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Old 10-29-2016, 09:32 PM   #1
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Flexsteel Driver/Passenger Seats Deteriorating.

We started noticing a couple years back that our Flexsteel drivers and passenger seats that were supposedly upholstered with Ultraleather are deteriorating. This year we noticed that the deterioration has accelerated and our beautiful seats look terrible. I've heard that many Flexsteel seats were delivered to manufacturers without upholstery and the manufacturers used their own materials which in many cases have not held up to the Flexsteel quality standard.
Our seats are both functioning great so I don't really want to replace them especially at $1,000 and up per seat. I have googled until the cows came home trying to find new pre-made upholstery for them but no cigar.
I'm sure I am not the fist one to experience this issue so am asking anyone who has dealt with this before to post their solution here for me and others who are going to experience this issue but don't know it yet or are having this issue right now and are having the same difficulty as I am. Any information on seat covers, re-upholsterers or ready made new upholstery would be appreciated.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:57 PM   #2
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We also were unable to source flexsteel replacement skins or covers,I checked with several flexsteel distributors or vendors and with no luck ,ended up buying new seats from Bradd and Hall in Elkhart IN.
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaymanPilot View Post
We started noticing a couple years back that our Flexsteel drivers and passenger seats that were supposedly upholstered with Ultraleather are deteriorating. This year we noticed that the deterioration has accelerated and our beautiful seats look terrible. I've heard that many Flexsteel seats were delivered to manufacturers without upholstery and the manufacturers used their own materials which in many cases have not held up to the Flexsteel quality standard.
Our seats are both functioning great so I don't really want to replace them especially at $1,000 and up per seat. I have googled until the cows came home trying to find new pre-made upholstery for them but no cigar.
I'm sure I am not the fist one to experience this issue so am asking anyone who has dealt with this before to post their solution here for me and others who are going to experience this issue but don't know it yet or are having this issue right now and are having the same difficulty as I am. Any information on seat covers, re-upholsterers or ready made new upholstery would be appreciated.
On our first trip with our new to us 2009 Thor Magellan the ultra leather covering started delaminating on our sofa and by the time we were done with a 3 week trip it was coming off in chunks. The driver and passenger chairs were showing indications of the same happening.

Boy was i aggravated thinking the dealer did something to cause this detailing the MH. After looking at many posts on this forum i now know this is an ongoing problem due to poor quality product. The dealer probably did something to accelerate a problem waiting to happen.

On our return i went to a local very large RV remodeler advertised in FMCA magazine. To recover my sofa with attached recliner and both chairs was $4,500 OUCH!! Not in my budget right now but moves to the top of my Need list.

I went to my local RV parts dealer Giant Recreation World in Ormond Beach for a few small items and asked the parts person whom i know well about this. She was aware of the delamanation issues AND the expensive remodeler that they only used once. She then handed me a business card for a local person they use who has a sewing business for RV, boats etc. Waiting on that estimate.

I will also look at local automotive upholstery shops. Anyone can buy the material, they just need prior experience doing our kind of work.

This is what went from looking good at purchase to our first trip.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #4
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There is a lady by me that does upholstery work on cars, boats etc. she's sewn slide toppers for me and recovered our recliner. Great work and very reasonable. She is in Pomona park fl. Pm me if you want her number. Looks like you could just take the three cushions to her and get a price.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:50 AM   #5
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The Ultra Leather on my captains chairs deteriorated within a few years. Surprisingly the captains chairs on my brothers 2007 coach looks as good as the day he bought it.

I chalked it up to Monaco cutting costs in 2008 and later.

Had a custom automotive upholstery shop recover them in a marine vinyl that matched both texture and color for $500 each. You would never know they were redone.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:58 AM   #6
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I just went through the replacement episode last year. I searched for reupholstery and I was not able to find anyone who was cheaper than buying new. I tried buying from the overstocked places with no luck. I searched for places that had furniture displays so I could find what was available. No luck. (I could have traveled a 1000 miles) I wound up at a place called Classic Coach works in Ormond Beach Fl.

Their story was that the coach manufacturers specify a "third tier" quality material. Sometimes it is good and other times it is not. They also said that the aftermarket material was much better than OEM. I was still tired of Flexsteel and tried to get Villa Seats to replace them. Unfortunately the Villa furniture was too big for my rig. So I ordered Flexsteel again and had them installed at Classic Coach. The total bill was $4500 installed. (Shipping and installation was about $1000) We added lumbar support and heat to the seats.

5000 miles later they are very comfortable and made a classy upgrade to the coach. Of course 2 months after the installation I got to spend 6 grand on the engine -- easy come easy go.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:24 AM   #7
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It's probably worth noting that Ultraleather is a trademarked brand name for a specific polyurethane-finished upholstery fabric and even it comes in multiple qualities. In addition there are several other manufacturers of similar products.

Since "high quality" Ultraleather is a rather expensive product, there's no reason to assume that any specific MH manufacturer specified the premium product when it ordered seats.

Furthermore, unless there is a manufacture's tag, you can't even be sure that the captains chairs were made by Flexsteel or Villa. For example, although I had assumed that the captains chairs in our Beaver were made by Villa, it turns out that they were made by a company in Michigan which is no longer in business.

We did have our chairs reupholstered by a local shop using a product other than Ultraleather; that turned out to be a mistake and after a couple of years they no longer looked good.

Last spring we had them replaced by Flexsteel chairs upholstered with premium Ultraleather. There are two Flexsteel lines--Deluxe and regular; we opted for the Deluxe. They were installed by Bradd and Hall at their facility in Elkhart. The chairs are super comfortable and are great additions to our living area. The passenger chair with footrest is nearly as comfortable as my Ekornes recliner and that's quite a compliment!
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:57 PM   #8
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Steve & Niki
Several years ago we had the same problem. I called Flexsteel, we were out of warranty (we bought new at Camping World after bankruptcy, so we just had a one year warranty from CW beginning 12/09) but Flexsteel agreed to ship us a new set of 'covers' free of charge as long as we agreed to send them a sample of the failed OEM covers. BTW, we thought it was Ultraleather but it was not. It cost us $800 locally to have the two seats and sofa bed 'covers' installed. Looked great until just recently when just the passenger seat started flaking again. I have a close friend who used to be in the upholstery business and he more or less opened my eyes about Ultraleather, vinyl, naugahyde vs leather. My plan now is to get leather installed just for the seat tops (where butts meet the seat). If I could do it over again, I would have opted for real leather 'covers' from Flexsteel. I asked and they offered to send me leather covers (their term--and not slipcovers) for chairs and sofa for $1800. But I was too cheap. Of course that would not include installation which Flexsteel says you can DIY. After watching the upholstery guy using his machines I would not attempt DIY. Guess you can conclude I am not impressed with anything not real leather or a fabric. It just isn't gonna last IMHO. Good Luck!
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:42 PM   #9
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We went through the same problem earlier this year. I will never buy another Flexsteel product if I can help it.

We went to Resurrection Upholstery in San Diego, as they work on a lot of motorhomes, trailers and boats. They came out to the RV Park and removed our two captain chairs and sleeper sofa. They completely replaced all the foam. Then they replaced the fabric with a combination of naugahyde and herculon materials. They look better than new!

The total cost was $1,900 for materials, labor and installation.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:14 AM   #10
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We went through the same problem earlier this year. I will never buy another Flexsteel product if I can help it.
Flexsteel builds what manufacturers specify and pay for. It is unfair to judge a company entirely by what happened with your MH. When manufacturers specify cheap upholstery fabric it doesn't hold up.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:55 PM   #11
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Flexsteel builds what manufacturers specify and pay for. It is unfair to judge a company entirely by what happened with your MH. When manufacturers specify cheap upholstery fabric it doesn't hold up.
I respectfully disagree. Their name was all over my furniture... and they should stand by it. If you know that Monaco is using cheap material, then you don't allow your name to be associated with it.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:28 PM   #12
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I respectfully disagree. Their name was all over my furniture... and they should stand by it. If you know that Monaco is using cheap material, then you don't allow your name to be associated with it.
With all due respect, that is a naive view of how business works. Flexsteel makes furniture. Monaco bought Flexsteel furniture and had the pieces covered in cheaper fabric (despite what has been written in this thread, I suspect that Monaco simply spec'd the fabric and Flexsteel installed it).

You're saying that you think Flexsteel should have told Monaco that they weren't interested in their business because the chairs were to be upholstered with inferior material. Yet, from what we read about problems with the captains chairs installed in some other brands of MH (see threads on this forum), what Monaco was asking is simply the way the RV business works otherwise there wouldn't be so many complaints about upholstery that fails after a couple of years.

No doubt, if Flexsteel insisted that their chairs all had to be upholstered with premium ultraleather they would have very little business. This practice is allowed to continue because many RV buyers aren't sophisticated enough to ask, prior to purchase, if the "ultraleather" on their chairs is the premium product or a cheaper line. In fact, if you read enough posts on this and other forums, you will discover that a fair percentage of buyers actually think that ultraleather is some form of leather rather than a totally synthetic material.

If you look at the full line of Flexsteel furniture you will see that it can be upholstered in a wide range of fabrics and the furniture itself comes in two qualities--regular and deluxe. Even without manufacturer involvement it is reasonable to assume that some Flexsteel furniture pieces will last longer than other items. What Flexsteel does for manufacturers is just an extension of its normal product line; it's simply business.
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:49 PM   #13
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With all due respect, that is a naive view of how business works. Flexsteel makes furniture. Monaco bought Flexsteel furniture and had the pieces covered in cheaper fabric (despite what has been written in this thread, I suspect that Monaco simply spec'd the fabric and Flexsteel installed it).

You're saying that you think Flexsteel should have told Monaco that they weren't interested in their business because the chairs were to be upholstered with inferior material. Yet, from what we read about problems with the captains chairs installed in some other brands of MH (see threads on this forum), what Monaco was asking is simply the way the RV business works otherwise there wouldn't be so many complaints about upholstery that fails after a couple of years.

No doubt, if Flexsteel insisted that their chairs all had to be upholstered with premium ultraleather they would have very little business. This practice is allowed to continue because many RV buyers aren't sophisticated enough to ask, prior to purchase, if the "ultraleather" on their chairs is the premium product or a cheaper line. In fact, if you read enough posts on this and other forums, you will discover that a fair percentage of buyers actually think that ultraleather is some form of leather rather than a totally synthetic material.

If you look at the full line of Flexsteel furniture you will see that it can be upholstered in a wide range of fabrics and the furniture itself comes in two qualities--regular and deluxe. Even without manufacturer involvement it is reasonable to assume that some Flexsteel furniture pieces will last longer than other items. What Flexsteel does for manufacturers is just an extension of its normal product line; it's simply business.
Your certainly allowed your opinion. However, Monaco has never upholstered their furniture (I called them when mine went bad). Generally, manufacturers of products will "private label" goods that are manufactured to others specs. It's also interesting that I still have the Flexsteel warranty tags and materials where Flexsteel brags about the materials used on my furniture. I contacted Flexsteel and they acknowledge that, for a time, they used a product that didn't last... but they wouldn't do anything to help since I was well out of warranty. As others have stated, for a brief time they offered to send new skins... but no longer.

BTW... Good manufacturers turn away business all the time, if it will carry their name and is inferior.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by CaymanPilot View Post
We started noticing a couple years back that our Flexsteel drivers and passenger seats that were supposedly upholstered with Ultraleather are deteriorating. This year we noticed that the deterioration has accelerated and our beautiful seats look terrible. I've heard that many Flexsteel seats were delivered to manufacturers without upholstery and the manufacturers used their own materials which in many cases have not held up to the Flexsteel quality standard.
Our seats are both functioning great so I don't really want to replace them especially at $1,000 and up per seat. I have googled until the cows came home trying to find new pre-made upholstery for them but no cigar.
I'm sure I am not the fist one to experience this issue so am asking anyone who has dealt with this before to post their solution here for me and others who are going to experience this issue but don't know it yet or are having this issue right now and are having the same difficulty as I am. Any information on seat covers, re-upholsterers or ready made new upholstery would be appreciated.
I would find a local re-ulphosterer (sp) and go that route. One other thing to note is, have you thought of a new air ride seat for a semi? Usually priced very reasonable and could have ulpholstered after purchase and be cheaper than flexsteel.
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