Somerset E3 Never Buy One!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kbhowe1, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    You said that you contacted Somerset, but have you tried contacting Columbia Northwest? Maybe contacting the parent company will yield more results.

    Welcome from the North Shore and good luck!
     
  2. kbhowe1

    kbhowe1 New Member

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    Quick update on this issue. I have been in contact now with the manufacture and their stance is to continue fixing the problems until out of warranty (which is only 1 year by the way). So as of right now I have owned this trailer for 1 year and it has been in the shop for over 5 months. The trailer is still in the shop, now for 2 months straight. The dealer cannot figure out why it will not crank up all the way up. They have taken all the arms and lift system apart and placed them back together (per the contact at Columbia Northwest). This has not fixed the problem. The dealer is in the process of replacing one part at a time until the problem is fixed (per Columbia) and the dealer can only order one part at a time (per Columbia), so they are waiting on the next part to replace (per Columbia). My response to Columbia was yes I understand Warranty is to repair or replace the failed part, and my problem is the trailer is the failing part so please give me a replacement. They have denied me 3 times now asking for a replacement trailer and they have not offered anything for my inconvienences (not sure what it would be, but maybe 5 months of payment while in the shop would be nice) FYI to everyone it sucks to have a camper you can't look at in your driveway let alone use.
     
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    The Somersets are made by Columbia Northwest, who also make the Aliner A-frame, hardtop camper. I'm not really too surprised to hear about a problem with a Somerset because I've heard a lots of complaints from Aliner owners. I ran into a guy at Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah who, when I asked how he liked his Aliner, went on for 20 minutes about all of the the things that were wrong with it and the unbelievable amount of work that had to be done to fix them. There were problems with every system and every facet of the manufacturing process. He even had the tongue fall off the frame! The list of what didn't have to be fixed would be much shorter than the list of what did have to be fixed. He said that Columbia Northwest had the absolute worse quality control he had ever seen. He also said he spent more on lawyers to get satisfaction than he did for the trailer. At that point he was attempting to recover his legal costs through another lawsuit.
     
  4. Tomandfar

    Tomandfar New Member

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    So sorry to hear this, my stomach is in knots for you! Thank you for warning others, we put up with a partial lemon for 9 years waiting till we could trade it in. It was a fleetwood (Coleman) bayside. Lift system never failed but never worked properly. Spent $1000 "having it fixed".
     
  5. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    If you mean that the Somersets are lighter (than the same Coleman model) because they use thinner/less materials, then yes.
    Have a gander at the street view of the Columbia Northwest factory. Scary.
    [​IMG]
    All you have to do is look at a pre-2007 trailer of any make and a current one. The difference in quality is shocking.
    BTW, Coachmen/Viking stopped making the model (126/2406) that we bought. I wonder why?
     
  6. pandpcamper

    pandpcamper Lifetime camper, newer to pup

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    I hope that they can get things done in a timely fashion, so sorry to hear of the agony you've been through.
     
  7. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    So the a frame aliners are known to be crap also? I was debating about getting one in the near future
     
  8. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    If you want a good A-frame camper get a Chalet. They're made in Oregon. I was very seriously considering one before I learned of TrailManor.
     
  9. tconroy

    tconroy Active Member

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    How can you have a 1 year warranty when you haven even used it in 5 months. I would contact a lawyer. Even if they gave you a new one would it have issues??? sorry to hear about the bad customer service. We have given people new boats because we could not resolve the issues quickly for them. Our customer service is awsome and we stand behind everything we sell. Yes quality is down on everything these days which sucks for the consumer paying his hard earned money for something he wants to last. I would get rid of it ASAP and get something else for sure!
     
  10. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Kbhowe, how many times have you talked with someone at Columbia NW directly and with whom? Maybe your not getting up the food chain high enough. Previously I had some issues with a Dutchmen product a few years back after the warranty was over. The first few people I dealt with personally in Goshen Indiana were not much help. Responses such as unit is out of warranty etc. After a few tries I was able to get in contact with a "brand manager" and he made things happen. They offered to have repairs done but I did not want to be without the camper. They were sending me parts UPS so I could fix things myself. It turned a bad experience into a good one.

    Are you sure the dealer is not the one screwing this situation up somehow? I have heard of dealers blaming problems on the manufacturer to cover up their own shortcomings, its actually common. I live a few miles from the Columbia NW factory. Although I have heard some bad stories, I have also heard some good ones about Somerset / Aliner / CNW. I try not to put much faith in problems posted on forums. UT posts about what an Aliner owner told him. I woke up one morning surrounded by a whole group of Aliners at a campground, an owners group having a rally, and those people swore by Aliner. Most Aliner owners I have met are fanatical about them. Your going to have complaints and issues from all manufacturers, the problems tend to show up on the internet and the good things typically do not.

    BB, that picture is the factory but I don't know what the condition of the building has to do with anything, it used to be a Pepsi Cola bottling plant and it looked that way when Pepsi was in there. I rode by their the other day and there was 1 new Somerset sitting outside and a stack of maybe a dozen frames. As far as that goes you should see the building that was Coleman / Fleetwood / FCTA. It may have been nice when they built it in 1967 but by the mid 80's it wasn't much to look at. Plenty of great popups still came out of it. And nothing made since 2007 is built as good as before. I remember pickup trucks before plastic. [LOL]

    Kbhowe, I'd keep on Columbia NW, I would be sending everything in writing and taking lots of pictures. I'd send them links to this thread. I wish there was something I could do to help living close to their operation.
     
  11. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Well said, Old_Geezer. I could not agree more. We are having some issues with our 2014 Somerset Niagara, not nearly as major as kbhowe, for whom we are cheering. Everything is pretty much junk today no matter what we pay for it. Our uncle has a $300,000 top of the line RV that he could not use for a year. We got rid of a 2003 Ford Ranger after Ford refused to replace the the exploding master cylinder (denying the problem) that they had recalled on other models (only because CNN Consumer Reporting and others pressured them). Of course, a year later they recalled the model we had just sold (total rip off, indecent, even inhumane - people were brutally burned and killed by them). We had friends who bought their dream car back in 1983, the new design Camaro Z28. They kept blowing head caskets and rods. These folks were highly knowledgable race car builders; they told every level of GM that water was leaking in from the under-sealed scoop. GM of course denied it. These really fine folks parked the car, got an attorney, and fought GM for 2 yrs. before GM finally admitted the problem and covered their damages. Look at the GM Cobalt mess and all of the Camry mess a few years ago; we have one of those random accelerating Toyota models. Toyotas are supposed to be "quality," right? The point is: This is the world we live in. We have to help each other and do what we can to hold people accountable, but don't be surprised when we get ripped by a big company or the government. Don't let it, as awful as it hurts or angers, dictate our lives. Expect it, keep it in perspective, and live, enjoy, and love with the time we have and don't contribute to the dishonesty and corruption that we experience.

    Contacting CNW directly is an excellent suggestion. We are hoping that you will get someone to help you, soon. Please keep us posted.
     
  12. mocamper

    mocamper Active Member

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    It angers me to hear what you are going through. Stay with it and demand all repairs are completed to your satisfaction. Get a commitment on timeline when unit will be ready to use without fears of rework. From the show me state.
     
  13. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Old Geezer - I expected a little more activity outside of a pop-up factory. I'm going to look at some other satellite imaging services because Google is notoriously slow at updating.
    I wonder what would happen if we all got hold of a factory. I bet we'd price ourselves out of the market! (But we'd make a darn good pop-up!)
     
  14. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    When you think of factories, you think of something like a General Motors plant, a car coming out the door every 10 minutes 24-7. The RV factories do not operate like that. They will do a run of this floor-plan, and then a run of that floor-plan. Depending on sales its not uncommon to have shutdowns, hence the large amount of temporary workers they use. I am pretty sure only the really big manufacturers maintain any kind of continuous year round manufacturing, and even then it's not all brands / models / floor plans.

    The same idiot who blew the staple into my water line yesterday at Keystone RV, may have shot one through your roof over at Coachmen the next week [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]
     
  15. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    From Bing maps, sometime in 2012 I think. It appears to be all Aliners. It didn't look like that last week out in that yard so they are either in a slow period, shipping units as fast as they get built, or something else. Relocation maybe?
    [​IMG]
     
  16. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    You can't store inventory inside.

    This is a shot of Columbia NW from Bing. A little busier. I think it's the same shot that you have.


    [​IMG]


    Compare it with a shot of the Starcraft/Jayco factory. Yikes! I had to zoom out just to get everything in the frame! The popups are almost dead in the middle.


    [​IMG]
     
  17. kbhowe1

    kbhowe1 New Member

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    Thanks for the info all. I am confident on the dealer, but mostly because I have to . There is only 1 dealer here in ABQ, and I purchased my coleman from them a long time ago. Having owned previous campers I feel extremely confident in fixing most issues, but some of the issues i have are rediculous. So, they just replaced the external limiter (not sure why it's not part of the motor) and the problem still exists. New Motor, New Battery, by-passed inverter, took apart and put back together (per CN), re-adjusted, and now new limiter, still does not pop-up all the way. (probably could have built a new lift system by now). So, it's is still in the shop with no eta...I have been speaking with Kevin Carmean [email protected] (maybe you all could email him as well :). He was with Coleman for the previous 20years and I think he is the correct one to be speaking with (no information online).

    I too, do not put much thought into complaints on forums because someone will always complain about something before they praise it. In the past couple of years I have tried to make it a point to rate and comment about things that I think are good just because I find myself on forums and reviews when making a purchase. I have never really said anything bad though because usually everything gets fixed or works out. In this case I feel I know what I am doing and that this trailer is truly a Lemon. I have indicated this to Kevin requesting a replacement trailer (because I know they will not give me money back). I feel this is a fair offer, but maybe i am too nice about this because it is getting me nowhere. Just plain frustrating and this is a good place to vent.
     
  18. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    You state that stuff is junk today, but then give testimony that things have really been the same for at least 30 years. Those sentiments aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but the lead-in tends to imply that today's state of affairs has been degraded against yesteryear's. I'm not sure I see it, or perhaps I'm not old enough.

    I hope kbhowe gets all the problems resolved.

    Replacement trailer would be great, but pretty tough to swing, I'd think. I don't know what the margins on a PUP are, but I'd expect that the cost of the trailer would be in the $7-8K ballpark, assuming a price of $17K and both dealer and manufacturer are grabbing 35% GM.

    Somerset would sacrifice the $8K, plus it would have to disposition the existing unit. Reworking it would cost about the same as building a new one. So, it's scrap to them. It just creates a problem. You'd need a 3-way deal where you'd get a new PUP from Somerset, dealership gets your lemon E3, and Somerset gets some cash from the dealership for the lemon E3.

    From the dealer's perspective, the value on a used E3 is probably in the $12-$15 range ... but there's work involved to get it ready. So, if they're putting in $3K of parts and labor, they'd need to get your E3 for $3-$4K.

    I can't see the numbers working. It's just a lot easier for Somerset to throw parts at the problem and eventually wear you down.

    Good luck.
     
  19. ChocoChock01

    ChocoChock01 On the road aagaain See Rallies below;

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    Most organizations are very capable of creating hoops to jump through in the Returns/Warranty dept. But you do have a defense (time costly) of calling daily, e-writing to as many diverse "uninterested" parties (Customer Relation...Pres).
     
  20. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Can you imagine the amount of good-will they would have garnered if they just swallowed hard and replaced your trailer? Opportunity lost.
     

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