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Old 02-22-2008, 06:05 PM   #1
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Hi there all,

Not sure I am posting in the correct place but I am trying to help my parents who have broken down in Florida. Last year my parents purchased a new 34' Four Winds Hurricane. Although a year old, until a few weeks ago they had not taken a real trip yet in the RV. They had been up to the Adirondacks (they live here in NJ) and taken a few weekend trips inside NJ but no 'real' trip until they headed to Florida recently.

Well today I received a call. My father had heard some "terrible" noises at the rear of the RV while driving. It was bad enough that he decided to have it checked out. They had a hard time finding a place to look at it but eventually found a Ford dealer willing to look. Apparently this dealer went to check the differential and when they went to check the oil (fluid?) - sorry I am not very mechanical - only some salt water came out. No oil. Not willing to do anything else... they topped it of with the correct fluid and sent my parents on there way. Meanwhile my parents called Thor, Ford and the RV dealership to see what might be going on. Less than a day later the noises were back and they 'limped' into another Ford dealership near Homestead, FL. The service folks at this place are 'very nice' according to Mom and Dad but could not believe what they were seeing. The underside of the RV is all corroded and rusted out. Various places underneath have what this place has determined to be saltwater damage. There are places underneath that have saltwater in them that would require close to 3' of water to reach. Long story short.. $3500 for a new differential and some other repairs, not including all the areas that are corroded.

Thor says not our fault. Ford says not our fault and the dealership says "tough nuggies". Do my parents have no recourse, short of retaining a lawyer.

My dad didn't drive the RV through 3' of salt water!! : )

I feel terrible for them that their "dream RV" and first trip since their retirement has taken this turn.

Any advice?

Thanks very much for reading this lengthy post?

Scott
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:05 PM   #2
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Hi there all,

Not sure I am posting in the correct place but I am trying to help my parents who have broken down in Florida. Last year my parents purchased a new 34' Four Winds Hurricane. Although a year old, until a few weeks ago they had not taken a real trip yet in the RV. They had been up to the Adirondacks (they live here in NJ) and taken a few weekend trips inside NJ but no 'real' trip until they headed to Florida recently.

Well today I received a call. My father had heard some "terrible" noises at the rear of the RV while driving. It was bad enough that he decided to have it checked out. They had a hard time finding a place to look at it but eventually found a Ford dealer willing to look. Apparently this dealer went to check the differential and when they went to check the oil (fluid?) - sorry I am not very mechanical - only some salt water came out. No oil. Not willing to do anything else... they topped it of with the correct fluid and sent my parents on there way. Meanwhile my parents called Thor, Ford and the RV dealership to see what might be going on. Less than a day later the noises were back and they 'limped' into another Ford dealership near Homestead, FL. The service folks at this place are 'very nice' according to Mom and Dad but could not believe what they were seeing. The underside of the RV is all corroded and rusted out. Various places underneath have what this place has determined to be saltwater damage. There are places underneath that have saltwater in them that would require close to 3' of water to reach. Long story short.. $3500 for a new differential and some other repairs, not including all the areas that are corroded.

Thor says not our fault. Ford says not our fault and the dealership says "tough nuggies". Do my parents have no recourse, short of retaining a lawyer.

My dad didn't drive the RV through 3' of salt water!! : )

I feel terrible for them that their "dream RV" and first trip since their retirement has taken this turn.

Any advice?

Thanks very much for reading this lengthy post?

Scott
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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First, you don't have a "lemon." Your parents coach obviously was in a flood of some kind, and since it was salt water, it would have been a coastal flood.

It is not likely that Ford or Thor had anything to do with the flood related damages. The dealer may have some culpability, and obviously is not going to cooperate with you. He may have seen an opportunity to sell a flood damaged vehicle to an older couple from out of the area.

Where did you parents buy the coach? Was the location near the coast, and could have the dealership been flooded prior to your parents buying the coach? I am assuming the vehicle was sold as "new" to your parents. If so, the you could file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml
If the dealer did sell it as new, then you should be able to find out from Thor (Four Winds) if the coach was originally invoiced to that dealer. If it was not, then that dealer bought the coach from another dealer. Four Winds should cooperate with you to identify the dealer that originally purchased the coach, then you can find out if the original dealer may have been flooded.

Keep us informed on the cooperation you receive from Four winds. I have a blog at www.rvfactor.blogspot.com... if you want me to publish your experiences, let me know, and I can then publish the progress and cooperation you receive from Four Winds/Thor concerning this matter. You can contact me direct at rvfactor@aol.com.

Denny
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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Thanks Denny.

I am still putting the pieces of this puzzle together. The RV was purchased near the Jersey Shore... but I can't figure out how it would have ever flooded to that degree. I believe my father has started to track down the origin of the RV, I think he said it was built in Indiana.

The RV was purchased as "new". My parents moved very quickly to buy despite my encouraging them to take things slowly, do some research, etc. We had used a travel trailer for many years since I was very young. They were very excited to get started with their 'new' retired life and go RV-ing again.

Admittedly 'lemon' might not be the correct term but it something isn't right.

I will post more as I know more. Thanks for the links and the offer to publish what is going on. Once I have more information and have done some more 'leg work' I might take you up on that.

Thanks again very much!

Scott
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:45 PM   #5
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Scott,

The coach would have been built in Goshen, Indiana at the Four Winds plant. You can contact Phil Hauser with Consumer Affairs at Four Winds..his phone is 574-389-5396. He should be able to point you in the right direction.

Denny
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:59 PM   #6
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Very much appreciated. I will relay that information to my parents in the morning.

Hopefully Four Winds can provide them with some direction.
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:12 AM   #7
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Yup, more of a lemon style then plain old lemon.I bet the dealer knows way more then is letting on.Looks like a flood rv that was pushed thru the channels.
One thing that kind of puzzles me is how they drove over 1200 miles without any oil in pumpkin.Could salt water have lubricated and cooled the ring and pinion ? I am not a profesional mechanic but I would doubt it. I hope you keep us posted and we will offer any help we can .
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Old 02-23-2008, 04:27 AM   #8
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Scott,

Could it have been involved in any of the events described at the following link? Look at the details of the Winter/Spring 2007 coastal flooding in New Jersey.

http://www.nj.gov/dep/njflood/

You may want to spend the $20/$30 and run the vin number through AutoCheck to get an Experian report on the history of the vehicle before it was purchased.

http://www.autocheck.com/?siteID=0

Selling flood damaged vehicles is a crime and a consumer advocate may be able to set this straight with the dealer. If this happend at the lot where your dad had the unit stored then that is another matter.
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Old 02-23-2008, 04:29 AM   #9
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From one of the links above:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> New Jersey faced severe flooding again this year. On April 16, 2007, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey declared a state of emergency after a Nor'easter struck New Jersey bringing record amounts of rainfall and high winds causing river and tidal flooding and coastal beach erosion. Heavy rains began to fall across New Jersey during the early morning hours on Sunday, April 15th, 2007. Showers continued throughout the day on Monday and into Tuesday. This resulted in flood peaks that were the highest ever recorded at ten USGS gaging stations in the Hackensack, Hudson, Raritan, Mullica and lower Delaware River basins. Three dams failed as a result of the widespread flooding. The results of this storm forced the evacuation of 3,022 people, significant power losses, closure of 70 segments of highways across the state and more than 14,000 homes were affected.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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I will need some more info from mom and dad but I will run the autocheck for them once I have the VIN. I think they brought all their paperwork with them in case of any issues.

I do know that from the time my parents took delivery it was never stored anywhere other than their own property, where flooding of this sort does not happen... flooding of any sort has never happened (in my 30+ years).

I will for more information on flooding but hopefully will be able to trace some vehicle information from AUTOCHECK. I was going to try CARFAX but thought that was only helpful for used vehicles.

Thanks so much everyone!
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:01 AM   #11
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I just googled Four Winds dealers in New Jersey... happened to find this one in Lakewood, NJ...

SCOTT MOTOR COACH SALES, INC
1133 ROUTE 88, LAKEWOOD, NJ 08701 USA
Phone: (732) 370-3388, Fax: (732) 370-1010
E-mail: sales@scottmotorcoach.com
URL: http://www.scottrv.com

This dealership sits between the fork of two rivers, below a dam, and a short distance from the head of a tidal basin near the Atlantic ocean... bets anyone??

Denny
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:15 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DennyM:
I just googled Four Winds dealers in New Jersey... happened to find this one in Lakewood, NJ...

SCOTT MOTOR COACH SALES, INC
1133 ROUTE 88, LAKEWOOD, NJ 08701 USA
Phone: (732) 370-3388, Fax: (732) 370-1010
E-mail: sales@scottmotorcoach.com
URL: http://www.scottrv.com

This dealership sits between the fork of two rivers, below a dam, and a short distance from the head of a tidal basin near the Atlantic ocean... bets anyone??

Denny </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

BINGO , yes they sell THOR Hurricane class A .
Yes , it is time to get a law firm to back you up .
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:19 AM   #13
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Without mentioning specific names of the dealership at which the RV was purchased, let me just say that DennyM nailed it..
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:30 AM   #14
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Now find out if the time frame is right,and viola you have a buyback.Confirm that and send the dealer a link to this website.
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