Saturday, February 4, 2023



Reader lists problems with his new 5th wheel

Dear Chuck,

letters to the editorWe purchased a 2015 Forest River Signature Ultra-lite 32′ Fifth Wheel 8289 WS. Here is a list of problems we have experienced so far:

•Rubber roof not attached properly across front of unit which allowed air to lift the rubber up leaving behind large bubbles. If I hadn’t caught it when I did the entire roof would have been compromised.

•In the pass-thru storage area they used a piece of aluminum foil duct work for the heat vent. I spent five dollars and replaced it with hard tin duct work.

•They used regular nuts on the slide-out adjusters which came loose during vibration allowing the slide-out to shift in the opening.

•Water connections (plastic) behind the Outside Shower Unit were simply tightened without the use of teflon tape or any other product to keep the connections from vibrating loose. The result, I had a major water leak and had to pull the outside shower unit and tighten the connections while on vacation.

•Our pull-out sofa and dining table are held to the floor with wood screws which simply ripped out of the wood.

•One of the glass globes from the lights over the center island crashed to the floor during one trip. I found that a nut that holds the globe in place vibrated loose during travel. No product, such as Lock-tight, was used to prevent this mess.

•The electronics control panel warped during winter storage. This I cannot blame on the manufacturer but I had to use my extended warranty and pay a deductible to have it replaced.

My dealership fixed the roof and the electronics panel, I fixed the other problems. But when you have a brand-new rig and the manufacturer’s representative tell you “you should check nuts and bolts periodically to make sure they are tight” angers me. I should not have to crawl around under my rig checking nuts for tightness when something as simple as a “locking nut” could prevent the problem.

One other matter I would like to point out. When I purchased the trailer it had Class “C” tires. I had one year old Class “E” tires on my used trailer. The dealership agreed, as part of the purchase, to remove my Class “C” tires and replace them with the Class “E” tires from my trade-in trailer. That may sound crazy but I knew those Class “C” tires were not going to hold up to the weight and the rough roadways. —Kurt Shoemaker



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5 years ago

As an EV sales person, we start by picking up spare screws off the floor. Then we check for obvious problems. Anything not noted by a sales person inspection is sold to the public with fingers crossed..

Traveling Man
5 years ago

Sooooo many things to talk about when talking quality (or the lack thereof)…

One doesn’t have to search long on the internet to find vast concerns about RV “quality”. Many articles have been written by professional writers who know the industry inside and out. Many an RV owner has vented concerns over quality as well.

But to the point, the RV industry is (and will continue to be) Un-Regulated. NO ONE (including RV Owners, Dealerships, Manufacturers and Congressmen) seem anywhere near interested in Government over site. They want cars safe but there seems to be no real interest in a safe RV. They just want cheap! As one statistic shows, 80% of fires are related to motorhomes.

And RV Owners don’t seem any too interested in getting educated prior to buying. Classes should be mandatory from axle design, braking types and what to buy concerning tow rigs (among others) and driving safety (Many States have licensing requirements over 10,000 lbs but nothing for those SUV’s towing lighter rigs. No, they just insist on pretty and go! I want it now! We’re such impulse buyers…

So, until there IS some kind of regulation, continue to buy knowing that whatever you buy, you will have to rebuild (over and over).

And, until there is some form of Regulation, unsafe drivers will continue to abound.

Captn John
5 years ago

The only item the builders do not supply is the kit to finish what they started.

Carl Scott Amos
5 years ago

You don’t put Teflon Tape on Plastic pipe connections. It could be missing a sealing ring or other part? However, you do put Teflon tape on plastic connections after they fail, which you did. I can feel your frustrations by your grammar. You must have a technical background which helps you notice the discrepancies, before they become problems. I bet that you saved your family a lot of money over the years by DIY.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

When you buy your new RV and find some problems (and there always are), you go back to the dealer and tell them. They don’t act surprised or upset, they just tell you to bring it back and they’ll fix it. Nobody is surprised by this. This is business as usual. And it’s a shame. I wonder if the dealers ever complain to the manufacturers about this. This is time consuming for both us AND the dealers. It’s especially hard on the buyers if they live a long way from the dealer and have to leave their RV overnight (or over week . . .).

Cindee wilson
5 years ago

Chuck you haven’t said much about the RV show. Did u see anything new that caught your eye?

Bob Novak
5 years ago

Thanks for posting this! Auto makers don’t expect customers to check fittings on a new vehicle, why should you need to do that on a new RV?

Alan Wolfe
5 years ago

Kurt, you echo what I also found on my purchase of a brand new Class C. I soon learned that this is how the industry actually works. They install the components, do not properly check the installation, and leave it to the consumer to find the issues.
Chuck has done an excellent job of pointing out this “insane” approach to manufacturing in the RV industry.

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