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WARNING ABOUT LANCE TRAILERS


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#1 Cochise2

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:05 PM

Warning to all Lance Travel Trailer Owners!


There is an old saying: “Where there is smoke there is a fire”. I am referring to a post by one “dmarzbarz” on the Escapee’s discussion forums web site probably around July 12, 2010. The poster caught a bit of flack from members, mostly because few believed that Lance Camper Manufacturer Corporation about whom he wrote were that bad. The sad fact is that they are worse. Please let me explain, and I shall try not to make the mistake that he did about using too much space.


On November 11, 2010 my wife and I purchased a Lance travel trailer model 2180 from an authorized dealer in Nevada. We live in Arizona, and the only place close that they had the model we were interested in was there. At the walk through we noticed that there was something hanging down under the trailer. At first the dealer denied that there was anything wrong, but a closer look discovered that the fresh water tank was hanging there, only supported by the winterizing thermal blanket. The dealer claimed after they inspected it that the tank had not been installed correctly. It set us back 3 days because of a weekend. We than decided to stay a few days to see if there was anything else wrong. There was. The dealer took care of that when we brought the trailer back on Monday.


Prior to the first trip out, I checked the wheel nut torque and air pressure. I found that all the tire valves were cracked. A phone call to Lance and they told me to take it to a tire dealer and have all the valves stems replaced. They send me a check for the expense. After that short trip in early December, we discovered that the TV did not work, there was a roof leak over the bed, one of the dinette benches had lifted off the floor, there was a strong sewer smell in the trailer after emptying the tanks, the tanks drained very slow, and several somewhat minor things. I contacted Lance and was told that we should bring it to a dealer 150 miles away. He was the closest to us. We were told it would take 1-2 weeks to complete the repairs, but they would be closed between Christmas and New Year, so the earliest we could bring it up would be first part of January. It took

Full weeks exactly before we got the trailer back. The repairs were very shoddy at best. The TV I had gotten the TV manufacturer to ship to me directly, but some of the electrical problems had not been done. The TV park hookup did still not work, as we were to learn later the stink from the black tank was still there. The dealer told me that he had never seen one of those trailers; he only dealt in truck campers. Also they did not want to work on units they had not sold themselves, and that Lance did not pay them the going rate for their labor, and to please not come back. I did rely all of this to Lance.


On our next trip out I checked bolt torque on the wheels, tire pressure all around. And discovered that the left front axle wheel was worn on both the inside and outside, almost as if underinflated. It was not. A quick check showed that the pressure was 50 PSI so OK. I replaced that tire with the brand new spare. We only went 65 miles and close to the camp ground we located a RV place with repair facilities. They checked out the wheel and found that the axle spindle was bent. They also pointed out that the black and grey tanks were NOT waste holding tanks and the way they were configured with the drains could not be emptied completely, hence the smell. Verdict was you need a new axle. A torque axle spindle cannot be replaced.


I contacted Lance with this information, and got nowhere. Take it to your dealer or bring it to the factory and we will inspect it. However the tanks are OK they said you just need to put some chemicals in there. If we find that the axle is indeed bent and it is our fault we will replace it. This got me mad and also investigative. I took the trailer to a nearby axle place and they told me that the axle was indeed bent, BUT they could not order new ones as the tags identifying them were missing. I contacted the manufacturer of the axles as I had a warranty sheet with their name on it. I spoke to them and found out that the axles were 2900 lbs axles. The trailer GVWR is 5500 lbs. So the total weight capacity of the axles is 5800 lbs. The axle factory told me that is was very much on the lean side for a trailer of that weight capacity, but Lance had insisted on the 2900 lbs axles. Lance also kept telling me to bring it out to California about 650 miles. (With a bent spindle). I told them no thanks that I did not think neither the Arizona nor the California Highway Patrol would appreciate me driving around with a bent spindle that could cause a blown tire at any time and perhaps a very serious accident. They insisted. Next I contacted the manufacturer of the tanks. The tanks are box like, 5”h x 24”w x 58”l. On the 5” high front side there is a flange mounted, onto which the 3” drain pipe to the valve is mounted. Because the bottom of the tank is not supported, the bottom has saged up to 2” in the center. This clearly makes it impossible to drain the black tank completely, and leaves an estimated 6 to 8 gallaons of sewage in the tank. The grey tank is even worse as it is the same dimensions but has a 1 ½” pipe mounted about in the middle of the 5” front. This configuration leaves 1 ½” to the bottom plus the sag which adds another 1 ½” to the volume of waste water left in the tank after draining. Most other tank manufacturers that I have looked at to replace these worthless tanks, state that the tanks have a 1” mounting lip at the top all around BUT that the tanks should be strapped. I think Lance have used the same tanks on their trailers as they do on their truck campers. Only problem is that on the truck campers the tank is supported by the truck bed when the camper is installed on the truck and therefore the tanks are not as much of a problem as they are on a trailer where they just hang free.


They stated that the tanks had been ordered like that by Lance and that they were ok. “They are approved by “IAPMO” I was told. I called them and gave them the number on the tanks, they claim that the number is correct but it is not for those tanks. So they are now investigating that matter. Meanwhile the tank manufacturer has offered to replace them at their expense; however I must pay for the installation.


So now Lance refuses to do anything as I have refused to bring the trailer to the factory, because of the bent spindle, AND because of their refusal to commit to repairs. “We cannot base our repairs on photos and drawings, we need to see it here” they told me. But I as a customer must rely on their photos and descriptions and their self-glorification in their brochures and other sales material.


I will now most probably prepare to take them to court in California. Let this be a WARNING to other owners of any Lance travel trailer. You may have inferior quality/capacity axles installed, and you may have inferior and unsertified holding tanks installed. I have extensive photo documentation of all my claims. Axle, tanks, bent door, code violations on electric installations, ANSI violations on low voltage installations, etc.


Others I have spoken to in the RV industry have told me that Lance does not have a very good reputation for backing their product. They are very willing to “pass the buck”.









#2 George Stoltz

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:43 PM

Cochise,

I have read your well written and articulate description of your experience with Lance. It is a shame that you have to go through all of this. I think you are doing the right thing here in bringing light to bear on the shoddy workmanship, poor engineering and the cavalier attitude at Lance.

I hope you are able to get satisfaction in this process and I hope you keep us informed.

Best of luck.
George Stoltz



#3 SIBERNUT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:20 AM

A good post, well articulated and objective w/o any "name calling". You've done your homework. Have you sent Lance a copy of this post? Or maybe called Good Sam to get their help? Best of luck. I'd tell Lance to send you something in writing that they will assume any liability during your trip to the factory with a known defect.

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#4 Chief 2

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:51 AM

That is such a horror story. If you have not yet posted to the Lance owners web site you should. Here is the link. Good luck.
http://www.lanceowners.org/index.html


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#5 richfaa

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:05 AM

Very well written and well documented. Lance has been around for awhile and manufacturers slide in truck campers and TT's. Although not top of the line they were well regarded. Sounds like you had poor service from a dealer.
the request from Lance to return to the factory for service is not out of line.It may be difficult for you but a normal request from a manufacturer. Many holding tanks are not strapped although recommended to be strapped by the tank manufacturer. These holding tanks made out of ABS material will sag under load and I don't think that they will completly drain. I know our holding tanks were not strapped although the tank manufacturer recommended they be strapped. After they leaked we had them strapped after replacement.

Remember that not 100% of the trailer weight is on the axles. Some of it is on the tow vehicle.

Manufacturers asking for pictures of the claim is not unusual nor is them asking you to return to the factory. Lance may feel that a dealer can not do the required repairs.'From a legal stand point Lance has offered to address the issues IF you return to the factory and you refused to do so. How will that stand up. Would the Az and CA state patrol back up your claims of safety???? That all needs to be taken into consideration as once you file a legal claim Lance will not be co operative in any way.....Just things to think about.

I also don't think most manufacturers will "Commit " to a repair without seeing the unit.
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#6 Desolation Roe

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:05 AM

A good post, well articulated and objective w/o any "name calling". You've done your homework. Have you sent Lance a copy of this post? Or maybe called Good Sam to get their help? Best of luck. I'd tell Lance to send you something in writing that they will assume any liability during your trip to the factory with a known defect.

I have my doubts you could successfully shed any liability onto Lance in any case.

If you set out driving a vehicle you know to be defective, you're liable regardless of what Lance says. Think of the implications if you had a wreck after a blow-out and someone got hurt. Ouch!!

Not good. I would be very, very grumpy with Lance over this mess. Not sure how you would get out of the situation without legal action of some kind.

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#7 Kirk

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:07 AM

There are several groups who do work to help RV owners with these kinds of problems, if you are a member of one of them and at times, even when you are not. Both the Good Sam magazine and Trailer Life have columns that can be contacted for assistance, if you are a subscriber. Another place that you may want to go is to the RV Consumer Group, as they do at times help nonmembers, but you may be asked to join the group in order to get their assistance. They have a pretty good track record and have been involved in previous court cases with significant success.

I am wondering just what kind of rating this RV gets from the RV Consumer Group?

Good travelin !...............Kirk
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#8 Cochise2

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:57 AM

Hello to all of you.

I thank you for the comment here. My intention was not to “sling mud”, but to alert other owners of Lance travel trailers to potential problems with their units.


So just for the record:

To answer “richfaa”, I agree that Lance’s request to see the trailer is not out of line, technically, however given that the axle spindle is bent causing severe tire wear, and the fact that none of their dealers have equipment to deal with such a problem plus the fact that the nearest dealer is located 150 miles from where I am, it is a ridiculous request. Since I had already consulted two local axle shops and both gave me the same verdict, at my expense, Lance should have authorized the repair based on that. They did not. The holding tanks are not made of ABS. They are stamped “FRESH WATER” has an approval number on them, but the agency that issued that number tell me that the number is genuine, BUT not for that tank design. And the way I have documented my claims with Lance, was by submitting photos accurate drawings and affidavits from repair shops. Lance tells me that they cannot approve anything based on pictures and drawings. But I as a consumer have to. They publish brochures with fancy pictures and descriptions of how they build their trailers, and we/I have to believe them.


So in the end I am not asking them to commit to repairs unseen. They can authorize repairs wherever they wish. Their closest dealer had never seen the unit I have, and he told me that they did not want to work on units they had not sold. So what do I do next?


Well once the axle is fixed, I have ordered a new axle, actually I have ordered 2 of a higher capacity because the axle factory told me that that is really what should be on that unit, I will than head to California. Their courts out there are really consumer friendly.


But ultimately my concern was with all the other Lance owners that may have identical problems and are not aware of it.


And just out of curiosity I did check with the AZ Highway patrol. They laughed and told me that they did not think I was serious, which I wasn’t. Just needed to get that out.



#9 SIBERNUT

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:55 PM

If you don't save those axles, you will be out of luck completely.

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#10 whj

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:54 AM

I don't agree that returning the trailer to the factory is resonable. He didn't buy the trailer at the factory. As for other dealers not wanting to work on units that they didn't sell, apparently that is the norm. When I looked at trailers to purchase from dealers near Houston, Texas, I found that I could buy the same unit for $4 or $5 thousand less at dealers in OH or MI, when I called the Houston dealer and asked how that could be, I was told that they were not real RV dealers and I would never go back there after the sale and they would not work on a unit that they didn't sell.
In fact two of the Houston dealers saleperson's hung up on me! Great customer service!

Of course I like the auto dealers system, where they are happy to repair any auto of there brand. The factory tells us to buy through their dealer network but the dealers are not able or not willing to repair them? I must be missing something? Would Ford tell me to bring my F250 back to the factory?










Very well written and well documented. Lance has been around for awhile and manufacturers slide in truck campers and TT's. Although not top of the line they were well regarded. Sounds like you had poor service from a dealer.
the request from Lance to return to the factory for service is not out of line.It may be difficult for you but a normal request from a manufacturer. Many holding tanks are not strapped although recommended to be strapped by the tank manufacturer. These holding tanks made out of ABS material will sag under load and I don't think that they will completly drain. I know our holding tanks were not strapped although the tank manufacturer recommended they be strapped. After they leaked we had them strapped after replacement.

Remember that not 100% of the trailer weight is on the axles. Some of it is on the tow vehicle.

Manufacturers asking for pictures of the claim is not unusual nor is them asking you to return to the factory. Lance may feel that a dealer can not do the required repairs.'From a legal stand point Lance has offered to address the issues IF you return to the factory and you refused to do so. How will that stand up. Would the Az and CA state patrol back up your claims of safety???? That all needs to be taken into consideration as once you file a legal claim Lance will not be co operative in any way.....Just things to think about.

I also don't think most manufacturers will "Commit " to a repair without seeing the unit.



#11 Jarlaxle

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:45 AM

If Lance will not authorize replacing the bent axle then they should, at THEIR expense, pick up the OP's trailer on a lowboy and bring it where they are telling him to tow it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John (and occasionally my wife Liz)
Former rigs: 1976 Holiday TT, 1984 Ford B-700 school bus
Current rig: 1993 International Genesis FE school bus conversion.

#12 slackercruster

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:23 AM

Is this the same Lance that makes truck campers?

#13 Jarlaxle

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:32 AM

From the OP, it seems to be. I didn't even know they made trailers until I saw his post.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John (and occasionally my wife Liz)
Former rigs: 1976 Holiday TT, 1984 Ford B-700 school bus
Current rig: 1993 International Genesis FE school bus conversion.

#14 none

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:31 PM

I have a 2010 2185 trailer. It is well made product that has been trouble free for a year and a half. Before it went off warranty, I returned it to the factory to have some minor gripes fixed and to have it serviced. I got it back better than new. I intend to return it to the factory every year for service. They even have water and electric in their lot should you want to arrive the night before. We left ours for two nights and went off to Santa Barbara while waiting.

Lance has had some issues with some bad tanks, bad axles, and water puddling on one model's roofs. The first two are the suppliers fault and the third a design flaw. All three are easily repaired by the dealer or by the factory and, according to posts on the Lance Owners web site, those having these problems had them quickly fixed.

I'd contact:

mike_williams@lancecamper.com

a great guy that works for a great company that makes great products.

Edited by schneid, 23 August 2011 - 07:13 AM.


#15 BrianT

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:32 AM

I was going to suggest to the OP that they just go ahead and replace the axles with a heavier axle and be done with that part of it. Sounds like they already have done so or are doing so.

I don't like the fact that so many manufacturers leave little or no headroom on axle weights, and some are overloaded from the factory. But it's a pretty common story across a wide range of manufacturers.

Once the new axles are on the trailer, returning it to the factory for the rest of those issues becomes a more viable option.

Best of luck,

Brian

#16 FlyLikeAnEagle

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:35 PM

I have a 2010 2185 trailer. It is well made product that has been trouble free for a year and a half. Before it went off warranty, I returned it to the factory to have some minor gripes fixed and to have it serviced. I got it back better than new. I intend to return it to the factory every year for service. They even have water and electric in their lot should you want to arrive the night before. We left ours for two nights and went off to Santa Barbara while waiting.

Lance has had some issues with some bad tanks, bad axles, and water puddling on one model's roofs. The first two are the suppliers fault and the third a design flaw. All three are easily repaired by the dealer or by the factory and, according to posts on the Lance Owners web site, those having these problems had them quickly fixed.

I'd contact:

mike_williams@lancecamper.com

a great guy that works for a great company that makes great products.



I found this site today after being banned from the above mentioned forum for discussing my problem history with the same exact Lance model. I also see some familiar names logged in here so they may know what I'm referring to.
My story, in a nutshell, is that during the warranty period my Lance 2180 spent 5 months in the dealers shop for problems. Some of these problems continued into the 13th month. Since that time my trailer has been good to me but getting it that way was a hair greying experience. I too had to resort to threats of legal action with my dealer and I believe that being the squeeky wheel did get my issues resolved. But telling that story on the "other" forum (strickly for Lance products) got my account closed.
So, before you decide to shell out the $25 lifetime membership over there, do some reading. My recent posts were deleted, they claim that you can tell your tale and not be censored if you are considerate to the members and not defamatory. I'm a little uneasy about pointing out the name I used there but a little reading should find the posts.
Like I said, my 2009 Model 2180 is now serving me well, but it was a hard fight to get it there.
Looking forward to sharing experiences here with you all!
Happy travels....

#17 Kirk

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:49 PM

Welcome to the Escapee's forums. I do suggest that you read the rules when you have the time, but the staff here does not favor any brands and is pretty easy to get along with. The main hot issue here is personal attacks and political posts but as long as one is civil to others it really isn't that hard to fit in. We are happy to have you be part of our group! :D

Good travelin !...............Kirk
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#18 FlyLikeAnEagle

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:22 PM

Welcome to the Escapee's forums. I do suggest that you read the rules when you have the time, but the staff here does not favor any brands and is pretty easy to get along with. The main hot issue here is personal attacks and political posts but as long as one is civil to others it really isn't that hard to fit in. We are happy to have you be part of our group! :D

Thanks! And that's the way it should be. There is a screen showing the forum rules to agree to before finishing registration. The original poster in this thread said nothing that I didn't say in the other forum but I was immediately labeled as trouble for appearing to being negative towards Lance products. Like I posted today here, I really like my trailer, but the trouble upfront is something that a person considering one should first check out. I'm sure all brands have areas where they have had issues, granted. That's what I was attempting to help newbies with. If they experience the frustrations that I and others had, stick with it and insist on getting things right.
What I hope to get from your forum are ideas for mods, and places to stay. I hope to return that favor.
I'm heading to southeast Montana in a couple of weeks and have some prep to do (have never adjusted the brakes), beforehand.

#19 telcoman

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:44 PM

You should consider joining the Lance owners of America. You get a pipeline to the people you need to talk to.

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#20 FlyLikeAnEagle

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:51 AM

You should consider joining the Lance owners of America. You get a pipeline to the people you need to talk to.

That's the forum I was banned from for too many posting so many issues with my trailer, and stating my frustrations with not getting any help from Lance or my dealer. All is well now, as my dealer finally got the problems resolved and as I understand it, they split the cost with Lance.
Thaks for the tip, but IMHO if one reads that forum you'll only see the happy campers.