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Old 06-17-2014, 11:12 PM   #1
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New Motorhome/Fix it yourself?

Took delivery on a 2014 Fleetwood Storm April 11th. Have had it out 5 times now and all as expected. No big problems so far little problems you would expect with a new unit. Water filter leak.... wasn't tight enough. Shower leak...teflon tape on hot water connection behind the knob. Biggest problem has been an aluminum strip with a vinyl cover that runs across the top of dash. It covers the separation of the fiberglass front part of the dash below the one piece window from the vinyl dash cover. The aluminum strip is screwed down through the fiberglass with 1 inch drywall screws into the plywood. The California roads have loosened all the screws up 3 times now. Last time I put some silicone on the screws hoping it would hold them in. Yeah, right! LA to Sacramento caused all of them to come out for the second time. I called Fleedwood to see if this is a common problem. Seems it's not. Today I took it off and probed the holes with an old ice pick. The ice pick bottomed out into square framing under the dash. So I bought 1 1/2 inch #10 self drilling screws to sink through the plywood hole into the square steel frame. I drilled little pilot holes to help the screws find their seat. I put some red lock tight on each screw in hopes it will help hold them. All done and ready to leave for Sea Cliff on Thursday. I'll let you know if it worked.

I guess I'm a little surprised after spending a lot of money on a new MH I have to fix it my self. I know the dealer would not have done the job I did to fix it. A little disappointing, but I'm still happy I bought the Fleetwood Storm. it. I think the Fleetwood Storm is a good buy, I also think California roads are mostly to blame.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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Had a Southwind, fixed everything, then got windshield issue ( hole too big one side slipping out.) called fleetwood the boys there said no issues in the past, cant be any now, and said sue us if your not happy.. .. Dumped it didn't look back bought Tiffin.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:57 AM   #3
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I think you'll find most motorhomes have some problems and it's easier if you just go ahead and fix the ones that you can.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:26 AM   #4
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I think you'll find most motorhomes have some problems and it's easier if you just go ahead and fix the ones that you can.
Totally agree. My moto is if the fix is something that could effect warranty in future let them fix. Everything else fix myself.

Examples:
Windshield leaking when driving in rain. (future warranty issue with water leaking:let them fix) IMO, have the tools or extra help that would be required to take out a windshield to fix or replace rubber seal is diffidently a service center task.
fixing a pumping, general cosmetic issues adding seat belts, fixing cabinets, etc (i fix)

Anything with Chassis let FORD fix.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBunker View Post
Took delivery on a 2014 Fleetwood Storm April 11th. Have had it out 5 times now and all as expected. No big problems so far little problems you would expect with a new unit.........

I called Fleedwood to see if this is a common problem. Seems it's not....

I guess I'm a little surprised after spending a lot of money on a new MH I have to fix it my self....... A little disappointing, but I'm still happy I bought the Fleetwood Storm. it. I think the Fleetwood Storm is a good buy, I also think California roads are mostly to blame.
Welcome to the world of new RVs

I doubt you'll find many factory CS people who have kept their jobs after admitting they have a systemic problem.

The amount of money you spent has little, if anything, to do with your need to fix things. Reading the various owner's forums here will confirm that as fact. "Entry level" or mega-bucks level, it seems they ALL have issues relating to poor design, poor implementation, or both.

You have the right attitude for an RVer! Hope you continue to enjoy it; just know there will "always" be something needing attention.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:19 AM   #6
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A few years ago, I was in my "entry level" Fleetwood next door to friends in a Prevost on the Daytona infield. They had to have daily visits by mobile maintenance to drain the black tank because of a leak that was stinking up the neighborhood and before the week was up they were in my rig to watch TV because their surround sound was randomly on again, off again.

We're rolling a house down the highway at 60 MPH. Things that were designed to sit still (cabinets, appliances, rigid plumbing, etc.) are taking that ride. Those things are going to experience problems and I don't believe any amount of money spent is going to change the laws of physics.

Enjoy the rig you chose, and expect to have to deal with problems. The enjoyment I get from my rig far outweighs the occasional dismay of having to make some repairs.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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Motorhomes, Boats, Trailers, etc. All will need someone handy with their hands to keep the unit in good running order. Some manufacturers better than others. Welcome to the world of RV's as each unit is custom even from an assembly line.

Unless you're one of the very wealthy that hires their own crew to maintain it's up to you.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:14 AM   #8
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The California roads have loosened all the screws up 3 times now.
I guess I'm a little surprised after spending a lot of money on a new MH I have to fix it my self.
IMO, and experience, anyone who buys a coach, (new or used), drives it, and expects that they will NOT have a few screws loose....has a few screws loose!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #9
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New Motorhome/Fix it yourself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBunker View Post
........The aluminum strip is screwed down through the fiberglass with 1 inch drywall screws into the plywood. The California roads have loosened all the screws up 3 times now. ...........

I guess I'm a little surprised after spending a lot of money on a new MH I have to fix it my self. ....
CA roads aren't the culprit. The problem is careless assembly-- they used the wrong screws. The 1" screws are too long for trim strip + plywood, but not long enough to bite into the metal framing. The assembler, who is rushing to keep up with production, has his screw gun running too fast with too much torque. The result is that the screw hits the metal and stops advancing, but keeps turning fast. This strips out the plywood fibers around the hole, leaving a hole too big for the screw. A shorter, thicker screw would work- #8 or #10 x 3/4. I'm always leery of running longer screws into something unless I'm sure of what's behind there.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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I'll bet I have spent over 80 hours "fixing" my new MH. It's easier and cheaper to do it myself than to take it to an authorized repair facility where I have a 50/50 chance of getting it fixed correctly. I have a few re-engineering projects on my to-do list too.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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CA roads aren't the culprit. The problem is careless assembly-- The assembler, who is rushing to keep up with production, has his screw gun running too fast with too much torque. The result is that the screw keeps turning fast. This strips out the plywood fibers around the hole, leaving a hole too big for the screw.
JFXG


Unfortunately that is true of all power driven screws driven into thin or soft material.
I have fixed or replaced umpteen screws in/on my coach in the 14 years I've owned it.
Mel
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:25 AM   #12
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We have the same MH as you and our molding popped off after I hit a bump in the road. I have fixed 90% of the issues myself...the one I didn't fix (engine AC compressor) ended up with the dealer scratching 20' of the exterior paint from parking it next to a tree.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:35 AM   #13
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I was on my way home from a factory service visit. I stopped to empty my tanks close to home and my entry step motor failed and the steps were just dangling. I went to an autozone, bought a ford window motor, and had it replaced in 15 minutes.

In most cases it's faster and more convenient to do things yourself rather than leaving it at a repair facility for weeks at a time for the simplest things.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:31 AM   #14
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You all have very good points of view. I kind of knew what I was getting into, I also knew that I was able to handle most repairs myself. I have had several boats on Biscyane Bay in Miami when I was in my 30s. Boats are floating RVs, maybe even worse. One of my boats had two 350 Chevys on Merc outdrives. So you have double the problems to fix when salt water takes it's toll on everything. We stay at a lot of Ocean side state parks in CA. When I get back I wash the whole coach and it's underside to get the salt water mist off. The problem is, I do like quality and I have a high standard for perfection. I'm not sure any coach comes without problems. I ran into a retired professional drag racer in San Diego last year. His name is Larry Minor. He had a 45 foot Newell parked next to me. He told me his coach listed for $1.7mil and he paid $1.2mil. Awesome RV, but he said the same things you guys said. They all come with problems. I am having a great time and I like fixing things, so it sounds like I'm right at home. Thank you all for you input.
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