Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Another RV Horror Story

Here is another posting from our Facebook group RV Horror Stories, which we formed to allow RVers with defective RVs to share their experiences. Our hope is that the group’s membership will grow to a point where the RV industry will pay attention, and begin to seriously address the bad quality of so many of the RVs they’re turning out. In its short existence, the group has grown to more than 11,000 members.

Here is what was posted on Wednesday, Jan. 21. By the way, this is not an isolated incident. Similar tales are posted almost every day.

Member Cathi Claiborne Peters wrote (with some minor editing):

We bought a new 2018 Forest River Leprechaun November 2017, and have had it in and out of the shop for a total of approximately six months…water leaks from the shower, water leaks from the washer, plugged washer drain, circuit board for water heater, sinks that had to be re-caulked, faulty Firestone airbag suspension, batteries that had to be replaced, TV in the bedroom didn’t work, loose valances, lots of loose screws and fittings, bathroom door wouldn’t stay shut…very poor workmanship.

Our warranty is now expired. I requested Forest River extend the warranty by the amount of time it’s been in the shop. Their response was they technically can’t do that but they are willing to work with us.

It’s very disappointing to spend so much money for a new motorhome, and have so many issues, not to mention canceled vacations. And the lemon law definition for California is as follows:

“The California Lemon Law covers the following new and used vehicles sold or leased in California that come with the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty: Cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs. The chassis, chassis cab, and drivetrain of a motorhome. … Vehicles purchased or leased for personal, family, or household purposes.”

So, not even sure if the Lemon law will help.

We replied:
Cathi, Go to this page where you will find many resources to help you with your defective RVs, including contact information for RV lemon law attorneys. . Best of luck to you. What a shame that manufacturers can turn out RVs with so many defects.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Peggy Coffey (@guest_39752)
4 years ago

When we were looking to buy, we never even glanced at a Thor product. We bought a new 2018 Winnebago and have had only a couple of cosmetic problems. As we were moving from our old coach to the new one, they pulled up a new Entegra. The couple began transferring their things but had to stop because none of the electrical outlets worked. They were going to try to get it fixed before they were scheduled to get on the road. We were glad we didn’t look at Thor.

George Sears (@guest_39095)
4 years ago

Is there any research on leaks in RV’s? When I consigned my TT they asked if there were any leaks, and that was the main thing they checked for. They would not consign a unit with water damage. Some people on YouTube have discussed trying to find older RV’s and finding almost all of them have water damage from leaks. The general advice is to never buy an RV with a leak. There are some people who bought RV’s with “reasonable damage” that turned out to be massive damage. So how many develop leaks? What does happen to the value? If the RV mostly sits somewhere it seems a bit like Russian roulette. Did these basically ‘indoor’ leaks do any damage to this Leprechaun?

Phil Atterbery (@guest_39077)
4 years ago

This has probably been said before. Poor quality results from inadequate design standards AND a rush to complete the construction. Both of these conditions are driven by penny pinching managers. Accountants should not make manufacturing & design decisions.

Douglas C Rutz (@guest_39005)
4 years ago

What is needed is honest to goodness inspections and codes. The RVIA is a puppet for the manufacturers. The automobile industry would never get away with what the RV industry does. The same way with actual electrical and plumbing codes. Some of the tricks that are used in the plumbing and electrical installation of an RV would never be approved in home construction. And as some indicated those homes are not going down the road at 60 plus miles per hour.

Jeff (@guest_39034)
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas C Rutz

I wonder if there is a list of RV Inspectors or Inspection Services. Now, I’m not talking about DEALERSHIPS, but actual licensed knowledgeable RV Inspectors.

It would have to be something a BUYER would have to foot the bill for, since the manufacturers and dealerships are NOT gonna pay the cost.

The RVIA are truly puppets of the industry and when you have the GIANT THOR running more than half the RV Industry, you know the RVIA will not change because of Manufacturers like THOR.

Scott (@guest_39469)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Jeff, there are in fact licensed RV inspectors for contract (all over the country) by a consumer if they would like to have a unit inspected by a licensed professional prior to purchasing one from a RV Dealer or a used one from a dealer or, private seller. Check out Mike and Jennifer Wenland’s (Wendland’s) youtube channel and search under their posted videos. You will eventually see it or you can search at their channel by topic.

martlin c chambers (@guest_38989)
4 years ago

This is why I won’t even look at a Thor or Thor connected RV, they are putting out crap and screwing customers. Thor and Camping World will destroy RVing.

Roy (@guest_38929)
4 years ago

Unlikely you would be covered by any of the California applications of the Lemon Law. Your issues seem to be primarily with the ‘box’ issues and not those of the ‘drive’ unit. It is sad what makers get away with on construction and lack of QC.

Some of the units made today ‘might’ survive the life of the loan … IF … you never moved it. Today’s units are super lightweight and can’t take the pounding on the deteriorating highways and off-road back roads some folks want to use. We travel frequently to Alaska and the comments we hear the most is that the other travelers hated the roads. They are the same people who passed us earlier in the day flying down the bumpy, frost heaved road at over 65 mph.

For those who want a unit for that kind of treatment, maybe an Army surplus M1 Abrams tank would work. Not that hard on your unit? Pay a bit more for a quality unit and treat it accordingly, giving it the kind of Preventive Maintenance units used for RVing need and require.

Yes, there are units that are Horror Stories. Be a smart buyer … investigate before you buy. Get ‘educated’ about what others are saying. Don’t be sucked into the sales pitch that assures you it will be everything you want it to be.

You get what you pay for … shop cheap and you will own ‘cheap’ … !!

James vaughn (@guest_38936)
4 years ago
Reply to  Roy

The same road that they do 65 mph is specifically posted 55 kilometers per hour not 65 miles per hour . Why they speed on the crappy roads that we paid millions for construction I don’t know. This point is the owners fault not the builder, since they are tearing up their equipment by speeding.

martlin c chambers (@guest_38991)
4 years ago
Reply to  James vaughn

Dude, these new RVs come from the factory with a laundry list of issues. Sure, people speed, they do it in cars and will do it in their RV as well. And RVs are just a box on a vehicle and prone to have issues depending on road conditions. By the way, 55 kilometers is 85.5 MPH.

Ian Anderson (@guest_38999)
4 years ago

Your math is wrong! 55kph is about 35 mph. 8km. is approx. 5 miles.

Michael R Hale (@guest_39113)
4 years ago

No, alas. 55 kilometers/ hour is between 35 and 40 miles/ hour. A kilometer is about .6 miles.

Ron (@guest_39462)
4 years ago
Reply to  Michael R Hale

Actually it’s .62

Scott (@guest_39056)
4 years ago
Reply to  Roy

Unfortunately the old saying, “you get what you pay for” does not seem to apply to most units that are produced by RV manufacturers even what some might describe as reputable such as Airstream just to mention one. Go to Airstream forums and you will see consumer quality and functional issue complaints from owners posted there too if you don’t believe what I am saying.

Jeff (@guest_38924)
4 years ago

It’s getting to the point that NO Matter what type of RV you are considering buying, Travel Trailer, 5th Wheel or Motor Home. You need to have it inspected by an RV Inspector before driving it off the Lot.

If the Dealer won’t let you do that, then simply walk away from the Deal!

Graybyrd (@guest_38976)
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Considering the outrageous depreciation that occurs the moment a buyer drives the new shiny-shiny off the dealer lot with a 20-year finance contract (!) It would be far more sensible to research the ‘net for reviews and owner reports; then go shopping for a quality used RV. Then be as careful in recruiting and selecting a reputable RV inspector to evaluate it. The $$ spent for the inspector will be more than worthwhile. A few more bucks spent in learning one’s own maintenance and common repairs of the RV will assure more days in the rig and fewer days in the shop. Months in the shop? Totally insane!

Rory R (@guest_64338)
3 years ago
Reply to  Graybyrd

Where does used RV’s come from? There were new at one point. This “they don’t build them like they used to” mentality is really false. I have a friend who bought a 10 yr old FR class A. Sure he had problems with it. But the thing is many of the problems were caused by age and components wearing out. If you stay away from companies who have reputations for not backing their products, spend a few hundred bucks to have the unit inspected before you drive it off the lot, you will probably have cosmetic issues, but nothing really costly or serious. You can have as many or more problems buying used, because you are buying someone else’s problems. There are many folks out there who have bought new and have not experienced all these problems, the same with used. There are more people out there happy with their purchases (me included), that are enjoying their rigs and shaking their heads when reading the posts. And because they are not experiencing problems, they are not complaining, but they are enjoying their rigs…

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