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Old 05-02-2015, 02:03 AM   #15
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I have an old 1994 with no slides. I was reading through a free copy of Motorhome magazine where they reviewed some new similar length motorhomes and I saw that several had a lower vehicle weight rating than what mine weighs empty, even though they had 2-3 slides. All of them had smaller fuel, fresh, grey, and black tanks.
It's not really an option for me to buy a new unit but if I could, I'm not sure I would.


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Old 05-02-2015, 10:58 AM   #16
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Unfortunately everyone wants to get the "DEAL". They want to get high quality for a low price. If they sell they want a big price for their used item.

It is just human nature. We all want something for nothing or very little.

Talk as you want about cars and how quality has improved. Yes the Japanese invaded the market with good cars at a lower price point. At that time labour in Japan was cheap. Trade barriers were put in place to protect the market so the Japanese had to move some of their manufacturing on shore. So the price went up on their cars allowing the big 3 to be competitive. Now we can purchase a quality car whether it be Japanese, European or American but it is not cheap.

It makes me wonder when we speak about a 60 - 75 k half ton and we think we are getting a bargain. Extrapolate that to a motor home and what should we be paying in real dollars? Probably something close to the MSRP. If manufacturers were actually producing something worth near what they say it is there would be very few dealers able to discount 25 - 30% if indeed there were any.

So you have a MSRP at 300,000, they sell it for 200,000 and the manufacturer probably only puts in 100 - 125,000. That is where your quality fall short.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:10 PM   #17
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Everything mentioned so far has not offered a reason for the manufacturers to improve their lack of quality. Until RV manufacturers have a compelling reason to improve quality nothing will happen. How do you make this happen? Simple, contact your state congressman and senator to make your state's lemon laws apply to the coach portion of your RV as well as the chassis. Currently, only a couple of states lemon laws apply to a RV in full, coach portion as well chassis, and then TT, 5th wheels etc are not covered. they should be. Of course you will have to fight RIVA, the manufacturers lobbying arm, and the RV dealers, and other special interests.


If most states lemon laws covered ALL RV's completely with a provision that 30 days total out of service in the first 24 months was automatic buy back, RV quality would improve drastically almost overnight, just as what happened in the automobile industry. Yes prices would go up some, and some manufacturers would never survive, but market forces would limit that.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Everything mentioned so far has not offered a reason for the manufacturers to improve their lack of quality. Until RV manufacturers have a compelling reason to improve quality nothing will happen. How do you make this happen? Simple, contact your state congressman and senator to make your state's lemon laws apply to the coach portion of your RV as well as the chassis. Currently, only a couple of states lemon laws apply to a RV in full, coach portion as well chassis, and then TT, 5th wheels etc are not covered. they should be. Of course you will have to fight RIVA, the manufacturers lobbying arm, and the RV dealers, and other special interests.


If most states lemon laws covered ALL RV's completely with a provision that 30 days total out of service in the first 24 months was automatic buy back, RV quality would improve drastically almost overnight, just as what happened in the automobile industry. Yes prices would go up some, and some manufacturers would never survive, but market forces would limit that.
Not only could it improve quality it may make the dealers more responsible as well as parts supply.

We were fortunate. Our dealer is close to the factory. When it was determined we needed new jacks the parts warehouse did not have the parts so the factory took them out of production for next day delivery. If we were anywhere else it would have likely been a couple weeks for parts.

I wonder how the dealerships would be able to have enough techs to do the job speedily as well as the bays to do the work? Especially considering seasonal fluctuations. If I were a dealer my shop rates would take a serious upward jump to cover the extra overhead.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:44 PM   #19
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I'm really thinking that upgrading the '04 Endeavor is going to be a better choice than going new.
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Old 05-02-2015, 03:45 PM   #20
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We bought a '98 American Tradition 40' two weeks ago for 1/10th of your $300k price point. I can say that our coach is so much more well made than anything at $200k. The quality of workmanship that American Coach put into our unit 17 year and 110k miles ago compared to what you get now astounds me. I'm happy that I had only $30k to spend on a coach and bought what I did because as far as I'm concerned, new coaches don't impress me.
It's a double-edged sword. Things may have been manufactured to higher standards years ago, but age takes its toll on everything. The transmission computer on our 15 year-old Beaver failed and left us stranded, and it took Stewart and Stevenson 3 days, which we spent in their parking lot, to find one. That's the risk one takes trying to extend the useful life of an aging RV.
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:03 PM   #21
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The manufacturers need to institute the Sig Sigma method of manufacturing. These problems would quickly improve but the people at the top need to buy off on it. Right now it's a vicious circle. The manufacturer blows the product out the door. The dealer sells it. You the customer debuggs it. The dealer makes more money to do the repairs. Sig Sigma works very well in our manufacturing industry and would increase product dependability, fit and finish and decrease time per unit in construction. It would be a win-win all around. Google it.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:29 PM   #22
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Wait a minute, we can have someone telling us the king is wearing no clothing. All kidding aside. It's pretty sad. The quality or lack of is despicable. However on the other hand there are a lot of folks that will accept a mediocre product or their egos are so huge that they'd never admit that they made a mistake after the purchase. And the beat goes on .......
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:34 PM   #23
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One of the biggest things that has been helping improve quality is competition. The middle luxury market has become very competitive. Think about the manufacturers in that price range. Tiffin, Entegra, Newmar, Winnebago, American Coach, and there is probably someone I missed, all are competing for the same buyers. Some will buy on bling alone, but the more astute buyers peruse forums like this one and others to find out what companies do the best at the purchase point and beyond.

If you think because you are buying something that is expensive then it should be absolutely perfect, think again. Have you ever heard the term punch list? That is used for construction projects. Some of these projects are in the multi millions and the punch list is used to list out the problems with the project. Add to this you have the retention hold backs which are anywhere from 10% to 20% of the total contract. Retentions are held back for a year or more. In a way you have the same thing with RV's.....called a warranty. It is your retention in a way. The manufacturer is guaranteeing to fix your unit if something is wrong. If the dealer can't perform the service then many manufacturers will allow you to go somewhere else for repairs on their dime.

What I see is real world manufacturing and reality of buying a very complex item. We don't seem to understand that things like RV's, which in reality are houses on wheels going down the road at 70+MPH. I don't think it is reasonable to think that there will not be problems with an RV considering what they are and how they are used.
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:23 PM   #24
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Quality. autos. motorhomes, automation

One thing no one mentioned when comparing autos to RVs is volume and automation. A lot of the increase in build quality in autos is due to robotics. The auto assembly line uses far fewer workers doing things by hand today than even 10 years ago. But, the level of automation and sophistication in the auto industry is very expensive and is only affordable with volume. No RV manufacturer can afford to use the robotic processes because even the largest such as Winnebago only produce about 1,000 -1,200 coaches per year with a lot of variety in he production stream. As a result, most production is hand labor artisan type rather than real assembly line practices. Artisan type production will never provide consistent quality unless the volume is extremely low with resultant high prices (Newell, Foretravel, etc.) Clearly, some design choices are not easily understood but we all differ. This weekend I was at an RV show and met a couple just raving about how much they liked a particular MH. I was in the unit at the same time (no salesman around) and the features that were standouts to them would stop me from purchasing the unit in a heartbeat. For example, with the slides in, you could not access the food storage or dish/utensil storage areas. When I stop for lunch, I do not want to put out my slides to eat since they were up against the "island." But to each his/her own.
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Old 05-02-2015, 09:35 PM   #25
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnytaxman View Post
One of the biggest things that has been helping improve quality is competition. The middle luxury market has become very competitive. Think about the manufacturers in that price range. Tiffin, Entegra, Newmar, Winnebago, American Coach, and there is probably someone I missed, all are competing for the same buyers. Some will buy on bling alone, but the more astute buyers peruse forums like this one and others to find out what companies do the best at the purchase point and beyond.

If you think because you are buying something that is expensive then it should be absolutely perfect, think again. Have you ever heard the term punch list? That is used for construction projects. Some of these projects are in the multi millions and the punch list is used to list out the problems with the project. Add to this you have the retention hold backs which are anywhere from 10% to 20% of the total contract. Retentions are held back for a year or more. In a way you have the same thing with RV's.....called a warranty. It is your retention in a way. The manufacturer is guaranteeing to fix your unit if something is wrong. If the dealer can't perform the service then many manufacturers will allow you to go somewhere else for repairs on their dime.

What I see is real world manufacturing and reality of buying a very complex item. We don't seem to understand that things like RV's, which in reality are houses on wheels going down the road at 70+MPH. I don't think it is reasonable to think that there will not be problems with an RV considering what they are and how they are used.
So yes that's correct, a house and a truck put together. Since housing hasn't been automated and are custom construction then RVs would tend to follow the same process. Cars used to be more of a custom product but it's not clear that houses/RVs can follow the same approach and have an assembly line or robotics.

Personally I don't mind some repairwork even on my new unit. Just like business, I figure that into what I pay. If others want more of a finished product I assume they can find them.

For those that want the government to step in I'd just say I'd be happy if the government could do what it has currently on it's plate. I'm not inclined to ask for more.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:34 AM   #26
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Last RV shows we just went to, we both noticed that even the better brands have cut corners and use a lot of lower cost materials. The materials and build quality is why we bought our Monaco last year. 11 years old, but with the high quality materials and good care, it is a better buy than most of the new ones we have seen.
Quality, Service and Price. Pick which you want and most people pick price. One of the other 2 will be reduced.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:58 AM   #27
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If you want good quality, you have to PAY for it. As far as motor homes go, the quality leader is Newell. However you can't even consider one unless you want to pay $1,000,000 to $1,600,000 for a new one.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:12 PM   #28
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Interesting post. As far as quality goes I went to the tiffin factory and i did not see them cutting any corners on quality or finish. I have never seen that much red oak in my life. I looked at a 2008 American Coach recently and as much as I like tiffin I think they did a better job building the American Coach. The Hinges on the storage doors were a lot heavier duty and were made where they could be adjusted. I need to adjust a door on my allegro bay and i am not sure where to start. I also liked the fact that the air filter on the American Coach was installed in a manner where you could get to it easily to replace it. If you do not do your own filters that might not be a big thing but then again the longer it takes your mechanic the more it costs. Having it easily available is better. These are the types of issues i expect manufacturers to look at. It should not cost more for these kind of changes just engineers that are more realistic.

I noticed the post about how much better Japanese cars last. In the 50s and 60s and early 70s the poster was correct car engines do last longer that has to do with improvements in metal manufacturing techniques and processes. At least one japanese car manufacturers purchases the steel for their camshafts from a US company. They did not have the manufacturing process to make an equal quality product. Mercedes purchases steel for their automobiles from the same company. Steel manufacturers have the ability now to electronically stir the steel before it hardens into rigidity while the metal is still fluid. This distributes carbon atoms more evenly keeping you from having a spot that is extremely brittle. Or a spot that is extremely soft. Having a section that is brittle leads to something like a camshaft breaking at that spot. Having it too soft leads to premature wear. The other poster was correct about robotics. Robotics brings down the cost but more importantly it is able to do much more standardized work.
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