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Here’s another RV dealer perspective on the quality of new rigs

Our recent story on the quality issues associated with RV manufacturing continues to stir a lot of interest among the RV industry as well as RV owners and potential owners.

Josh Winters of Haylett Auto & RV Supercenter in Coldwater, Michigan, later posted a video on YouTube (see below) with his take on quality issues in the RV business. We strongly suggest that you watch the video. It’s one more window into the current mindset of RV dealers in the U.S. who must continuously balance the quality of rigs they receive from manufacturers with the quality they want to provide to their customers.

To be clear, we at RVtravel.com are not in any way “out to get” RV manufacturing companies. Without them, there isn’t an RVing lifestyle for any of us to enjoy. We do see ourselves as advocates for experiencing the joys of RVing. But in order for the RVing lifestyle to be truly enjoyed, owners must have confidence in their RVs.

Part of our responsibility to our readers is to keep them informed when things aren’t going right. That’s why you’ll see stories on RVtravel.com that keep tabs on international supply chain issues, diesel DEF system problems, fuel costs and, yes, the quality of the RVs arriving on dealer lots.

We applaud Josh Winters and his organization for being one of the few dealers willing to very publicly go “out there” on YouTube and clearly communicate what the RVing world looks like from his perspective.

Our original story on RV quality three weeks ago was a small window into the thoughts and feelings of just a handful of RV dealers. Obviously, we can’t know the situation at every dealership in the U.S.

Likewise, it would be unfair for anyone to say that the quality issues facing several large RV manufacturers are occurring at all RV plants across the nation. Certainly, everyone is affected by parts and labor issues. But some seem to be dealing with quality issues better than others. We’ll continue to report on RV quality, and we’ll be sure to tell you when we find manufacturers doing it right, as well as wrong.

At the end of the day, it has never been more important for RV buyers to do their homework before making a purchase. That includes talking with fellow RVers, keeping tabs on websites and newsletters like ours, and closely inspecting your potential new RV before you buy.

In the meantime, we’d again suggest you take 15 minutes and 17 seconds and listen to what Josh Winters has to say. It just might add a new perspective to a very complicated issue.

Here’s Josh’s video:

##RVT1019b

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Bob P
23 days ago

Probably the main reason the quality is so poor is the RV manufacturers have quit drug testing employees. If someone is high on dope they can’t do their job correctly. I know this sounds and is political but as long as the current administration keeps paying people to not work the only people who apply for work are the ones needing money for their habit. Here in TN if you’re looking for work you have your choice of where you want to work because everybody is advertising for help. Another thing that would help in the repair end is if RV dealers had to honor manufacturers warranties like car dealerships where if they sell that brand they have to honor the warranty. That’s why you can’t get a dealer that didn’t sell the unit to work on it, the selling dealer will honor your warranty but breakdown on the road and you get put on the back row until all his customers are taken care of.

Tommy
26 days ago

I would not buy a new rig of any kind. It takes 2 years to work out the kinks that require you to take it back to the selling dealer with all the miles and whatever time is required. Another dealer may do the work but you’ll will be on their lowest priority list. Best option is to buy 2 year old used in excellent condition and add an extended warranty if you must, but for one that any service shop can do the work wherever you happen to be, not only “dealers”.

Drew
27 days ago

I like Josh but he’s an rv dealer. He has to sell what he has regardless.

John Kavanaugh
27 days ago

This is the problem. Excuses instead of honesty.

Ray
27 days ago

Josh just babbled for fifteen minutes and said almost nothing.

Smokey877
27 days ago

My wife and I were just about the drop $150k on a motor home C Class. After reading here and other forums in the past couple weeks I am so glad we didn’t. As a first time RV buyer, I would be in over my head and don’t need the repair problems being mentioned. I already have a bathroom contractor that I paid $25k to remodel just the shower and guess what? In 6 months it is leaking already onto the LR ceiling. And the bo*b is the Prez of the remodelers assoc and refuses to even look at it under his 1 yr warranty. I’m too old for this crap. If I can’t do it, it ain’t getting done and this includes crawling on top or under an RV or being stuck 1,000 miles from home because of poor workmanship. Good luck!

Dobsonion
26 days ago
Reply to  Smokey877

@Smokey877 You made the right decision. I’ve owned Class C’s for 13 years, and am familiar with the experiences of dozens of other RV owners. EVERYONE has stories of poor build quality, or poor long-term reliability. No matter if they spent $10,000 or $500,000. On my new $100k 2018 model, the A/C failed, refrigerator failed, batteries failed, vent failed. Mine is the most well known brand. Getting service is painful. The dirty little secret RV owners do not want to admit is that for the first few years of RV ownership, they are paying $200-$300 per night. Get a nice hotel room, condo or rental house.

Smokey877
27 days ago

The answer to this issue is very simple. Lemon laws. They work for the auto industry so why wouldn’t they work here. 3 times to fix an issue and within a certain amount of time or you get your money back. I can hear the RV builders puckering up as I type. Next, every one with problems should be contacting the consumer division of their states’ attorney general office. Do NOT screw with the BBB, they are worthless and part of a whole other problem. I have had consumer issues here in Ohio and the AG’s office has always got the companies to get off the porta-pot. Lemon law. Get your legislators involved and get these enacted. You would be surprised how easy it is. This problem is NOT going to fix itself unless people don’t start rattling the cage.

Bob P
23 days ago
Reply to  Smokey877

The lyrics to the song “If you got the money I’ve got the time” applies to your statement. If you have the money to contribute to the campaigns of your politicians like the industries do you’ll get your elected officials attention. Otherwise you’re wasting your time, money talks and b…s..t walks.

John Bloxham
27 days ago

A lot of the video was an advertisement for his dealership. It seemed like he was only referring to trailers. Most trailers are of low quality any way. What a lot of people in my circle are concerned with is Motor Homes. They definitely have decreased in quality builds.

Smokey877
27 days ago
Reply to  John Bloxham

I would have to agree.

John J Boyd
27 days ago

Great video. I purchased a Freedom Express by Coachmen. Forest River is the Manufacturer. purchase decision was based on quality hardware and appliances. Inventory was low and so I bought under pressure.

First camping trip the electric fireplace failed and tripped the site breaker. Turns out the fire place was shorted by incorrect installation and was repaired by taking it out. Checking for damage and reinstallation. Now it works fine. Has an issue with a curtain. It took three trips to get an answer. The screws hit the frame and could not be set correctly, thus the first time you pull them down it tears the curtain. The dealer fix was to install spacers to allow the screws to set properly and the curtain to work without tearing.

I have tested every function of my trailer and all works fine. This is my second RV and I can’t underscore the need to learn and ask questions and don’t buy unless you get answers.

1HasBeen
27 days ago

Josh tries to do good in an industry that makes it difficult. While I was not an RV dealer, I have been a dealer in a few other industries, for companies ranging from regional to global. If a manufacturer I represented sold a product that was sub-par I would not stock it, or, if the manufacturer required us to stock it, which does happen, I would diplomatically try to steer folks away from it. Naturally, you can’t bash a manufacturer to the public at large. Conversely, at dealer meetings, or on the rare opportunity to “have the ear” of upper management, I would be brutally forthright in calling them out. There were instances where I dumped a brand when they refused to improve, even at my own expense. Since the vast majority of production RVs are “Lippert catalog builds”, there is basically no way to escape the junk, short of leaving the industry.

And that, in a nutshell, is the difference in perspective between Josh’s consumer-facing video, and a dealer conference call.

Suru
27 days ago

A big problem is the RV manufacturers are sending out junk. Then the consumer buys it. Things break right away and the consumer has to take it back to the dealer. It sits at the dealer for weeks or months waiting for parts or waiting in line behind a hundred other RVs that need to be fixed. All the while the consumer is paying for, or already paid for, something they can’t use. Yet, there is no solution or recourse for the consumer. They just have to suffer. This isn’t the fault of the dealer, it’s the fault of the manufacturer and that’s where the buck should stop. Manufacturers need to get their quality control under control. I don’t think all the repairs and problems of a newly delivered trailer should be the responsibility of the dealer. That responsibility lies with the manufacturer in my opinion. BTW, Mr. Haylett seems to love the Rockwood brand. We owned a brand new Rockwood Mini Lite for 2 years. Something major broke or quit working on 17 out of 22 trips we took.

Dave Yuhas
27 days ago

I wouldn’t be bragging about a 3 out of 5 star review. The customer comments on Yelp about his dealership are not reassuring.

Joe Childress
28 days ago

Bottom line is if the auto industry put out the junk the RV manufactures do, they would be out of business. More excuses from an industry that is a fraud………………….

Clint
28 days ago

I have been told by two large dealerships, one in Oregon and one in Denver that the most profitable segment of their business is now repairs, mostly warranty. Two factors contributed to this. The first is manufactures have squeezed the dealers with pricing that has greatly reduced their profit margins on new sales,and the second is the poor quality of new RV’s has resulted in a gold mine of repair revenue.

Gary
28 days ago

So if lack of parts availability has slowed down manufacturing of RVs, then wouldn’t that give workers more time to build them with higher quality? Something doesn’t add up.

Jim Prideaux
28 days ago

Josh gave a good honest assessment. Been watching his videos for years and has always given good advice. Much of what he said was just reporting the facts on the ground. Dealers don’t make money on warranty work. Parts are slow to ship. He says Rockwood is the best (that they carry) and I believe him.

Richard Davidson
28 days ago

Excuses and more excuses. What would you do if you paid $100K for a car that leaked, or didn’t run, or rode rough and the tires wore out on one side? Would you take it back? Would you be satisfied for it to sit in the dealership for a month or more waiting parts while you sat at home with NO car to drive? NO, you wouldn’t. So why should owners of RVs be any different? Why should they not have the same protections that car buyers have?

Joe Childress
28 days ago

Because the RVIA has their lobbyist making sure this doesn’t happen.

wanderer
28 days ago

I’m sorry, this is sales talk, pretending it’s okay for an industry to put out junk, as long as a few brands step it up and do better when orders start dropping off, for a premium price. He’s touting his current favorite brands, which on Wall Street is called “talking your book”.

And the old claim that THEIR dealership is the one unicorn which actually will do thorough prep. Gee has anyone ever heard that before?

Later on he does admit they have troubles dealing with parts shortages and delays from manufacturers. Okay, good. But apparently since a 4 month wait for a part bothers him as much as it does us, that makes it ok, just buy from a dealer who supposedly cares.

But, maybe this is a crack in the wall of bad quality, if a few leading dealers want to start to make noises.

Michael R Stache
28 days ago

This is a great video. I wish our big RV dealer in GB, WI. was as honest. Bought one a few years ago. And straight out lied on condition, and would not follow through on promises. In my opinion, the dealer is more important than the RV brand.

Thomas D
28 days ago

He talked about cougar and said “we scaled back” until they got their act together. How about the customers that bought the junk until they got their act together? I’m sure it’s out there. They didn’t send it back for rebuilding!

Kenny E
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas D

I bought a used 2012 Cougar and only had 2 problems for the past 9 years. Water heater and Water pump. I am glad I bought a model year when Quality still mattered