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Old 08-04-2006, 09:16 PM   #1
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Well, we finished up at the Customer Service Center and left a few hours ago - long drive (14 miles) to Toppenish for the weekend. Didn't get everything done we had hoped for, but all in all not a bad experience.

Had washer/dryer installed and slide problem corrected. They also trouble-shot and corrected a self-induced electrical problem - one brother-in-law owes us a LOT of golf games. Unfortunately, they have had a lot of turnover in staff so that some of the items that we wanted done and had arranged for in April, had fallen through the cracks and no parts were ordered until we got there. The window awning will arrive next week, but we needed to depart this weekend, so they are going to forward it to a Coach-Care facility in Indiana for installation. The other item that we wanted was to remove the oven/range combination and replace it with drawers and cooktop. There was no way (since that had not be scheduled by the people who left) that it could be done in a reasonable length of time, so we had to forget about it. So my non-used oven is now storing bread and other soft items (pans rattle to much). The staff turn over has lead to some communication problems which I am sure will improve over time.

One thing that was apparent is that most of the people there think that after the warranty is done the coach is "done" and that no one would be serious in keeping one and keeping it going. We kept trying to talk to them about the necessity of having the ability to locate parts for older coaches and could not seem to get the idea through that keeping older coaches going means that people can buy them, which means someone can then buy a new one. And someone who buys a used coach and likes it may eventually buy a new one.

One of the best things this week was getting to meet Audrey and John. We had a wonderful visit and hope to meet up again before next December when we will be back in Texas. After all, we owe them a dinner. They are able to wait for their window awning to come in next week and we have to move on in order to be in Michigan by the 13th of this month.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:16 PM   #2
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Well, we finished up at the Customer Service Center and left a few hours ago - long drive (14 miles) to Toppenish for the weekend. Didn't get everything done we had hoped for, but all in all not a bad experience.

Had washer/dryer installed and slide problem corrected. They also trouble-shot and corrected a self-induced electrical problem - one brother-in-law owes us a LOT of golf games. Unfortunately, they have had a lot of turnover in staff so that some of the items that we wanted done and had arranged for in April, had fallen through the cracks and no parts were ordered until we got there. The window awning will arrive next week, but we needed to depart this weekend, so they are going to forward it to a Coach-Care facility in Indiana for installation. The other item that we wanted was to remove the oven/range combination and replace it with drawers and cooktop. There was no way (since that had not be scheduled by the people who left) that it could be done in a reasonable length of time, so we had to forget about it. So my non-used oven is now storing bread and other soft items (pans rattle to much). The staff turn over has lead to some communication problems which I am sure will improve over time.

One thing that was apparent is that most of the people there think that after the warranty is done the coach is "done" and that no one would be serious in keeping one and keeping it going. We kept trying to talk to them about the necessity of having the ability to locate parts for older coaches and could not seem to get the idea through that keeping older coaches going means that people can buy them, which means someone can then buy a new one. And someone who buys a used coach and likes it may eventually buy a new one.

One of the best things this week was getting to meet Audrey and John. We had a wonderful visit and hope to meet up again before next December when we will be back in Texas. After all, we owe them a dinner. They are able to wait for their window awning to come in next week and we have to move on in order to be in Michigan by the 13th of this month.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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The staff turnover at WRV is not a new thing. They have had this problem for years. They pay sub standard wages and employ a lot of transient workers. We were at the factory once and the customer service rep. for trailers and campers was 18 years old. She was writing work orders but did not know a door from a cabinet!! I met people who had been at camp Alpine for a month!! Never again!

Moisheh
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:13 PM   #4
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Yeah Barbara and Dave had kind of a rough week. Heads up if you want some remodeling done at the factory - get on the phone weeks in advance of your appointment to make sure it's all set up and parts are on order - especially if it's an older coach with different wood, cabinetry design, etc. This seems to be an area that WRV lacks a system to manage well right now.

Almost all of our stuff has been pretty much warranty type work - a few biggies, a bunch of littlies. So far they've cleaned up quite a few things for us and we're enjoying the results. We are now waiting for parts for some of the fixes.

We "escaped" to Cle Elum WA for the weekend - fabulous area on the east side of the Cascades. We thought we'd be here for 4 nights - but today our leveling jacks decided to fail completely - arrrrgh! The leveling/hydraulics system has been acting a bit strange for a little while - although WRV seemed to be able to get most of the kinks out last week. So we'll be going back Monday. At least the system finally failed completely! We suspect one of the solenoids finally gave out.

And then there are the upgrades. As we were approaching the factory, we kept noticing window awnings on Alpines. Something we have really been suffering without and had wanted originally, but it wasn't an option at the time. In fact our desperate "solution" so far looks pretty tacky from the outside, as you can see the aluminum insulation we put in the windows to block the sun/heat. This will also solve part of our "birds flying into the windows" problem. Requesting this upgrade on arrival meant we'd need to wait for another week. IMO well worth it.

It sure was great meeting people in person! In addition to getting some great visiting in with Barbara and Dave we got to meet Ed & Dale Wilson, and TerryM stopped by for a nice visit. We sure love meeting Alpine owners! You learn so much!

And darn it! WRV keeps adding all this cool stuff to the coaches. Even coaches a few months older than ours have significant improvements. Lots of cool new stuff on the factory floor. I guess the 2007 models will be revealed before too long.

They discontinued the "Meadowlands" green and copper/brown color scheme. So, I guess the few of us who own that brave and striking paint job will be truly unique. Exclusive club - LOL!

Audrey
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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A&J Since WRV has been delivering "07" coaches since late May, you don't even have to wait. They obviously don't wait for year registration changeovers to make improvements. Speaking of that-- did you get any "confidential" whispers at the factory about the new Limited SE?

Ddoes your coach have the solar windows? I have been wondering if window awnings are necessary with the solar windows. We opened up an Apex that had been sitting in the hot Yakima sun for a few days at the Alpenlite factory-- and it was surprisingly cool inside.

[Per my comment to you in my CCC thread-- check out Highway 12 east of Yakima. To me, its better than Cle Elum.]

Norm
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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Yes we have solar windows. It cuts down the glare considerably. But if the sun is hitting the window directly, it still gets hot, and heats up the coach. Maybe it's the metal frame transmitting the heat rather than the glass.

Well, they were pretty vague about what exactly was on the factory floor, but everything we saw had the new smartbeds. They weren't all Apexes either.

Yes - I meant to reply to the White Pass suggestion. We had to return to Cle Elum and Roslyn to revisit some areas we enjoyed in 2000.

We hope to take a day and drive Highway 12 next week.

Audrey
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:11 PM   #7
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FYI There is a huge golf & RV resort just west of Packwood (11519 US Hiway 12 with a Randle address)on the Cowlitz River called Cascade Peaks. Not sure if they have yet completed the golf course.

Does Roslyn still have the building with the sign that was in the TV series Twin Peaks?

Have a great trip.

Norm
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:15 AM   #8
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Audrey and John,

Were your jacks retracted or extended when they failed? I keep following your posts and thinking we might have the same problems (one of our jacks is slow to retract).

We have Meadowlands color, too, which we get lots of compliments on.

Beverly
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:40 AM   #9
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The failure is that the jacks won't extend. The pump runs, but nothing else happens.

They actually failed while extended. We leveled the coach, decided that we were not quite level enough, so extended the jacks a wee bit on the driver's side. That all worked just fine. Then the next morning it seemed like we were off level again. Tried to extend the jacks or relevel and at this point nothing happened except for the pump/motor running. John tried a few things and one of the solenoids has a little oil leaking and doesn't seem to be snug like it should be (like the others). So we brought in the slides and stowed the jacks.

We've been suspicious about our leveling system for a while - in particular that it was staying level. The shower and toilet doors are very useful indications of level. Let them swing and it becomes clear if you are leaning one way or the other.

Our jacks retract fast now. WRV cleaned the jacks then applied silicone spray. HWH says to put nothing on the jacks, just keep them clean. But many Alpine folks (including WRV), use the silicone because it makes such a huge difference. Silicone won't damage the seals. There is nothing quite so annoying as waiting forever for jacks to retract while you are trying to break camp.

Audrey
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:12 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Does Roslyn still have the building with the sign that was in the TV series Twin Peaks?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Don't know about that one. We never quite got into watching Twin Peaks. But we were big fans of Northern Exposure. Here is John standing in front of the famous Roslyn['s] Cafe mural.



Thanks for the info on Cascade Peaks Resort - we'll check it out.

Audrey
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:26 PM   #11
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It was our pleasure to meet John and Audrey, and John does do computer work, it is just that Audrey is more talkative!
If you get a chance to meet these great young people, be sure to have a look at their Photo Albums. Spectacular! A lot of hard and fun work has gone into their photos.
We had a good experience at the factory, got all of our warranty work done, except for 2 items, will head back for the finish work on our way to Nashville.
Must say, we all have our problems, but our time at the factory was a great time for meeting people and learning more about our Alpines.
36' 2006 MDDS, love our coach, certainly would not trade it for any other on the market.
See you all in Nashville?
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