Help Stoltzfus in West Chester PA sold us a brand new leaking camper!

Discussion in 'RV Dealers & Repair Shops' started by Mardevmitch, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    994
    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Location:
    Plymouth (Minneapolis) Minnesota
    This also seems to be an overreaction. So far all we know is that there was a loose fitting causing a drip in the water system, and that a severe rainstorm caused some leakage... we don't know why. Maybe there is a seal that needs adjusting/replacing. Maybe the OP didn't put it together correctly. Maybe the rain was so violent that nobody would expect it to be 100% dry. To condemn the entire RV market over these sketchy details seems a bit harsh.

    In any case I'm pretty sure the dealer can correct the issues without any major fuss. The OP seems to be gung-ho on smearing the dealer's name before they even are given a chance.
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,675
    Likes Received:
    809
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    For all the ruckus, the OP has not been on the Portal since Monday night, when he registered and was last active within a hour.

    Good lessons though for all new owners - as much as we'd like things to be perfect in life, they seldom are. In most cases, taking step-by-step action instead of blowing up immediately tends to produce better results.
    In the RV world, there seems to be a lot of room for improvement on the QC level - OTOH, buyers are wanting campers as cheap as possible, and there is a definite busy season for buying, so I'm sure manufacturers are pushing them out the door as fast as possible for some period of time.
    With our Retro, one of our small complaints has been the sawdust and metal shavings that appear out of closed areas, such as under the drawer stack (which is over the furnace in our model). Other owners on the FB page have encountered the same thing. I was chatting with the bookkeeper at our dealer one day while waiting for something, she also vacuums newly arrived RVs and campers and told me this is a common occurrence across brand lines. Apparently, cleaning up the sawdust and shavings produced by installing the furnace, cupboards, etc. would take too much time - or something. After 4 trips, the amount of debris shaking out of the nooks and crannies is much less than it was on the first trip.
    So far, we have not encountered anything that has needed attention from the dealer, but others on the FB page have had things that needed to be fixed soon after purchase.
     
  3. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,997
    Likes Received:
    457
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Mass
    Buy a tarp and put it over the camper when severe weather is expected.
     
  4. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

    Messages:
    2,158
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Decent point, and your suggestions are all excellent, including giving the dealer a chance to help them. One should always do their due diligence and draw conclusions after the facts are in. However, we are human, and we do respond with disappointment and frustration when things are or appear to be radically off our expectations. The OP's response was normal and completely understandable. They are new to the industry; it's a lot of money; they had, no doubt, great excitement and expectations. Further, your point is solid provided that beneath it there is not a false inference that RV manufacturers and dealers truly care about quality and customer care. The facts and evidence reveal the opposite. The odds are definitely that most companies are not genuinely concerned about our well-being with them or their product. There are a few out there, but not anywhere near the majority. It's always a bit of surprise and a relief to be treated right these days and feel satisfaction with the quality of our purchases.

    Absolutely, the OP should take deductive steps before racing to a conclusion, but sometimes we need guidance to do this. This is especially true when we are new to something. We certainly need help with this, and we found it here on the Portal. In this case it happens to be an expensive, high anticipated, much hoped for vehicle purchase. Instead of telling them that they are unreasonable, we and they are better served to welcome them and let them know that they are not the first; they are now one of many, and then guide and encourage them to the steps that we all take with our rolling apartments. When we think of all we have learned from all of the derelictions in our camper's manufacture, we are amazed. Folks here on the Portal guided and encouraged us with our first year and half of ownership woes that were completely due to poor assembly, poor dealer and manufacture responses to repairs, and poor dealer and manufacturer care. It is not harsh to view the RV industry with a very critical eye (or any other industry). The RV industry is in fact notorious for its quality and customer care failures. If you think otherwise, take a look at Trailer Life's "Action Line," read the countless threads on material, assembly, and customer care failures related to recreational vehicles, and look at the products carefully in person. Virtually every camper owner we meet has a manufacturer and/or dealer saga to tell, especially if they bought a new unit. It's just the reality. A newbie, if they even know to look, does not know what to look for or to look for it. In the end the onus is always on us, and it is false to think otherwise as a consumer, no matter what we are told by makers, processors, vendors, and marketers.
     
  5. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    Likes Received:
    242
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    she
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,675
    Likes Received:
    809
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    I stand corrected, I apologize for that to the OP if she ever reappears.
     
  7. smit1088

    smit1088 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,582
    Likes Received:
    78
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stillwater, MN
    This has been one of the more interesting topics to read. It really shows the passion of the group here and the willingness to help others.

    I love fixing stuff on my camper, but if I bought a new camper I to would not expect to have to fix things. BUT, it sounds like the OP has a bit of a reactive approach vs a proactive. The dealer only mentioned that they would fix the leak under warranty probably because it is under warranty. I doubt they would have any issue fixing a water tank leak on a camper they sold even without a manufacture warranty. Like we all know it probably is just a loose fitting. Two minute fix. I know my car dealer has fixed a few items without warranty after I bought it.

    I still believe most if not all the manufacture dealers are trying their best to be good people and make some money. They are not just trying to push junk out without standing behind it. I'm pretty sure their margins on new campers is pretty slim and they need us to come in for parts and service to actually survive. It would not be in their best interest to not have satisfied customer that return to buy higher margin parts and service.

    I also wonder if the OP expectation are a little out of sync with their experience. I sold camping gear for years and was initially surprised when folks came back after their first camping trip with horror stories. The surprise wore off as I learned that we had to try and educate the customer when they bought the equipment. But that is much easier said than done. Tents/campers will condensate/drip in rain IF you do not have any ventilation. Surprising to some that it is drier if you have a window cracked. Then there are expectations. If you ever buy a sleeping bag rated at 20 degrees, do not return and complain that you were cold at 20 degrees. If you are able to return then the bag did its job. The temperature rating is just saying you will not freeze at that temp.

    I hope the initial experience does not ruin camping for the OP. It is fun and once your expectations and education are in line with reality, you can really enjoy yourself.
     
  8. JMSubRN

    JMSubRN New Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    Maybe then I stand corrected. Anytime I've asked a question, I have stood unblinking awaiting a response... [:D]
    I still believe that responding with kindness is never the wrong way to go.
     
  9. redneckgearhead

    redneckgearhead New Member

    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Reading the original post, gave me the feeling that the op had buyers remorse before ever taking the RV out and wouldn't have been happy if it performed flawlessly. I may be wrong but that's just the feeling I got reading.
     
  10. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,483
    Likes Received:
    994
    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Location:
    Plymouth (Minneapolis) Minnesota
    Right. A cynic (me) might even suggest that she went from RV forum to RV forum, not to ask/obtain advice, but to blast the name of the RV dealer around to tarnish their reputation.
     
  11. JMSubRN

    JMSubRN New Member

    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2015
    My credulity is showing again... [LOL]
     
  12. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Well, most of a week has gone by. Where's the OP? Has she returned to the dealer? What did they do/say? We're all waiting with baited breath.....

    Well, coffee breath maybe....

    When we took our camper home and first filled the water tank we noted some water dripping out of the rear corners of the camper. Pulled up the sofa cushions and plywood boards to get to the rear storage area / water tank, heater, and pump.

    Quickly saw that the rear floor was wet, and water seeped from the top of the water tank - where the fill hose was clamped. Got a 3/8" drive socket and tightened the hose clamp there more tightly then done at the factory. No more leakage.

    First time out in a heavy rain had some water drip on us from the peak of our camper. Initially thought water was seeping in, but quickly realized that it was condensation on the exposed aluminum. Wiped it off with a towel and no more problems.

    Hopefully the OP's problems are as readily fixed and she'll enjoy the camper in the coming years.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.