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Old 04-24-2010, 01:50 PM   #1
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Numerous Motorhome issues

Admittedly, I am a fairly new RV'er...3 years, and I don't claim to be an expert in them, but I find myself AMAZED at the numerous and potentially dangerous FAILURES of design in Motorhomes just discovered in the last couple years!
  • Bosch Calipers (Failing Brakes)
  • Monaco Trailing Arms (Failing Chassis)
  • WRV steering Brackets (Failing Chassis)
  • WRV Trailing Arm mounts (Failing Chassis)
  • Norcold Refrigerators (Fire Hazard)

Is it just my distorted view of reality, or
  • Are Motorhomes not designed and tested to the same stringent standards as other vehicles?
  • And why does the media not cover this topic like they do for other issues (like Toyota)?
  • And why is no one on capitol hill grilling the heads of these companies?
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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It's my understanding when I had issues that the motorhome industries aren't governed by DOT. I asked a repair shop why these things slip through the cracks and they said because they're regulated with the housing authority and not DOT. I'll probably stand corrected on this , but that's my understandind
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Bus converters, both highway coaches and skoolies (school bus) refer to manufactured recreation vehicles as "sticks-n-staples" for a very good reason (other than that was the common building method). Now they are not even that.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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It's my understanding when I had issues that the motorhome industries aren't governed by DOT. I asked a repair shop why these things slip through the cracks and they said because they're regulated with the housing authority and not DOT. I'll probably stand corrected on this , but that's my understandind
I think anything related to the chassis would fall under DOT regulations. After all, it is a highway vehicle.

The house side of things are a different story.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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Have you looked at the number of safety recalls on automobiles? Rvs are a drop in the bucket by comparison.

RVs have a very low accident and death rate, so they don't get a lot of bureaucratic attention. The news media loves the occasional RV fire, but they quickly forget them. No crusades like with Explorer tires or Toyota pedals.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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Have you looked at the number of safety recalls on automobiles? Rvs are a drop in the bucket by comparison.

RVs have a very low accident and death rate, so they don't get a lot of bureaucratic attention. The news media loves the occasional RV fire, but they quickly forget them. No crusades like with Explorer tires or Toyota pedals.
Right on!
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:55 PM   #7
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Mike, most motorhomes are built on chassis manufactured by the same people that make the chassis for the OTR trucks, Freightliner, Spartan, etc. Look at the general safety record of those units per million miles. It's outstanding. As for the house part, anything mechanical can break. The items like you mentioned, ie: Norcold, are not made by the RV manufacture but are only installed by them just as in your stick house the contractor doesn't make the stove and refrigerator. Like Gary & RVDude, I consider my MH a very safe and comfortable way to travel.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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Question RECALL

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Mike, ..........

I consider my MH a very safe and comfortable way to travel.
Since 1975 we own one type of RV or another, we had ONLY ONE (1) Recall in all the years: to exchage the Tires on our 76 CONCORD... that was it!
Best way to travel is the RV, for us a Class A Motorhome.

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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Yeah Mike they do have their problems. But like Gary, RVdude and Jim said they are a safe and comfortable way to travel. But complicated. Lot better than a motel right. I did a lot of research before buying and they do have a low accident injury rate. That's why insurance is cheap. You mentioned fire hazard. Not much else scares me like a fire so I turned off the gas to my fridge, I always run my gen when moving so I can power fridge and don't use the dash a/c. Not using the dash a/c but the house a/c to cool uses less diesel on my rig. I also plan to go with electric element in water heater so no gas there. The two RV fires I viewed were both side mounted radiator Coaches. The radiator or cooling system springs a leak, coolant has alcohol in it so the coolant sprays on the hot turbo/exhaust and catches fire. My DP is rear mounted radiator but I still check my hoses and radiator and also keep coolant at lowlevel so if it does start leaking alarm will ring quickly. Unfortunately Halon, a great fire suppression gas was phased out a while back due to suffocation deaths involving marine fire tests. I was looking for fire protection in my RV but this option is out. I'm sorry you have other issues with your RV but hopefully you will overcome these cause RVing is a good way of travelling and keeping your family out of those yucky old motels.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #10
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Yeah Mike they do have their problems. But like Gary, RVdude and Jim said they are a safe and comfortable way to travel. But complicated. Lot better than a motel right. I did a lot of research before buying and they do have a low accident injury rate. That's why insurance is cheap. You mentioned fire hazard. Not much else scares me like a fire so I turned off the gas to my fridge, I always run my gen when moving so I can power fridge and don't use the dash a/c. Not using the dash a/c but the house a/c to cool uses less diesel on my rig. I also plan to go with electric element in water heater so no gas there. The two RV fires I viewed were both side mounted radiator Coaches. The radiator or cooling system springs a leak, coolant has alcohol in it so the coolant sprays on the hot turbo/exhaust and catches fire. My DP is rear mounted radiator but I still check my hoses and radiator and also keep coolant at lowlevel so if it does start leaking alarm will ring quickly. Unfortunately Halon, a great fire suppression gas was phased out a while back due to suffocation deaths involving marine fire tests. I was looking for fire protection in my RV but this option is out. I'm sorry you have other issues with your RV but hopefully you will overcome these cause RVing is a good way of travelling and keeping your family out of those yucky old motels.
KC
There are great fire suppression options for your RV. As you noted, the two most common fire-prone areas on most DP's are the fridge and the engine bay. I have installed a small halon fire suppression unit in my fridge compartment and a larger foam fire suppression system in the engine bay. Both are automatic....they have sprinkler heads that will discharge the agent based on high temp. I saw these systems demonstrated at an RV rally by Mac the Fire Guy.

Fire and Life Safety
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #11
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Really appreciate you setting me straight. I was under the impression halon was discontinued. Was in drydock in Norfolk years ago when USCG inspectors and crew were suffocated during halon test in engineering space. Heard it was to be phased out. Left the shipping industry that year. Did halon search on web recently with no results. Looking for just what you describe, small automatic bottle for fridge and maybe gen. cabinet. I used to be around them, as well as very large halon and foam systems. Halon packs a big punch, put out ABC fires with no personnel entering to direct application. But needs to be contained. This is why the foam is used for the type AB fire in engine compartment. Really giddy this is still available. Will check link out. Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:34 AM   #12
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It might be that most of the problems are on newer coaches. Older units, pre 2000, did not have so many problems. When slides became really popular, one of two things happened. The cost went way up or quality went way down to keep prices down. In most cases it was the latter. You can buy a top quality non-slide coach manufactured in the late '90s for less than $75k with no problems or buy a new mediocre one with 2 or more slides for $300K up and take it in every six months for repairs. This may be a little tung in cheek but makes my point. I believe to get a truly high quality coach you will spend upwards of $900K. Examples are Foretravel, Newell, etc. In 1995 the MSRP for a 40' top of the line Country Coach Concept was $450k. They had no slides. Today you can buy a 42' with 4 slides and 500 HP for $300k or so. Now tell me the quality is there.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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Here is my ''take'' on Motor Homes and what is 'falling apart in them''....
I have owned a motor home since 95. I have owned three so far. every one was a ''used'' coach. My latest coach is a 2000 model 33 foot Pace Arrow with 2 slides. When I bought it there was 6000 miles on the clock. It now has 107,000 on the clock. Every coach I have ever owed had its ''problems''. In my opinion, there is always something wrong with a motor home. Buy a new one and count the problems you have with the coach. Buy a used one and count the problems you have with the coach. The problem is that there are so many things to give you problems on these coaches and the more ''things'' the coach has the more problems you are going to have. Show me a motor home that has no problems or issues and I will show you a motor home in stowage...........
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:55 PM   #14
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Yeah Seajay I agree with you.If it ain't one thing it's another. I hear about more problems with newer coaches than older but could just be my hearing.
But one sailor to another you remember the old sayin" Ships and men rot in port" Maybe Nelson or John Paul Jones.
I'm gonna do some sea stories on your post someday. Got some real good boring ones.
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