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Old 10-01-2011, 08:38 AM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Will they stand behind it and do the "right thing" - What is the "right thing"?

We purchased a 14 yearold motorhome this past mid-July. We LOVE it as all our posts show - even w/frustration of things needing attention, etc. and all we had to learn about owning one. We knew there would be some costs in getting it 'up to our standards' and because of it's age, and simply hoped that it overall was mechanically sound and decent for a 'starter'.

Turns out though that the coach has a pretty good roof leak, and has for a long time. There's some rotted wood in the b-room for sure and the signs are concerning to say the least, not to mention so disappointing and spirit-degrading cause we love it and all the 'freedom' that comes with it but we see the water leak and what it's doing and has done and are bummed.

So anyway, we paid a good price/got a good value we think/thought for the motorhome, bought an extended warranty (which has already paid for itself but won't cover the leakage or the damage), and we've put a lot of money and sweat into doing some 'simple' upgrades (new toilet, faucets, all the wares you need inside, stereo, TPMS, DVD, Dig-TV, cleaning and polishing, etc) and we would like to go to the next level w/new furniture, blinds, etc...but it's leaking...

So we examined all the options trying to be educated - and as well made contact w/the dealer that sold the motor-home - we'll let you all know after this get's resolved what their name is -the dealer said, "Bring it in, we'll make you happy, we're sorry you have to bring it back". They are real nice folks and seem to be sincere.

Should be said we bought the coach sight-unseen, and asked specfic questions including about water damage and were told there was not any - this was written (email) correspondence. The coach actually is very nice but the water damage includes the 2 walls that support the corner shower stall and all along the drivers side almost the entire length. It certainly appears restorable/repairable but it's a bit of work - firstly stopping the leak.

So we took the coach back to the dealer and had made a pretty detailed list of the problems/signs of the water ingress and associated damaged areas all in outline form - and we discussed options of the roof - it's rubber - strip/replace, coat, other (we think and listed that we believe it should be replaced). The dealer was taken aback we think when they saw the coach - it was a trade-in from a 'family member' and we actually believe that the dealer/owner we dealt directly with trusted that the coach was truly okay re. water and such...turns out though it wasn't/isn't.

We met w/the service manager and I'm pretty sure his jaw hit the ground - basically because the obvious extent and the time that it has obviously been leaking...they tout a "200-point inspection" on their web-page and we think because it was the family members, it didn't really go through it. We know there's not a good excuse for that!

Just briefly, the corner wall backing the shower and opposite the dinette area, is soft and rotted in areas, it also looks like the support shelf under the shower is effected, and there's signs of water from that point (all on the Drivers side-slide side) from the b-room to the drivers door. Some of the decorative wood in the 'living room' and surrounding the slide show signs of water damage. Note - the water leaks w/slide in or out and although the inside seal is drooping and needs attention, the main leak appears to be coming from the roof. Visible signs on the roof turn up little other than it's overall chaulky and weathered appearance...there are no obvious rips or areas not caulked.

So the Service Manger is real nice, comes out and greets us, we go through our detailed list which we wrote kindly and presented it the same. Then we physically walked him through all or most of what we had discussed on the list...he said that they (well established and 'full-service') don't do the interior restoration but we left that hanging with them because it has to be fixed. They need time to look the roof over to see what is the right method to fix it...and we do believe they will at least fix the leak although we don't know how...

What do you all believe they should do for us? We are willing to pay some realizing that the coach is older, however we feel as well that they have responsibility in working with us to make it right and they appear to share that.

We would like them to replace the roof w/new rubber at their cost, and then at least identify a source (including maybe the manufacturer - Fleetwood) to repair the interior, and help in some way to make that 'affordable' to us with a portion and help facilitate getting it accomplished...We think the shower will need to be ripped out since there's no access to that wall so therefore we think it might as well be replaced when reinstalled...other areas we don't know what the right approach should be, but we know it requires some work. We also know that there is probably other hidden-damage too but we have been thorough.

We love motor-homing - the RV otherwise - chassis - and the rest of the interior are actually pretty sweet. You could eat off the chassis - low miles - runs great or real well, and although older, the interior, although maybe not completely our taste style wise, is in decent shape.

So we have no idea what to expect...we know based on our investment amount now, our enjoyment that we are gaining, and the 'potential' of the coach, that we are committed to it (hopefully not as a 'money-pit'), and we also believe the dealer truly wants to make it right...we do not want to get into an argument with them,'s too short - so any suggestions or comments...I know it's a long story...blah-blah-blah -
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:08 PM   #2
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May I ask where you bought your extended warranty on a fourteen year old motor home? I have been trying but they will only go back thirteen years. I have a 1997. No one, that I have talk with, will go beyond 1998.
1997 Triple E Empress, Freightliner Chassis, CAT 3126 w/ 275 horse's.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #3
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water damage

Wow! So sorry to hear of your troubles! Some of that comes with an RV of that age. With that, you said that the dealer, in an email, promised to "make things right" with you. I hope you saved, and printed out that email. How long of a warranty did they promise you in your purchase agreement? That may come into play.

As to Fleetwood stepping in, there is not much chance of that with a 14 year old RV. They really have no responsibility here. They may offer to perform the restoration work at a discount, but I do believe they will be charging you for labor and materials, IF they do get involved.

You say you really love the RV, but the water damage you describe seems to be fairly extensive and you may want to rethink undertaking this extensive a fix on a 14 year old RV. If you love it that much, and have the funds to do so, take advantage and upgrade everything you can. At least then you will have a more modern, liveable RV for the future.

I wish I could be more positive, but it really sounds as though the repairs may be more costly than the value of the RV.

Good luck, and keep this forum informed on how much the dealer will do for you, and what you decide about the repairs.

Happy Trails!

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Old 10-01-2011, 04:23 PM   #4
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We believe that the RV is worth the repair if it can be accomplished for a few thousand dollars. We see folks all the time padding their budget 5-10K to buy a used motor-home...the most important part is really fine meaning the chassis, systems, automotive - all are in wonderful shape and the majority of the coach is also in remarkable shape...all said once the leak is stopped! As far as Fleetwood they would only be involved if they were willing to do the restoration, not as a comp or warranty-job by them...but let's say 'factory refurbished' - lol - but I have no idea if they would do that...part of what I was fishing for -

The dealer offered the warranty and we thought it made sense. We believe they'll be as open to helping as they can be. We'll have it fixed and move on w/enjoying it.

thanks for the comments!
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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What does the sales contract say? Sold-as-is? If so the answer to this question,
"What do you all believe they should do for us?", would be "nothing".
You are going to have to prove that they knew that they intentionally hid the fact that there was a leak to prove anything in a court of law. If there was nothing visible that should have been obvious to the casual observer then you have no recourse. If the damage was quite obvious and the dealer claimed it did not exist then you might have a course of action. The fact that you bought a product sight unseen is going to weigh heavily against any action you might choose to pursue.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:04 PM   #6
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Signs of damage were pretty obvious in person - we maybe should have walked - but the extent and the on-going leak weren't to us till we spent time in it and obviously when it rained. We don't know why they said there was no water damage - we also believe (and hope) they'll make it right.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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I hope they will make it right as well. Do I expect that you and they will agree on what is "right"? Nope!
Please let us know all of the gory details as they develop.
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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I doubt they will stand behind it,.....without being forced into it.
What the heck is the extended warr good for if not to cover this sort of thing. ??
Either the dealer or the warrenty compnay need to cover this. THe fact that you bought without seeing it matters not. It was under warrenty and NOT bought "As is"
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:01 PM   #9
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We believe that the RV is worth the repair if it can be accomplished for a few thousand dollars.
A few thousand dollars? Just stripping off the roof to get at the damaged area will cost far more than that. I would guess you are looking at $6000-$9000 just for the water damage repairs. And you implied there was a lengthy list of issues.

As Bill Adams says, as long as the dealer acted in good faith (he didn't know about the leak and it was not obvious), he had no legal obligation to do anything. Whatever he does, it will for ethical reasons and to protect his reputation. Let us know how it goes, but you are talking about very expensive repairs and there surely will be a limit to what he will do.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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The repair for the roof if done by the dealer would only really cost him the materials which are under a $1000. The interior is really about the same for a new shower/ then there's labor for dismantling and carpentry...don't see $9K - maybe if I was responsible for labor. We think they acted in good-faith but also that the damage was apparent and we specifically questioned this aspect...we believe they do feel ethically responsible...we're within 90 days of the purchase and we also demonstrated 'good faith' with their we'll see...I hope no one is required to be forced into anything.

The extended warranty does cover the slide seals but not associated damage. Perhaps my auto insurance would cover this but we are attempting to work in good faith with the dealer.

We also know their response could be "see ya" but so far that has not been their demeanor! We're hopeful for a positive outcome!
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Firstpoet View Post
The repair for the roof if done by the dealer would only really cost him the materials which are under a $1000. The interior is really about the same for a new shower/ then there's labor for dismantling and carpentry...don't see $9K - maybe if I was responsible for labor.

I get the impression you didn't do a suitable pre-delivery inspection, and that you don't have a realistic knowledge of what's involved with fixing this.

Pre-delivery inspection is really the ONLY time you have any real power to have them fix things. You bought an old coach, and need to realize these type of transactions are fundamentally as-is, unless you received explicit guarantees in writing from the dealer. At this point, it's highly unlikely the dealer has any real responsibility for defects.

You say the repairs will only cost the dealer XXX$$$ amount. What you don't realize, is that the dealer has to pay a tech to remove and replace the roofing and interior walls, and investigate and repair other faults found. That's not free to the dealer. Nor is stocking parts & supplies, maintaining a place of business, insurance, etc. As a trailer manufacturer, distributor and dealer, I guarantee you that if I sell something "at cost", I'm actually losing money on it. If you had bought a new unit from me, I would be more motivated to stand behind it, but when you buy something that old, I (the dealer) really doesn't know every inch of it like you think we do. That's why old units are considerably less expensive. You assume the risk instead of me.

Reality is, you want to buy it cheap, so you give up some of the perks and guarantees that the new buyer pays for.

This looks like a case where you need to get in there and fix it yourself, to your standards. Then next time, be more diligent in your purchase & inspection.

I've said for a long time that the cheap RV's are often the most expensive...

PS: You didn't buy it from one of the lots down in Corbin / London KY did you?
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #12
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You bought a 14 year old coach. The dealer's responsibility ended smoetime between when the rear wheels vrossed the curb at the edge of his lot and when your check cleared.

If this water damage was so obvious and extensive, why didn't yuo see it in your predelivery inspection?
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
You bought a 14 year old coach. The dealer's responsibility ended smoetime between when the rear wheels vrossed the curb at the edge of his lot and when your check cleared.

If this water damage was so obvious and extensive, why didn't yuo see it in your predelivery inspection?
What I can tell you is the coach is now at their place...we've made 2 payments and the down-payment (along w/obvious additional expenses). If they don't fix it then we'll have other actions to consider...They've been real nice, asked us to bring it back which we've done, and stated "we'll make it right, we'll make you happy" so we only have that along with their (and our) knowledge of the information that was shared prior to the purchase. I do anticipate having to spend some money but also expect that they will help...but I have some faith in 'human's' still - I know - probably misplaced but we'll see.

As far as seeing the 'obvious', we saw signs but with all we were presented with we didn't see or know it was on-going or it's extent...I know 'shame on us' but they did represent it in writing as no water damage -

It would be expensive at $100/hour tech-rate, but since the tech works for him, it's really all spent regardless. It's to their benefit overall to do us right but their right and our's will be different. Their willingness so far to help is certainly appreciated and they know we know what needs to be done...we'll just see what ends up happening.

We didn't spend $100000 but we didn't spend $1000 - let's see what they do. I'll post the resultant here. If they are able to stop the leak that will be a big step in the right direction.

- thank you folks! ...and who knows...maybe the skeptics will be surprised or maybe we'll be upset. I do appreciate the discussions on our issue!
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:21 AM   #14
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"As-is, where is" clearly states the Seller has no responsibility for after sale occurrences. But, by UCC, that does not always absolve the Seller of liability.

You have documented the Seller's statement there were no leaks, which is an express warranty. This alone can and often does prevail in litigation.

Another aspect is when a Seller responds favorably to a Buyer's question regarding 'suitability for the intended purpose'. There is no question regarding the intended purpose of a motorhome, trailer, tent or bath tub.

In short, should push come to shove, there may be recourse and, as a side benefit in matters such as this, the theory of "Deep pockets" very often prevails.

However, as can be expected, an amenable solution to this, or any other problem, will render the above meaningless.

Rule of thumb: speak nicely but document, document, document.

The ball's in their court and if they satisfy you, there is no need to seek another.

Good luck with this and learn from it.
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"In God we trust" to preserve our country and bring our Troops safely home.
Carry on, regardless..................
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