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Old 11-23-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
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Location: Oswego, NY
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Carefree Electric Awning Failure

I have a 14 month old 5th wheel trailer with a Carefree Travel'r power awning installed. Below is my correspondence with Carefree and their response. Judge for yourself.

CUSTOMER INQUIRY:

52 days after the 1 year warranty expired, my awning arms became bent severely because the gas strut froze in the fully extended position. The awning arms stuck about 4 feet out so I could not travel to a servicing center. I had a mobile RV tech replace the awning arms with adjustable pitch arms (both ends) because the tech was informed that the fixed pitch arms were no longer available. I am requesting some good faith reimbursement for the cost of the new arms ($948.00) since the awning was less than 2 months beyond the warranty and because it's failure left me stranded for a week in a RV park until the arms could be replaced. receipts and photos available.

CAREFREE RESPONSE:
Dear Mr. Davey,

Good afternoon and thank you for your email. It is unfortunately this has occurred, but you are outside your Carefree warranty period. I have attached a copy of the Retail Warranty Procedure/Policy for you to review. I did notice that the part number listed below, OV2553-MP is the Fixed Steep Pitch Travel'R arms which are still available It is the Fixed Flat Pitch version that was discontinued. We are unable to offer any reimbursement.

Kim McEachern
Customer Care Representative
Carefree of Colorado
2145 W 6th Ave
Broomfield, CO 80020


MY RESPONSE TO CAREFREE
Kimberly,
I knew I was outside the warranty period, as stated in my email. FYI,
my 5th wheel trailer has 3 Carefree Slide toppers - 2 of which began to fail
after only 8-9 months of ownership. Then my Carefree power awning failed
exactly 52 days beyond the first year of ownership. By the way, the LED
light strip installed in this awning began to fail almost immediately upon
purchase of the trailer and now only about one-quarter of the LED's work.
To say I'm disappointed with the durability and quality of Carefree products
is putting it mildly. I did NOT ask for my entire out of pocket expenses
($1,250 ); and I did NOT ask for reimbursement for the added expense for the
delay in my trip. As far as the availability of the correct replacement
arms, please consider that this occurred when I was on a trip 1500 miles
from home. The repair tech dealt with Arrow RV in Clearwater Florida and
ordered parts based on their recommendation and a conversation with "Tony"
who answered the Carefree tech support phone.
Your company obviously has no regard for customer satisfaction or repeat
business. I will never own or recommend a Carefree product again, and I
will tell my story on as many RV owners forums as possible (iRV2; RV.net; KZ
Family forum; KZ Owners Group and Escapees.net). I will also contact the KZ
factory and explain the poor performance of your products and recommend that they change suppliers.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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If nothing else you vented well. As you travel by the huge inventory RV lots have just give them the hand trapped in the elbow and wish them well. Thanks for sharing as it may help others with the same awnings. Good luck and keep camping
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davey View Post
I have a 14 month old 5th wheel trailer with a Carefree Travel'r power awning installed. Below is my correspondence with Carefree and their response. Judge for yourself.

CUSTOMER INQUIRY:

52 days after the 1 year warranty expired, my awning arms became bent severely because the gas strut froze in the fully extended position. The awning arms stuck about 4 feet out so I could not travel to a servicing center. I had a mobile RV tech replace the awning arms with adjustable pitch arms (both ends) because the tech was informed that the fixed pitch arms were no longer available. I am requesting some good faith reimbursement for the cost of the new arms ($948.00) since the awning was less than 2 months beyond the warranty and because it's failure left me stranded for a week in a RV park until the arms could be replaced. receipts and photos available.
I have never seen a gas strut freeze in the open position, it's virtually impossible for that to happen. Who made that determination? Generally when I run across situations like this it's due to wind damage bending the frames.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davey View Post
CAREFREE RESPONSE:
Dear Mr. Davey,

Good afternoon and thank you for your email. It is unfortunately this has occurred, but you are outside your Carefree warranty period. I have attached a copy of the Retail Warranty Procedure/Policy for you to review. I did notice that the part number listed below, OV2553-MP is the Fixed Steep Pitch Travel'R arms which are still available It is the Fixed Flat Pitch version that was discontinued. We are unable to offer any reimbursement.

Kim McEachern
Customer Care Representative
Carefree of Colorado
2145 W 6th Ave
Broomfield, CO 80020


MY RESPONSE TO CAREFREE
Kimberly,
I knew I was outside the warranty period, as stated in my email. FYI,
my 5th wheel trailer has 3 Carefree Slide toppers - 2 of which began to fail
after only 8-9 months of ownership. Then my Carefree power awning failed
exactly 52 days beyond the first year of ownership. By the way, the LED
light strip installed in this awning began to fail almost immediately upon
purchase of the trailer and now only about one-quarter of the LED's work.
Did you bring all this to the attention of your dealer you purchased it from? What was failing? Was the fabric pulling loose from the rail or the roller? In most all cases of slide toppers failing in some manner in such a short period of time, I find the problem to be with the initial installation from the factory being incorrect. Generally they are not spaced far enough from the top of the slide out and rub badly. However this is the coach manufacturers problem, not Carefree's. Regarding the LED's, did you bring this to your dealer's attention? What did they say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davey View Post
To say I'm disappointed with the durability and quality of Carefree products
is putting it mildly. I did NOT ask for my entire out of pocket expenses
($1,250 ); and I did NOT ask for reimbursement for the added expense for the delay in my trip. As far as the availability of the correct replacement
arms, please consider that this occurred when I was on a trip 1500 miles
from home. The repair tech dealt with Arrow RV in Clearwater Florida and
ordered parts based on their recommendation and a conversation with "Tony" who answered the Carefree tech support phone. Your company obviously has no regard for customer satisfaction or repeat business. I will never own or recommend a Carefree product again, and I will tell my story on as many RV owners forums as possible (iRV2; RV.net; KZ Family forum; KZ Owners Group and Escapees.net). I will also contact the KZ factory and explain the poor performance of your products and recommend that they change suppliers.
If I were you I would direct this right back to those at Arrow RV. Let THEM deal with Carefree as to finding blame for giving you the incorrect information. Please don't misunderstand my post, I'm not "pro" Carefree, I'm simply pointing out that your entire situation should have been tossed right back into your dealer's lap - as quite honestly, this all is most likely due to the coach manufacturers installation of the slide toppers. You mention that much of the slide topper issues and LED lights were having problems months before your warranty period expired. As for the power awning, quite honestly, from the description and the picture, it sure looks like wind damage to me as that motor is not strong enough to break those arms.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
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I am sorry that you had a problem. Having owned a company that gave a 3 year warranty with our product, on the 1095th day the warranty was up. When a warranty is up it is up. It sounds like you started having problems while you were under warranty but elected not to say anything until after the warranty period. How does Carefree know if this was not wind damage? To bad mouth a company that is honoring their contract, I have to agree with the company, that warranty was up.. out of contract, finished. Where do you draw the line for warranty claims?

I had a similar experience with Blue Ox, I talked with my wallet and bought a different brand with much higher quality.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:00 AM   #5
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It's very sad to hear when things like this happen just outside of the warranty period, But I have to agree with Brobox, "When the warranty is up, it is Up"

I understand your frustration, but I don't understand exactly what Carefree did wrong that would cause you to badmouth them?
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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I'm will be one of the first to call something a Piece of S!!! but looking at the picture why not stop retracting when it was obvious it was stuck. The motor is a lot stronger than I thought to bent the awning arms.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #7
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Awnings

Hindsight is a great thing, but does not solve the problem. Do Not Blame you for being upset. Looks like the only one to benefit from your misfortune or problem with what ever caused the problem, was the guy that did a repair.
I agree with the other posts, you should contact your selling dealer for help.
They would be most likely the source of goodwill you are looking for.
Remember though, goodwill is given, not expected or demanded.
At least give them the opportunity.
They did not default, only disappointed you from Carefree.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Wow . . . so many times we've had things fail after the warranties expire. Very common. Very uncommon that the manufacturer would have anything but sympathy, though. Might keep you from buying their product again, which is not something they take lightly I suspect, but also helps keep them in business.

Doesn't hurt to ask for Good Will . . . just have to be prepared not to get it.
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