Central Florida Bus and RV World of Lakeland FL
I have been regularly coming to this site for research, recommendations and support during our entry into this RV lifestyle. So I thought I should take the time and return the favor in case it may help someone else.
I recently purchased a 2000 American Tradition as our first RV. My wife and I both enjoy the rig but had some issues with the purchase process that I would like to share. After the due diligence on the research of the manufacturer(s) we moved forward with a pre-purchase inspection by Central Florida Bus in Lakeland, FL. When I arrived there to get the results of the inspection I was a little disappointed at the lack of organization to the process and lack of communication from the person doing the walk-through with me. However, they confirmed some minor issues that we were already aware of and confirmed that all other systems were tested and worked as they should and that the rig was in great shape. Good news to us, we completed the purchase and took ownership. It didn't take us long to realize we did not know how to work the inverter system (the previous owner said he did not either since he never used it). Not understanding the implications of this we returned to Atlanta and we left the coach in Lakeland, FL and had the coach dropped off at RV World of Lakeland to address the minor issues and do the scheduled maintenance items on all of the house systems including cleaning and servicing the house & chassis batteries as well as testing the inverter and converter charging system. While in their possession they did notice an issue with the roof (a spot with a protrusion that may break through the rubber roof soon). Something that Central Florida Bus did not note that I feel they should have seen. RV World confirmed that they reset the converter/inverted to fix that issue. My father picked up the coach and parked it for me nearby for the next month. When I came back to Lakeland to pick up the coach on our way to a family camping trip I discovered the inverter was still not functioning. I drove it over to RV World of Lakeland and they brought out the gentleman that did the original work to look at it again. He looked around for about 15 minutes to no avail. He mentioned while I was in the coach with him with some surprise about how big the inverter was when he set eyes on it (not what I would expect to hear from the person who supposedly previously did the reset I paid for). I spoke with the service manager who claimed they reset the inverter and it showed no fault (without actually checking functionality) and that was their normal process for repairs. He acknowledged not going any further with the “testing” without any regret or attempts to correct except to explain that to dig further now would take an unknown number of diagnostic hours. My mind blown at their “process”, I realized these guys were going to be a waste of my time and I had a destination to get to, I left knowing I would never return to a place where that was acceptable. Within a day at camp I realized my batteries were dying and not charging under shore power. It didn't take me long to realize I had a real problem. My Inverter/Charger was fried. Additionally, my chassis batteries were toast. I find this type of failure hard to miss by either company that was paid to inspect the coach and paid to specifically address the troubled areas. None the less here I am. A few thousand dollars later I am back up and running with a new (working) inverter and charger system (thank to Kevin Mallory) as well as new chassis batteries. I guess now I can finally let my wife name the rig as I have been telling her to hold off on the personal attachment dynamic. The point to all this being that I think both companies failed us here but I will let everyone make their own determination on that and if and how they would use these companies in the future. Hope this helps someone specifically looking for background on these companies as I know it is hard to find sometimes.
Kevin & Kara
2000 American Tradition 37TRS, Spartan MM chassis, Cummins ISC 315
2004 GMC Envoy XUV (Demco Aluminator tow bar)