Am I just the latest sucker? :) - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-31-2016, 10:13 PM   #1
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Am I just the latest sucker? :)

Admittedly, I kind of impulse-bought me one of them Aerolite 213'ers the other day. I'm not 100% a greenhorn at RV'ing, but I've never had anything that actually required ya to do any towing math using all those confusing numbers that start with capital G-this or G-that. (Spent a western U.S. cross-country summer with the kids in a well used Volkswagen Vanagon, and a similar, but Eastern U.S. sweep, in a little Coleman pop-up. I currently have a Camp-Inn teardrop that I doubt I will ever let go of because of fond memories and the fact that it's built like a family heirloom)

Anyways, like I mentioned, last Saturday I threw caution to the wind and wrote a fat check for a real live stand-up-inside house-on-wheels.

Then..............I went home all excited and after reading every word in the brochure 12 times, I decided to do some googling for forums on my new exploits. Ended up here.

Can't tell if the good outweighs the bad? Lol

Funniest thing is that new thread, in this very section, about another fella who recently chose the same exact 213........
(It was about the first thing I read here) I was all set to join the expected celebration with a "ME-TOO" introduction, when suddenly I discovered the hilarious design flaw of the shower door!

Too funny.

But that was barely even a scratch compared to the absolutely daunting tales of woe that are impossible to avoid around here.

Alas, I don't know if it's because I'm a na´ve optimist, or because I'm just old and only things that REALLY matter can really matter to me, but I'm still gonna bring that Best Western On Wheels home with me Thursday next week. (That's the official appointment for delivery. Had no idea you didn't just buy and fly. I actually expected to sign and tow!)

Well, that's my introduction to you fine folks. Looking forward to learning the ropes. And thanks in advance for all the effort by so many to contribute all this valuable information.

By the way, I actually chose that 213 almost the second the salesman opened the door to that bathroom. They had about a gazillion RV's and I don't know a Lance from a Durango or a Winnebago. (although I've obviously heard of Winny) But after looking at 10 or 15 trailers, I was experiencing a bit of: "they all look alike except size"..........when suddenly one didn't have an airplane bathroom! I wasn't expecting that big shower. And afterwards, I still couldn't find a unit with that size shower. Kind of crazy that the smallest rig has the biggest shower.

But now I ain't gonna be happy until I reverse swing that shower door.

Cheers
Bruce in Coastal Texas
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:18 PM   #2
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Welcome, we love the giant bathroom in our tiny 213! The king size bed and outdoor kitchen aint half bad either. We've had our share of problems, but not all were Dutchman's fault, we got them sorted out and just enjoy it now.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:30 PM   #3
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You've got to remember that this forum (and most web forums) are for people to post problems and get solutions. There are plenty of us on here loving our campers. Yes there can be problems to get through but overall I think/hope you'll be happy.........
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:59 PM   #4
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Dawniewest, yep, I've read just about all your story here. (for obvious reasons) And since it was condensed into just a couple of days reading for me, unlike the real-time dragged out actual experience you documented, I actually think you've added to my anticipation.

rrcharette, I understand. I'm actually a forum addict. I think we live in remarkable times. We can research and learn BEFORE and after, like no time in history. I'm betting you're right too. I'm going to really enjoy this little BWOW. (Best Western On Wheels)

Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:25 AM   #5
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Just make sure upon delivery you document everything that you find wrong. |NO matter how minor. The manufacture rely on the delivers to make this right. NOT like getting a car. Check everything twice
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chily3 View Post
Just make sure upon delivery you document everything that you find wrong. |NO matter how minor. The manufacture rely on the delivers to make this right. NOT like getting a car. Check everything twice
X2^
If I was you I'd search the 'net for how to do a proper Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI). This is your one chance to make sure you get everything you paid for.
Happy RVing.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:16 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum, Bruce

Quote:
Originally Posted by snakebitten View Post

But that was barely even a scratch compared to the absolutely daunting tales of woe that are impossible to avoid around here.

Ya gotta have the Woe, so you can tell the daunting tales. Best teacher I ever had is my woe. Woe is me!
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard... If you haven't already found the PDI checklist, here is one attached.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PDI_V113_2.pdf (92.8 KB, 39 views)
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:51 AM   #9
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get a slider

That Bathroom shower door was covered by warranty on ours.. they replaced it with a slider. Love it!!
Now wife thinks we should have a bigger camper..... anybody interested in a "16" 213?
We do like it... she just likes more room......
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:24 PM   #10
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Thanks to all the pointers on the PDI folks.

wyo, that's hilarious. It's brand new! But alas, she must be happy for the universe to be in fine order. I get it. (She does realize the bigger RV will have a smaller bath? lol )

As for the PDI, when I got a call yesterday from the gent who wanted to schedule my walkthrough and delivery, I didn't recognize the number and let it go to voicemail. No worries though since I drive right by the place on the way home every day. (Still can't believe they built that HUGE dealership in the middle of nowhere. I've lived out here in the boonies for 20 years) So I stop in and ask the sweet lady in the service department if I could talk to some fella named Steve. She fetched him. I explained that I had missed his call and that I was stopping by to see if he was ready for me?

He smiled. Said "come with me" and I followed him to his office. There, I learned more stuff that I didn't know. They weren't ready. Not even close. But he was pretty sure next Thursday would be ample time to finish fixing everything he found needing attention.

I asked "You found?".

He smiled again. Looked at me for a second and then seemed to make a decision to explain. He looked at a stack of paper on his desk and grabbed a small bundle and handed it to me to look at. He asked me to look at it for a second and tell me what I thought.

It was about 3 sheets of single spaced writing paper that was completely filled top to bottom with hand written notes. The handwriting was cursive, but really very legible and well done. It only took seconds for me to see that it was a list of RV related items. Lengthy and precise.

I handed it back to him and asked...."OK?"

He said (I am paraphrasing) "that is my list on another RV that was sold that I am prepping for the customer. That list is for my shop. I have no intention of waiting for the customer to find out what one of these RV needs fixed while I am giving them their walkthrough. That would be too late. They would have to leave it with me instead of getting to take it home. That has to be one of the worst experiences for a customer. But even worse is for them to leave with it and actually discover what is wrong while using it the first time.

Then he explained to me that RV manufacturing is not done by the most skilled folks. They aren't real carpenters and plumbers and electrician like those that would build your home. They are assemblers. There is nothing anyone can do about that. But the good news is that you didn't drive to the factory to get this. (he said some folks do to save money but they will likely regret it because....) Instead, you let someone actually tow that thing all the way down here to Texas. They may have even pulled it through bad weather or over bad roads that you would avoid. As a result, someone has already given this thing a pretty good shakedown. And that makes it far easier for someone who knows what to look for and make sure everything is in order.

He also stated that there is no cheap or expensive RV that gets delivered without issues. They all warrant a lengthy list.

One other thing I recall is he said it is far easier to get the manufacturer to cooperate with "the list" before the unit has ever left the lot. At that point the customer isn't even part of the equation.

The whole time he was explaining these things to me, I knew that HE thought he was explaining to me the reason I have to wait so long to get my new RV.

What he didn't realize was that it was music to my ears. (After reading what you folks have told me about this industry)

I asked him if he would be offended if the walkthrough took longer with me than most because I might be really thorough and have lots of questions. He replied "Hey, you are the customer. You don't take the keys until you are ready"

Only other thing I remember him mentioning is that no matter how much effort he puts into getting it ready, there is no guarantee that I won't have warranty claims. And he will be there if\when it happens. But he warned me that since I have never done this before I should know that their shop is 7 weeks backlogged for drop-off work right now. One more reason to fix everything BEFORE it leaves the lot.

Sounds like I at least have a fighting chance of getting off to a good start?
I hope so. I'll have my list and will report back how it all goes.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:01 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good dealer. Good luck with your new camper!
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:31 PM   #12
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Sound like a good dealer. Mine fixed a lot before went to pickup. Found a couple more things but nothing major.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:30 PM   #13
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winner winner chicken dinner.

That's the dealer you want.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:17 AM   #14
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Snake, sounds like you found a good Dealer....Good Luck and happy camping
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:26 AM   #15
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That dealership is definitely a "keeper". Good luck with the inspection!
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:59 PM   #16
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Wow, sounds like you fell in and came out smelling like roses. That is what a PDI is all about, hope your orientation goes as well.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:41 PM   #17
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Thanks fellas (and gals) for the well wishes.

Well, at this point it's just words. And even like he said himself, no matter how well the dealer does their job, the product can still be poorly assembled.

Having said that though, I've had good fortune most of my life. Or at least from my point of view I have. It's just a bunch of wood, metal, and plastic with some wheels underneath. I got a barn full of tools.

Besides, I'm just shy of 60. Some stuff is finely making sense to me. One of them is "NEVER letem steal your joy".
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:20 PM   #18
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Well Snake, sounds like the dealer will take care of you. I guess you'll find out. I'm having dutchmen/keystone review my claim for a shower door right now. They seem like they are hedging, trying to get out of doing anything. I've called and sent e-mails with pics 4 times now. I guess i'll just have to keep mooning the neighbors every morning.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:49 PM   #19
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Like others are saying that walk though is critical. Take your time and avoid their rush. I missed a wire hanging off of the awning channel on the same trailer so especially look for that. Now I have to take mine in for warranty work having only used it one time. If I had noticed it at the orientation it would have been fixed before I left.


Maybe you can get them to flip the door.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:55 PM   #20
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GTWags,

Yea, it sounds like par for the course and I have no reason to believe that I won't experience the same exact scenario AFTER I take delivery. Hope the dealership ends up being a good one before and after.

I'm just glad that I found this forum before I took delivery. Otherwise, I'd actually have been a bit miffed that it took so long to take possession of something that I already agreed to buy! I would have never understood that this is a very advantageous time\event in the overall timespan of ownership.

I would LOVE to camp in it for about a week right there in the parking lot! lol
(I live about 10 miles away. It'd be hardly a hardship)

Oh, and I never explained why I suddenly decided to buy an RV. But without giving the whole story, I need a place to live for a few months while I finish building a "tinyhouse". The little Aerolite is actually just a temporary home for me. By this time next spring it will actually be an RV. If it turns out to be a good one, I'll keep it. If not, I'll take the lesson learned and maybe get me another niche-built RV if I want to travel. Truth is, I find it hard to believe that I would enjoy it any more than traveling with my little hand-built Camp-Inn. I've done a couple of 30-45 day chasing-sunsets and sunrises in that package. It suits my mission if I am alone.

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