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Old 07-01-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
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Quality Control and Dealers

Wife and I bought a 2017 Denali 316RES the first of May. Went through the PDI with the service person and raised my eyebrow over several things but let it pass for then. The superslide tripped the thermal breaker in the motor when he retracted it. He said it was due to the weight but I knew better. I thought maybe it was just new and stiff. Bedroom door wouldn't latch shut and he said it was probably because the unit was at an angle. Noticed when we got home (hour and half drive) one of the upper kitchen cabinets was unfinished on the underside. Looked like they scabbed it together. Was pretty obvious when entering the front door looking up into the camper. Guess I was more into looking down where I was stepping.
Taking it back this morning and haven't planned any trips for the month. Slide got no better in fact got a lot worse. Checked the cables and found one side hadn't been adjusted. One cable was laying on the top of the slide. So the slide had been trying to twist rather than moving out evenly. Both lower cable brackets are almost pulled out of the slide wall. Bedroom door latch doesn't come close to matching up with the hole in the jam. Afraid to run the forward A/C due to not seeing any condensation dripping off the roof. Climbed up to check and still nothing. Then there's several other minor things.
But why do builders shove them out the doors in this condition? But then why do dealers sell them this way knowing they will be back with unhappy owners.
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:34 PM   #2
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...But why do builders shove them out the doors in this condition? But then why do dealers sell them this way knowing they will be back with unhappy owners.
Easy... manufacturers do it because it's a volume business. Quantity over quality, and there's very little oversight. The only parts that have to pass any governmental inspection requirements are the running gear (tail/brake lights, etc).

Dealers sell them that way because they want your money. Once you sign that dotted line, they get paid. They'll worry about getting you back in for repairs when it's convenient for them... not you.

It's spilt milk now... but this is why you should never allow ANYTHING to slide before signing the line to complete the deal. They'll move heaven & earth to repair things you notice & require fixing before taking delivery. Afterwards... well, don't be surprised when you take it back to them if they tell you it'll be 3 weeks or a couple of months before they can get to it.

Good luck...
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:52 PM   #3
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Dealer Dealer Dealer.........

We, as consumers, have little recourse for how the manufacturers in this industry work. We COULD vote with our pocket books and not purchase the brand\models that have questionable quality control, but you would quickly find the $budget for the really conscientious manufacturer's products are out of reach for many of us.

So........., the folks that have a GOOD experience with these affordable RV's are likely the ones that benefitted from a good dealer. A dealer that does a much better than average job of preparing the "unit" for personal ownership. You have to believe the RV's they sell arrived with just as many issues as any other dealers received. So I'm of the opinion they are just PEOPLE who care more.

I am very fortunate my dealer did a fantastic job, obviously, of thoroughly going over my Aerolite BEFORE my PDI. (They claim to have)
The only issue I found when I did my walk through was a window blind that was too stiff. Instead of trying to fix it, they just ordered me a new one and shipped it to me. I don't think there was anything wrong with the first one. It just wasn't installed properly.

I've been living in this 213 24\7 since I took delivery. Knock on wood but I haven't had a single issue. It's been fantastic.

Admittedly mine doesn't suffer from the wear and tear of hauling it across the country. That is an advantage that most folks just don't have as an option.

Sure hope your dealer does you right on this. If they do, I'm sure you will have many awesome days of adventure with it. RVing can be a wonderful thing!
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:27 PM   #4
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ATCguy, you are correct to a point but the dealer is guaranteed the money when you sign the paper. The PDI is just a formality and carries no weight. Unless your state has a lemon law, it's yours no matter what you find afterward. I'm in the boating industry and have been for close to forty years. When we perform a PDI on a Yamaha product, the buyer has to sign it but it never goes further than the filling cabinet. I've never been asked to sign a PDI on a RV.
I knew I would be returning it for warranty and told them I'd see them in a couple of months. These items I could repair myself and save myself some travel time but I want a paper trail in case it's needed in the future.
What I was attempting to get to was the fact that quality control was a problem across the market. I spoke with a business associate that bought a new diesel pusher last year to the tune of $250,000. You should have heard his list of problems. Another bought a Voltage toy hauler last year and the factory bought it back before the year was over due to so many problems.
I'm not sweating getting mine repaired and if it takes all month, so be it. But I do have the owner's personal cell number. When it is time to pick it back up, I will be going over it with a fine tooth comb.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:43 AM   #5
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While I've been pretty lucky with my 2015 Voltage 3990 with a relatively short list of things that have gone wrong or needed repairs, personally I think the boating industry is leaps and bounds ahead of the RV industry when it comes to build quality and PDI's. I bought a new 22' Key West center console and have not had one warranty or repair issue, although in the RV industry defense, most boats don't have the relatively complex systems that RV's have.
Rusty
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:16 PM   #6
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I personally would pay an extra 25-50k for a high quality RV. A little more weight, yes. But I guess there isn't a market for them because at least in Toy Haulers they don't exist. You can get a really nice Class A (though a buddy of mine chased and electrical gremlin in a million dollar coach) and there are some really nice 5th Wheel travel trailers. But, I am sure the accountants have opined and there is no reason to increase the quality given the price point and the volume they sell.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MisterScott View Post
I personally would pay an extra 25-50k for a high quality RV. A little more weight, yes. But I guess there isn't a market for them because at least in Toy Haulers they don't exist. You can get a really nice Class A (though a buddy of mine chased and electrical gremlin in a million dollar coach) and there are some really nice 5th Wheel travel trailers. But, I am sure the accountants have opined and there is no reason to increase the quality given the price point and the volume they sell.
I am inclined to agree with you on the accountants and the decision makers putting profits first. Unfortunately it is currently a sellers market. Factory and Dealer level QC and better customer service would go a long ways, but they "cost" money. (Not really but when you are in double digit growth and selling everything you can push out the door it doesn't count).

There have been some very well built units in the past, Teton Homes is one that comes to mind. There are still some out there, but they are few and far between and in many cases don't build what many people are looking for. There is always the opportunity to go full blown custom, but at what price? I could probably build you one helluva toy hauler, but I bet it would cost $300K and you would need a Class 7 to pull it.

I saw an extremely interesting conversion the other day; someone had converted an old Greyhound bus to a fifth wheel, where the engine used to be was a garage for an MG Midget.

Aaron
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #8
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I personally would pay an extra 25-50k for a high quality RV...
Wouldn't be enough... although, if you're serious and don't mind an extra $100-125k, check out the Fullhouse, by DRV, the same folks who build the Mobile Suites RV.

I know 2 people who have one, and they report quality work, and decent customer service.
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