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Old 01-24-2021, 04:29 PM   #1
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In search of a non-dealer service provider for Sunseeker 2400B MBS

And by "non-dealer" I mean not the dealer where I purchased the motorhome.

Here's a fun story.

Took delivery of a 2021 Forest River Sunseeker 2400B MBS this past November.

The 12 volt Magic Chef refrigerator appeared to be working during walkthrough. But on our first camping trip it was clearly not working. Took it back to the dealer. They replaced the compressor -- took two months to get in and install.

After installation of the compressor we were told the repair wasn't complete. Said a "board" was bad and they were going back and forth with the manufacturer (I presumed Forest River). We took the motorhome back home, awaiting arrival of the board and using our Yeti for cold storage.

10 days later we called the dealership to find out where things stood. The service manager asked if we had tested the refrigerator as it should be working. No mentioned of the bad board. I remained polite and said I'll check it out.

Brought the MH home from the storage facility and plugged it in. It works! We have a trip scheduled for later in the week. This will serve as an additional test of the fridge.

We have no confidence in this dealership. In fact, we asked if they could top off the DEF during our last visit. Service manager seemed to not know what DEF was. My question: "Do you not know what diesel exhaust fluid is?" Answer: "No." Yes, they sell motorhomes with diesel engines. Of course, I would have declined if they offered to fill it at their hourly rate. BTW, I added the DEF -- very easy.

Needless to say, we are in search for a non-dealer service provider. Any suggestions for the New Orleans/S.E. Louisiana region?
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:02 AM   #2
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PDFOR3, for what itís worth (probably not much given the distance) our dealer in Greenville SC, Ledford Adventure RV, has been excellent so far. Weíre six months in like you with our Forester 2401b and given all the negative dealer chat out there, I like to point out one of the few positives (so far at least).

With regard to DEF, our dealer made it clear from the beginning they donít do any service on the Mercedes side of the RV. That seems to be pretty common, at least with the Mercedes chassis, and probably the others too.

If you havenít already, you might want to use the FR website to find all the dealers within a certain distance and then see what you can find out about each of them online. Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MooseRiver View Post
PDFOR3, for what itís worth (probably not much given the distance) our dealer in Greenville SC, Ledford Adventure RV, has been excellent so far. Weíre six months in like you with our Forester 2401b and given all the negative dealer chat out there, I like to point out one of the few positives (so far at least).

With regard to DEF, our dealer made it clear from the beginning they donít do any service on the Mercedes side of the RV. That seems to be pretty common, at least with the Mercedes chassis, and probably the others too.

If you havenít already, you might want to use the FR website to find all the dealers within a certain distance and then see what you can find out about each of them online. Good luck!
Thanks to the FR website I've located 2 dealers within 100 miles. Will contact both and get more details on services provided. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:34 PM   #4
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PS - Iím new to RV ownership like you so others can probably confirm this, but I believe Iíve read out here that RV warranty service is not like car warranties in that you canít take your vehicle to any dealer for that make. You might want to check with those dealers and, in general what FR policy is if youíre taking it in for warranty service. You may be stuck with the dealer you purchased from. ☹️
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:53 PM   #5
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PS - Iím new to RV ownership like you so others can probably confirm this, but I believe Iíve read out here that RV warranty service is not like car warranties in that you canít take your vehicle to any dealer for that make. You might want to check with those dealers and, in general what FR policy is if youíre taking it in for warranty service. You may be stuck with the dealer you purchased from. [emoji3525]
You are incorrect. FR does recommend that you use the selling dealer. But it's not a rule.
They don't even need to be a FR dealer.
You can also use an independent RV shop or mobile RV technician. You just have to get pre-approval from FR and be willing to be reimbursed.
How do think RVers get warranty work done while traveling?
But you are correct in that RV warranties don't work like Auto warranties. A RV Dealer isn't required to do warranty work on a unit that they didn't sell. Many won't and refuse you.
We bought our first new RV from a dealer 2000 miles away. FR found us 3 local dealers willing to do the warranty work.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:44 AM   #6
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bikendan, thanks for the detailed clarification. Great information for us newbies!
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:30 PM   #7
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Not the same

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Originally Posted by PDFOR3 View Post
[I]We have no confidence in this dealership. In fact, we asked if they could top off the DEF during our last visit. Service manager seemed to not know what DEF was. My question: "Do you not know what diesel exhaust fluid is?" Answer: "No." Yes, they sell motorhomes with diesel engines. Of course, I would have declined if they offered to fill it at their hourly rate. BTW, I added the DEF -- very easy.

Needless to say, we are in search for a non-dealer service provider. Any suggestions for the New Orleans/S.E. Louisiana region?
A motorhome is not the same as a car or truck!

You have a coach and a chassis; two separate things connected together. You would not hire an electrician to fix plumbing (or vice-versa).

Similarly, don't ask the coach servicemen to fix the chassis (or vice-versa).

For the axles, brakes, frame, motor, steering, and dashboard/cluster, see a Mercedes dealer; not the RV dealer, but one who sells Mercedes vans and trucks.

For the bedding, water pump, toilets, furnace, microwave, range, refrigerator, etc. see an RV repairman. It could be the dealer but many are more interested in selling than fixing. There is a whole organization of independent RV repairmen, most of whom are mobile and will come right to your place to make repairs. They know how to handle warranty repairs, too. But don't ask them to look at the motor or DEF.

(Some of the nouns in this post are gendered. I meant no offense.)
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:33 PM   #8
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WMTire

Back to your original question. One of the moderators of this forum, "WMTire", is in your neck of the woods. He could surely make a recommendation for you.

Go up near the top of the page, to "Registry" and use one of the search options to find him and send him a Private Message.
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:54 PM   #9
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Successful search

A Mercedes Benz service provider has been found -- thanks to recommendations from Forest River. I've been in touch with an authorized MB Sprinter service department which is only 39 miles from my home. Mark this part of it solved!

Thanks for the great advice.

BTW - still no confidence in dealer based on the way they handled the refrigerator.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
A motorhome is not the same as a car or truck!

You have a coach and a chassis; two separate things connected together. You would not hire an electrician to fix plumbing (or vice-versa).

Similarly, don't ask the coach servicemen to fix the chassis (or vice-versa).

For the axles, brakes, frame, motor, steering, and dashboard/cluster, see a Mercedes dealer; not the RV dealer, but one who sells Mercedes vans and trucks.

For the bedding, water pump, toilets, furnace, microwave, range, refrigerator, etc. see an RV repairman. It could be the dealer but many are more interested in selling than fixing. There is a whole organization of independent RV repairmen, most of whom are mobile and will come right to your place to make repairs. They know how to handle warranty repairs, too. But don't ask them to look at the motor or DEF.

(Some of the nouns in this post are gendered. I meant no offense.)
I've been retired from the diesel engine industry for about 12 years, but it even gets more complicated than this (or at least it was when I retired). We were a Detroit Diesel engine and Allison transmission distributor. Detroit Diesel was purchased by Freightliner truck in 2000. Despite the common ownership, we were allowed to perform warranty work on Detroit Diesel engines in Freightliner trucks, but were NOT allowed to do any warranty repairs on the vehicle. If a customer came in with what he perceived to be an engine problem, but we found that it was something chassis related (such as chassis wiring to the engine), we had to either contact the Freightliner dealer and ask to be allowed to perform a sublet repair and invoice them, or tell the customer that he had to take it to the truck dealer. In many cases, if it was something minor we went ahead and made the repairs and "ate" the expense rather than jumping through all of the hoops.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:58 PM   #11
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I've been retired from the diesel engine industry for about 12 years, but it even gets more complicated than this (or at least it was when I retired). We were a Detroit Diesel engine and Allison transmission distributor. Detroit Diesel was purchased by Freightliner truck in 2000. Despite the common ownership, we were allowed to perform warranty work on Detroit Diesel engines in Freightliner trucks, but were NOT allowed to do any warranty repairs on the vehicle. If a customer came in with what he perceived to be an engine problem, but we found that it was something chassis related (such as chassis wiring to the engine), we had to either contact the Freightliner dealer and ask to be allowed to perform a sublet repair and invoice them, or tell the customer that he had to take it to the truck dealer. In many cases, if it was something minor we went ahead and made the repairs and "ate" the expense rather than jumping through all of the hoops.
Indeed.

I once owned a diesel pusher with a Cummins engine. On my first trip I found myself in Moab with oil sprayed all over the RV's back and engine compartment. I called Cummins for warranty support and they wanted to tow the motorhome to Grand Junction. "You know", I said, "there's a guy here in Moab who does Cummins repair work." "Yes", they said, "but he's not certified on the electronic controls for your engine." "But it's an oil leak!!!???"

In the end we were able to convince them that the guy in Moab could probably replace the leaking oil line, saving me vast heartache as they tried to tow it to Grand Junction and saving them the vast amount of money such a tow would have cost.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:00 PM   #12
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Like someone else posted, IMO most of the RV dealers aren't worth a darn when it comes to warranty repairs. We purchased ours new in 2018 6 hours away from our house because we saved 15k.

After a few teething trips I had a list of warranty repairs for the local dealer. First thing they wanted to know was if I bought it there. When I said no, they said they were 3 months out on repairs and they take care of customers who purchased from them first. Very different than a car dealer that doesn't care where you bought it knowing they will get their warranty money from the car company.

IMO I wouldn't expect FR to use this electric fridge much longer. I have read nothing but complaints about it. Welcome to the forum though
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Old 02-14-2021, 01:47 PM   #13
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Like someone else posted, IMO most of the RV dealers aren't worth a darn when it comes to warranty repairs. We purchased ours new in 2018 6 hours away from our house because we saved 15k.

After a few teething trips I had a list of warranty repairs for the local dealer. First thing they wanted to know was if I bought it there. When I said no, they said they were 3 months out on repairs and they take care of customers who purchased from them first. Very different than a car dealer that doesn't care where you bought it knowing they will get their warranty money from the car company.

IMO I wouldn't expect FR to use this electric fridge much longer. I have read nothing but complaints about it. Welcome to the forum though
I'm knocking on wood, but the repaired fridge is still working. It cools down very quickly. But you are correct, I'm learning that RV warranty repair is handled very differently from auto warranty work.

The key word for us is learning.
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