Major water leak due to manufacture install - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 01-08-2016, 02:22 AM   #1
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Major water leak due to manufacture install

Hi everyone I'm new to the forum and just found a huge problem with my 2013 Voltage V3200. We started having large slide problems after moving to Oregon in Aug 2014. Before that it was always stored indoors. What I found out in December after a month of rain my trailer was completely flooded. The center A/C was installed wrong when it was built and this has caused many problems. Keystone has denied my claim because an authorized dealer didn't find the problem I did. Has anyone had problems getting trailer issues resolved. My trailer is ruined and my only recourse is getting a lawyer I guess. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Steve
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:43 AM   #2
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Hi everyone I'm new to the forum and just found a huge problem with my 2013 Voltage V3200. We started having large slide problems after moving to Oregon in Aug 2014. Before that it was always stored indoors. What I found out in December after a month of rain my trailer was completely flooded. The center A/C was installed wrong when it was built and this has caused many problems. Keystone has denied my claim because an authorized dealer didn't find the problem I did. Has anyone had problems getting trailer issues resolved. My trailer is ruined and my only recourse is getting a lawyer I guess. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Steve
First off, sorry to hear about your troubles...

That aside, I'm a bit confused. These are just some random thoughts...

It's a 2013 rig, and you say you began having slide problems in mid-2014. So can we assume that, prior to moving to Oregon... you had the rig and camped in it without any issues?

Next, you say the center A/C was installed wrong. How did you determine this? Is this where the leak is coming from, or is it the slide? If it's the A/C, then what does the slide have to do with the issue (unless you just threw that in there for reference)?

Also, if the center A/C is where the leak is... and if you camped in it prior to this December without any issues before (I assume it must have rained at least once when you were camping)... did it ever leak before?

Finally, you say... "Keystone has denied my claim because an authorized dealer didn't find the problem I did". What are you calling "the problem" in that sentence... the leak, or the fact that you feel it was built wrong? Again, I"m going to assume it's the latter, since the dealer must obviously be able to see the rain damage. So is the dealer saying that they don't believe it was built wrong, but that an issue has arose since delivery? If so, Keystone would most surely deny your claim.

All of that said... even in a best case scenario, you'll probably want to get an attorney involved. Your whole case will depend on you being able to PROVE that the center A/C was installed incorrectly. If it's simply that a seal deteriorated and began leaking... that would be a warranty issue, IF you have an extended warranty or service plan. If not, then you'll probably be out of luck if you can't prove an incorrect installation.

At least... that's my opinion. Getting Dutchmen/Keystone to acknowledge fault has been notoriously iffy. Maybe some others will have different ideas and/or thoughts.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:57 AM   #3
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Hi I tried to post a picture but it didn't work. We had found water in the rig a few times but I thought it was from the vents being open an inch or so or a leaking ice chest that we put near the refrigerator. If the rig is higher in the front then the back water would not leak into the rig. The gasket on the rear of the a/c was not covering the cutout. When we use the rig I always keep the front higher then the back on purpose to allow water to run off the back.
The rig was always stored indoors until Aug 2014 and we started having slide issues when it was stored outdoors. Water leaks down onto the slide which caused it to allow water and moisture it get in the motors which caused them to fail and the wall to warp. I pulled the a/c off and took many pictures that prove the install is wrong and they still said it was denied.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:32 AM   #4
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I pulled the a/c off and took many pictures that prove the install is wrong and they still said it was denied.
Did you actually remove the A/C or just the cover?

If you did remove the A/C I suspect any evidence to a defect is no longer there.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:56 PM   #5
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Sorry Itsbish, but if you found the water damage in Dec. 2014, why has it taken a year to ask the questions...Also most of us do our own work on our RV's, but anything big, it goes to the dealer, so they can contact Dutchman, if you observed the water from the A/C, you should have taken it to the dealer, so they would be in your corner....Its time for a attorney....
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:07 AM   #6
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Got thinking about this more... and another option you may have (and possibly easier) is through your insurance company. You do have insurance on your rig, right?

If so, file a claim... and they'll either go after Dutchmen, pay for repairs, or simply total it.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:33 PM   #7
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:29 PM   #8
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on oct 22- 2014, we bought a 2014 cyclone 4000. it did have a fist sized lump on the outside..the unit was used ( 5 months old) . the original owner had gotten the roof replaced. the A/C unit was mounted incorrectly , or the roof was cut short...I did fully understand that the factory warranty was void, since i was the second owner. - we bought from the same dealer that did the roof warranty .

this thing is total junk! ..pops the breaker (outside) for no reason. not over amping.. different camp sites too.. 3 fireplaces, half of the outlets in the coach are dead, main tv. and on, and on...

dealer helped a lot!
then in june, we made a 3 week trip to FL. guess the heat made the delam worse? not sure. most said to get it in the heat to "help", if there was water traped in the wall...

after that trip, the OTHER side started to do the same. and , then the INSIDE on one side looked liked rough sand paper. think its called stimpling . then could see a fist size spot in the wall that looked liked soaked it in water. now its 4/5 times that size and on both sides. all damage is in the same spot as the main a/c,,,,

over the next 4 months,, and $400 in lawyer .. it was a finger pointing game.

dealer: we only fixed what heartland approved.

heartland: we approved any and all of what the dealer asked for, and they should have fixed it then.

me: i didn't buy a flood damaged camper at some insurance auction for thousands less than is value. i bought from a good dealer, and Im not asking for a warranty... but I AM asking that the original "defect"-(by their own words), be FIXED 100%, AND NOT 50%

Heartland, NEVER one time even returned a call ! and the dealer got bought out by camping world during this past year.!

in a closed door meeting with the GM ( same guy,as when it was tom johnson), the service manager tells me the "these new campers have styrofoam in the walls and won't hold water..."
me: buddy, im not trying to be an ass here, but I'm in the - water -styrofoam, business for a LIVING. I own a hot tub service company, and when ya have a 3+ year old cover,, its heavy !
he just looks at the ground...i think i saw him punch himself in the nuts..

in the end , i agree to spend, 30,000 and order a voltage 3970, with paint option .
waiting for it now...
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:46 PM   #9
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also, was told extended warranty's won't touch this type of work in any way... BUT they did say that some insurance's may. when the new one shows, I'll not be getting an extended, but instead finding that BEST insurance i can find !
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:01 PM   #10
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Hopkins44, Not that it helps, but my heart goes out to you. A lot of people told me to by a gently used newer RV. I was afraid of exactly what happened to you. I'm all about expecting issues with used vehicles, however when there are MAJOR issues like your's, you just end up taking it in the shorts. We bought a new full paint 3990 in 2015. Glad I did, as we've have few issues, all of which were simple that I addressed, or were minor fit/finish things the dealer did on it's one time return for warranty work. Hopefully you'll have similar luck with your 3970.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:50 PM   #11
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hopkins44... you do realize that Heartland and Dutchmen are both owned by Thor Industries? Heartland used to be a top quality unit, then they got bought out by Thor...

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Old 01-09-2016, 03:53 PM   #12
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supper happy to hear your happy with your experience ! we are fairly nervous ... I learned a stiff lesson here ! only ever owned one other camper at this point, ( a 13 Road Warrior 305),also a heartland. I should have looked at the delam closer and wondered why it got traded after only 5 months...

- when I bought it, it was barley noticeable at all... having owned a heartland before, i was comfortable. and when i call them , BEFORE, i bought, they said: "Reasonable" amount of time they would look at it and "possibly " help. asked for pictures and I never got around to sending them...I was only looking for worst cace . and didn't really think i had anything to worry about.
after it got worse ... they sang a different song ! told me, they would have never said that, and basically called me a lair.!-- man I was ready for a road trip

that being said. i think i just found myself in a bad situation ... IF it wasn't there, how could the dealer submit a claim, OR heartland aprove it....

when the camper is new, check the A/C's and anything else you can't see.
get on the roof once a month

and NEVER buy a used one...

hope that helps..tom
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:55 PM   #13
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yeah, i did know that, lol. thats why I'm nervous ...lol
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:15 PM   #14
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Hopkins44,

I feel bad that you had to learn about water damage the hard way. I feel even worse for the person that will buy it next.

Your story is full of warning bells that would have me running for the hills, begining with the fist sized lump.

For me the issue is all about the mould and mildew that has the perfect environment to grow inside the walls. I've seen how far water will travel before revealing itself and how fast mould will spread inside the walls, from a leaking water line in the house.

The stories, half truths and down right lies that I have heard about water leaks and how everything has been repaired could fill a novel. Some sales folks even manage a convincing look of surprise when I show them the reading on my moisture meter.

I hope you inspect your new 3970 very carefully for any signs of water penetration.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:16 PM   #15
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"the next guy" yes. what the heck will they do with it... auction it off somewhere? fix it?? i can't help but think that it would be easier to fix this one... we already have a 14... so trading now, dosent even buy some new cool option that we don't already have...

every single place local to me here in NC said its literally not repairable..AT ALL .
how can this be? hope this ones is built well, if not, it is the biggest mistake of my life.

I will be doing a LONG PDI...

thank you guys very much for all your advise.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:06 PM   #16
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"the next guy" yes. what the heck will they do with it... auction it off somewhere? fix it?? i can't help but think that it would be easier to fix this one... we already have a 14... so trading now, dosent even buy so new cool option that we don't already have...

every single place local to me here in NC said its literally not repairable..AT ALL .
how can this be? hope this ones is built well, if not, it is the biggest mistake of my life.

I will be doing a LONG PDI...

thank you guys very much for all your advise.
I can believe that it's a write off, that's probably the first real truth about your rig that a dealer has told you.

Having seen first hand the way that mould and mildew must be dealt with, just gutting it to begin any repairs would be several thousand. Full hazmat suits, killing the mould and mildew that is hanging aroungb on the frame, then proper disposal of the mouldy material.

There would most likely be floors involved too.

Given the crazy weather down your end of the country, your long PDI should include looking for any moisture penetration with a moisture meter. I would be checking the complete perimeter at the ceiling and floor, around the windows and doors. Also around the every place where the roof membrane has been penetrated.

You don't need an expensive moisture meter, mine is over 20 years old and anolog, but you can't fool it, if there's moisture it finds it. Home Depot has some inexpensive digital ones that will do the job.

$0 - $50 - *The Home Depot
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:27 PM   #17
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is it like a firewood tester ? will it work through the walls ?? never thought about that...
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:37 AM   #18
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is it like a firewood tester ? will it work through the walls ?? never thought about that...
The pin type meters actualy penetrate the surface, this is the type mine is. The pins a fairly sharp, so they don't leave a very big mark, but I always aim for somewhere that it can't be seen. Not sure how the pinless type work.

I use mine for every thing from checking my firewoods moisture content to checking around the toilet.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:20 PM   #19
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Did you actually remove the A/C or just the cover?

If you did remove the A/C I suspect any evidence to a defect is no longer there.
Yes I removed the whole unit that has 4 or 6 screws holding it down.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:24 PM   #20
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I found water inside but I thought it was from an open vent only this past Dec when we a lot of rain and the storage place where I park had he move to an area where the front of the rig was lower then the back which allowed water to enter the coach. I have repaired 90% the the issues with the trailer.
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