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Old 10-20-2018, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Warranty & Other Service Question

I am currently shopping for a Class B; and of course, price is a big consideration.

I have heard a rumor that, unlike automobile dealers, only the selling dealer for a particular brand will do warranty or other service work on it. In other words, if I purchase a new XYZ brand from authorized dealer #1, authorized dealer #2 for that same brand will not do any warranty service on it.

Is this true? Curious. TIA for any thoughts.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:45 PM   #2
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Our experience when we wanted warranty work was that every dealer we called asked if we bought it there. They have an agreement with Forest River to provide warranty work, but they don't have to provide it right away and the soonest we could get in was 90-120 days. God help someone who was just passing through and had a problem that needed to be fixed immediately so that they could get home.

Our issue was with the awning. After contacting all of the dealers within 80 miles and unable to get the work done under warranty within a reasonable time-frame, I pre-arranged with Coachmen to get reimbursed. The awning manufacturer sent us the part directly and we paid $138 to have it installed and Coachmen sent us a check. Your most frequent problems will be with sub-components such as the refrigerator, awning, water pump, etc. and those are warranted by the individual manufacturers so you can usually get them fixed anywhere.

My advice is to get the best price you can and only use the warranty for high-ticket items (usually, electrical or plumbing). Otherwise, find a shop you trust and plan on paying out of pocket with some of the money you saved on the initial purchase price.
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:45 AM   #3
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That fairey tale has been around for a long time. If it were so, people would have to stay close to home or place of purchase. Of course some RV Dealers will espouse this, but it isn't true. We have stopped a few times, but once was reminded we didn't buy there...and after all his regulars - I agree to that, but the feeling was that it was a "go away." RT will allow repairs outside RT Dealers...provided you call and get clearance. Ron
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:59 AM   #4
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My question came from the thought that, if I were to get a better purchase deal from a non-local dealer, would my local dealer be willing to do any warranty work.
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:52 PM   #5
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From my experience with my 3 different companies... GWV, LTV, and RT. With GWV and LTV, I lived in a state with no dealer, so I just drove to the nearby factories or paid for the rarely needed repairs and they reimbursed me within 30 days of receiving the check.

But with Roadtrek/EHGNA, it is a more formal process. My dealer, Lake Region RVs, in MN always gets me in within a couple days - or immediately for emergency things like happened last week before departure to AZ - and it has never spent more than a day there with me waiting. They are also very good about fitting in travelers who have serious issues when passing through.

But, many if not most, are not so helpful. Their own customers come first... and you are way down the schedule. You hear nightmare stories of months to get in and/or months sitting there waiting. I spoke to one AZ dealer near me and they declared that they would not do any warranty work on units they didn't sell without my upfront payment - up to me to bill EHGNA. They are no longer a dealer. (based on experience it takes 2-3 months and getting the assistance of warranty dept to get the reimbursement) The other major RT dealer in AZ will do work on it, but there is at least a 5-6+ weeks wait to get in.


For work outside the dealership network, one needs to call and get permission first. Exceptions likely made for emergency issues.


This is a big concern because of the long warranty on RT. We need someone to report on the experience with the Winnebago class Bs.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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Default Warranty repairs depend on what needs repair

I had an issue with the awning on my Carado Banff (Hymer). I had to go to a dealer for the awning rather than the dealer I bought from (that was fortunate since I bought it 40 miles from home but the awning dealer is only about 7 miles away). I had to wait a few weeks for an appointment to do the repair, and the repairing dealer mentioned that they would not be paid for their labor in the repair. He told me that twice. I included install of a backup cam, and they charged $65 for that even though they were unable to find the video cable and install the cam. They would have charged $130 for the full install. The manufacturer told me that the cable should be exactly where they were looking. I'm going to try to do the install myself. In general, things like the refrigerator, the microwave, etc. are covered by warranties from the manufacturers of those items and not by the RV company. The chassis, including the engine, is covered by Dodge in my case. It makes warranty repair more difficult for sure.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:14 AM   #7
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Default Service is the big problem with Class B

My roadtrek had many small problems that never incapacitated it, but did put many systems out-of-order for a long time. I bought it from a dealer that promised 7/24 phone service, but they never picked up after hours. And when they did, a tech was never available. Watch out for anything a dealer promises-- even in writing-- and be sure you get it in writing. Since dealers carry so many lines with so many models that can change 2-3 times a year, it's impossible for them to keep up with the eccentricities of every water pump, furnace, awning, etc., so most of the time you'll need to bring it in for trouble-shooting. But there are so many issues, you can run into months-long delays, repeated returns on wrongly repaired products, or techs who just shrug their shoulders, and say they have no idea how to fix something-- or simply disappear. Even Roadtrek service said they couldn't help, because somehow the schematics for my year and model had been lost in their system. It was also distressing to learn that things like water pumps and windows could change from vehicle to vehicle, as suppliers changed from day to day, so ultimately, no one could knew what was going on. Buyer be warned about repairs

Unless your a great tinkerer yourself with skills in electric, plumbing, carpentry and mechanics, find another pasttime. RVing isn't the marvelous, relaxing thing the brochures tout. It's a lot shooting in the dark, skinned knuckles, and frustrating hunting for electric and water lines that are almost completely inaccessible, because so much complexity is built into too small areas. And the expertise lacking in RV service departments is mind-boggling.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:25 PM   #8
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"Better Deal" is only for a moment in time. THE PURCHASE. My thoughts. BEST DEAL = stay close to home when buying. RELATIONSHIP for the long haul. Simply my opinion. Dean ABQ, NM
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talktodean View Post
"Better Deal" is only for a moment in time. THE PURCHASE. My thoughts. BEST DEAL = stay close to home when buying. RELATIONSHIP for the long haul. Simply my opinion. Dean ABQ, NM
I guess it just depends on how much better that "Better Deal" is.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUTCH in Atlanta View Post
In other words, if I purchase a new XYZ brand from authorized dealer #1, authorized dealer #2 for that same brand will not do any warranty service on it.
Well they probably won't down right refuse to do warranty work, but, for example, they might not be able to work you in for a couple of months, which, if it's a serious problem might be the same thing. When I first heard of this it seemed impossible. What business would turn down work and alienate future customers? What I subsequently learned is that it is very hard to find and hire qualified RV mechanics. So, it's not that they don't want your business, it's just that they can't accommodate it.

While I agree with another poster that it really helps to have your own repair skills, by and large I think modern motorhomes and their components are pretty reliable. I cannot think of a single repair to ours in the 2 years and 26,000 miles we've driven it. On the other hand, I wouldn't advise buying, say, a 15 year old vehicle unless you can repair it yourself or have identified a local mechanic you trust.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:28 PM   #11
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Something I have been told re PW (can't vouch for it, but was told by a dealer) is that part of the agreement that the dealer has with the manufacturer is that the dealer has to absorb 25% of the cost of warranty work on that particular brand.

If that is indeed true, then I'm sure it is understandable that the dealer would not be thrilled about performing the work on vehicles that another dealer had sold!

I'm pretty sure the formal arrangement with any dealer and the manufacturer is that the dealer agrees to perform the warranty work - whether they were the original seller or not, and no doubt the manufacturer has ways to bring a certain amount of pressure to bear, however it would be pretty difficult for the manufacturer to get involved in the dealers work schedule, so certainly there would be ways for the dealer to ty to avoid or discourage warranty work on a vehicle they had not sold.

As mentioned I was told this by a dealer but not sure about its veracity.

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Old 10-30-2018, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegoldfield View Post
I had an issue with the awning on my Carado Banff (Hymer). I had to go to a dealer for the awning rather than the dealer I bought from (that was fortunate since I bought it 40 miles from home but the awning dealer is only about 7 miles away). I had to wait a few weeks for an appointment to do the repair, and the repairing dealer mentioned that they would not be paid for their labor in the repair. He told me that twice.
In checking with a Roadtrek dealer I was advised that although the claim is against Carefree during the Carefree warranty period, the dealer should process the claim with Carefree on behalf of the owner and also that the Carefree warranty covers both parts and labor.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:25 PM   #13
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I wonder if RT's 6 year "everything" warrantee will still survive after the takeover by Thor? I suppose they will be obliged to honour it un units already sold but I wonder if it will live on in terms of future sales.

It is quite a warrantee and sorely tempted me to buy a RT - My "Mrs" had too much of a preference for the PW layouts and decor though - and you know what they say about "If Momma ain't happy! I did have the feeing also that PW seemed to have a bit of an edge of quality though from what I had read. No idea if that is really so but I have been quite impressed with fit & finish of the PW we recently bought.

Brian.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:35 PM   #14
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I have had Roadtrek warranty service done at a dealer I didnít buy from and a more local independent shop authorized by RT before the work was done. I have also had service done at a big national chain and a mobile service.

The biggest problem in all cases was getting on their calendars as it seems that most repair places are way behind in my area.

When I bought it I tried to buy from the more local dealer but the price was way off. When I did need some warranty work, I found that the more local dealer was out of business anyway.

Finding skilled service is for sure an issue. I have come away trusting the local independent shop the most. But they are very busy.

Most of the service issues were minor. The tough one turned out to be a flawed propane tank from the tank manufacturer that was causing liquid propane to hit the regulator. Went through something like 5 regulators in the first year or so. None of the various service places nor RT could get beyond the failed regulators so it was always the recommendation to replace the regulator. Ultimately I figured out the problem when I found a forum post by someone having similar problems. From that I found the service bulletin from the tank manufacturer. Showed it to RT and they paid for the repair under warranty.

My guess is that most happy RV owners have some diagnostic and repair skills.
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