Monday, December 4, 2023


RV makers differ in informing owners of dangerous RVs defects

By Ron Burge
This week Forest River and Oliver Travel Trailers announced dangerous “deadly” defect recalls covering about 13,000 RVs. However, unlike last week when we pointed out that some manufacturers intended to delay notifying their dealers and RV owners, Oliver Travel Trailers got right to it.

Three companies, three very different responses

Oliver Travel Trailers discovered the defect on June 22, quickly completed its analysis, and on July 1 issued its hub separation from axle recall, similar to what Airstream announced recently. But according to Oliver’s filing with federal safety investigators, Oliver planned to send notices to the affected owners just as soon as federal safety investigators approved their notice letter form, which is typically just a matter of days.

And how did Airstream handle the same defect recall on its RVs? Airstream said its plan was to notify dealers or owners in late August. The huge factory with all those employees and all that money seems unable to get done the same thing that Oliver Travel Trailers does quickly—telling its customers there is a serious problem out there with its RVs so they will get fixed fast. What’s up with that? Maybe too much money in the big factory’s marketing department and not enough customer care?

In addition, Forest River issued two recalls, one for 12,000 RVs with trailer brakes that may not work and another for safety chains that can break. Nearly a thousand RVs were subject to the safety chain defect and, according to filings with NHTSA, Forest River does not plan to notify its dealers or owners until August 15. As for the failing trailer brakes that were discovered in June, the Forest River filing with NHTSA indicates notices are not planned to go out to the affected dealers or owners until August 15, but Forest River says it “intends” to send it out as soon as federal safety investigators acknowledge the recall and the form letter is approved.

At least Forest River seems to be trying harder. Maybe the company just hired someone who once worked at Oliver Travel Trailers? Did they read our article last week about this “delayed owner notice” problem? Or did they just get smarter about how to handle recalls? Time will tell.

If your RV is affected…

  • If you own one of the affected Forest River RVs, you can call Forest River at 574-825-6241 and ask about getting your deadly defect recall repair done immediately.
  • If you own one of the affected Oliver Travel Trailer RVs, you can call them at 866-205-2621.
  • If you think your RV has a safety defect, you can report it to Federal safety investigators by calling 888-327-4236 (TTY 800-424-9153).

To find any recall for your RV, just do a search on the NHTSA website for your model year, make, model, and add the word “recall” or the recall number below.

Remember: Life is too short to put up with a bad RV!

RV Recalls

NHTSA Recall ID Number: 22V474

  • Manufacturer: Oliver Travel Trailers, Inc.
  • Subject: Hub may separate from axle wheel end

NHTSA Recall ID Number: 22V476

  • Manufacturer: Forest River, Inc.
  • Subject: Safety chains may break

NHTSA Recall ID Number: 22V477

  • Manufacturer: Forest River, Inc.
  • Subject: Trailer brakes may not activate
  • Make Model Model Years: COACHMEN CATALINA 2020-2022, FOREST RIVER AURORA 2021-2022

 More from Ron Burge 

Is your RV a death trap? For some RVers, the answer could be ‘yes’

Ron Burge reports that RV manufacturers are taking longer and longer to notify their customers of defects that have forced a recall. These range from fire dangers to crash accident risks of overloading because of axle and tire pressure rating errors. Meanwhile, the owners of the RVs continue to take their RVs down the highway—completely unaware that they may be towing or, more often, riding in a death trap.

Read more here

Ron Burge is the nation’s leading expert on RV lemon law. He can be reached at




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John Register (@guest_194163)
1 year ago

One of the reasons for justifying the high price of an Oliver was the reputation of their service department. They are top notch!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Register
Phil Atterbery (@guest_194103)
1 year ago

Ron, why is the photo of a European campground?

J J (@guest_193772)
1 year ago

Perhaps the NHTSA needs to go back to their 2015 practices where they fined Forest River $35 million dollars for this nonsense. If you read the linked order the NHTSA really smacked them upside the head.

Spartan, the maker of high end diesel chassis also got smacked:

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