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Old 01-15-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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Factory Service Centers

I've seen a lot of comments regarding the benefits of having a factory service center nearby. It seems to be common to see this in conversations in the conttext of getting dealer work done and how it sounds like some dealers are seriously overbooked

I'm curious if this is really pertinent when looking at a used rig where going to an Indy is more of an option

Is service center adjacency something to consider important when looking at used?

thanks
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
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IMO, the most important thing to look at when buying used is the condition of the coach and some assessment of how it has been maintained.

Motorhomes have become increasingly more complex in recent years. Even the best motorhomes can develop issues that may challenge a dealer or local independent RV repair shop. There are just some repairs that are best done at the factory. In many cases, motorhome owners prefer to use the factory for repairs and even periodic maintenance.

Visits to the Winnebago factory, Entegra, Tiffin and others is an 'adventure' for some folks and a PITA for others. While I would not make this a primary factor in selecting an otherwise good used coach, knowing that there is factory repair expertise available would be a plus.

Considering your location in WA, there is a lot of RV repair expertise near you in Oregon. Winnebago now owns the former Country Coach factory in Junction City and provides factory level service for both Country Coaches and Winnebagos. There is a large service center in Coburg at the former Monaco factory. It is owned by the folks who build American Coach, Fleetwood and they do all the Monaco products. There are also several independent RV repair shops in the Junction City, Eugene, Harrisburg area who have stellar reputations for servicing all brands. Since County Coach and Monaco had factories in that area up until about 2009-10, there are still a bunch of folks there who really know motorhomes.
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:26 PM   #3
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Very few Tiffin dealers near me, and no service center. Fleetwood however has one a couple hours south and dealers all over the place.

Gives me pause
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:38 PM   #4
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Brad, in my opinion, no. To me, it may be much more important to have a "factory service center" --and I'm not sure exactly how you are defining it-- close to you if the unit is still under warranty. Otherwise, it's useless to me. The discussions you've been hearing about probably are pertaining to brand new motorhomes where warranty work is necessary.

So, what do you mean by "factory service center?" For the house portion of the coach, much of the warranty work is actually warrantied by the individual manufacturers ...i.e. the appliances, a/c, other individual items installed by the motorhome manufacturer inside the "house" etc. will all have their own warranties.

If you are out of warranty, a good and/or trusted independent service person or firm can take care of all problems with just as much expertise.

If the unit is still under a structural warranty, yes, you'll have to take it to a service center authorized by the motorhome manufacturer to have the warranty work done.

Same for chassis work. If you need warranty work, yes, you'll need to take it to an authorized service center, i.e. Freightliner Custom Chassis, etc. If it's not warranty related, then take it to a trusted independent shop that you know does good work for routine service or repairs.

So no, if you are shopping for a used unit that is no longer under the factory warranty, to have an authorized Winnebago dealer (for instance) nearby to do work is of not much importance.

My opinion only.
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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Brad, in my opinion, no. To me, it may be much more important to have a "factory service center" --and I'm not sure exactly how you are defining it-- close to you if the unit is still under warranty. Otherwise, it's useless to me. The discussions you've been hearing about probably are pertaining to brand new motorhomes where warranty work is necessary.

So, what do you mean by "factory service center?" For the house portion of the coach, much of the warranty work is actually warrantied by the individual manufacturers ...i.e. the appliances, a/c, other individual items installed by the motorhome manufacturer inside the "house" etc. will all have their own warranties.

If you are out of warranty, a good and/or trusted independent service person or firm can take care of all problems with just as much expertise.

If the unit is still under a structural warranty, yes, you'll have to take it to a service center authorized by the motorhome manufacturer to have the warranty work done.

Same for chassis work. If you need warranty work, yes, you'll need to take it to an authorized service center, i.e. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, etc. If it's not warranty related, then take it to a trusted independent shop that you know does good work for routine service or repairs.

So no, if you are shopping for a used unit, to have an authorized Winnebago dealer (for instance) nearby to do work that is not under warranty, is of no importance at all.

My opinion only.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:17 PM   #6
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A lot of owners put great faith in having any issues fixed at the factory. There seems to be the impression it's best to have a coach serviced by the people who built it. There's probably a ring of truth to that.

However, if you have a dealer with a competent, reliable service center, or even a good independent center, I don't see the reason to have to be close to the factory to have service work done. Even for new, our dealer handled (& even went over & above a few times) any warranty work we had promptly & to our satisfaction.

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Old 01-15-2017, 06:26 PM   #7
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Thanks, that all makes sense.

I'm on the fence which way we will go. I understand all the arguments each way, there are enough threads currently active on that front

The Bounder 33c is exactly what we are looking for and they seem to have the deepest msrp discounts, particularly at the end of sales year. Allegro 31ma is right there feature wise but buying new makes me nervous considering the factory is on other side of country and there are such few dealers in the area. On the other hand I like that I can order the 31ma on the 24k chassis... sigh

Anyway, those are the two at the very top of my list
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:16 PM   #8
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You know, I think I misread your opening post. I thought you were buying a used coach. My mistake and I apologize.

When purchasing a new coach, yes, it does become increasingly important as the unit is under a factory warranty. In order to have work done under warranty, you'll obviously want to have a factory authorized dealership near you that you know you can count on to do warranty work and adjustments if the unit was not purchased from them. ...check on that as it sounds as if you know the controversy there as even though they may say it doesn't matter it usually does. The dealer you purchased from will usually accommodate your needs much more willingly compared to another authorized dealership.

So I retract what I said in my previous post. Yes, it may be something to keep in mind if you are purchasing a new unit from a dealership far away from where you live or spend most of your time. However, since these are homes on wheels, you'll have to determine how inconvenient it might be to take it back to your selling dealership for warranty work or adjustments.
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:21 PM   #9
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You know, I think I misread your opening post. I thought you were buying a used coach. My mistake and I apologize.

When purchasing a new coach, yes, it does become increasingly important as the unit is under a factory warranty. In order to have work done under warranty, you'll obviously want to have a factory authorized dealership near you that you know you can count on to do warranty work and adjustments if the unit was not purchased from them. ...check on that as it sounds as if you know the controversy there as even though they may say it doesn't matter it usually does. The dealer you purchased from will usually accommodate your needs much more willingly compared to another authorized dealership.

So I retract what I said in my previous post. Yes, it may be something to keep in mind if you are purchasing a new unit from a dealership far away from where you live or spend most of your time. However, since these are homes on wheels, you'll have to determine how inconvenient it might be to take it back to your selling dealership for warranty work or adjustments.
No, you have it right. I'm on the fence which way I go at this point. Money sense obviously goes toward going used, and my question was whether it really matters on the service center if I went that route. IF I go new, I think I'd stick with Fleetwood due to geography
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Old 01-15-2017, 07:31 PM   #10
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One major thing to consider with factory service at Red Bay (Tiffin), they don't take appointments - there are several threads on this already in our Tiffin Owner's Forum you can read. You get there then you have to wait your turn for service. Depending on when you go, it could be a day, a week or weeks before you get in.

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Old 01-15-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Very few Tiffin dealers near me, and no service center. Fleetwood however has one a couple hours south and dealers all over the place.

Gives me pause
I believe there is an authorized Tiffin service center in your area. I would suggest contacting Tiffin's west coast service rep, Josh Palmer, josh.palmer@tiffinmotorhomes.com for more info.

I have had Tiffin authorized work done at CoachMasters in Bend, OR. Excellent facility that works on all makes of coaches.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad W View Post
Very few Tiffin dealers near me, and no service center. Fleetwood however has one a couple hours south and dealers all over the place.

Gives me pause
Tiffin will authorize the dealer of your choice to do warranty work with prior approval. They do not have to be Tiffin dealers.

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Old 01-15-2017, 08:59 PM   #13
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X3 Spot on. With a used coach out of warranty it's not much of a concern unless you have something really exotic go wrong that your local service center can't figure out or is beyond their capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
Brad, in my opinion, no. To me, it may be much more important to have a "factory service center" --and I'm not sure exactly how you are defining it-- close to you if the unit is still under warranty. Otherwise, it's useless to me. The discussions you've been hearing about probably are pertaining to brand new motorhomes where warranty work is necessary.

So, what do you mean by "factory service center?" For the house portion of the coach, much of the warranty work is actually warrantied by the individual manufacturers ...i.e. the appliances, a/c, other individual items installed by the motorhome manufacturer inside the "house" etc. will all have their own warranties.

If you are out of warranty, a good and/or trusted independent service person or firm can take care of all problems with just as much expertise.

If the unit is still under a structural warranty, yes, you'll have to take it to a service center authorized by the motorhome manufacturer to have the warranty work done.

Same for chassis work. If you need warranty work, yes, you'll need to take it to an authorized service center, i.e. Freightliner Custom Chassis, etc. If it's not warranty related, then take it to a trusted independent shop that you know does good work for routine service or repairs.

So no, if you are shopping for a used unit that is no longer under the factory warranty, to have an authorized Winnebago dealer (for instance) nearby to do work is of not much importance.

My opinion only.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:23 PM   #14
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I've used factory service centers - both coach maker and chassis maker - whenever practical. I generally found their service more reliable in scheduling, better quality work, and (when not warranty) fairer priced. That is not to say it was always perfect, but near always superior to a dealer visit.

Your mileage may vary...
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