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Old 03-05-2016, 01:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Brian W View Post
Whatever dealer told you that is full of you know what. I am the Service Advisor for our PDI department and at our dealership you do not sign on the dotted line until AFTER the PDI and walk thru. Warranty is warranty regardless of when the work is done.

When a new unit is delivered the unit is checked in by a technician and a Delivery Acceptance Form is filled out noting any problems found upon delivery. We could theoretically start submitting warranty claims as soon as we accept the unit.

Manufacturers could care less who owns the unit when handling warranty items. I have a stack of Repair Orders (RO) that I give technicians to fix items on stock units. The work is performed, documented, submitted, and approved by the manufacturer.

As far as PDI being a "flat charge per unit", that's just more of you know what. The technician is paid a flat rate for conducting the PDI and walk thru, HOWEVER, any items discovered during the PDI that need fcorrecting are fixed and submitted to warranty BEFORE the customer even shows up for their walk thru.

Bottom line, if a customer allows a dealer to get away with making you buy a unit that has not been inspected, problems fixed, and a walk thru completed to your satisfaction PRIOR to signing on the dotted line, then shame on that customer.
In that case I would believe that your dealer is the exception rather than the rule. I have purchased many RV's over the years and in only two cases was the full PDI done prior to the signing the paperwork. I have taken to insisting on it now, and have gotten resistance from a couple of dealers. On my most recent purchase I did a very thorough inspection of the coach prior to agreeing to purchase it. I also informed them that we WOULD NOT be signing the final contract until it was thoroughly ready to go. I go some resistance from them and was told that wasn't the way it was done. I pointed out that a competitor of theirs had a very similar unit in stock and that I could be at that dealer's lot in less than 2 hours. They came around to my way of thinking.

IMHO I think most of the manufacturers could gain from doing a secret shopper kind of thing and find out just how the dealers perform. The dealers are the face of the manufacturer. In many cases it seems that all anyone in the RV industry wants is to just get the RV's out of the factory and off the lot by any means possible and as quickly as possible.

Aaron
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:12 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by JMonroe View Post
As the responses so far suggest it's not one thing, it's a "perfect storm" of circumstances and attitudes that combine to form our perceptions, some based on reality, others based on limited information.

Demand has been steadily increasing, in part because the baby boomer generations are hitting retirement age. That same demographic (of which we are part of) is demanding more and more amenities, read that as, more complexities. Designers and engineers need to walk the thin lines between aesthetically pleasing, user friendly and desirable and the need to keep the weight at a minimum. "Bullet proof" usually means extremely expensive to make or exceedingly heavy. Few of us could afford an RV built by NASA.

Demand pressures have been known to impact quality. Building on the edge of weight vs durability can make achieving quality more of a challenge. Trying to integrate more and more systems with higher and higher levels of technology and complexity can challenge the goal of reliability, affordability and longevity.

Lastly, for most or our RVing life there was no venue where we could so easily share our experiences and frustrations and even now, more and more are joining the ranks of the "connected" every day. The nature of these types of forums is to seek help with problems we've run into so the numbers tend to skew toward threads airing one problem or another. There are millions of RVs on the road, most simply being enjoyed day after day.

All that said, we did have more than our share of quality related issues with our Revolution that first year of ownership and we shared many of those here. Whoever the next owner is will get one well sorted out rig. I agree that manufacturers could do much better, but I don't believe that every rig coming off the line has built in quality issues.

One of the best posts I have ever seen and from my observations at our dealership pretty much spot on.

Demand is absolutely crazy right now. We just beat our monthly record for sales in February. The previous record for sales in February was last year.

Some manufacturers are heads and shoulders above others, but they all come in with at least some issues. If it's to bad, we refuse delivery. If it continues we dump that manufacturer. Had about a 600,000 dollar unit came in that looked like I had painted the lines on it (I suck at painting). So before we can put it on the lot it immediately heads to the paint and body shop to be done correctly. That's the kind of thing that absolutely drives me crazy.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:19 PM   #31
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I agree with your statement.

As far as I am concerned, bottom line, if a dealer allows a customer to get away with buying a unit that has not been inspected, problems fixed, and a proper walk thru PRIOR to having the customer sign on the dotted line, then shame, shame, shame on that dealer.

Jim

Jim, you will not get any arguments from me on that. As an RV'er if the dealership I worked at conducted business that way I couldn't in good conscience work here. I bought 2 units from the dealership I work at now (retired military 4 years ago) before I started working here. It was the same thing when I bought them as it is now.

I am not speaking for our dealership, but myself, when I say that if a customer allows that to happen then shame on them as well. It will never change if people continue to allow it to happen.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:08 PM   #32
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Regarding quality in RV manufacturing. We've been talking about how the customer should get involved to make sure it appears that the manufacturer and the dealer have done their job before signing the contract.

How the customer is supposed to know if the manufacturer and the dealer have done their jobs is beyond my comprehension. I would agree that there are possibly things that a customer can obviously see are not right. I'm equally certain that there are possibly things that a customer cannot see are not right. Just because the customer cannot or does not see these things that are not right, does that make the customer responsible?

I read the story of the man that bought his new RV, he and his wife moved into it, and only a few miles later they find themselves stranded on the side of the road because the RV can't be driven any more. They have basically been stranded (on the side of the road so to speak) since early December.

This is when my cynical voice rears its ugly head and yells, "Now that's quality in manufacturing, and care and concern for the customer on the part of both the manufacturer and the dealer involved."

If the word quality meant anything to the manufacturer and the dealer involved, I don't think that couple would have been stranded on the side of the road at all.

Just sayin'

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Old 03-05-2016, 03:53 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa_Jim View Post
Regarding quality in RV manufacturing. We've been talking about how the customer should get involved to make sure it appears that the manufacturer and the dealer have done their job before signing the contract.

How the customer is supposed to know if the manufacturer and the dealer have done their jobs is beyond my comprehension. I would agree that there are possibly things that a customer can obviously see are not right. I'm equally certain that there are possibly things that a customer cannot see are not right. Just because the customer cannot or does not see these things that are not right, does that make the customer responsible?

I read the story of the man that bought his new RV, he and his wife moved into it, and only a few miles later they find themselves stranded on the side of the road because the RV can't be driven any more. They have basically been stranded (on the side of the road so to speak) since early December.

This is when my cynical voice rears its ugly head and yells, "Now that's quality in manufacturing, and care and concern for the customer on the part of both the manufacturer and the dealer involved."

If the word quality meant anything to the manufacturer and the dealer involved, I don't think that couple would have been stranded on the side of the road at all.

Just sayin'

Jim

Of course, you are right on all aspects. A customer has to HOPE the dealership did a thorough of inspection as they are SUPPOSED to do. The dealer SHOULD be doing the inspection they are SUPPOSED to do. The problem with both of those are there are things you just can't inspect, such as a water system and all of it's connections.

We just lost a deal during a walk thru because of a faulty fitting. The technician had pressure tested the system during his PDI and everything checked out fine. During the walk thru demonstrating the water system a fitting broke loose and water started entering the coach. What could we have done better? In my opinion nothing, things happen.

What would have happened if this didn't happen when it did, but after the customer signed the paperwork? That's where the dealer should be jumping though hoops to make it right. At our dealership if you have a problem on a unit within 30 days it comes back to our PDI department and gets fixed immediately. That sometimes means robbing parts from a stock unit, but so be it.

I think you are talking about the person who has a Bounder that broke down, maybe I am wrong. If it is the Bounder I believe his issue has to do with the chassis, and what he is going through is total BS.

I don't know if we would have handled it any better than his dealer. I would like to think so, but I don't know. I do know that in the last year we have arranged for customers to have units replaced by the manufacturer with a brand new unit.

Jim, if you are ever in my area look me up, drinks are on me. I think we could have some great conversations.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:02 PM   #34
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As a customer I was badly burned by automotive manufacturers about thirty five years ago. Quality manufacturing in the automotive industry did not exist back then, nor did the will to do anything to protect the customers.

So, as that customer with those past experiences, my view of the RV Industry today is that quality manufacturing in the RV industry is in about the same place as automotive manufacturing was thirty five years ago, as is the will to do anything to protect the customers.

The fact that someone can be stranded on the side of the road in their brand spanking new RV has re-sensitized me to the truth that buying a new RV today can be a very dangerous and scary proposition for many customers. It has also re-sensitized me to the truth that the dealership cannot be held responsible for most of the quality manufacturing issues in the RV Industry. The majority of the responsibility must ultimately rest on the shoulders of the actual manufacturers of the product.

Brian, you have a deal. I'd love to sit down and have some good talks together.

Jim
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:40 PM   #35
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During our time looking at new coaches at the Cleveland RV show I played inspector. In ALL the coaches I went into, 35+, I pulled drawers out, lifted the couch, looked at the underneath. Behind the drawers, where the manufacture must think you may not look, I found debris from romex wire, sealant on the floor/carpet, trimmings from wiring and in one coach a empty PIZZA box! One coach had a 1/2" gap between the plastic wheel well and the inside wall, not something you would know until the wall was damaged over time., past the one year warranty!!!


Old saying: "Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing" Myself, I would fire someone for that type of poor workmanship, lack of pride and down right disrespect for the customer.


No resolve will be found for the poor quality issues until the RV industry is held to a quality system standard.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:59 PM   #36
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RV Manufacturing Quality Since the "Crash"

I know what luck is. All 4 of my coaches were great, and no unexpected issues with form, fit or function.
I did have age related issues with chassis and motors on the first 2, but the coach side was great! Guess I missed the "gap" years.
84 Fleetwood Jamboree, 96 Fleetwood Storm, 2011 Thor Seranno, 09 Monaco Camelot.


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