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Old 04-15-2019, 11:16 PM   #1
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New trailer woes

I am wondering at this point if the factory has a quality inspector at all? The reason is the obvious problems that are coming from the factory. Doors not sealing, Windows leaking, Wiring loose, Roof fabric not installed right. That's just to name a few items that I have found. Some have been fixed by the dealer but they should not have to rebuild a brand new camp trailer and the purchasers should not have to put off camping because the camper is at the dealer. The factory needs a good inspector!!!
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:28 PM   #2
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To help clarify, here's a list of Forest River's 3 priorities. I've shortened the gap between 1 and 2/3 for our readers:

1. Production, production, production!!!
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Product Quality & Worker Safety
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:23 AM   #3
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Apparently. My brand new trailer with brand new A/C unit is shot. Never used once. In for repair/replacement now, keeping my fingers crossed it gets done before my 1st trip on 25th.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Toma1953 View Post
I am wondering at this point if the factory has a quality inspector at all? The reason is the obvious problems that are coming from the factory. Doors not sealing, Windows leaking, Wiring loose, Roof fabric not installed right. That's just to name a few items that I have found. Some have been fixed by the dealer but they should not have to rebuild a brand new camp trailer and the purchasers should not have to put off camping because the camper is at the dealer. The factory needs a good inspector!!!

TOMA, sorry to hear about all your deficiencies. All too often that seems to happen. We were extremely fortunate I guess when we got our Prime Time Tracer. Very few issues and only one was major. Front door would not stay locked/closed. Very lucky also that our dealer is very good. They replaced the lock and readjusted the door, problem solved and back on the road. Thanks Campers Unlimited in Gadsden, AL.
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:46 PM   #5
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I am wondering at this point if the factory has a quality inspector at all? The reason is the obvious problems that are coming from the factory. Doors not sealing, Windows leaking, Wiring loose, Roof fabric not installed right. That's just to name a few items that I have found. Some have been fixed by the dealer but they should not have to rebuild a brand new camp trailer and the purchasers should not have to put off camping because the camper is at the dealer. The factory needs a good inspector!!!
Did you sign for said camper? Why? I'm truly sorry for your misfortune, but just like a used car, even a new RV has some risk. When we buy a used car (just helped my daughter buy one), we take it to a trusted mechanic for an evaluation (costs $60).

When we bought our present A-frame, we agreed to take an in stock new unit that had a lot of scratches and dings and missing caulk, etc. A preliminary inspection was done, and a reduced price agreed on due to the cosmetics that couldn't be fully repaired, contingent on dealer repair of scratches, dings, missing seals, etc., and a satisfactory thorough PDI. We spent 2 hours on the PDI, and the dealer ended up replacing and reworking the storage bins that slide in and out of the front trunk.

At the end, the dealer and we were satisfied, and we took delivery. And we have been happy, without a single warranty repair. I could have taken it back for a faulty WFCO converter, but I didn't want a WFCO replacement, so I replaced it on my own. I think the dealer is going to start returning any other units that show up in such poor shape.

Quality control at the factory (and the suppliers) is not going to improve until there is a significant industry downturn that eats into their profits. Detroit didn't change their ways until they couldn't sell their production at the price they wanted because of the poor quality compared to the Japanese competition.

Again, I'm sorry for your misfortune. All you can do is continue working with the dealer and FR. This is not an FR web site, so complaining here only gets you a sympathetic ear and/or advice on how to fix your problems.

Fred W
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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Apparently. My brand new trailer with brand new A/C unit is shot. Never used once. In for repair/replacement now, keeping my fingers crossed it gets done before my 1st trip on 25th.
Shouldn't take them an hr to replace . guess they didn't have one in stock ?
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:35 PM   #7
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No, neither the dealer, nor the much closer repair shop keeps them in stock.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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Yep, doesn’t matter what you buy, they are all built very poorly and as fast as they can. I have a brand new coachmen that we took out for the first time a couple weeks ago and the awning started to separate from the roller arm. Very poor design if you ask me. They have the awning glued to a thin strip of awning material that is attached to the roller arm. The awning just peeled right off that strip, and the service guy at the dealer still can’t figure out where it’s separating from even with pictures and arrows pointing to it.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:32 PM   #9
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This is also a dealer issue too. That set-up and prep fee you are charged should include a full inspection by the dealer at the lot. They should catch 80-95% of these issues when they take delivery from the factory, a bunch of things can happen in transit.
The dealer should be responsible for fully setting up the RV and testing all the appliances before it hits the lot, and once it is sold to do a full run through with the buyer. No one should ever make it to the campsite with a new RV to only to find out stuff does not work.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:50 AM   #10
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"NJKris" and others: After purchasing my '15 Coachmen Freedom Express the A/C unit went bad after two months. Calls to the dealer and I was informed that IF I would bring the unit back to them, 100 miles away, they would "put it in line" at the repair center but could even give me an estimated time for the A/C replacement. They never argued with me that the A/C unit had gone bad, just bring it up and put it in line. I called Dometic about this and was informed that it was indeed still under the manufacturers warranty but I had to have an "authorized Dometic replacement center" do the work. O.K. So is there an authorized replacement center near me? YES, was Dometic's reply and right here in my hometown. I never knew this A/C shop worked on campers. I went to talk to the owner and he was very nice but informed me that it would be 3-4 weeks before he could change the unit out. HE suggested that I call Dometic again and request that they send me the new unit and I could replace it under warranty IF I could convince the Dometic person that I could do this. Shorten the story: Within 26 months I replace the A/C unit three times. Counting the original factory unit that would be four (4) units on my TT within 26 months. The last one is still working fine as of yesterday. I would state that a call to Dometic to inquire about you replacing your own unit would be worth the time.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:34 PM   #11
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"NJKris" and others: After purchasing my '15 Coachmen Freedom Express the A/C unit went bad after two months. Calls to the dealer and I was informed that IF I would bring the unit back to them, 100 miles away, they would "put it in line" at the repair center but could even give me an estimated time for the A/C replacement. They never argued with me that the A/C unit had gone bad, just bring it up and put it in line. I called Dometic about this and was informed that it was indeed still under the manufacturers warranty but I had to have an "authorized Dometic replacement center" do the work. O.K. So is there an authorized replacement center near me? YES, was Dometic's reply and right here in my hometown. I never knew this A/C shop worked on campers. I went to talk to the owner and he was very nice but informed me that it would be 3-4 weeks before he could change the unit out. HE suggested that I call Dometic again and request that they send me the new unit and I could replace it under warranty IF I could convince the Dometic person that I could do this. Shorten the story: Within 26 months I replace the A/C unit three times. Counting the original factory unit that would be four (4) units on my TT within 26 months. The last one is still working fine as of yesterday. I would state that a call to Dometic to inquire about you replacing your own unit would be worth the time.


X?? Dometic had serious troubles with coils and leaks....supposedly fixed spring/summer of 2017 I think.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:09 PM   #12
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Did you sign for said camper? Why? I'm truly sorry for your misfortune, but just like a used car, even a new RV has some risk. When we buy a used car (just helped my daughter buy one), we take it to a trusted mechanic for an evaluation (costs $60).

When we bought our present A-frame, we agreed to take an in stock new unit that had a lot of scratches and dings and missing caulk, etc. A preliminary inspection was done, and a reduced price agreed on due to the cosmetics that couldn't be fully repaired, contingent on dealer repair of scratches, dings, missing seals, etc., and a satisfactory thorough PDI. We spent 2 hours on the PDI, and the dealer ended up replacing and reworking the storage bins that slide in and out of the front trunk.

At the end, the dealer and we were satisfied, and we took delivery. And we have been happy, without a single warranty repair. I could have taken it back for a faulty WFCO converter, but I didn't want a WFCO replacement, so I replaced it on my own. I think the dealer is going to start returning any other units that show up in such poor shape.

Quality control at the factory (and the suppliers) is not going to improve until there is a significant industry downturn that eats into their profits. Detroit didn't change their ways until they couldn't sell their production at the price they wanted because of the poor quality compared to the Japanese competition.

Again, I'm sorry for your misfortune. All you can do is continue working with the dealer and FR. This is not an FR web site, so complaining here only gets you a sympathetic ear and/or advice on how to fix your problems.

Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
Correct me if I am wrong but when one buys a brand new vehicle, you have to take possession of it to inspect it. But in the case of this camper, either the dealer didn't catch anything or didn't inspect it which I think is the case. But it still stands, why wasn't any of this caught at the factory? seems like that would be the place to catch anything that is wrong where it would be easier to fix. I worked for an aircraft manufacturer and everything that was installed was inspected and things were fixed but it seems a lot of the vehicle makers don't really care and its a like it or don't buy it. I will probably find more things wrong in the coming travel season but if the slide won't go in or the tongue jack won't go down, that's a big problem.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:07 PM   #13
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I have always made the deals for used cars and all campers contingent on an inspection at buyer's expense. And I won't buy a house unless I have an inspection contingency. I have had my offers refused for this contingency, but I'm OK with walking away from a seller who refuses the contingency. Most sellers and builders are quite happy to have you perform an inspection - it lets them be proud of their product and gives them a good reputation as an honest seller.

Campers - I just inspect them myself. Used cars I take to a trusted mechanic; for a home purchase, I have a trusted home inspector already hired when I make the offer. The results of the inspection I generally use as a work-off list for things I need to fix. On several houses and campers, I have mandated the seller fix certain items before I sign (things that would be difficult or expensive for me to fix).

I can't imagine not making this kind of effort when I'm spending multiple thousands of my money. Even home repairs/improvements in the thousands, I inspect before I sign the check.

Trust, but verify.

just my experiences
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:23 PM   #14
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For many years I worked with a guy that was employed by "Fleetwood" for several years. He witnessed the change in the 90's. When he started, as the frame started it's journey down the line, there was an inspector at each station. Frame, flooring, wiring, plumbing, walls, cabinets, roof...etc. Each station was required to clean the area they work on before calling for inspection. As time went by, Inspectors were cut to one per two stations, then one for four stations and cleaning was no longer required between areas. When he left, there was only one inspector at the end of the line and his inspection was limited to 5 minutes per trailer off the line. Build as many as you can and get them out the door.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:20 PM   #15
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This is also a dealer issue too. That set-up and prep fee you are charged should include a full inspection by the dealer at the lot. They should catch 80-95% of these issues when they take delivery from the factory, a bunch of things can happen in transit.
The dealer should be responsible for fully setting up the RV and testing all the appliances before it hits the lot, and once it is sold to do a full run through with the buyer. No one should ever make it to the campsite with a new RV to only to find out stuff does not work.
Yes, it is a dealer issue. My dealer tells me that Forest River pays a stipend to dealerships who take deliveries of their products. It covers fixing deficiencies and conducting the customer PDI. My dealer does not charge for a PDI, and says that anyone who does needs to have their head examined. A lot of dealerships use a PDI charge to make more money and then split it with the salesman to enhance commissions. The hand-off of my TT was moved to the right twice because my dealer refused to let it leave the lot in a less than perfect condition. He has a sign in his shop that quotes Sam Walton: "If we don't take care of our customers someone else will".
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:56 AM   #16
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Yes, it is a dealer issue. My dealer tells me that Forest River pays a stipend to dealerships who take deliveries of their products. It covers fixing deficiencies and conducting the customer PDI. My dealer does not charge for a PDI, and says that anyone who does needs to have their head examined. A lot of dealerships use a PDI charge to make more money and then split it with the salesman to enhance commissions. The hand-off of my TT was moved to the right twice because my dealer refused to let it leave the lot in a less than perfect condition. He has a sign in his shop that quotes Sam Walton: "If we don't take care of our customers someone else will".
I am extremely disappointed with quality off the production line as well as quality of individual components. Very poor overall.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:16 AM   #17
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As someone stated earlier, this quality control deficiency transcends ALL manufacturers and models. Yesterday while stuck at a convenient rest area along I-40 Westbound in NC due to a rock slide road closure, I spoke at length with a disappointed DRV Mobile Suites owner that had several faulty appliances and a leaking roof at the A\C seam. Fortunately he's still under warranty but that only pays the repair\replacement bill. The down time spent and aggravation attached are good reasons to flea the lifestyle. Personally, I attempt most all upgrades and replacements myself. I'm a pretty good parts changer and don't mind becoming involved in the maintenance aspect on my fiver. The first season of ownership had me shaking my head over the lack of cleanup after assembly and the shear stupidity of the engineers that designed the rig. Those guys should live in a trailer for a month after they design it. Then you'd see a lot of changes in the build process and QC.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:47 AM   #18
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We took delivery of a new 2019 Salem camper a few months ago and our dealer had a few items on the punchlist that picked up on, but since then, I have had to add a lot more. Many of the items are minor (wallpaper bubbles, nails/staples exposed, lack of chalking in wet areas), but last week I had the "LED" lights under the camper come loose at I went to fix it. In the process I discovered that a lot of the wrap under the camper was cut or had large gaps. I saw a lot of exposed wood and plywood which makes me worry about driving in the rain or overall long term life of the camper.

I have a rather long letter I have started to draft to Forest River about this and out of the 3 campers I have owned over the last 10 years, this one has me a little concerned.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:50 PM   #19
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We took delivery of a new 2019 Salem camper a few months ago and our dealer had a few items on the punchlist that picked up on, but since then, I have had to add a lot more. Many of the items are minor (wallpaper bubbles, nails/staples exposed, lack of chalking in wet areas), but last week I had the "LED" lights under the camper come loose at I went to fix it. In the process I discovered that a lot of the wrap under the camper was cut or had large gaps. I saw a lot of exposed wood and plywood which makes me worry about driving in the rain or overall long term life of the camper.

I have a rather long letter I have started to draft to Forest River about this and out of the 3 campers I have owned over the last 10 years, this one has me a little concerned.
All of this is inexcusable . saying it's the same for all manufactures is a poor excuse . the only one to be held accountable for FR products is FR. Who cares what other manufactures do or don't do . we only care about the manufacture from who we buy from and FR needs to step up their game are they are no better then the worst manufacture out there , no better then camping world or any other bad company out there . just because so many cheerleaders for FR are on this site is no excuse nor is saying all are the same
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:17 AM   #20
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All of this is inexcusable . saying it's the same for all manufactures is a poor excuse . the only one to be held accountable for FR products is FR. Who cares what other manufactures do or don't do . we only care about the manufacture from who we buy from and FR needs to step up their game are they are no better then the worst manufacture out there , no better then camping world or any other bad company out there . just because so many cheerleaders for FR are on this site is no excuse nor is saying all are the same
Mr. M, I've missed you.

Complaining about cheerleaders and poor quality control isn't going to change a thing.

New cars now (for the most part) have excellent quality control. But it's taken years and a doubling of prices (beyond inflation) to get there.

RVs do not have the same level of quality control, and are not the same as cars. Nor is the industry likely to retain its customer base with a doubling of prices.

As I said earlier, base your RV purchase on real world experiences similar to buying a used car, or a house. You should do a thorough buyer's inspection - you are risking thousands if you don't. It's always highly recommended to take a used car to an independent mechanic for an inspection prior to purchase. Every home buyer's agent (and many lenders require) tells you to put a contingency in the offer for a home inspection.

Why would you not do/recommend the same for an RV purchase?

dealing with the world as it is
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2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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