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Old 09-11-2017, 03:31 PM   #1
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Disappointed in manuals

I recently purchased a 2018 Coachmen Leprechaun. I'm very disappointed in the literature I received with it. The biggest disappointment is the generic 2016 Forest River booklet.
I was looking for help teaching me how to do things and stuff to watch for.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_n_Gina View Post
I recently purchased a 2018 Coachmen Leprechaun. I'm very disappointed in the literature I received with it. The biggest disappointment is the generic 2016 Forest River booklet.
I was looking for help teaching me how to do things and stuff to watch for.
Almost if not all manufacturers print their manuals to cover multiple models. It would probably add quite a bit of cost to design and print one for each model and the manufacturer would pass that cost onto the buyer.
Your best bet is to ask specific questions on this site. There is a lot of great information here.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:28 PM   #3
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First, congrats on your new coach. Post up some pics in the New Rig Show Off Forum -
we LOVE to see pictures.

Didn't your dealer have a tech teach you how to use the systems/appliances when you picked it up? They're supposed to do that. As for literature, mfr's really can't provide documentation for every make/model they produce. It would be cost prohibitive. Your best bet is to read all the owners manuals you did get (don't forget to register all your appliances with the mfr in case of recalls) & do a Google search & download for any you don't have & to find the chassis manual for your coach. We didn't get a chassis manual for our coach but I found it on the internet.

Most anything else, you can post questions on our forums & our members will be able to help you.

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Old 09-12-2017, 07:35 PM   #4
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I really don't think it's too much to ask for a sheet or two explaining what the different switches in your new RV do. It would sure be useful to the next owner.

We recently bought a 10 yr old used Forest River class C & the owners manual was not worth much. The used Winnebago I'd bought some years back had a decent (useful) owners manual.

I think they don't care, they save a little by using a generic manual and are happy at that.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:50 AM   #5
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This is quite common and a big PITA. I have had Coleman, Kodiak (made by Thor), Sunset Trail (made by Crossroads), and now a Forest River. All have a generic manual that really doesn't tell you much.

I've found the forums at IRV2, RV.net, Forest River Owners Group (there's a Leprechaun section on there) to be invaluable. You can also find a lot on Youtube.

If you prefer formal training, RV101, RV Masters, and others provide videos for a fee that walk you through the systems on your RV.

Good luck and congratulations on your new rig!
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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Bought our first RV last year, a Coachmen. Love the product, but the generic documentation wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Yes, the dealer walked me thru all the systems, but and that's a lot to remember all at once, and doesn't cover troubleshooting when something goes wrong.

I did what I learned from the Navy - started creating my own "tech manuals." You can find a lot of docs with a Google, sometimes here, in a couple of cases (Dometic A/C and thermostat for one) I had to email the OEM customer service who were happy to help.

Some of those I have in a 3-ring in the coach, but the real master copy is organized 'in the cloud' with Evernote (https://evernote.com/) so it's available anywhere and won't get lost. Easy to make notes and additions to that as well.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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I am in the same boat. Very disappointed in the manuals. I can't seemingly find anything i need.

Equally as disappointed in the coachmen "quality" Each time I go camping i end up with a list of 20+ new things that need to be fixed...
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:08 PM   #8
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I called Coachmen on several things like a wiring diagram etc
No help
no excuse for a 1 cent pdf not to be included
Manuals are horrible
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWKingSD View Post
Bought our first RV


Some of those I have in a 3-ring in the coach, but the real master copy is organized 'in the cloud' with Evernote (https://evernote.com/) so it's available anywhere and won't get lost. Easy to make notes and additions to that as well.


excellent and time consuming but again excellent idea
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:57 PM   #10
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Took me 6 months to figure out what to do and get it mostly done, but now that it have, it's working well. No reason the cheap ass brats at Coachmen couldn't have given me the collected PDFs on a DVD or something.

I did get a DVD for the ONAN generator...format is so out of date it won't play on any computer I can find.

This market is ripe for an Elon Musk/Tesla-style disruptive OEM (although Tesla has no shortage of quality control problems) and when one does come along, they will clean the clocks of several of these bloated, lazy RV conglomerates like Winnebago, Thor and Forest River.
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:31 PM   #11
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I could not agree more with you, MWKingSD
I can't
believe with the price of these RVs the industry, as a whole, is so lacking in so MANY areas.
I thought it was me for a while till I found a GoneWiththeWynns posts that highlighted some things I noticed. Very validating
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:45 PM   #12
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My msnuals go right down to wire numbers, but they take up about 1/4 of the closet floor.
It's like the difference between a car and airplane, but you pay far more for the plane too!
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:35 AM   #13
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Winnebago has on-line support, electrical schematics for things from 1990 forward.
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:07 PM   #14
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I'm a tech writer for the software industry and also feel that documentation is sorely lacking for most RV brands. But at the same time, I can understand what a nightmare it would be to maintain so many variations of so many products that these companies put out. Add to that the fact that significant variations can exist from unit to unit on the assembly line. I have heard eyewitness accounts say that things like wiring, plumbing and assembly methods can differ, depending on the worker performing the work or the parts they have at their disposal. RV manufacturing to a large extent is still a manual process and often subject to the whims of the assembler.

Of course, none of this is an excuse for poor documentation. After all, cars and trucks have decent manuals for the most part. It's just that even the largest of the RV manufacturers can't match the sophistication of the auto makers. There are ways to efficiently control and update the content that goes into those manuals, but I don't think RV manufacturers have the same mindset that software companies have... The documentation is a part of the product.
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