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Old 10-31-2017, 01:39 AM   #1
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Build quality theory

I have been thinking about why it seems that some of us get nearly trouble free units and others seem to have lots of problems and I have a theory as to why.

I call it the "batch build learning curve". Every week (or so) the production line is changed from one type of unit to another - maybe a model that has not been built for several months. There has to be a bit of a learning curve as the crew gets into the swing of things - I believe that these units have the most possibility of having lots of errors that may go past the inspectors who are also getting things switched over. Units built after this learning curve stand a better chance of being error free. Units built towards the end of the run stand to also have errors due to the end push.

This is just a theory that seems to explain the wide range of quality in the units.

Compare this to the auto industry where they build basically the same thing week in and week out there is less room for this kind of error - however there might be some of the boredom factor at work there
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:54 AM   #2
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No doubt a substantial factor. It is clear from looking at the shoddy work that there is no quality control procedure in place.

I would be very happy if manufacturers would eliminate some of the junk that they install and spend the money on hiring a good Q C person. How much did the Forest River BBQ spatula that came with my camper cost? Or the cheesy "Audio System"?

This is typical Marketing Department "Feature Rich" mentality at work. Any company that made their prime feature decent quality would be a run-away success like Honda and Toyota.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see"
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:54 AM   #3
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Makes sense. There does seem to be some significant variation in people’s experiences. Seems like a good theory. If true, there’s some good potential for process improvement around the line changeovers.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:14 AM   #4
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
No doubt a substantial factor. It is clear from looking at the shoddy work that there is no quality control procedure in place.
Please letís not go there again. Many of us have found Outdoors RV to be quite high quality. Not perfect, not stellar, but good. And as I recently posted, quite a few of us have seen their QA at work live at the factory in person. Even more importantly, they stand behind their product often to an amazing extent. Personal experience this very day, in fact.

That said, I agree the industry has far too much slapdash drek out there. I really believe that the folks at ORV try to raise the bar even though in this market thatís not saying much. Itís gotta be tough to compete with humongous behemoths like Forest River. The only chance they have is not to be lumped in with those guys, to earn a reputation above that lot, but they still have to come in with a ďreasonableĒ price.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Gordon Dewald's brilliant post #46 in the ORV bad taste is great explanation. It's worth reading a few times. In fact it's worth memorizing.

Travel trailers while hard on the budget, are very inexpensive with what you get. Face it ,they are kits to finish.

I worked for three years in the industry in the '80s. I tell people after two years you have to reseal with high quality sealant. Then you are good for 15 years. These same lazy people who ignore the warning complain about poor quality and rotten floors.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:52 AM   #6
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The comparison to the auto industry is not valid. Due the scale of vehicle sales and the limited number of manufactures, a fair amount of vehicles are manufactured by robots, especially the sub assemblies.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:23 PM   #7
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This might be an exaggeration but also might not given the reported length of some punch lists. I think it is a pattern.

There are also interesting levels of expectation and reaction involved. The assumption that $100,000 is a lot of money for an MH when it's sort of bargain basement sets up a lot of folks. That sets them up for their punch list of 47 things with 4 real problems and 43 loose screws then mess around getting to the dealer. By then the loose screws are stripped holes and/or broken off whatevers. Obviously it was junk. If they had just taken care of the screws when they found them it would still be 4 problems. Other folks just do the screws or do it all and figure they are fine.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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Back when Monaco was in full swing we saw a noticeable quality & fit/finish difference in coaches built in Indiana verses coaches built in Oregon. The theory was the IN crews learned from building mobile homes (trailers) where the OR crews learned on higher price point motor homes.
I think today it's a factor of poorly trained labor combined with poor quality control all trying to build to a low price point.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:48 PM   #9
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Like many of us here, we have taken the tour more than once, been to the rallies and talked with the people that run ORV. If you are looking to buy one spend time on their web suite, take the factory tour. The tour will last as long as you need it. If you have a ORV product with an issue, notify your dealer by phone and e mail. Then call the factory and send them picks and e mail. The guys at the factory are busy but will get back to you, or call again. You will get them. Then fell free to ask about issues here, that's what this forum is for. I have a 2014 early build. Have I had issues, yes. There have been more changes and upgrades since then than I can list. They are built better now with tighter QC than in 2014. When I get a new one I am not going to worry about what day it was built on. Give me one built on Friday 13'th.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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One of the issues in this industry and others is "piecework" manufacturing.
Creates a rushed atmosphere, and un-needed competition among teams.
I worked in these environments, and quality was NOT top priority. Getting the damn product out the door was the priority. If someone called in sick that did one job, another person is brought online that may not even know the procedures.

There is absolutely no excuse to run 120V Ac wiring thru any metal unprotected, or forget to attach important items with proper hardware.

There....I feel better now.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:54 PM   #11
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I got my TR 21FQS earlier this year. I met with the ORV folks last winter at the RV show in Denver as they described their new model and how they were designing it. They have been great about answering questions I had while I was waiting for their new model to be built. We picked up our trailer in July. I found a couple minor issues that I was able to take care of. (It's a 2 hour drive to the dealer I bought it at, took 30 min to go through everything.) A screw loose or miss-installed. Then I we went on our first trip out, I took a wrong turn and took it on a 25 mile dirt washboard road, bouncing around for about 2 hours. It survived the shake test well with only a couple screws pulled loose and the top of the stove dislodged. Another 45 min putting stuff back together but no worse for the wear. I'm really happy with our trailer. The quality is great when we consider its a mass produced unit. I grew up in Detroit, and witnessed some of the junk that came off the lines in the 60's and 60's. There were a lot of good cars and lemons too. But if you look at Mercedes, BMW Honda you pick the car you can find they all have their issues from time to time. It's the follow through from the factory that holds themselves responsible for their product that set themselves apart from the rest. This is what makes the folks at ORV above many of the giant companies that push out the same junk with different stickers as their sister company. My 2 cents worth.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:34 PM   #12
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If you haven't seen it, look at the "Built Tough" video on the ORV websuite.
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:40 PM   #13
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Quality?

Here are a few pics of the issues I found with my NEW 230RKS...and most of my greasable suspension will not accept grease.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:48 AM   #14
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Before you repair or have the dealer repair anything, take pictures and make notes and e mail it all to the factory. To : Todd.Morton@Outdoorsrvmfg.com.
Sad, but it's probably better if you just fix as much as you can yourself. That's what I do and will probably just keep doing. If never touching a hand tool is your goal, an RV is not going to be fun, but they should be built correctly.
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