Well several months ago I would have told anyone to get a Newmar hands down! Well things have changed on that front. I have a 2000 American Star 34RLCK. It has nothing but loving care heaped on it! Clean and treat roof 2 twice a year. Two wax jobs a year (but now doing it with a electric buffer). Has never been set up as a gooseneck. Towed with a 16K Reese with 4 way swivel. Well I started to develop two cracks from the bedroom slide area in the Filon skin. Checked to make sure that the slide was not dragging on the bottom of the opening. It was not, local Newmar dealer called the factory and they stated that the unit is out of warr. and would not cover any repairs.
This was when the cracks were less than 1 inch each. I drilled a .062 dia hole at the end of each crack and kept an eye on it. Well they blew by the hole and continued to lenghten. At this time I found another crack coming from the top of the living room slide angled toward the rear! At this point I contacted Newmar and e mailed back and forth with a Chris De Lapaz in the customer service department. As I stated to Chris you could tell the unit has not had many road miles as the tires still have a few of the nubs left on them (I always keeps the tires covered anytime it is stopped). I was most concerned with something being broken in the frame area up front and just was flabbergasted that I had another crack in the rear. I took several digital pics of each crack and sent them to Newmar.
Following is my orginal mail with their reply.
Please have this unit inspected by a Newmar dealer and have the shop
take the pictures and forward them on to our Dealer support staff, as
far as helping we would have to review, since this unit only had a 1
year warranty and the unit would be 4 years old on 4-14-04...as of right
now there would not be any help.. But have the dealer inspect..
Newmar Customer Service
Posted At: Thursday, March 18, 2004 9:36 PM
Posted To: 2004 Customer Service
Conversation: User Comments
Subject: User Comments
Name: Grant Ellis
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Work Phone Number: 918-698-5161
Mailing Address: 2608 South Walnut Ave
City: Broken Arrow
Zip Code: 74012
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): 1N8RL343Y0036309
What Newmar product do you currently own?: American Star
What is the year of your unit?: 2000
Newmar Serial Number: 36309
Please leave any questions or comments in the box below: Let me start by
telling you I really love my American Star! But I have discovered a
problem. There are cracks in the filon skin extending from both bottom
corners of the bedroom slide. They extend apox 1 inch, these were
about a month ago. I just picked it up out of storage and de-winterized
it. That is when I now noticed a crack in the skin comming from the top
of the living room slide extending toward the rear of the unit at a 45
angle. It is about 1 1/2 inches long. The unit has not had that many
miles on it as it still has the orginal tires that still have the nubs
the edge of the tires! If you would like I can take a digital picture
the cracks and e-mail them to you. My question is what would be
in the repair, and being as it has had nothing the best of care could
Newmar in the interest of good customer relations and the reputation
Newmar has had for quality over the years help on this repair? I am not
asking for Newmar to totally pay for this and would not expect that but
would like to know that there are no frame problems! I purchased the
Newmar as I knew that other brands have had problems with bedroom slides
breaking but had heard nothing but glowing praise on these units! I am
hauling it with a 95 CrewCab Ford Powerstroke. Long bed duel rear
Reese 18K 4 way rocker, and Firestone Airbags inflated to 50 psi.
If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to
contact me by phone or e-mail!
Thank you for your consideration on this matter!!
(After talking to the dealer and finding that they did not take any pics I sent another e-mail to Newmar. It is below)
I looked in the history to see if Daves Claremore Rv had called in and
They did call us in Dec. regarding the stress cracks and yes it was
denied due to the fact that the unit was out of warranty. You can take
it back if you want to, but Newmar will not authorize the shop to do the
work. You will have to pay for the bill.. Being that this unit is out
of warranty we can not justify covering.
From: grantaellis [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2004 10:38 PM
To: Chris De Lapaz
Subject: Re: User Comments
Mr. De Lapaz,
Thank you for your reply! I have taken it by Deans RV in Claremore.
told me that you would not be able to help ( I wondered if they even
called)? I just could not believe that as all that I have heard about
is the quality of work they do on everything! I don't know if they took
pictures but they had it for about 3 weeks. If you would like I will
it back to them and tell them you told me to return with it. Let me
and I will have to take it to them next week as I am using it now
a horse show.
Thank you for your reply!
(Well you can see where this is heading. I sent another offer to them that if I would bring up the unit to them and if they found any frame damage we could talk about sharing some of cost! Well I am going to copy that mail below here. As a note, I have not heard anything back from them after this mail.)
Sorry to have taken a few days to reply. I am not as worried on getting help
on the skin fix as if there is frame damage causing the cracks. I do not
think the frame should only be good for 3 years! I would like to offer the
following compromise. If I made the commitment to bring the unit up from
Tulsa to your factory would you be willing to do the repairs and adjust
some of the repair expense if you find that the frame is cracked?
I also post and belong to many forums on RV's. I have been a supporter
of Newmar and would like to be able to post that the factory stepped up to
the plate and at least offered to cover some of the repair if the frame was
I will be looking forward to your reply.
So I will let you make up your own minds on Newmar. The shame of the deal is I really LIKE the unit layout. Just disappointed!
95 Ford Powerstroke, CC,Long bed DRW, mild Superchip (trying a Bully Dog 4 page flip chip), 3.0 downpipe and Bully Dog 4.0 exhaust, cat deleted, AFE intake system,boost,pyro (located post turbo),trans gage (located in test port),Firestone air bags.
Pulling a 2000 American Star, 34RLCK bedroom and living room slides, w/d stack ,11,480 lbs.