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Old 05-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I guess as long as the majority of these incompetent dealers can keep getting coaches from the factory to sell then just screw up repairs with underpaid under trained techs causing us to have to leave them alone by driving back to the factory for correct repairs they are going to keep doing it.

It still mystifies me how/why these manufacturers keep allowing these incompetent dealers to handle their products. Either they should get their dealers on the stick or start paying us time and mileage to travel back to them for repairs. I sincerely feel for those of you who work full time and have to deal with these problems. We were supposed to be in on Monday and out on Tuesday but due to varying circumstances it was the following Monday before we could head for home.

Now I'm getting ready to head 120 miles in the other direction to a Freightliner shop I've never been to in order to get some work done on my Cat engine. After the coach factory trip I'm now on pins and needles thinking about the FL repairs.
Why would you go to a FL shop instead of a Cat shop?
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #16
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We're getting ready to hit the road for a 5000-mile round trip to the factory. Quality far surpassed the need to be close to the factory. Besides, they got some fantastic people at the factory, so it's always a pleasure to stop by. We do have relatives in Washington so we make it a dueal-purpose trip and do sight-seeing along the way. I just hope Country Coach will have the right coach for us when we are ready to buy next year. They go through their consignment coaches with a fine tooth comb!

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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by esfritzi View Post
That's why I bought a Newmar! They are very selective who they bring into the network as dealers. Only the cream of the crop.
Well ... we have Newmar too, but unfortunately we had a very poor experience for service with the selling dealer -- prompting us to ask the very same question the OP did and concluding that being a reasonable distance from the factory is a definite plus for us.

In late 2011, we bought a gorgeous new Ventana 3433 from North Trail in Ft. Myers -- "the largest Newmar dealer in the U.S." We had them keep it for us till late March 2012 when we could take delivery -- we did not have a place to put store it and with our tough winters in Erie, Pennsylvania, we didn't want our beautiful coach to sit outside in the snow for three or four months.

It was a terrific end of the year deal on a fully loaded and stunningly beautiful coach -- just the coach we had dreamed about. It had everything we wanted -- custom paint, all electric, outside entertainment center, high def TVs throughout, Oasis hydronic heat, just about every option you could have had on this model coach.

What we didn't realize is that inasmuch as the coach had been delivered to North Trail in February, 2011, it sat for over a year until we ended up taking delivery. In the hot summer sun in Florida. Not good for any coach. Plus, we realized that it had been in RV shows and probably had had several people on it doing test drives in the months before we bought it. Bottom line is that our coach had a number of things that really had to be fixed at PDI -- things we certainly knew about and expected, but a bunch of things nonetheless. We had no problem with that, but we expected the dealer -- remember, "the largest Newmar dealer in the U.S." -- to be able to utilize their expert service department to address our punch list, get all things resolved to our satisfaction and get us on the road to home as happy campers.

You probably know where this is headed. It didn't turn out the way we expected it would. They promised to fix all items and we stayed the full time they said they needed to have the coach in order to have the work done, but at the end of the process, the work was definitely not complete and we had run out of time. We had a commitment to be back home and we couldn't delay any further. We made the 1,500 mile trip home with several punch list items still in need of being fixed.

After getting home, we called Newmar and that was our saving grace. They apologized for the poor service we got, they asked us to come to the factory to complete all repair items (375 miles from our home), the paid for our fuel and tolls to get there and they told us they wanted to be sure that we were completely satisfied with our coach.

They were absolutely true to their word. They fixed each and every thing we had on our list to our full satisfaction, they gave us a full orientation of the coach (which we really never got at North Trail) and they made us realize how terrific they are as a company and how dedicated they are to customer service. We became believers for real. We got our coach back in brand new condition and never had a lick of trouble with it after we got it back from Newmar.

Liking our Ventana as much as we did, we decided last October to move up to a 2013 Dutch Star 4018 and we realized, due to our factory experience, that it would be a good investment to take the factory delivery option -- and to use the factory for any warranty adjustments or repairs on our new coach. Since we are less than 400 miles from the factory -- and since I am a Notre Dame grad and Newmar is only 15 miles from ND -- it was an easy decision for us.

For those reasons, I do think it's an important thing to consider the distance from the factory as the OP asks about. For us, our experience has shown that the best possible place to get warranty or repair service -- at least in the case of Newmar products -- is with the factory, not the dealers.

Just our two cents' worth.

FMCA #363986 / What an Incredible Hoot!
2022 Newmar New Aire 3541 / Freightliner with DriveTech / 2021 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited Eco-diesel / NHSO
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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How could you not know the history of this coach. The spec sheet that is available for each coach has the manufacture date and just looking at the odometer would have been a dead giveaway. Why would you take delivery on the coach without getting your punch items done? Would you buy a new house with a bunch of punch list items open hoping that they somehow get done. What did Newmar say or do about the poor service at North Trail? If dealers can't be trusted, then manufacturers should just sell their coaches from the factory. Not a very practical business model.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by firedoc View Post
Why would you go to a FL shop instead of a Cat shop?
Guess it's kind of a toss up since the combination of belts and pulleys on the front of the engine are a combination of Cat and Freightliner parts. The first trip I made to our Cat shop I got charged $450 for 2 hours labor adjusting the valves on the engine. Decided I couldn''t afford his shop charges. The FL shop works on both Cat engines and Freightliner chassis, is easier to make appointments with, and is an Oasis Freightliner shop giving FCOC members a 10% discount on parts/labor. This is my first experience with this shop so we'll see whether or not I've made a good decision.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:56 PM   #20
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I asked the Winnebago service rep at the factory on my first trip there just why did we, as factory customers, have to contend with some of the ridiculous practices that we do from various dealers. His response was that the dealers are private businesses and the factory has no control over how they run their shop. When I commented that the dealers wouldn't be in business unless the factory furnished them products to sell he then said Yes but the factory wouldn't be in business without the dealers.

Course it's a different animal, but many years ago my Dad was a mechanic at a GM dealership and unless the dealership toed the line that GM designated the dealership didn't get the autos to sell. It gets very frustrating with the factory being hundreds of miles away and a dealership less than a hundred miles but not worth the effort of working with. And if you didn't buy from them the problems get even worse (again the factory rep said they had no control over the dealership's policies).
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