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Old 11-19-2020, 12:16 PM   #21
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If the RV industry was competing against China and Japan, you'd see a whole new level of quality. American manufacturing does well when it competes on a global platform in terms of innovation, price, and quality. Put simply, if there's a challenge, we tend to meet it, otherwise, we're a bit lazy and prone to bad decisions based on short term profitability.

Expecting long term value from a product produced by executives focused on short term quarterly profits doesn't usually bode well for the consumer.
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:55 PM   #22
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There are differences in quality in RVs, but I think a big part of it has to do with the year of manufacture. Before everything cratered economy-wise around 2007, there were some really great quality RVs available. Perfect example, my first RV was a 2013 Thor Four Winds 33SW Super C. In the shop 172 days during the first 11 months of ownership. Finally filed lemon law, Thor came and fixed everything, and we immediately traded it on a 2005 Monaco Safari Gazelle 40PBT. We sold that a few months ago, 109,000 miles, nothing broken. The only thing I had to do to it, and of course it happened the day I had someone coming to look at it, was the automatic power transfer switch went out. Keep in mind, that's a 15 year old coach with 109,000 miles... that is a lot of rolling earthquake. Nothing even minor ever broke, no cabinet doors or gides, etc., nothing. The Thor, holy cow, every time we got somewhere we'd have a blind off the wall, drawer guides broken, etc. And that's before I even go into the major stuff like the slide outs breaking, electrical issues, plumbing issues, etc.

And now we have our 2018 Ultra Light (we bought used), we had a bed frame break the first day out. It might have been broken when we bought it, I don't know, possible. But I fixed it myself, and now it won't break again.

Lessons learned in all these years - if you don't want it to break, buy quality, and I feel that means going back to 2006 or earlier. Otherwise, buy slightly used and be your own shop. I learned the hard way that warranty service takes FOREVER, and I also found they really don't care any more about the quality of their work than the manufacturer did. With the current RV market, I can only imagine that this situation has gotten drastically worse in regards to getting RVs serviced.

Another thing I learned, a mobile RV service for those items you can't tackle on your own, is worth every penny if you find a good one. My guy around here is far cheaper than the dealerships, and he CARES about his work. The other thing is that I can call him and he will be there soon and will get it fixed, rather than letting it sit on a lot, waiting in line.
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Old 11-19-2020, 02:10 PM   #23
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Lots of good input. I do think there is no 100% right answer to this. Those that have stated we tend to hear more from people with problems are correct which likely leads to the increased perception of systemic issues.

However, it is hard to ignore the vast amount of reports of basic quality issues on brand new rigs and even more concerning, the difficulty in getting them fixed. Like I mentioned in the original post, it is surprising that many of these problems don't seem to be reduced at the higher price points. The higher price point, in theory comes from: larger chassis or more volume of materials in general and/or more engineering and design expenses, more expensive components, more labor time (i.e. more skilled, more thorough, less volume, etc). As many have pointed out, I'm not sure how much better these things actually are, which was what prompted my original post/mini rant.

At some point you just say, "it is what it is, do I want to play in that game?" It's really just one of the costs to owing an RV. I get it. I don't expect perfection. I do not mind paying for quality and value, I never have. In fact I prefer it. Just speculation here, but how many sloppy workmanship issues pop up for Earthroamer owners would you think? I don't know. But I would guess that bad seals, loose fittings, pinched plumbing, bad wiring, even failed appliances are VASTLY less. It's a guess, I could be wrong. Now those are expensive but at least you can see the quality for the price. Whatever added expenses the extra care and effort and testing might add, how much would be erased by reduced warranty claims? I would think a $500,000 super C could be in the neighborhood of that kind of quality but sadly probably not. thanks for the input everyone.
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Old 11-22-2020, 12:38 AM   #24
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Well perhaps a few months after you get whatever you decide on
you can come back and tell us how you make out. Thanks
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Old 11-22-2020, 03:07 AM   #25
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Mega A Bucks Motor Home

Look at it this way. In Detroit a Cadillac or a Lincoln goes down an assembly line right next to a Chevy Chevet or a Pinto goes down the other. The same guys work on both lines. Do they hook them to a machine and turn up their give a crap when he is working on the Cadillac or Lincoln line?
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:35 AM   #26
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Thank you, NXR!

Reading your posts was an absolute pleasure. You provided excellent, well-thought-out opinions and information in a format that was very easy on the eyes and mind of the (mine, at least) reader.

I appreciate the time you put into your replies, just as I’m sure everybody else did. Everything you wrote is very helpful.

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Old 11-22-2020, 05:45 PM   #27
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Thanks for the kind words, Bruce.

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Old 11-23-2020, 07:44 PM   #28
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I agree with you. At this price point more should be expected.

I agree with everything you said. I was sadly mistaken in thinking that as well.
It is the case that you should expect problems and probably several of them. And no it should not be acceptable. And yes any warranty issues should be treated like a new car as any automotive dealership would. No matter where you bought it any dealership that sales that brand should deal with it the same way a automotive dealership would. And It shouldn't matter where you bought it from because the product is fully stood behind by the manufacturer. Unfortunately this is not the case. It is stupid, unfortunate and a complete pain to deal with. But people still buy so there you have it and there it is. Suck it up buttercup because if you want the product you will have to take the screw that comes with it.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:50 PM   #29
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Buy an enclosed utility trailer & build your own camper. If you are not up to DIY there are many places where you can have it outsourced. You can make it as high end or as spartan as you want & choose which materials, components, electronics & equipment to use. Iíve owned several production RVs of varying types, manufacturers & I assure you things break, wear out quicker than youíd expect, malfunction. If I totaled the $ Ive spent on RVs itíd be well over half a million dollars, actually more than that & have been too often disappointed. I accompanied a friend on his inaugural trip in a $2,000,000 bluebird custom job we picked up in Oregon & drove to San Diego. In that week long trip I couldnít believe the shower, electronics & galley problems. Engine ran like a top but thereís something about RVs that I donít get, but the quality isn't what Iíd expect for $ spent. Iím not being glib about buying a utility trailer & building my own camper or at least being very involved in the custom outfitting of it to be exactly as my wife & I want. For what its worth.....
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:14 PM   #30
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What I found

I ageee with your assessment. We have a 2017 Sportscoach, bought new in 2018. It was in the shop for over 100 days in the first 200 days we had it. Before we took possession the dealer said they had to replace the freash water tank as it was cracked. You'd think they would mention this prior to closing the sale. No morals. It's been returned to the factory for repairs also, that is my recommendation. The dealers can't fix anything of substance. Last year we were at Camp Freightliner ans we camped at a park nearby. Lots of RVers there for the class and all it seemed had some type of horror story. One guy on the day he was taking delivery on his new unit he was informed that they couldn't give it to him as one of the slides opened as it was being driven across the lot. Another guy told me a story of a gentleman he met who was waiting to get his rig into the factory. He had a 75 item "punch" list. That unit cost was 2 MILLION dollars. So what I've found is no matter what the cost they are all junk. Having said that we still use and now enjoy ours and have the yearly maintenance done on time, usually in Nov when we are done for the year. Would i buy a brand new one again, NO! I'd let the previous owner/owners work out the bugs. There are tons of these units in the 3-5 year old age group that have very low miles on them.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:17 PM   #31
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Sales this year are at record levels so why would a manufacturer take on more warranty exposure?
Actually the exponential growth is not in luxury coaches. If you look at the market #'s it's in sub-$20 towables that can be pulled by the family SUV.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:36 PM   #32
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My story has not been the completely satisfied one. I appreciate all the work that Forest River has done but in the 16 months I have been a new RV owner 40% of the time I have not had access to the motorhome. Hard to learn to use it better or even find out what else is wrong.

Also, being my first purchase, having to argue about how the motorhome should work with no one seeming willing to talk to the people who designed it adds to the frustration. I finally have it back at my house but will not be able to determine if anything was fixed correctly until I can get back on the road. It is frustrating but it seems like everyone is willing to accept to enjoy the time we can use it and enjoy time with family.
We purchased our 2020 FR3 new in February. It was out of service at the dealer for repair work 25 days in July/August and has been again at the dealer the past 25 days and counting. Iíve been patient with the things that need fixed (fridge and slide issues) but Iím not happy about losing the 50 days and counting that I canít use the motorhome. Would Forest River extend the one year warranty by those lost days? Once all is fixed I plan to bring this to Forest Riverís attention.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:41 PM   #33
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First of all I like my motorhome 2019. I had a popup before that. Did not buy a expensive one. Thought it was a great buy the price was right. I have been looking at RV's for 40 years like going to RV shows. Think the design of the new ones are great. The Materiel is good too. The problem is in the build. They make many different designs. You need a highly skilled motivated worker to adapt. Plus the time it takes to put things together right, you would let that screw lay there. The RV manufactures have to put more engineering into the assembly process like they did in the auto manufacture, ask the worker for ideas in improvements. That increases the price of RV's. I know expensive RV's that should already happen, sounds like the process for quality build has not. They also sound like slide out motors, toilets, furnace and other mechanics should be tested more. To end let me say I retired to have a part time job working on my motorhome. I am getting to know it inside and out.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:45 PM   #34
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I bought a 2019 XLT new last sept. It has been in the shop for 3 hours total. I had a bad TV that needed replaced. Thats it, nothing else. Not much to say except it is my 10th RV in the last 26 years.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:54 PM   #35
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And yes any warranty issues should be treated like a new car as any automotive dealership would. No matter where you bought it any dealership that sales that brand should deal with it the same way a automotive dealership would
This is a common misconception by those unfamiliar with the RV Industry.
The only things the RV Industry and the Auto Industry have in common, are that they both make things with wheels, that are sold at dealerships. Other than that, they couldn't be more different.
For example, RV dealers are independent and have no brand loyalty nor are they required to service units they didn't sell. Shipping/delivery costs are not standardized like the Auto Industry. Very few parts are actually made by the RV Industry, compared to the Auto Industry. Wages are much lower in comparison and are based on piece rate. Construction is done mainly by hand, as opposed to the vast automation of the Auto Industry.
So you'll only be disappointed if you feel they should operate the same.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:20 PM   #36
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And in 2017 over 500 million RVs were sold. That's in one year. It may not come close to the auto industry numbers but it's significant.
This has been a very productive and interesting thread but I believe you either mis-typed the numbers or got some very bad data. 2017 was definitely a record year but the number was about 500 thousand, not million. The numbers have been declining since then although we don't have an accurate count for 2020. Auto industry sales were less than 20 million deliveries in 2017.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:51 PM   #37
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This is a common misconception by those unfamiliar with the RV Industry.
The only things the RV Industry and the Auto Industry have in common, are that they both make things with wheels, that are sold at dealerships. Other than that, they couldn't be more different.
For example, RV dealers are independent and have no brand loyalty nor are they required to service units they didn't sell. Shipping/delivery costs are not standardized like the Auto Industry. Very few parts are actually made by the RV Industry, compared to the Auto Industry. Wages are much lower in comparison and are based on piece rate. Construction is done mainly by hand, as opposed to the vast automation of the Auto Industry.
So you'll only be disappointed if you feel they should operate the same.
This is the only industry including a new site built home that this kind of build and service is expected to be acceptable. It is not acceptable to anyone in anything from a $10 part you bought on Amazon to a multi million dollar home. To a tool you bought at walmart. But for some reason it is acceptable in the RV industry. I would say it is only acceptable because we still buy them knowing that this is expected as to where it would never be acceptable any where else.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:59 PM   #38
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Check out Pleasure-Way. Great quality and 5 year warranty.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:03 PM   #39
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Yes the auto dealers are independently owned. Many do not have brand loyalty and sell different brands for example Jeep, chrysler and Dodge in the same lot as Chevrolet, GMC. Or next door Toyota. But same Dealership. As with the RV industry mostly the parts that go into that vehicle are not manufactured by the brand. For example. Chevrolet dose not make Duramax motor or Allison transmission. They just put them together just like a RV manufacturer.
In reality they are very much the same they just have different criteria for quality control and for dealership to be able to sell there product. Because the RV manufacturer is allowed to get away with it. And we all just say. " Well it is what it is and they all suck across the board" so I digress. Suck it up buttercup if you want the product you have to take the screw that comes with it. In a nutshell that is what you are saying.
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
This is a common misconception by those unfamiliar with the RV Industry.
The only things the RV Industry and the Auto Industry have in common, are that they both make things with wheels, that are sold at dealerships. Other than that, they couldn't be more different.
For example, RV dealers are independent and have no brand loyalty nor are they required to service units they didn't sell. Shipping/delivery costs are not standardized like the Auto Industry. Very few parts are actually made by the RV Industry, compared to the Auto Industry. Wages are much lower in comparison and are based on piece rate. Construction is done mainly by hand, as opposed to the vast automation of the Auto Industry.
So you'll only be disappointed if you feel they should operate the same.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:15 PM   #40
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You're Right to Be Very Concerned

I'm now 70 and I've owned a fair number of RV's over the last 4 decades. I have not owned one that didn't have initial problems. I especially remember a 2004 class B that had three windows above the driver and passenger seats. Driving it home I encountered a rain storm and got a pretty good shower from my brand new motorhome. I won't bore you with all the stories I could tell, but I will advise you to buy your rig (if you do) at a dealer VERY close to where you live, because you will be making more than one trip to get warranty work done. And when the warranty expires, the repairs don't stop. Don't let anyone smoke you: you'll have problems no matter what you spend. Good luck!
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