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Old 01-03-2023, 08:48 PM   #1
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Feedback needed for possible purchase

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.
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Old 01-04-2023, 05:15 PM   #2
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You did not cite the brand or model line. I could not find reference to "329bhsl".

New Dutchmen, Keystone, Voltage, and Kodiak travel trailers have a poor reputation. Probability of a good experience is low. Price is usually low.

In my experience company support for owner's is very poor. Some dealers are very good.

Used model performance depends a lot on how much the previous owner's put into correcting problems and maintaining them.

I would not buy a Kodiak again.
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Old 01-04-2023, 11:19 PM   #3
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I apologize. A 2018 Kodiak 299 bhsl. Also, what is your personal experience with Kodiak that would make you not want to purchase one again?
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Old 01-05-2023, 12:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie View Post
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.

I'm serious.

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.
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Old 01-05-2023, 01:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATCguy View Post
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.

I'm serious.

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.
ATCguy. Thanks for the insight. I quickly saw the "quality" was not what I thought it would be (I looked at several). I am a certified home inspector so I looked them from that angle. So like you said, test every light, oulet, faucet, etc. But I know homes not campers. You are correct on several things you mentioned. I was told it's not if something goes wrong just a matter of when. You can really go down a rabbit hole Google for info. I figured it's basically a game of dice. I did pass on some units that had obvious problems. I was just hoping to find some other Kodiak owners that have or had similar year model to see if they had known issues. But this one could have been built on Tuesday vs Thursday if you know what I mean. It seems every brand has the "I will never own this again" and "I won't own anything else". All I know campers are a PIA to buy.
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Old 01-05-2023, 05:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by newbie View Post
I apologize. A 2018 Kodiak 299 bhsl. Also, what is your personal experience with Kodiak that would make you not want to purchase one again?
Good advice posted above.

I bought a Dutchman Kodiak Cub. It was advertised as "All Season" with "heated and enclosed underbelly". That was not true. It took about $3000 and three years to be able to use the plumbing below 30 degrees.

Every trip of 100 or more miles something fell off or broke. Inside stuff could be reattached (properly this time). Outside stuff was lost and had to be replaced. In fact table failed and window valances fell off in 100 mile trip home from the dealer.

Keystone support phone number also supports Kodiak, Dutchman, and I think Voltage. Their chief purpose is to tell you why warranty does not apply.

We had a good dealer who would fix many minor failures anyway. It took a month or two to get it done. He charged for more expensive things. In the end it was easier to do it myself.

The list of failures is too long to post here.

My 2018 Kodiak is now 5 years old. It is a little more reliable now. The last thing that failed this year is a cabinet door broke off spilling contents everywhere. New self closing hinges and larger screws solved the problem

I joined this forum to vent my frustration and search for solutions. I found many other owners who did the same thing. So Dutchman, Keystone, Voltage, Kodiak all have this problem.

Other brands seem to have similar problems, but not as frequent and as extensive.
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Old 01-07-2023, 03:45 PM   #7
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Not withstanding-tires, wheels, suspension. All things to look at when you make an inspection. The “hidden” things like brakes and the overly small wires that feed them are always a cause for concern. If they have the little grease fittings on the hubs of the wheels, they are always over greased and all over the brake pads. under greased is always an issue also. They come this way from the factory!

Pull handles for gray and black tanks stick, leak and otherwise find ways to annoy you. Good luck finding a GREAT used one. They are put there but harder to find
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Old 01-08-2023, 02:44 AM   #8
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Hello, sorry I didn't see your post earlier. I had a 2018(?) i think that year the 201QB, multiple issues, freshwater tank fell out (almost) and as far as the heated belly, well mine wasn't, the discharge was there from the heater, but it went directly to the top of the grey tank and then went nowhere, sorry Kodiak is a piece of garbage but so is most of the difference manufactures. Look under my posts and you will find a lot. I now have a Lance and it too has issues. Good luck
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