Thursday, March 30, 2023


RVer’s horror story: RV in for repairs now for 13 months

By Chuck Woodbury
This was posted on our Facebook group RV Horror Stories by an RVer named Sara Stephan. It is such an incredible story I wanted to share it with you here. No RV buyer should go through what she has gone through. Here is what she wrote with some very minor edits:

My horror story about buying a new Cedar Creek 38ERK Champagne appeared in the local newspaper, although the reporter didn’t interview me or my attorneys, and made some of it sound like minor issues.

I have a Facebook page documenting the story also (I Didn’t Buy A New RV For It to Be Sitting Waiting On Warranty Service), started after the purchase because of no resolution by dealer or manufacturer. The dealer blamed manufacturer, manufacturer blamed dealer.

My fifth wheel has been out of my hands now since July 25, 2017 [editor’s note: that’s 13 months]. Not only are the problems ridiculous, but the excuses I’ve been given are, too. For example:

•Slides chewing upper seal off, and gouging black coating off the bottom…“operating as designed.”
•Visible light coming in bottom of dresser slide in the bedroom…”has internal seal, operating as designed.”
•Soft spots in floor…“cannot locate.”
•Carriage bolt hanging out of the frame on front baggage compartment…”delivered from Lippert that way, don’t see a problem.”

The list goes on and on – total of 78 items factory agreed to “fix” but came up with one excuse after another once they had it back in northern Indiana. They did admit Lippert hydraulics were wired and plumbed wrong, which caused the nose to drop to the ground once, and hydraulic fluid leak into the inverter (fire hazard!). My attorney says they hope you get tired and just give up. Most people do.

My breaking point came seven months into “repairs” back at factory when Forest River threatened to send the unit back to me in same condition when I wouldn’t allow them to swap the on demand water heater with a regular RV heater. Still waiting on the judge to rule if I can have a jury trial instead of arbitration, which the dealer requires you to sign after it’s too late to get out of contract or lose the down payment. In my case I wasn’t willing to walk away from over $8,000. But, also didn’t know at the time what a POS the trailer would turn out to be after towing it 80 miles and parking it.



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3 years ago

It’s been a year since this article was originally posted, what is the current status of the RV?

Eric Jensen
4 years ago

If I’m going to buy a 5th wheel, which would you advise??
I’ve looked very hard at DRV suites & large Redwood
Any advise would be appreciated

Susan Byers
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric Jensen

We bought a 2003 Newmar, and it’s really solid. It had been well-cared for, and we did put some money into it to repair some leaks and redo the roof, but as we’ve renovated, we’ve been impressed at how well it was put together (and how hard it’s been to take some things apart, lol) compared to some of the horror stories we’ve read. Newmars were built pretty much to full-time standards–well-insulated, with laundry closets, great kitchens and lots of storage inside (not a huge amount outside, but I’d rather have stuff inside). ModernRV near Grand Rapids has some Newmar fivers now, including a 35LKSA, the model we have, which we think is the best floorplan ever–very versatile, and we’ve rearranged things quite a bit to suit us, including adding a dishwasher, apartment range and fireplace, losing the loungers and putting in a new sofa and chair. We also have an expanding dining table that will seat up to 8 (we love to entertain), and room to use it. After months of research, Newmar was one of the few rigs we would have considered, and I would buy another one in a hot minute. I wish they’d go back into the fifth wheel market (they only do Class A’s now), because they build such a great product.

Kenneth Rose
4 years ago

RV manufactures need to step up. There needs to be legislation protecting consumers from this crap. Times have changed, where RV prices are sometimes more than a home and we need protection from faulty manufacturers and ripoff ??RV dealers. I stopped to look at a Keystone that I liked, talked to the salesman and financial guy to figure out the details. I wanted this RV but needed time to go over my finances and said I would call them Monday with a definite answer. I signed some paperwork to hold it until then. I went home and went over my finances and decided it wouldn’t be a wise move to make the purchase at this time. I called the finance guy and was told we had already made a deal and I couldn’t get out of it. I was PO’d and felt like this dealer was cramming something down my throat that I had decided not to purchase. I’d like to see the same option to get out of these shister deals, like when you buy a time share, you have a period of time you can still get out of it as long as you haven’t used it, RV’s case would be as long as you haven’t taken delivery of it.

4 years ago

I can sympathize with these folks with their fifth wheel out of service for 13 months.We too went through this kind of BS after plopping down $25 grand as a down payment on a new Grand Design 337RLS last year…had nothing but constant problems,especially with anything Lippert related. Beware when buying anything new anymore.I have kicked myself in the derriere many times for selling our old Hitchhiker to buy our current POS from Blue Dog RV in Pasco,Washington.Run from those people…fast.

4 years ago
Reply to  Booneyrat

Paint it yellow and a sign saying you will sell it cheaper than the new one just like it that customers are thinking of buying from this dealer, then call your local radio, tv, and news people and park in front or as close as you can to the dealer, see if this gets you any action, I did this with a POS ford truck I had and within 20 mins, the managers were out trying to get the problems fixed

4 years ago

‘High’ or ‘Lo’ only is a worthy horror story ???? … on a 15 year old unit … O M G … !!!

Elaine Ashton
4 years ago

PLEASE could someone tell me why anybody designed the propane stove in our 2004 Prowler 5th wheel so that only one of the three burners is adjustable. The other two work only on “high” or “off”. We (stupidly) sold our 2004 Komfort 5th wheel to buy a slightly longer 5th wheel. The Komfort stove had three adjustable burners. What were they thinking?

Ray Wilson Bell
4 years ago
Reply to  Elaine Ashton

They could give a s***, take the money and run……… Doesn’t matter if you pay 200,000$$$$ or 25,000$$$ all the bells and whistles are built cheap…..

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