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Old 04-17-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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We purchased a new Alpine 2005 about 16 months ago and since then we have had nothing but repair problems. Let's start with the largest and the most expensive first.
On the way south in Dec for the Alpine Rally and some Arizona Sun we stopped at Cummins Coach Care in Coburg Oregon. I had called ahead to schedule my 10,000 mile maintenance as the Alpine Owners Manual calls for. I also asked to have the filter checked even though I had less than 10,000 miles on the Engine. The request is on my work order. We had been on some dirty roads due to construction in Canada. We were at Coach Care for three days getting the maintenance accomplished and a new alternator installed. A couple of days later and about 650 miles down the road the engine began blowing blue smoke and it smelled like burnt oil inside the Coach. Upon calling 1 800 Cummins we ended up in Sparks Nevada at a Cummins Engine repair facility for almost a month. We had what they call a dusted engine and it had to be torn down and be rebuilt. Somehow dirt had gotten into the engine past the filter. The repair bill was $ 14000.00. On calling Coach Care in Coburg Oregon we found out that the filter was looked at, found to be dirty and that they tried to find one but could not. We paid the bill and were sent down the road not being told or knowing that the filter was bad. Coach Care says the damage to the engine is not their responsibility as they only looked at it but did not take it out. They did admit to the oversight of somehow failing to tell us it was dirty to the point of needing to be replaced. In the Alpine owners manual in Chapter 11 under maintenance schedule it tells you to check your filter restriction indicator which is the guide to replacing the air filter. The filter is supposed to be good for 30,000 miles but there is a note or disclaimer that says Western RV strongly recommends the filter be replaced at the two year mark due to the fact that the filter might lose adhesive capability. The filter minder on our Coach never registered that there was an Air Filter problem. On contacting Western RV (Mike Glazier) I also was told that it was not a warranty issue and it was not their responsibility, even though we were still within our one year warranty. I find it hard to believe that Western RV is turning their back by responding this way. They installed the filter at the factory and they admit that it can loose its seal. A lot of the motor home manufacturers install the engine air filter in a box where only the service staff can get to it. I have the filter and other related damaged engine parts and the filter could be tested at an independent testing lab for around $1200.00.Western RV should be extremely interested in solving this problem or anomaly. All Alpine owners and potential customers looking at purchasing an Alpine should be aware that at this time nothing has been done by either Western RV or Coach Care in solving this. You all and us included must follow the warranty guidelines in the WRV Owners Manual, and Cummins Owners Manual. We followed those instructions and continue to. Therefore with both companies claiming no responsibility, it"s possible that it can happen again. We have made numerous calls to both Western RV and Coach Care as well as sent them the bills and pictures, they both continue to refuse any accountability. One could speculate that while at Cummins Coach Care the Service Tech changing the oil and other filters checked the filter minder, which registered 15, pulled the Air Filter and seeing that it needed to be replaced left it loose etc. ordered a replacement and then with the failures of the Parts Manager, Service Manager, Service Tech, and Office Staff in not informing us of the Air Filter said our Coach was ready.

Repairs over the 16 months from purchase
1. Engine Rebuilt, $14,000 and 3 weeks living in a rented 25ft trailer over Christmas.
2. HWH Jacks repaired three times
3. Refrigerator removed to repair, had to be rebuilt and took a week
4. Front Flat Screen TV removed and replaced, would not work
5. Alternator replaced, putting out 20 + volts and blowing headlight bulbs
6. Water Pump replaced, stopped working
7. Molding repaired
8. Shower Control Handle repaired
9. Water/Air leaks repaired in driver's window
Repairs still needed
1. Auto Gen Start has never worked; Techs at WRV did not have repair skills to fix.
2. Drivers / Passengers side front windows are delaminating at bottom center.
3. Wood Molding is coming off
4. Some Ceramic floor tiles are loose and coming off / need to be repaired
5. Tile Grout is coming up in places.
6. Shower handle needs to be fixed again
7. Kitchen Faucet Leaks.
Can any one tell me what qualifies for a LEMMON under Washington State Law?
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:13 AM   #2
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We purchased a new Alpine 2005 about 16 months ago and since then we have had nothing but repair problems. Let's start with the largest and the most expensive first.
On the way south in Dec for the Alpine Rally and some Arizona Sun we stopped at Cummins Coach Care in Coburg Oregon. I had called ahead to schedule my 10,000 mile maintenance as the Alpine Owners Manual calls for. I also asked to have the filter checked even though I had less than 10,000 miles on the Engine. The request is on my work order. We had been on some dirty roads due to construction in Canada. We were at Coach Care for three days getting the maintenance accomplished and a new alternator installed. A couple of days later and about 650 miles down the road the engine began blowing blue smoke and it smelled like burnt oil inside the Coach. Upon calling 1 800 Cummins we ended up in Sparks Nevada at a Cummins Engine repair facility for almost a month. We had what they call a dusted engine and it had to be torn down and be rebuilt. Somehow dirt had gotten into the engine past the filter. The repair bill was $ 14000.00. On calling Coach Care in Coburg Oregon we found out that the filter was looked at, found to be dirty and that they tried to find one but could not. We paid the bill and were sent down the road not being told or knowing that the filter was bad. Coach Care says the damage to the engine is not their responsibility as they only looked at it but did not take it out. They did admit to the oversight of somehow failing to tell us it was dirty to the point of needing to be replaced. In the Alpine owners manual in Chapter 11 under maintenance schedule it tells you to check your filter restriction indicator which is the guide to replacing the air filter. The filter is supposed to be good for 30,000 miles but there is a note or disclaimer that says Western RV strongly recommends the filter be replaced at the two year mark due to the fact that the filter might lose adhesive capability. The filter minder on our Coach never registered that there was an Air Filter problem. On contacting Western RV (Mike Glazier) I also was told that it was not a warranty issue and it was not their responsibility, even though we were still within our one year warranty. I find it hard to believe that Western RV is turning their back by responding this way. They installed the filter at the factory and they admit that it can loose its seal. A lot of the motor home manufacturers install the engine air filter in a box where only the service staff can get to it. I have the filter and other related damaged engine parts and the filter could be tested at an independent testing lab for around $1200.00.Western RV should be extremely interested in solving this problem or anomaly. All Alpine owners and potential customers looking at purchasing an Alpine should be aware that at this time nothing has been done by either Western RV or Coach Care in solving this. You all and us included must follow the warranty guidelines in the WRV Owners Manual, and Cummins Owners Manual. We followed those instructions and continue to. Therefore with both companies claiming no responsibility, it"s possible that it can happen again. We have made numerous calls to both Western RV and Coach Care as well as sent them the bills and pictures, they both continue to refuse any accountability. One could speculate that while at Cummins Coach Care the Service Tech changing the oil and other filters checked the filter minder, which registered 15, pulled the Air Filter and seeing that it needed to be replaced left it loose etc. ordered a replacement and then with the failures of the Parts Manager, Service Manager, Service Tech, and Office Staff in not informing us of the Air Filter said our Coach was ready.

Repairs over the 16 months from purchase
1. Engine Rebuilt, $14,000 and 3 weeks living in a rented 25ft trailer over Christmas.
2. HWH Jacks repaired three times
3. Refrigerator removed to repair, had to be rebuilt and took a week
4. Front Flat Screen TV removed and replaced, would not work
5. Alternator replaced, putting out 20 + volts and blowing headlight bulbs
6. Water Pump replaced, stopped working
7. Molding repaired
8. Shower Control Handle repaired
9. Water/Air leaks repaired in driver's window
Repairs still needed
1. Auto Gen Start has never worked; Techs at WRV did not have repair skills to fix.
2. Drivers / Passengers side front windows are delaminating at bottom center.
3. Wood Molding is coming off
4. Some Ceramic floor tiles are loose and coming off / need to be repaired
5. Tile Grout is coming up in places.
6. Shower handle needs to be fixed again
7. Kitchen Faucet Leaks.
Can any one tell me what qualifies for a LEMMON under Washington State Law?
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:32 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have had three types of issues- cosmetic, component failures, and engine damage due to filter.
Can't comment on the cosmetics; haven't seen them.
As to the component failures, you'll get much sympathy around here on that. We've all been thru it. Seems to be the accepted norm for RVs that components that fail, or have not been installed properly, are OK. However, the coach manufacturer can only take responsibility for the installation end (and should), and not the component itself dying an early death.
Then the engine damage. Ouch, & thanks for the warning. I guess we can't take the filter for granted. I have a similar dusty road campground (5 miles in from pavement) I've been considering cuz its right on the ocean, whereafter it'd be stupid not to do a detailed check on filter status on arrival & after departure. However, I can see WRV's point on this not being their issue, but rather our use.
Then there's Coach Care. I'd be seriously disgruntled w/Coach Care for their lack of action when you specifically requested the service and they said nothing. But there too, with your knowledge of the dusty conditions, should you have gone over the receipt & questioned the service writer on what got done? I have to say, I make it a habit to check all service done on my rig due to the heavy downside of problems like yours. And Alpine's design makes it easy to do.
Also, would any other coach manufacturer do better? I'd guess no, given the circumstances.
Hope you get the other issues worked out, and that you get some great years out of your coach.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:48 PM   #4
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Eng Mike. Thanks for your input, however it sounds like you are on Western RV payroll, I was looking for some honest input and help and you brushed the situation off as o well can any motor home mfg do better. If you had all the things that we had go wrong in this 16 month time frame would you be singing the same tune. Also with the Alpine having 2000 individual components and the motorhome being in the one year warranty period how can you justify that when the engine goes bad under 9500 miles we are supposed to be totaly on our own,with no manufacturer support. How can you justify your statement that you can understand why Mike Glazier of WRV doesnt want to get involved. Hello other Alpine owners who is this engineer Mike, does he get a new Alpine every year for editing this colum. Wake up people we are asking for your assistance we paid what you paid for a New Alpine wouldnt ytou feel that the mfg has some responsibility in this. Please read Eng Mikes Input, dont you feel that he is white washing the whole issue. Please give us some feedback?
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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That $14,000 engine overhaul, after they checked filter and did not change it or inform that it was pulling dust would have me ready to go postal. I think you should check air intake to make sure it's not pulling around air filter or at any intake hose's, sure don't want it to happen again.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:24 PM   #6
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Shorts,

I too can feel your pain, but must agree with Engineer Mike. I think that your problem is with Coach Care, and would be asking WRV to help with them. It seems like pure negligence to not have told you about the filter. I had a similar problem with an oil filter at Coach Care in Pitt., PA, they told me and I took care of it in Sioux Falls.

I don't trust the filter indicator and in the 27,000 miles on my 1st Alpine I probably took the filter out 5 times to give it a visual ck.

I had my problems with my 1st Alpine, 5 inverters, a starter, one roof a/c and some slide leaks. But WRV responded in a manner that satisfied us well enough that we just picked up a new Apex in Yakima. And yes, this one too has
problems, but so far WRV has responded promptly.

Sully

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I am retired, I'm not on anyones payroll.
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:54 AM   #7
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I own a 2002 Alpine coach, I have had several problems with the coach, but WRV normally steps up to the plate to handle the problem.

The engine isssue is something that Coach Care should be will to help you with, they may not pay for the repair 100% but should be willing to work with you. I would have the air intake system checked to make sure there are no leaks in the ductwork or how the filter is secured in the housing. If there are issues wiht the duct work or housing then I would bring this information to WRV. I have found that WRV is more willing to work with you depending on your attitude.

The techs at WRV do a good job sometimes there are issues of not enough experiance, but that will come with time. Most of the repairs you have had are comopnent faliures that WRV does not build but just installs. I have learned in my many years as an Auto Tech that just because it is new does not mean it is good.
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:37 AM   #8
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We have a 2006 Apex which is our 3rd Alpine. We have had trouble getting air filters in the past. Basil finally found a source and ordered 2. We were then carrying around a huge air filter in limited storage space. It would seem that Coach Care should assume some responsibility for not completing the job and not informing you of a possible problem. We would all like everything to be covered by our warranty. I personally feel that Western RV has been very accommodating as far as warranty items. Our first Alpine we were unable to go to the factory due to the illness of a parent. WRV allowed us to defer the work until his health was better.

Our heart goes out to you. This is certainly more than you ever expect to deal with. I am also to say this is Sue speaking.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:13 AM   #9
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Shorts, I feel for you on the engine rebuilding not because this has been my experience but because having been forwarned several years ago by a mechanic at Cat that every year people take coaches up the very dusty Haul Road North of Fairbanks and experiense what has happened to your engine.
These are non Alpine Cat engined coaches of various other manufacturers. The point being that the dirt problem wiping out the engine happens several time each summer due to the owners not changing thier filters or at least blowing them out after some dusty roads. I am considering moving the air intake on to the top of my Alpine just like some of the older coaches used to have them. My discussion with an old time trucker that travelled the Haul road reconfirme this view point. I just have not decided how to run the piping yet.

I clean my filter by using the coach air and nozzle and blowing from the inside out. Its time to change out the original filter for this summers activities just to be safe.


38' Alpine FDDS with 17,000 miles so far.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:28 AM   #10
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sorry to hear about your issues. I have had multiple problems with my 05 as well and my coach has been in service for months since I bought the rig in Feb 05. However, I have to tell you that Western RV has been very good overall. It wasn't fun for me but they always took care of issues. I've heard so many bad stories with other brands and companies with horrible after services that WRV, even with issues with the coach, I am happy with them and the coach. Unless I find a manufacturer that is willing to QC vehicles like the high quality imports, we have to rely on after service. My 02 cents.

David
05
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:55 AM   #11
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Coupla words about diesels & air filtration for those who don't know-
1) filtration for diesel is drastically more important than for a gas engine. The high compression (e.g. 23:1 on the Onan gen, vs. "high" compression gas engines @ ~10.5:1) makes the scouring effect of dirt in the cylinder a radically higher wear danger.
2) Diesel air filters are much denser than comparable displacement gas engine units, and need to be watched closer. You can improve airflow by changing to a see-through filter, but it is highly unrecommended if you want a long lasting engine.
3) When changing your own filter, I recommend care on removal, followed by vacuuming the filter can & elbow prior to installing new filter.
4) In heavy duty use, diesel earthmoving equipment operators sometimes change their filters <span class="ev_code_RED">daily</span> (filters about the same size as ours, btw).

I-Mike: You probably know this, but the early Alpines had the air intake below the floor line, & WRV raised it a foot or more to above the floor. I believe this was to account for dust & rock roiling behind the tires that might get sucked in at the lower intake level. Obviously higher is better.

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Old 04-19-2006, 07:56 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear of your problem, but I too think Coach Care needs to step up. It is also a warning for us, we should be sure to double check work done. We are probably much more careful when it comes to our rigs.

I have always covered my intake with a wet towel when driving down dusty road. I too don't like the low point of the intake on the older coaches.
Another way to raise less dust is to shut the engine down for 12-15 min. The engine is cooler and the fan is not turning. I learned this at DDRV. We stirred no dust, but an Alpine that came in hot really dusted the place and I'm sure the air filter. Like Iron Mike I have been looking at a way to take the intake up to the roof, where there would be real clean air. I also have a brother who works with Donaldson Filter and we are working on getting a severe duty filter for our rig. If I get this done, I'll get a part number out.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:34 PM   #13
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shorts:
Having spent 30 some years selling and distributing Heavy Duty Diesel filters,(Baldwin, Donaldson, Farr, Racor, and more), plus Filter housings and ducting, rubber elbows, clamps and air restriction gauges and having attended many seminars on the subject of the proper way to maintain air filter systems on "HEAVY DUTY" vehicles, I offer the following.
1. We are not opperating "HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES". They are light to medium duty at most.
Anybody who opens their filter housing to inspect and/or blow out the dirt is asking for trouble. Never do this!! Most destructivve dirt that gets by the filter and into the engine occurs by taking out and inspecting the filter element.
Never inspect or replace the filter element until the air restriction gauge shows 30 or 40 percent restriction. OK OK some will want to do it sooner. Fine do it sooner. Lets talk about dirt on the air filter.... a coating of dirt on the filter element does not mean it is plugged up. The filter is designed to operate with quite a bit of dirt on it. As an example, we own an 03 Alpine and I have never changed the air filter element. The air restriction gauge says little or no restriction. So I leave it alone. I do change all of the other filters, oil, coolant, fuel, hydraulic ect. on time.
With regard to the person who said they have a friend who operates off highway equipemnt in dusty conditons and changes the air filter daily; you should know that that equipment has a safety element inside of the one that he is changing daily. That one he probably doesnt touch that one. So no dirt ever gets to the engine.

Now for your problem. If Cummins just remove your air element, looked at it and reinstalled it,at most only a small amount of dirt got into the engine at that service. No way would that have "DUSTED" your engine. If they charged you $14K for a completed new engine because of dirt contamination, you had a long standing leak in the intake piping or ruber elbows or clamps. That is where you need to look. I am assuming that cummins tightened the cover on the filter husing after servicing it. If the intake piping is found to be leaking, and is found to be poorly installed, it is WRV's problem.
All of your other problems could have happened with any MFG of motor homes.
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:34 AM   #14
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I love this site, sometimes it takes a while to get the help you need but it does come. Thanks "Stretch" I will be checking my rig more carefully. I am always amused at the defense "..we only assemble parts into a unit" One must wonder where does ultimate responsibility lie; no sales brochure by any coach manufacture or dealership carries the warning: caution purchase of this complex collection of parts is resricted to qualified mechanics!" The reason for installing idiot guages and warning lights should be clear; now seek professional help. When that help fails seek a lawyer.
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