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Old 11-08-2007, 03:13 PM   #15
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Cruzer is 'Right ON' We are running what we can afford a '05 Kountry Star. and Luving it!!!

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Old 11-10-2007, 05:19 AM   #16
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Like I said I am driving what "I can afford"

But just thinking!!! Do the people who can afford the 1 million dollar Prevost or Marathon have the same quality isues???
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:10 AM   #17
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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 Latitude:

Do the people who can afford the 1 million dollar Prevost or Marathon have the same quality isues??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A friend who passed away recently was the past President of the Marathon Owner's Club and while he certainly had several issues with his H-345, there was NOTHING like what we read from "conventional" RV manufacturers....

You have to remember, those coaches are built in a lot different fashion....
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Old 11-10-2007, 12:40 PM   #18
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Yes Bob I guess its the 'Biuld more and faster' Production line thing!!!The more you can produce the better and very little or no quality control.
I guess that is why we always have something to do when you own a MH!!!!
But it was not much different with the boats I owned over the last 20 years!! I was always fixing,changing or adjusting something!!

Rick
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:13 PM   #19
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When I purchased automobiles in the 60's and 70's made by GM and Ford there were always quality issues and it took the foreign competition to make the US automakers see the light.

The GM autos I have owned in the 80's, 90's and recently, I have owned 14 brand new GM cars, have improved to the point that I do not recall any quality issues.

Maybe RV manufactures will have to make Quality Job 1 just like the automobile companies did to change over the past twenty-five years.

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Old 11-10-2007, 05:24 PM   #20
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If the Japanese ever get into the motorhome business, look out. Every domestic builder would be in trouble. I would have to agree that some things have improved over time, but there's still a long way to go. Everytime I read a manufacturer's maintenance recommedations to check the roof for leaks every six months and reseal as necessary, I want to shout to them that would not be necessary it the design was not flawed.

I spent many years with the maintenance end of the commercial bus world. Roof leaks are rare in these vehicles, as they are designed well and expected to last 15 to 20 years in revenue service. I realize they do not have all the holes up there for everything imaginable, but there's a cure for that too --- don't do it. Engineer it differently.

I currently have an older coach, partly to avoid all the depreciation these things incur, and partly because I can do most of my own maintenance and enjoy doing it. I constantly see poorly engineered things. Today I replaced all the screws in my Carefree window awnings (the screws that hold the arms to the coach). Reason: all the screw heads were rusting and rust steaks were forming. Those awings are very nice looking, with extruded arms, nice paint, and generally have a nice appearance and good design. Then the coach builder comes along (or dealer) and attaches them with cheap screws that will only last 7 or 8 years before failing. To me, that is unacceptable.

Another one for ya ---- on all the new motorhomes I see, they are still using plastic parts on the outside. There's the refrigerator vent/door, hand rail, door holder, and the list goes on. The worst of these is the outside fridge vent. That's a large vent. It is, more often than not, part of the graphics package or has body paint on it. In addition there is usually some area that is not painted as well, so you have two different zones --- one painted and one not. Guess what happens after 5 or 6 years to the unpainted part. It turns yellow. So now you've got this nice looking, expensive coach with a nasty looking fridge vent with yellow streaks on it. To get a replacement, you also have to visit a body shop because part of it is either painted or has graphics. It is not cheap to repair this. Bad design again. Make it out of aluminum so it never has to be replaced. The same for the fridge roof vents.

Well, you guys get the point. Didn't mean to get on a rant here, but I'd much rather have good design and less of the "fancy" things they are putting in the coaches now. A good start would be to not use wood for anything unless it is an interior appearance piece (except for the subfloor). No luan in the ceiling (waiting on a future leak to destroy it), on the back of fiberglass covered walls (delamination), or any structural member (ceiling joist, floor joist, wall structural members). Doing this would make the coach's last longer, maintain a higher resale value, and give better service to all of the owners during it's lifespan. If you want an example, take a look at the old GMC coaches from the 70's. They held their value for years and years past anything made during the same time period. They had aluminum bodies, aluminum structural members, and aluminum floor joist. They had their problems, but the bodies on them were usually not part of it. They stayed intact well beyond all their competition. Yes I know, it's available now for a price. Unfortunately, the only chasis it's available on is a commercial bus chasis which is way overkill for most of our applications (and most of our pocketbooks too). A new bus chasis (empty of course) is about $325,000 this year. And then you need to have the motorhome part built in it. If we could get something in between. Anyway, you guys get the point.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:54 AM   #21
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As a retired Director of Quality Assurance, I can tell you that motor home Quality is a perception. If I have a good trouble free trip, and the wife is happy, I feel good about the motor home. The feel good attitude is what the manufacturers strive for...a perception.

I would challenge a motor home manufacturer to post on the window sticker the defect rate, in defects per 1000 units, for the day the unit rolled out, but I know they would not even think about it. Many years ago a car manufacturer was thinking of this, but quickly realized we would not buy the cars with the higher defect rates.
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:45 PM   #22
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I recently went on a tour of a certain motorhome manufacturer located in Perris, CA, with palm trees on the logo.

The gentleman that went with me on the tour has a new top-of-their-line motorhome from that brand. He was killing time while his motorhome was in the shop for repairs.

Much to the dismay of the tour guide, HE SAID HIS "PUNCH LIST" OF THINGS WRONG WITH HIS COACH CONTAINED 176 ITEMS SO FAR! Swell!

Run Forest Run!
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:33 AM   #23
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I hate to say this but part of the problem is the American worker! He/she doesn't take pride in their work anymore and it seems to be getting worst with every generation. The American worker demand high wages, and produces sub-par work. That's one of the reason that a lot of companies are moving off shore. My girl friend use to work at GE. and the stories she tells about the workers there would make your head spin. She is so glad she was able to get out of there.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:27 AM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I hate to say this but part of the problem is the American worker! He/she doesn't take pride in their work anymore and it seems to be getting worst with every generation. The American worker demand high wages, and produces sub-par work. That's one of the reason that a lot of companies are moving off shore. My girl friend use to work at GE. and the stories she tells about the workers there would make your head spin. She is so glad she was able to get out of there. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry, but I do not agree with you - at least totally. I know that there are the type of people that you describe out there and maybe in a noticeable percentage. But... the majority of American workers seem to want to do a good job. I've been with the same company for going on 35 years and I can tell you that the company as a whole used to take pride in all that was done. Today, it is all about how much more work I can do and how many more hours I can work. There is on "productivity" increase. By definition, that would mean doing more with less. No, today, we are doing more with a lot more. More hours, more expenses. Our quality has slipped significantly. I've had the occasion to work with two auto makers, one American, one Japanese. My perception of the difference is that the management in the Japanese company was a lot less screwed up and much more focused. The workers can do a lot better and higher quality job if they aren't being jerked around all of the time and if someone would take the time to spell out the objectives clearly. More often than not, American management is so focused on themselves as individuals and undermining the fellow managers that there is little time left to point the troops in the right direction. I've been in management several times in my career and won't do it again just for those reasons. Good leaders (Southwest Airlines, for example) have a way of setting objectives and energizing the workforce to meet them. Notice that I didn't say "trying to beat the workforce into submission."

When the RV makers value planning and the work of good engineers, the RV product quality will improve.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:28 AM   #25
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Who is responsible for poor RV quality? YOU ARE. You, the buying public. RV dealers will tell you that you are interested only in the 4 F's - fabric, floor plan, finance and finish. How many of you even pull out a drawer to see what is behind it? Most times it is builder's trash!

Quality in manufacturing comes ONLY when there is a Quality Assurance program - some sort of one. Even inspection would improve quality, but manufactures will tell you that most buyers fix most of the problems themselves, and dealers handle the rest. How many times on this forum have you seen owners dismissing rotten quality because "It is a home going down the road, shaking and bumping - you have to expect failures."

So if you want a quality motor home, inspect it yourself. Pull out every drawer and look behind it with a flashlight. When the salesman tells you they will fix something, tell him "No you won't - because I am not buying it!" Crawl under the entire coach and see how it is put together. Look for wires not even in a loom.
At an RV show I once saw a quarter million (or more) upscale coach with absolutely beautiful two-tone cabinets. Viewers were going ga-ga over the appearance. But not one, not a single cabinet, had both doors meet evenly at the bottom, and this for a show!

If you want quality, demand it. You can get it, but from only a few manufacturers. One more point - responses to quality issues on this forum too often say "But I also have an XYZ and have never had problems - I would buy another." People, with no QA program, you get widely varying quality from the same factory! The team that makes your coach may be experienced, while the one right behind it ends up being a piece of trash! Remember RV's are not like cars from an assembly line. Quality in one says nothing about quality in the next.

Gus Weber
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:23 AM   #26
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And when you and I don't buy that shiney new rig because we are concerned about the lack of Quality in it's construction, this will get back to the manufacturers. Lack of sales will get their attention real quick.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:11 AM   #27
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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 Latitude:
Like I said I am driving what "I can afford"

But just thinking!!! Do the people who can afford the 1 million dollar Prevost or Marathon have the same quality isues??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While nothing is bulletproof, you can minimize the chances oif "issues" later on by engineering and building it better in the first place. I recently helped a fellow camper with a $1.8 million dollar Prevost (okay, the word "camper" might be a misnomer here ). He had an issue with his automatic sewer hose retraction mechanism that wasn't working properly. I helped him out and in the process got the Grand Tour of his coach. When I look at the fit and finish and the way the simple little things were handled I saw a huge improvement over the way any class A is built. They were not bashful about using stainless steel wherever needed and the wiring was neatly arranged, terminated, and clamped is if it was in the space shuttle. Little things like accessory mounting brackets, etc are all part of the attention to detail that you just won't find in any class A. He related how he had a few minor debug issues (it was basically a new coach) but nothing like what he ever experienced with his previous class A (Country Coach - not exactly bottom of the barrel either). This was his second Prevost and he was very happy with them. Of course all that "sweating the details" takes extra expense and time. It typically takes 4 months to build a Marathon Coach while most class A RVs run about 27 days. All that extra time gives you a better product but it does cost and that puts it out of the average RVer's range. That's why we wind up with compromises.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:30 PM   #28
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I have been very happy with the quality of my 2004 DSDP. We have put 40,000 miles on it since it was new, in 5/04. My only complaint was that Newmar put 70 series tires on it, which I changed to 80 series, several months ago.
I noticed my ball joint, rubber boots, were deteriorating. They were replaced under warranty, which took about 5 hours, while I waited, other then that the MH has been virtually trouble free.
I would be afraid to trade it in for a new model MH, even a Newmar, after reading about all the problems and downtime new owner's are experiencing.
Tom
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