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Old 05-01-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Angry Bent frame

We just purchased a brand new 34' 2012 Forest River Encounter. It was obvious to us that there was a lot of shuffling of feet throughout the rv. The porcelain floor was very scuffed. No big deal. We were so excited to drive our unit off of the dealer's lot. We used the rv one time to visit my daughter who lives about 200 miles away from us. We watched the television in our bedroom and noticed everyone was purple!! No problem. The said they would repair it. New tv... Before taking this rv back we decided to do a thorough walk through to see if it needed anything else. We ended up with a list of 30 things!! Little by little, the dealership was having each issue addressed and repaired. My husband asked them to check the leveling system because the jacks looked crooked when extended. Sure enough.. there was an issue. Their head mechanic told us the frame was bowed on both sides, maybe, because the brackets holding the jacks are mounted incorrectly...thus causing the frame to bow (bend). Forest River said they could remove the 'perch' (bracket) and reweld them to the frame at another location on the frame. This problem exists in the FRONT jacks and REAR jacks. But more severe in the front. No one wants to claim responsibility for this problem. However, Forest River, said they will fix it to correct the problem. Sounds wonderful doesn't it?? NOT! Had it been ANYTHING but a bent frame... no big deal. But, we bought a brand new motorhome, that is flawed! Not just ANY flaw but the FRAME is bent!! We asked for a new unit that is comparable to this one and Forest River refuses and so does the dealer. Can anyone relate??? *sighs What a let down. We are going to Phoenix, AZ next month ( from Baltimore, MD) and now we have no motorhome!! This was supposed to be exciting and has turned into nothing short of a nightmare!
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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From your post I would assume you are in Maryland. My suggestion would be to find out what the lemon law is in your state. When someone sells you a vehicle that would not even be able to pass inspection, then there is some extreme liability with both Forest River and the dealer. I would suggest that you pursue this nicely and if you get nowhere then I would consider the legal aspects.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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Yes ... from Maryland. We were told by the dealer that the "Lemon Law" does not apply to rv's. We have been dealing with this issue for nearly a month with no acceptable results. We just want to be put in another unit that is not "broken" (flawed). The dealer is now calling Forest River and is having (supposedly) an independent party take a look at the frame to see if it is bent. Now the dealer is telling us that the frame is NOT bent!! He also said this is common. I am thinking.. "WHAT'S COMMON?" lol!
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vgoodman08 View Post
We just purchased a brand new 34' 2012 Forest River Encounter. It was obvious to us that there was a lot of shuffling of feet throughout the rv. The porcelain floor was very scuffed. No big deal. We were so excited to drive our unit off of the dealer's lot. We used the rv one time to visit my daughter who lives about 200 miles away from us. We watched the television in our bedroom and noticed everyone was purple!! No problem. The said they would repair it. New tv... Before taking this rv back we decided to do a thorough walk through to see if it needed anything else. We ended up with a list of 30 things!! Little by little, the dealership was having each issue addressed and repaired. My husband asked them to check the leveling system because the jacks looked crooked when extended. Sure enough.. there was an issue. Their head mechanic told us the frame was bowed on both sides, maybe, because the brackets holding the jacks are mounted incorrectly...thus causing the frame to bow (bend). Forest River said they could remove the 'perch' (bracket) and reweld them to the frame at another location on the frame. This problem exists in the FRONT jacks and REAR jacks. But more severe in the front. No one wants to claim responsibility for this problem. However, Forest River, said they will fix it to correct the problem. Sounds wonderful doesn't it?? NOT! Had it been ANYTHING but a bent frame... no big deal. But, we bought a brand new motorhome, that is flawed! Not just ANY flaw but the FRAME is bent!! We asked for a new unit that is comparable to this one and Forest River refuses and so does the dealer. Can anyone relate??? *sighs What a let down. We are going to Phoenix, AZ next month ( from Baltimore, MD) and now we have no motorhome!! This was supposed to be exciting and has turned into nothing short of a nightmare!
I would suggest you have it inspected (under warranty) by the chassis Mfg. I assume here its a Coachmen Endeavor which means it could be a Ford or Workhouse. These folks repair frames after accidents, its no big deal. But if it is bad you'll have much more of a case. Guessing its repairable.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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I really do not see how the leveling jacks would bend the frame of the motorhome.
What the "head" mechanic at the dealership probably meant was that the local area where the leveling jacks were mounted was bent, maybe the frame flange, which is not that big a deal. If the jacks are mounted properly, there should be no further issue.
Why not take it to a real frame shop and get them to have a look? RV dealerships are staffed by some of the dumbest people on earth.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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wnytaxman,

I am no lawyer, but I don't think most Lemon Laws apply to RVs.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
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Crocus,

I hope you weren't meaning that just for Canada. I think a blanket statement like that could cover all of North America.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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wnytaxman,

I am no lawyer, but I don't think most Lemon Laws apply to RVs.
Herk, you could be right on that. However, the rig would have had to be inspected by either the dealer or a reputable inspection station. I believe, and remember I'm a bean counter not a mechanic, that the rig could not pass inspection with a bent frame. I think that a vehicle with a bent frame would tend to not track right and tend to go down the road somewhat sideways.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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Talk to the D.O.T. Warranties or lemon laws don't take away the responsibility of a manufacturer of anything with a VIN to be safe for the use it was made for,if the frame is bent it's highly likely that it is no longer safe to be driven on the highways.Or just tell them you are taking it in for an inspection, that alone may make them take the correct action.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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... if the frame is bent it's highly likely that it is no longer safe to be driven on the highways...
Would have to see pictures to make a statement like that or I would take it to a frame/alignment shop and have it inspected by a frame expert. If it is just a bent flange, that can be straightened very easily.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #11
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[QUOTE Would have to see pictures to make a statement like that or I would take it to a frame/alignment shop and have it inspected by a frame expert. If it is just a bent flange, that can be straightened very easily.]

We can only go with the statement by the mechanic that the frame has " Bow" 's in it, as a mechanic myself I would never describe a bend in the flange as a bow.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:33 PM   #12
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I would have to agree with that, BUT, I doubt the rv mechanic is as knowledgeable as you. From my experience with them they are a far cry from being comparable to real mechanics. Frame inspection by a reputable firm would be preferable and give real amunition for whatever happens later.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #13
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Regarding lemon laws...

State lemon laws and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act are tricky business (according to a friend who deals in these cases -yea, he's one of those )

At least according to the AG for Maryland, theirs does not cover Motorhomes.

Different states cover different types of vehicles. My home state of Wisconsin covers Motorhomes under our lemon law. Although I understand it's more complicated than it appears. Certainly beyond my arm chair lawyer skills.

Both those websites have some common sense that might apply here...

Act quickly
Everything in writing.
Write to the manufacturer.
Use certified mail.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocus View Post
Why not take it to a real frame shop and get them to have a look?
that is also where I
would insist on taking it for a (real repair)
could be costly (but not for you)
but
done right
and possibly stronger than the so called new ones

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Old 05-02-2012, 05:09 AM   #15
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I think you may be over reacting based on one comment, take a deep breath and have it checked out by a Ford dealer that can handle large trucks. If the fame were actually bent it would be a ford problem and not FR. As far as your 30 item list, that is not unusual for any new FR product. Mine has had far more than that, even went back to the factory for a complete rebuild on FR's dime. even after all that it is at present in for repairs locally. It was explained to me by my local dealer that mine is not unusual, its just that we use it more than most, we do not travel far , 17 miles to disney, which we go about every month for 7 to 21 days. So our use gets a lot of defects noticed where as someone who buys an RV and uses it 2weeks than puts it away for 6 months might not notice certain things, also some people just do not expect too much from there Manufacturer and figure its just normal for things not to be right. If after an independent inspection you still feel the frame is bent contact a legal rep. motorhomes do have certain legal remedies, I know that they are more than happy to take on new cases, just have all the documentation from dealers and FR available and make sure your dealer is on your side as it makes a big difference.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by vgoodman08 View Post
We just purchased a brand new 34' 2012 Forest River Encounter. It was obvious to us that there was a lot of shuffling of feet throughout the rv. The porcelain floor was very scuffed. No big deal. We were so excited to drive our unit off of the dealer's lot. We used the rv one time to visit my daughter who lives about 200 miles away from us. We watched the television in our bedroom and noticed everyone was purple!! No problem. The said they would repair it. New tv... Before taking this rv back we decided to do a thorough walk through to see if it needed anything else. We ended up with a list of 30 things!! Little by little, the dealership was having each issue addressed and repaired. My husband asked them to check the leveling system because the jacks looked crooked when extended. Sure enough.. there was an issue. Their head mechanic told us the frame was bowed on both sides, maybe, because the brackets holding the jacks are mounted incorrectly...thus causing the frame to bow (bend). Forest River said they could remove the 'perch' (bracket) and reweld them to the frame at another location on the frame. This problem exists in the FRONT jacks and REAR jacks. But more severe in the front. No one wants to claim responsibility for this problem. However, Forest River, said they will fix it to correct the problem. Sounds wonderful doesn't it?? NOT! Had it been ANYTHING but a bent frame... no big deal. But, we bought a brand new motorhome, that is flawed! Not just ANY flaw but the FRAME is bent!! We asked for a new unit that is comparable to this one and Forest River refuses and so does the dealer. Can anyone relate??? *sighs What a let down. We are going to Phoenix, AZ next month ( from Baltimore, MD) and now we have no motorhome!! This was supposed to be exciting and has turned into nothing short of a nightmare!
So, whatever became of the bent frame?. Been almost three months ago, was it a feature of build or damage by misplaced/misused jacks?
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:53 PM   #17
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Hydraulic frame straightener

My Bigfoot leveling system bent my frame in the back. The automatic button lifts the rev to high and eventually bends the frame where the jacks are mounted. I bought a hydraulic frame kit and a six by six piece of lumber and went to town on this thing. The kit came from Harbor Freight and worked like charm. The leveling system should be called a stabilizing system. Park your RV on a flat level surface and just use the jacks for stabilization, never to do any substantial leveling. The frame straightened up perfectly and I have the kit if it ever starts leaning again. It is a good lesson in physics. If I can fix it myself, you should be able to get your repaired. Those jacks are way tougher than the frame they are attached to.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:14 PM   #18
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I'll bet if lemon laws were to be applied to all camper, I think we would see a slow down in production and better QC Later RJD
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:27 PM   #19
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Later RJD

RJD, are you the same guy on the Aristo Forum ?
Just wondering.
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