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Old 11-21-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
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2014 Leprechaun - potential problem?

Hello all, I'm a newbie to RVing and a newbie here as well. This is my first post.

Last year I started competing in professional BBQ. Our team did very well and so I decided to take our competing to the next level by upgrading the popup camper we were using to a brand new Coachmen Leprechaun motor home. Lots of cabinet space inside, and the outside kitchen will be priceless during competitions.

I picked one out on the dealers website with the understanding I wanted to look at a few others before committing. I put down a deposit and a couple weeks ago drove down from OKC to south of Fort Worth to pick one out. The process was painless and the dealer treated me like royalty.

Now here's the problem. Before we left the lot on Saturday, one of the techs took us out so I could drive it. The first thing I noticed is that the steering wheel, when driving straight down the road, was on cockeyed crooked. Also, the coach pulled badly to the right. I mentioned this to the tech and he said it was just the fact that it was a windy day. He said driving a big coach isn't like driving a car and that was normal, especially on a windy day. I accepted the answer as fact and moved on.

That afternoon, we drove from the dealer outside of Fort Worth to Lake Murray in the Ardmore, Oklahoma area. Once we got closer to the lake, the wind died down and I was on what appeared to be a flat road. I let go of the wheel and again the coach badly started moving to the right. I feel like I just fell for the whole story about the wind. The vehicle is obviously badly out of alignment which can't be good for the tires or the chassis. How in the world, with such few miles could the coach get this badly out of alignment?

I contacted the salesmen via email the next week. He said he'd contact Coachmen and see what they could do to resolve the issue. After contacting him and getting the same story three times, still nobody has contacted me as promised.

Is it normal to purchase a new $85,000 coach and have it drive like this? I was initially very impressed with the dealer, but now they are just ignoring me hoping I go away. I am unsure where to go from here.

Suggestions?
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqMan View Post
Hello all, I'm a newbie to RVing and a newbie here as well. This is my first post. Last year I started competing in professional BBQ. Our team did very well and so I decided to take our competing to the next level by upgrading the popup camper we were using to a brand new Coachmen Leprechaun motor home. Lots of cabinet space inside, and the outside kitchen will be priceless during competitions. I picked one out on the dealers website with the understanding I wanted to look at a few others before committing. I put down a deposit and a couple weeks ago drove down from OKC to south of Fort Worth to pick one out. The process was painless and the dealer treated me like royalty. Now here's the problem. Before we left the lot on Saturday, one of the techs took us out so I could drive it. The first thing I noticed is that the steering wheel, when driving straight down the road, was on cockeyed crooked. Also, the coach pulled badly to the right. I mentioned this to the tech and he said it was just the fact that it was a windy day. He said driving a big coach isn't like driving a car and that was normal, especially on a windy day. I accepted the answer as fact and moved on. That afternoon, we drove from the dealer outside of Fort Worth to Lake Murray in the Ardmore, Oklahoma area. Once we got closer to the lake, the wind died down and I was on what appeared to be a flat road. I let go of the wheel and again the coach badly started moving to the right. I feel like I just fell for the whole story about the wind. The vehicle is obviously badly out of alignment which can't be good for the tires or the chassis. How in the world, with such few miles could the coach get this badly out of alignment? I contacted the salesmen via email the next week. He said he'd contact Coachmen and see what they could do to resolve the issue. After contacting him and getting the same story three times, still nobody has contacted me as promised. Is it normal to purchase a new $85,000 coach and have it drive like this? I was initially very impressed with the dealer, but now they are just ignoring me hoping I go away. I am unsure where to go from here. Suggestions?
I had the same issue with my Leprechaun 319DSF. I contacted Ron Ross, Coachmen Class C Warranty and Service Manager at (574) 825-8602. He agreed to pay for a professional alignment, which I did at Dsuban truck in West Chester, Ohio. Only drove it about 20 miles after but it seems to be much better as far as driving straight. I suggest you contact Ron at the number above and discuss it directly with him. He has been extremely helpful in some other warranty issues I've had as well.
Keep us informed.

Tom
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the number. I will contact him tomorrow and post back with results.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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To get a proper alignment, you need to go ahead and load the RV as you would for travel. Next weigh the coach to make sure you are not overloaded on any axle. Adjust the air pressure according to the tire manufacturers load chart.

Now take it to an independent truck alignment shop for an alignment.

The RV's are aligned by the manufacturer without a load and the requirements change when you load the chassis.

Ken
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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Dragman, Read my posts in the Forest River posts. Just had mine aligned. Only got the 319DS new 2 days before a scheduled trip and I knew it would need it. Had it done as soon as we returned home. It's our 4th MH and they all have needed alignment.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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Hey, thanks to all of you for the replies. I feel a lot better knowing I am not the only one, it seems to be fairly common.

Anyway, I did manage to contact Ron Ross today by phone and email. He instructed me to have the coach aligned and send the receipt to them and they would reimburse me. He was supposed to reply to my email with the address to mail the invoice and hasn't yet, but I expect he will.

I am feeling a whole lot better about this. What a relief.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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Hey, thanks to all of you for the replies. I feel a lot better knowing I am not the only one, it seems to be fairly common. Anyway, I did manage to contact Ron Ross today by phone and email. He instructed me to have the coach aligned and send the receipt to them and they would reimburse me. He was supposed to reply to my email with the address to mail the invoice and hasn't yet, but I expect he will. I am feeling a whole lot better about this. What a relief.
An alternative would be to scan a copy of the invoice and attach it to an email to Ron.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #8
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I am told that it is not standard practice to align a Motor home before it leaves the factory.

I would take it to an alignment shop (Truck type) and present the bill to the dealer for warranty reembursement. If the dealer does not pay, try Department of Motor Vehicles.

Because a vehicle that pulls like that is dangerous and thus should not have been sold as new.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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Tom, What is Rons email address???
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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Tom, What is Rons email address???
Ron's email is rross@forestriverinc.com

Tom
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:38 AM   #11
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Thanks Tom....
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:31 PM   #12
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I took the coach to Rush Truck Center here in Oklahoma City. The aligned and added on camber/shim. It drives like I would expect now, it doesn't wander and tracks the road straight. I scanned the invoice and receipt and mailed to Ron Ross for reimbursement.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:18 AM   #13
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DargMan, Glad to hear you had it done. Mine only needed toe-in toe-out adjustment and was only $100. Well worth it. The mechanic told me the tires were showing signs of cupping in only the first 2000 miles on the MH.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:32 PM   #14
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Sorry to here about all the problems with the alignments. I insisted on driving my motorhome (2013 Leprechaun 280 DS) down the highway before I bought it. I had done a little research and knew that some have steering problems. Mine drove great and after 10,000 miles it's still a breeze to drive.
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