By Kate Doherty
Remanufactured parts, or more commonly called “remanned parts,” are products made by a manufacturer that have been returned for various reasons. Some examples are: defective or failed, cosmetic blemishes, or plain old returned for unknown reasons. If this product is returned directly to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), then this may be the first time this part/product/equipment will be thoroughly inspected, dissected, and tested to find the failure. Generally, a highly skilled and knowledgeable technician will review what is wrong with the product/part and repair it with a fully tested and functioning replacement part.
Dealing with untimely failure
By late spring and summer of 2020, numerous companies could not keep up with RVers’ repair/replacement demands. This was due to widespread shortages in work personnel, raw material(s) and sub-assemblies required to manufacture their standard part(s), products and/or equipment. This was all due to the disruption in business caused by COVID-19.
In August 2020, while we were boondocking at Cabela’s in Rapid City, SD, our right rear leveling jack seal blew. This caused our 40,000-pound diesel pusher to precipitously fall, spewing hydraulic fluid all over the ground. Concurrently, this untimely failure caused the extended left rear leveling jack to also collapse, bending its foot and mounting bracket in an unrepairable configuration. Fun, fun, fun!
Slaying the service dragon!
We called several RV service dealers in the surrounding area. All reported they were several weeks out for replacement service and confided they also couldn’t get any parts. To our credit, we were tenacious. Fortunately, Rapid City, SD, had a heavy equipment pneumatic/hydraulic machine shop that could accommodate our rig immediately. One dragon slayed.
Next, we dreaded the call to the extended warranty company informing them we were taking our coach to Adams ISC of South Dakota. However, they initially consented.
After arriving at Adams ISC, we were invited to boondock in their parking lot until repairs/replacement could take place. Even the owner stopped by and personally greeted us, leaving us with a positive impression of his company’s service commitment! We were in good hands, as hydraulics was their bread-and-butter. Considering our situation, we couldn’t have been in a better place.
The quagmire of finding even remanufactured parts
To our chagrin, we found out that the manufacturer was a minimum of six to ten weeks out for new parts due directly to COVID-19. If we didn’t locate replacement jacks, we had two options: park our diesel pusher on blocks and wait patiently, or, since our coach was a Tiffin, contact their parts department.
Tiffin had remanned RV jacks available
We soon found out Tiffin’s parts department was also out of the new leveling jacks we needed; however, the extent they went to solve our dilemma was terrific. They reported they had a set of remanned leveling jacks available. My spouse quizzed them extensively as to their condition and warranty. Tiffin’s parts team informed us that these leveling jacks were remanufactured by the original manufacturer, HWH Corporation, backed by a full new product warranty. Here’s the kicker: The cost for one new rear jack was approximately $700, but the “remanned” was half the cost of the new jack, with the same warranty. Wow! That’s like two for one!
Now comes the denouement! The useless warranty company refused to pay for the remanned jacks citing some ridiculous reason (which was probably in the 1.5-point type, unreadable even with the Hubble telescope). Thank the powers that be that we were saving $700.
Once Adams ISC received the remanned leveling jacks, they replaced and rigorously tested these parts giving our chassis a once-over to ensure we were good to go. Hey, presto! Their pricing was far less than typical RV dealer pricing. It’s nice to deal with folks that appreciate their customers.
BTW, my spouse sent the warranty company CEO a written complaint as well as calling his office because, as the CEO likes to say, ”If you’re not happy, I’m not happy.” Evidently, he was happy that we paid our premium as we never heard back from him. Ah! A story for later.