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 > Pacific Coachworks - Warning to those looking...

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troyman

Roseville, CA

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Posted: 08/01/16 08:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good evening all, just wanted to drop in and give some feedback regarding the Pacific Coachworks Northland 24IKS model, sold by CampingWorld. For those who have looked at other Pacific Coachworks dealers, this is also referred to as a Panther Widelite 24IKS at other dealerships.

So to point out the obvious, I'm new here and haven't posted much, but wanted to warn other potential buyers about this trailer before you are also stuck with a brand new trailer sitting at the dealership for repairs for the 5th time....

Background on our purchase, we had purchased a second-hand travel trailer a couple of years ago wanting to try out the experience. We had some excellent experiences in the trailer, but unfortunately our trailer had some extensive water damage over the last winter season, making it unusable to us. After realizing the damage, we started looking around at different trailers and really liked the way that the Pacific Coachworks 24IKS Northland was setup. We went in, did the whole walk-thru, looked at some other models and decided we wanted to go ahead with this one.

On April 23rd, 2016, we went down to our local CampingWorld dealer in Roseville, California and negotiated terms on a brand new 2016 24IKS Northland trailer. We were really excited to get the trailer, and they worked out setting our pick-up date for the following Tuesday afternoon - April 26th, 2016 so that we could take it out that upcoming weekend for our first trip.

So our first trip out, we had some issues, we really hoped it would be all of them in the one shot, but boy were we wrong....

First trip out issues:
* Shower pan - Oops, completely forgot to seal it at the factory and it dumped water all over the floor
* Bathroom wall trim - Apparently they were busy and just left some of the trim off in the bathroom, leaving an exposed pathway behind the shower for that water to leak down
* Galley sink - Clogged up, right away with clear water
* Bathroom sink - Oops, forgot to tighten that down or seal it to the counter
* Counter tops - Cut the trim super short, and just left it that way
* Stove top - Misaligned the stove and rammed it in anyway, bending the front panel
* Fresh water tank sensor - Not working right, shows half-full when the tank is bone dry
* Duct Tape! - Yes, seriously there is black duct tape used to seal the bottom of our slide out on the passenger side. About the third time we opened the slide, that duct tape started to peel off and gum up the floor... great.
* Door catch on front door - Latch the door, screws pull right out of the door and it lands in the dirt with a TINY breeze (like a person walking by)

So we figure, that's gotta be the worse thing that can happen, and we'll have it fixed in no time, and back on the road... no chance.

Dropped off 5/1 for first set of repairs, got it back on 5/5 with some fresh shower sealant and an explanation that Pacific Coachworks isn't authorizing the claim yet.

For Trip #2, we were on shore power this time and discovered even more problems. (Oh, for this trip, they were only able to reseal the bathroom shower and found a "kink" in the sink vent stack in the two weeks they had it sitting on their lot because Pacific Coachworks wouldn't authorize the repair work)

* Refrigerator will only stay cool if we're on propane, awesome!
* Toilet fill line - Flush the toilet, and it sprays the floor - awesome!
* Bathroom sink - Wash your hands, and it washes the entire cabinet and floor - more awesome!

Got back from our trip, emptied our gear and dropped it off at our local Camping World where it sat for nearly two weeks.

While they had it, they managed to get the toilet to stop spraying water on the floor. I then went and finally took it back because they weren't doing anything to get it repaired and we had a trip planned in a few days. So trailer half-@ss working, we went on our next trip... more awesome!!!

This time by the way, I reached out to Pacific Coachworks and talked to a gentleman named Fred Placka, who authorized the claim right there on the spot and was a pretty big help - that changes around trip #4 back to the dealer for repairs by the way.

Those keeping track, dropped it off on evening of 5/8/16, took it back on 5/18/16

First payment goes out on the trailer, with tons of problems - not happy.

Trip #3 - Trip to Pismo Beach for our anniversary, woohoo! (6/2 - 6/5)

Before we even leave, I try for two days to get the refrigerator to cool down on 110v, no-go, propane it is... Hopefully that's the only problem - yeah, right!!!

* First day into our trip, we notice a wet spot in the floor below the slide. We're on city power/water, so I figure great another leak and switch to the tank and pump. Look back by the city water line, there's water dripping down the trailer.

* Second day into our trip, seems like that pump is cycling an awful lot for not even using the water.. great. Water spot is much bigger...great. Leave the pump off and only use water as needed, then depressurize lines. Look at the back of the trailer, that water dripping down the trailer is now dripping, heavily from the undercarriage... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!

* We get everything packed up that night, to pull out at first light on day 3 - we were supposed to be there until that night, btw.

Additional miscellaneous issues:
* Door guides for the bedroom keep popping off
* Can see actual daylight through a corner of where the slide pops out on the bottom (about a 3" gap)
* City water connection is cockeyed
* Sealant around sinks is peeling off
* That awesome duct tape is just flailing in the wind now
* Darco material underneath is already frayed and falling off where the plumbing comes out from the bottom of the trailer
* Shower frame isn't actually sealed to the wall, don't put any pressure on the wall or frame, or there's a 1/4" gap to wash down the bathroom...

Drop it off on 6/6/16, picked up on 6/15. They traced the water leak to a fitting failure near the pump, fixed it and had drying fans pumping through it for two days. Everything has come in and pretty much all repairs are completed, yeah!!!

BIG NOTE >>>> I also let Fred Placka what is going on, as he told me to reach out if I have ANY other issues. He assures me he's doing what he can to expedite things.

Trip #4 - Father's day weekend trip!

Trip goes pretty much without a problem, at least in terms of this trailer. Low water pressure, all of the tank sensors now don't read right, galley sink won't drain again, refrigerator still only works right on propane - as to be expected, but otherwise working or in Pacific Coachworks terms "Usable".

Tilt the trailer up to hitch up, and wait... is that water coming out of the undercarriage AGAIN!?!?!?

Sure enough, water is pouring out from where the water lines connect to the hot water heater... this is unreal.... Back to the dealer we go! Dropped it off on 6/20

Trip #5 for 4th of July! - Oh wait, no trip, trailer isn't returned as promised on July 1st. No refund on spot, no trailer, no trip...

So I stop in from time to time, checking on it. Usually hasn't been queued up yet, or they tested and can't reproduce the problem. I think somewhere around July 20th, after a trip down to talk to my service advisor and sales manager (Second or third time now, I forget - but they know me on a first name basis now, and even gave me $100 gift card for my problems). They tell me, refrigerator has no problems, can't reproduce the water issue, trailer is fine. Waiting on the final parts to arrive to give it back. I explained a very specific sequence of events to make the refrigerator fail, and get a call the next day - no problems! I ask the service advisor to test one more time doing specifically this:

Do not use propane at all, just plug in the refrigerator and wait. In fact, wait for it to get "cold" and stick a gallon of milk in there. If you are willing to drink that milk the next day, I'll give you $100.

Next day get a call, they plugged it in and by the following morning it was something like 48* in the refrigerator, but cooling. By mid-afternoon it hot gotten warmer, I think he said about 60* and wasn't willing to try my milk challenge. :-)

On the good side, third time in there for the fridge, they reproduced the problem and are performing the required tests by the manufacturer to replace/repair the fridge. Checked on them last week (late July by the way) and the parts on the way for the fridge, they're REBUILDING the vent stack because of a poor design where they used 1/2" PEX line for the vent. Oh, PEX line is generally used for water FEED lines, not vent lines by the way.

Funny thing about the galley vent stack, old Fred Placka even told me they use 1 3/4" PVC for their vent stack, and they must have mistyped or something when they originally fixed the problem when this first happened and the picture they submitted must have been wrong too.

Oh Fred Placka is no longer responding to me, I'm assuming because when I mentioned the trailer being a LEMON due to something like four or five water issues, that I must just be complaining or something - thanks for the help buddy! Oh even better, I'm working with Parts & Service Director down at Camping World now due to the frequency of problems - guess who won't return his calls? Fred Placka! Oh, btw, Fred Placka is the guy who authorizes repairs and deals with problems like this.

Today is August 1st, guess where my trailer is? Camping World still! Been there since June 20th! Payment #2 and payment #3 while it sits at camping world collecting dust, awesome!!!! Just got word the refrigerator part is installed, and pending a final test so I can pick'er up.

So for those keeping track as of 8/1 here's the tally:

Days owned: 97
Days of possession: 28
Days of repair: 69 (42 alone on current stint)

With any luck, I'll have it back by Wednesday or Thursday for a trip to Tahoe, where it will hopefully be finally a working new trailer.

In any case, hope it wards off other potential buyers of Pacific Coachwork products and sets some realistic expectations of how you'll get handled with your new purchases at Camping World!

Being a Good Sam site, I'll likely get booted off of here now, but I saved the text so I can post elsewhere :-)

Happy Trails all!

For what it's worth, these guys have been helping as much as they possibly can and have been helpful as much as they can:

Alex? (I forget if that's right now) - Assistant Sales Manager, he's been very pleasant, very reasonable and helped to get some movement on it.

Skip Bunker - Service Advisor, putting up with me.

Two guys that I will blast:
Fred Placka - Pacific Coachworks Service Manager, gone like a fart in the wind...
CampingWorld of Sacramento Sales Manager - Lost his information, but hey buddy still waiting for that callback to discuss the problems since... since June!

* This post was edited 08/01/16 08:13pm by troyman *

rbpru

North Central Indiana

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Posted: 08/01/16 10:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad I bought a three year old used TT, there are some strange looking changes that I do not think were original.

Everything works fine so I do not dwell on it.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 08/01/16 10:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a comment about the fridge: don't expect that type of fridge to maintain a set temperature like your household (compressor) fridge. Absorption units will only cool a certain amount below ambient temp; as it gets hotter outside, the fridge will get warmer inside. You can sometimes improve performance by adding a small fan near the upper vent opening to get rid of heat buildup. Some folks switch out to a 12V compressor fridge like Engel, ARB, etc.

Sorry you're having such a disaster with the build quality.


Mike G.
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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 08/01/16 10:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear of your problems.......hair pulling frustration no doubt.

As for fridge.....
Absorption fridges WILL cool properly even in hot ambient temps PROVIDED fridge has been properly installed as per recommendations by fridge mfg.
Majority of lack of cooling issues can be traced directly back to RV MFGs installation vs actual fridge function.

Dometic/Norcold/Atwood ALL have installation requirements (clearances/baffling/draft air flow/dead air space etc.
But when RV mfg. doesn't follow them......fridge is issue. NOT!
(Goggle your Brand/Model for installation and see how it should be done)

Best of luck.........
CW and Pacific are NOT doing you right.
Pacific has left you hanging and CW is not best at making repairs


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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jerseyjim

New Jersey

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Posted: 08/02/16 05:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So many complaints about CW selling RVs....and the poor after-sell service. My OPINION...buy from a local RV DEALER.

Better off.

LarryJM

NoVa

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Posted: 08/02/16 06:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

Just a comment about the fridge: don't expect that type of fridge to maintain a set temperature like your household (compressor) fridge. Absorption units will only cool a certain amount below ambient temp; as it gets hotter outside, the fridge will get warmer inside. You can sometimes improve performance by adding a small fan near the upper vent opening to get rid of heat buildup. Some folks switch out to a 12V compressor fridge like Engel, ARB, etc.

Sorry you're having such a disaster with the build quality.


That misconception about absorption frigs only cooling a certain amount below ambient is PURE HOGWASH!. While they are not as efficient they will cool properly even in high ambient temps. The biggest issue is the cooling capacity is much less and by that I mean how much heat they can remove as a function of time, but this has to do with the limitations of the refrigerant used and the non compressor design of an absorption frig.

With all that said there can be some ambient conditions where the temp is so high well into the 100s would be my guess where an absorption frig simply can't transfer enough heat energy from the condensor coil to offset the natural heat losses from normal sources and design issues such as poor condensor air flow, etc.

ON EDIT just read Old Biscuits post and I agree 100% with what he said and on reflection I also have to agree that probably the majority of frigs are not installed properly to allow the correct air flow over the condensor which will be the biggest issue with the frig cooling properly especially in higher ambient temps.

Larry


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the_happiestcamper

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Posted: 08/02/16 06:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jerseyjim wrote:

So many complaints about CW selling RVs....and the poor after-sell service. My OPINION...buy from a local RV DEALER.

Better off.


I did on my first trailer - and they were awesome. If you had any issues, you could go straight to the owner. Unfortunately, after 30 years in business, he decided to retire - and he sold it to CW. Service went down hill after that. Found another local dealer who is great - hopefully they stick around awhile.


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troyman

Roseville, CA

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Posted: 08/02/16 08:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

Just a comment about the fridge: don't expect that type of fridge to maintain a set temperature like your household (compressor) fridge. Absorption units will only cool a certain amount below ambient temp; as it gets hotter outside, the fridge will get warmer inside. You can sometimes improve performance by adding a small fan near the upper vent opening to get rid of heat buildup. Some folks switch out to a 12V compressor fridge like Engel, ARB, etc.

Sorry you're having such a disaster with the build quality.


Yeah we knew what to expect with the fridge, this is our 2nd trailer. What was frustrating was that it would get cold and stay cold on propane, but warm up immediately on 110v. I had to explain it to them ultimately I think 5x before they reproduced the issue. To add to it, it was the service advisor who replicated the problem, the tech kept doing a quick look and saying it was fine without actually repeating the failure test sequence.

In regards to CW I'm only returning there each time because these are all manufacturer defects, this isn't even touching my extended warranty yet. I'll be finding a local dealer that accepts my warranty when this is all said and done.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone!

stevemorris

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Posted: 08/02/16 08:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

interesting comments about fridge installations. we're on our second used travel trailer and both fridges were not installed properly

first trailer was a forest river 19 ft, the fridge actually shifted out of position, only reason it didn't comeout completely was the propane line. no screws were ever used to hold it in place.

second trailer had a huge cavity above it, the cabinet was sized for a larger two door fridge, the space above in ours was just left empty. dometic very explicitly states that cavities over a certain size around the fridge must closed off to maximize airflow around the cooling system


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LarryJM

NoVa

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Posted: 08/02/16 10:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stevemorris wrote:

interesting comments about fridge installations. we're on our second used travel trailer and both fridges were not installed properly

first trailer was a forest river 19 ft, the fridge actually shifted out of position, only reason it didn't comeout completely was the propane line. no screws were ever used to hold it in place.

second trailer had a huge cavity above it, the cabinet was sized for a larger two door fridge, the space above in ours was just left empty. dometic very explicitly states that cavities over a certain size around the fridge must closed off to maximize airflow around the cooling system


Yep that open area normally above the frig is IMO a real achilles heal because many times that baffle at the top of the frig is missing and if installed many times is not secured or sealed well and can come loose. That allow an air pocket of hot air to form that basically blocks off the majority of the air flow up from the bottom thru the roof vent.

You can generally check and even fix that top baffle by removing the roof vent and working on that area from the roof access. I've also fixed that issue by going in from the top interior and pushing a rectangle of foam or insulation back even with the back of the frig that seals off that area.

Larry

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