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Old 05-19-2018, 08:47 PM   #1
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Yet more problems with the New Aire, and no way to get it serviced

If you haven't followed my story thus far, I've already had numerous issues with my NA and it's been a rather frustrating journey.

The journey recently got much worse.

On my return trip from Myrtle Beach to Boston, I'd already planned a stop into CT Motorcars to finish up previous work (which went poorly due to the way Newmar does warranty work with non-Newmar dealers). That went fine. However, due to how poorly their interaction with Newmar went (and haven't been paid yet), they're no longer willing to do work for me.

My closest (2 hours) Newmar dealer isn't willing to do warranty work for me since I didn't buy from them.

The location (3 hours) I bought it would do it, but they won't keep the coach while it's being worked on. That means I either have to drive 12 hours (and spend $$$ on fuel and tolls, and take time off work) or drive 6 hours and spend money on fuel, tolls, and camping somewhere -- because the process must involve diagnosis, followed by ordering & delivery, followed by installation and testing. And there's obviously a gap during delivery. The next closest dealer is -- well, so far, I have no idea where.

No other non-Newmar dealer is willing to do repairs because of how crappy the out-of-network warranty process with Newmar is. It involves getting a hold of one of two people at Newmar who are impossible to get a hold of because they're overworked, getting approvals upon approvals all the way up the corporate chain, not getting paid until the defective part is in their hands PLUS two weeks. At CT Motorcars, this process took a month to simply replace a charging pad.

Newmar's practices are literally giving me the shaft when it comes to service. They're not making it easy enough for people to work on their coaches and their service network isn't big enough and *THEIR OWN* service network doesn't want to work on my coach. So I'm up a creek.

Even more fun, the house and chassis issues are dealt with separately. So I have two places I need to secure and work with for issues.

What are the new issues? (these cropped up in April/May)

* Full-wall slide creeps in (likely hydraulic solenoid and check valve replacements)
* Grey tank reading jumps all over the place (0, 30, 100, 45, ...) every second. Apparently accessing the sensor is difficult
* Autofill turns itself on (I've seen other reports of that here)
* Shower head fell off while driving (I can probably fix this -- but SERIOUSLY???)
* [Chassis] The shimmy I previously had was never fully fixed and needs to be fixed! It's brutal driving hundreds of miles while your body shakes.
* [Chassis] I have some sort of leak from the engine bay
* [Chassis] I demanded that the Collision Avoidance system be disabled due to a false activation and this requires a visit to Freightliner

Newmar has been trying since Monday (six days ago) to find me an option. No luck yet.

Through this interaction, I became aware of the Freightliner Oasis program -- not to be confused with the Oasis heat/hot-water. The Oasis dealers are equipped to handle issues with RV chassis items. The closest to me? Drumroll -- 2 hours. That, at least, I have scheduled for Wednesday and they'll keep it and keep it plugged in if they need it more than 1 day.

Lastly, the NA has a real issue with the lack of true battery disconnects and service. I can't leave it anywhere for more than a few days for service unless they're willing to keep it plugged in.

At this point, I think of Newmar as follows:

They hastily build their RVs with high-quality products but mediocre integration and poor QA and zero documentation. Their service people are nice and want to help but their hands are tied so the overall experience is atrocious.

"Funny" story ... when I was talking to the Newmar dealer that's closest to me about whether they'd service my NADP, she asked if it was warranty and I said yes and she proceeded for a minute and then backed up ... "oh ... manufacturer's warranty?" "yes" "oh ... then no." It says something that they're MORE willing to deal with extended warranty programs than Newmar.

Newmar will be getting a letter from me as they've lost me as someone who'd recommend them.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:53 PM   #2
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Newmar will be getting a letter from me as they've lost me as someone who'd recommend them.
I feel your pain but it is unlikely it will do much good. Newmar has a big blind spot when it comes to recognizing how awful field service is for their customers. Then they add insult to injury by withholding valuable field service documentation from their customers who out of desperation try to fix their coaches by themselves. Bad situation.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:55 PM   #3
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I guess the new models and revisions are BETA products and, like Microsoft, the users have to find and report errors that may be fixed. Was it a decade ago that Newmar had a 2 year warranty and good QC and employees so it didn't cost too much. The rush to buy RVs a decade ago with home equity withdrawals led to a shortage of workers. The market busted and now is hot again with not enough employable people in the Elkhart area.

If good looking RVs are hacked together they will sell, then make service frustrating and difficult and slow pay warranty claims to increase the cash and profits to maximize the payoff when the business is sold to Thor. The owners retire in multi hundreds of millions of dollars. The end customers wind up with orphan RVs.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:14 AM   #4
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I'm wondering if a letter requesting help from FMCA or Good Sams (member?) Problem Assist Depts might get a better response.
I read many of these where the Mfg doesn't like the negative press and jumps in with solutions or at least reasonable compromises.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:51 AM   #5
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Some sympathy to your situation, warranty and repair on RV's in general is a train wreck.

OTOH sounds like you are a newbie to motorhomes? Shower head? Screw it on. Chassis warranted separately from the house? I thought everybody knew that.

Again, I agree the support network needs improvement.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:19 AM   #6
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I am on both sides here but you do have some real problems with the rig and company.



I am wondering why you need to have it plugged in where you take it for service?


Having said that you may be at the point where you take it to the dealer you bought it from and leave it parked in fromt of their showroom. throw the keys on the salesman desk and tell him to call you when it is fixed.


Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:56 AM   #7
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Having said that you may be at the point where you take it to the dealer you bought it from and leave it parked in fromt of their showroom. throw the keys on the salesman desk and tell him to call you when it is fixed.
In many ways the dealers are just as frustrated with Newmar field service practices as the owners. They are clearly getting hassled by Newmar with the warranty handling practices. That is very clear. The outrageous policy by many dealers of not performing service on vehicles not sold by them says it all.

I am relatively new to the Newmar "experience". Based on my experience to date I am going to make a statement that will be very unpopular with the Newmar old timers on this form.

Unless you are very technically oriented, with the time to service your own coach, given the current state of Newmar field service, I do not recommend the purchase of a Newmar product. This is what I am telling my friends who show interest in my NA.

The NA is a great idea. The design and much of the detail is well thought out. But they throw these coaches together in a few day with poor quality control, then toss them to the dealers with many problems. Once at the dealer they obviously do not reimburse the dealers adaquately to take the time to finish the coach or to maintain the coach through the warranty period. My experience is only with the New Aire, not other Newmar products. But based on posts on this forum I don't think the problem is exclusive to the NA. Issues may be amplified in the NA with all the new features.

There is a reason my avatar shows an unfinished NA. Eight months into my NA adventure, I am still "finishing" the coach.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:15 AM   #8
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I certainly understand the frustration in dealing with Newmar. My first year was a very rough year in dealing with quality control issues, and learning that my dealer was not capable of handling repairs.

I had a multitude of issues, incuding FWS, Kitchen Slide, Awnings, paint issues, broken tile, poor initial tile job, and many other minor issues. The sad thing is almost all of these were evident upon FPU, but I was not experienced enough to recognize it. I actually committed the grave mistake of rushing my FPU, only to return 2 days later for factory service.

What I found that works with Newmar, and in almost all other businesses is the following.

1) Gather all facts prior to making contact. Have pictures
2) Be courteous, but firm.
3) Do not accept a no.
4) Be patient. Many times the person on the phone is there because they are new, or only good at customer service. The person that knows whats going on and can actually fix it may never take your call, and is probably overworked. It will take time to get information on their desk and a response.
5) Patience doesn't mean suffer - some issues warrant a weekly follow up. Others warrant an hourly follow up. There are many steps in between. I usually ask the person when to expect a follow up, and if it seems reasonable, I then ask "Should I call you, or will you call me by XX"?

Finally -
*** NEVER threaten a lawyer. Never. Lawyers are a costly last resort, and one that you should never use out of anger or frustration. If and when you do use a lawyer, you want the lawyer to be in control of how the "announcement" is made.


As far as Newmar, the reason I am ordering a second one after dealing with this very frustrating experience is the quality. Newmar does make mistakes, and their technology packages are often an area that they make the most mistakes. In looking at the 2019, I was very concerned about getting something that was "too new" for the production line, but after seeing the changes, I don't think there is anything that the production line is not used to.

On the NA, the opposite is true. This is an amazing coach, but it is what we refer to in the software world a public beta. What I feel that is missing from Newmar on this public beta is the dedicated support team ready to learn, fix, and address the issue. Hopefully someone from Newmar will read this and take that to heart.

When you do a public Beta, you need to have your engineers, developers, and senior production team actively involved in customer repair and support, especially for new, unresolved issues. Once an issue becomes known, issue a TSB publicly, with the information. This IRV2 community is a bunch of DIY type people that will help spread the word, and help educate. Sadly, it is a 2 way street, and when there is 0 support, that word will get spread as well.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:10 AM   #9
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Finally -
*** NEVER threaten a lawyer. Never. Lawyers are a costly last resort, and one that you should never use out of anger or frustration. If and when you do use a lawyer, you want the lawyer to be in control of how the "announcement" is made.
Good advice. The American Legal system is right up there with Newmar field support on my "do not like" list.

I spend my career in the construction materials business on the other side of the table from some of the best class action attorneys in the country. It was a very unpleasant experience. These issues of Newmar field support and warranty support are ripe for a class action.

In essence Newmar offers a warranty which in many parts of the country makes it difficult or impossible to use. Here is an example. I live in California with one of "those" dealers who clearly does not want or need to service Newmar warranties. I planned to be in the midwest before my warranty expired. I called Newmar to get an appointment at the factory. They would only offer an appointment outside of the warranty period and months later than the time I was in the area.

Without some meaningful action by Newmar, I predict we will be seeing a class action materialize out of this situation. It will clearly make the lawyers happy but will unlikely help the owners of a Newmar product very much.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:22 AM   #10
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In essence Newmar offers a warranty which in many parts of the country makes it difficult or impossible to use.
Even worse, in the name of that warranty, they will not ship you parts. They've even instructed the manufacturers not to ship parts to the end customer. That smells illegal.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:23 AM   #11
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I'm wondering if a letter requesting help from FMCA or Good Sams (member?) Problem Assist Depts might get a better response.
I read many of these where the Mfg doesn't like the negative press and jumps in with solutions or at least reasonable compromises.
Great idea, thank you. I'll see if I can get an ally on my side to help.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:36 AM   #12
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Some sympathy to your situation, warranty and repair on RV's in general is a train wreck.

OTOH sounds like you are a newbie to motorhomes? Shower head? Screw it on. Chassis warranted separately from the house? I thought everybody knew that.

Again, I agree the support network needs improvement.
As I said in the OP, I can screw the shower head on. That point was that it should never have fallen off in the first place -- an example of poor integration / build. Might be a nice shower head (quality parts), but poorly installed.

Chassis warranted separately -- yeah, no one told me I'd be managing individual relationships and having to drive 4 hours (which means I have to take time off work and also spend $150 in gas and tolls each time) for one place and 12 hours ($400) for another place. And good luck scheduling it anytime soon. Or with anyone else.

Am I new to this? Sure. But it's not an excuse for how they've set this up - especially within the first year warranty (which they make impossible to use).
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:38 AM   #13
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I am wondering why you need to have it plugged in where you take it for service?
Their battery disconnect design doesn't fully disconnect the battery. Even with them engaged, the batteries will deplete in under a week.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:55 AM   #14
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Even worse, in the name of that warranty, they will not ship you parts. They've even instructed the manufacturers not to ship parts to the end customer. That smells illegal.
I have experienced the exact opposite. It may be that certain components that they have the exclusive on (ie: comfort drive, Couch that converts to Bunk, etc) they have a contract to prohibit this, but if the product is a common part and not covered by some exclusivity agreement, I have never had a problem with parts coming from either newmar, or the company.

Keep in mind that the 1 year warrant is what newmar offers. May parts have a much longer mfg warranty, and you can deal direct with them for those parts. I have many posts for items such as Glenndinning power reel, oasis, etc. Even the PCS ems system needed a upgrade for components that I was installing. I wanted to add a BMK kit to my magnum. The PCS hardware required a firmware upgrade. I was able to get this done easily by dealing direct with PCS. Newmar would not have any interest in this, and I understand why. Although they did not help, they certainly did not act in a way to prevent me from doing this.

There are some components that Newmar is developing, and the first public use is on the NA. I am sure these components would be impossible to find information on, because this is their intellectual property. This is an example of why I support 'open source' products vs proprietary products, because I want to tinker and be self reliant.

Another comment about the service at newmar. The magic end date of 1 year can and will often be extended for conditions that exist prior to your appointment. Take time and talk to the service manager @ newmar, and explain the issue. He may not be able to get you in sooner, but he can and should extend the warranty period *if it is a normally covered repair*. They will always give a disclaimer to protect themselves, but they have always been honest and fair.

Dealer network, not so much. Thats why I am buying out of state, is the dealership I found is one that I trust. If I have a major issue, then I know up front I will have expense to travel for repairs, but at least I know once I do it, the dealer is one that I can count on.
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