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Old 08-05-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
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We just purchased a 2006 Coachmen Epic 3180DS(?) with the Ford 6.8L 30-valve V-10 hooked to the 5-Speed transmission. It has been in for service for various minor problems more than it has been on the road. Last week the transmission went out (wouldn't fully engage 1st gear). The Ford dealer informed us that a shift solenoid was out but in the process, also informed us that our coach was sitting on a 2004 chassis with the 20-valve V-10 hooked to the 4-speed+OD transmission. Our coach dealer wasn't even aware of the switch. The service guys say it happens all the time, but we're better off with what we're sitting on.

That raises several questions. Is this common pratice with Class-A manufacturers? Do we have any recourse and what, if any? And are better off to keep what we've got or push for a corrected replacement.

Any experience, input or opinions on this type of situation would be greatly appreciated as we have scheduled a cross-country trip in a month and need to move quickly on the solution.

Thanks,
Hooch
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:30 PM   #2
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We just purchased a 2006 Coachmen Epic 3180DS(?) with the Ford 6.8L 30-valve V-10 hooked to the 5-Speed transmission. It has been in for service for various minor problems more than it has been on the road. Last week the transmission went out (wouldn't fully engage 1st gear). The Ford dealer informed us that a shift solenoid was out but in the process, also informed us that our coach was sitting on a 2004 chassis with the 20-valve V-10 hooked to the 4-speed+OD transmission. Our coach dealer wasn't even aware of the switch. The service guys say it happens all the time, but we're better off with what we're sitting on.

That raises several questions. Is this common pratice with Class-A manufacturers? Do we have any recourse and what, if any? And are better off to keep what we've got or push for a corrected replacement.

Any experience, input or opinions on this type of situation would be greatly appreciated as we have scheduled a cross-country trip in a month and need to move quickly on the solution.

Thanks,
Hooch
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:59 PM   #3
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Very confusing. It sounds like you have the correct tranny, 4+O/D makes 5 speeds. The old tranny was 3+O/D or 4 speed. Hard to believe that tranny would be found on a 2 year old chassis as it just became available on th 06 unles it was some sort of test setup. That could be why it is attached to the older engine.

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Old 08-05-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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Hooch, Is this your 1st rv? We're on our 1st. You can tell by rig info at bottom, my coach bldr left my chassis sitting for 14 mon before using it. To top that someone just this week posted how to read the mfg date of your tires. Mine turn out to have been made in Aug 02. They've got less than 6000 mi and already near warranty expire.

All this tells me to do a lot of research on next unit starting with VIN. If any component is found to be long since mgf and warranty period is thus shortened the coach builder will agree to cover lost time in writing or no deal and I'll be only too glad to post a warning here for all 60,000 readers to see. My builder has been made aware I post here. Pretty good hammer!
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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It is not unusual at all for a chassis to be an earlier year that the coach is titled. I.E. a 2006 coach with a 2005 chassis. Happens all the time since coach manufacturers buy many chassis and they sit on their lots until needed.

But not too often a chassis that is 2 years behind the coach model year.

Ron
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:02 AM   #6
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Hey boss, we are out of chassis for this 06 body. What do we do?
Boss: Grab that old left over 04 chassis out in the field. Brush out the bird nests first though.
It will get us through today,because we get more 06 chassis delivered tomorrow.

Not unreasonable to consider.
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Old 08-06-2006, 12:28 PM   #7
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It is sad but manufacturers I don't think really care. I am in the process of working with the Better Business Bureau and the state Attorney General on warranty issues. The manufacturer says its an easy fix, well if 4 dealers and themselves couldn't fix it, how easy is it and why isn't it fixed yet?!!!!

A new owner does have some recourse but it takes a lot of time and patience which I am finding out. Good luck.
Anyone for a class action suit against them?
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:40 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for the response so far. Being new to the MH scene, the input is comforting and very educational as we decide which way to proceed.

GStream40 -- Beautiful rig.

eandy -- If you would be so kind, please describe more of the details of your situation. I would be happy to trade more information for our mutual benefit. This just smacks of buying a used car that's been submerged in a flood!

alpinerve -- Please tell us more about your situation. Manufacturer, et. al. I am very interested to compare the similarities and share any further information we receive.

Thanks, folks,
Hoochman
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Ford VIN decorder

When we ordered our new toy I wrote on the contract that the coach, chassis, engine and transmission had to be 2006 or we would not accept delivery.

The above link should help you determine what you actual purchased.

Hope it helps

Jim
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:25 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by eandy:
To top that someone just this week posted how to read the mfg date of your tires. Mine turn out to have been made in Aug 02. They've got less than 6000 mi and already near warranty expire.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Eandy,
Don't panic. The tire build date has no effect on the tire warranty. Nor does the chassis build date have any effect on the chassis warranty. Tires are generally warranteed by tread wear anyway, but if it was by date it would be the date you purchased the them, not the build date. And the date the chassis was first put into service by the retail customer is the warranty start date for that.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:12 PM   #11
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Latest update (brace yourselves for a long one):

I hate to disagree Roamer, but I checked with a Michelin retailer today. He gave me the info to check manufacture date but, since the coach is in the shop, I can't check it. He also emphatically told me warranty IS based on manufacture date. I'll have to check on that further. Perhaps call Michelin directly?

Also, thanks to Jim in PA for your input. If we end up swapping this thing out, those stipulations will definitely be on the top of our list of requirements. Lessons learned, you know?

As far as the tranny, talked to the Ford dealer today. He had replaced the solenoid that the computer had identified as the problem, but the problem not fully engaging 1st gear is still there as soon it gets warm. (Insert favorite expletive here.) Now they are dropping the tranny completely out and tearing it down. No clue when we will get it back. (We have already cancelled three planned trips and it looks like two more are going go down the the drain, including the cross-country trip we had planned to meet family.)

As far as swapping out the unit: If it looks like a pig, walks like a pig, oinks like a pig, and smells like a pig. . . .? What do we do?

Has anyone, or know of anyone who has, had this problem? (Especially with Coachmen or the Epic?) How accomodating has Coachmen tended to be? Should we start shopping for a different brand or model? We really loved the Epic on the 22.5 wheels and it's appointments, but are they all this much trouble?

We always camped with the kids while they were growing up and dreamed of retirement and getting a MH and traveling the country, but never believed we could do it! In four months it has gone from unattainable dream to NIGHTMARE! I'm angry, my wife's doubting if it's worth it, and we're both totally confused.

What the **** do we do?

Thanks again, folks, for the input,

Hoochman

p.s.: We have truly fallen in love with this site in only two days. The feedback has provided the only comfort of information in a sea of unanswered questions. Thank you so much for the site and all who have input!!!!
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:02 PM   #12
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This is quoted from the Michelin web site:

Michelin Tire site

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> All Michelin® tires have a limited warranty, which covers defects in workmanship and material for the life of the original usable tread or for 6 years from date of purchase, whichever occurs first.

Some Michelin tires also carry a limited warranty for tread life or mileage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:28 PM   #13
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Hooch, There are so many OEM parts to fail added to the chassis components. Something is going to quit sooner or later. But you are not alone. There is an ongoing list of folks who have had constant problems. Since our rigs often cost as much or more than a house, we all expect far better.
Can't really add to what I'd posted earlier execpt it got my service mgr's attention when I told him I'd been "talking" here and on the phone to every one of the OEMs of bad gear. Hang in there.

Roamer, thanks for info. It does beg the definition of "purchaser". Coach bldr or RV buyer?
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:52 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info Roamer but it's in direct contrast to what my Michelin dealer told me. I agree with eandy that it begs the question: "which buyer? Coachbuilder or consumer?' or better yet, chassis manufacturer?

Thanks for the "hang in there" eandy! We're hanging and expected to have some bugs to work out but how many camping seasons do we need to fight this thing before it becomes a dream again? I don't mean to whine but we've already lost most of a full camping season to "bugs" as we just tried to shake this thing down before we went cross country this fall ( we took delivery and have been in shakedown mode since February). When is enough enough?
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