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How do fulltimers deal with (warranty) service issues?


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 We bought a 2017 316RLS 5th wheel in September of 2016, our second RV in 3 years of fulltiming - first unit was used.  As is typical, our new unit has several problems within the first warrantied year - ending in September 2017.  Our dealer, LazyDays RV in Loveland, Co has a policy of servicing their new sales (sales prep) first and having warranty and repair customers leave their unit on the lot till they have the free time in their schedule to do the repairs. And would likely not get to our unit till sometime in July, with that not even promised.  That would require us renting an apartment, month to month as well as staying in the area longer than intended.

I called Highland Ridge, the manufacturer (now acquired by Jayco) and asked if we could get a mobile RV mechanic to do the repairs, and they reluctantly said that could be done if the dealer, LazyDays, would authorize the mechanic as a dealer and all work and parts would be submitted through the dealer. The dealer said they would not do that, as they had "no motivation" to have competing dealer/repairmen, and they would still be ultimately liable for the repairs.

At this point, we are looking at paying for the repairs ourselves. Unless we can come up with some other solution. I have been pretty persistent with both the dealer and HR, but some of these repairs need to be done soon. Any creative ideas out there on how to get timely warranty work done?  Highland Ridge will only accept warranty work through authorized dealers

And I pass on to other full timers that your warranty on a new vehicle is worthless unless you have a second home to live in near the dealer.
 
Any ideas out there on resolving this situation, other than forgetting the warranty and paying for the work ourselves?

 

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Our dealer would schedule us in & we would deliver it right into the service building.  If it took more than one day, we tow with a HDT & can sleep in that. I would think that your dealer could do a better job than putting your trailer out in the pasture.  Did they never hear of  "service after the sale?"

Todd

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Can you go to another dealer who services your Highland Ridge/Jayco?  I would raise hell with the manufacturer to have them MAKE the dealer respond.  Is there a lemon law in your state?  If so and the dealer wanted the unit and didn't do the works for 2 or 3 months that might be sufficient time to use the lemon law.  Is there a Highland Ridge owners forum where you can get others thoughts that had the same difficulty?   

We are fortunate that NuWa (now Kansas RV Center) has their own service department for warranty and non warranty service.  Being full timers we plan our travels to include Chanute, Kansas if we need service.      Greg

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WOW, that sucks that your selling dealer is not trying to help you out.  I would call the manufacture as stated and have them find you a dealer that could give you the service that you need now.  Best of luck getting your issues addressed and corrected.

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Seems not all dealers handle warranty work the same.  Just today I called where I'd bought my Forest River toy hauler and set-up an appt for a list of warranty issues along with a couple things I want added.  He knows I'll be traveling (it's kinda on my path of travel but not exactly) and said unless there's an issue with getting parts, it should only take one day.  They don't have hook-ups there, but I'll gladly get a motel for the night if needed.  If it takes longer, we'll cross that bridge when we get there - maybe they'll find something that is more extensive, just don't know. 

I did have a couple small items taken care of while in AZ by a mobile tech, and spent an extra week in Kingman waiting for a part for my hitch that needed replaced.  I'll take those things up with the dealer while I'm there.  So far I've got a good relationship with them and have faith that we'll work things out.  If not....my attitude may change, but at this point I have praise for the dealer.

Only posted to show not every dealer forgets what customer service means.

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10 hours ago, redcrzr said:

Our dealer would schedule us in & we would deliver it right into the service building.  If it took more than one day, we tow with a HDT & can sleep in that. I would think that your dealer could do a better job than putting your trailer out in the pasture.  Did they never hear of  "service after the sale?"

Todd

All dealers have heard that phrase; few actually practice it.:angry:

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10 hours ago, charlyhors said:
 We bought a 2017 316RLS 5th wheel in September of 2016, our second RV in 3 years of fulltiming - first unit was used.  As is typical, our new unit has several problems within the first warrantied year - ending in September 2017.  Our dealer, LazyDays RV in Loveland, Co has a policy of servicing their new sales (sales prep) first and having warranty and repair customers leave their unit on the lot till they have the free time in their schedule to do the repairs. And would likely not get to our unit till sometime in July, with that not even promised.  That would require us renting an apartment, month to month as well as staying in the area longer than intended.

I called Highland Ridge, the manufacturer (now acquired by Jayco) and asked if we could get a mobile RV mechanic to do the repairs, and they reluctantly said that could be done if the dealer, LazyDays, would authorize the mechanic as a dealer and all work and parts would be submitted through the dealer. The dealer said they would not do that, as they had "no motivation" to have competing dealer/repairmen, and they would still be ultimately liable for the repairs.

At this point, we are looking at paying for the repairs ourselves. Unless we can come up with some other solution. I have been pretty persistent with both the dealer and HR, but some of these repairs need to be done soon. Any creative ideas out there on how to get timely warranty work done?  Highland Ridge will only accept warranty work through authorized dealers

And I pass on to other full timers that your warranty on a new vehicle is worthless unless you have a second home to live in near the dealer.
 
Any ideas out there on resolving this situation, other than forgetting the warranty and paying for the work ourselves?

 

I most definitely would get the manufacture involved in this "issue" now in addition to touching base with an attorney.  I would also speak far and wide on as many forums as possible if the dealer continues to drag their feet.  To many people are to willing to put up with this crap from so these called dealers which allows them to flourish.  IF your rv ends up being unuseable for an extended time, that's when I would "insist" that the warranty also be extended for the same amount of time.:unsure:

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The Attorney General in the state of the dealer might be interest in hearing about this. Sometimes it's enough to tell the dealer you plan to contact the Attorney General if they don't do what is needed in a timely manner. Losing their license to do business would not be good for them.

Linda Sand

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We too have had several new RVs and more than one warranty experience and never have we had that kind of problem, especially when taking the RV to the selling dealer. One thing that you may want to do is to contact the top management of Lazydays RV and see if there is something that they can or will do. There are two more dealer locations near you, Longmont & Denver that would be an easy drive if you could get service there sooner.  Some information on the company, whose headquarters is in Seffner, FL.

Quote

Key Executives For Lazydays RV SuperCenter, Inc.

Chairman
Age: 53
 
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Age: 61
 
Vice President of Services

Phone:  813-246-4333

 

 

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I get what you are saying Glen but you have to be careful that you don't void a warranty on something expensive.  Also it isn't practical for many. It hurts my feelings that I can't repair some things I used to due to physical limitations.   I think it is oldjohnt that uses the term grrrr when he isn't thrilled with himself or certain situations. Thats the way I feel about warranties on major products.   Grrrr they are supposed to work and mean something.  Oh well if wishing were pigs, bacon would fly (and land on my plate)

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I agree with getting the manufacturer to assist you with finding another dealer that will work on your unit in a manner that fits your schedule. As fulltimers, I assume you travel so go where you can find a dealer that fits your schedule. 

I am not sure why people are telling you to call a lawyer or the Attorney General. Your dealer didn't say they wouldn't do it, only that they couldn't schedule it until July. There is nothing in the law that says that a dealer must put you first in line, only that they fix your warranty items. Nothing says that must complete it in one day either. That's the down side to living in the trailer. Most RV'ers are not fulltimers and some dealers are clueless on how to handle our situation.

I'm with jc2 and would blast that dealers name on every forum I could find. 

Edited by Big5er
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All manufactures have dealer reps to handle issues between the dealer and the customer who purchased one of their products. Contact the manufacturer and get in contact with the area rep for your area. The manufacturers rep may be able to motivate the dealer to get the repairs done. I would also contact the lender and advise them of your problem. Lenders can terminate their relationship with a dealer that creates unhappy customers leaving the dealer with one less resource for financing their sales. As a last resort I would contact a lawyer, as well as the Attorney General for your state and the Dept of Motorvehicles for your state who will investigate the dealer. 

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I had problems with the dealer I bought my motorhome from refusing to fix some items because they considered them my fault--like the drawer that opened as I was driving and punched a hole in a kitchen cabinet.  Dealer said I had overloaded it. (There were some other issues they refused to fix as well.) I called factory and told them I wanted the maximum weight limit on all drawers and cabinets, in writing.  Of course, there was no such list--dealer was just making something up because he did not want to do the work under warranty.  And drawer was half-full, by the way. 

Factory, of course, said they had no control over their dealers, which is legally crap.  Anyway, since I travel a lot, I scheduled the rest of the warranty work at the Fleetwood factory customer service center.  I spent the night before and after in their lot which had electric.  They fixed everything without complaining or blaming me, and they fixed it right the first time.   Best part was they issued me safety glasses, and as long as I wore closed-toe shoes, I could sit and work in my motorhome while they worked on it! 

I have returned to them a couple of times for non-warranty stuff i did not trust a dealer with.  So, frankly, I would recommend going to the factory for repairs if you can. 

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We have had a couple warranty issues done by an independent(not a mobile) on the road. Sent the bill to the mfg. and they paid.  Actually, having it done by an independent was less than the dealer. The hourly for the dealer was almost $200 while the independent was $95. Also an independent wants to fix your rig and get onto the next. A dealer only wants to sell rigs.

What issues are we talking about? Most of us fix our own.

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I tend to agree with Big5er. They haven't done anything to violate the law so you really have no recourse in contacting the Attorney General or a lawyer. Threatening the dealer in any way generally only serves one purpose... to piss them off... which, more times than not, just leads to shoddy half-a**ed work on your rig. Just enough to shut you up and get you out the door.

The manufacturer is correct too. They really don't have any control over their dealers business practices or scheduling. They can try to encourage a dealer to resolve an issue, but let's face it... the manufacturer is in the business of selling rigs. They aren't going to ruin a business relationship or pull a dealer license over a few disgruntled customers if their authorized dealer is still selling rigs. 

Dealers may also prioritize repairs on a "critical" and "non-critical" basis which can cause unnecessarily long turn around times.

SWharton is also correct. Most of us learn quickly that it's generally easiest, and in the long run, more practical and cost effective (when you consider travel expenses and down time) to do our own repairs whenever possible. Replacing a major appliance or a major structural issue under warranty... sure. Fixing a leaky window, a drawer slide, a loose carpet, leaky faucet, etc... it just ain't worth the hassle for what are generally quick and inexpensive fixes.

Just my own opinion, but I think many folks are simply TOO entirely paranoid about voiding their warranty by doing any work themselves.

In Charlie's case, if the repairs are more than you can chew and non-critical, I would call dealers along your intended travel route to determine if any of them would be happy for your business. If going directly to a manufactureres repair facility is an option, and you schedule ahead, you'll likely get the best and quickest warranty work.

All that being said, I have generally found that I get better dealer service away from my "home" dealer.. mid-travel and make it clear that I am a full-timer. The last time I was in a service center it was was for 2 non-critical recall repairs (skylight and external LP line replacement and re-route) and 1 semi-critical recall (axle replacement and new set of tires). I arranged a dealer along my route about 5 days out. They had the necessary parts in-house by the time I got there and only spent one night in their lot.

Important to note. SOME service centers will not order non-stock repair parts until the rig is under their roof. If you fail to show, you just made their life more difficult. In those cases I have had success by offering a deposit up front for them to do so and have the parts waiting. I have always gotten my deposit back and have never had any of my rigs layed up with parts delays.

It doesn't always go that smoothly, but the point being.. never feel like you don't have options. There is almost always "someone" out there that would be happy to have your business.

Not all manufactueres will pay out on a mobile repair like they did for SWharton, but many will since the repair is already a done deal and if it's within line with what a dealer would have charged anyway. It's a 50/50 case-by-case crap shoot, but it's not at all uncommon to get a reimbursement. Many will say you should always get pre-authorization "before" having a repair done. The "canned" answer is typically "no". How does the saying go? Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission? ;)

IMO, most learn pretty quickly that the price tag of a new rig is never "final" just by signing on the dotted line and driving it off the lot.

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To the OP:

I had an experience in '07 which is when we bought a Monaco Monarch from a show from a dealer in So Cal.  We took it with contracts to get things repaired, corrected etc that were part of the deal.  Some were significant and others piddly.  We took the coach to dealers service center and after they had the coach for 3 weeks without looking at it, we decided to take it to an independent service center that we had had good experience with.  They made us sing a promissory note that we guaranteed that they would be paid.  Didnt think much of it, since they have an ongoing relationship with Monaco.  Long story short, we didnt know that Monaco was in bankruptcy, but they all did!  We ate the $3800 in warranty work for things like the drivers seat had a tear in it, the rear window in the bedroom had a D/N shade that only covered half the window(DWs pet peeve), and a bunch of other things needing attention and we had included in our contract.  The dealer did NONE of them.  I will NEVER use that dealer again, no matter how good the deal on a coach is.  I wont let them make a penny off of me.  It wasnt fair what they did and it appeared that they knew the situation with Monaco.  So much for taking care of the customer.

 

Let the buyer beware. 

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10 minutes ago, rpsinc said:

We took it with contracts to get things repaired, corrected etc that were part of the deal.

That was the first critical mistake. Never.. let me stress that.. NEVER finalize a deal or take possession of a rig with known pending issues. Written into the contract or not.. once they're paid.. you just fell to the bottom of their priority list and have no leverage to motivate them to make good and timely repairs.

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1 minute ago, Yarome said:

That was the first critical mistake. Never.. let me stress that.. NEVER finalize a deal or take possession of a rig with known pending issues. Written into the contract or not.. once they're paid.. you just fell to the bottom of their priority list and have no leverage to motivate them to make good and timely repairs.

I say I agree.  I will never do that again.  And so is the reason why I am sharing my experience here.  I am grateful is was only $3800.  Some have been stuck with far more.  Once the dealer learns of your vulnerability(ie you are fulltime and no other place to go and you have possession of the unit), they will exploit it.  The only caviat for us is that we got a good deal on the coach.  So that was some help.  But NOT what we had agreed to.

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We just went through some of this with our Berkshire motorhome. Taking it back to the dealer for the punchlist we had was not possible due to distance and scheduling and being a Forest River product, we not only had to find an FR dealer, it had to be one who had the training to work on the coach. Unfortunately, one of the big service outfits is Camping World and I wasn't too enthusiastic in trying them given their history. So...

We found a local RV shop that did do FR warranty work and were authorized to work on coaches. We first contacted them to schedule a looksee appointment (having already told them we were full-timers) and followed the conversation with an emailed punchlist. 

Day One: Brought the coach in and did a thorough walk-thru to address and point out each item on the punchlist. This included pictures and everything else to accurately describe each problem area. Once completed, we continued on to our hosting gig while the RV shop went to work getting authorization on each item and getting the parts ordered. The plan was, once the parts came in, to bring in the coach and let them have at it during the work hours with us picking it back up in the afternoon.

It took almost a full month to get all the parts in (several were resends after sending the wrong part the first time) and to schedule the best time to bring the coach in. Service figured at least 2 days to get all the list done. 

Day Two [Monday]:  Drove the 5 miles from our hosting gig to the shop to drop the coach off first thing in the morning. Shop worked on the items all day and as expected did not complete the list. Scheduled back in on Wednesday so we returned to the park we were hosting at.

Day Three [Wednesday]: All coach related issued  completed with the exception of a small leak/whistle in the windshield which required sub-contractor work as the shop was not able to work on such a big item. Also found an issue with two driver side slides, took pictures and ordered parts.

Day  Four [Friday]: Sub-contractor fixed windshield, punchlist complete with exception of issue with slides, parts had not arrived. We left that one pending and went on to our other hosting gig, approximately 65 miles away. We'll have the work completed probably the first week in July when we roll back through the town.

 

So, we did manage to get our work done on a 24 item punch list without leaving our coach at the shop. Sure, it was inconvenient to have to take the coach in several times but it was much better than getting a room at a motel for an indefinite period of time. Suggest, if you can, to see if you can work the same type of deal where ever you are - even if you have to take your issues in bits and pieces to get the work done. Remember, you don't have to get them all done at the same time or at the same shop and as long as you have gone through the necessary hoops to make a record of a warranty deficiency and they have acknowledged it is a warranty item the clock usually is stopped for that specific item. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Chris-n-Dennis said:

We just went through some of this with our Berkshire motorhome.

Good deal! Sounds like a good outfit. Mind sharing who it was you went through? BTW.. GOOD CALL passing on CW. With a little leg work, in-shop repairs don't necessarily have to become a nightmare. ;)

Edited by Yarome
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