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Old 11-17-2020, 03:04 PM   #1
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high end quality issues?

I have to say, many of these new motorhome reports can be disturbing, from the prospective buyer's standpoint. By that I mean, as I have begun some research in anticipation of getting into the "lifestyle" in our pre-retirement years, I had some assumptions that seem to be flat wrong. This is a general observation, not specific to any motorhome manufacturer.

I had assumed that when one goes beyond the 25k to 150k categories, there would be a noticeable change in an RV owner's typical experience. Spending 300k+ on a motorhome, I would assume that broken things, bad fit, system failures, sloppy workmanship, warranty work, etc... would be a fairly unusual event in the first few years. Can you imagine if it was this common to have a new $75k+ automobile (pick your brand) back at the shop for "routine" finds and fixes? So common that it was expected to find broken stuff immediately and you planned your first few days to hang out at the dealership to fix them? This seems so weird to me.

I also assumed, rather naively, that at this price point, the product would come with more than a one year warranty (Dynamax has 2, sounds better than most others, depending on owners' actual experience). $500,000 and the manufacturer doesn't trust it will stay working for at least a couple years? How about 5 years? Even those that have to take advantage of warranty service, it seems like this can be quite frustrating and new rigs can spend more time in the shop than in new owners' hands. For a brand new motorhome? This is madness. I do realize a complex modern motorhome has many parts and systems and as they say, crap happens. But is it really the case that on a brand new, super expensive high quality rig, that the average buyer still goes into it knowing that stuff IS going to break or not work right away? How many rigs at this price point need non-preventable repairs of some kind in the first 3 years? 5% or 95%?

This is extremely worrisome and there are quite a few horror stories. Personally, I don't think I could ever make this commitment if I didn't have a rock solid written contract for a full refund if the motorhome required more than x days of down time for service and repairs in the first year. The fact that no one would commit to that only reinforces how little quality and durability they think are actually in these?

Am I wrong? Are my expectations un-reasonable? Don't mean to sound like a downer, just trying to do my due diligence so to speak. Want to make decisions with eyes wide open. thanks.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:04 PM   #2
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I have to say, many of these new motorhome reports can be disturbing, from the prospective buyer's standpoint.
People with problems are more likely to post about them. People who don't, won't.

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By that I mean, as I have begun some research in anticipation of getting into the "lifestyle" in our pre-retirement years, I had some assumptions that seem to be flat wrong. This is a general observation, not specific to any motorhome manufacturer.

I had assumed that when one goes beyond the 25k to 150k categories, there would be a noticeable change in an RV owner's typical experience. Spending 300k+ on a motorhome, I would assume that broken things, bad fit, system failures, sloppy workmanship, warranty work, etc... would be a fairly unusual event in the first few years.
We all wish and it usually is. I'd wager that mostly those issues get fixed far faster in high-dollar motorhomes but maybe not by a dealer. They already have your money and they all believe they are undercompensated for warranty work

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Can you imagine if it was this common to have a new $75k+ automobile (pick your brand) back at the shop for "routine" finds and fixes?
Unfortunately, that is a common comparison but it's not a valid one. Motorhomes are custom builds and and hand-built due to the number, not mass-produced on production lines by robots and automated processes.

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So common that it was expected to find broken stuff immediately and you planned your first few days to hang out at the dealership to fix them? This seems so weird to me.
We did not. But we did take three full days to go through every system as thoroughly as possible, including the structure such as the roof and undercarriage. And then we left it for a month for repairs before we actually took possession so our warranty did not start until the actual pick up.

Some people schedule immediate trips and then are up against the clock and that may not turn out well.

Quote:
I also assumed, rather naively, that at this price point, the product would come with more than a one year warranty (Dynamax has 2, sounds better than most others, depending on owners' actual experience). $500,000 and the manufacturer doesn't trust it will stay working for at least a couple years? How about 5 years?
Why should they? This is a niche market as far as purchasers go. People like me and every other purchaser still buy them. Sales this year are at record levels so why would a manufacturer take on more warranty exposure? I absolutely agree with you but that does not change their financial calculation. Jayco, including the Entegra, does provide two years of warranty and three years of structural warranty.

No manufacturer is out to take advantage of you or anyone else. Like any purchase it's Buyer Beware. They make more money if you never come back for warranty work.

But, in my opinion, people who proudly proclaim "I will NEVER let a dealer touch my RV! I fix EVERYTHING myself!" are just making more profit for the dealer and the manufacturer and hurting future buyers because the manufacturer has less awareness of problems.

I know that at least some Forest River brands have weekly or bi-weekly meetings with their warranty people to review new claims to look for issues they can fix going forward. I'm sure other manufacturers do the same.

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Even those that have to take advantage of warranty service, it seems like this can be quite frustrating and new rigs can spend more time in the shop than in new owners' hands.
Sorry, but I pin that right back on the buyer. Forest River sends new owners a letter, at least for the Georgetown, saying to contact them directly any time their motorhome is at the dealer for service for more than five consecutive days.

First-time buyers usually believe, as you alluded to, that an RV dealer is the same as a car dealer. Those are franchises essentially and must abide by the vehicle manufacturer's policies and procedures. But RV dealers are not. An RV dealer is an independently owned business.

You also forgot to mention how people who buy new RV's and then have to store them for months over the winter lose a bunch of their warranty. If their timing is wrong, their warranty can expire while it's in storage.

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How many rigs at this price point need non-preventable repairs of some kind in the first 3 years? 5% or 95%?
An awful lot of that answer depends on their operating environment and the owner's attention to routine maintenance. And there's a lot of that needed but like a real house, catch it early and avoid a big expense later.

Quote:
This is extremely worrisome and there are quite a few horror stories. Personally, I don't think I could ever make this commitment if I didn't have a rock solid written contract for a full refund if the motorhome required more than x days of down time for service and repairs in the first year. The fact that no one would commit to that only reinforces how little quality and durability they think are actually in these?
Almost no RV manufacturer or dealer cares about you. Or me. If you don't buy, they don't care because there will be someone else in line behind you and less demanding.

Quote:
Am I wrong? Are my expectations un-reasonable? Don't mean to sound like a downer, just trying to do my due diligence so to speak. Want to make decisions with eyes wide open. thanks.
Actually, you probably are going to be just fine. You have already done far more diligence and reading than the vast majority of new owners. Your eyes already are wide open.

If you are handy with basic home repairs you'll learn the rest and be OK. But if you're someone who has to "call the guy" for even minor repairs, run away. You will fail at having fun, will run up massive expenses, and have to rely on someone else for troubleshooting and repairs. You will be writing about your "RV Horror Story".

As I told the dealer when we signed the final papers "I am fully prepared for this to be the worst financial decision of my life." He laughed and said "Well, then it only gets better from here!"

YOU must be the advocate for you and your family. YOU must tell the dealer you're calling the manufacturer when there are repair or parts delays. YOU must be a Royal P.I.T.A. when warranted but not all the time. You must be reasonable and not abusive but firm. If you don't like what you're hearing, immediately escalate the problem directly to the manufacturer but tell the dealer first. That technique got me through their pipeline a lot faster and we actually had a great dealer (except for one tech that we refused to let work on our motorhome anymore.)

Read a lot more, and over on irv2.com if you haven't found it yet. That group is more varied than here because all manufacturers are discussed there.

DO NOT be in a hurry to do the dealer pick up. TakeItHome-itis will work against you big time. The longer you take on your pre-delivery inspection and the longer you let it sit for repairs before taking possession, the better it will be for you and your family long-term.

I ended up having 98 pages of total write-ups during the warranty period. I write very descriptive complaints and include annotated pictures. I saved the doc as a PDF and emailed it to the dealer a week in advance of arriving. They could simply submit my PDF to the manufacturer for warranty consideration.

As I left that service appointment I made my next one. I figured I could always cancel and they wouldn't care. That kept me from calling and them saying they could get me in in three months.

Did it save me from issues? No, but it made the process easier. There simply are some things that cannot show up until there is repeated use.

Once you pick a make and model, read up on issues voraciously. Then keep a close eye out for those things beginning to pop up. And write them up. Too many people do not do that and experience problems that others had and it cost them.

WRITE UP EVERYTHING! GET EVERY LITTLE THING DOCUMENTED! If you fix something yourself on the road, WRITE IT UP and ask the dealer to double-check your work. That will get the problem documented at the dealer and in the manufacturer's warranty system in case the problem comes back due to a defective repair.

Now go congratulate yourself for doing your advance homework and for asking questions now.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts and input! It helps to hear from more experienced people. I’m definitely more of a “need to call the guy” type. ��
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for your thoughts and input! It helps to hear from more experienced people. Im definitely more of a need to call the guy type. ��
If you went to non-brand specific RV forums, you'll see that even million dollar Motorhomes have lots of issues too. Higher price is no guarantee of a perfect RV or a trouble-free one. Especially in today's RV sales mania.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for your thoughts and input! It helps to hear from more experienced people. Im definitely more of a need to call the guy type. ��
I should have phrased that as "and unwilling to learn." Since you've already done more than most you clearly pass that test. No one expects you to be able to perform major repairs; I cannot. But I usually can accurately diagnose an issue or at a minimum accurately report what is or is not happening and the steps required to duplicate the issue.

RV dealers where I live charge around $130/hour so it behooves you to give them as much accurate info as possible to keep the costs down.

Forest River also can authorize a warranty repair by a non-dealer such as a mobile RV tech on a reimbursement basis. You pay the tech and FR pays you. I imagine other manufacturers do the same.

Dealer service centers are swamped even more than usual because of the major sales occurring this year. So the more you can do to reduce your time at a dealer the better off you'll be.

Fortunately, a large number of people in the online forums are very knowledgeable and willing to help others learn and to work through problems. We moved from a 10' pop-up to a 38' motorhome a year and a half ago and I give a lot of the credit for the success of that move to people here and on other forums.

Something like a periodic roof inspection can seem like a daunting task if you've never done it before. You can either pay $130 a few times a year to have it done or learn to do it yourself. Something like applying treatment to slide seals is very easy to do once you know how.

Ray
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:30 AM   #6
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For every horror story there are 20 completely satisfied customers you will never hear from. Paying more for a rig only means you paid more. The quality and workmanship is the same. The appliances are made by the same companies. As are the slide motors. As are the electronics. Just like cars. Honda doesn't make starter motors or alternators. Dodge doesn't make brake boosters. They come from suppliers that may be good or bad. Speaking of cars, do you have any idea of how many TSBs come out for higher end cars?!? It is a lot.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:01 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Interesting post..so true! What we try to remember is each road trip traveling with an RV (or Motorhome) is like a mini earthquake. Expect the worse, hope for the best. We love camping & try to stay positive!!
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:09 AM   #9
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For every horror story there are 20 completely satisfied customers you will never hear from. Paying more for a rig only means you paid more. The quality and workmanship is the same.
Anecdotally, which is all most of this is anyways, says there are certain manufacturers, model levels and even dealers that in fact are better for a similar price. As my stats instructor used to say "A sample size of one is poor statistics" and each "RV horror story" is simply a sample size of one.

Paying more to move up a level can get you more better but it's not guaranteed as you noted.

Tiffin is always reported as superlative. They are not perfect but Tiffin definitely gets things fixed faster and easier.

NIRVC is one dealer that I have rarely heard anything but praise for, even when there are issues, from the buying process to after-sales support.

It sounds like the jury is still out on the purchase of Newmar by Winnebago as people wait for the other shoe to drop.

Again anecdotally, Thor products seem more problematic and Rev Group "seems" better.

But each manufacturer (Forest River, Thor, Rev Group, Winnebago, etc.) make and sell RV's from cheapo travel trailers to high-end motor homes so generalizations about a manufacturer always are problematic.

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The appliances are made by the same companies.
Yup.

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As are the slide motors.
Yes, with the caveat that some slides are electric, some are hydraulic, some are cable, etc. There also are different levels of "quality" in slides. Schwintek seems to be OK for smaller electric slides and problematic for larger slides.

Power Gear SlimRack seems better for larger slides. (We have SlimRack on all three slides.)

And as you indirectly noted, Lippert (LCI) bought Power Gear years ago and now also owns Schwintek as of November 2019. Lippert supposedly has made significant design improvements in the Schwintek line but those could only show up on an RV that actually uses the improved components. So I personally would still shy away from any unit with Schwintek slides (and did when we bought).

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As are the electronics. Just like cars. Honda doesn't make starter motors or alternators. Dodge doesn't make brake boosters. They come from suppliers that may be good or bad. Speaking of cars, do you have any idea of how many TSBs come out for higher end cars?!? It is a lot.
Your entire post was a very nice summation, The Evil Twin. Even most on-board generators are made by Cummins as their Onan brand, from the cheapest gasser to the very high-end DP's.

There obviously are differences in systems, such as hot water. Aqua Hot and similar are used on higher-end DP's and can include heated floors and continuous hot water.

I always look for motorhomes that have more gray tank capacity than black tank capacity. Ours are the same at 52 gallons. 52 gallons of black lasts four to five days for two people. 52 gallons of gray lasts two to three days days. So I know I can easily stay at one place overnight and just hook up electricity. I could do two days if we're careful because we have 82 gallons of fresh.

As The Evil Twin alluded, it really comes down to how carefully the manufacturer assembles all of those same pieces-parts. That's why doing your own very granular Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) is so critical to future enjoyment and problem minimization.

If a purchaser does not have those skills, consider hiring a Level 2 inspector from NRVIA https://nrvia.org/ even on a brand new unit.

We were going to do that on a new 2019 Winnebago Vista LX 35F because it sat on the lot for a year but the dealer was reluctant to let us have a professional inspection before we committed. The inspector would have to drive in from a neighboring state for the day and it was going to cost us about $700 and we even offered to share the report with the dealer but they simply did not want to let us do it. That reluctance told us everything we needed to know about how that dealer was going to be to work with post-purchase as well and we walked.

Elessar, as you may have read, picking a good dealer if you plan to use them post-sale is about as critical as the motorhome and floor plan. You've already kind of picked up on that, I believe.

One dealer two hours away was perfect pre-sales. Then we gave them the list of options we wanted like Sumo Springs, a steering stabilizer and a Splendide washer/dryer. The prices quoted for those options were way, way high. I had already done the research on the work needed and how much labor was needed. I pointed out the issue to the salesperson and he shrugged his shoulders and said he hears that a lot. Their service department is a separate profit center and they would not listen to the salespeople but he would try.

The service department would not budge. I even talked to them and asked why they were charging the same amount of hours for front Sumo Springs as for the back. Both fronts can go on in an hour but the rears are far more work. The service manager says that was what they charge and I could go somewhere else if I wanted. We walked on that sale and dealer as well and bought the same model from a different dealer. But had we not done research and asked for dealer-installed options, we never would have known about those Sales <-> Service conflicts and likely would have bought and had post-sales problems.

So yeah, doing your homework thoroughly pre-sales and pre-acceptance is very critical.

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:53 AM   #10
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(snip)...

I always look for motorhomes that have more gray tank capacity than black tank capacity. Ours are the same at 52 gallons. 52 gallons of black lasts four to five days for two people. 52 gallons of gray lasts two to three days days. So I know I can easily stay at one place overnight and just hook up electricity. I could do two days if we're careful because we have 82 gallons of fresh.

Ray
And this just goes to show how different folks look at things and need/use different things.

We have a 40 gallon fresh tank and 45 gallon holding tanks.
We easily get a week on the black tank and 4-5 days on the gray... all with 40 gallons of fresh when boondocking without hook-ups or during 4-5 overnights.

Everyone uses their R/V differently and has different expectations as to what they 'need' it to do. My point... some might perceive something as an issue simply because it doesn't live up to THEIR expectations.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:58 PM   #11
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This is extremely worrisome and there are quite a few horror stories. Personally, I don't think I could ever make this commitment if I didn't have a rock solid written contract for a full refund if the motorhome required more than x days of down time for service and repairs in the first year. The fact that no one would commit to that only reinforces how little quality and durability they think are actually in these?
Almost no RV manufacturer or dealer cares about you. Or me. If you don't buy, they don't care because there will be someone else in line behind you and less demanding.
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I’m not sure if that’s totally true, maybe the manufacturers. In some locales the RV dealers are plentiful and quite competitive; thus requiring good reviews. A couple of years ago I worked as a salesman (I know, I’m the devil), but as an oilfield consultant I need a backup during slow times) at a dealership that very much stressed the value of good google reviews. We also as salesmen did the show through when the unit was picked up so it was very important that everything worked and was in shape and ready to go. The service department was also very good at getting on things.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:10 PM   #12
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Poor Quality

Our 2019 Berkshire 40 D XL was purchased new in April of 2019. I have so far documented 41 issues with the unit from leaking storage compartments to items falling off to a slide creeping out while driving. I am still trying to get a heat pump issue resolved. The rig has been in the dealer for about 6 months of the year and half owned.

On a recent trip I spoke with the owner of a 2020 Newmar Dutchstar 4018. I was asking about its build quality. He said it was his first trip but that he had bought it after the frustration with the problems on his 2016 American coach (Dream?) which he had also purchased new. So it seems no amount of money seems to buy quality in a RV.

RV manufactures should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:20 PM   #13
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" I don't think I could ever make this commitment if I didn't have a rock solid written contract for a full refund if the motorhome required more than x days of down time for service and repairs in the first year. "

Then I doubt you will EVER be happy with virtually any motorhome / trailer you could purchase. There are a few places that rent high end motorhomes. Of course, rentals are expensive but after the rental period, you simply turn it back in and it's no longer your problem. You'll pay more BUT you'll have few (if any) worries. I understand that there are businesses that will deliver and set up an RV in the location you choose. All you'd need to do is show up, enjoy and leave when you're finished! How's that for convenience?

It took YEARS to get my 2015 DX3-37RB "sorted out". Back then, Quality Control while building my coach and especially BEFORE it left the factory simply did NOT occur. I have to wonder how much it cost Dynamax to do post delivery repairs rather than "getting it right" the first time BEFORE it was shipped.

Some states DO have "Lemon Laws" that cover RVs (something RV builders fight very hard to prevent passage of). If you live (and will register an RV) in such a state, you would better off than most RV buyers. Attorney Steve Lehto has an extensive YouTube presence. Several of Esq Lehtos' videos cover RVs. Well worth the time viewing them in my opinion.

More and more campgrounds / RV Parks have "Camping Cabins" available to rent. No RV hassle. Pay, show up, enjoy and leave. Again, somewhat pricier but, you completely avoid the pitfalls of RV ownership while still getting many of an RV's benefits.

One last thing. Before I bought my DX3, I purchased a 2010 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer that I could safely pull with the minivan I then owned. It turned out to be a WONDERFUL way to "test the waters" as to whether RVing suited me. RV living DID suit me (I drove 50,000+ miles) and, over four years researched what I would "graduate to". Because the Casita (as well as other "boutique builders") tend to turn out HIGH QUALITY RVs (but at lower volumes), they hold their value VERY well in the used market. Something that generally can NOT be said for "standard" RVs. DON'T rush a purchase decision!!! Question EVERYTHING BEFORE you sign a contract and hand over a check. Consider hiring a PROFESSIONAL RV INSPECTOR to do a THOROUGH PDI check and INSIST that EVERY discrepancy found be completely and properly fixed.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:29 PM   #14
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Lots of opinions and experiences but let's get one thing straight the appliances, HW heaters, even engines, vary greatly between a gasser, lower. Mid and upper DP. The high end ones like the Prevost, Newell, Marathon, Newmar are hand built to customers specifications. They build their own chassis from scratch. They have many of the features my Lincolns have like blindness, collision avoidance, etc. High end Tile floors, cabinets, faucets. Do they have issues, they do. Though I don't have one at that level, several friends do and there's no comparison on the service and care they receive. The manufacturers that build the low to mid levels DP still technically build by hand like the high end ones do but other than a few options they're are basically they same and because of the it most take about 4-8 wks. To build. Guarantee the higher end, with a custom Chassis take months. Also I'm always amused when people claim that its only the dissatisfied customers that go onto the forums. Again I strongly disagree, many don't have the time, desire and even the knowledge that these forums are out there. I don't know how many over the last few years have I suggested and provide forums for those interested. I agree that many do fix what they can fix without going back to the dealer unless its a major issue. Can't blame them since it could be months to get into the service Dept.and months before it comes out. Nevermind losing valuable time on your warranty while in storage, that's a given but how about the MFG. adds onto your warranty when it sits waiting repair at the dealers. My first Class A gasser spent 6 out of the first 12 months in there and that was me bugging the living daylights out of them and calling FR directly to get involved. I agree, also, these aren't cars and I don't know what high end cars have so many TSBs or recalls but I can say my DW and I have had lincolns for years and I could count them on one hand with 2 of them the seat belt recall everyone did. These are rolling houses but if we have talented engineers, that can put people in space we can overcome the adversity to build better RVs and though I'm sure the Manufacturers do try from the folks I know in the industry, profit and lack of a good quality control systems in place that puts quality first is lacking greatly. I always compare the RV industry to the car industry in the 70s and 80s. When Japan took America by storm putting quality product on our doorsteps. It wasn't long before American car builders took them seriously and look what happened. Cars today religiously go into the mid to high 100, 000 miles when back then 50,000 was junk. Our RV industry needs a wake up that means you can't stop complaining. I know its frustrating but I've had good experiences as well. I do got to say winnebago with the 3 yr.warranty plus accessibke support and information years after the warranty is gone.. Cummins and freightliner, IMHO, set a great example for support , information and maintenance across the country. You can't let the dealers or manufacturers off the hook or we better get Japan or Korea building RVs in America soon. A lot of times its the service dept. Makes the difference, I've experienced both. With the impact the pandemic has had on the RV industry be ready for even more quality issues though from what I've heard the higher ends are extending the wait time rather than gear up fir a short lived burst of sales while the lower and probably mid levels had cranked out almost double the builds in July vs. The previous monthly high. In the end its what you pocketbook can afford as well as you stress level. Of course being handy truly helps. I keep a well stock tools, electrical and plumbing supplies as well as every dwg. Maintenance manual and pictures on my phone and tablet with me at all times. That's in spite of the fact I have an extended inclusive warranty that spells out exactly what it doesn't cover. In fact its almost already paid for itself but thats just my case. Anyway you've done great homework and you did right coming onto the forum with a very thorough insight and lots of knowledge up front. When you decide to buy whether new or used low mid or high end do a very thorough PDI before you sign for it. Make sure every issue you had during your PDI is written down on your sales paperwork even if its fixed. Drive it, run everything on it from the stereo, TVs, washer and dryer, etc. Have them have it hooked up to power, water and if possible provide the ability to fill and dump your tanks. Crawl, under, over and through make a least with whomever you with off every problem no matter how they try to tell you its fine. Then after the fix it check it out but like so many of the forums have said that once they get your money in most places that forget who you are. And beware if you buy from afar, getting warranty work done down they road can be next to impossible in a lot of cases. Remember its your money and its a small fortune and in many cases, if you finance it, it will cost you more than your house in the end. Wish you luck, I've enjoyed reading your initial thread and if there's anything we or even I can do feel free. Please keep us in mind on what you decide and if you buy how you make out. I wish you luck perhaps you'll be a lucky one with very few issues. Thanks and enjoy.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:41 PM   #15
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Good luck waiting for Asian companies building RVs here.
Only a fraction of a percent in Asia have ever used a RV. Even less own one. There's no market for them over there and no expertise. But the opposite is true with the auto market.
I don't think any experts in RV field, forsee such a thing happening.
What's left is for the American consumer to stop buying RVs until the industry makes some changes. But look at the current RV sales boom, new Covid buyers seem to not care about quality issues until after they buy one. Yet sales are still booming.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:08 PM   #16
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Good luck waiting for Asian companies building RVs here.
Only a fraction of a percent in Asia have ever used a RV. Even less own one. There's no market for them over there and no expertise. But the opposite is true with the auto market.
I don't think any experts in RV field, forsee such a thing happening.
What's left is for the American consumer to stop buying RVs until the industry makes some changes. But look at the current RV sales boom, new Covid buyers seem to not care about quality issues until after they buy one. Yet sales are still booming.
Seems like a lot of folks on this forum know what it takes to build a successful RV manufacturing business, but none of them are *doing it*.

They complain about the tradeoffs and lack of quality control, *and* insist on 30% off of MSRP.

They have apparently figured out how to make a livable box on wheels that is both light and durable, and how to build it quickly and inexpensively, and without errors. Oh, and make a reasonable profit at the same time.

I wish they would hurry up and get their production lines running, because I will be first in line to buy from them!
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:39 PM   #17
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I have had many motor homes. From many manufactures. I currently have Forest River Berkshire XLT which is supposed to be their high end unit. (it just cost more) I have heard the mini earthquake theory and all the other excuses, like there are so many components from other vendors. I also know from working on all of them that the truth is they have NO pride in workmanship! Don't let anyone tell you any different. In most industries the rule is people only post complaints. I think if you polled owners of new motor homes you would find 9 out of 10 had an extreme amount of problems They slap them together as fast as they can and can't even bother to pick up a screw when it is dropped. If you buy a brand new rig as I did you would think it would be built well. I can tell you that my coach was in the shop over 250 days the first year I owned it. As I have done modifications and things to the coach I have picked up more trash, pieces of tile and other junk just left under cabinets and things then you could imagine. I think the best thing to do is keep holding these companies accountable for the product they put out. If more people held their feet to the fire it might make a difference. Or not.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:16 AM   #18
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I have to say, many of these new motorhome reports can be disturbing, from the prospective buyer's standpoint. By that I mean, as I have begun some research in anticipation of getting into the "lifestyle" in our pre-retirement years, I had some assumptions that seem to be flat wrong. This is a general observation, not specific to any motorhome manufacturer.

I had assumed that when one goes beyond the 25k to 150k categories, there would be a noticeable change in an RV owner's typical experience. Spending 300k+ on a motorhome, I would assume that broken things, bad fit, system failures, sloppy workmanship, warranty work, etc... would be a fairly unusual event in the first few years. Can you imagine if it was this common to have a new $75k+ automobile (pick your brand) back at the shop for "routine" finds and fixes? So common that it was expected to find broken stuff immediately and you planned your first few days to hang out at the dealership to fix them? This seems so weird to me.

I also assumed, rather naively, that at this price point, the product would come with more than a one year warranty (Dynamax has 2, sounds better than most others, depending on owners' actual experience). $500,000 and the manufacturer doesn't trust it will stay working for at least a couple years? How about 5 years? Even those that have to take advantage of warranty service, it seems like this can be quite frustrating and new rigs can spend more time in the shop than in new owners' hands. For a brand new motorhome? This is madness. I do realize a complex modern motorhome has many parts and systems and as they say, crap happens. But is it really the case that on a brand new, super expensive high quality rig, that the average buyer still goes into it knowing that stuff IS going to break or not work right away? How many rigs at this price point need non-preventable repairs of some kind in the first 3 years? 5% or 95%?

This is extremely worrisome and there are quite a few horror stories. Personally, I don't think I could ever make this commitment if I didn't have a rock solid written contract for a full refund if the motorhome required more than x days of down time for service and repairs in the first year. The fact that no one would commit to that only reinforces how little quality and durability they think are actually in these?

Am I wrong? Are my expectations un-reasonable? Don't mean to sound like a downer, just trying to do my due diligence so to speak. Want to make decisions with eyes wide open. thanks.
Think about your own life experiences. How many times when everything went perfect did you mention it to others?

Now contrast that to when things went Wrong!

You are reading about the tiny number of people who have problems and want some one to commiserate and agree with them. They are miserable and want everyone else to be just as miserable as they are.

They are not the majority of RV purchasers!
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:39 AM   #19
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Think about your own life experiences. How many times when everything went perfect did you mention it to others?

Now contrast that to when things went Wrong!

You are reading about the tiny number of people who have problems and want some one to commiserate and agree with them. They are miserable and want everyone else to be just as miserable as they are.

They are not the majority of RV purchasers!
Well it's obvious you've had no issues with any RV you've ever purchased including your own. Right? If you tell us that they were minor and you fixed yourself then you're part of the problem. If you tell us that it should be expected to have issues when you spend anywhere from a few thousand or so on upward and exceeding several million dollars on a new RV then it's with folks with that opinion is the reason the RV industry is slow to respond to their quality issues. So there's a lot of Govt. and other standards, associations like NATM, AWS, AISC, ACCA, ANSI, AHRI, NEMA, RVIA, IEEE, FVSS, etc. but very few have any standards for recreational vehicles. They adapt what's out their uses on homes on land which everyone points out that this is on wheels. NFPA 1192 does address it for safety issues and the NHTSA has some that employ safety guidelines. The Auto industry worked hard to set quality standards for the their industry (IATF 16949 AEC-Q100/200) and IMHO I feel they've done pretty good. They hold their subs to a higher standard than I think the RV industry does to theirs. A study was done a few years ago on about 20 or so RV manufacturers all who claimed they had a comprehensive Quality control and inspection on their units. In the end it was found out that 25% of them truly were fully inspected before they left the factory. Hence the complaints of loose material such as screws, wire, wood shavings or just wood were found in the cabinets and behind them. My heck my Class A Georgetown Gasser I bought new in 2017 had many issues in fact in the cabinet I found an inspection sheet that pointed out these issues and none were fixed. The dealer used it to show FR what they were fixing. I guess they felt since they could claim he final inspection was done they didn't have to fix it or they felt they would fix themselves. In the end I'm sure some might like out, or accept some issues, or don't even notice them until something major happens but striving for anything less than 100% quality for Made in America in my book is unacceptable. I think we'll agree that Elkhart Country is the hub of the RV industry and only recently did they realize the need and value of good training and opened up the RV Technical Institute in I think 2019, Great step for the industry because it will introduce more standardize training, this will spurn improvements in the quality of the industry as well including development of more standards specially for our houses on wheels. I and I'm sure others set their expectations on what the auto industry has done in the sense of producing a high quality product, some say we shouldn't expect that and I say shame on them. We most certainly should expect a quality product of the highest level especially when the cost is so high for something some people use in many cases so infrequently. What's holding it back is many are willing to accept less. Think of that you just paid $30,000 for a trailer or $300,000 or a Class A and the door or trim falls off while traveling, the shower leaks, the basement doors swing open while cruising down the highway at 65MPH. We, the consumers control the quality and if you don't think so then your kidding yourself. A RVIA study "revealed that the RV industry had an overall economic impact to the US economy of $114 billion, supporting nearly 600,000 jobs, contributing more than $32 billion in wages and paying over $12 billion in federal, state, and local taxes." 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.
Sorry for the long dissertation but these forums are important as well as your voice not only to the dealers but to the manufacturers so don't stop pass the word and though it still might take years to see major quality improvements the sheer fact they are listening now is important. An educated consumer is very important and that's where we all come into play. Thanks to all and enjoy camping, I have for over 6o yrs..
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:27 AM   #20
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DouglasReid you are absolutely right about most things but completely wrong with the RV industry. This is not a tiny number of people with problems. This is a huge problem that every dealer when you walk in the door is trained to start getting you to think this is just how it is. On top of the many RV's I have owned. I have bought 2 brand new Class A motorhomes both over $280,000 in the last 5 years. We went to multiple dealers all across the country. It was almost comical as at some point with in the first hour we would get the "Rolling earthquake" speech. They are right it is a rolling earthquake but I contrast that with the auto industry that has the same problem. But we would never accept this speech even on the KIA Soul one of the cheapest cars available. We also drive our cars everyday compared to most of the RV industry that on average only uses their unit maybe 10 outings on average per year yet there is a huge problem with simple and large things. Most people just look at that piece of trim that fell off and say oh yeah they told me this would happen. It really is NOT acceptable to put out a terrible product and just expect people to be ok with it.
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