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wagonmaster2 05-08-2013 10:39 PM

Considering distance to factory when purchasing new DP
 
Just curious if anyone ever considers their travel distance to the factory for repairs when choosing a new coach? I've been to the factory 3 times (1,300 mile round trip) with my 2004 coach and with the quality control of most coaches these days I just figure these trips will not end with the next coach either. And the one at the top of my list will be over 1,800 mile round trip for necessary repairs at the factory since the majority of dealers I've run into are best avoided. The number two coach on my list would be approximately 1,200 mile round trip and is in the southern states instead of way up north where all the snow and storms are.

Just wondering if this would be weird to even be thinking about the location of the factory when considering which coach to purchase? My last two coaches were Fleetwood and Winnebago, both requiring trips to the factory so I guess I'm thinking this will be the norm for a new one.

Mr_D 05-08-2013 10:54 PM

Over 2,200 miles one way for us. Made the trip once to get the new front axle at Spartan in Charlotte then down to Nappanee. WA state had a nice little clause in their laws: if the unit has to be transported over 100 mile for warranty work the manufacturer must pay all expenses. Might not be there now, but it was in 2003. All they really paid was my fuel both ways, no food allowance but I was going to eat anyway.
We never considered the distance when we ordered, when we order again it still won't matter.

TurtleKent 05-08-2013 11:12 PM

Also consider travel to the chassis factory. Freightliner at Gaffney has consistently been one of my most pleasant experiences of ANY vehicle service facility... efficient, prompt and located almost directly between home and Florida.

bbunner 05-09-2013 07:54 AM

Well, we didn't consider going to the factory upon purchase of our MH but we are indeed heading to the factory this weekend (1400 miles round trip) because the service at Camping World is like a bad dream! We bought a 2011 Astoria (untitled) last fall and really like the coach BUT I can't say anything positive about the Camping World where we purchased the coach or the one where we took it for warranty work. We have spoken to Thor several times and they have been very helpful so we decided it was worth the trip to have the factory fix what we need taken care of.

Freightliner here in Kansas City has been terrific with alignment and recall items. Very impressed with the local Freightliner facility.

I will report back on the visit to Thor but I expect the visit to be handled very well.

bbunner
2011 Thor Astoria 40KT
Formerly 2000 Bounder

Clayobx 05-09-2013 08:08 AM

IMHO, the choice of a qualified dealer with master tech's is a must! We avoided factory visits due to our dealer and Fleetwood's customer service. :dance:

Cat320 05-09-2013 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clayobx (Post 1561426)
IMHO, the choice of a qualified dealer with master tech's is a must! We avoided factory visits due to our dealer and Fleetwood's customer service. :dance:

If you have a serious problem, Fleetwood will take care of you. We had some chassis/coach issues. Even though out of warranty, they fixed it in Decatur, took two weeks, and reembursed me for 1,500 miles worth of fuel. Serious items of this nature cannot be fixed by the dealer.

historyljc 05-09-2013 08:50 PM

It was a consideration by the wife but not by me. I have been back to the factory service center a few times over the years. Most of my work is done locally and I know that Tiffin will often authorize work done at a competent service facillity any in the US that it is convenient to their customer.

wagonmaster2 05-09-2013 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clayobx (Post 1561426)
IMHO, the choice of a qualified dealer with master tech's is a must! We avoided factory visits due to our dealer and Fleetwood's customer service. :dance:

You really got right to the problem to begin with, getting a qualified dealer with master techs. If all the dealers were of this caliber none of us would be making these long trips unless the problem was of such magnatude the dealer would actually admit they couldn't handle it instead of screwing everything up.

In 1997 we made the long trip to Decatur, Ind with our Fleetwood coach because the slideout wasn't square with the hole in the side of the coach and the dealer said they weren't equipped to handle it. The trip to Forest City, Ia last week was also due to repairs to the slideout that I didn't trust to any dealer, especially since my selling dealer no longer handles RVs and my experience with the other two closest dealers was anything but pleasant.

Am now considering either a Dutch Star or Tiffin Phaeton, which may involve a several hundred mile long drive just to see one so the drive to either factory may not be that much different.

Guess we're all in the same boat, and with the quality we're getting initially from the factories we'll probably be in this boat for some time.

Appreciate all the responses. Makes me feel a little bit better about the long drives. Can't imagine how the RVers who are either pre-retirement age or still working manage all the time it takes for these trips.

B Bob 05-09-2013 10:11 PM

Yes. We live in the west and we wanted a coach built out here. I just made an appointment today to get a couple of things done at the factory in a couple of weeks. We have been a couple of times at the factory and their service is extremely good and fair priced. It is about an 800 mile trip each way for us. Worth it. Most (not all most) of the repair places in our area employ the three stooges and their prices are about twice what we pay at the factory. You absolutely cannot believe the issues I have had getting work done. Seems like nobody checks to make sure the work is done correctly.

esfritzi 05-10-2013 03:22 AM

I agree that purchasing from a reputable dealer that has full staff of certified technicians may be more important than where the manufacturer is located. Many of us don't have the luxury of time and money to travel to the manufacturer when service is needed. You have to rely on the manufacturer to use quality components that won't require visits to the factory. Obviously, the chassis and transmission manufacturers are the most important, but they are usually solid anyway. With Workhorse in limbo with Navistar, it is critical to find a qualified heavy chassis service center that deals with large trucks. Here in the Atlanta area, there are several within a 2 hour drive.

wagonmaster2 05-11-2013 08:56 PM

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.

esfritzi 05-12-2013 04:13 AM

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.

lmcgill 05-12-2013 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esfritzi (Post 1564714)
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.

Sad to say not true from our experience. Travel Land RV in Langley BC sells them and they are the manure of the crop! We looked at them there and ended up dealing with a dealership in Penticton BC called Mid Town RV. What a difference in customer skills and respect. We ended up going with a AC /Fleetwood Product from a good dealer too in Chilliwack BC called O'Connor. I think selecting the right dealership is a big part of what should be a overall enjoyable lifestyle.

Rusty1233 05-12-2013 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lmcgill (Post 1565011)

Sad to say not true from our experience. Travel Land RV in Langley BC sells them and they are the manure of the crop! We looked at them there and ended up dealing with a dealership in Penticton BC called Mid Town RV. What a difference in customer skills and respect. We ended up going with a AC /Fleetwood Product from a good dealer too in Chilliwack BC called O'Connor. I think selecting the right dealership is a big part of what should be a overall enjoyable lifestyle.

I think that poor craftsmanship and QC are an epidemic throuhout the industry. You can read plenty of horror stories from all of the major manufactures.
And the poor dealer ethics truly turn a happy excitement into a terrible, fight for your life. (Hard earned money)
This is why so many manufactures are going under.
The manufacture has to have dealers to sell coaches, thus the trade off. Warranty repairs end up on the price of future units, driving prices up. Companies sell less more expensive coaches and ultimatly bye, bye, another one bits the dust. When will they figure out Quality is job ONE.


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