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Old 05-17-2016, 09:29 AM   #43
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one of the reasons I read IRV2 is to see issues that are on going with the industry. As one poster said earlier you aren't going to see the hundred of RV owners that have little to no problems and love their coach. You will see primarily the problems and horror stories. I use these as learning tools to watch for potential problems or how to avoid certain things. I love my coach and have what I feel as a first time owner very few problems. (31 to be exact, all fixed at factory service center). I don't think you can find a single coach built that will not have some issues (even Prevost and Foretravel have some quality issues) One thing I learned and it took a few "other repair facilities" to teach me but I think if you look most agree that the "warranty repair" personnel are far superior to the "Factory floor". this was very true for me, the warranty service was totally different location than the factory and the people were fantastic and very knowledgeable on my issues. They went thru each item before in person and after in person with the worker that did the warranty work. Does this solve the "quality" question? no, but it does give me great insight in my next coach and what I will look for no matter the manufacturer. I think if more RV's (TT, 5th, class A,C,B) were rejected by the prospective buyer for quality issues it would improve the dealerships and the manufacturer product. I also, think more "factory" service centers would help the industry as well so they can see the added cost of these repairs as opposed to some worth while training and factory floor process improvement. It will never be perfect, but should be improving not getting worse.
Just a few thoughts from a "new" Rv owner and if any one ask me about buying an RV, I would say be very picky on the inspection process and if you feel the person doing it is not knowledgable then find some one at the dealer that is. Its your money and a lot of it so be peticular. I would rather reject and wait then accept something I know was not to the standards I expect. My first coach was delivered in June, wrong dinette and did not have a upgrade package on it. I rejected it and between the factory and my dealership ordered a new coach. 3 months later I got the coach I wanted. was I disappointed yes of course, but I wasn't paying 100K+ for something I did not want, so thru negotiation and conversation got the coach I was expecting.

JMO
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:44 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Dean View Post
one of the reasons I read IRV2 is to see issues that are on going with the industry. As one poster said earlier you aren't going to see the hundred of RV owners that have little to no problems and love their coach. You will see primarily the problems and horror stories. I use these as learning tools to watch for potential problems or how to avoid certain things. I love my coach and have what I feel as a first time owner very few problems. (31 to be exact, all fixed at factory service center). I don't think you can find a single coach built that will not have some issues (even Prevost and Foretravel have some quality issues) One thing I learned and it took a few "other repair facilities" to teach me but I think if you look most agree that the "warranty repair" personnel are far superior to the "Factory floor". this was very true for me, the warranty service was totally different location than the factory and the people were fantastic and very knowledgeable on my issues. They went thru each item before in person and after in person with the worker that did the warranty work. Does this solve the "quality" question? no, but it does give me great insight in my next coach and what I will look for no matter the manufacturer. I think if more RV's (TT, 5th, class A,C,B) were rejected by the prospective buyer for quality issues it would improve the dealerships and the manufacturer product. I also, think more "factory" service centers would help the industry as well so they can see the added cost of these repairs as opposed to some worth while training and factory floor process improvement. It will never be perfect, but should be improving not getting worse.
Just a few thoughts from a "new" Rv owner and if any one ask me about buying an RV, I would say be very picky on the inspection process and if you feel the person doing it is not knowledgable then find some one at the dealer that is. Its your money and a lot of it so be peticular. I would rather reject and wait then accept something I know was not to the standards I expect. My first coach was delivered in June, wrong dinette and did not have a upgrade package on it. I rejected it and between the factory and my dealership ordered a new coach. 3 months later I got the coach I wanted. was I disappointed yes of course, but I wasn't paying 100K+ for something I did not want, so thru negotiation and conversation got the coach I was expecting.

JMO
Can you imagine how you would feel if your new car had 31 items that needed to be corrected under warranty? Most people wouldn't put up with it. Thank goodness that our car manufacturers have made dramatic improvements. I have had ZERO issues with my last Ford and Toyota.
I learned something from these responses, I didn't know that employees were paid a combo of piece work and hourly. That is a recipe for problems. I produce more and someone else deals with the problems. Great business model. I was a production manager for a door company for several years. When I arrived I was shocked by the poor quality, poor production numbers and poor employee moral. I did what I hope anyone would do, I fired half of the deadbeats that were there only for a paycheck, improved the production process with regards to work flow, quality of materials and set up honest to God standards that everyone could understand, set up regular employee meetings to hears and address their concerns, initiated regular feed back to each employee so they would understand how they were performing and if they had any problems. The plant manager had agreed to give me a free hand for any changes I wanted to implement. He about had a stroke when I fired half the work force because they were his friends. Friends who took advantage of him every way possible. I had a reserve of qualified imployees I had interviewed that were ready to go. Our results were as expected, production went through the roof, costs wet down, absentism went down, problems were slashed and morale improved because the work force knew that they were important and that the company had their best intentions at heart. They also knew that I wouldn't put up with nonsense or they would be out the door. This continued for 3 1/2 years. I left to start my own successful company. As I continued to stay in touch with contacts I saw that they were going back to the old practices. They closed within 5 years because their quality fell to such low levels that no one would order from them, their parent company also closed fo the same reasons.
I don't think any of this is rocket science. People are people no matter where they work. They will respond to whatever management asks. Problem is that management doesn't know what to ask in most cases.
Sorry for the long ramble but this issue will not be resolved until management wakes up and responds to what is best for their company. Who in their right mind would not do this.
I don't like listening to complaints, that's why I did what I did.
Come on manufacturers wake up and smell the roses, in this case, happy employees, better total work force and more satisfied customers who spread the word about the great company they work for.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:08 AM   #45
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RV mfg's greed for huge profits over quality combined with the drug addicted, lucky to show up, don't give a darn about anything workforce, the industry is in a very bad spot.

Then on top of that, tell that drug addicted, lucky to show up, don't give a darn about anything workforce that they will get more $$ for speed of the build instead of the quality of the build.

Then throw in the same drug addicted, lucky to show up, don't give a darn about anything workforce that work at the dealers and we, as customers, just end up more and more screwed.

Sad state of the industry, country and times.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:11 AM   #46
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Can you imagine how you would feel if your new car had 31 items that needed to be corrected under warranty? Most people wouldn't put up with it. Thank goodness that our car manufacturers have made dramatic improvements. I have had ZERO issues with my last Ford and Toyota.
Harley, I agree 100% with everything you said (exception first statement above) Me and my Mom often talk about the American workforce and how it has declined to the point that most companies don't care about their customers much less their workforce and proper education and training with improved communication between management and the worker. it is why we see record company failures and very few real quality American businesses nowadays. They want money as fast as possible and to hell if they give a customer a quality long term product.

I submit that you see very little ( in comparison) automotive problems with the RV's on this forum. Most are "house" issues. My car doesn't have water systems, electrical appliances, sewer systems, and cabinets bouncing down the road. I think a comparison would be the housing industry as a whole. Home warranty and repair is a multi-million dollar industry, why? because most new homes built have far more than 31 problems with them in the first year. I promise you there are many more "horror" stories of cracked foundation, leaking fixtures, electrical, heating, cooling problems in "NEW" built homes.

I agree with you that if more RV manufactures took the approach you described above they would see a significant improvement in product, customer satisfaction, and less money wasted in rework/warranty/lost costumers and their employee retention and overall length of service would go way up. This reduces cost in many areas for them like absentee, training, and benefits paid. Unfortunately that message is still not getting to the upper management of most companies.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:12 AM   #47
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09 Harley, thanks for the long ramble. Enjoyed it. I just think that many RV producers are in for the short haul. Grab big bucks and move on. I think when you evaluate the industry history you'll see turnover patterns that match poor quality, poor service and management ready to move on to start over . The same shysters with different clothing. Great industry, huh?

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Old 05-17-2016, 03:43 PM   #48
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I realize that there was an article about a manufacturer that would hire anyone that can pass a drug test.
But most RV companies pay by the part built- you install 8 stereos today, you get $80, as well as most of the work-force is Amish. They start at 4am or so and are gone by 1pm. Bosses set the quota and the workforce throws them together so they can get home to their other chores. Given time, most of the workforce can produce quality parts. Look at the past, the old Carriage and Excel both built great units that generally had few problems. But they were more expensive and fewer were produced daily. But they couldn't compete on the pricing.
Quality starts at the top. If the boss doesn't insist on a top quality product, no one in the business will produce one.
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:03 PM   #49
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Which is the most important to a RV mfgr. QUALITY, SERVICE, or PROFIT.

Gosh, you readers are pretty smart !

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Old 05-18-2016, 08:11 PM   #50
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Just got back from my brothers. He called to say he had a 4 alarm emergency with his month old Forest River Champagne 5th wheel. Remember this is their new premier model!
When he was going from storage to his house the cabinet that has the electric fireplace mounted to it decided to come apart. He couldn't fix it so he called me. The fireplace was barely hanging on and the front wood panel, wood sides and wooden bottom and back were all coming apart. I couldn't believe how the cabinet was assembled. It was all held together with what looked like 20 gauge trim nails about 1 1/2" long. No wonder it fell apart. Poor engineering, worse assembly and complete lack of concern about the purchaser.
I guess Forest River is off the list for my new 5th wheel!
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:12 AM   #51
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...................The fireplace was barely hanging on and the front wood panel, wood sides and wooden bottom and back were all coming apart. I couldn't believe how the cabinet was assembled. It was all held together with what looked like 20 gauge trim nails about 1 1/2" long. No wonder it fell apart. Poor engineering, worse assembly and complete lack of concern about the purchase...................
That's a shame and one of the reasons I got rid of my Wildcat. 18g nails AND some glue would have been enough, but pocket screws and glue would ensure it would never come apart. But, as we have noted, speed is the order of the day and pocket screws would take at least twice as long, and as you know, glue is expensive.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:21 PM   #52
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Just got back from my brothers. He called to say he had a 4 alarm emergency with his month old Forest River Champagne 5th wheel. Remember this is their new premier model!
The upper option models, although sold as "higher end" just mean more stuff to go wrong, they're assembled on the same lines, by the same people. You'd actually have better luck with lower option models.

Look, the big manufacturers - Thor, Forest River, they're paying guys hourly to pass rigs through manufacturing. A lot of the defects get passed off to the dealers, as only a sub-set of those defects will be discovered and fixed (which makes it cheaper to make more units and pass off more defects). And because brand "reputation" seems be bottom of the list in terms of impact to market share, I'm not sure that this is going to change.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:05 AM   #53
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Managers usually get the workers they pay for and the union they deserve.
Second time you knocked the unions. There are NO union employees building these units. Unions would have long time employees and an apprentice program if they were in the rv industry. There would be no running around to get the job done and go home by 2. Instead you get constant turnover and inexperienced help building rv's. And yeah, they would cost more than you want to pay for a quality product.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:25 AM   #54
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Right now RV MFGs can't find enough help. They're opening up new plants and needing workers. The RV business is booming. They can't build them fast enough. All the new hires are on the bottom of the skill list. Lets face it, unemployment is relatively low, so anyone looking for a job right now is a loser. Sure there are some people with skills that got laid off because of reasons out of their control. But those are not RV assembly workers.
What the RV MFG needs now is a good recession. That will weed out the poor performing companies as well as the less skilled workers. That would leave only the best of the best.
Right now there's no real incentive for workers to keep their job. If the MFG fires them they can just go next door to the competitors plant. Low wages and no real chance for promotion leaves little incentive to do your best all the time.
Couple all that with the fast pace they want the workers to build and you have a recipe for disaster with every unit built.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:49 AM   #55
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One thing I am noticing a lot more in American Corporate culture, you are not the customer. You are the consumer. The customer(s) is/are the Shareholder(s). The corporation has one goal, to increase share value. To do that, they manipulate the quality of their product and workforce in an effort to maximize their ability to get you, the consumer, to purchase their product and increase their share value.


If we as the consumers wish to demand that level of quality, we need to be prepared to pay through the nose for it. Also, to be prepared to be completely priced out of the market and not be able to participate.


Caveat: I make no assumptions about the financial ability of any specific member here.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:18 PM   #56
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Here's some good news sorta.
Ex-Auto Workers Could Land RV Jobs in Elkhart | RV Business
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