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Author Topic: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers  (Read 6473 times)

charles e jr

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Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« on: July 26, 2012, 12:23:53 AM »
After a call to the president of coachmen about many problems i am having with my 2012 chaparral i was told that coachmen RVs are not meant for the full time rver We have only had this RV for 3 months in this time our ac doesn't work correctly (85 outside 80 inside) hot water heater works when it wants too the wall inside the slide out is falling down the door to the bathroom hits the ceiling now and then the RV must be raking side to side the sink is falling out in the galley and the brakes do not work correctly the slide out in the bedroom has started to drag .This is mine my son also purchased a 2011 chaparral 276rlds he picked his up in April took it out for the first time for memorial day had the shower leak into the basement the drawer under the sink fell out one of the cabinet doors fell of the light in the front didn't work the frame on the RV is rusted like it sat in the ocean the rubber roof has bubbles in it the landing gear switch was wire backwords  then when he got back he dropped the RV off at the dealer the dealer told him the shower was installed incorrectly and coachmen would not fix he called coachmen and was hung up on then called and left a message for the gm of coachmen service he never called back this is the 25 of July and his shower still isn't fixed i would never own a coachmen or forest river product again cant believe the number of issues we have had and haven't even made thru the summer

PancakeBill

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 12:37:47 AM »
I sold RV's.  My place had Coachmen when I started but dropped them.  Too many issues, we could not stand behind them.  Sorry you are having so many issues, try to work through them.  I had a Coachmen myself, it was a slide-in camper, mine was pretty good. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
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Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
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Frizlefrak

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 07:15:42 AM »
After a call to the president of coachmen about many problems i am having with my 2012 chaparral i was told that coachmen RVs are not meant for the full time rver We have only had this RV for 3 months in this time our ac doesn't work correctly (85 outside 80 inside) hot water heater works when it wants too the wall inside the slide out is falling down the door to the bathroom hits the ceiling now and then the RV must be raking side to side the sink is falling out in the galley and the brakes do not work correctly the slide out in the bedroom has started to drag .This is mine my son also purchased a 2011 chaparral 276rlds he picked his up in April took it out for the first time for memorial day had the shower leak into the basement the drawer under the sink fell out one of the cabinet doors fell of the light in the front didn't work the frame on the RV is rusted like it sat in the ocean the rubber roof has bubbles in it the landing gear switch was wire backwords  then when he got back he dropped the RV off at the dealer the dealer told him the shower was installed incorrectly and coachmen would not fix he called coachmen and was hung up on then called and left a message for the gm of coachmen service he never called back this is the 25 of July and his shower still isn't fixed i would never own a coachmen or forest river product again cant believe the number of issues we have had and haven't even made thru the summer

I'm glad you called them instead of writing them a letter. 
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topdownman

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 07:20:44 AM »
As an aside, I think most manufacturers don't recommend "full time living" in their RVs.  I think it's an out for when something goes wrong.  Most are just not built for heavy day-to-day wear.
______________________________________
Mark & Tina Anderson
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PancakeBill

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 08:41:47 AM »
Carriage considered their 5th wheels for full time.  Many mfg's will void the warranty when they discover it is used full time
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
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charles e jr

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 08:49:02 AM »
We didn't have this many problems with our Dutchmen 5th wheel and my Son only stays in his 1 night a week it's just a horrible product I have owned rv for 50 years and never had this many problems and one thing I can say for Dutchmen when something went wrong they fixed it and fast should have purchased another Dutchmen and as for the full time living we have only had it a few months I just hope other people will not make the same mistake and they stay away from coachmen and forest River products

Frizlefrak

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 08:56:05 AM »
Love my Palomino (Forest River).  Has performed near flawlessly so far.  I also owned a Coachmen fifth wheel for 11 years.  Don't judge the whole line by one unit.  I'm willing to bet Winnebago cranked out some lemons somewhere along the line too.
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COMer

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 09:02:52 AM »
Forest River is a big line with prices running from low to quite high.  I think there are many happy owners, especially of the higher end models. 
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

charles e jr

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 09:19:56 AM »
This is two units with many problems and these are not the cheap ones

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 09:42:03 AM »
I would put everything in writing direct to the company and the dealer that sold it.

If you are getting no satisfaction from them, then I would make a detailed video of all the problems.  Insert titles to make sure everyone knows what type of RV and who the manufacturer and dealer is. Upload to youtube and make sure the search terms include the manufacturer and the dealer.

Then let the dealer and manufacturer know about this video and be willing to take it down if they promise to honor the warranty.

You can tell the truth and not get in trouble for slander.  Just don't make up lies or make it worse than it is, but it sounds really bad "as is" from what I read.

On the other hand...  I was recently looking at dozens of used RV's. I stepped in one and the cabinetry looked like a drunk with one eye closed using a beer can for a level had hung the cabinet doors. Some of the uppers had the doors placed wrong, so that you couldn't really open them for use except to put tiny things inside.  Others were just hung any which way but straight.

I immediately checked to see who built it, and it was listed as  a Forest River only 2 years old.  I made a mental note to never consider a Forest River. I can't believe they would let a unit out for sale (new)  with such glaring problems. It made me think the whole thing was suspect. We poked around some more and sure enough the entire unit had numerous issues, even though it looked brand new.   I wondered if it was a Repo or what, as it seems odd to have a 2 year old unit on a used lot.

Do folks really trade in after less than 2 years?  Of course if you are fed up with the problems I can see that happening, now that I think of it, but the former owner must have taken a huge loss to trade that wreck in. I don't see how the lot plans to sell it when anyone who is halfway sober is going to notice the cabinet faces are hung haphazardly.

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COMer

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 09:54:42 AM »
Charles,
I understand what you are saying and certainly agree with your observations.  Especially after your experiences.  Anybody would be terribly upset and disappointed.  It is confusing as I have a Forest River product that cost a lot less than yours did and I live in it seven months of the year.  I would rate it as "very good".  Not sure how this works or why a better unit has so many problems.  Maybe the solution is to buy used so that the first owner has a chance to repair things when they get a unit like you did.  And it really should not be this way.  We should expect a certain quality for what we spend and dealers and manufacturers who are responsible.
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 09:57:01 AM »
As a technical aside, no RV is "intended for use as a full time residence" because to do so would  violate the building code under which the RV was made. If the company states that the unit is intended as a full time residence, by law if has to conform to the Manufactured Home building code rather than the Recreational Vehicle code and the requirements are much more rigorous. So it's a catch-22 for RV manufacturers who want to cater to the fulltime crowd.

That said, I wouldn't chose any Coachman product for extended use either. They are designed for light duty use, i.e. the occasional weekend or vacation.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

charles e jr

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 10:05:10 AM »
Then the dealer should have told us that this a light duty product that is only good for weekend use and again both these units are only a few months old I only posted this because when we looked online befor we purchased both the units we didn't see any reviews I am only trying to stop people from going thru what we are

Frizlefrak

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2012, 11:27:14 AM »
Perhaps the industry should use parlance that appeals to it's audience without violating building codes.....ie...."Designed for FREQUENT use...."  Everybody's happy.

Seriously, I love my Palomino.  Fit and finish are near perfect, everything worked right out of the gate, and it suits our needs perfectly.  I plan on keeping it 15 + years.  We've been on three trips now (bought new in May) and towed about 1200 miles.  Flawless.  And we're in the Mountain West.  I get lots of ooohs and ahhhs about the outdoor kitchen too. 

If you don't get any satisfaction, post the video mentioned above on  Youtube.  Stick to the facts, don't get emotional or defamatory and you'll be fine.  No satisfaction after that, pay an attorney to type up a letter and send it to their legal dept threatening legal action if the unit isn't properly repaired.

Look into the Lemon Law in your state and see what it applies to.  The Manufacturer may have to buy it back if it isn't fixed after a certain number of attempts.
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R. J. Barton

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2012, 01:46:52 PM »
Every brand has issues on a certain amount of units, it's just the way it is.  :-\

We've had our, not very expensive Coachman, out on 11 trips now. It's got a few miles on it already and hasn't always been towed on the best of roads either. Add to that that it's getting used by two adults, two rambunctious kids and their two dogs and I think it's safe to say this TT is getting some hard use. That said, we have yet to have issue one. Everything appears to be holding up well and we've had no problems with any of the systems.

We may have gotten an exceptional unit, I don't know, but what I do know is that I have no issues with Coachman at all.  :D
2011 Coachman Catalina 27BHS
2006 Ford F250 PSD CC FX4

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2012, 02:30:01 PM »
Quote
but what I do know is that I have no issues with Coachman at all.

There you go! For every unhappy owner there are usually multiple satisfied customers. Who often are never heard from...
Gary
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Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2012, 03:02:22 PM »
I think what's best about these threads is that one can look for patterns.  That's what I was looking for when looking for a used unit.  It's harder with new units, because that particular year model has not already been in service long enough to establish a pattern.  Nor does one see many comments and complaints.

My findings were that most people were happy with Winnebago.  But on the 99 Ford V10 watch for spark plugs stripping out, they can be re-threaded but Ford will try to sell you a new head at over $2K.

So with those findings, I spent extra time listening to it run with the inside cover off, as well as my head under the hood listening, and shooting it with a IR temp gun.  What I found helped me to select a unit.

On helping yourself, Frizlefrak and DearMissMermaid are spot on.  If you don't know how to put it on Youtube, a 15 year old kid can probably film it, post it, and get it a lot of hits.  One other thought, if you live in a large city, you might check with your local news consumer reporter.  I wrote a letter to Marvin Zindler (our "Action News Reporter") when I was living in Houston, he got the problem solved quickly, and I never had to go on the air.  All's well that ends well!
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

waroland

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2012, 10:57:46 PM »
We have been fulltiming is our Brookstone for over 2 years with only miner problems, most of which were not related to manifacturer. We have been from Florida to Washington State with no problems to speak of. We love our 5er.
2002 Fleetwood Revolution
2006 Honda CR-V

Carriage

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 08:26:10 PM »
Had a Chapparal Lite- with huge gaps on the single slide out. Company would not stand behind the product- my dealer fixed the problem to my satisfaction. Had the unit 3 seasons- now have a carriage Domani- orphan- what a difference in fit and finish- got a full year warranty from the dealerand bought extended warranty. second time out- and no problems at all. cheap is cheap. No money spent on warrantys means more profit

ttyR2

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2012, 11:04:11 PM »
I assume the lemon laws in various states don't apply to RV's if you get one that is just full of problems?
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2012, 08:45:52 AM »
In most states the lemon law either does not apply at all to RVs (or any large vehicle), or only applies to the chassis portion.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

garyb1st

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2012, 09:59:10 AM »
We have an Outback which is a Keystone product.  The manual states it is not intended for full time use.
Gary Brucker
1999 Rexhall Aerbus 32' Ford chassis. 
2008 HHR

charles e jr

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2012, 06:09:03 PM »
Well Gary you are verry wrong there is a lemon for any rv costing more than $25 and for the manuals  boat n rv didn't give us any when we purchased it when we contacted  coachmen so we could get them they told us to contact each supplier separately to get the manuals there support for ya Gary do work for coachmen ?

chaperall lite

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2012, 09:03:27 PM »
We bought a 2009  Chaparall lite  26 foot 5th wheel , new. ..... had a few minor clitches, screws in the valances fell out...put them back in...but all in all are very satisfied. Have gone down some really rough roads,  and when we open the cupboards, nothing  has hardly moved.. the supension is really something.
Newly retired Central Minnesota
2009 Chaparral Lite  with1994  F250

Frizlefrak

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2012, 09:44:44 PM »
Well Gary you are verry wrong there is a lemon for any rv costing more than $25 and for the manuals  boat n rv didn't give us any when we purchased it when we contacted  coachmen so we could get them they told us to contact each supplier separately to get the manuals there support for ya Gary do work for coachmen ?

Charles, with all due respect, please use punctuation and at least some semblance of proper grammar.  Your posts are giving me a headache. 

The manual we got with our new Palomino was a generic RV manual with instructions that could apply to any RV.  Truthfully, it was more than sufficient.  It also came with individual manuals for each appliance written by the appliance manufacturer.  It sounds like Coachmen was telling you the truth.  To answer your next question, Gary and I are not co-workers.  :)

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charles e jr

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2012, 11:03:27 PM »
Then don't read them

Frizlefrak

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2012, 11:44:48 PM »
Then don't read them

That was much better.  If there had been a period at the end, it would have been perfect. 
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scottydl

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Re: Heads up coachmen chaparral are not for full timers
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2012, 11:48:34 PM »
I think charles has plenty of options to mull over, mostly great suggestions on how to handle the situation with his less-than-stellar Coachmen and hopefully improve the situation.  I detect the thread starting to go downhill, so it is locked from further replies at this point.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
1994 Thor Residency 3500 owned 2007-2012
Now looking for the next perfect RV...