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JDsdogs

Easten WA state

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Posted: 02/18/21 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are looking at going from a Class A motor home to a travel trailer. It's been a while since we purchased an RV.

I was reading Forest Rivers web sight and was concerned with their warranty/service statement.

Under the dealer finder, they said it best to purchase from a local dealer as the dealers are not franchised, therefore dealers, other than the one you purchased the RV from, were under no obligation to service your RV.
What I got from that was that, If you didn't buy from us (specific dealer), you can go fly a kite.

WOW, really?

We take to heart the term "Travel Trailer". When we travel, we are most often out of our home state. Nowhere near our home area.
What happens is we break down several states away from home? A dealer can just tell us that they might deal with our problem when/if they get the time?
Or am I totally misinterpreting the statement?

If this is the case, buying new RV would have little value for us. If I'm going to have to take care of issues on my own, I may as well buy used and save some $$.

WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 02/18/21 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, that's why so many buy used!

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 02/18/21 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We ordered our 5th wheel thru a small dealer..........upon delivery we Hit the road FT and never took it back to that dealer cause we were never back in that area.
Warranty issues....we called the RV MFG. and got an 'authorized' mobile RV Tech. Had to pay a 'service fee' but rest of repairs were under warranty

And some warranty issues.......I fixed them myself as it was easiest, less cumbersome and didn't have to wait for approval/authorization

Sometimes it is best just to git 'r done

We bought NEW cause we ORDERED it with some stuff we wanted and deleted some stuff that we thought was unnecessary

YES ....dealers do NOT have to preform warranty work if not purchased from them. They MAY...but you will be low priority/go to back of line
*Some dealers are better then others.

Used RVs can be worthwhile.......already taken the 'depreciation', MAY have already had the 'bugs' worked out or may be piece of junk
**If buying used I would recommend an 'RV Inspection' be conducted (like a home inspection prior to purchase)

Good Luck!


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QCMan

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Posted: 02/18/21 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good that you are doing research. If you were driving fifty feet away from the dealer you purchased the unit from, don't expect too much in the way of emergency service. It will go on the end of the list and you will have it back in a snappy two weeks to a month. Most dealers do not do emergency. There are many skilled mobil mechanics out there that do.
Consider this: your spring breaks in front of the dealer you got the unit from. Service department has to do an evaluation as to the cause of the breakage. Then that evaluation is forwarded to the manufacturer. Then it gets reviewed. Then a determination is made on it being a warranty issue. That decision is sent to whoever communicates with the dealer. The dealer then either tells you that the claim is denied or that it is covered. Then the dealer orders the parts if it was covered and waits for them to be shipped. When they get in you are still at the end of the line waiting for an appointment to have the work done. Remember that nobody is in a hurry to make any of the above decisions. If it is denied, you are out the use of it for whatever it took to get to that point and now have to order parts and get on the end of the line and then pay for the repairs.
Rv systems are not rocket science and the parts are common to many units. If I have something go wrong on the road, I either fix it myself or get a mobil tech to the campground. Exactly the same way most fulltimers do it. A couple of hours of my time or a tech's time is worth it to me instead of losing the trailer for a month and having it damaged in the service yard.
Just my .02


2020 Keystone Cougar 22RBS, Ram 1500, two Jacks and plenty of time to roam!
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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 02/18/21 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JDsdogs wrote:

If this is the case, buying new RV would have little value for us. If I'm going to have to take care of issues on my own, I may as well buy used and save some $$.


Warranty issues are a near certainty with a new unit. They almost always have to go back to the dealer for repairs in that first year until all the bugs are worked out.

The second near certainty is that warranty service is slow and dealers don't care. Your new rig will sit on their lot for weeks or months while the sausage is being made.

Your choices as I see them are:

1. Buy new and brace yourselves for a rocky first year.

2. Buy new and just deal with those initial issues on your own.

3. Buy used and hope that the previous owner was thorough in catching all of the factory defaults and hope that they have all been remedied.

If I had known in advance that it would take our dealer 20 months to complete all of our warranty repairs, I would have split them out into batches of things we could afford to deal with and things we couldn't, and then just have the dealer work on the items where I couldn't go out of pocket.

I'd say that 1/3 to 1/2 of the dealer repairs were so bad anyway that we ended up having to re-repair them ourselves or hire a mobile tech to clean up their poor work.

The day we finally said goodbye to our dealer was a very happy day.


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JDsdogs

Easten WA state

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey All, thanks for the input. It certainly provided food for thought.
I have done all the repairs on our 2000 Motor Home, with the exception the loss of a wheel bearing in Louisville KY. A mobile service took care of us and at a fair price. I could have done that too, except I did not carry the necessary tools to complete the repair. I'm not getting any younger and probably should no longer be doing the heavy stuff anyway.
Leaning hard toward a used unit now.

Has anyone compiled a directory of mobil RV repair services available across the nation? Does Good Sam
have a list of providers that they recommend if you break down?

Yeah, I know. I have more questions than a 4 yr old on a sugar high. :-D

dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JDsdogs wrote:

Yeah, I know. I have more questions than a 4 yr old on a sugar high. :-D


LOL. Questions are good.

About the global registry of mobile RV techs... [emoticon]

I can't authoritatively say there isn't one, but there isn't one.

Think of the difference between a licensed contractor and a handyman. The handyman is usually a lot more transient, maybe working through his sobriety, etc. That's not to say he isn't fair & ethical or doesn't do a good job, but he works by word of mouth and isn't necessarily always around or available when you need him.

I've got two great mobile RV techs nearby who do great work. One of them is a great guy who does incredible work and we've become good friends over time. He's my go-to guy when I need help, and he stops by to say hello just because. The problem with him though, is that the secret is out and he's in high demand. He'll go for a week without answering calls because he's busy and the calls slow him down.

I use the other guys out of necessity if my favorite guy is busy. They're busy too though, so there's no guarantee.

So if you're looking for a handy directory so you can call a guy when you need him, I don't think you'll find one.

If you're on a trip and need some help, I would first check at the office where I'm staying and see if they know anyone. If that doesn't work, look for long-term residents and see if they know anyone. Next I would call other local RV parks. I'd also try local RV storage yards, because the techs are coming and going all the time at those places.

My last resort would be to search Facebook for local RV groups and ask the local members. I found both of my techs through my local FB camping group. Our local members are pretty brutal, so the bad techs get bashed and run out of town. Consequently, the two good ones are busy every day they want to work.

PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First thing about warranties.

An RV is NOT a vehicle, it is a home. And like a house the builder (manufacturer) is only responsible for the shell construction, base utilities and such.

You have to deal with the manufacturer of the fridge, the furnace, the water heater.

Because of the movement potential of an RV, you may have to deal with the axle manufacturer (Dexter in our case), the company who built the jacks and slides hardware (Lippert in our case).

You also have two separate electrical systems - 120V AC and 12V DC - which requires special hardware.

And you have less than 1/4 the electrical power of a new home, 1/2 of an older home. Usually less than a small apartment - when hooked up to the power grid.

If you have a motorhome, you have to deal with the engine and chassis manufacturer.

There are two keys to being comfortable with an RV warranty.

1) Buy from a reputable dealer, and only use that dealer. We bought our TT from a company in Texas with a good reputation, and I must say, they have bent over backwards to get the rig worked on quickly, work with the various manufacturers, and get use back on the road as full-timers. And we have dealt with their locations in Mesquite, Canton, Boerne and Sequin Texas.

But when the Dexter axle broke a weld, a bad weld on the mounting bracket from their robot welder being out of position, it took 31 days to get the two replacement axles from Dexter. And we had to pay for shipping. An Extra-Ride extended warranty paid the installation labor. That was Dexter's fault, not the dealer.

They called me at 10 am and said the truck had delivered the axles, and the trailer would be ready to pickup at 3. It was.

2) Forget the warranty and deal with mobile RV service techs. Especially if you plan to travel. Put the money for an extended warranty into a bank account and only use it for repairs.

It is not uncommon for a dealer to not order the parts until they have the rig on their lot. RVs are highly customized compared to vehicles. And the manufacturers do not have regional warehouses full of parts ready to be delivered in a few hours/ overnight. (The market is too small).

Our experience with Dexter is an example. I could buy the axles from one of four suppliers in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. But they would not be welded to the proper brackets to attach the axles to the Forest River TT. And any welding not done at their manufacturing plant voids any warranty.

Suburban did drop ship a new water heater to the one RV dealer in Connecticut who handled their warranty work. We had to pay for a service call to come out and install it. Cash off the books.

(It was 65 miles on US-6 - a 3 1/2 to 4 hour journey through an almost constant urban area, or 93 miles on CT-8, I-84, I-691, I-91, I-384 to the dealer - 3 to 3 1/2 hours).

FloJet refused to deal with a mobile tech for the water pump not working right. They wanted me to take the TT to a dealer near Fort Lauderdale. The dealer said they would give me an appointment to bring the rig to their lot in seven weeks, and it would be at least four weeks before they could look at the water pump.

We paid the mobile tech cash to replace it, after a trip to Chase.

Mostly, we use mobile RV techs. The campgrounds can recommend someone, and a little research can find a good one. The good ones are busy. And they don't get paid until they FIX the problem.


Full-Time 2014 - ????

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JDsdogs

Easten WA state

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Posted: 02/18/21 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Once again, thanks to all who have responded. I appreciate all input.

Super_Dave

Harrisville, UT

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Posted: 02/18/21 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't be put off by the "dealer you bought it from" issue because even they have no obligation to fix anything under warranty. Every time that I took my trailer back to my dealer they said that they had to wait for manufacturer approval before starting work. It wasn't always given either.


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