Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011-01 First Report of the new Year

New Camper, New Repairs
What can go wrong.

As you know from my last posts, I’ve purchased a new 5th wheel camper.  The Montana Hickory edition.  This is my first American made 5th wheel camper.  In the past I’ve also owned two pop-up campers made in the states.  But the two previous 5th wheel campers were made in Canada by Glendale, an Rv manufacturer that went out of business in 2009.

I’d heard many a story about the poor construction quality in the building of campers, especially those built in the U.S.  However, I took the plunge and purchased a U.S. built camper with the express knowledge that I would probably have a few things that would need repairs.  Keep in mind, when purchasing any camper, this is a normal occurrence and one must just “get through it”.  In the end, one usually ends up with a great camper.

Up front I will tell you I am happy with the basics of my Montana by Keystone, but I’ll go into a few of the things that need correcting and warranty work that must be done to make my new camper humming along.

First off, before I headed out of the dealers, it was noted that there was a leak in my basement, near the water control center.  One of Sunshine maintenance workers opened the bay and ended up replacing a 6 link water connector solving the leaking problem.

Ready to go, I headed to Tucson for my winter destination, new camper in tow.  It’s a couple thousand pounds heavier, but traveled well and I got about 11 miles to the gallon towing the new rig.

A few days later, I was contacted by Sunshine Rv and told there was a recall on the gas stove/oven.  I’ve called a local RV MD to come repair the stove after they order the parts required to repair the errant gas line.  Odd they couldn’t have done this check while I was staying at the dealership for a few days.

Then I couldn’t get the water pump to work properly.  Hmmm.  Another call to the RV MD.  Come to find  out the water lines are not connected correctly.  To ensure proper connections, the RV MD will request schematic drawings of the water connections so they can reconfigure the lines correctly.  Could the Sunshine Rv maintenance guy have re-connected the lines incorrectly?? Hmmm.

A couple of days after settling into the new camper in Tucson I went to open one of the pull out drawers in the kitchen and the whole drawer fell right off the tracks.  D#$%.  After much effort, a good neighbor was able to help me remove the drawer from the high-end slide mechanism.  The problem was discovered.  Those high-end slide mechanisms were connected to the back brace with a single screw.  The slightest movement of the drawer, caused the connection to wobble and fall apart.

This is a good example of cheap construction in an otherwise well built coach.  Rather than a brace on each side of the drawer, a single brace was placed in the center with only one screw per drawer.  One wonders what they were thinking.  I of course shored up the brace, glued the horizontal board and put two screws in each board to stabilize both drawers.

I’m waiting for the RV MD to return my calls regarding the repairs they are schedule to make.  Yes, even we campers have regular maintenance, recalls and warranty work that needs to be done.  But in the end, what a great life style.

Update status.  Called after the 1st of the year for status on the expected repairs.  Answer:  Opps, we dropped the ball.  We’ll work on it right away, apologies were given and hopefully they will follow up.
As of this writing, 1/9/2011 no word from the Repair folks.

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