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Old 08-16-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Angry Industry Lack of Quality Control

I difficult time accepting the general poor quality control of rvs being built today. After spending all of my adult life in the auto industry both as a tech and an educator I have seen the auto industry brought to its knees by the same problems when Japanese autos showed the consumer a quality product. Harley went through the same issues under AMF and if the family had not bought the company and changed the issues they would no longer be in business. It should not be the norm for a list of 30 or 40 faults to be corrected after the first use. My daughter recently purchased a new towable and had everything from minor trim to major suspension faults. I had the same experience with my last new fifth wheel. Along with this poor quality is the seeming lack of concern by the dealers in correcting these faults with waits of months for repair.Consumers can correct this by not purchasing from brands that will not step up their product. Sale of a product in most states includes an implied warranty of serviceability. If your rv is in the shop for months this is obviously not useable. Maybe it is time to hold the manufacturers feet to the fire about these issues.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
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As long as folks buy them, this will not change.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #3
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We have RV'd for 15 yrs, QC has always been a problem. Dick said it all, as long as folks buy them, that's the way it will be. You remember the problems Detroit had in the late 70's-80's?

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Noble View Post
As long as folks buy them, this will not change.
Yep. It drives me crazy to see what they charge these days to attend sporting events and concerts too... but I gripe about it while I'm sitting in my $125 seat drinking my $12 beer.

I see no change on the horizon because it doesn't cause a problem for manufactures or dealers.

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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Some random thoughts here and a few quotes from me and some of my friends. First is from a tech and friend in TX " your house falls apart and you don't run it down the highway " A term I use all the time is LBT lowest bidder tech. What that means is you have a unit with hundreds of components from multiple manufactures all purchased as cheaply as possible.

That said there is plenty of quality units out there and several companies that produce them but you still have a ton of human issues. Take it from our side as a tech we don't get to spend days in them when checking them out so when we PDI a unit it is just that a pre delivery inspection we turn on everything and if it works we move on down the list often at very high speed to get them out on time. This means the best PDI tech in the world will still have people come back in a few weeks with a punch list many times it is customer error often people think they bought something else or expect it to do things it was not designed to do. Then there is the simple fact that a few hundred miles tends to loosen things up that appeared to be fine at inspection. Sadly some of this will as others said never change it is just too many systems in one small box.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoakken View Post
I difficult time accepting the general poor quality control of rvs being built today. ..... It should not be the norm for a list of 30 or 40 faults to be corrected after the first use. ...... Along with this poor quality is the seeming lack of concern by the dealers in correcting these faults with waits of months for repair...... Maybe it is time to hold the manufacturers feet to the fire about these issues.

For the most part, especially with entry to mid level units, you'll find solid agreement here and some of the biggest multi named manufacturers are the worst on quality. So far, and I keep the fingers crossed, I've only had minor problems with my 2014 Itasca 35F, but the Lippert systems, both leveling and slide mechanisms, are not even close to the quality I had in my 2004 Tiffin Allegro Bay. As a matter of record, I think that they are just short of junk. The unit I had previous to this Itasca, it was such a piece of junk that I only kept it for five months and of that it spent 4 1/2 months in the shop with multiple slide problems. I took a 20k loss just to get rid of it. I had no choice but to roll it into higher payments. I tried to be civil through the whole thing, but to no avail. I ultimately got advise from our son who is a lawyer of record in the state where I purchased the bad unit and his advice was dump the unit as the amount of time and money for litigation was not worth the results. He even advised that I turn down their 2k don't talk about offer.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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I really hate to say this but most of my career as an automotive HS instructor if I expected high quality work, which I did, and didn't get it I did not want to give those kids a good grade. Here's how I looked at my job.

I'm going to rotate your four tires. Do you want me to put 85% of the lug nuts back on (B-grade) ??? Will you accept 90% (A-grade)?? Or do you want 100% (A+-grade) of the lug nuts on and torqued properly??? Kids worked in a system:A,B,C,D,F and many times were happy to take a C or a D as long as they got credit. That system sucks and it breeds low quality. Kids over the last 20 years were simply satisfied with C's and D's. Believe me they did not last to long in my program. If they tried their best I worked with them until they reached a higher level. The administration constantly complained to me because of the parental calls they got concerning my program and my high expectations.

I was the bad guy not their kid. This is what I don't want to say but I believe is at the root of the problem. When every kid on the team had to win a medal because we didn't want to hurt his/her self-esteem we failed. Life is not about everybody winning. Some will fail, especially if you don't want to work for the grade. It's a LIBERAL education system. Ruled by those who don't/won't hold kids accountable to anybody or anything because they don't want to p### off the parents. Everybody passes and nobody fails. We've lowered the expectations and kids enter the work force not expecting to perform at their best or even close to it. "That's good enough." Or "You own it to me." is the standard these days. It's an entitlement society. If I can get it without working for it then that's what I'll do.

I fought it for at least the last 25 years of my career. Almost every week I run into students all over town who still thank me for how hard I made them work, my high standards and high expectations. I've got one student who owns/operates four of the biggest motorcycle/marine shops in the area. He was to busy becoming very successful to get a college education.

TeJay
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:39 PM   #8
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I think one of the problems is they are not worried about a resale just the first sale.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:52 PM   #9
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Bottom line, if they build it, someone will buy it, no matter the quality!
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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Tejay, one of my best and most respected Industrial Arts teacher had the idea that you either got an A or an F in the class....His theory was that if you didn't do the best job you could and pay attention to detail, then that wasn't fair to the customer. Sure some students were better than others and had natural talent, they usually just got the assignment done quicker, but everyone did it right, even if they had to start all over again, and yes some students failed. And guess what they are still failing today(or dead due to drugs and alcohol issues).

We actually feel that ours was quality built and are very happy with it. And Newmar is very good about fixing things that come up. But still there were things that were missed and it wasn't due to it being a MH driven down a road in an earthquake mode. Those are the things that I feel should be addressed industry wide. I think those manufacturers whose MH's that require weeks if not months in the shop to be fixed correctly, should be charged a daily rental fee(first hour counts as a day) paid to the purchaser for their loss of use, now that would clean them up in a hurry...just my thoughts
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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Well said Sir, and we couldn't agree more.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #12
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At age 11, May, 1957, I went to work part time as a "semi skilled" construction laborer on weekends , holidays and summer vacations for my father in the family business doing ceramic tile and flat brick work. On one multi million dollar home site in Highland Park, TX we worked, had a sign in the entry of the house that stated "If you don't take or have the time to do it right the first time, when will you find the time to redo it" It struck a cord that I have never been able to shake, and I have realized over the years, I don't want to shake it. I always try to do my best, I expect it, and in return, I know that that few demand the same of themselves.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:04 AM   #13
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Shoddy QC is the main reason we haven't replaced our coach. We've looked many times at getting a new one, but just by taking a drawer out, or looking in the nooks and crannies I can ALWAYS find things that shouldn't be. I'm not about to spend that kind of money only to have a long list of things that need to be fixed. Things that should have never been allowed to get out the door. So in the meantime we'll just happily go down the road in our paid for 14yr. old coach.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:29 AM   #14
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The argument (your house down the road) is simply poor engineering. You can fix it. I did QC for the space shuttle which was for all intents and purposes a very complex RV and yes there were fatalities, and considering the complexity I am surprised there were not more. I have imported things like a gas point and exterior shower from the UK because of the poor quality of what is available here and how many times have I heard replace your WAFCO converter with a Progressive Dynamics. The manufacturer save a few dollars buying the cheapest quality converter they could. The Japanese car imports forced the big three to get their act together.
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