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Author Topic: Not a Technially a Lemon But...  (Read 4972 times)

Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« on: April 22, 2005, 07:56:37 AM »
We purchased a '05 Winnebago Journey at the end of February.  The choice was based on floorplan, reputation, service network, Freightliner chassis,etc.  Even deciding to go new vs. used we expected 2-3 problems out of the gate that required warranty work.  However, we are now up to a dozen fairly major warranty items already completed and more pending resolution.

This past week two new problems showed up that fall in Winnebago's camp plus a couple of problems that will require a trip to our local Freightliner dealer.  I've also found when getting into the fuzzy area between the chassis and the coach that Freightliner and Winnebago's warranty processes don't mesh very well and has required a lot of work on my part.

So far everything has been taken care of with no cost to us.  And since no one problem has been chronic or not repairable the coach cannot be qualified as a lemon (at least in the definition in Washington State law).  But there has been so much down time, much of it waiting for parts that we've only had the rig available to us for a net of 10 days since we plunked all that money down. And we expect at least another 7-10 days of down time in the next 3-4 weeks while more work is being done.  We are starting to wonder if we'll ever get to enjoy "the beast" as we have come to start calling it.

For those who are curious a partial list of the problems is below.

I've been told by the dealer this is not a normal experience and they'll see us through this. They've been good to work with so far. But even at that we are starting to second guess our choice of manufacturer/coach.

Any feedback/insight anyone has based on their experience with Winnebago or other brand would be appreciated.

Jon & Vicki Pritchard
Vancouver, WA

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Major Warranty Items Completed or In Process:
- bad slideout closing solenoid
- window with bent frame
- second window with moisture in between the double panes.
- leak in air brake lines, bad fitting.
- oven would not come to operating temperature (kinked gas line).
- leak in toilet inlet valve
- busted shield between rear-axle and propane tank.
- leak in HWH hyrdaulic pump (jacks, slideouts)
- low coolant warning when coolant was full
- rattles inside front door
- damaged slideout seal
- 1 of 3 house batteries was bad.
- house batteries draining even when all systems are off (still not solved)
- alignment problems (pulls to right)
- vibration at 55-60mph
- ride height off, front too low
- squeal in front brakes (possibly glaxed from factory delivery run)
Jon & Vicki Pritchard
'05 Journey 34H
Vancouver, WA

BernieD

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2005, 08:39:24 AM »
Jon & Vicki

If you have a reputable dealer who is willing and knowledgeable, it can be frustrating but it usually all works out in the end. When we bought our first coach we never had to pay for storage for our first year. Whenever we needed it to go on a trip, we picked it up at the dealer. When we came back we dropped it back off with the list of things needing attention along with the items from the last time in. Repairs slowed down after the first year, and we had to rent a storage space  ;), and by the 4th year we only had about $10 worth of repairs for the whole year.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

caltex

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2005, 11:11:10 AM »
Jon & Vicki
Sorry to hear about your coach downtime, itís very frustrating when you just want to enjoy your new coach.  I purchased a Journey last year, a 04 model and had some of the sameproblems you experienced. Examples, two HWH jacks replaced, HWH slide stabilization ram replaced, both engine batteries replaced, one house battery replaced and a few other minor items.  In my case I thought that was not bad for a new unit, especially since I had virtually no downtime for these issues. My dealer was only an hour away and I never had to leave the coach overnight. On the first jack, the dealer took one from a new unit on his lot, for the second one HWH overnighted a new unit. The most frustrating problem for me was getting the remote to work on the front TV. After three new remotes we discovered that the front florescent ceiling light was emitting enough energy to wash out any signal from the remote. The dealer did a ride height check, alignment check and a four corner weighting before I took delivery so Iíve had no problems in that area. The minor things like the entry door adjustment to stop the squeak, I have done myself.  Since this is our first RV, I just assumed all this was normal, but maybe not.
Robert

Steve, CDN

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2005, 03:24:30 PM »
John and Vicki,

Thanks for sharing your list of issues.

Frustrating as it is, it's not unusual to have a list of problems like these on delivery.  One would hope they could have been resolved at the factory or in the pre delivery inspection, but the reality is they are not.   In many cases it takes about a year to get the most serious bugs out of a coach,

The good news is that once you get through that phase, usually it just requires routine manitenence.

Does Winnebago offer factory service?

If they do, I would schedule time at the factory and let them work on it as long as it takes.   That would be my first choice if that service is available.  If not and if you have a dealer that is willing to suport you, then use that dealer's service to its fullest extent.  If possible, stay with the coach while it's being repaired so you can see first hand what is being done.  We ahve made it a practice to always be present when work is being done on out coach, and I feel the quality of the work is better, plus I can learn what is the problem so i can fix it myself the next time.

The most interesting problem on your list that I would have concerns about is the battery discharge.  This is unusual and would suggest a peculiar and unexpected load or worse a short in the circuit.  That's the one I would concentrate on. 

The other issues are somewhat routine in new coaches and as long as youo have a commitment that they will be addressed, I would pursuade you to devote the required time so you can enjoy the coach you chose.
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rhmahoney

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2005, 11:19:54 PM »
Jon & Vicki Pritchard:
     Unfortunately, you are experiencing a "normal" situation that will extend for the first year of ownership!

- low coolant warning when coolant was full. I had something like this on my coach. It complained of low hydraulic fluid level. After 2+ years of repeated AC "freon" blowouts, the factory discovered that sensor wires for these 2 systems were misconnected at the dash.

caltex:
"After three new remotes we discovered that the front florescent ceiling light was emitting enough energy to wash out any signal from the remote."

Karl Korbus solved this one for me. He had a spare infrared filter (dark red plastic) that we put over the Tivo sensor and make the problme go away.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2005, 05:36:44 AM »
Jon & Vicki Pritchard:

caltex:
"After three new remotes we discovered that the front florescent ceiling light was emitting enough energy to wash out any signal from the remote."

Karl Korbus solved this one for me. He had a spare infrared filter (dark red plastic) that we put over the Tivo sensor and make the problme go away.

I have that problem at home,, My basement workstation has a tv and a REPLAY tv (There is your problem you got a TIVO, my replay does not have that problem at all,,, However the television atop it (ok, on the next shelf up) does, Either the florcent or... In the winter time I use a heat lamp at that work station too.  Between the two of them I often can not turn the TV on/off with a remote. (Thankfully with the Replay as a "Front end" that's about all I have to do with the TV, a quick push of the power button fixes it)
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Karl

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2005, 07:33:21 AM »
Caltex,

As Russ said, a filter should fix your Tivo problem. I've got a few left, so just p.m. me your address and I'll drop one in the mail.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

DonJordan

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2005, 10:24:26 AM »
As others have said, the flourescent lights "killing" your IR TV remote is "normal" and a known problem.  We just don't use the flourescent lights when we are watching TV or, if it is necessary to have them on we turn them off temporarily while using the TV remote.  Kind of a bummer but solvble with the filter Karl Kolbus has.

I have nothing new to add to the advice on the rest of your problems other than to say "hang in there - this too shall pass"  ;D  I hope that you get your repairs finished soon.
Don Jordan.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Not a Technially a Lemon But...
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2005, 10:20:22 AM »
Sadly, your experience with your new RV is altogether too common.   A fairly high percentage of RVs, perhaps 10-20%,  have more than a dozen problems in the first year of ownership.  No manufacturer or brand of chassis seems to be immune.   My own rig (a 2002 Dolphin LX by National RV) required almost 60 repairs in the first 16 months, a several of them fairly serious.  Fortunately your dealer sounds like a good one, so you should be OK.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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