
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They've been complaining about this trailer for 2 weeks now. They did a rushed PDI, and have not spent much time researching or 'hands-on' learning about their trailer. We've had our current one for 4 years and are still finding the odd small issue, but we're working through them and fixing them as we go.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camperman83 View Post
Well bought a forest river 2 weeks ago (campsite reserve 26CJ) and just took it out for the first time boondocking at my in-laws. Here is a list of issues:

filter around water housing leaks terribly. I manage to patch it up well enough i can at least turn on the pump to use a shower/bathroom as long as i have a plastic water tub underneath it to catch the drips but i have to keep it off other times because it leaks too much.

No gas to the stove. Outside grill works. Tankless water heater works. but no gas to stove. I chased down the gas lines as far as i could, can't see any in line check valves.

keyhole to the door that opens to the bathroom is broken so the door can't be used the way it is intended.

nothing tells me that my heater/furnace actually works. I can't feel any hot air blowing out. I put it on heat mode. But nothing tells me the heater actually works and set the thermostat to 72 degrees. The first night there I froze all night. I used the led fireplace to put out some heat and that only lasted as much as the gas in the generator, after that it was cold. There should be some indicators that say "yes, you're furnace has gas, yes it's working" I certainly can't feel any hot air coming out of the heaters but nothing indicator wise tells me it's not working.

Overall the build/manufacture of the trailer feels cheap. It wasn't cleaned very well (sawdust, metal filings, wood chips in the drawers and recessed compartments. lack of attention to detail. The lippert cable slide feels overall pretty cheap. I've a feeling it'll eventually break. The only thing that seperates our hose storage compartment from the filter housing is a cheap piece of flimsy plywood held on by staples, and if you need access to the filter (you know the part that STILL LEAKS), you need to remove it. good luck getting it back in, because....well....cheap staples. YAY.

Still can't figure out exactly what the switches labled "aux/light" and "conv/light" do. Yes i flipped every damn switch i could find and nothing changes. I posted a picture earlier in this forum somewhere and still no one has been able to exactly tell me what they do. Where isn't there a manual for that? here's another picture just in case anyone figures it out.

I wish i could take this thing back to camping world and get every bit of my money back. I feel stuck with a lemon. the words "buyer's remorse" aren't even strong enough. All I feel is hate towards this trailer.
Reread your past posts. Many members have been trying to help you.
Water leak at the filter was previously addressed.
You previously said you had a rushed pdi, so debris in drawers, broken door lock and an unclean trailer when you picked it up is on you for not taking the time to do a proper walk through and catching it.
Indicator lights on the furnace to say when it's on? What do you have on your furnace at home? Is there a flashing light next to the thermostat to let you know the gas pressure is adequate?
Regarding your 'aux/light' switch, did you take the 4 screws out to see if it's wired to anything? It's just a thought, but that option may not be available on your trailer.
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:05 AM   #16
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After reading the OP, it is clear that Camping World did not do a proper pre-delivery inspection and cleaning. Plus, it appears that the customer did not get a PDI, showing how everything worked as it should, how it should be used, and what it is for.

My view.......shame on Camping World for not doing their job, and shame on the customer for not insisting on a proper PDI. But as it is said, two wrongs do not make it right.

All of these issues listed by the OP are just "small potatoes". Welcome to the world of RVs.

Bob
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob K4TAX View Post
After reading the OP, it is clear that Camping World did not do a proper pre-delivery inspection and cleaning. Plus, it appears that the customer did not get a PDI, showing how everything worked as it should, how it should be used, and what it is for.

My view.......shame on Camping World for not doing their job, and shame on the customer for not insisting on a proper PDI. But as it is said, two wrongs do not make it right.

All of these issues listed by the OP are just "small potatoes". Welcome to the world of RVs.

Bob
There's enough blame to go all around here. No PDI of any kind by both the seller and the buyer. Nothing was checked before hand. Conducting a "maiden voyage" in a boondocking environment rather than a short CG trip or a driveway shakedown. Painful lessons learned.
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Old 05-20-2024, 02:32 PM   #18
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As posted by Backcountryboondocker: "But I would not say that all of this is indicative of Forest River itself being a crappy manufacturer, because in truth FR is more like a parent company for many little manufacturers, like Cherokee, Campsite Reserve, Rockwood, Flagstaff, Surveyor, Dynamax, etc."

Forest River operates as an umbrella company, encompassing a minimum of 22 distinct RV brands produced by separate divisions. Since 2005, Forest River has been owned by Berkshire Hathaway, known for its appreciation of corporate profits. Each division maintains its product standards, contributing to variations in quality and cost among the brands. Therefore, attributing shortcomings in a specific brand to Forest River as a whole is misplaced.
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Old 05-20-2024, 04:17 PM   #19
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Have you reached out to Forest River. I have found them to be very responsive and wanting to make things right.
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Old 05-20-2024, 05:56 PM   #20
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I understand your concerns. I've shared similar many times, but I'll pose counterpoint at the end.

I gather this is headed back to the dealer for warranty repairs. Maybe it shouldn't if you want to go camping.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to use your camper rather than giving it back to CW for what may be weeks or more while they focus on prepping an moving new sales:

The range/stove: Stoves have their own built-in regulators. You've satisfied yourself that there is propane elsewhere, so you can rule out that to a point. One possibility is that the propane hose did not get connected to a small block manifold under the rig. The fact that other propane stuff is working AND that you don't smell a propane leak is evidence that your propane is OK.
Pull the microwave/air fryer and the grill under it. Probably 4 screws each and a standard plug in a duplex outlet. Trace the propane hose from the cooktop and make sure it goes through the floor, thru the coroplast, and connects to the manifold...under the coroplast. (Propane plumbing should be out in the open so it doesn't allow leaks to build up inside the coroplast.) While there look for any valves in line or in the cooktop itself...disassemble the cooktop splash shield as you would to clean it (good practice for when you actually must clean it). It's pretty simple. You should see a small "regulator" buried in there, and it's likely a "manifold" of sorts distributing propane to each burner valve. Other than not being connected to propane, the most likely failure would be that regulator. But also look at the orifices in the burner valves. I had one clog on a grill...looked like flotsam from teflon tape.
Also, with your propane tank off, find where the hose from the cooktop attaches to the manifold distributing propane under the rig. Remove the fitting and be sure the hole in the manifold is not plugged...or still has a dummy plug in it. Some plugs have a square head on them to remove with a wrench. Some might take a flat blade screwdriver and be far enough in the hole to all the installer to get the fitting started with the plug in place. THAT'S HIGHLY UNLIKELY, But Ya never know.
BEFORE DOING ANY OF THIS, OTHERS HAVE SUGGESTED THAT YOU GET A LONG STICK LIGHTER, GET IT GOING AND PUT IT NEAR A BURNER. OPEN THE VALVE. BE PATIENT. BE PREPARED FOR AIR IN THE LINES TO BLOW OUT THE LIGHTER. IT CAN TAKE 10 TO 30 SECONDS TO PURGE AIR OUT OF THE LINES. If there are no signs of life after 60 seconds, then you know something is wrong beyond air in the lines.

The furnace: If the furnace runs for an extended period without shutting off, it's getting propane. Safety systems in the furnace will shut it down if it does not ignite after a few seconds. Here's the drill. The thermostat calls for heat. The blower fan starts. A "sail switch" (REMEMBER THIS, BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT) senses that the blower is running properly to exhaust heat from the heat exchanger. Once satisfied that the blower is running, the spark igniter starts clicking, and once the system is satisfied the spark igniter is working, the propane valve opens...and we have fire. Once the furnace is burning fuel, a sensor feels the heat, stops the igniter, and allows the furnace to continue running until the thermostat is satisfied and shuts off the furnace. Rinse and repeat. If your furnace continues to run for even a few minutes, all of those parameters have been met, and the furnace is working as it should. It does, however, take a few minutes for the air to feel warm at the vents. MY HUNCH IS THAT ONE OR MORE OF THE FLEX DUCTS HAVE COME LOOSE FROM THE FURNACE. This is generally and easy fix. Remove the return air intake...often looks like the grill on a '54 Ford. Look around with a flashlight while the furnace is running. Is the furnace cabinet just recycling the blower output into the return air intake? Could be. There may be a second wood panel that can be removed to give easier access to the furnace. Am I positive about my diagnosis? No. But the furnace works, so that's the likely culprit...OR THE FURNACE HAS MAJOR CONTROL BOARD PROBLEMS AND CONTINUES TO RUN WHEN IT SHOULDN'T.

Water filter: It's plumbing. It ain't that hard. And you'd better get used to it, because this won't be the last thing that leaks. New plastic fittings and/or shark bites will save the day. If your a purist, buy the tools to crimp PEX clamps. Whatever you like, but plumbing is easy, and you'd better know how to deal with it if you own an RV.

Dust and dirt: Echoing others. Qwitcherbitchen. Goes with the territory, and to make matters worse, no amout of cleaning can get at all the inaccessible crud that blows out from airflow going down the road. Sooner or later you'll get it all...probably later. My guess is that it will take a couple years.

Switches: Who knows. I have at least one switch to nowhere on my panel for an option I didn't buy. Standardized panels save money. If you must know, pull the panel and look to see if wires are attached to the mystery switches. If there are wires, keep testing until you find it or you don't. This falls under the "damned if I know" category.

You've been scolded for not doing a proper walk through demo to see if everything works. I understand how that happens esspecially if you are a newby. So I'm not scolding. I empathize. Live and learn. But you took possession of a $40,000 home on wheels without verifying that all systems were go. And to be frank...blunt even...your list isn't that long. To be clear, all but the plumbing issue MAY be assembly problems (furnace) or 3rd party appliance issues. During assembly, workers will test propane for leaks (but probably not with actual propane), but they can't wet test the rig with water pressure, and they don't hookup a propane line to test the appliances by running them. On the water end, RVs come dry. They verify that the propane doesn't leak with, probably, an air leakdown test, and maybe the same with the water system. Similarly, the RV dealer isn't hooking up full propane tanks and testing everything, nor do they put a battery on the tongue until it's ready to roll out the door. If you don't test it, it doesn't get tested. And that's not much different from your local Toyota dealer. They find and fix stuff discovered in the TEST drives. The extent of most dealer prep ends at cleaning/detailing, checking the fluids, checking the tire pressure, adding as many packs as they can get you to buy, and then parking it on the lot.

One more point. I say this with respect, but you bought a stick and tin camper in a world where most are going out the door made of welded aluminum framing with a fiberglass/plywood sandwich construction. I get the choice. It appears that you get more ammenities bang for the buck with stick and tin compared with fiberglass/aluminum. That's true. Also true is that you get what you pay for. Stick and tin is fine...that was the standard of the industry decades ago. My parents had several of them. But don't get any ideas about this thing being an overlanding, boondocking beast. It will come apart faster than a glass and aluminum rig. RV parks, smooth gravel roads, and exercising extra care if you venture into the rough stuff are called for. Just remember that the frame under that rig depends a LOT on the rig built on it for rigidity. Lots of twisting and bouncing will make it come apart more quickly that its glass/aluminum bretheren.

I might get some pushback on the stick and tin critique..."I've had one for 20 years with no problems" kind of thing. But facts are facts.

Now to some real facts of life. I don't know or much care what the out the door price was on this rig. But here's what it is. It has every single ammenity your home on a foundation has, AND IT CAN TRAVEL DOWN THE ROAD FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES. The only thing that may be missing is a washer/dryer hookup. PLUS, it can carry freshwater, blackwater, greywater in tanks. Plus it can run on shore power or battery power. Plus it's DOT road worthy, has brakes, emergency breakaway brakes, and so on. Does your home have an electric awning...thought not. So you spent, say, $40,000 on this home on wheels, and you quite literally have no right to expect it to have the same build quality as your home on a foundation...or even a double-wide mobile home for that matter. This rig...particularly this rig...was built to price. It ain't an Airstream - price one. It's a bare bones rig in fancy clothes. It's one helluva lot of RV for the money.

As many others have said, you need to reset your expectations. Did CW do you a disservice by not checking the cook top and furnace? Well...maybe the range. As for the furnace, if they bothered to turn it on and let it run for a while, everything you describe would tell them it's fine. As for build quality, you have a point. But we've all encountered work performed by Monday morning hangovers or rush to get out the door on Friday. It happens.


Lastly...everything you report has to do with 3rd party appliances that have their own warranties. CW should honor those and fix things, but you have to ask yourself how much of your camping season you'll sacrifice to get warranty repairs. There's no NHTSA recall on any of this stuff, so they'll get to it when they get to it. Maybe by the end of June. Maybe, just maybe, dig out your screwdriver or call a mobile RV repair service and then fight for warranty reimbursement while you're camping.

P.S. Invest in a small shopvac or a dustbuster. Like I said, you'll need it for, well, forever.
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