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Old 08-26-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Angry New 5th Wheel Nightmare, please help!

My hubby and I just purchased a brand new, 2015 Forest River Sierra 5th wheel and went on a 4 day trip to try it out. To my horror I saw duct tape hanging from the bottom of the 5th wheel when we arrived at the rv park. We got down on the gravel and looked underneath and one of the boards had been cut open and duct taped back together. We duct taped the hanging tape back up to go home and called Camping World, where we purchased the 5th wheel and the manager called back and said that they did not do it. He said that Forest River did it and that rv manufacturers do that when they need to correct something. Seriously? Duct taping a new rv?

I am beyond furious. I do not know who is at fault but I want my brand new rv fixed with a new panel bolted down like the other panels.

Has anyone ever had this issue? I am brand new to rv'ing and am about to pull my hair out. In 8 weeks of ownership we have already had to have the hydrolic system fixed on the front levelers, the door fixed so that it would stay closed and a panel under the sink fixed.

I already understand that we have purchased a lemon but I really need some advice from seasoned rv'ers. Thank you for your help.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:45 PM   #2
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If your 5'er has a polar bottom (covered) then they use a corrugated plastic type of sign board to cover everything up. Anytime repairs are needed and access is required from underneath a slit will be made to gain access rather than drop the entire bottom. There is a proper black seam tape that seals it all up very nicely, but it certainly isn't just duct tape - not sure what they used in your case without seeing it. Unfortunately, owning a trailer will, over the years, require several accesses needed from underneath and replacing the entire section of corrugated plastic bottom each time access is required will become extremely expensive.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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I've got a 2014 Sierra myself that is in for a few warranty repairs.

It could be an access hole for something you need to get to, my old TT had a similar hole, in it's case for the fresh tank lines, I put a small hole on each side of the slit and used a zip tie to keep it shut.

Have you looked behind it to see what's on the other side?

Being new to RVing something to consider is that they're houses on wheels so they endure a third magnitude earthquake when they travel, it takes a few trips to shake the bugs out, key is having a good dealer behind you which I'm now questioning with mine.

What went wrong with the hydraulics, the door and panel you mentioned?
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
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Glad you're aboard. Sorry you are having problems on the new rig. IMO Call Forest River and ask for the correct tape or take it back to the selling dealer so they can correct the problem. I know you're disappointed but hopefully you'll be able to enjoy your adventures in the near future.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
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Reply to sknight: The 2nd day after I got my Sierra home there was a puddle of hydrolic fluid under the front of my 5th wheel, my hubby said that it was not sealed correctly. The front screen door latch was placed higher than the latch hole in the frame of the door. A wooden panel under the bathroom sink was lying on the floor and had to be reattached to the interior wall under the sink.

If my rv was not brand new I would expect some repairs, I am not unreasonable. But after spending so much money to get a new rv I expect it to be in great shape. I will call Forest River tomorrow and try to get this bottom panel replaced and bolted on like the other panels on the bottom of my rv. Wish me luck. Thanks for the input!
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:26 AM   #6
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First of all, you shouldn't have to be the one calling the manufacturer, it's the selling dealer who should be making those arrangements - or better yet, taking it on himself to repair as a minor 'fix'. Many mfr's, as noted above, use a plastic material called coroplast to seal the bottom. It's tough stuff, light and will do the job. There may be a seam or repair that was in need of a better seal and some tape used - even our now gone Titanium ( a premium brand of the past) used coroplast plus a very strong tape along with screws to hold it in place. I did read that you purchased your new trailer from Camping World - they have good dealerships, but unfortunately, many that aren't. 'Beat' on them verbally, insisting that they didn't do their PDI well and that the underside of your new pride and joy needed some sort of check out as well as the easily visible and repairs to new done ASAP. Then if you have not gotten a positive response and repair, call the CW president, Marcus Lemonis
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAGoddess View Post
Reply to sknight: The 2nd day after I got my Sierra home there was a puddle of hydrolic fluid under the front of my 5th wheel, my hubby said that it was not sealed correctly. The front screen door latch was placed higher than the latch hole in the frame of the door. A wooden panel under the bathroom sink was lying on the floor and had to be reattached to the interior wall under the sink.

If my rv was not brand new I would expect some repairs, I am not unreasonable. But after spending so much money to get a new rv I expect it to be in great shape. I will call Forest River tomorrow and try to get this bottom panel replaced and bolted on like the other panels on the bottom of my rv. Wish me luck. Thanks for the input!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes it takes longer to get a new RV in shape and all the bugs shaken out than it does a used one. It's just the nature (unfortunately) of the hobby. What you are finding is typical, and you'll no doubt find much more.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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Relax and enjoy your rv. One of the great things about an rv is that they are all just a little bit different. They are not like the Chevy rolling down the line where everything is the same except the color and the systems are automated. The differences preclude really robust assembly systems. So there are opportunities for adjustment. Most of us make the minor repairs ourselves. I, myself, have tons of velcro, zip ties, and many different colors of duct tape. Think about how your house would fare in a hurricane and earthquake at the same time.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAGoddess View Post

Has anyone ever had this issue? I am brand new to rv'ing and am about to pull my hair out. In 8 weeks of ownership we have already had to have the hydrolic system fixed on the front levelers, the door fixed so that it would stay closed and a panel under the sink fixed.

I already understand that we have purchased a lemon but I really need some advice from seasoned rv'ers. Thank you for your help.
Relax. You haven't purchased a lemon; it is normal for things to crop up on a new RV. I have had much worse wrong when buying a new house. We had a two year warranty on our fiver and had several small things repaired during that time. However, things do need to be repaired to your satisfaction. Whether the taping was done at the factory or at the dealer, it is the dealer's job to make it right.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:38 AM   #10
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I should have added above - we have a new 2014 Montana High Country. Not their top level trailer, but still a pretty decent 5er. So far in 3 weeks of ownership, leaky BR slide - I've fixed. Missing trim piece on that same slide - waiting for it to arrive at the dealership. Chalking front cap gel coat - now freshly painted by the dealer but still needs some correct decals on order. Ceiling fan growls when hot - I'm replacing it with a little better one instead of asking for an identical replacement. Maybe Keystone will reimburse, but if not - no big deal $$ wise. The electric awning creaks and groans - it needs some alignment and lube - I'll do it myself. There are a few more minor glitches, but all so far in the realm of DIY.

There is something that people who buy a moving home should think of before they plunk down their dollars for one of these RVs. You really need to be somewhat of a home handyman as there is always something that needs to be fixed. While you can upgrade/update a stick and brick home with virtually hundreds of brand name products, you don't have that choice with a 'camping trailer'. Every one of them have some level of Dometic/Atwood/Duotherm/Norcold-BAL/Dexter/Lippert/Mor Ryde etc pieces - and even some of them may now fall under different corporate umbrellas as I can't nor want to keep up with mergers.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:51 PM   #11
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No Lemon
Our previous 5th wheel was a well over $100.000 and in the owners manual it explained where and how to cut through the corrugated material to gain access to certain systems like slide mechanism, slide motors, waste tank drain valves, etc. and how to reseal the area.
When a trailer is built, the manufacturer uses either panels to seal the bottom (belly) or single sheet material. When the final inspection at the factory or PDI at the dealership is performed and they need to correct or fine tune a system that is when the belly is cut open and then resealed with tape.
If is is the only issue after your first 4 days of enjoying the new trailer consider yourself blessed.
An RV is, as others have already pointed out, is a home and a vehicle in one operated in the worst possible conditions and need constant TLC.
And trust me, my wife and I are rv'ing for over 30 years and are still learning something everyday .
If you do have questions or concerns, you have arrived at the right place
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:11 PM   #12
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i bought a new 5th wheel toy hauler and it had a few problems . . . Okay, maybe more than a few. Search for a thread i started here (It's too long to repeat all the problems I found). The 5th wheel spent over a month at the dealership (most of that waiting on parts). Dealership has been great and they just called and the last few parts are in Scheduled to take it in after my Labor Day trip.

Probably the most notable thing the factory did (or didn't do), and was missed by both the dealership and me during PDI was that they "forgot" to install the lever to open the valve to drain the second grey tank. I didn't even know my 5th wheel had a second grey tank till the maiden voyage! I now have two pull levers for grey tank draining instead of one. Seems the factory just kinda forgot to attach a lever to the valve and missed it when they delivered it!! Now that's quality uncontrol How do you miss noticing that there are only two drain levers instead of three?? Or do they even inspect these things after they come off the assembly line?

I was a bit worried until my dealership took care of everything under warranty and around my schedule. I only missed one time I would have used the RV but couldn't since it was in the shop.

A good dealership is the make it or break it for buying new. Expect problems to come up, Expect that the dealership will take care of you. If they don't, do not let it go unmentioned! Do not exaggerate or slander/libel your dealership, but state the facts and let others be warned!
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
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I would echo other sentiments on this thread;

As a RV owner you have to come to the stark reality that these units need constant maintenance. It would not be appropriate for me to cut up one manufacturer versus another. But the truth is that some companies, some dealers and some RV owners do better jobs at building, servicing and maintaining units that others do.

Try to get in the habit of doing as much preventitive maintenance as you can and realize that these RV's will always need TLC. While my wife and I are only in our 40's we have owned a variety of units. 3 large fifth wheels, 2 class A's including a quality tag-axle coach and have now moved back into a nice fifth wheel.......

My rambling is simple: stay on top of things, hold your selling dealer accountable and stock a good quality tool box with you for the times when you need it - I carry 2!

Enjoy your travels safely,


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Old 08-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #14
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I'm sorry to say that my experiance has taught me the dealers for RVs are sharks and interested in serving you is at the bottom of their priorities. They only treat you well before you pay. The best advice is do all repairs yourself if you can. My old Jayco I bought new and had some early problems... I went direct to Jayco with everything. They would send parts and I would install for free. Jayco was consistently excellent in dealing with me. Not so the dealer.
Here is hoping you have a better dealer then I did. My dealer was also 300 miles away from home making going to them for repairs difficult.

Almost all new RVs have some problems; its to be expected, but having a bad dealer makes it very frustrating. Relax if you can and the early problems you have will get fixed eventually and you will enjoy the RV lifestyle.
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