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Old 02-11-2011, 07:43 AM   #1
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Thor Motorcoach Rolls Out Gold Star Inspection Program

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON: February 10, 2011

Thor Motor Coach Rolls Out Gold Star Inspection Program

Elkhart, IN - Thor Motor Coach rolled out their “Gold Star Inspection” program today. The new program requires every motorhome to pass a 200+ point Gold Star Inspection before it ships to the dealership. In addition, after the dealer accepts delivery of each coach they will be contacted by a Thor Motor Coach Customer Service Representative. The Gold Star Inspection will include testing of the appliances, LP, electrical, heating, air conditioning and water systems. Each coach will also undergo a road test, high pressure 360 degree rain test, and a detailed review of the coach’s fit and finish.

“Requiring every motorhome we manufacturer to pass our extensive Gold Star Inspection process gets us closer to our goal of a ‘zero-defect’ coach. Our dealers need to know that when they are receiving a Thor Motor Coach product it’s in show ready condition.” – Bill Fenech President and CEO of Thor Motor Coach. Bill went on to say “The dealer’s feedback from the Gold Star Inspection program will be instrumental. It provides us the opportunity to be pro-active with our quality control and customer service efforts, and allows us to make improvements immediately”.

“The personal contact with each dealership is another way for us to let our dealers and customers know that Thor Motor Coach is committed to building a quality product while providing the best service experience in the industry”, stated Janaé Kurtz Vice President of Customer Service for Thor Motor Coach.·

More details are available at http://ThorMotorCoach.com/gold-star-inspection.php

Thor Motor Coach is a subsidiaries of Thor Industries, Inc. Jackson Center, OH (NYSE: THO), the world s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #2
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Good for them. If the program does what it's designed to do, TMC will be a step ahead of the rest of the industry &, possibly, make other mfr's do better at QC than they have been.

I read in another thread Peterson Industries (Excel) put a similar program in place last year. I wonder how it's working?

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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The automotive industry learned that inspecting for quality (and reworking and fixing) doesn't work like 25 years ago. You have to design it in.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tderonne View Post
The automotive industry learned that inspecting for quality (and reworking and fixing) doesn't work like 25 years ago. You have to design it in.
RV manufacturers have always been slow learners.

Are any RV manufacturers ISO compliant?

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

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Old 02-11-2011, 10:09 PM   #5
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Are any RV manufacturers ISO compliant?
Fred, Ford, Workhorse, Freightliner and Spartan are ISO compliant. It would be hard to do business at that level without the rating. a company like Winnebago Industries has ISO compliance certifications as well. I'm sure that most all of the major RV OEMs have ISO certifications too.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
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Fred, Ford, Workhorse, Freightliner and Spartan are ISO compliant. It would be hard to do business at that level without the rating. a company like Winnebago Industries has ISO compliance certifications as well. I'm sure that most all of the major RV OEMs have ISO certifications too.
So what happened to the coach manufacturers?

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #7
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This is what every manufacturer should be doing. Or maybe some are, but aren't advertising that to the consumer and/or media. Hopefully they're also looking at engine and related components, alignment, axle weight, etc. as well...

I can't believe the condition a lot of these new motorhomes are in after arriving at the dealer. Nowhere near ready to sell, and I'm not just talking about a little road grime. I've been pretty disgusted at what I've seen as a consumer looking to purchase my first one.

Rather than pointing fingers at manufacturer and dealer, I'd rather point that same finger at the overall relationship and process. I betcha the first manufacturer who gets this right, and I mean REALLY right, will see an incremental boost in both brand positioning and sales. I know that I'd, for one, feel a whole lot better having some standardized QC in place before plunking down this kind of $$, or rolling the dice without having one.

Would be even better to see this kind of consumer care extended to warranty work, as well as agnostic dealer servicing (to get rid of the "we put you at the end of the list if you don't buy from us" mentality).

Anyway, glad to see Thor is putting something in place!
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:07 PM   #8
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Good for Thor. Wish they had done it for the Four Winds Serrano we bought a year ago. Our "oops" list wound up at about two dozen items! Fortunately, our local Camping World is a great dealership and everything on the list has been fixed by them at no charge to us and who knows how much to Thor! Seems to me it would have been cheaper and easier for them to screw it together right the first time. (one of the items on the list was that a window was put in 90 degrees off!)

BTW, having carped about it, we love the Serrano.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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Boeing got into this stuff during the time I worked there. It took a lot of false starts before they caught onto the fact that a perfectly made Pinto is still a Pinto (sorry, Ford).

As one of the earlier posters said, quality has to be part of the design philosophy, not just tacked on at the end. Quality also has to be part of the materials selection process.

Despite the foofarrah in US advertising for the current Cadillac range, European reviews are uniformly scathing about the mediocre quality of the materials used in the passenger compartment and the lack of consistency in materials that are placed next to each other. VW does a much better job.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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We have had our 2011 Serrano 31V for almost two months and have only had it out on one short trip due to all the problems it came with. Pathetic dealer service, won't go back. We thought we finally had worked through all the problems and had it ready for a long spring trip when a tail light failed and the top front clearance lens blew off. I also noticed the so called Solid Surface Counter top (I guess this term can be applied to anything hard now days) is wet delaminating around the kitchen sink. We have never used the kitchen sink so this is a mystery, apparently the dealer did. Anyone else run into this? Also how about the cabinet doors that are dry cracked and look like they need refinishing?
As far as any improvement in customer service, well I guess I'm lucky I didn't need it under the old policy because it seems almost non-existent now. You don't even get a coach manual, you have to go online and print your own! When one headlight did not work they told me that because it was a sealed beam they could not send me a bulb/lamp. When is the last time you saw a sealed beam on a coach? I'm 70 just diagnosed with cancer, this is my last new coach (been RVing for almost 50 years) and was looking forward to one last hurrah with out the hassle I have had with an industry that has degenerated to this point.
I know I'm getting old and bitter! Well I was not bitter a couple of months ago!
As stated by others, I think when I work my way through most of these problems, this will be a good coach that we will be able to enjoy, it has a bunch of great features and I think the engine/chassis is a sound one.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:37 PM   #11
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It will get better, but it won't be as quick as you would like. First step is a good dealer. Not sure where you are, but oddly enough the Camping World in our area has proven to the be the best. They have patiently worked through everything on a list of about 20 things. They fix 1/2 dozen things, we go camping and find a few more. As they say - lather, rinse, repeat. We are down to one thing but it will wait for a few weeks - it is on record with Thor.

In the meantime, I'm taking care of a few things myself. I bought some blue locktite, some graphite spray, a can of silicon lubricant, and a box of washers. I went through the whole coach, tightening screws and hinges, and putting washers (w/locktite) on every door and cabinet handle. That helped a lot! I took the protective panel out under the kitchen to straighten out the kinked hoses to the water heater. I made a slotted stick to turn the drain valve for the fresh water tank. I checked and tightened various electrical connections and looked for pinched wires. And I sprayed graphite in all the basement locks, as all were sticky. And whenever I hear a squeak while my wife is driving I hit it with the silicon.

The last couple of trips have been largely drama free. Should we have to do this? Heck no. And I hope someone at Thor is monitoring this thread. But I still like the Serrano in living comfort, design, and ease of driving.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:26 PM   #12
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It will get better, but it won't be as quick as you would like. First step is a good dealer. Not sure where you are, but oddly enough the Camping World in our area has proven to the be the best. They have patiently worked through everything on a list of about 20 things. They fix 1/2 dozen things, we go camping and find a few more. As they say - lather, rinse, repeat. We are down to one thing but it will wait for a few weeks - it is on record with Thor.

In the meantime, I'm taking care of a few things myself. I bought some blue locktite, some graphite spray, a can of silicon lubricant, and a box of washers. I went through the whole coach, tightening screws and hinges, and putting washers (w/locktite) on every door and cabinet handle. That helped a lot! I took the protective panel out under the kitchen to straighten out the kinked hoses to the water heater. I made a slotted stick to turn the drain valve for the fresh water tank. I checked and tightened various electrical connections and looked for pinched wires. And I sprayed graphite in all the basement locks, as all were sticky. And whenever I hear a squeak while my wife is driving I hit it with the silicon.

The last couple of trips have been largely drama free. Should we have to do this? Heck no. And I hope someone at Thor is monitoring this thread. But I still like the Serrano in living comfort, design, and ease of driving.
Sure hope your right, I need a break and some fun! I spent the day pulling the sinks and faucets and sealing them. No sealer was used and the sink edges had cut through the painted on (Solid Surface) and allowed water to reach the low quality pressed wood sub-straight and now the counter top is pretty much toast and we have just 600 miles on the unit and have never used the sink. Sometimes the kitchen faucet burps out water after you shut it off and if you have the cover on the sink it will run off and on to the counter (wipe it up fast) and use a lot of wax on the counters. This is just incredible that they would put this total junk in a coach and sell it as Solid Surface even formica at least would be durable. So what do you do, fight to get them to replace it with the same crap, try to find a dealer to do it, leave it there while they order and tear out the bad one, and probably screw up something else in the process? No, I don't think so, as always they get off easy, I will use it until it becomes so bad I have to replace it with real Solid Surface tops. Meanwhile Thor is banking that all the others out there will last until the warranty runs out. I sure hope I'm getting close to the end of the serious stuff and can concentrate on the small fun stuff.
They have a chance for a terrific coach here with a few more bucks spent in the right places and a whole lot more quality control in putting them together. We were going to go with the new Tiffen puller but were swayed by all the storage and the great layout, this just seemed like a better design all around, now I wonder.
Enough sour grapes for now, better times ahead I'm sure!
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
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I bought a presidio in 2009 and just spent 1500.00 on small stuff that needed repair. Quality control would have prevented most of this expense, altho, it is my fault that i let the warranty run out. Anyway, my wife and are excited to get the RV season underway. Leaving friday for 10 day trip.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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I bought a presidio in 2009 and just spent 1500.00 on small stuff that needed repair. Quality control would have prevented most of this expense, altho, it is my fault that i let the warranty run out. Anyway, my wife and are excited to get the RV season underway. Leaving friday for 10 day trip.

You have a wonderful trip, this after all is what it's all about . We had our first 100 degree day here so looking forward to heading out ourselves as soon as I figure out why both AC's are not functioning. We are going to get through this, and we too will get out of the driveway. Man, I love the smell of burnt wires in the morning! Found the problem another bad connection!
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