Quality control (again!) - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-03-2015, 01:38 PM   #1
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Quality control (again!)

Well it seems that just about every thread on this forum eventually turns into a quality issue, the latest case being the one about thermostat has no display.
We all pretty much know that quality suffers when the profit driven bean counters get involved. We often ask "how can they get away with providing a poor quality product and still stay in business?" But are the bean counters the only ones at fault?
My case in point is my 2014 3950. I purchased this unit in 12/14 and it has been "out of service" 7 1/2 out of the 9 months owned because of 4 trips to different repair facilities.
This much time out of service has us very unhappy campers and my wife has asked me to start researching the Florida RV lemon laws.
What an eye opening experience that has turned into. I was totally floored by the lack of protection the consumer is provided by the state of Florida when it comes to RVs. Here is a link to Florida's lemon law website...
After reading this excerpt from the lemon law I have to shake my head and wonder why we even have any RV lemon law;

"Certain parts or components of recreation vehicles are NOT COVERED under Florida’s Lemon Law. These are referred to in the law as the "living facilities," which are defined as portions of the vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily as living quarters, such as the flooring, plumbing system and fixtures, roof air conditioner, furnace, generator, electrical systems other than automotive circuits, the side entrance door, exterior components and windows other than the windshield and driver and front passenger windows. This is not a complete list."

So to me it is now obvious as to "how can they get away with providing a poor quality product and still stay in business?"

When the consumer is offered little to no recourse such as only a one year manufacture's warrantee and we are "protected" by laws that are designed to protect the manufacturer not the consumers, the manufacture can and does get away with providing a poor quality product and still stay in business AND make a profit!

Talk about having "bought and paid for politicians".. The RV industry must spend a lot of their profits on them and they are probably tax deductible too!


I am now slowly stepping off my soap box and returning this forum back towards happy camping because I finally got a call my camper is ready for pick-up just in time for the long weekend!




(moderators, if this post seems too political (against the rules I know) please feel free to delete it. It is just an attempt to educate consumers as to lack of recourse)
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #2
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Have you tried getting your finance company involved? I know that on a Ford Forum, one guy has have some tremendous problem (fuel system related) and his finance company stepped in to help out. They do have a vested interest in the product.

I would also look into dropping it off at the factory...sometimes it is hard to say "No" if you are standing in front of them.


Cale
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:01 PM   #3
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I have to read warranties for a living... among other sleep inducing documents. Warranties are written to protect the manufacturer NOT the consumer. Period. In the case of lemon laws you had better believe that the various manufacturers lobbyists keep a close eye on them and will jump into action the second anything is even considered. I work in industrial construction and I know there are several committees that do nothing but monitor what the various state legislatures, as well as congress are up to when it comes to our industry.

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Old 09-05-2015, 04:14 PM   #4
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Sorry your Voltage has been a disappointment. My 3600 has had it's share of minor issues but around 95% of the repairs I did myself rather than the shop.

I had to redo the main air conditioner ductwork taping and interior vent taping. Had to redo the plywood under our bed because it was cut too narrow for the mattress. Had to clean all the construction gunk out of the faucets when we first got it. Had to fix water leak in the windows of main slide (was leaking in from the top of the slide).

The big issues we've had was the main slide Schwintek failed as did our Trailair hitch. We kept the trailer in our possession while parts were ordered. Took Camping World a couple of days to fix.

Point is I do my own repairs and don't allow the trailer to sit for weeks or months at the shop waiting for parts. Perhaps I also would be singing the blues had I taken the trailer to the shop for every repair.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
Point is I do my own repairs and don't allow the trailer to sit for weeks or months at the shop waiting for parts. Perhaps I also would be singing the blues had I taken the trailer to the shop for every repair.
I agree about doing my own repairs as I did on my last Dutchmen 5'er. But this time the Voltage cost 3.5 times more than my last Dutchmen 5'er, and I felt it should be 3.5 times better. So this time I decided to make use of the warrenty and make Dutchmen pay to fix it. I felt that if I fixed everything (and there are a few repairs I have done to it) then everyone at the factory would think they are putting out a quality product because no one is getting any warrenty work done. Not this time. I know they make thousands of V series and most have no where near as many issues we have had. True, most of my items were "minor" but they were still issues to my wife and I. We intend to become "most the timers" in the next year or two and wanted it to be ready for that. To me, a quality job includes everything involved in that job, not just major items. And the only way to let them know it is not top notch, is through the use of thier warrenty.

Here is a listing of the Quality in our 3950. Maybe it would make a good PDI checklist?
2014 Voltage Model 3950 faults.pdf
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:46 PM   #6
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Thom, now really, just because it cost 3.5 times as much, you expected the quality, fit and finish to be 3.5 times better? What are you drinking??? Maybe you should back off a bit. LOL!!!

I have to admit, for what these things cost you would expect an excellent product and we really aren't getting it.

But as I deal with the issues that pop up, I get to know my TH better and better...so finding solutions becomes quicker and easier.

I bought an extra two years of warranty and will only use that for the big stuff...AC units, fridge, furnace, hot water heater, generator, things like that. The rest, I will take care of myself. The out of pocked expense isn't that great, and sure beats leaving the TH with the dealer for a couple of months....

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Old 09-06-2015, 02:55 AM   #7
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True Words, Pirate, I share your approach. Yes I got the ext warranty but that was for 'major medical' and I do my own work or hire out local rather than take it in anywhere so far, but my unit is still pretty new. After reading about all the issues some have had, I feel fortunate that everything in my rig worked for starters, or just needed a little finishing. Especially when you get behind the panels and find that jack ripper jr. did the wiring!
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:06 AM   #8
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On board with Pirate and VCToyhauler. Thinking I'm fortunate having only a few fit and finish issues with my 3990. Worst QC issue is my ramp which they "burned" when buffing. Going in Thursday for repairs but everything else has been minor. Feel bad for you Thom having such a large punch list.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:43 AM   #9
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I have had a few QC issues with my little Coleman, most were just poor execution of things. Really no excuse considering how simple it is. A lot of excess debris in and under things. Some I would consider normal, but leaving the cutouts for cables and plumbing under the sink bottom, not so much. What is amazing is mine was built on a Friday.

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Old 09-06-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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I am with you guys, I am lucky, the biggest item to go bad on my unit was one of the jacks started leaking, other then that, I have had a few lights go out in less then a year, some of the drawers don't lock, don't like there wiring for cable, (fixed my self), molding coming off because of heat, and water pump now has stopped pumping, other then that, I have been lucky, Oh I haven't changed the Tire bombs yet and have about 20K miles on them, but checking which ones I will purchase, Some of the items that were repaired took 6 months to get repaired, but my Voltage has only been in for repairs 2 days.....Thom, hope you get your working the way you want it,
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