EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: The life of our lemon...  (Read 4149 times)

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
The life of our lemon...
« on: April 01, 2017, 10:16:46 PM »
Instead of being on another thread in this forum sharing our new adventures with you wonderful folks, instead, we realized days after purchasing our new-to-us fifth wheel, we bought....a lemon. 🍋
So, with that, we will be starting our journey here at rvforum in the great beyond of Remodeling our RV.
Where to begin...

We decided on our 99 Dutchmen 5th wheel because it was light weight and did not have slides. Our thinking was, the less things to maintain the better. Boy, were we wrong. First, when we hooked it up at the dealer we bought it from the clearance was too low to the bed of the truck, so as we were sent on our way home (3 hour drive) we were advised we may need an axel flip. We had to tow our lemon home unlevel to avoid collision with our truck bed. Flex described it like dragging a wet blanket behind us.

Upon returning home we got another surprise. Because of the low clearance and slight incline of our driveway, we could not get it into our driveway. The next day we took it to a local rv dealer and requested an axel flip. Upon getting that done  we were told we also needed new bearings and new brakes.

Finally, with the axel flip, bearings and brakes complete, which made a world of difference, we were finally ready to bring 'er home! Spring break here we come! Not quite...

We had combed through the rv before purchasing and checked corners, walls, and thought we did a pretty good check through. Everything seemed in good order. Unfortunately we checked most everything except under the dinette benches. Mistake. After pulling up the cushions and a brand new looking rug stowed in each compartment, low and behold...the dreaded dark spot. Oh, dark spot we know what you are...

And that folks, is what started our adventure of our lemony-lemon.

Attached are the first pictures of how this started and we will keep you updated on our project. It's been both a burden and a blessing. As difficult as it was to accept this disheartening discovery, we have stayed optimistic that we can handle what has come our way. In the end, we will have a beautiful camper that we can enjoy. We didn't plan on doing renovations right away, but since we are forced into it, we appreciate being able to make it our own. Any advice along the way is much appreciated!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 10:22:35 PM by ToesInTheSand »
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

regval

  • ---
  • Posts: 193
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 11:40:34 PM »
Good job. Looking forward to updates on your progress.
2005 Forest River TT 27BHSS and 2009 Heartland Sundance 2998RB 5vr
2007 Chev Silverado 2500HD WT crew cab, LB, 6.6L, Allison 6sp, B&W Companion Hitch
Retired Biomedical Engineer
Lawrenceville, GA

"Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink, others just gargle."

Peggyy

  • ---
  • Posts: 321
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 07:13:22 AM »
Can you not force the dealer that sold it to you to fix this?  That is awful!
GMC Sierra 2012
2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 264BHW Travel Trailer
sweet home Alabama

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61059
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 07:26:43 AM »
Quote
Can you not force the dealer that sold it to you to fix this?

Used RVs are  sold "as is". Unless the dealer made specific statements about "no leaks" or "good brakes" or offered some sort of warranty, there are no grounds to ask him to do anything. Especially with an 18 year old RV...
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 488
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 08:42:46 AM »
Be sure to ascertain where the water is coming from.  Chances are the water is just settling where you discovered the problem and not necessarily the source.  If what you are showing is the extent of the damage I don't see a real big problem. 

I think you will be OK.  Keep your chin up.

aguablanco

  • ---
  • Posts: 104
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 08:45:55 AM »
A lemon is normally something that is new and has unresolved issue/issues that the dealer can't or won't fix. These issues are almost always direct from the factory. You bought an 18 year old trailer that you didn't inspect thoroughly enough. I absolutely feel the dealership should help with the repairs since the brakes are a safety item and the water damage may be a health issue but buying an 18 year old unit has risks.
Hope all goes well in the future and these are your only issues
RichH
2012 Silverado 1500 5.3L 6 Speed
2010 Freedom Spirit 24 FBSL
Curt 10K WDH
Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

supermanotorious

  • ---
  • Posts: 535
    • Phoenix Winch LLC
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2017, 10:09:04 AM »
you can always flip it and be a little more cautious with your next purchase, that's what I would do

if you go through a dealer again, you'll know to ask questions like "when were the bearings/brakes last serviced?" "when was the roof last replaced?" and if the answer is "We don't know" then you say "Then we assume the worst and the cost of those services will now be deducted from the purchase price"

use your own words but you get the idea

everyone has some issues with used trailers and you'd be insane to think you wouldn't. but having an idea of what the issues are, and negotiating that in to the price is the remedy
Home is Phoenix, AZ
2008 Skyline Freestyle M-240 Way-Lite
2003 Harley Davidson Dyna FXDX
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 8.1L 496ci 4x4
1994 Four Winns Freedom
various quads, off-road gokarts, mini bikes
Phoenix Winch wakeboard winches

BoonDocker Bob

  • Guest
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 10:39:55 AM »
As is with ANY used ... ( even 2 days old ) the old saying ALWAYS holds true ...


Caveat emptor

WILDEBILL308

  • ---
  • Posts: 2441
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 03:20:07 PM »
What lemon???? There is nouthing heare that constitutes it being a lemon. You had ample opertunity to inspect it. You should have knowne that it was to low to tow behind your truck. You do own a tape meshure don't you? I bet you haven't looked at the date code on the tires to see how old they are.
Realley not picking on you but just because you didn't catch some ishues doesen't make it a lemon.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 08:22:22 AM »
When I call it a lemon, I say it with good intentions. I'm trying to make light of the situation, all things considering. I originally joked we should call it Humpty Dumpty. We are trying to have good attitudes about what we got ourselves into. We are quite pleased so far. It has been a lot of work and sore muscles. One day at a time we are making progress. Learning has been such a great aspect of this whole process considering this is the first camper besides our Pup that we have owned. Yes, we made some mistakes picking and buying this camper, but we have also learned so much and grateful for the knowledge. Hopefully our mistakes can help others not make the same ones. It was disheartening being a fairly new buyer picking out a camper and trying our best to learn how to get a decent one. Yes, we picked an rv that needs some help, but after it's all said and done, it will be something we are very pleased with. It's all about having the right attitude.
Yesterday we were able to get it reframed and part of the subfloor down. We had some surprises along the way. All in all it's coming along quite nicely.
Appreciate everyones input and the great tips you've shared. We probably should have joined the forum BEFORE rv shopping.
I am going to attach a picture of the bad corner (before)  and then some of what we got done yesterday. We did find the water was coming in from the seams on the back moldings tha were not sealed well. You could see where the water started entering in when we pulled off the siding and paneling.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 09:16:35 AM by ToesInTheSand »
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 61059
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 11:22:02 AM »
You are surely doing a bang-up job of refurbishing it. Most people would not have bothered with that level of repair and just do a cosmetic fix.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

denmarc

  • ---
  • Posts: 2452
  • "I put a spell on you!"
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 12:23:14 PM »
Holy cow, Bill! Have a heart. Like none of us have never made a bad judgment call in our lives.

My hat's off to these people! I'm reading nothing but an awesome attitude! And I would bet my bottom dollar that any member of this forum would help any way they can.

Keep us informed. I will be watching.
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

boatbuilder

  • ---
  • Posts: 1122
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 02:48:55 PM »
From the looks of your repair this will be better than new when you are done.  Repairs look awesome.
Charlie

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 05:40:20 PM »
Good news today! After a good rain, it appears we no longer have water coming in via the back corner seams. Leaks have indeed been fixed! Before the repairs, after we pulled off the interior paneling we could see the water coming in during a rain via the corner seams and run down to the dreaded dark spot(s). Looks like we are good now! 😁
We did get the outside siding back on last night. That was a good thing since we had rain coming. Still some things to buckle up via outside and then we can focus on finishing the interior.
Also, I did a few updates to the bathroom the other day, although it's not fully complete yet. It was nice to get some cosmetic things done as well.
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2017, 07:45:12 PM »
This is ToesInTheSand DH (Flex).   Thanks for the welcome.  Common sense seems to dictate that few can look back and say, "I've never been so excited about this or that, where the excitement didn't outrun one's common sense.  I did.  I am not ashamed.  I say, "So what."   We bought an Rv that showed me what I didn't know; I didn't know.   

We bought an Rv that needed work. 

My wife described it as a "lemon." We laughed and we shrieked at the same.  Some say that if one knew all that is to be known about everything, one would choose the winning lotto numbers first!  We don't know much about Rving.  We're learning by fire.   Someone said, that "Rving is full of surprises, isn't it?"  I say, in our case, Rving is full of surprises before it begins!  I say that, Rving is like fishing, golfing, or a long motorcycle ride.  The pre-trip is as much fun as the actual event.  To put it another way, getting ready to go is as much fun as getting there. 

When I go fishing, I go through the tackle box and arrange lures, gadgets, and make sure the bait bucket doesn't have a hole in it.   Before a golf outing, I clean clubs, restock golf balls, and make sure my shoes don't leak.  The same with a long motorcycle ride. Leather, rain gear, tools, and snacks for picnics that will take place at some scenic overlook.  So, I say, what if the Rv purchased needed some work?  The discovery of the flaws in the "lemon, beater, heap, or junker" or simply an "experienced" Rv has turned us into ravenous Rv'ers. We see things differently.  We don't see a problem. What we see is a blessing; an opportunity.  Yes, we are hungry for knowledge, tips, advice.   So, we came here. At the same time that I believe that wisdom comes from seeking it from others, I also believe that one has to have the desire to seek it.   We appreciate all who offer encouragement, advice, and tips that will help us on the road.  Thank you.   We too look forward to the road ahead.

All take care and watch out for motorcycles.

Flex       
 
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

WILDEBILL308

  • ---
  • Posts: 2441
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2017, 09:08:01 PM »
Holy cow, Bill! Have a heart. Like none of us have never made a bad judgment call in our lives.

My hat's off to these people! I'm reading nothing but an awesome attitude! And I would bet my bottom dollar that any member of this forum would help any way they can.

Keep us informed. I will be watching.
I have a heart and will help with advise any way I can.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 488
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 06:52:33 AM »
Well that turned into a project real fast, as things like this are apt to do. 
Looks like you have it all under control.

captcosmic

  • ---
  • Posts: 83
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 08:06:48 AM »
We had some of the same experience. Bought a 17 year old Adventurer DP. Looked it over the best we could. Now we are finding things that I wish I would have noticed when we bought the thing from a dealer used. Like a key to the basement compartments. When they said as is, they meant it. But I enjoy fooling with stuff as much as I do taking the family on a trip. My wife said next time we will buy new. I had to laugh. The guy right down the street has a brand new RV I see pulled up to his house on a weekend. Since we dont really have space to keep the MH in our neighborhood, I asked him where he keeps the brand spanking new and beautiful MH. He told me at the dealer. They let him take it out while they are trying to fix things since he bought it new. So, at least he is getting things fixed, but so am I while enjoying the sour sweetness of doing it my self, while drinking a glass of lemonade. :) 
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 34V

jackiemac

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 1485
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2017, 05:47:57 PM »
Good news today! After a good rain, it appears we no longer have water coming in via the back corner seams. Leaks have indeed been fixed! Before the repairs, after we pulled off the interior paneling we could see the water coming in during a rain via the corner seams and run down to the dreaded dark spot(s). Looks like we are good now! 😁
We did get the outside siding back on last night. That was a good thing since we had rain coming. Still some things to buckle up via outside and then we can focus on finishing the interior.
Also, I did a few updates to the bathroom the other day, although it's not fully complete yet. It was nice to get some cosmetic things done as well.
Congratulations, you two are certainly putting in some hard work there to get things shipshape. I'm sure it will pay off with lots of wonderful adventures! Well done. 👍
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2017, 08:47:11 PM »
Well that turned into a project real fast, as things like this are apt to do. 
Looks like you have it all under control.

Thank you, God's Country.  As you said, "...that turned into a project real fast..."  It sure did.  We appreciate the encouragement. 
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2017, 08:50:39 PM »
From the looks of your repair this will be better than new when you are done.  Repairs look awesome.

Thank you, Charlie.  We appreciate the encouragement. 
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

ClickHill

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2017, 10:01:33 AM »
Flex, Our first bus was an older one that required some work but (like you) we were happy to it, we have never shy'd away from work.  In the end we absolutely loved that bus, I still have photos of it and look back at them remembering the work and the fun when we were using it. We learned more in just a few months about RV's, how they work and why, I think we knew more about RV's than most who have been doing it for years. When you are done you will know more than those who just go buy one and then take it to the shop when work is needed.  You will be answering our questions because you will know not only the what but the why - KCCO!! 8)
D & D
2015 Winnebago Itasca Merdian
2013 Chevy Equinox toad

camperAL

  • ---
  • Posts: 1034
  • Back Into RV'ing
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2017, 03:17:26 PM »
Greetings BikerFlex&HappyJen,

Good luck with the project and looks like it is coming along fine.

You could go back in about 6 months to the dealer who sold you the 5th wheel and look at the most expensive RV's they have. Then say we're going to buy this model but remember that 5th wheel with all of the work you sold us.  ;D

Just kidding but you have the right attitude and wishing you good luck from now on.
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2017, 06:06:01 PM »
Flex, Our first bus was an older one that required some work but (like you) we were happy to it, we have never shy'd away from work.  In the end we absolutely loved that bus, I still have photos of it and look back at them remembering the work and the fun when we were using it. We learned more in just a few months about RV's, how they work and why, I think we knew more about RV's than most who have been doing it for years. When you are done you will know more than those who just go buy one and then take it to the shop when work is needed.  You will be answering our questions because you will know not only the what but the why - KCCO!! 8)

Good story.  Encouraging. I know you guys must know every inch of that bus.  And, like us, there must have been times when you weren't sure who was winning the battle; you or the bus.  Eventually, you all won!  As you said, "When you are done you will know more...." than others.  We believe that, too.  Good at you for not shying away from it!  Way to run to a problem instead of running away from it.   

It sure encourages newbies like us.

Flex & Jen
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 488
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 07:42:47 PM »
Good story.  Encouraging. I know you guys must know every inch of that bus.  And, like us, there must have been times when you weren't Dsure who was winning the battle; you or the bus.  Eventually, you all won!  As you said, "When you are done you will know more...." than others.  We believe that, too.  Good at you for not shying away from it!  Way to run to a problem instead of running away from it.   

It sure encourages newbies like us.

Flex & Jen

I spent last summer completely  gutting and replacing the entire floor/decking to the trailer frame. Complete nightmare.
What doesn't kill us makes us bolder. :D

denmarc

  • ---
  • Posts: 2452
  • "I put a spell on you!"
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2017, 10:59:38 AM »
What doesn't kill us makes us bolder. :D

I thought it was wiser.  ;) ;D
There is a difference!
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Dr. Seuss

Gods Country

  • ---
  • Posts: 488
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2017, 11:30:45 AM »
I thought it was wiser.  ;) ;D
There is a difference!

If I were wiser I would have torched it. :o

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2017, 07:01:27 PM »
Another long hard day of rv reno. After a couple days of rain, yesterday being an abundance of rain, we came to realize we still have a minor leak in each corner. Not a lot, but still, leaks. We left the interior walls open to be able to monitor this until we are certain of a good seal. We do know some water may be coming from the under body since the membrane was comprised quite extensively not only when we did our frame rebuild but it was compromised before this by who knows who. Whoever attempted to do a quick fix to the water damage to begin with and did a poor attempt at it sliced the membrane in several places. Any advice for this please chime in!

DH and I decided to focus first on our roof. We have about four days of good, dry weather so it was decided we will clean & reseal the roof as well as focus on all the seams that need resealed/caulked.
Our rv has a rubber roof, but somewhere along it's life it was coated with an aluminum coating. Ugh. It has flaked and still had reminents of it. So we scraped and scooped those up as best we could without doing any damage. We then gave the roof a good wash with Spic n Span and was it filthy! I don't even want to try to guess when it was last washed up there. After a good look at everything, we made a joint decision to scrape off the abundant of dirty, cracked and PILED on sealant caulk and start all the seams from fresh. We made the right choice. We found too many areas that were not quite right. The plastic skylight above the shower was cracked in many places when it was screwed down too tight so tomorrow we will be purchasing a new one to put in.
We were able to scrape off all our vents (3), the skylight, a vent pipe and some of the areas where the chair rail it attached to the roof.

Before I climbed down for the night I told DH as I passed him the container of our scraped reminents I wanted to weigh the hefty container of dirty old sealant/caulk....we took off about 7 POUNDS of sealant! Wow.

We are tired and sore but very pleased with our hard work today. Tomorrow we will hopefullly finish scraping, cleaning around all areas, replacing the skylight, and resealing/caulking all roof structures and seams. Sunday we will be doing a full roof clean and roof seal. Let's hope this will all help us stop those pesky corner leaks.
Pic #1&2: before and after skylight
Pic #3&4: before and after a vent
Pic #5: our 7 pounds of sealant
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

Peggyy

  • ---
  • Posts: 321
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2017, 12:19:08 PM »
I admire your Perseverance!  It will be a great reward for you to see the finished product!  I love seeing the pictures of your progress!
GMC Sierra 2012
2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 264BHW Travel Trailer
sweet home Alabama

BikerFlex&HappyJen

  • ---
  • Posts: 80
  • Our toes belong in the sand...
Re: The life of our lemon...
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2017, 07:43:09 PM »
Thank you Peggy! It's encouraging when we get compliments. We keep pushing forward, one day at a time.

Today we sealed all the roof items, removed the chair rail, patched where the chair rail used to be, and also installed the new skylight. It looks so much better! I forgot to take a picture of the completed skylight, so I will hopefully post that along with the progress we make tomorrow. Planning on washing and sealing the roof tomorrow & cleaning/sealing(caulking) the gutter and awning rails. There is some cracking along some of those seams as well as where the rubber roof meets the gutter rails. So onward we go!!
------------------------
'99 Dutchmen 5th Wheel
Toyota Tundra 5.7 4WD SR5
Harley Davidson RoadKing

 

Hosted by Over The Network