Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RVer’s almost-new roof needs $12,000 repair. Dealer won’t help

We established the group RV Horror Stories a few months ago and it has grown to nearly 11,000 members. The idea is to provide a forum for RVers who bought seriously defective RVs to tell their “horror” stories.

We hope that as the group and its influence grows, these people will get some respect and prompt action from dealers and manufacturers getting their RVs fixed. As is, far too many RVers are stuck with lemons that remain in repair shops for several months on end (or longer) — and we’re talking about brand-new units.

Because of the group, some members have learned about RV lemon law lawyers and have contacted them to help resolve their issues. We are happy to report that just recently one RVer reached an out-of-court settlement with an RV manufacturer. It was because of RV Horror Stories that this happened. And, FYI, for a list of helpful resources, including contact information for RV lemon lawyers, click here.

Here’s one of the latest member reports. Please leave a comment below or go to RV Horror Stories and leave one there (you’ll need to be a Facebook member to do that).

The member’s report:
We purchased a 2017 Weekend Warrior from the RV factory in Wakarusa, Indiana, now we have a dealer telling us that due to the manufacturing defect the roof needs replaced at a cost of $12,000! A $100,000 RV and the roof needs replaced was the response from the RV factory.

If you have a defective RV, please consider joining the RV Horror Stories group. You need not be a member of Facebook to read the messages on the group page, only to post or comment.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodburyhttps://rvtravel.com
I'm the founder and publisher of RVtravel.com. 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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Buck O (@guest_56505)
4 years ago

What else can you expect from these companies which use illiterate employees- mostly ILLEGAL- to do the manufacturing?

Gene Cheatham (@guest_46079)
4 years ago

Time to petition the government to get rid of the handy exclusion RVIA carved out for themselves and hold the to the same lemon laws auto manufacturers must follow. Thoughts?? I would love be to see this move forward.

Diane Mc (@guest_38364)
4 years ago

Whoa! We had the roof on our 40 ft Newmar Dutchstar replaced in Jan 2017, at the factory, for under $6K. First, the company should be held accountable, second the quote sounds like a rip off, independent of who is responsible.

Cindy Martin (@guest_38261)
4 years ago

One more reason metal roofs or fiberglass roofs are preferable to my mind. If you had some hail damage on an aluminum roof no one ever saw it and leaks could easily be patched. I think rubber is cheaper for the manufacturers, not better for the customers. It’s a huge lie they have gotten away with for years now.

TravelingMan (@guest_38246)
4 years ago

It appears that you are the victim of yet another botched engineering design and production team by the RV manufacturer. There is no such thing as quality in RV’s. Persons interested in buying an RV will need to realize that they are crap and have to be rebuilt if you own one. It seems manufacturers value sales over quality.

With that, continue down that same path that many others have. You’ll spend a ton of money and time on legal fees and court battles. If you’re lucky, you might actually win something but did you really? How much time did you waste instead of camping? What happens to resale value?

This is probably not what you want to hear, but there is an alternative. You still lose of course but it could get you back on the road. And as the old verbiage goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. I sometimes wish I could have just built my own rig…

If you have the time and skill, locate a small vacant warehouse. Negotiate a rental rate as cheaply as you can. The storage warehouse has a couple of advantages. 1) It keeps the rig in the dry allowing you or a hired hand to complete the work in the least amount of time in a protected area. 2) If this is a weekend unit, it also secures the unit while the rig is under repair and you are away. After all, you can just lock the doors.

Next, go on line and purchase your own TPO material. Purchase all of the glue and sealant products as well.

Then, decide if you can handle this job yourself or with a couple of friends or family members. You may want to hire mobile techs for parts of the work or to give you an extra hand. More expensive of course, but not as bad as taking the unit into a dealer to make the repairs for you. $12,000 is ridiculous (more like price gouging).

Then, begin the process of removing the equipment on the roof and tearing off the old membrane. Take your time. You have to rent the storage facility for a month or two anyway. Be safe. Understand that you are working at heights and if you have a thin plywood roof with roof joists spread beyond 16″, you might have other difficulty as well (like stepping through the roof). Once the TPO is removed, start removing the cheap A _ _ staples they put into your roof. Use tech screws with the large washer heads (built on). These screws will stay in place versus the staples they use. Then, clean the roof plywood and reinstall the glue and TPO materials. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions. The glue can only be installed in a certain temperature and humidity range. I’m leaving out a lot of detail here but do your research on this and see if this is an option for you. TPO materials come in different thicknesses. The thicker the material, the heavier the weight. Keep that in mind. Determine what you can afford in weight.

The bottom line is that if you have patience, any mechanical skills, and the time or money to do this, you will save a LOT of money and know it is done correctly. Even with storage rent, I would venture to bet that you will be under $5K. In a best case scenario, probably closer to $3K. Just search the internet for the materials and see if you don’t agree.

The other alternatives are the “permanent” roofs. Typically, they are either rolled on or sprayed on (I prefer the latter). Costs can range from $5-8K depending on what or who you go with. It’s still cheaper than that $12,000 you have been quoted and its permanent. Water damage is by far the leading cause of RV’s ruined.

Sorry to hear about your situation. I sympathize. I have had a similar experience. In our case, it was a $90,000 Redwood. Redwood would not stand behind their product either. We had staples sticking up everywhere puncturing the roof. We had air pockets and bubbles throughout. They are a division of Thor. One of the Two conglomerates who continue to rape the public and produce crap products.

Best wishes for your success resolving your issue with your dealer/manufacturer.

Donald (@guest_38238)
4 years ago

Wow $12000 to replace the roof. Since it is not covered under warranty I would contact RV Armor or another Lifetime Roof repair company for an estimate. Then you would have lifetime, transferable roof coverage. My cost was by the foot…something to consider.

gene snyder (@guest_45408)
4 years ago
Reply to  Donald

i have the same problem with a 2014 fuzion by keystone staples refused to fix the staples coming up intp the roof their lame excuse was they did not want to open the roof and the staples wont hurt any thing i wrote to the ceo which refered to warranty dept if problem in future they would address it never got done now 4 years it on my dime

Booneyrat (@guest_38231)
4 years ago

Many of us old fuddy duddys are getting long in the tooth and tire easily about the sickening,disgusting RV indudtry’s way of skrewing people out of their hard earned money.In a way we are glad we don’t have much longer to deal with these corrupt liars who sell junk to unsuspecting folks.It’s too bad this once great nation has stooped so low as to allow this kind of unscrupulous business to go on.Every dollar not spent appeasing these RV monsters is a dollar saved.

Bob Collins (@guest_38412)
4 years ago
Reply to  Booneyrat

Our great nation has a long history of unscrupulous businesses. What has saved many people from these abusers has been consumer protection laws. From my observation, the RV industry is mostly unregulated and manufacturers produce unsafe and unreliable products. It is unsurprising that they have little interest in standing behind (or in front of) the junk they sell.

martlin c chambers (@guest_38215)
4 years ago

Add another manufacturer to add to the long list of purveyors of crappy RVs. It does make looking for an RV easier because the list of decent made RVs is a short one these days. Don’t even look at them, they mostly are all show and glitz. Look under the thinly applied pretty parts and you will find just plain crap.

Personally I stay away from anything connected to Thor or Camping World. But that is just me, I like to get a dollar’s worth when investing in large purchases.

CHARLES HOWARD (@guest_38219)
4 years ago

I wonder how bad the problem is. My roof was replaced due to collision and as the years go by maybe a dozen staples along the aluminum “cove” edge covered by the roof membrane have crept up. I pound them back in and put a strip of Eternabond repair tape over each one. Only 2 have ever actually come up through the rubber roof.
Just maintenance….

Steve Rosenlund (@guest_38636)
4 years ago

I have had good luck hammering Staples down and sealing the ones that broke the surface with self levelling RV caulk.

Ivbinconned (@guest_38222)
4 years ago

Personally I have owned 2 two fifth wheel trailers. The first a Scamper and current a Cedar Creek. I have a trailer repair business in which we specialize in big cattle liner repairs and rebuilds.
Our 1991 29 ft Scamper had a 1piece skin of aluminum front to back. Had it until 3 years ago. In never leaked!
I’ve always wondered if the weight savings are worth the risks that come with a rubber roof.
If I ever redo the Cedar Creek I will do it myself and use aluminum.

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