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Old 12-07-2019, 03:08 PM   #1
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AZ RV'r's Avatar

Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
Posts: 208
Fleetwood - treated me good!

Assuming that many of you think that REV / Fleetwood brand is somewhere in the middle of the pack. Maybe so... not the best... not the worst. Of course there will be people that chime in about bad experiences with REV / Fleetwood and maybe some with good….. Where do they fall on your list of brands? Maybe after my story they will move up a few notches. So here we go...

August - September 2018, we decided we would start looking for another new coach.

Heres little back story first….

From what so many of you preach here daily .... Tiffin and Newmar are the best! So thats what we started looking to buy.

Many of you said they were great and I am not arguing that point… you may be right. I just didn't find that in my case. Like the others on here have stated in recent months… some people are starting to find a higher number of defects than in years past… Maybe where they used to have a 98% approval rating from owners, from what I’ve been reading now maybe now it’s 90%. Maybe its since Bob is less involved. Please don’t pile on defending your Tiffin brand… here… I’m saying it .....“Tiffin makes a great coach” Moving on…

So when we went shopping to buy a Tiffin last year as the new year coaches started showing up on the lots. We had put credit card deposits to hold, two different close out 2018 Tiffin gas RV’s, in two different cities but walked away both times. We just couldn't go forward after we drove to see them in person. One was almost two hours away, and it was the last one they had on the lot, hence the deposit over the phone sight unseen. Maybe it was a full season of people walking in and out of them hundreds of times and breaking stuff or maybe it was, what others refer to as "lot rot" where they have sat too long. Either way, I called Tiffin. I personally talked with Tim Tiffin and explained why I walked away from the two coaches because of what I had seen inside and out. He said he is going to call the dealers and find out about the issues I saw with the two coaches, and would get his "sales guy" to find me another coach to purchase... also that he would get back to me with about what he had found... He didn't, and no one from sales ever called me back.

We also thought about Newmar, but unfortunately that really never happened, because we had some “must haves” they didn't offer a floor plan that would work. Again not to upset the Newmar lovers…. here, I’m saying it “Newmar is great!” moving on again…

My previous coach, we also bought brand new in 2015 was a Bounder, which we had great results with and drove over 35,000 miles with very minimal issues. We bought that Bounder on the road, not in our home state but in Harrisburg, PA. as the DP we were in was such a rolling pile… we had finally had enough with it and wanted it gone. Then like I said above, we went shopping last year in August - September and we upgraded coaches from the Bounder, to what we now own, a new 2019 Southwind 37F.

Now as many of you reading this will expect to read below is about how it was so great getting a new coach... WRONG!!!! It wasn't.

What you will read below, is EXACTLY what you expect and have heard about warranty work, and some of the problems buying new coaches today.

First when purchasing the coach at LaMesa Phoenix, the day of final walk-thru, we saw some light under the full wall slide and were concerned as we had not seen it before when touring coaches on the lot before deciding on that one. LaMesa assured us this was normal and just needed a simple adjustment. Go inside and do the paperwork and money stuff while we take it in the back and adjust it. When we came out 45 minutes later the slides were in and we were told it was fixed.... Boy was that dumb. This being the purchase of our fourth coach, you would have thought we had learned…. the dealership is not your friend and just wants your money and will say anything to get it!

The slide itself has worked perfectly mechanically with the “in and out” operation everyday since we purchased it, but we have had ongoing seal issues with air and light leaking around in many areas with the full wall slide on the drivers side of the coach.

Next, we had it back two different times, 45 days each, at LaMesa for punch list work, but mostly to address the slide issue. At the end of all this lost time the LaMesa service advisor told me,"We cant / don’t know how to fix this, take it back to the factory or live with it." On my new coach! REALLY!!!

So off to Indiana we went for our appointment last June 10th 2019. When making the appointment over the phone, they too underestimated the complexity of the job and attempted adjustments and minor things, but in the end it wasn't enough we still had issues shortly after we left. But here is where the story changes...

After contacting them again and telling them the whole back story and that the problems continued with the slide, they called me back after “meetings about me“ were conducted and said... "get it ready we are sending a driver to Phoenix to drive it back here." What???? Was he joking??? Nope, he told me to write up EVERY SINGLE THING I could find wrong, broken or out of place and they would fix it no matter how small. I gave them FOUR typed pages with dozens of large and small repairs and included 28 color pictures. I was nit-picking ridiculous stuff but they wanted everything... so I "stuck to to em!" With my long list emailed in advance, I also printed another copy with pictures placed in the coach. This last October it was picked up by a driver from a transport company called Don Rey Driveaway, and I was notified 3 days later it was at REV in Decatur, Indiana ready to start repairs Monday morning. About 3 weeks later after waiting for some vendors on parts they needed, I was told it was done. I spent a $1000 for basically a 24 hour round trip flight, hotel and rental car, just to see for myself if the work was "really done." I didn't want it back if there were still unresolved problems. After spending $******.00 on the coach when new, I couldn't cheap out now to make sure it was fixed right.

I drove in to REV service the next morning and met with my service advisor who walked me out to the coach along with two mechanics and a coach engineer, all who have collaborated over the previous weeks to make everything on my coach "new or better than new." After spending about 2 hours with them going over everything on my list top to bottom, and them showing me other improvements they found and made, EVERYTHING on my list with the coach was repaired to my satisfaction. The slide and all the seals were now perfect!

Lastly, after they called and said its done, the thought had never crossed my mind... How was the coach getting home? After all they paid to ship it back and fixed it. Maybe it was now on me to get it home. I looked up the same company, Don Rey on my phone and called. They quoted me $3100 which included the gas and driver to get my coach from REV back to Phoenix. WOW! I had no idea the cost, but you know what.... I asked and they said no…they had planned the whole time that they would be shipping it back at their expense. So except for extra milage on the coach it cost me nothing for all the work to be done and make my coach right again. When it was delivered back to me at home, the driver told me, the steps didn’t work properly… of course they didn't, it just left the factory working three days ago! But I quickly fixed it by just replacing the motor.

Yes, Ive got a couple thousand extra miles on the coach from the trip, but thats better that then living with any of the ongoing issues it previously had.

With an RV industry that seems to be letting a lot of us down recently…. This is one happy outcome with one happy (again) camper! Maybe REV and others are seeing what we are complaining about and finally trying to do something about it.

As the consumers, we can only hope.

Thanks for reading!

2019 Fleetwood Southwind 37 F and towing a 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL
We RV'd ALL of the lower 48 states and into Canada
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Zebulon, NC
Posts: 5,176

Many times it is the attitude that you approach them with that defines their response. We are just starting our second new one and contrary to public opinion had absolutely noting but the absolute best service from Thor although there was very little to service. Every call back went unaswered as there was none. Every tech question was answered on the first call and a couple of times I got call backs to make sure that all was well. The same with LCI about a jack issue under warranty.

Kelly and Jerry Powell with Halo (Lethal White Aussie), Nash the Rat Terrorist, and now Reid, the "Brindle we have no idea puppy"
2020 Grand Design Solitude 390RK-R
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:14 PM   #3
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,162
I am glad for you that you had a good experience.

Mine had a few things needed done during the warranty period that were fix by the dealer. Then the warranty expired.

Sitting 40 miles from home having a quick snack and coffee I'm looking at the microwave thinking it just doesn't look right. Finally I see that it is falling off the ceiling mounting. Seriously it is mounted to the cross support with two large self-tapping screws and four of the same on another section. My guess is that the farm boy over tightened them, for the most part stripping four of the six. Using self-tapping screws to support a 45 pound object suspended from the ceiling. SMH

I used rivet nuts to replace the screws and Locktite Blue.

I just finished removing the sliding doors between the living quarters and bath. Door wouldn't slide and was two inches off plumb. Seems as three of the five screws pulled out of the ceiling rafter. Seriously wonder it the screws were in the rafter or just nicked the edge.

I'm still contemplating on how I'm going to refasten the track. Was hoping that it was mounted to the metal rafter but no luck. I'm sure it is a piece of particle board.

I got a bath door that for some reason, some how, is out of adjustment and will override the jamb, making it a 100° swing rather than 90°. Still trying to figure out how to fix - got it jury-rigged now.

While these are the only major structural issue - so far - there has been some other minor problems with poor assembly.

All this plus in 23k miles. And I am bracing for more.
2016 Bounder 34T Anniversary Edition
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:19 AM   #4
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Forest River Owners Club
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Location: Central PA
Posts: 445
Thanks for sharing your story. A typical beginning but a rather remarkable conclusion. Understandably most folks with no problems (or good outcomes) don't bother to post, so it's informative to read one like this!
Steve & Carol
2014 Forest River Georgetown 351DS
2014 Ram 2500 6.4L & 2017 Surveyor 291BHSS - sold
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:18 PM   #5
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WOW, great story and from the sound of things, the factory gave you superior customer service. I'm glad it all turned out well.
Wringing the most out of life, above and below sea level
2019 Entegra Insignia 40B2
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:48 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
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Often we only hear about the bad cases in the RV industry. Most happy campers are focused on being happy and enjoying their coach.

I too had nothing but good experiences with the REV Group. When I purchased my coach new, there were a few issues. Most of the issues with the coach were addressed with either a technical support rep, a reimbursement from Fleetwood, or a reimbursement from the dealer. Every phone call and email was always returned.

It's the law of attraction. Give more understanding and kindness...and the universe will return your energy in kind.

Terrific outcome.

P.S. That Southwind is beautiful

Always Tinker
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