By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A man who owns a new Forest River Vibe, one of the company’s “ultra light” travel trailers, had a different sort of “light” problem – as in, the water heater in his rig just wouldn’t light up. What could be the problem?
Apparently, LP gas wasn’t making its way to the water heater, so all the cycling in the world wouldn’t help this problem. A little investigative work revealed what was behind the “no flow” problem. Poking around – presumably in a storage compartment – helped reveal an interesting routing issue for the rubber LP gas supply line that served the water heater. Apparently at the factory, someone routed the LP line under the tub – and under a 4 x 4 support. That support helps keep the tub from sagging when weight is put in it. But mashing a rubber LP line between the floor and a 4 x 4 support does not make for good gas flow.
Happily, the rig hadn’t been driven over enough miles of pounding road to chaff the rubber line to the point a leak developed. But it does beg the question, where on earth is quality control? How do you even build a rig with a defect like this, without even noticing? Compound that issue with, why didn’t the dealer find that the water heater wouldn’t light on the pre-delivery inspection? Maybe the dealer did, but didn’t want to trouble himself with actually running down what the problem was.
The RV industry has been plagued for decades with customer complaints about shoddy workmanship and seemingly non-existent quality control. With dealers across the country selling RVs at a fast clip, and RV manufacturers churning out rigs at a record pace to keep up with the demand, one can only expect quality control issues will get worse, not better.