Originally Posted by newbie
Need feedback for possible purchase of a 2018 329bhsl. Such as quality for this year? Long term owner reviews? Things to look out for. Etc. This will be our first camper so nervous about pulling the trigger. I inspected it with fine tooth comb. Overall it is in excellent shape for the year. Saw no evidence of leaks, no apparent delam, no torn material under slides. So e of the interior pieces looked cheap and thin but I believe that is to be expected. Any input would be great.
Ok... kick back, grab a drink, and settle in.... here goes:
You said you've "...inspected it with fine tooth comb", but are you sure that you know what too look for?
Since this is your first RV, understand that even though the price tag is probably high... even if it were new, you're not buying vehicle with the quality or customer service expectations you'd find in a Ford, Honda, BMW automobile. Think of it more as something your mechanically inclined neighbor down the road builds in their garage, and fills with various appliances & furniture bought at Home Depot.
At this price point (and by that, I mean any RV under a half-million dollars)... understand that any rig you buy is equivalent to the old Ford Pintos and Chevy Vegas of the automobile world. Cheaply made vehicles, with more emphasis placed on the number of units built per day, that the quality of the units themselves.
There are almost no standards that the manufactures of these vehicles have to comply with. Although you plan to live in the RV for periods of time away from home, don't expect the construction of the rig to be in compliance with any building codes. Neither do the electrical & plumbing components have to comply with any standardization or safety practices like you'd expect in a home.
In fact, the only portions of the RV that have to comply with any safety standards are those falling under the jurisdiction of the DOT for use on public highways (brakes, exterior lighting, axles, etc). The quality of EVERYTHING else on the rig is only subject to whatever protocols the manufacturer chooses.
With that out of the way, let's move on to the arena of customer service.
When you buy a new automobile, you get an owners manual that explains damn near everything on your new purchase in great detail. DO NOT expect the same when buying an RV. Instead you will receive a generic manual that explains the general operation of various components you may or may not find in an RV. The buyer of a 14-foot pop-up Coleman tent camper... and a 43-foot, 3-axle fifth wheel RV get the same generic manual. If you're lucky, you will also receive "manuals" (some detailed, others only a brief 2-page brochure) for each of the appliances installed in your rig (air conditioner, refrigerator, water pump, etc). You will have to consult these for any issues or questions you may have with those items.
If you're going to take the plunge, do an online search for a good Pre-Delivery Inspection checklist (also known as a PDI)... use it BEFORE you sign on the dotted line to purchase the unit. Get the previous owner or dealer to actually demonstrate that EVERY item on the rig operates as it should.
I'm taking the plumbing on every faucet & sink... toilet... shower...etc... and this should be done using both the city water hook-up, and when using only the fresh-water tank & water pump. Demo that the sewage system works (back tank AND grey tank)... that every air conditioner unit works & cools... the furnace works & hears... the stove & oven work. Check all drawers & cabinet doors to ensure they open & close (and latch, if applicable) as they should. The leveling system... the lights... electrical outlets... every damn thing on the rig.
Because once you sign, or fork over the money... whoever you're buying it from (a previous owner, or a dealer) will not give a damn about any problem you find later. Even if a dealer gives you a warranty, there's nothing that says they have to address your issue in any kind of timely manner... and trust me, you will not be a priority for them.
Now, am I saying that you should not buy this rig (or any other)? No, I'm not... that's not my intention. I am simply trying to convey what you should understand, and should be fully aware of what you're about to jump into.