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Around the Campfire: ‘Help! Our new RV has problems!’

What can you do if you’re not happy with your newly purchased RV? What can you do if you have serious problems with your new RV? If you voice your concerns to your RV dealer and he refuses to (or claims he can’t) help—what then? Is there any recourse for buyers? This was the latest topic around the campfire.

Problems with a new RV are a disappointing reality

A young couple took possession of their brand-new travel trailer six months ago. Since that time, they’ve discovered several issues that they want to be addressed. These are not little problems. At least to my mind. It’s a brand-new RV! On their first camping trip, a kitchen cabinet actually fell off the wall! There are many additional problems, as well. This couple has jumped through every hoop with no satisfaction or solutions. So, they asked campfire attendees for suggestions on what to do next.

Squeaky wheel

“Keep calling,” Neal advised. “Don’t give up. Keep bugging the dealership and eventually they’ll address your situation.” Often the “squeaky wheel” does get attention, but the discouraged couple has tried that tactic. The last several calls have met with hang-ups. When they approach the dealer in person, they get the runaround.

Go online

It was surprising to hear that several folks with older RVs said they, too, had problems when their rigs were new. This was as far back as 2015. One gal, Ginny, admitted that she took to Facebook, after being repeatedly put off by her dealership. In desperation, she posted her frustration on the dealer’s Facebook page. In just two days, she received a call. It was from the RV dealership. Her rig was fixed by the end of the week!

Go to the top

Other folks around the campfire advised going directly to the RV’s manufacturer. Many, if not all, companies have customer service reps. Their job is to keep customers happy. Several friends at the fire reported that they had experienced positive results by contacting the company directly.

Ginny was quick to add that if the manufacturer is unhelpful, you can leave a detailed account of what happened in a review on their website or other social media platforms.

Hire a lawyer

A few people advised getting a lawyer involved in the situation. I’d personally see this as a last resort. You just paid for a new RV! Who wants to add lawyer fees on top of that? But to each his own. If you have so many problems with your new RV that it’s practically unusable, and other options do not work out, maybe it would be worth the expense.

Fix it yourself

If you want to take advantage of this camping season, this may be your best bet. That is, if you have the know-how and necessary tools. You might be able to order parts online or get them from your local camping supply store. Just know that COVID-induced supply chain problems continue.

Another option is to consider hiring a local repairman for fixes. Or try other RV dealerships to see if they might be willing to service your rig. In addition, you might find a mobile RV repair service person. Check with nearby campgrounds for recommendations.

Last resort

Turns out, the couple was seriously considering getting rid of their RV. The continual hassle was wearing them down. I understand their disappointment, but I really hope they can resolve their RV’s issues.

Have you ever experienced problems with a new RV? Let us know how you resolved your issues in the comments below.

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Laurie
14 hours ago

Take it to a place that does warranty work for your manufacturer, camping world etc. and they will handle the paper work.

travilenman
4 days ago

Bought a new 5’er from a Dealer that had a sagging awning tube….long story short, Keystone refused to replace the tube…They said I damaged it, I had not taken it off the lot…Called Keystone & told them the internet & social media were powerful places for good & bad if they got my drift…Guess what they replaced the hole awning & even put a support under it mid way at NO cost to me…..SOOO social media & internet are sometimes powerful places to vent about various things that manufacturers think we should fix ourselves, even when it is their fault….

Charles Parker
5 days ago

I purchased and owned a new class A RV from forest river! We enjoyed our RV prior to pandemic and after but I have to tell everyone! Do your research. Forest River/Georgetown stands behind their RVs. I recommend really doing your research. We had several problems as well even purchasing new. But you need to take control. It’s like buying a new home on wheels. There will always be problems. We finally sold our FR3 after 4 years and 36000 miles and visiting. 36 states and Canada. We got just less than $10,000 than we paid even after all the use. Study and choose the right RV is my advice. Good luck and next time er buy an RV it will be a Forest River or Georgetown!

Phil M.
6 days ago

Contact the BBB after dealing with problems for 19 months with dealership they got results

Monica
6 days ago

We had some real issues with our 2022 fifth wheel. There were struts missing from slam locks. The locks on the slam doors were not installed properly and could easily be opened while locked. When we received delivery, the bathroom faucet was missing. The kitchen faucet leaked and the counterweight was not in the proper place on the line. We have a ductless heating system where it runs under the cabinets. No plenum where it splits to 2 sides to exhaust the heat. The kitchen slide made a clicking sound. The underbelly of the camper had to be opened to repair that
We were asked to make an appt 3 weeks out but we’re told they wouldn’t promise they could work on it. He told them we wouldn’t set foot in there again and went directly to the manufacturer. Fortunately, the manufacturer sent 2 mobile techs to our home to do the needed repairs. 7 hours later, the problems were resolved. My husband did many of the small repairs himself. Make all the noise you need to for the $ you spend !

Richard Petrein
8 days ago

Ordered new Jayco Eagle HT. Took delivery Jan 2021. Took our for test trip knowing had appt 3 weeks later to resolve known issues. But more developed. More and more electrical issues discovered. Levelers, lights turn on and dim, boondocked and over night batteries drained some how…and on and on. Back again for service, pick up and items still not right plus new like heater not working. Back again this time for 43 days. Yelled and yelled and finally owner said get that thing out of here. Lived on all summer hooked up with no issues. Had service appt and when got there no 12v! Supposed all fixed again…seemed like a good walk thru. To to Quartzite this Jan. On day 12v lights flickering, dimming going on and off. Called for appt agsin on return. Left and 1/2 hour out on I 10 saw smoke. Pulled over and flames shooting out front compartment…5th wheel. Total loss 2021 trailer and 2020 Ram 2500. There was so much wrong the dealer could not fix

Dflood
8 days ago

This is why I rebuilt an old camper .The quality of workmanship and speed of pace to put out product is crazy. Indiana has so many laws to protect camping manufactures .Hence why elkhart is the RV capital

BILLY Bob Thronton
8 days ago

For starters, if you’re just discovering them at the beginning of the camping season, DON’T drop your unit off at the dealer and expect it back before the seasons over. That’s assuming you can functionally use it this camping season. Then, set up a drop off time at the end of summer and use them as your storage location/repair facility.

Your aggravation factor will deminish considerably.

Karen Atwood
9 days ago

Having owned our 5th Wheel for 3 years, we went through the usual break-in period where we needed warranty repairs. Our dealer was very hard to work with and they kept blaming delays on the manufacturer. (Pre-Covid) A local independent repair facility finally diagnosed a structural issue that caused the kitchen slide cable to continuously break. We contacted the manufacturer directly who kept denying the issue was a factory defect and said that it wasn’t covered under the 3 year policy. After a string of emails and finally being ghosted, I copied the email string, including pictures of the defect, created a timeline of issues and typed a letter to the president of the manufacturer. I mailed it off and 2 weeks later, received a call where they have accepted the defect and will repay us for the repair. Squeaky Wheel wins

Chris Haggerty
9 days ago

We have had some difficulties with our new travel trailer and runaround at the dealership. It was a structural issue and within warranty. What I want to share is be sure you talk to the service manager. The other desk staff will tell you anything they can to get you off their ear. I even spoke to the branch manager one day thinking he’s at the top of the chain. Not so when it comes to repairs and service. I had to fight for months to get things fixed and when they finally did it aspects of the repair were missed. I’m kind of glad it’s out of warranty at this point as I’ll be addressing all repairs myself. If it’s something I cant handle, I’ve identified a good mobile tech service. If it’s something they cant fix I’ll take it to another dealership. I can be patient and understand a lot of reasons for delays but bs and runaround I have no patience for.

Bruce Williams
9 days ago

Of all the BS our government gets involved in, why don’t they refocus and put in place laws to protect the RV consumer better. I hate big government always taking care of the smallest segment of our society, or conversely in this case, taking care of big business. How about taking care of us middle of the road tax-paying citizens for a change?

Aaron Adkins
10 days ago

We had owned 3 other RV before our current purchase in 2020, and can state unequivocally that the quality of contemporary units just isn’t there. We’ve had more problems with THIS RV than we had with any of the other 3 combined! Some the dealer addressed, (while under warranty), but most we fixed just to save time and money.

LAMB
10 days ago

We purchased our current rv directly from the factory in 2017. We’d never rv’d before and jumped into full-timing. In our first year we had a multitude of issues from ac stopped working to no electricity until wires were cut and rerouted as a temporary fix to furnaces not working because they were not set up properly for the zones to outlets not working to cracked toilet to leak in brake fluid lines so we never had brakes working on rv for first year and didn’t know better and on and on. When we pulled into factory appointed warranty repair shop on one year anniversary, the repair list had over 40 items and more were found by service person. We were there three weeks living onsite. It was actually beneficial to us because it was service person’s shop and he took the time to educate us on things to maintain and how to repair. All this said, the rv factory from which we purchased never hesitated to pay for all repairs that first year on the road and at warranty appointment.

Thomas D
10 days ago

My new truck camper had multiple problems new. I didn’t want to drive 200 miles to the dealership ,leave it there return home and then repeat when repaired. I called dealer, said i could repair if they’d supply the parts. They said ok , i fixed. everything and billed him at $120 an hour. He sent a check. Happy, but a little effort at the factory could have alleviated that

Gail
10 days ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Wow! I’m impressed. Glad you got it resolved.

David W.
8 days ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Thomas I’m in the market for a truck camper, where did you buy your camper (Dealer)?. Any help would be appreciated.

Thomas Moeller
10 days ago

We are currently living a nightmare, thanks to LaMesa RV in Mesa Az, and Winnebago Micro Minnie! Bought last October 25th, had to cancel 1st planned trip, and probably the 2nd! Slide installed incorrectly, diagnosed in February, took to January to get a tech to come out from the dealer, slide broke after he left, took till the end of February to get that diagnosed, installed incorrectly, was told to check back in 6 to 8 weeks! Called after 7 weeks, in the dealer notes it said they needed more pictures, they sat on that request until I called! Outrageous, sent email to Winnebago and the Winnebago service manager at LaMesa, she called me and pretty much scolded me for getting involved, asked where I got the notion to get involved, scoffed when I told her that I got the idea from Facebook for Winnebago and a newsletter from rv repair club, not once did she offer anything that would be helpful, 2 days later I had repairs authorization, or so I thought! 2 weeks later I called on the parts

Thomas Moeller
10 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Moeller

Continued, they wanted more pictures, dealer would not let me bring it in for them to take pictures, so I took more pictures and sent them in! Again told repairs were authorized! Called 2 weeks later, notes say now they need measurements! Told them that was bs and that they built it, they know what size! They agreed and shipped parts! Tracking # shows the parts were at the Mesa terminal, 4 miles from dealer, then shows package rerouted back to Winnebago! Was told they’d turn them around and send them back! They got back last Wednesday, didn’t get sent out Thursday ( when I inquired as to why was told the guy in shipping went to a funeral, they’d go out Friday, didn’t, was told there was a problem with UPS, and they’ll got out Monday! We are besides ourselves, we out $40,000 with nothing to show for it! Want to stuff this trailer up into the dealership showroom! Where do we turn? Scheduled next trip departs Friday 6/10/2022, only trips planned, want our money back!

Gail
10 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Moeller

What a frustration! I’m sorry you have to deal with this. Please keep in touch to let us know if and when it’s finally resolved. I really hope you can go on your trip!

Steve Murray
10 days ago

Call all the Local News Stations. Hopefully they have a Consumer Advocate Broadcaster. Put these Larcenous Incompetent Dealers out of business.
Best bet before a Lawyer is a Local Mobile RV Tech. Pay the Bill and send it to the Manufacturer. Go “Full Attack” on Social Media.
C’mon!.. RV’ing is supposed to be fun!

Bob M
10 days ago

Maybe stick a banner on the side of the RV that say they don’t back up their new RV’s and drive around the dealer.

Ed K
10 days ago

I have never owned nor wanted to own a new RV. We even had problems when young and bought a new tent, it leaked the first rain storm we encountered and that was after canoeing three hours to get to our camp site, so new doesn’t even enter into the picture.

Thomas D
10 days ago
Reply to  Ed K

I guess nobody told you new tents need seams sealed. Mine leaked like crazy. Went back to Gander mountain was told ( then, Oh you need to seal the seams. ) why didnt salesman tell me first?

Tom
9 days ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Salesmen get paid last on sales, not repairs. Not his problem.