New to Camping - regretting it so far. - Dutchmen Owners
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orlando
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Angry New to Camping - regretting it so far.

Good morning all,

Not to be a downer on the 1st post but I am at my wits end. I grew up camping and thought I had a leg up getting into it. Little did I know about what to look for and what could go wrong.

We bought a slightly used 2018 Dutchman Atlas 2912BH from a private seller hoping to save thousands over the dealers. We looked it over and thought we were getting a deal. It had been lived in for about a year and never moved from the campground in Florida.

A couple months later after 3 short trips, we notice the slideout wall was spongy, then further investigation showed other signs of water damage. Took it to a dealer and they found a small hole in the roof. They started writing up quotes:
1. Slide out wall - $3800
2. Front closet - $3400
3. Roof repalce - $9800
4. Sidewall Delamination - $8-10K

Of course, none of this is covered on the 3 year Structural Warranty. The main reason I chose a 2 year old camper is to stay ahead of problems like these. Now we have the chance to trade ours for a new camper and I don't even want to think "Are we going to have these issues with a new unit in a couple of years?"

Any words of advice are much appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:48 PM   #2
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Location: Calabasas
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New to Camping - regretting it so far.

Feel terrible for you. The cynic in me wonders if the seller new about all this but good luck proving that or getting him to do anything.

Those repairs sound crazy expensive and I don’t know if I would put all that money into a trailer if there was anyway to sell it or part it out. Maybe you can trade it in on another one? If you look at what you need to spend to fix it and then add that to the trade in you will know in real money what you are getting towards a new one.

And as long as you maintain it by checking the roof for wear and damage you should not expect the amount of damage you have on this one. You can expect plenty of other repairs and maintenance over the years for sure but not water damage.

Good luck.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:38 AM   #3
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Sorry about the bad news. Maybe try a private or small RV repair center. Those prices sound like CW or something. Maybe try reaching out to the original owner? Doubtful he would offer a rebate but maybe? Otherwise trade in for a new unit. It's tough buying used. You really have to know your stuff, otherwise it's easy to get burned. Even buying used from a dealer. Hope it works out.
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Old 11-23-2020, 12:44 PM   #4
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Update on damage

Dealer found a hole in the roof caused by a tree branch so insurance is going to cover the roof replacement. Started looking around the internet for ways to repair the other damage. It looks like most of the repairs will be fairly easy due to the unit only being 2 years old. I now know what to look for and if I'm able to repair the other, smaller issues, I can stay ahead of any further damage.
One thing I decided is there is no use in trading it in if newer units are built just as poorly.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:53 PM   #5
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We had a similar experience on our first TT a 4 year old used one. We got it from a local who said it was “the best” maintained camper we would find. And granted it looked fantastic. Being a pro mechanic and a woodworker I did my very best in checking it over and found nothing, and I looked close.
A planned first trip across country (I tried it out a couple times locally) was a big let down, three days before leaving we found a soft spot in the floor where the slide out meets the wall but not bad enough to cancel our trip, but that night my wife comes in and says there is water in the floor. I went out to check as it was raining. Water was dripping from the bottom of the refrigerator and running across the floor, to you guessed it, the exact soft spot in the floor.
To make matters worse the carpet under the slide out started to push up as I tried to put the slide out in. So we grabbed a tarp for the night to prevent more water intrusion!
I found a small lap seam on the refrigerator vent that allowed the leak but was near impossible to see but once pulled up you could see where the water had came in due to the dark and wet spots. It had been leaking for a long time. Replaced the vent one day before our trip.
On our cross country, Alabama to Oregon, we had to be very careful bringing in the slide out. We took it to a RV repair shop our son-in-law recommended and lived in their trailer during repairs. The floor and vinyl were replaced for $2700 which was a good deal and an excellent job.
Even though you are very careful in your examination there are those things we do miss. We just traded for our Aspen Trail in Jan of this year after 10 years in the Puma. Yes, there are problems even with new ones, but all in all if you enjoy camping and traveling there are always things that pop up. But worth it in the end!
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:03 PM   #6
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one thing I learned from hanging around here for 5 years,, is the manufactors dont have any kind of quality control or little of it,, I have had huge holes with wiring in my ac duct work, vent pipe thru my duct work etc,, if it isnt the door snaps breaking it is every drawer bottom falling out etc.. good luck in the future.. I kick myself for buying ours,, we did a nice long trip when we purchased, but been sitting since, used when guest come, right now life is in the way,, we will see..
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:42 AM   #7
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Wow, what a mess. Not fun. I have had no leak issues with my two TTs, thankfully. Critters on the other hand, have been a problem. Brand new Aerolite had critters ruin the A/C ductwork in the ceiling the first winter. First assessment by a trusted RV place is "it may be totaled," and, not covered by insurance due to changes in the policy at the October renewal timeframe. At that point, like you, I am thinking of trading fast but feeling more than unsettled about passing my issues on to someone else. After much back and forth, and the loss of our "new" rig for two months, the insurance company agreed to cover it as though the previous policy was in effect. The RV repair place found a creative way to repair the damage for $4k, and made major improvements in the A/C ductwork. My "diminishing deductible" was $288. That fall I had Mousefree spray applied to the sealed underbelly. No critters last winter. Then this spring I crawled around underneath the RV (should of done that when I bought it!) and found a half dozen large entry points for critters. The entry points were mainly in the frame where oversize holes were drilled to allow cables to pass through for the electric brakes and self-leveling system. Sealed them with steel wool and caulk. I hope the critters are under control now. I park it alongside our long driveway near my shop. There I have a 30 amp dedicated circuit for the RV (good thing), and a stand of oaks and evergreens (bad thing...Hence critters.) Good luck with the leaks. Would not wish that on anyone.
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