poor crafstmanship

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by jtiguy, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. jtiguy

    jtiguy New Member

    2008 Dutchman 38srv victory lane

    This is my first new trailer and let me tell you...I am completely amazed by the poor quality craftsmanship of this unit. I don't know if it is to blame the personnel on the assembly line, the management pushing them, the quality control program, or maybe the wages limiting the people that will do the job.

    I have owned several used trailers that were all quite old and expected to repair them. This one was brand new. It seams that quite a lot of people spend 40 - 70 grand and expect to repair their trailer from the time they get it home. I can say that the materials and equipment have not let me down yet but being a construction inspector by trade I can say that I am not impressed.

    What I have a problem with:

    The dining room slide is supposed to have a triple seal...well it does but the two flexible outer rubber seals do not even touch the slide on the top. Dealer says all that matters is the inner seal...so why do they advertise and install 3?

    The linoleum in the kitchen has debris under it which will eventually wear holes.

    I have had 4 water leaks so far and all on screw fittings that were not tight enough. The last one I found I had to destroy the access panel to get to the water heater because it was permanently attached and the leak was behind it.

    The unit is supposed to be built to code...I don't know any code allowing water lines to be run directly over the top of the power supply and fuse panel with another one over the 12volt heater.

    Had a problem with water lines freezing last winter and just found out why. The water supply to the kitchen is run outside the frame rail under the floor and hidden by a plastic tarp like material. After spending a lot of time trying to seal up the trailer I found a large section of the floor with no insulation and discovered my water lines hidden in that spot.

    They claim that the 4 season package has an enclosed and insulated underbelly. Yeah right...all they did was put a cover over the bottom. The frame was full on openings, there were several areas with none of that foil bubble wrap supposed insulation and when I pulled of the cover for the undercarriage there was no reflective insulation. There was approximately 60 percent coverage with dirty bubble wrap that was not reflective which means R value estimated at 1.

    The outside entry light was not even wired to a switch...I found the wire behind the wall board the I had to pull apart and hook to a switch myself.

    The front landing gear has already failed due a bolt that attached the gear box to the lateral crank to the opposite side...it made contact with the frame and broke...I had to bend the generator shroud to access it and install a shorter bolt.

    I have a window cracked on the upper wall above the slide.

    The front landing gear light has a switch...this didn't even last the first year.

    The cleanup on the construction debris was quite poor...the heater vents, cabinets and most hidden corners were full of debris.

    The hook up for the outside shower does not work any more...I haven't looked into that own yet.

    The switch for the on board fuel pump is right behind the tires and not protected...this did not make the fist winter before it failed.

    The forward gray tank level indicator has not worked properly since new.

    The aft gray tank drain valve does not seal and leaks whenever there is fluid in the tank.

    I can feel screw heads in the carpet steps into the bedroom.

    I found a void in the silicone seal around one of the skylights.

    And I could go on.

    Bottom Line

    I think we need the Japanese to come in and compete with our American companies...maybe then they would step up and build us a quality product.

    one not impressed new owner
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: poor crafstmanship

    What you have is a product of the low price division of Thor Industries. Yours is not by any means the first unhappy story that I have heard come from Dutchman customers.
  3. pipelinemama

    pipelinemama New Member

    Re: poor crafstmanship

    I'll admit since we bought ours and I started "paying attention" to how campers are made, I've have been pretty disappointed in the craftmanship myself. Some are better than others, but many charge a huge price for inferior quality, and it's not just a few certain brands. I have some friends that bought a new 36' fifth wheel (I'm not naming brands, I just don't want to get that started!) and it's been a pitiful experience for them. I've heard them say many times they wished they had just shopped around for a good used one, saved some money, and then at least done any repairs needed in a quality way.

    I love my Montana, but we've had things mess up with it that should never have happened. She's grown on me though. I call her Dumplin!
  4. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: poor crafstmanship

    Its sad, I too have had a few nightmares with my rv as well that showed poor workmanship and over time I have been repairing these as they pop up. A few were repaired by the dealer ship the first year the rest have been my problem. Sad but even in the best of companies there are lemons.
  5. UnSatDRV08

    UnSatDRV08 New Member

    RE: poor crafstmanship

    So why do we all have to put up with this poor work. Because we choose to. I for one have chosen not to live with issues that never seem to go away. We have been leaked on 6 times in our new 2008 5th wheel and it is now at the factory for the second time, after four times of being repaired by factory authorized dealer shops. What a mess. The only remedy the factory offers is to repair (once again) the parts that they think are the issue. Forget the other issues we have brought to their attention. We all think and know, and believe that we ahve bought our dream RV. This is true, our dreams have been realized. Now if we could just get the makers to stand behind thier product as we the purchaser stands behind our money that bought the product. I do believe that in honesty there are folks building these rigs that want to provide a great product. They need to look at their work and repair it before it leaves the factory and then it might last more than a month or two. My suggestion, keep hounding the maker, keep talking to other owners, keep on tracking down the issues and GET THEM FIXED, however it happens. Get a lawyer on the phone and ask about Davis versus Forest River, see wha tyou think yourself if it works for you to go that route. DO NOT LOSE your patience, we will get the issues fixed and the makers will finally figure out that the consumer pays thier paycheck and they need to please us, not their pockets. Stand up America and be counted it is our heritage and our right.

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