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Old 09-08-2008, 11:00 AM   #15
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chasfm11 nailed on the head for me....I think and feel the same way he does....Whilst I grew up camping in my parent's 5th wheel, and then their motorhome, I have only had my own motorhome for about a year....an older, well maintained 1994 Bounder 28T....and I just love "piddling" on it...I get some sort of gratification from "maintaining" my home on wheels....and the satisfactoin of doing a 14 day vacation to Minnesota's North Shore, from Wichita Kansas, with absolutely ZERO problems...I attribute that to my "piddling"...I actually LIKE checking stuff, and keeping it in "like new" condition....have I fixed anything? yeah...new hot water heater control board....the rest is UPGRADES...see, I only spent $17K for my home on wheels, and I have as much fun as those that spend $217k....and I don't mean that in a "mean" way, because if I HAD that kind of money to spend on an RV, I would....but I don't, so I bought what I could afford and I am ENJOYING IT!!!...

I think that I would say "EVERYDAY I am in my motorhome, those are the happiest days of my life"!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:36 AM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">You only have to read the many, many posts on different forums to realize that a lot of owners have been frustrated by breakdowns. I fully understand that these things will happen and only posted to indicate that even though we love the life-style, we are no longer willing and able to contend with the negatives (from our perspective). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I, too, respect your point of view. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to have an RV that is constantly breaking down. As you point out, you are no longer willing to put up with it and that's fine. We raced sailboats for years and have a similar attitude toward that activity. I still love to sail and now I race models. Racing the big boats was too much money for too little satisfaction so we stopped.

Before we purchased an RV, we rented two times and had the transmissions break on both rentals. You would think that alone would make us stop but we went ahead and bought one anyway. Ours had a very frustrating problem where the speedometer would go south periodically which absorbed money and a lot of my time. Finally, however, I fixed it and our last 4,400 trip saw no speedo glitch of any kind. Aside from the satisfaction of having it work all of the time, the feeling that I got of repairing it when the "big boys" couldn't and didn't is enormously satisfying, at least to me. Maybe, it is simply my way of making lemonaide out of the lemon that I was handed. I recognize that most others are not like me in that regard.

I wonder, however, how many of the problems with breakdowns are really the manufacturer's fault. Don't get me wrong, I know that there is some shoddy workmanship out there. The more that I work on my RV, however, the more that I realize that, while they are complex machines with lots to go wrong, the level of sophistication with each of the elements is not that high. RV furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators are all pretty simple devices in the grander scheme of things. In order to build an RV to the price point that we as an RVing community will accept, the manufacturers have to take a fairly simplistic approach. I would argue that the greatest hurdle isn't the problems themselves but the fact that they aren't solved in a reasonable time and often happen over and over again. Believe me, I understand that kind of frustration. I've often stepped back after I've worked on something a couple of times and haven't fixed it but finally do and wondered why it took me so long. I know that if I wasn't working on it myself and having to pay someone else to spend that same amount of time trying to fix my problems, I might be frustrated enough to throw in the towel, too. Unfortunately, there are other areas like boats with similar kinds of stories.

I remain convinced that, with diligence of inspection and pro-active replacement of parts, many of the breakdowns can be prevented. Many people get away with ignoring problems and deferring maintenance on their passenger vehicles. It is clear to me that a similar approach on RVs does not work. The longer something sits unused, the more difficult it is to keep it running, IMHO.

A part of the RV lifestyle is accepting the potential breakdown aspect. Knock on wood, we have only missed one trip due to a problem (the step controller failed just before departure) in 4 years and 30K miles of traveling. I could even have made that situation work if I'd really wanted to or had to. We all have our limits of tolerance. Some of those limits are just higher than others.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:23 PM   #17
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These are all great comments to what appears to have started as a relatively negative thread but I can empathize (not sympathize) with the original poster.

I too can get frustrated at poor workmanship and quality control issues. When a vehicle costs more to operate than it is worth, it is time to get a different one (hopefully less problem prone).

We have always bought used due to price but one day I would LOVE to be able to by a new DP and realize that although there are warranties, they are only worth the inconvenience you are willing to endure.

As an example, we recently replaced the DW's aging, high mileage '02 car with an '06 with few miles on it. After driving it a whole 1-1/2 days, I took it to the dealer to get a TSB (technical service bulletin) item replaced before it went out of warranty and before I had to pay the $300 + labor out of pocket. Needless to say, she was NOT pleased when I had to take it back AFTER they had approved the work and VERIFIED that the TSB was correct. When I took it back, the replacement part was defective and they put me in a rental at no charge. When I returned to pick the car up 4 days later, they had damaged (minor) an interior trim piece. They have offered to replace those scratched parts free and even will let ME replace the parts...but I have to take off and give them the old ones first. So much for trusting the owner after THEY messed up...but this is typical for dealer warranty work regardless of the vehicle.

I agree that catastrophic failures should be fixed by the Mfr. a.s.a.p. and at no charge to the customer but ONLY during the warranty period and ONLY if it is a known (precedent) issue. The attitudes and personalities in a high stress situation as this are certainly factors in negative comments BUT as with all mechanical devices, there are bound to be problems.

I can only recommend that one NEVER buy a first year product, do all the research one can about the item and then realize that these items are built by humans who probably have time/cost constraints on them and cutting corners is typical, even on the highline stuff.

I guess unless you are going to supervise the construction yourself (unlikely due to insurance companies), you will have to live with the end product, be willing to push the repair issues or fix them yourself.

This reminds me of something my dad used to say whenever I was building/re-building something.

"Hey Ken, you aren't building a piano, just the box it comes in."

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:34 PM   #18
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by TaxedtoDeath:

[QUOTE]Originally posted by blacktie.shooter:
Hey, TaxedtoDeath, I realize that you will probably never see this or other responses

[QUOTE]
Hey, Blacktie.shooter,-- wrong, I am still here and I hope that I can appreciate other points of view without expressing an attitude.

I did overreact a bit, didn't I? My DW would say, "See, you did it again." As the kids say today, My Bad, My Bad. Especially after reading the thoughtful comments that followed; I have to agree with them, and respect that it is to each his own. At least, as you can see, the vast majority of coach folks are pretty nice.

I will say I am glad to hear at least that you did have fifteen years of fun, even if there was the other part to put up with. Best to you in your new endeavors.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:06 AM   #19
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Hey Ken (blacktie...) Way to go man!! You're one of the good ones who's not afraid to recognize a little personal overreaction and openly say so. You're O.K.!!

Say chasfm11: I sure envy your outlook and more so your ability to take on repairs and enjoy the results of actually "fixing" a variety of problems encountered with your rig. I'd dearly LOVE to be able to do likewise, but, I never acquired the mechanical know how and confidence, and, frankly, until I've seen and learned how to perform a certain "fix" I'm AFRAID to tear into something for fear of screwing it (or some associated system) up. Also, you're right....it isn't the $$$$ value of the coach.....they ALL have bugs...some big, some small. There are so many systems in these rigs to learn about it's pretty intimidating and I think alot of the "frustration" we witness here on this and other forums, stems from the fact that alot of us owners (although we would if we could)...simply can't. Unfortuantely, too often this frustration is directed outward...at others, at manufacturers, etc. OH!!!!....how I wish I could fix stuff like you do. But, I'll just keep learning, bit, by bit. Steve & Lynette
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:06 AM   #20
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I do have an advantage in some types of repairs. I worked on large mainframe computers (which in those days had power cords that it took several guys to lift and were water cooled). I've also worked on my own passenger vehicles for over 30 years and was able to transfer a lot of that knowledge to the RV when we got it. I will tell you, however, that I was more than a little intimidated by the DP at first. On our RV'sdash A/C, the dealer worked on in 3 times and didn't fix it. When I fussed at him for having to bring it back every 6 months, he conveniently found reasons not to keep my next appointment for repairs to it. I was left with no choice but to fix it myself. I figured that it didn't work and when I was done, it might not work any better. I did fix and and it has been working fine for the last two years.

Much of my success in making repairs and doing maintenance on my RV, I attribute to this and other forums. Guys like Hooligan and JWalker have been a tremendous help to me. I posted questions and got straight, accurate answers. It is amazing how much more you can accomplish if you benefit from someone else's knowledge. I also have a tremendous advantage in location. Our RV is parked 100 feet from our back door all the time when we aren't on the road. I can run out, look at things, take pictures and then asked questions. I cannot tell you how many times having a digital camera has saved me because others could see exactly what I was seeing. I'd admit that to do repairs and maintenance, you need to be able to swing a wrench and to know how to loosen stuck nuts. Beyond that, much of the maintenance is nothing but familiarity and having the guts to try something the first time. A great example is the air filter on my air brake system. I read all that I could find, learned that a secret was to keep dirt away from the open system and proceeded from there. I pulled the dessicant filter (spin off), replaced the coelessing filter and even replaced the cover over the input heater and the exhaust valve. The chassis lubrication was similar and the hardest part was locating all of the jerks. Changing the engine oil and the transmission fluid is easier than on my passenger cars. The differential was only a little harder because I had to find a way to get the very heavy oil back into it. By simply looking around underneath, I've found and fixed things that would have caused me problems. I will admit that repairing my furnace, water heater and step controller called upon my computer repair background that others might not have.

On another forum, I made this suggestion for those looking to do more RV maintenance and repairs: make a list of the things that you might be willing to try and then tackle one of those areas each week. Trying reading and studying about it multiple times during the week. Search the forums. Do Google searches. Talk to other RVers. At the end of the first week, you might be surprised at how much you've learned. The idea is not the let the volume of information about all of the various systems and parts on the RV get in the way of staying focused on the one area that you've chosen to work on that week. The second week, tackle another area. Take notes, capture pictures, etc. to remind yourself what you've learned. I have a whole directory on my computer devoted to all of the information that I've gathered on RV related matters. This is a case of the tortise and not the rabbit. I'd be willing to bet that with diligence on each subject and a few weeks, your confidence would increase significantly.

OK, I admit it. I'm a lifelong student. I enjoy learning new things, particularly things that will save me money and aggravation. I'll take the aggravation of beating my own head and knuckles to try to solve a problem over a different (and worse IMHO) aggravation of trying to get an RV dealer to fix my problems for me. That is probably just me.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:14 AM   #21
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I am so glad that I read all of the comments to Taxedtodeath.

As a new owner and new adventurer I kind of had a bad feeling going on in the pit of my belly reading Taxedtodeath complaints. I really felt sorry for them. My first thought was if so unhappy why did you keep at it so long. You know, if you can't cook stay out of the kitchen?

Then after reading all your comments my outlook was lifted and I feel better now.

We have had a few problems,(when new)with the coach, but we expected that as with anything new for the first time.

I would agree that if I were having that many problems all the time, I would continue to sell and keep buying until I got the perfect coach for me.

When it stops being fun, it's time for a change of directions. Maybe it's like job burn out. Step back and breathe.

Good luck to you and happy trails wherever you land.

I am so happy to have irv.2forum. Thanks to all of you.

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:06 PM   #22
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I'm on my second coach. Bought first in 1998, a used Winnebago, second and current coach in Jan 2005. Fulltimed for 4 years, then had to move back to land. We put about 5000 mi a year on
and wouldn't trade a day of it.
Always a new adventure, break downs and all !!
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #23
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Always a new adventure, break downs and all !! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Retird2Golf has it right.

We had our toilet and black water tank back up three different times on our +1400 mile trip home with the new-to-us GS-DP. I remember my wife, my MIL and myself using more than a few choice words and getting frustrated repeatedly as we were bailing it out into a trash can, then emptying it out at the dump station, rinse repeat ad nauseum for hours until we could get the "stuff" to go down.

The reality is it made us remember that vacations aren't perfect and there is adversity everywhere. What matters is how you deal with it and what you learn from it that adds to your collective knowledge base, personality and the adventures.

We laugh about it now and I think I have a better plumbing routing solution for minimal expense so we'll see if I fix it or make it worse.

Bottom line is take the good with the bad, have a marguerita or beer when done and sit back and reflect on the situation as it usually isn't all THAT bad...most of the time.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:47 AM   #24
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quikduk, the only thing I'd add is Beefeaters , over the rocks, with Two Spanish Queen Green Olives, stuffed with Pimento ..... Ahhhh Yes !!

Anywhere, overlooking anything, even out the window on a rainy day.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:37 AM   #25
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I think taxedtodeath has a very valid point. We are coming up to our first year of ownership of an RV and the coach has been in the shop for longer periods than we have driven it. Most, if not all of the problems could have been resolved at factory and to be fair, our dealer has been fantastic. It's just that every single coach they sell has an extensive laundry list of repairs and they simply don't have the resources to deal with the issues in a timely manner.

The factory pumps out the units and delivers them to the dealers along with a warranty that dealer will have the support of the manufacturer when attending to problems. Not enforcing strict quality control at the factory saves time and money. Not enforcing strict quality control at the factory creates a revenue stream for the dealer. Not enforcing strict quality control at the factory then transferring the issues to the dealer ultimately delivers the problem to the purchasing customer.

No question that motorcoaches are complex vehicles and it follows that mechanical problems are inevitable but I do believe that transferring quality control problems to the customer cannot work long term. How well are Chrysler, Ford and GM doing compared to Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Do it right the first time, the customer comes back, at least, I will.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:21 AM   #26
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I'm just thinking the first happy day is when you buy it and bring it home the next happy day is when you say "lets go camping " that is followed by a happy day every time you repeat the phrase "lets go camping " It always workes for me since 1992 and yes I have experienced all kinds of breakdowns
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:25 AM   #27
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Actually after thinking about it, everytime I have sold a camper is a sad day. I stand and watch it go down the road and think of all the fun we had and all the memories
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #28
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I purchased a low mile higher end pre owned rv for a very reasonable price (not much more than a new loaded diesel pick up truck) . I have had the coach for a little more than one year and I have had some typical conditions with it and some non-typical conditions as well. Someone once told me that a "problem" can not be fixed but a "condition" can be fixed and is only temporary. I think just the fact of making a purchase on a pre owned coach at a significantly reduced price makes it that much easier to digest the little conditions that might pop up once in a while. I am pretty handy and this also softens the frustration when these conditions arise. I could definately see that there could be great disapointment and frustration for one that might be plauged with conditions on a newer or new coach especially if they are not soo handy.

The benifits of being with my family, meeting new friends and taking in the sights have far, far out weighed the downside faults that I have worked through on my coach. The coach gave us a new opportunity of freedom with little to no planning needed. Our travels to and from are part of our vacations and getaways. Airports, hotels, finding resturaunts and just being at the mercy of big enterprise is not what we consider a relaxing getaway. I love the rv life and I just wish I had more time and money to do it more often.
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