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Old 08-13-2018, 09:26 AM   #1
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Quality Control?

I hate to be that guy who complains, but we bought our Wildcat 383MB six months ago and have had a ton of quality issues. Is this common with RVs or Forest River products, or what? At this point we are questioning whether or not we will ever buy another FR product. It's pretty disappointing.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:13 AM   #2
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I hate to be that guy who complains, but we bought our Wildcat 383MB six months ago and have had a ton of quality issues. Is this common with RVs or Forest River products, or what? At this point we are questioning whether or not we will ever buy another FR product. It's pretty disappointing.
Quality control and RV in the same sentence? surely you jest. OK, in reality, there is no such thing in most of the RV industry. Not just Forrest River. It has to do with supply and demand. If the Japanese and Koreans ever start building RV's the industry is gonna suffer just like the auto manufacturers did in the 70's and 80's. Forrest River is a very big outfit because they bought out many failing companies ( think Warren Buffet) but kept the old companies loosing ways. There are some good manufacturers out there but hard to find. A good place to start looking is at very high priced units. You would find many complaints from Airstream owners. I have a 16 year old Forrest River Wildcat 5th wheel that I let 3 previous owners fix all the problems. In reality, there was some Quality Control back in '02. Now nobody cares and it's buyer beware. Now they can't build them fast enough. Go figure. I'll never understand the mindset of spending many thousands of dollars on a rig, writing out a check, then making a list of things that are wrong, and taking it back to sit on the dealers' lot waiting for repairs while you make payments on something you can't use! Would you by a new car that way???? I will replace mine in 3 years and purchase another used one.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:13 AM   #3
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Anyone who buys a new RV will spend the greater part of every trip for the first year, fixing things. Doesn't matter what brand/manufacturer.

It could be little or big things.

The error new RV buyers make is thinking they have to take it to a dealer to get warranty work performed.

Take your new RV to a certified independent service only shop or mobile tech. They will get warranty pre-approval and perform your work better and MUCH faster. You will be happier.

After we buy, we NEVER see a dealer again.

And yes, you can buy used. But that has it's own set of problems. Maybe you will get a good unit with the bugs already worked out, or you could get someone else's problems.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sgellis13 View Post
I hate to be that guy who complains, but we bought our Wildcat 383MB six months ago and have had a ton of quality issues. Is this common with RVs or Forest River products, or what? At this point we are questioning whether or not we will ever buy another FR product. It's pretty disappointing.
I see you are new.
YES, it's a RV Industry issue, not just FR. Even Airstream and Winnebago.
There are hundreds of threads about this, on all RV forums.
It has gotten worse over the past 5 years, with the boom in RV sales. Manufacturers can't make them fast enough, for the demand.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:41 AM   #5
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Take your new RV to a certified independent service only shop or mobile tech. They will get warranty pre-approval and perform your work better and MUCH faster. You will be happier.

After we buy, we NEVER see a dealer again.
X2!
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:26 AM   #6
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I've had mine for two months and have not stopped fixing or improving stuff since I received it. Dealer customer service is non existent, can't even get them to call me back on items found during the PDI. Total joke. If you're not handy you're in trouble.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:53 AM   #7
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I've had mine for two months and have not stopped fixing or improving stuff since I received it. Dealer customer service is non existent, can't even get them to call me back on items found during the PDI. Total joke. If you're not handy you're in trouble.
I don't agree about having to be handy. It helps, but not necessary.

Once again, you DO NOT have to take your RV to a dealer for warranty. Use independent service only shops/mobile for warranty or service you can't do yourself. You have options.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:30 AM   #8
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I don't agree about having to be handy. It helps, but not necessary.

Once again, you DO NOT have to take your RV to a dealer for warranty. Use independent service only shops/mobile for warranty or service you can't do yourself. You have options.

Have you done that? Did FR honor the warranty and reimburse you for their labor? I'm about to go balistic on my dealer.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:00 AM   #9
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Have you done that? Did FR honor the warranty and reimburse you for their labor? I'm about to go balistic on my dealer.
I've done it for years all over the west on two different RVs. And the majority of service only shops/mobile that I have used call in and get the pre-approval themselves so I am out of that loop. There have been a few where I helped the shop get the pre-approval, paid up front, and was fully reimbursed later. This was using the original warranty, and later with the extended warranty.

Call up a few independent service only shops and inquire if they are certified for FR and how they handle warranty.

I will never again go to any dealer for service unless I just have no other option.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:17 AM   #10
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Have you done that? Did FR honor the warranty and reimburse you for their labor? I'm about to go balistic on my dealer.
This generally does not help. Dealers make very little profit on warranty work and have to decide where they allocate their precious few resources. Almost everyone who buys a new RV today ( no matter what brand) will have issues so you are just another unhappy buyer. The best ( and most realistic solution) is to fix what you can find an independent local RV service facility that can fix the rest but, contact FR first to authorize the repair. You may have to pay upfront and be reimbursed, but your RV will not sit on a lot all summer. Remember that most items in an RV are covered by the OEM manufacturer's warranty so try contacting the OEM. Some items have a longer warranty than the FR 1yr. Be firm, be insistent, but be reasonable remember the ultimate goal is to get your RV back so you can enjoy it. Please note I am not condoning current industry practices, but knowing what is realistic to expect will save you a lot of frustration and result in a faster repair.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
I've done it for years all over the west on two different RVs. And the majority of service only shops/mobile that I have used call in and get the pre-approval themselves so I am out of that loop. There have been a few where I helped the shop get the pre-approval, paid up front, and was fully reimbursed later. This was using the original warranty, and later with the extended warranty.

Call up a few independent service only shops and inquire if they are certified for FR and how they handle warranty.

I will never again go to any dealer for service unless I just have no other option.
I almost agree! I would just leave out the last 7 words...........
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:26 AM   #12
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I almost agree! I would just leave out the last 7 words...........
LOL! I actually thought twice about the last seven words, but you never know. Might get stuck somewhere that has no independents, but has a dealer. I suppose it could happen.

Actually, I was thinking about just telling my granddaughter, "Never say never".
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:43 AM   #13
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Anyone who buys a new RV will spend the greater part of every trip for the first year, fixing things. Doesn't matter what brand/manufacturer.

It could be little or big things.

The error new RV buyers make is thinking they have to take it to a dealer to get warranty work performed.
I completely disagree with this. you ARE buying a quality product. there are a few who have problems. we only hear of the ones that have issues, very few step up and say they have no issues or they were so minor it took less than 5 minutes to fix. we have a 2018 17RP we bought new this year. we bought simple because we like to get away, not take it all with us. we bought a unit without slides so we would have LESS to maintain and worry about. bought shorter because of storage limitations and we like to go to smaller state parks, plus our options for sites is almost unlimited with this size. its also less to inspect and maintain. we looked at several of the same model and chose the one that was best put together (dealer had several).

we have been on several trips this year and have only caused our own problems. we have enjoyed each and every trip without having to fix anything that we didnt break ourselves not using it properly or wanted to improve over the original design.

statistically speaking, the more stuff you have in your RV, the more you can have break. and check your rig when you come back from a trip and fix it BEFORE you go on your next one! that way you can enjoy and not have to spend your much earned vacation maintaining and fixing it.

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Old 08-21-2018, 01:40 PM   #14
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I completely disagree with this. you ARE buying a quality product. there are a few who have problems. we only hear of the ones that have issues, very few step up and say they have no issues or they were so minor it took less than 5 minutes to fix. we have a 2018 17RP we bought new this year. we bought simple because we like to get away, not take it all with us. we bought a unit without slides so we would have LESS to maintain and worry about. bought shorter because of storage limitations and we like to go to smaller state parks, plus our options for sites is almost unlimited with this size. its also less to inspect and maintain. we looked at several of the same model and chose the one that was best put together (dealer had several).

we have been on several trips this year and have only caused our own problems. we have enjoyed each and every trip without having to fix anything that we didnt break ourselves not using it properly or wanted to improve over the original design.

statistically speaking, the more stuff you have in your RV, the more you can have break. and check your rig when you come back from a trip and fix it BEFORE you go on your next one! that way you can enjoy and not have to spend your much earned vacation maintaining and fixing it.

I'm glad you have had extremely good luck with your RV with no initial problems. That has never been my experience with the six RVs we have owned. Also not the experience of anyone I've known. The first year you spend fixing things that should of been addressed before it was ever delivered.

You also imply the simpler the better, and maintenance should be done before you go on a trip. All good points, not very realistic. We use our RVs a lot, and my group is probably better at maintenance than most. And, after the first year, we have relatively few problems, because of good maint.

Nice's discussion, we are just on opposite sides of the fence.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:00 PM   #15
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I'm glad you have had extremely good luck with your RV with no initial problems. That has never been my experience with the six RVs we have owned. Also not the experience of anyone I've known. The first year you spend fixing things that should of been addressed before it was ever delivered.

You also imply the simpler the better, and maintenance should be done before you go on a trip. All good points, not very realistic. We use our RVs a lot, and my group is probably better at maintenance than most. And, after the first year, we have relatively few problems, because of good maint.

Nice's discussion, we are just on opposite sides of the fence.
I worded my post badly, came off confrontational. was not meant that way at all. was only trying to say that there are some great units out there and some dealers that take pride in delivering a great product. it is sad that dealers rush to get your money and get you out the door. ours was inspected by a tech before we got there and the same tech walked us through everything and showed that it worked properly. only after we accepted the condition of the rig did we actually purchase it. when i got it home, i went through everything again, at my own pace, re verified it before i went on my first trip.

we perform a pre trip and post trip inspection of our rig. everything is checked. if we plan to use it, we check it before we go to make sure it works. unless you have a catastrophic failure of something, it can be caught pre and post trip. i dont want to play Macgyver and fix it with a shoelace, gum, and a paper clip on the road. my wife and i love that you preach the mobile and independent rv techs, not enough people know about them! i had no idea before coming on here.

I will stand by the simpler the better statement. we chose a rig that was easy to maintain in the long run. i have no slides to fail, no auto levelers to fail. i dont have twice the axles, twice the sinks, indoor and outdoor fridges, kitchens, etc. those are all extra failure and maintenance points. you all have some incredible rigs with some awesome features! but it does add more failure points which then have to be fixed. we are on different sides of the fence on that issue, but im right here with all of you that there are some terrible quality issues out there! we just happen to be a success Happy camping!
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:30 AM   #16
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I am going to be foolish and throw in my two cents. We have been completely happy with our FR product. We previously had an older FR product that was totaled by hail but I was so satisfied with the quality of that camper that I almost exclusively shopped for another FR when looking for a new one.

That doesn't mean that I didn't come across a couple of issues that should have been caught. Like the little divider between the water heater and storage compartment wasn't attached. Yes, I found some saw dust and manufacturing debris here and there but is wasn't much and just took a few minutes to clean up. All major systems work as expected and we have no leaks. I am extremely happy. I have had to do some repairs on it as we have used it. The latest was the battery cut off switch, which has nothing to do with FR (or maybe it does because of the switch they selected) and everything to do with the switch. A little work to adjust the switch and everything is fine.

That leads me to this. What does everyone want in and RV? Cheaper and lighter. These two things don't go hand in hand. When I make mods or work on issues with our camper I find myself thinking about the cheap crap flimsy materials that were used in the construction. Then I remember that this is done to keep the trailer as light as possible while keeping the cost down. I have seen RV's that are much nice and higher quality using composite building materials but the price also goes way up with those.

I'm not denying that some people have lots of issues with their new RV's. However, as was brought up earlier. People that are satisfied have a tendency to not put up a post saying, "I just wanted to let everyone know I am completely satisfied with my FR product." I bet there are a lot of these people out there.

Now, this all being said, don't ask me about the piss poor construction and quality control on the expensive brand new house that we bought 15 years ago.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:30 AM   #17
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Perhaps you should revisit your years upon years of 3000+ posts for how you were "helpful" to new owners. I think you'll find you were not as much help as you believe you were?
Personally, NMWildcat has helped me immensely on the forum and I appreciate his point of view and advice. I bought a slightly used MH and am very happy with its quality.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:26 AM   #18
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Personally, NMWildcat has helped me immensely on the forum and I appreciate his point of view and advice. I bought a slightly used MH and am very happy with its quality.
either names are changing or something was cleaned up on this thread, but posts appear to be missing now. i will back up NMWildcat here. i had no clue about independent and mobile rv techs until they pointed it out. this is a great community that is only trying to help. you may not find it helpful, but someone else may read it and find it extremely useful. we may not see eye to eye on things like quality or features, but ill be here reading their responses with great interest.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:50 AM   #19
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I think they cleaned it up while I was posting. The two posts from Lord Stinkfinger disappeared.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:09 PM   #20
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He was a troll he had just joined and had all of three post all were negative and meant to be disruptive. I've seen his kind on other Forums and it can be a very bad thing as it takes away all the good that comes from a forum of people. I wish I was Able to put my thoughts into words as good as some here but this is how I see it.
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