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Old 10-17-2016, 07:44 AM   #1
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Forest River Electrical Issues

So I was having Speaker Crackling noises, the dealer replaced the Speaker, then the Radio Volume starts going up and down and Crackling comes back, I was sitting there yesterday having Coffee in my 4 month old Forest River built Puma 22 foot camper and the Cooling fan on the Inverter sounds funny so i opened the cover to clean it thinking it was dirty from dust cobwebs something and find the Electrical system is all melting the factory NEVER tightened the Neutral wires. Frankly how safe is the rest of the camper since this guy was either on vacation mentally or Drunk because who forgets to tighten EVERY single Neutral wire? I Emailed Forest River telling them I want a different camper this thing is Brand new and now just about lit on fire what else is not safe with it?

Hopefully the Picture comes through so everyone can see the Poor workmanship on this camper. I am disappointed, being my first camper and a Brand new one at that, if this isn't corrected with my satisfaction I will no longer be buying forest river products that is for sure.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:47 AM   #2
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Nice first post. I remember doing that. We will assume you have made contact with your selling dealership. Right?
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:54 AM   #3
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Yes I have contacted Both sadly I don't feel the dealer is at fault and can't be too hard on them they shouldn't have to check every single camper they get in, and I am posting this because frankly who does not Double check electrical wiring!! Will keep people posted on the issue and if it is resolved satisfactorily. BUT also wanted everyone to know to check this wiring in their Camper because can't tell me they missed just one camper and I would hate for anyone to get hurt from it.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:56 AM   #4
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Oh Yeah I have contacted John Jones <JJones@forestriverinc.com> Last time I talked to him I can't say I was satisfied with the answer when I asked for Dimensions to the location of the TV Backer so I was searching all over for it, So rather than put holes in the wall we just set the TV on the table for now. Yeah Having a very very disappointing experience so far to say the least.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:05 AM   #5
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Understood and agreed. So, what can be learned?

The service technicians are trained to replace parts, not troubleshoot. The RVIA certified technicians can troubleshoot but few dealerships have one on the premises. Service wages are very low in this industry. That is why they replaced the speaker rather than troubleshoot for the cause of the problem.

Build quality is an issue for all RV mfgs - no longer buying a particular mfgs product will not necessarily solve your problems. Most mfgs rely on dealer PDI's and owner usage to uncover build quality issues. Newmar offers a $3,500 factory PDI. Many dealers claim they do a PDI, but don't.

The most effective solution is learning how to do RV preventative maintenance - one of the things you would learn is to check your wiring regularly to include tightening your ground wires.

Here are some thoughts next time a salesman ask what it will take to close the deal today. Don't expect them to want to deal with you thereafter and yes you would want this put in writing.

Dream: Can you assure me that my dream won’t turn into a nightmare?

PDI: Can you promise me that your PDI will catch all the things that should have be caught at the factory, so I don’t have to come back to you within the next 30 days to have them fixed?

Slides: Can you promise me the slides will work properly, they won't squeak, creak or leak?

Roof: Can you guarantee there will not be any leaks for one year from the date of purchase?

Owner training program: Will you teach me and my wife how to operate this RV safely? DMV licensing requirements?

Certified technicians: how many of your technicians are RVIA Certified Technicians? Can you assure me that a certified technician will do or oversee all the work you have done on my coach?

RV Service: Can you assure me you or someone else will get my RV serviced in days, not weeks, when I’m on the road?

Lemon laws: Are you willing to insert a provision in my contract that won't take away my right of return regarding the residential portion of the unit and if you can’t get something fixed within 30 days, I will therefore have the right to return the unit?
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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I think you are setting your exceptions too high if you think they are going to give you a new rig over what you described. With that said I do believe the selling dealer should get with you and go over every inch of the rig to ensure things are correct.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:22 AM   #7
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Unfortunately I am learning the hard way these things are built in a day by unqualified labor. The responsibility should never fall on the Purchaser to do the check, if it is going to we should get that money off or if an issues is found that Money plus the replacement should be given to us then for failing to find the issue in the beginning.

I am an Engineer and understand things get forgotten. BUT when it comes to critical things like wiring they are always double and tripple checked in our manufacturing facility on our Vehicles.

So I will not accept they rely on the dealer to check their work they need to send out a quality unit or don't ship anything at all. Am I upset yes I am but who wouldn't be if your kids are between it and the exit had it not been found in time and started a fire while sleeping.

Heck when I do wiring I ALWAYS pull on the connections to make sure they are secure ALWAYS...
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:29 AM   #8
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FirstPuma,
You are right, I agree that those should be the standards, but they are not the standards. Your choices follow.

There have been fires in RVs in the past and fires continue to break out. You can do preventative maintenance, purchase fire suppression systems, etc. You can go to the insurance web sites and read about the sources of RV fires.

I have taken service and inspection training classes, most RV owners just want to enjoy their dream and won't take those classes, some will - very understandable.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:41 AM   #9
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If that is the case they can pull it completely apart and show me EVERY single Electrical connection is safe and put it back together to factory No stripped screws nothing.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:51 AM   #10
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FirstPuma,
You do understand that an RV is subject to a lot of movement, jolts, and banging around...that as time goes on electrical connections loosen up, become worn, corroded, wiring covering stiffens, something rubs against something.

Even if it is 100% perfect out the door, various components and parts fail, and that the electrical system is the source of most failures and frustration.

Have you considered building your own so that the unit meets your standards...seriously, there are people who have built their own or completely refurbished an older unit.

Don't mean to light a fire here or insult you, just saying that RVs are well know to suffer lots of problems and are referred to as money pits.

Owning an RV is a luxury, custom item with membership in an exclusive club.

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Old 10-17-2016, 09:15 AM   #11
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Well Considering I bought it pulled it to the Campgrounds and parked it, frankly shouldn't loosen that fast. Not to mention should not have had an issue that fast especially something like that.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:40 AM   #12
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Unfortunately, ALL of the average RV manufacturers are trying to remain competitive and make a profit. That means they expect their workers to work fast. This results in missed items. I used to work in the aeronautics industry and we were always telling our workers to slow down and do things right. It will take much longer to build something if you do everything twice. Of course, in our world there was rigorous quality control and critical operations had to be performed while a company and government quality control person watched. Most missed items would be caught by a quality inspector. We couldn't afford to buy an RV if they were built to these standards. If you are going to own an RV, you have to accept this or don't buy an RV. I know we spend a lot of money and expect everything to be perfect, but it is not. There will be mistakes. Some minor, some major. I think, for the most part, the major ones are few. Forest River is among the best.
So, I know this is not what you or I want to hear about our RV's, but that's just the way it is. I check electrical connections in my breaker box every year. There's a lot of vibration and bouncing. Plus, RV's typically see large temperature swings unless you are living in your full time. Wires extend and contract with temperature swings and can also loosen connections.
Unless you have deep pockets, an RV owner needs to be able to do many of their own repairs and preventative maintenance.
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:01 AM   #13
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Well Parked it in the Campgrounds and these didn't loosen they just were not touched at all!!
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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We hear you, and agree that QA should be better. But it is not. I buy a new rig and expect to spend the first year fixing what I can and letting a tech take several months to fix the rest. Been that way for all of our 5 rigs. Do I like it? No. But that is the way it is. I do believe our next rig will be a gently used one so maybe somebody else has worked the bugs out already. And yep.... I go over the whole rig once a year tightening and testing and we carry an entire tool box everywhere we go. But we enjoy our rig and always have a great time!!
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philos3 View Post
FirstPuma,
You do understand that an RV is subject to a lot of movement, jolts, and banging around...that as time goes on electrical connections loosen up, become worn, corroded, wiring covering stiffens, something rubs against something.

Even if it is 100% perfect out the door, various components and parts fail, and that the electrical system is the source of most failures and frustration.

Have you considered building your own so that the unit meets your standards...seriously, there are people who have built their own or completely refurbished an older unit.

Don't mean to light a fire here or insult you, just saying that RVs are well know to suffer lots of problems and are referred to as money pits.

Owning an RV is a luxury, custom item with membership in an exclusive club.


I hear the excuse of "lot of movement" but you can buy a car or truck that is going to go 100,000 miles and not have anything like the problems many RVs see after just 5,000. Wire, and connectors are shelf items that can function for years but an RV company would have to be willing to spend $50 a unit. Of course they could also offer a multi year warranty and not one that ends when you drive off the dealer lot but retaining customers is simply not something many RV companies or dealers are interested in.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:32 PM   #16
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The concept of Quality Assurance is foreign to all RV manufacturers. They are still living in the 19th Century with an attitude that once it leaves the factory it is not their problem.

Here is a photo of an electrical connector that connects to the Electronic Throttle Body in my Honda.



Note the two splashes of paint on it? This means that two different inspectors checked and approved the connection as good. That means there is very little chance that the connection will fail and result in an out-of-control throttle situation.

Honda and Toyota kicked the Big Three in the teeth by giving attention to quality. Detroit is finally getting the message. I would love to see Japan target the RV market.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #17
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Yeah here at work our shop needs to sign off twice it has been check and we also do the same thing to nut bolts and wires. Lives are on the line not worth messing around with. Here we also would have after checking the connections and signing off third guy comes through and coats the connection to prevent inadvertent arcing. Being an Engineer in the Automotive industry poor workmanship and quality like this is unacceptable and should be stood behind by the manufacturer who by the way still has not gotten back to me. Soon will file with the NHTSA with the issue as well.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:29 PM   #18
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Until the day the Quality Control improves drastically, it is up to you to learn all you can, so you can do some of the troubleshooting yourself. I am on my 4th RV. The first one was an older PopUp. I learned a lot about systems with that one. It needed work and I felt I could do it. I found out I could do a lot more, than I first though I could.

Philos3 suggested taking a class on RV maintenance. I would also suggest that. There are now some basic courses online, so there really is no excuse for not taking at least those. This way, you can do some of the troubleshooting, and then suggest which thing(s) might be the culprit. If you leave it to the dealer, they will fix the first thing they believe is causing the problem, whether it really fixes the problem, or not.

I know this doesn't answer your problem, but short of going to court, the RV is yours and you'll need to keep it up, unless you want to park it in your backyard forever.

Talk to the dealer, then talk to Forest River. Give them a chance to work with you.
Be nice. I know it is hard,when things are really ticking you off, but it works.
If everything else fails, get a lawyer and go from there. That process will not be quick and most people don't win, but that is your right.

Lastly, learn what you can about the trailer and do some of the things yourself. It may not necessarily be fun, but it does become rewarding. Especially, when you've had it for 7 years and can still take it camping, while others are waiting to get work done at the repair shop.

Good luck.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:33 PM   #19
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Another thought....how did your rv get to the dealer? how loose is loose? and, no pic showed up...
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:45 PM   #20
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I LOVE that signature bob caldwell!
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