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Old 09-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #1
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Has anyone here had or heard of problems with a Damon motorhome (or other brand) being found to be off-center/crooked on the frame/chassis?

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Old 09-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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Has anyone here had or heard of problems with a Damon motorhome (or other brand) being found to be off-center/crooked on the frame/chassis?

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Old 09-11-2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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Uh huh! It happens. Fellow on another forum had this problem with a new DP and I'm guessing he spent over a year in a tussel with the manufacture before he got it taken care of. I won't go to who, what or where but as I said, it can happen.

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Old 09-11-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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It may only appear crooked... Have it Laser Aligned before you decide. Motorhomes generally have a wider track in the rear and if the alignment is not right, it will look like it's going down the road at an angle.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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Turns out the dealer I got my MH from was crooked.But thats another story. Try driving through a water puddle in a parking lot and hold the wheel straight coming out and immediatly examine the tracks the tires leave on the pavement to get an idea of the state of the relationship between the front and rear axles.There should be no off-set apparent in the tracks.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #6
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Ha ha....It is nice to have a reason to smile when talking about this.

Marty - it's good to hear that we aren't alone, but it's not good to hear that it took a year for your friend to get his problem fixed. I have also posted on an rv.net forum to get help since w're kind of in a bind here. Over there some folks didn't seem to believe me at first. Thank goodness I'm not crazy after all.

Seriously, though - to explain our situation further, here are some more details (I'm copying from my other post to save myself time -please keep in mind that I am no motorhome expert, so forgive me if I'm not using the correct terminology.)

We used to have a class C motorhome, but this is the first class A motorhome we have owned. This is a new motorhome and we ordered it to our specification last year and waited months for it to arrive. On our first trip we noticed that the motorhome was pulling to one side. When we stopped at our destination my husband investigated and found that one wheel sticks out noticably farther from the bumper on one side than on the other. After having it inspected back at home, we were told that it appears that the motorhome "house" was welded to the frame crooked. The coach is properly centered over the rear axles, but as you move towards the front there is a widening gap between the center rails of the frame and the floor joists of the coach/"house". In the front, the measurements are almost three inches off center. My husband says you can easily see the gap and the crookedness if you lay on your back in the storage compartment and look up into the framing of the coach.

Although it IS covered under warranty, we are concerned that if the manufacturer tries to "fix" it by breaking the welds and moving the house around on the frame (as they want to do) it would cause more new problems in the future such as misalignment of doors, tiles cracking, possible leak and seal problems or even worse. These problems would no longer be covered under warranty AND who would want to buy a used motorhome from us that had some major issues like that?

We are not motorhome experts and are having a hard time getting straight answers. I'm sure here has to be someone out there that could help us determine the best route to solve this problem. We have done reasearch to see what our legal options are - yes, Texas has a lemon law and very strong consumer protection laws. We feel very confident that we would have an good outcome if we had to go that route, but would prefer not to have to resort to the hassles of lawsuits and court. Of course as the time goes on and we are not getting a resolution we are happy with, it might be our only recourse. In fact, we're having a hard time getting any response from the manufacturer to our emails the last few days.

That's the basics.....sorry it was so long, but I wanted to make it clear that I'm pretty darn sure something is wrong with this coach. Now we just have to figure out what to do from here. Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:31 PM   #7
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I recall a recent discussion (don't recall if it was this forum or another) of a new Damon that had a very wide gap between a rear wall and the floor -- lots of daylight and dust entering inside bedroom cabinets. Great quality control, those Damons!!!

On the Texas lemon law, it does exist and I think more states should have such a law. But it isn't an easy process. I know some folks who last time I visited with them in April had been in court over a year on lemon law action on their new coach (not a Damon).

Document, document, document everything as you try to get the mfg to work it out or to totally replace the motorhome. Because lemon law action isn't quick, you want that to be your last resort, but DO USE IT if you have to in order to get satisfaction!
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:48 PM   #8
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I am not an expert, but I am not sure the chassis would pull to one side if the house were not built squarely on top. It sounds like you first need to weigh all four corners, set tire pressures, have an all four alignment, verify brakes are adjusted properly and then see how it handles.
I am not saying that the house is not of square nor am I saying that this is something you have to live with. I would still pursue a remedy to this issue and in the mean time have the handling issue fixed.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:04 AM   #9
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Thank you both for the info. Unfortunately, this goes WAY beyond just a handling issue.

After learning the extent of the problem, I'm concerned about the safety of my family in this coach (we have three small children), so we have not been able to use the coach and missed out on a planned summer vacation in August. In the meantime we're still having to pay the large montly loan payments, insurance payments, and storage fees on a coach we aren't using.

Also, in my opinion (and the opinion of RV experts we've spoken to) we face a significant loss of value either way - if we let the manufacturer "fix" the unit by breaking the welds and moving it around on it's frame, there will likely be future problems CAUSED by this process. (BTW - has anyone here had experience with this?) As it stands now it is worth much less than we paid/owe because of the defect. I can't imagine anyone would would be willing to buy a used coach at blue book value knowing of these problems. Of course my husband and I would disclose any past problems to a potential purchaser because that's just the right thing to do. (Any good inspection would reveal the problem or weld adjustments anyway.)

It's unfortunate that we're even having to debate this with the manufacturer.....this is not something we should be expected to lose money, time, and emotion on since the coach was sold to us this way (without our knowledge). This has been very stressful for my husband and I already (as you can imagine), and I am sure that it will only get worse. I'm very disappointed but willing to stand up for what I think is right. At this point, I'm just looking for some friendly advice and information on what we can expect to deal with and how we should handle this.

(I also wouldn't mind hearing any "expert" opinions on the value/state of the coach if it was to be moved around on the frame and rewelded.)

Sorry - I am not normally a whiner, but I guess my frustration got the better of me today. And, on top of all the RV stuff, we are expecting Hurricane Ike to hit us hard this afternoon (we live just south of Houston). --- I'd better stop typing and go finish putting away the patio furniture and kids toys. Everyone please keep all of us near the Texas coast in your prayers today.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:20 AM   #10
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Looking at the entire problem seems a bit overwhelming. Break the path to a solution down into steps. Complete one step at a time. This situation requires immediate action on your part. Time is usually an enemy to an owner. My step by step recommendation is:
<LI>Contact your chassis builder and determine their authorized service center nearest you.
<LI>Have a two axle alighnemt completed. Document the before and after settings. If the service center has a laser alignment system, the before and after settings are easy to have printed.
<LI>At the same time contact your coach builder. Document all conversations and follow-up with an email.
<LI>Require the coach manufacturer to provide their authorized service center you are willing to take the coach to.
<LI>Follow the coach manufacturer's procedure to bring this issue to closure.
<LI>If the coach manufacturer will not close or closes the issue with a decision you do not agree with, your only recourse is to contact an attorney who specializes in this type of law in your state.[/list]The difficult part will be to follow the process required by the manufacturer of your coach and chassis, without emotion. Stay on the facts.

Eventually, you may be asked what needs to happen to close this situation. Be ready to answer this question with a specific, measureable action. An example might be,
1. to give you all your $s back for the current coach and part company with this manufacturer.
2. to give you all your $s back for the current coach and a 40% discount off MSRP for a correctly build coach of your choice. (This only applies if your really like the coach)
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:41 AM   #11
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I've seen some of them that would 'take advantage of the situation" but not really "crooked" Have you tryed disciplining it?

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Old 09-12-2008, 07:57 AM   #12
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For now, forget about the dam MH and take care of the important stuff. The MH issues can be worked out, it may take some time but it is not as bad as you think.

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Old 09-12-2008, 10:04 AM   #13
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When I took "out-of-state" delivery of my brand new Winnie, I followed the driver about 250 miles and I could see that it was tracking down the highway about 4-6 inches crooked. The 1st dealer service measured the rear axle "thrust" angle and it was good. They measured the box-to-frame alignment and said it was within 1/4". Winnie stretched my chassis frame by 20 in so Workhorse wouldn't cover any tracking problems. I was getting the runaround like you for something I could see with my own eyes.

As someone mentioned, hosing down a flat level street and driving thru it will show if the wheels & frame are straight. In my case the tracks were clearly off. I took pictures and emailed WH and Winnie. I finally got a 4 wheel alignment and the problem turned out to be the front wheels were toed out too much. Now it drives straight and handles great. This problem took months to get resolved.

I strongly recommend that you get under the rig with a digital camera and take pictures of the views that look crooked. Get a picture of your husband holding a measuring tape in the rear where you can get a baseline measurement. Then get a closeup picture of the actual measurement. Do the same in the front. These pictures should show the factory service management the facts as you see them and make the decision a lot easier for them to fix it for you. If they don't agree, then they can tell you where to take measurements. Clear precise pictures will document the problem and give you a stronger case if it ends up in court.

As far as quality/reliability of cutting the e house from the frame, I would only let the factory do that work. If they do the work, I would expect it to be as good as new when they get done. I would plan a mini vacation to visit the factory in Indiana if they agree to fix it. I'd be asking them to pay for the fuel to get you there and back. Once they finish, live in the coach a few days at the factory to test out all the systems and make sure everything is A-OK.

Not sure about Damon, but Winnie bolts the house to the frame and uses rubber isolators. I don't think there are any hard welds. Winnie uses a lot of black urethane rubber between the frame and the floor of the coach. It would take a lot of cutting with a knife to weaken the seal so it doesn't rip the floor apart as they hoist the box up to re-align. With factory know-how, I would expect the results to be transparent.

Good luck,
Bill (Dune'r) & Helen
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:24 PM   #14
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I just had my coach aligned at all wheels. It cost me $146 but I know everything is aligned now. You might consider getting an alignment, then you would have documentation of the things wrong to present to the manufacturer. Tiffin suggests an alignment after first year.


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