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Old 01-15-2020, 10:42 AM   #1
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And...the nightmare begins...

My trailer is brand new...taking delivery on October 2nd, 2019.

While a close to home weekend to watch the Saints play (and lose), I noticed the carpet was wet (soaked) while opening up curbside slide. Even after placing fans blowing directly on it and a heater as well, it would dry somewhat only to get more wet as if it was wicking up the moisture.

First thing on Monday (6 Jan) I dropped off at the dealership on the way home as I only live a mere 10 min away. The immediately diagnosed it as a bad rear window seal, but I wasn't convinced. There was simply too much water on the carpet.

Yesterday (14 Jan) while visiting to check on the status, I was told the baaaad news. While being constructed at the factory, there was no eterna bond tape applied along the top of the slideout roof. In addition, there was a tear in the roof that was covered with a patch of eternabond tape. In addition, there was little to no sealant applied over the top of the molding directly over the slideout. The carpet is still wet and has even changed colors now owing to be wet constantly. My thoughts are that if this slide was
sealed improperly, then surely the other slide would have the same issues.

After getting over the initial shock, the dealership is telling me that it will take approx. 2-3 days to replace the floor in the slideout, including the carpeting...etc. Of course Forest River has to authorize the repairs and I'm told that will take 2-3 days with the claim being submitted to them yesterday (14 Jan) Now, once it's been approved it's anyone's guess as to when the materials will be received. And that's when the 2-3 days will start. Thus far, the dealership has been sympathetic and willing to do their part.

Now I've got a bunch of questions and even with the attached pictures it's not the same as seeing it firsthand.

1. I am concerned about permanent water damage and mold. Since this
occurred while to slides were retracted as that's how I keep it at my
house while not being used, I am sure that the slideout floor being wet
would fester down to the coach floor that's exposed when then slide is
extended.

2. In addition to the floor, the water had to run down behind the wall panels
and I'm concerned now about delamination. Of course there is none now,
but in addition to the structural loss it's unsightly. But I sure it will occur
in the future.

3. I want and expect it to be fixed properly. In spite of their best efforts is
a dealership able to remove the huge slide on this trailer, essentially
totally deconstruct it, and then reconstruct it properly. To good as factory
new? Surely there will be some nicks, scratches, and other superficial
damages during this process.

4. I have been provided the warranty rep and the parts rep at Forest River
for my trailer, but have not contacted them yet as I feel it's best to give
them a fair & reasonable chance to act on this warranty claim.

5. Do I consult a lawyer? I know that lemon laws are completely different
For RV's compared to automobiles. Actually, more like totally
nonexistent. After all, I am making payments on a brand new RV that
had a huge manufacturer defect, wasn't detected at various levels of
quality control. This isn't a convenience factor as it's health potentially
and structural.

Last but not least...

Before this mess started, I was furloughed from my job and in the process of a job change with a relocation that is approx. 500 miles away. All of the preliminary administrative tasks are nearly done and I will be expected there in aprrox 3 weeks from now. I know that quality work can't be rushed, but while there is never a good time for this to happen the timing couldn't be much worse for me.

Attached pictures will show the dark area under the slideout floor from the water seeping down.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:50 AM   #2
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You might consider sending it back to the factory and have it done there. As long as they are working with you and things are moving, I would not mention any legal action that will simply end communications and delay any progress.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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You might consider sending it back to the factory and have it done there. As long as they are working with you and things are moving, I would not mention any legal action that will simply end communications and delay any progress.

That thought has crossed my mind also, but forgot to place it the message above. Thanx for reminding me!
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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And...the nightmare begins...

I to would ask to have it done at the factory. However since the factory is where it was not built correctly, if you trust your dealer, as some are really good. You may get a good repair. I would want the slide striped to bare framing on the inside and redone as the insulation has gotten wet and has probably sagged in the wall space, the paneling is very prone to develop mold if it stays wet, if it is on the inside of the wall you will not see it.

I certainly would have them check the rest of the slides and all of the external seals and caulking.

Also if your dealer will stick by you, if may not be a bad thing to ask for a new replacement.

I would also do a little research on water damage and the three categories. The type of water and elapsed time have a great deal to do with how things are repaired. Knowing this will give you additional power when you insist everything is done correctly to your satisfaction.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:55 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your problem. That really sucks with a new trailer. Ughh


Curious question. Was the trailer sitting on the dealer lot for some time? And it was not wet when you toured it and bought it? Wondering about the timing.


Best of luck!
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:57 AM   #6
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I had already sent an email regarding a factory repair immediately after replying to the message above. The dealership is close by as mentioned and they of course have no problem with me stopping by as things progress.

100% agree with total slide reconstruction...wet insulation...etc.

I love the floor plan I have as we’ve got a huge amount of room inside. Also, I did a bunch of mods on it already as seen in the mods sub forum. This model (floor plan) is now discontinued with nothing quite similar in the line-up as far as I know. A replacement I would imagine would at this point be off the table I imagine as they’ve not even opened it up fully.

And then, the timeframe I mentioned above regarding a new job in the opening post. Yes, camping for a weekend with the wife is nice, but this is now a need vs want.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:33 PM   #7
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I agree with others that it would be best if it went back to the factory.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:09 PM   #8
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I'll give another vote to sending it back to the factory.

I would not trust the dealer because if they were any good to start with they would have seen a tear in the slide roof material, patches of Eternabond and missing sealant during their pre-sale PDI. Who knows, maybe they somehow tore the roof and tried to patch it? In any case, they wouldn't be getting my benefit of the doubt.

Contact the factory and deal with them.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:55 PM   #9
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I'll give another vote to sending it back to the factory.

I would not trust the dealer because if they were any good to start with they would have seen a tear in the slide roof material, patches of Eternabond and missing sealant during their pre-sale PDI. Who knows, maybe they somehow tore the roof and tried to patch it? In any case, they wouldn't be getting my benefit of the doubt.

Contact the factory and deal with them.
arguments for made both for going back to the factory or getting repaired at the dealer. On the same note, the factory is where it wasn't sealed correctly as it was being built and that's where the initial "quality" control checks were supposed to take place.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:57 PM   #10
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Yeah.. but. This would be going back to their body shop to fix a specific issue.. it's not like they're going to insert the camper back into the manufacturing queue.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:19 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about your problem. That really sucks with a new trailer. Ughh


Curious question. Was the trailer sitting on the dealer lot for some time? And it was not wet when you toured it and bought it? Wondering about the timing.


Best of luck!
Good and fair question sir.

There is a slit cut in the rubber roof membrane on the slide at the rear outboard corner that was done during manufacturing. Then that approx. 1 1/2" tear was covered just barely with a piece of black tape that was barely larger than the hole is. During the running in/out of the slides it worked it's way off of the roof membrane, rolled over the side and exposed the hole in the roof to the rain.
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:28 PM   #12
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Good and fair question sir.

There is a slit cut in the rubber roof membrane on the slide at the rear outboard corner that was done during manufacturing. Then that approx. 1 1/2" tear was covered just barely with a piece of black tape that was barely larger than the hole is. During the running in/out of the slides it worked it's way off of the roof membrane, rolled over the side and exposed the hole in the roof to the rain.

Big Bummer. So it was a ticking time bomb just waiting to leak.


The RV industry needs to wake up. But probably wont because we keep buying it.


Good Luck.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:34 PM   #13
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Unfortunately they won't wake up. Ever.

I was on the fence with making this purchase for awhile as I was afraid that something similar to this would happen, and now it did in a big way. The fact is, I *need* this trailer to stay in while I'm working. Forest River wants to drag ass on every little item and not want to take responsibility and make it right. Just a few hours ago (20 Jan), I was told by the service write that Forest River would approve this claim by the end of the day. I was actually sitting across from her desk when she called. Less than 5 hours later and nearing the end of the day, she said that the code for the roof replacement would not justify the floor replacement. Round and round like a record player.

Forest River isn't winning in the customer service department. I don't like it, but I understand that sometimes things don't go as intended and a bad product makes it out the door. What makes a company great is when ownership is established and every reasonable attempt is made to satisfy the owner. Sadly, that isn't being done at all. It's accepted as the industry standard from most all makes/models.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:15 AM   #14
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You won't hear me say this very often. We need government intervention. Or a grassroots uprising in the form of a rv consumer union.

The auto industry got a wake-up call from the likes of Toyota and Datsun. Everyone benefited. Unfortunately, I don't see RVs being imported anytime soon. Maybe ........
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:24 AM   #15
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You won't hear me say this very often. We need government intervention. Or a grassroots uprising in the form of a rv consumer union.

The auto industry got a wake-up call from the likes of Toyota and Datsun. Everyone benefited. Unfortunately, I don't see RVs being imported anytime soon. Maybe ........
Exactly right. We need the Japanese or Koreans to get into the RV industry.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:27 AM   #16
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You won't hear me say this very often. We need government intervention. Or a grassroots uprising in the form of a rv consumer union.

The auto industry got a wake-up call from the likes of Toyota and Datsun. Everyone benefited. Unfortunately, I don't see RVs being imported anytime soon. Maybe ........
Maybe further back than that, I'd like to see the RV industry adopt a Monroney sticker and be added to existing Lemon Laws.
Of course added government regulation means higher prices..so we get what we pay for.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroney_sticker
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:29 AM   #17
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I have had 3 Flagstaff/Rockwood campers, each one went back to the factory for warranty repairs and never once did they give me any grief about it. They came, picked up my camper and delivered it back to me with 3 weeks each time. They are very good at assisting customers when you are dealing with them directly. You can only go by what your dealer is telling you and most of the time what they are telling you doesn't hold water.

I recommend calling the Flagstaff warranty manager Jake directly and arrange to get your unit back to the factory for repairs while they are shutdown and only doing repairs. His number is 574-642-8943. He is very helpful if you are nice, but if your going to be difficult, don't expect him to bend over backwards to help.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:33 AM   #18
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I recommend calling the Flagstaff warranty manager Jake directly and arrange to get your unit back to the factory for repairs while they are shutdown and only doing repairs. His number is 574-642-8943. He is very helpful if you are nice, but if your going to be difficult, don't expect him to bend over backwards to help.
That is time I simply don't have. Parts were ordered yesterday. Finally. Over 7 days of email traffic back and forth.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:43 AM   #19
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Of course added government regulation means higher prices..so we get what we pay for.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroney_sticker
I for one would be happy to have paid an additional amount to NOT have to deal with the migraine inducing drama this has caused.

At the same time, as bad as my situation is, I know full well that there are ALOT more people in ALOT worse shape than I am regarding their new RV purchase and quality issues.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:29 PM   #20
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Exactly right. We need the Japanese or Koreans to get into the RV industry.
The likelihood of that, is slim to none. Unless foreign investors take over an American RV manufacturer. There's no such market for RVs, in those countries, as there is an Automobile market.
There's no profit in making RVs overseas and shipping them to North America. You can get 3 import cars shipped, for the space a RV would take up.
There are a number of established European RV manufacturers and only a handful are ever exported and are sold for much higher prices.
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