RV Quality, 2021 Dealers across the country are fed up

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DonTom

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I'm too old to want to fix things anymore and would rather enjoy them...
How old is too old? I am 72 and I still enjoy fixing things. But I modify stuff too, often so it won't break as often so then I cannot enjoy my hobby of fixing stuff as much. :)

-Don- Reno, NV
 

aclass

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How old is too old? I am 72 and I still enjoy fixing things. But I modify stuff too, often so it won't break as often so then I cannot enjoy my hobby of fixing stuff as much. :)

-Don- Reno, NV
I'm with you Don! Born and raised on a small Farm with an old school Dad so fixing things is a way of life. Only 55 here and looking at retirement soon so I'm hoping to enjoy things a little more than fixing them.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It seems to me the dubious part of the article is the degree to which dealers are unhappy about the quality situation in the RV industry. Yeah, I'm sure they would love to get zero-defect Rvs to sell, but meanwhile they are raking in the dough with attractively low-priced products that sucker in newbies and even some long time owners. They might like better quality, but they will opt for a lower sale price every time.

Most RV dealers, especially the smaller ones, are first & foremost in the sales business and would prefer to have no service at all. Having to fix shoddy factory workmanship & components is simply an aggravation to them, making for unhappy customers and less profit. Warranty work doesn't pay enough to be lucrative either. Further, I think the sad state of RV repair shop quality speaks volumes about the RV dealer's concern for quality. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
 

Jayflight

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It seems to me the dubious part of the article is the degree to which dealers are unhappy about the quality situation in the RV industry. Yeah, I'm sure they would love to get zero-defect Rvs to sell, but meanwhile they are raking in the dough with attractively low-priced products that sucker in newbies and even some long time owners. They might like better quality, but they will opt for a lower sale price every time.

Most RV dealers, especially the smaller ones, are first & foremost in the sales business and would prefer to have no service at all. Having to fix shoddy factory workmanship & components is simply an aggravation to them, making for unhappy customers and less profit. Warranty work doesn't pay enough to be lucrative either. Further, I think the sad state of RV repair shop quality speaks volumes about the RV dealer's concern for quality. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Long term dealers do care about quality, which feeds over to repeat sales. This will also feed over to their service after the sale. During the past two years or so many seasoned dealers depended on their service department to carry them. Of course numerous dealers are well known to be in the same boat as used car dealers. But local and family run businesses do a better job in caring. This is where the line is drawn when manufacturers pump out crap.

You are correct. Warranty work does not pay enough when you have to wait for the bill to go thru the many channels far and way at the manufacturers.
 

DonTom

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Warranty work does not pay enough when you have to wait for the bill to go thru the many channels far and way at the manufacturers.
That was a very serious problem with motorcycles back in the 1970's. I can tell many stories about such, but warranty work would not be done at the shops until they ran out of other work. Those with warrantees were told that they could get around to their work in six or so months, and to try another shop (just to be told the same thing again).

In the 1980's, this switched to the opposite, when sales of motorcycles went down, many claiming the reason was because in reality, there was no warranty and didn't want to chance buying a new bike for that reason. This stuff was getting into the motorcycle magazines back then.

I think BMW was the first to change, by offering a 3 year unlimited miles warranty on new motorcycles and BMW shops paying just a little MORE than their normal labor rate. The the others followed with at least warranties that would work.

Back then, I had a warranty issue on my 1984 Yamaha, leaky carburetor. When I got the bike to the shop, I heard the service manager tell a mechanic to stop what he was working on to look at my bike which was repaired by the end of the day.

Then the warranty work was being done first.

If they can fix the problem with motorcycles, they should be able to do it with RVs. But perhaps it will have to first effect the RV sales, with the word getting around in forums such as this one.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Utclmjmpr

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As a motorcycle dealer for many years,, and a mechanic for several other dealers,, we would do warranty work ASAP,, BUT would draw the line at removing parts from the showroom bikes to speed up warranty output.. That would reduce your new inventory sales fleet to uselessness in short order..>>>Dan
 
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UTTransplant

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My personal opinion, worth exactly what you pay for it, is the RVTravel site is all doom and gloom. I subscribed to the newsletters for a few months and got tired of the negativity. That being said, there has been an issue with the industry for a while. An increased demand for units along with a worker shortage leads to shortcuts being taken. Add to that the disaster in the entire supply chain, and it means manufacturing chaos. Working on units out of standard flow increases the opportunity for defects in an already iffy process. But as long as people buy them, the system will continue.
 

RV&HD

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I bet there would be no takers. This was one of the more constructive comments. He must be an attorney

When you buy an RV from a dealer, incorporate a “Liquidated Damages” clause into the purchase contract. Under the Liquidated Damages clause, the Dealer will be required to reimburse you $150 per day for every day your RV is at the dealer waiting for repairs to be completed, whether the dealer is waiting for parts or whatever. That will get the dealer’s attention at the time of sale, and if they are willing to sign the purchase contract with that clause in it, they most likely have faith in the quality of the build, and the builder. If they’re not willing to sign the purchase contract, walk away. In all likelihood, few if any dealers will be willing to sign such a contract, which will tell you a lot about their confidence in the quality of the RVs they sell. BTW, I chose the $150 per day figure based on the rental cost of a similar RV, so you would want to determine that fact up front.​
 

ziplock

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looking at your link.

Will the industry topple?​

One West Coast dealer echoed those thoughts. “My greatest fear now is watching the motorized RV industry get toppled,” he said. “They just don’t have the expertise to complete a motorhome in Northern Indiana anymore. Their labor force has no eye for quality and they have no way of teaching it. The industry is ripe for someone else to step in and start producing quality products, but it will likely have to be someplace other than Indiana. Right now, if the workers there get upset by something, they just walk off because it’s easy to get a job in Elkhart right now.”





Heck I didn't even think people were looking for work. They get paid to stay home. The extra money ($300) may have stopped for the moment from the feds but they will start paying these people again,

And what will these people spend that free money on?

Not much because no one is making anything to buy.

Appliances, furniture, etc........no one to make it. They are home collecting free money and say they
can't go to work or they will die from catching covid19.
 

SRGuy

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Austin, TX
When I buy a new RV, I fully expect that I'll be fixing things on it until I sell it. On number five, now, and have never had a single unit that didn't need tinkering from time to time, going back forty years. I buy mid-level TT units, but I know the problem runs from the lower priced units right on up to the top end ones, all classes.

It basically boils down to: If you're not handy, and aren't good at repair jobs, then your RV will spend more time at the dealer getting warranty work, than time with you, during the warranty period. I enjoy working on my RV's, so no problems, there. If I had to rely on dealer warranty work, I'd never buy another unit.

I had a great guy at the dealership I used, who would order me warranty parts that I put in. Yeah, I know, he wasn't doing the right thing. Yeah, sure. Now he's gone, and the new guy is a d$%k, but my warranty period just ended, so no big deal.

In the final analysis, RV's have always been poor quality in too many ways to count, but if you're handy, they can be great fun. If you're not, don't buy one!

The only thing that's keeping me from buying a new RV, right now: Prices are ridiculous! I'll probably buy a used unit, next, from a Covid panic buyer, who used the unit once, and decided the scene wasn't for him/ her.
 

SargeW

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I too prefer to work on my own RV rather than drop it off somewhere and hope for the best. Some repair shops are good, others not so much. I have a guy at Tiffin that has sent me many parts through the years that I have installed myself. It works for me, and saves them the install costs. But that goes for my car and house projects as well.
 

DonTom

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They were supposed to check out my new RV before the delivery date. I would think they would at least check the tire PSI as that is safety related. It is obvious they did not, because one of the rear tires read zero psi. But not because there is no air in the tire but because the valve extender hose is not letting air in or out, for whatever reason. Most likely done when the tires were put on when new.

I blame the place I purchased it from more for not checking it out as well as they should have.

And there was also that issue about the marker light wire being rubbed on the tire and the outside lock issues. Not real big issues, but they should have been noticed by them.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

SargeW

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They were supposed to check out my new RV before the delivery date. I would think they would at least check the tire PSI as that is safety related. It is obvious they did not, because one of the rear tires read zero psi.
I can do better than that. When I bought my 2013 Phaeton from Mike Thompson's in Colton, they turned it over to me without doing any PDI. My inside dual on the drivers side was completely flat, zero air. The valve stem extender had failed and nobody checked. Sent me home 60 miles on the freeway with a flat rear tire.
 

Jayflight

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They were supposed to check out my new RV before the delivery date. I would think they would at least check the tire PSI as that is safety related. It is obvious they did not, because one of the rear tires read zero psi. But not because there is no air in the tire but because the valve extender hose is not letting air in or out, for whatever reason. Most likely done when the tires were put on when new.

I blame the place I purchased it from more for not checking it out as well as they should have.

And there was also that issue about the marker light wire being rubbed on the tire and the outside lock issues. Not real big issues, but they should have been noticed by them.

-Don- Auburn, CA
So the manufacturer sent the big bucks motor home out from the factory with a deflated tire? Hum, Unless the motor home was shipped on a flat bed, the tire probably has some chaffing on it, and probably generated some heat as it was dragging down the road.
 

DonTom

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So the manufacturer sent the big bucks motor home out from the factory with a deflated tire?
No, but I cannot measure the psi. It's as if the valve extender hose has no thingy in it to press on in the valve on the inner tire. The hose is blocking the air to the tire.

My "new" RV had around 3,000 miles on it when I first looked at it. It was obviously driven to Sparks, NV from wherever it was made. BTW, shouldn't that make it a used RV? But I guess that is one of the reasons why they use the term "pre-owned" these days. I am the first owner, so I guess that makes it new, so it is NOT "pre-owned".

I see no evidence of anything being wrong with the tire other than the valve hose. When I first checked it, I thought it has no air as the reading was zero PSI. But that is the hose causing the problem.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Jayflight

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No, but I cannot measure the psi. It's as if the valve extender hose has no thingy in it to press on in the valve on the inner tire. The hose is blocking the air to the tire.

My "new" RV had around 3,000 miles on it when I first looked at it. It was obviously driven to Sparks, NV from wherever it was made. BTW, shouldn't that make it a used RV? But I guess that is one of the reasons why they use the term "pre-owned" these days. I am the first owner, so I guess that makes it new, so it is NOT "pre-owned".

I see no evidence of anything being wrong with the tire other than the valve hose. When I first checked it, I thought it has no air as the reading was zero PSI. But that is the hose causing the problem.

-Don- Reno, NV
Well you said the extender would not let air in or out and you felt it was from the factory. The 3,000 miles that was put on it has nothing to do with it being new or used if you say you purchased it new, which was let out of the factory that way. Enjoy the new one and hope you have many issue free miles.
 

DonTom

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Well you said the extender would not let air in or out and you felt it was from the factory. The 3,000 miles that was put on it has nothing to do with it being new or used if you say you purchased it new, which was let out of the factory that way. Enjoy the new one and hope you have many issue free miles.
Yeah, I assume it was that way from whoever put the wheels on. And perhaps the tire psi was never checked from then until I checked it a few days ago. But who do we blame for that? Who puts the wheels on a new Class A when?

But I blame mostly the people who were supposed to check it out. The place I purchased it from. They should do a safety check before they let me pick up the RV. And that would include checking the tire psi. It's obvious they did not do the very basic safety check. I as the customer had to be the first to do such several days after I took delivery.

BTW, when I purchased my old Y2K RV used, from a place that sold used RVs, I noticed by looking that one front tire was low. They took the RV into their shop and filled up the tire. Then they expected me to drive it away.

I checked that same tire right there. I moved the cheap Chinese rubber valve stem and air leaked out very fast. That kinda pissed me off. They know the tire lost a lot of air but but they don't check for why. This was around 16 years ago.

I expect such half-ass service from just about anybody in sales. And the safety related stuff is no exception. I was about to drive that RV 100 miles and no doubt that tire would have gone flat on the way home. And that could be dangerous. It was a front tire.

On my new RV, there were issues for sure, the wire to the marker light, the locks being wrong as well as this tire hose issue. And the one thing they found, the levelling jack harness. So they found one issue, I found three when I spent five minutes checking things. I really found four issues if we count a bone dry window washer reservoir. But at least that worked perfectly when I put in some water.

I wonder if anybody has ever been able to buy a new motorhome without finding any issues. With all the stuff in a modern motorhome, I would almost expect a few small issues. But the safety related stuff I would expect the dealer to check before they let me take delivery. But they don't bother.

-Don- Reno, NV
 
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