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Old 03-22-2023, 04:51 AM   #1
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RV Service/Repair Beware

I took my Coach into a local RV Service Company to have both roof top Dometic Penguin air conditioners replaced with new Penguin II units. The original units were installed when the coach was manufactured, and they were not providing cold air anymore. I shopped around trying to find a reputable service company, but everyone had a 3-4 month backlog or they didn't do that kind of work. I did find a company that said they could and would do it but it was a 3 week wait before I could get in. They said it was a 3- 6 hour job but after a week they didn't have it done. Yesterday after they had the coach for 9 days they said I could come get it. After arriving I immediately noticed they had backed into something and had minor damaged on the back of the coach just above the hitch and clipped the right rear corner with something rough that scraped the paint off the corner. When I questioned the Tech he looked confused and surprised. I continued into the coach with the Tech to have him show me the new units operate. I immediately noticed debris everywhere from the install. They even used our towels as work blankets to catch some of the debris. I then started the generator and he attempted to turn them on but they had no power on the screens. He when outside to investigate and I walked back to the power panel to find both A/C circuit breakers off. He came back in looking perplexed and I told him the CB was off. He claimed that he just finished running both units before he called me, and they were working fine. As soon as they came on it was clear the fans (squirrel cage) was hitting something so i turned off the units. We went on top and I could see they left wire scraps and debris from the install all over the roof. I also noticed drag scrapes where I suspect they dragged the units across the roof. I also notice one of the blades was snaped off of the spinner that measures wind speed for the Girard Automatic Awning Retraction System. I suspect they stepped on it or sat on it since it was only a few feet from the front A/C unit. He continued to remove the covers on both the units and removed the top half shroud that encloses the condenser and fan (squirrel cage). I noticed some debris (pieces of wire, tape, sealant, and shipping caps) was left inside of the new unit. It was clear the shrouds had been removed and not reinstalled properly as they were not sitting evenly on the lower half shroud. After watching him work on it for 1 hour it was clear I made a mistake coming to this business. He then asked me to come back tomorrow, and they would have everything fixed. The owner of the business was not there but, I plan to meet with him when I come back today. The lesson here is things have changed and the level and quality of service you can expect today is not nothing close to what it was just a few years ago. I should have listened to myself and done this myself because what has happened is exactly what I feared. If you are wondering where this RV company is located it is in Huntsville, AL. It is a relatively new company just off County Line Road. BUYER BEWARE! Do your homework before you let anyone work on your RV. From now on I will do all of my own work.
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Old 03-22-2023, 05:40 AM   #2
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Wow. I hate to admit this but I trust no one to work on my things. It's an issue. I even stressed having Tiffin do warranty work on 2 different trips. Even there I had to keep an eye on what they worked on as much as possible. Sometimes I have no choice. For example I needed Cummins twice recently for warranty work. One of the jobs was major. Thankfully it went well. I have painters painting my house this week. I have always done it myself, but to be honest, I just don't want to anymore. So, I fret and pace and walk out there constantly watching them to make sure they are scraping before painting over old flaky paint. Anyway, I hate this happened to you. I know that day is coming some day where I will need my AC's replaced. I may opt to do it myself if possible. I hope they make it right.
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:57 PM   #3
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That just sucks.
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Old 03-23-2023, 05:58 AM   #4
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Buyer Beware of RV Service/Repair Companies

Follow up...I went back to pick up my coach yesterday and was able to meet with the owner, Zack. The total bill (labor only at $156 per hr) to swap out two Penguin roof air conditioners with new Penguin II air conditioners was $3,569.00. However, they had caused several damages while the coach was there see attached pictures. He denied all but one of the damages even after I showed him pictures, I had taken the day we dropped off the coach that showed no damages. Damages include gouge to paint on back of coach, large scratch on right rear corner of coach, Girard awning wind speed sensor has one blade broken off, and screen door latch lever bent so far it nearly broke off. This was from the Tech trying to close the door and not realizing the latch for the screen door was not in the proper position. To bend this nearly 90 degrees took a lot of effort and force and shows his employees are not trained RV Technicians but local back yard mechanics. He just dismissed them except the one scratch on the back because he questioned when I tool the pictures. He took $500 off the bill for the damages but, that will not cover all of the cost and time it will take to fix them. At this point I just wanted to get my coach and go home. I do plan to file a complaint to the Huntsville Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce. I won't go into detail but Zack the business owner says RV owners have no choice but, to use him because there were not enough repair/service companies out there. All I can say is Buyer Beware and do extensive research before you let anyone work on your RV.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:05 AM   #5
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Never trust any dealer / repair service.
Only go to the factory service, period.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cyber71 View Post
Never trust any dealer / repair service.
Only go to the factory service, period.
I'm sorry, this is just not true. I live 300 miles from the factory, i am just not going to drive 600 miles to get my steps fixed. There is a very competent RV repair shop within 20 miles of me, that i have a lot of trust in. A blanket statement like this is just wrong. Plus, where do you suggest someone go when the factory service center says they won't work on it, because it is too old?
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:44 AM   #7
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There was a post. and link to an alternative wind speed propeller for a weather station if you do a search. You may of may of had to drill out the new one.
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Old 03-23-2023, 11:05 PM   #8
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Hi Pufahl; I agree with Timaz. That sucks. That shop does not know what the word professional means. As Tommy mentioned, just getting estimates on painting the house as the wife will not let me on the 20' ladder anymore. You know how things are done when you do them yourselves. Getting older sucks that some jobs become almost out of my realm nowadays. Still, rather do it myself and not deal with some idiots scratching your coach and say, duh, we didn't do that! There are some good shops but are very far and few. If someone is working on my rig on something I can't do I am always not far away keeping an eye on the work. Hope all works out. Now you need to find a good shop to fix the scratches. Hope you have better luck this time.
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Timaz View Post
That just sucks.

Yup, I guess expectations of having a good repair/install experience are gone.






That's why I just replaced my 2 AC's myself. I'm lucky in that I have a good place to do it and not afraid to try something new. It ain't rocket science.
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2cyber71 View Post
Never trust any dealer / repair service.
Only go to the factory service, period.
Disagree. I have had excellent service from North Trail in Fort Myers and Independence in Orlando. Paying top dollar and need to wait but they have both done excellent work on our Coach.
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Old 03-29-2023, 03:12 PM   #11
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Follow up on my original thread. I got the coach home and found they did not set the Dip Switches on the new roof a/c units which prevented the new thermostats from recognizing the Aqua Hot System and therefore could not heat the coach with the Aqua Hot System. They also did not install the new Drain Pan Kit. This kit is recommended for use with most air conditioners that have a drain tube in their walls for this application. Allowing an air conditioner to drain onto the roof will cause water streaks on your RV. Installation of this kit adds only about 20 minutes to the air conditioner installation job. Now I have to remove the roof A/C unit from the roof to get under it and install the drain kit and then reinstall the roof unit again. See YouTube link for more information:
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Old 03-29-2023, 03:50 PM   #12
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Disagree. I have had excellent service from North Trail in Fort Myers and Independence in Orlando. Paying top dollar and need to wait but they have both done excellent work on our Coach.


North Trail does have a good reputation for repairs. There was a couple where we are in FL that couldnít get an appt to get warranty work done on their brand new Tiffin where they had purchased.

They reached out to North Trail, they said bring it in. Everything corrected under warranty even though they didnít buy from them. They were quite pleased.
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Old 04-04-2023, 02:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pufahl View Post
I took my Coach into a local RV Service Company to have both roof top Dometic Penguin air conditioners replaced with new Penguin II units. The original units were installed when the coach was manufactured, and they were not providing cold air anymore. I shopped around trying to find a reputable service company, but everyone had a 3-4 month backlog or they didn't do that kind of work. I did find a company that said they could and would do it but it was a 3 week wait before I could get in. They said it was a 3- 6 hour job but after a week they didn't have it done. Yesterday after they had the coach for 9 days they said I could come get it. After arriving I immediately noticed they had backed into something and had minor damaged on the back of the coach just above the hitch and clipped the right rear corner with something rough that scraped the paint off the corner. When I questioned the Tech he looked confused and surprised. I continued into the coach with the Tech to have him show me the new units operate. I immediately noticed debris everywhere from the install. They even used our towels as work blankets to catch some of the debris. I then started the generator and he attempted to turn them on but they had no power on the screens. He when outside to investigate and I walked back to the power panel to find both A/C circuit breakers off. He came back in looking perplexed and I told him the CB was off. He claimed that he just finished running both units before he called me, and they were working fine. As soon as they came on it was clear the fans (squirrel cage) was hitting something so i turned off the units. We went on top and I could see they left wire scraps and debris from the install all over the roof. I also noticed drag scrapes where I suspect they dragged the units across the roof. I also notice one of the blades was snaped off of the spinner that measures wind speed for the Girard Automatic Awning Retraction System. I suspect they stepped on it or sat on it since it was only a few feet from the front A/C unit. He continued to remove the covers on both the units and removed the top half shroud that encloses the condenser and fan (squirrel cage). I noticed some debris (pieces of wire, tape, sealant, and shipping caps) was left inside of the new unit. It was clear the shrouds had been removed and not reinstalled properly as they were not sitting evenly on the lower half shroud. After watching him work on it for 1 hour it was clear I made a mistake coming to this business. He then asked me to come back tomorrow, and they would have everything fixed. The owner of the business was not there but, I plan to meet with him when I come back today. The lesson here is things have changed and the level and quality of service you can expect today is not nothing close to what it was just a few years ago. I should have listened to myself and done this myself because what has happened is exactly what I feared. If you are wondering where this RV company is located it is in Huntsville, AL. It is a relatively new company just off County Line Road. BUYER BEWARE! Do your homework before you let anyone work on your RV. From now on I will do all of my own work.

It's sad that there's people out there posing as professionals that do poor quality work. I had a similar experience at a large RV shop in Lake City FL. Luckily I didn't have them change out my AC's.
I saved that job until we arrived at our current campground, Angels Landing on Lake Moultrie in SC. Really a nice place, on the water. Good restaurant/camp store. Nice folks running it. And the techs in the service department are second to none. I called a week before we arrived to get on their schedule for a water heater install. My original Atwood sprang a leak and I had a Gerrard tankless shipped here. They had it installed in under three hours.
I asked about AC and awning spring replacement, boss said he'd check for me. Next day he said he could get what I needed. AC's and springs arrived in less than a week. He scheduled me for a 10 AM install. Both AC's and awning springs installed, cleanly and professionally, in less than 4 hours.
It's nice sitting under the awning at the picnic table. It's even nicer running the heat pumps instead of the gas furnace on these cool mornings, with windows open through mid day for the breeze, and then cold AC in the hot afternoon.
Life is great at the campgrounds.
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Old 04-04-2023, 06:03 PM   #14
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I arrived in the other state to pick up my Monaco product and then had to wait with my family, living in it in their parking lot for about 104 days before they kicked us out. I was making repairs on other peoples coaches, while waiting costing them probably hundreds of thousands. I charge nothing. What else was I to do in a remote location? It turned out to be an absolute nightmare of which ended up in court. Two lawyers and near 100,000 later, I was threatened I might need to pay the oppositions attorney, which should be probably about what mine was, pushing another 100,000. My family was suffering. After 2.5 years, I bailed out and signed a contract that I could never name them. Buyer beware? I have owned several diesel pushers, and have this one which I super modified, a spectacular coach worth far more than ever paid. 2000 watt solar, custom office, absolutely gorgeous, but I am sick. So sick that I can’t even go in it. $210,000 takes it away!
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