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Old 10-24-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
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Major catastrophic problems-who has more

I was looking at new posts. Not looking for anything in particular. I started realizing that the high end usually diesel powered motorhomes, seem to have far greater catastrophic failures. Like axles ready to fall out. Suspension systems with wrong bolts, missing bolts, wrong size bolts big bulky tough as nails suspension parts cracking etc, stuff like that. Not to mention all the miriad electrical and computer related problems. I'm not saying the lower end usually gas powered vehicles don't have problems. I'm just getting an overall picture of what to stay away from in the future.

From what I read on here just this morning, Ford sells to 77% of the motorhome market. Yet, you don't hear of their components falling out, especially in the suspension. Rough ride, not super powerful like the diesels and generally portrayed as wimpy are the usual characterizations and/or complaints. I know, spark plugs blowing out years ago and other issues did/do take place but nothing like the big rigs.

I admit to a little envy of the bigger and much fancier motorhomes. I can afford to get one but the back of my mind says don't.

I noticed another unusual feature in the presentations of the big rig problems. Most people are still loyal. Even to companies that went out of business. Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but I don't see any blistering attitudes towards those companies.

What do you think?
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hi WOODYDEL,
From most of the owners I talk to, floor plan sells the coach. Next is decor and then coach features. When one purchases what one really likes, the tendency is to be loyal to what fits the way one uses the coach. During my warranty, I had around 200 warranty claims! One might think I would have gotten rid of the coach or at least not like it much. To the contrary, I like the coach very much. The coach has settled down to the usual maintenance and wearing out replacement items. The floor plan fits my needs perfectly. The coach fits my RVing needs perfectly. Hopefully, the coach will be serving my needs for a very long time.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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I have had no catastrophic failures

I bought a fairly high miles motor home a year ago and have had no catastrophic failures. I have many more serious problems with my old GMC gas motor home. But then I bought a Country Coach which is a very well built unit. Of the first year problems that I have had they were mostly from lack of attention from the previous flaky owner who never fixed anything.

I own a coach from a maker that went out of business. For me it is not an issue as I have no problems at all getting parts and service.

With regard to the ownership of a large DP I can restate something that has been said 500 times in this forum. The experience of driving a DP is so much better than a front engine gas coach that you should not drive a DP with no plans of buying one. It is hard to go back to the UPS delivery truck ride and NOISY motor.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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During my warranty, I had around 200 warranty claims!
200 WARRANTY CLAIMS! I haven't heard warranty claim numbers that high since I worked in a Chrysler auto service department back in the late 70's!
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #5
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I bought my DP new in 2006 and have had a hand full of issues mostly working out the initial bugs but nothing catastrophic. I think we just hear on the forums more about major failures. Look at the older Ford 460 F53 chassis where manifolds always failed and leak or the in tank fuel pump failures. The V10 had spark plugs blowing out of a particular cylinder these are all catastrophic failures. Like everything else the higher you move up into the food chain the better built motorhomes will be found. Entry levels motorhomes may have far more problems due to lower end of components that are used to keep the prices down. All the issues you mentioned can be found on a lot of gas motorhomes as well as diesels, just do a search for these problems and look at the models. As a rule a well built diesel from a reliable manufacturer will serve you for many years without any catastrophic failures. However every once in a while there is a lemon in the bunch just like automobiles but I think they are few and far between.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:19 AM   #6
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I would tend to agree with the 'catastrophic' observation about DP vs gassers. When we first had our Ultimate, it seemed like we couldn't get out of our driveway without something going wrong that required a tow or something else major at the dealer.

I think most of the engine related stuff is due to the fact that diesels 'self protect' more than gas. Lot's of stuff that goes wrong on a diesel tells the motor to derate or shutdown. Not so much so on a gasser, although you do get a light to let you know there's an issue. I don't expect any gas engine to go a million miles but Cummins, Cat and others advertise that their engines will if maintained correctly and given this self protection aspect, I believe a maintained diesel could make it to a million miles. Just won't happen in my coach. 9 years now and 'only' 62k.

And if you take the engine related stuff out of the equation, I think you'll find that the other 'major' problems are equally spread between DP and gas.

There was a time when DW was about done with this coach, but we stuck with it. And today, 9 years later, we still haven't found a coach that 'fits' us as well as this one.......that doesn't cost a gazillion dollars, of course.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
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I see a few things I would consider "catastrophic failure" from time to time, but no more so for DPs than for gas or towables ...and no more so on RV groups than on the auto groups I have frequented in the past. These kinds of lists focus on sharing problems, and solutions to problems, so one problem/failure or another is the topic of the moment. My DP has not been particularly problematic ...I've had a few irritating issues just like I've had with my Ford/GM/VW/Nissan/Honda cars over the years. An RV has a lot more to it, and more stuff to repair. But I can do more with it too.

I would guess we tend to see what we expect over all, but I would agree that some mfg'ers build more problems into the RVs than others do ...but that also is true with cars, computers, clothing, and anything else we buy. Like anything, we just need to do proper research so that we can buy smart, and avoid the lower quality mfgers in the product line.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi WOODYDEL,
From most of the owners I talk to, floor plan sells the coach. .
This was certainly true with us. Never owned an RV of any kind and a bit over three years ago began shoping for DPs. At first had our hearts set on a HR Endeavor but almost as an afterthought stopped by our local Winnie dealer. As soon as we set foot inside the Itasca Ellipse the Endeavor was forgotten. The floorplan just grabbed us and fit our lifestyle perfectly.

We were VERY lucky. Although I had gotten a lot of good information on this forum I really had no idea what I was doing when I plunked down all that money. We've had no major issues... although we probably did have >50 items addressed under wty.

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Old 10-25-2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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Big rig Problems

There are problems with any RV, but it seems the problems you have listed are quite major and should not be happening. RVIA has been the governing body for the electrical, LP System and Water systems on RV's. There are no regulating bodies that deals with chassis other than NHTSA who deals with mostly recalls. I agree with you about the Gas powered not having the as many problems as the pushers. I'm sure some of this is due to not having as many systems on gas models. The problems with many chassis's are they leave them in fields exposed to the elements for long periods of time. You may recall when Dodge decieded to get out of the chaissis business in 1979 they had about 10,000 chassis that were sold at hugh discounts and were still being used up until 1984. Most of these units had to have Fuel Pumps, Fan Belts, and many other things changed before they could be put into production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOODYDEL View Post
I was looking at new posts. Not looking for anything in particular. I started realizing that the high end usually diesel powered motorhomes, seem to have far greater catastrophic failures. Like axles ready to fall out. Suspension systems with wrong bolts, missing bolts, wrong size bolts big bulky tough as nails suspension parts cracking etc, stuff like that. Not to mention all the miriad electrical and computer related problems. I'm not saying the lower end usually gas powered vehicles don't have problems. I'm just getting an overall picture of what to stay away from in the future.

From what I read on here just this morning, Ford sells to 77% of the motorhome market. Yet, you don't hear of their components falling out, especially in the suspension. Rough ride, not super powerful like the diesels and generally portrayed as wimpy are the usual characterizations and/or complaints. I know, spark plugs blowing out years ago and other issues did/do take place but nothing like the big rigs.

I admit to a little envy of the bigger and much fancier motorhomes. I can afford to get one but the back of my mind says don't.

I noticed another unusual feature in the presentations of the big rig problems. Most people are still loyal. Even to companies that went out of business. Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but I don't see any blistering attitudes towards those companies.

What do you think?
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:01 AM   #11
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IWith regard to the ownership of a large DP I can restate something that has been said 500 times in this forum. The experience of driving a DP is so much better than a front engine gas coach that you should not drive a DP with no plans of buying one. It is hard to go back to the UPS delivery truck ride and NOISY motor.
Every time I look at a DP and start to think 'what if' all I have to do to bring my self down to earth is head over to my friendly mechanic's shop and look at the repair tickets. Ususally the difference in cost of repairs between Ford coach and DP coaches for any chassis related stuff is a difference of an additional digit on the bottom line of the work order. Neither seems all that much more reliable in the long haul in terms of frequency of repair, jst the cost of parts and labor.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:35 PM   #12
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It has everything to do with the manufacterer as to how reliable the coach, wether gas or diesel, is. My diesel engine manufacturer recommends a rebuild at about 400,000 miles. Now if you drive 2,000 miles a year you will never get the service out of that engine that you would if you were driving 30,000 miles a year. They were ment to be driven. Gas on the other hand will be just fine with short trips. As far as all the other, Chassis, electricle, steering flexing the frame, that is all manufacturer issues. I have seen people love and recommend their brand of motorhome even though they have to check the brakes with a heat gun at every rest area, go figure.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:00 PM   #13
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Major catistrophic problems / loyalty

As to the "loyalty" question, I believe that it is less "loyalty" and more, "Please don't let anyone find out that I am a $ 200,000.00 FOOL!",(or, "I made a $250,000.00 MISTAKE")!

A catastrophic failure would force most of us out of of "RVing for fun"

The more you equipment your coach has, (air cond, furnace, water heater, gen set, washer/dryer, inverter, TVs, sat dome, water system, holding tanks, microwave, LP system, refrigerator, etc.), and the more you use it, the more maintainance required (and the more chances for necessary repairs).
Higher end coach, more eqipment and systems to fail.
In a perfect world all RV mfg. would have perfect (or at least some) quality control.
There are less expensive ways to travel.
You could buy a couple of bicycles and 2 spandex suits for a few hundred dollars and spend years touring the country, (without anything on the above list).
You would have to pedal a lot (no naping while the other drives).
Seeing the USA from your bicycles is not the dream of many Americans!
Foolish, expensive and impractical as it is, what do you suppose the dream might be?
Mel
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