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Old 04-10-2004, 05:29 PM   #1
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Posts: n/a
Well several months ago I would have told anyone to get a Newmar hands down! Well things have changed on that front. I have a 2000 American Star 34RLCK. It has nothing but loving care heaped on it! Clean and treat roof 2 twice a year. Two wax jobs a year (but now doing it with a electric buffer). Has never been set up as a gooseneck. Towed with a 16K Reese with 4 way swivel. Well I started to develop two cracks from the bedroom slide area in the Filon skin. Checked to make sure that the slide was not dragging on the bottom of the opening. It was not, local Newmar dealer called the factory and they stated that the unit is out of warr. and would not cover any repairs.
This was when the cracks were less than 1 inch each. I drilled a .062 dia hole at the end of each crack and kept an eye on it. Well they blew by the hole and continued to lenghten. At this time I found another crack coming from the top of the living room slide angled toward the rear! At this point I contacted Newmar and e mailed back and forth with a Chris De Lapaz in the customer service department. As I stated to Chris you could tell the unit has not had many road miles as the tires still have a few of the nubs left on them (I always keeps the tires covered anytime it is stopped). I was most concerned with something being broken in the frame area up front and just was flabbergasted that I had another crack in the rear. I took several digital pics of each crack and sent them to Newmar.
Following is my orginal mail with their reply.

Grant,

Please have this unit inspected by a Newmar dealer and have the shop
take the pictures and forward them on to our Dealer support staff, as
far as helping we would have to review, since this unit only had a 1
year warranty and the unit would be 4 years old on 4-14-04...as of right
now there would not be any help.. But have the dealer inspect..

Thanks
Newmar Customer Service
800-731-8300


-----Original Message-----
From: grantaellis@prodigy.net [mailto:grantaellis@prodigy.net]
Posted At: Thursday, March 18, 2004 9:36 PM
Posted To: 2004 Customer Service
Conversation: User Comments
Subject: User Comments


Name: Grant Ellis
Email Address: grantaellis@prodigy.net
Home Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Work Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Fax :
Mailing Address: 2608 South Walnut Ave
City: Broken Arrow
Country: USA
State/Province: Oklahoma
Zip Code: 74012
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 1N8RL343Y0036309
What Newmar product do you currently own?: American Star
What is the year of your unit?: 2000
Newmar Serial Number: 36309
Please leave any questions or comments in the box below: Let me start by
telling you I really love my American Star! But I have discovered a
problem. There are cracks in the filon skin extending from both bottom
corners of the bedroom slide. They extend apox 1 inch, these were
noticed
about a month ago. I just picked it up out of storage and de-winterized
it. That is when I now noticed a crack in the skin comming from the top
of the living room slide extending toward the rear of the unit at a 45
Deg
angle. It is about 1 1/2 inches long. The unit has not had that many
miles on it as it still has the orginal tires that still have the nubs
on
the edge of the tires! If you would like I can take a digital picture
of
the cracks and e-mail them to you. My question is what would be
involved
in the repair, and being as it has had nothing the best of care could
Newmar in the interest of good customer relations and the reputation
Newmar has had for quality over the years help on this repair? I am not
asking for Newmar to totally pay for this and would not expect that but
I
would like to know that there are no frame problems! I purchased the
Newmar as I knew that other brands have had problems with bedroom slides
breaking but had heard nothing but glowing praise on these units! I am
hauling it with a 95 CrewCab Ford Powerstroke. Long bed duel rear
wheels,
Reese 18K 4 way rocker, and Firestone Airbags inflated to 50 psi.
If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to
contact me by phone or e-mail!
Thank you for your consideration on this matter!!

Grant Ellis

(After talking to the dealer and finding that they did not take any pics I sent another e-mail to Newmar. It is below)

Grant,

I looked in the history to see if Daves Claremore Rv had called in and
They did call us in Dec. regarding the stress cracks and yes it was
denied due to the fact that the unit was out of warranty. You can take
it back if you want to, but Newmar will not authorize the shop to do the
work. You will have to pay for the bill.. Being that this unit is out
of warranty we can not justify covering.

Thanks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: grantaellis [mailto:grantaellis@prodigy.net]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 10:38 PM
To: Chris De Lapaz
Subject: Re: User Comments
Importance: High


Mr. De Lapaz,
Thank you for your reply! I have taken it by Deans RV in Claremore.
They
told me that you would not be able to help ( I wondered if they even
called)? I just could not believe that as all that I have heard about
Newmar
is the quality of work they do on everything! I don't know if they took
any
pictures but they had it for about 3 weeks. If you would like I will
take
it back to them and tell them you told me to return with it. Let me
know
and I will have to take it to them next week as I am using it now
working at
a horse show.

Thank you for your reply!
Grant Ellis

(Well you can see where this is heading. I sent another offer to them that if I would bring up the unit to them and if they found any frame damage we could talk about sharing some of cost! Well I am going to copy that mail below here. As a note, I have not heard anything back from them after this mail.)

Chris,
Sorry to have taken a few days to reply. I am not as worried on getting help
on the skin fix as if there is frame damage causing the cracks. I do not
think the frame should only be good for 3 years! I would like to offer the
following compromise. If I made the commitment to bring the unit up from
Tulsa to your factory would you be willing to do the repairs and adjust
some of the repair expense if you find that the frame is cracked?
I also post and belong to many forums on RV's. I have been a supporter
of Newmar and would like to be able to post that the factory stepped up to
the plate and at least offered to cover some of the repair if the frame was
the problem.
I will be looking forward to your reply.

Thank You,
Grant Ellis

So I will let you make up your own minds on Newmar. The shame of the deal is I really LIKE the unit layout. Just disappointed!



-----------------------------------------------------------------------

95 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, mild Superchip (trying a Bully Dog 4 page flip chip), 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Firestone air bags.
Pulling a 2000 American Star, 34RLCK bedroom and living room slides, w/d stack ,11,480 lbs.
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:29 PM   #2
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Posts: n/a
Well several months ago I would have told anyone to get a Newmar hands down! Well things have changed on that front. I have a 2000 American Star 34RLCK. It has nothing but loving care heaped on it! Clean and treat roof 2 twice a year. Two wax jobs a year (but now doing it with a electric buffer). Has never been set up as a gooseneck. Towed with a 16K Reese with 4 way swivel. Well I started to develop two cracks from the bedroom slide area in the Filon skin. Checked to make sure that the slide was not dragging on the bottom of the opening. It was not, local Newmar dealer called the factory and they stated that the unit is out of warr. and would not cover any repairs.
This was when the cracks were less than 1 inch each. I drilled a .062 dia hole at the end of each crack and kept an eye on it. Well they blew by the hole and continued to lenghten. At this time I found another crack coming from the top of the living room slide angled toward the rear! At this point I contacted Newmar and e mailed back and forth with a Chris De Lapaz in the customer service department. As I stated to Chris you could tell the unit has not had many road miles as the tires still have a few of the nubs left on them (I always keeps the tires covered anytime it is stopped). I was most concerned with something being broken in the frame area up front and just was flabbergasted that I had another crack in the rear. I took several digital pics of each crack and sent them to Newmar.
Following is my orginal mail with their reply.

Grant,

Please have this unit inspected by a Newmar dealer and have the shop
take the pictures and forward them on to our Dealer support staff, as
far as helping we would have to review, since this unit only had a 1
year warranty and the unit would be 4 years old on 4-14-04...as of right
now there would not be any help.. But have the dealer inspect..

Thanks
Newmar Customer Service
800-731-8300


-----Original Message-----
From: grantaellis@prodigy.net [mailto:grantaellis@prodigy.net]
Posted At: Thursday, March 18, 2004 9:36 PM
Posted To: 2004 Customer Service
Conversation: User Comments
Subject: User Comments


Name: Grant Ellis
Email Address: grantaellis@prodigy.net
Home Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Work Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Fax :
Mailing Address: 2608 South Walnut Ave
City: Broken Arrow
Country: USA
State/Province: Oklahoma
Zip Code: 74012
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 1N8RL343Y0036309
What Newmar product do you currently own?: American Star
What is the year of your unit?: 2000
Newmar Serial Number: 36309
Please leave any questions or comments in the box below: Let me start by
telling you I really love my American Star! But I have discovered a
problem. There are cracks in the filon skin extending from both bottom
corners of the bedroom slide. They extend apox 1 inch, these were
noticed
about a month ago. I just picked it up out of storage and de-winterized
it. That is when I now noticed a crack in the skin comming from the top
of the living room slide extending toward the rear of the unit at a 45
Deg
angle. It is about 1 1/2 inches long. The unit has not had that many
miles on it as it still has the orginal tires that still have the nubs
on
the edge of the tires! If you would like I can take a digital picture
of
the cracks and e-mail them to you. My question is what would be
involved
in the repair, and being as it has had nothing the best of care could
Newmar in the interest of good customer relations and the reputation
Newmar has had for quality over the years help on this repair? I am not
asking for Newmar to totally pay for this and would not expect that but
I
would like to know that there are no frame problems! I purchased the
Newmar as I knew that other brands have had problems with bedroom slides
breaking but had heard nothing but glowing praise on these units! I am
hauling it with a 95 CrewCab Ford Powerstroke. Long bed duel rear
wheels,
Reese 18K 4 way rocker, and Firestone Airbags inflated to 50 psi.
If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to
contact me by phone or e-mail!
Thank you for your consideration on this matter!!

Grant Ellis

(After talking to the dealer and finding that they did not take any pics I sent another e-mail to Newmar. It is below)

Grant,

I looked in the history to see if Daves Claremore Rv had called in and
They did call us in Dec. regarding the stress cracks and yes it was
denied due to the fact that the unit was out of warranty. You can take
it back if you want to, but Newmar will not authorize the shop to do the
work. You will have to pay for the bill.. Being that this unit is out
of warranty we can not justify covering.

Thanks
Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: grantaellis [mailto:grantaellis@prodigy.net]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 10:38 PM
To: Chris De Lapaz
Subject: Re: User Comments
Importance: High


Mr. De Lapaz,
Thank you for your reply! I have taken it by Deans RV in Claremore.
They
told me that you would not be able to help ( I wondered if they even
called)? I just could not believe that as all that I have heard about
Newmar
is the quality of work they do on everything! I don't know if they took
any
pictures but they had it for about 3 weeks. If you would like I will
take
it back to them and tell them you told me to return with it. Let me
know
and I will have to take it to them next week as I am using it now
working at
a horse show.

Thank you for your reply!
Grant Ellis

(Well you can see where this is heading. I sent another offer to them that if I would bring up the unit to them and if they found any frame damage we could talk about sharing some of cost! Well I am going to copy that mail below here. As a note, I have not heard anything back from them after this mail.)

Chris,
Sorry to have taken a few days to reply. I am not as worried on getting help
on the skin fix as if there is frame damage causing the cracks. I do not
think the frame should only be good for 3 years! I would like to offer the
following compromise. If I made the commitment to bring the unit up from
Tulsa to your factory would you be willing to do the repairs and adjust
some of the repair expense if you find that the frame is cracked?
I also post and belong to many forums on RV's. I have been a supporter
of Newmar and would like to be able to post that the factory stepped up to
the plate and at least offered to cover some of the repair if the frame was
the problem.
I will be looking forward to your reply.

Thank You,
Grant Ellis

So I will let you make up your own minds on Newmar. The shame of the deal is I really LIKE the unit layout. Just disappointed!



-----------------------------------------------------------------------

95 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, mild Superchip (trying a Bully Dog 4 page flip chip), 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Firestone air bags.
Pulling a 2000 American Star, 34RLCK bedroom and living room slides, w/d stack ,11,480 lbs.
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:26 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,308
so Grant, what eventually happened with this case? Did Newmar finally help you out with your problem? ...were you satisfied in the end?
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Old 08-22-2004, 05:15 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, TEXAS
Posts: 6
Grant, it seems that Newmar is denying your warrantee request. Have you considered having the factory repair your unit during the winter??? They had a special for the past few winters where they reduce the labor rate to $50/hr. Contrasting that to the $80+/hr rate at many RV shops, may be something to consider. Plus, I would assume, the job would be done much faster at the factory.

Dan L
04 Dutch Star
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:33 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Broken Arrow OK
Posts: 36
An update on this issue. Newmar told me that I could bring the unit up after their busy part of the season and they would look at it. I would still pay for the skin repair but if they found structure damage they would see about that. I am thinking about seeing if they would be willing to make that deal and let the local Newmar dealer do the same thing. Will let all know within the next two weeks.

Thanks for checking back on this!
Grant Ellis
__________________
96 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, TWildman custom burned 4 pos chip, 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Torqueshift tranny cooler,Firestone air
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Old 08-22-2004, 09:58 PM   #6
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Posts: 11
Grant,

I think you would be far better off bringing it to the factory for repairs than allowing a local dealer to make the repairs.

I was hoping you received a response from the factory regarding your frame concerns.

Good luck to you getting it taken care of!
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Old 08-24-2004, 06:08 AM   #7
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Location: Madison, MS
Posts: 8,116
Grant (Horse Show Manager): I realize that a trip from OK. to Nappanee might seem to be a little far...but don't you think asking them to pay someone else to repair an out-of-warranty rig is going a bit too far also?? The factory people have an uncontested reputation for making it right, and the fact that Newmar is willing to "look at it" seems like a good deal to me. I suggest you GO, when they can give you an appointment, and I'll bet you will be pleased with the treatment you receive. If there really is a structrual problem, you want it fixed right and by the people who made it. Good luck, and please let us hear how all this turned out.
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Old 08-24-2004, 04:39 PM   #8
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Posts: 172
I have the opportunity to meet Chris. He is a no=nonsense, honest, and reliable person. He is following the book when the unit is out of warranty.

I totally agree with the other comments. Make an appointment for early January. They will provide a place for you to have a hookup at night. This is not a huge repair.

My guess is that your problem is related to the unit bucking when you hook up. This causes the frame to flex and the skin will crack. Jayco had a HUGE problem with this issue. Cedar Creek actually cuts their bedroom slide to allow the skin to flex. Since your crack has gone beyond the drill hole, this may be a cheap fix that will look factory. The other crack at the top may be more of an issue.

I would also request to speak to the regional sales manager for Oklahoma. He should be willing to inspect the unit and report to Chris. If all else fails, write a letter to the new executive manager of Newmar reviewing your problems. I would NEVER have the local dealer fix this problem.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-24-2004, 06:50 PM   #9
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Location: Broken Arrow OK
Posts: 36
Thanks everyone, I think you are right and I should make the trip up there. JoJo, thanks for the heads up on Chris. I guess I will see if I can get off from work and spend a few days on the road. I am just a little worried about weather near Green Bay in Jan!

Grant
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96 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, TWildman custom burned 4 pos chip, 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Torqueshift tranny cooler,Firestone air
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Old 08-24-2004, 08:35 PM   #10
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Grant, better recheck your map. Napanne is east and slightly south of Chicago, almost due north of Indy. But you can bet it will be cold!
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Old 08-24-2004, 09:22 PM   #11
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Grant,

Microsoft Streets and Trips tells me it is a 777 mile ride that should take about 12.5 hours. Should be interesting to time winter storms right in January. Good luck in your repair!
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Old 08-26-2004, 06:47 PM   #12
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Yea, thanks for the geo lesson! Perhaps I should look into the GPS/laptop system . I contacted Newmar today as I am going to have an chance to be off of work for the entire 2nd week of October. Would be a perfect time to get up there before I might need an icebreaker to make it. Turns out that Mr. De La Paz is no longer in service but has transferred to engineering! So now I am bring a new person up to speed on the deal, his name is Jessie and he said that if Chris told me they would take a look and if something was wrong with the frame they would discuss the deal with me. I am really glad I kept all of the mails between Chris and myself. He did mention that Jan to March is what they conceder their slow warr time. I asked Jessie if they were having to do that much warr work! He stated that there are a lot of coaches out there and a lot of the people will not let the local dealer do repairs, instead perferring to take it to the factory. I am going to see what happens over the next few weeks and I will be keeping everyone up to date on this. Thank you for the support and I will include this link to a mail to Mr. Jessie

Thank You everyone!!
Grant Ellis
__________________
96 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, TWildman custom burned 4 pos chip, 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Torqueshift tranny cooler,Firestone air
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:34 PM   #13
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Hello All!
An update on the cracks in my 2000 American Star 5th wheel. I will not go into the entire detail on this update but if you have not been following this thread see my first post.
Mr. Phil Steely the service manager at Newmar called today. I had taken digital pics of the cracks and they had been fowarded to him. After the Labor Day holiday he had a meeting with the warr. department. The outcome of that meeting was even though my unit was almost 5 years old and only came with a 1 year warr they were going to do the entire repair including not just fixing the skin but replacement of the entire skin on that side!! Phil said that they had never had that problem before and wanted to take a look at it. The repair is being listed as a customer relations repair. You will find in my previous posts I had been a little shaken but never resorted to flamming or ranting, and was convinced that all of the good things I had heard about Newmar Quality would come true. THEY DID!!!
My other worry had been they only do non warr repair in the months of Jan thur March. Well I was worried about trying to get up to Newmar as it is in the middle of the Great Lakes Snow belt! Phil told me today that I could bring the unit up this fall before the snow hits and they would store it! Then right after Christmas they could start on the repairs. I could then come up on what would look like a good weather week to pick it up. I had planned on staying with the unit as they repaired it to save from having to make two trips. Being as now I am not paying a single red cent I can afford to make two trips. After my previous conversations with Mr. Chris De Lapaz at first then later Mr. Jessie Newman who took over Chris' job as he moved to enginnering (that in itself scared me as I was going to have to start all over with someone new, well it was as seamless as could be). The orginal deal was that I would pay for the skin repair and if they found some structural damage that needed to be repaired then it would be done at a reduced cost. Was not what I wanted to hear but it was better than taking it all on myself. Well I guess we all know now who stands behind their work as well as their reputation!
Thank you again to all who replied and helped to keep my spirts up. As you will notice in previous posts I had fowarded the strings to the people at Newmar so I feel that the posting we do on here helps us to be heard!! Well I will be sending this string to Newmar tomorrow. Sorry for the long post but just had to let this be known.

Grant Ellis
Showtime Equestrian Services
aka "Horse_Show_Manager"
__________________
96 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, TWildman custom burned 4 pos chip, 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Torqueshift tranny cooler,Firestone air
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:57 AM   #14
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Grant,

Glad to hear everything worked out! Please let us know what happens after the repairs are completed!
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