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Old 06-04-2017, 10:52 PM   #1
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
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THOR #2601
Advice to New Owners for Your PDI

When you get ready to pick up your new RV the dealer should perform a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI). This PDI is far more than checking the RV cosmetics and check to see if all the screws are tight. This is where the dealer should show you how to operate everything on shore power, generator, and battery power. It should demonstrate that all systems work as designed.

Many questions that appear in this forum concern things the dealer should have showed a new owner during the PDI. Here are some questions a new owner should be prepared to ask the dealer to demonstrate or explain:

1. What does the USE/STORE switch do? When should it be in Use, when in STORE? What effect does the switch have on charging the coach batteries?

2. Show me how to connect the sewer hose? Show me how the sewer connection swivels down? Show me where ALL the valves are to drain the Black and Gray Tanks.

3. Show me where all the Low Point Drains are?

4. Show me the refrigerator works on electric and gas?

5. Show me how the furnace lights and operates?

6. Where are all the system fuses and circuit breakers?

7. Demonstrate the correct way to extend the slides and lower the bunk without increasing the likelihood of getting the Lippert synchronous motors out of sync. Show where the controller is for the slide AND the bunk. (The bunk controller is behind a false wall on the top shelf, left wall of the kitchen cabinet)

8. Show me how to operate the Tank Less Hot Water system. Show me how to adjust hot water temp in the shower and kitchen faucet.

9. Where is the Emergency Flasher switch?

10. Show me how to scan TV stations using the antenna and when connected to cable. Where is the antenna amplifier and when should it be On or Off?

11. If equiped, where is the Video control and how does it work?

12. Show me how to use and adjust the Night Shade.

There are probably others that will chime in and add to this list.
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Old 06-05-2017, 12:56 AM   #2
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THOR #4735
good advice, especially for first time owners of any type of rv, but I bet that you'll find that the reality is that most of the sales people and 'PDI' employees don't actually use 'this' rv in the real world and probably can only tell you how things are 'supposed' to work, or how things might be 'designed' to work, but nothing more. They are in the business to sale an rv and get to the next customer, but whether they give you everything you actually 'need' when you make your first, second, and even third trip is unlikely.

most folks like us, who've owned 3 different types of rvs in a relative short time frame, can probably figure out what to ask about. A new rv owner won't have much of a clue, and even with your advice on what to ask about, the explanation will be generally missed anyway since they are in a 'fog' after buying such a vehicle - explanations, even good and correct ones, will be quickly over looked.

I think a good dealer is really one who has personnel that can take calls at anytime to help their customer through an urgent rv 'situation'. These employees are also ones who actually camp, use rv parks, drycamp from time to time, and make use of the rvs that the dealership actually sells. Though this might not be practical in the real world, we can only hope such a dealership exists, or at least makes you feel like it.

The other day I toured a new ClassA rv. In the process of looking for outlets, I turned on most of the overhead lights. When I got ready to leave, I could not for the life of me find the MAIN overhead ceiling light switch. I looked and looked and checked every switch known to man, but to no avail.
Aggravated at how simple a main light switch location should be, I called over an employee. Even he couldn't find it and called the factory 'help desk' for a quick answer. They asked him to check several different locations, but no switches worked the main lights. Amazing! How hard can it be to put a switch where it would be 'obvious' as the main lights switch??
Then, what the employee said next floored him and me both....
"I'm sorry you're not finding it, we don't go into these units very often, so I can't really remember where it should be.."

What??! This is a perfect example of how these units are built and designed by humans, and yet the chain of employees, workers, drivers, sales people, and even PDI personnel don't always know everything about their own product that leaves their factory doors every day.

I eventually found it, accidentally of course...
Did it have any label? No.
Did the switch next to it have any label? No.
Did the other two down near the door have a label? No.
Do you expect to have a light switch in front of the kitchen sink? No!
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:27 AM   #3
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Great list! Ed, you are truly a guru here! Your list will help new folks that ask these questions. These are common issues for new folks on this forum. Here's some to add (also drawn from forum posts):

13. How much gas is required in the tank to run the generator?
14. How does the windshield wiper and washer switch work?
15. What are the proper pressures for front and back tires?
16. Do my compartment locks use the same 751 key as many other RVs?

hmmmmm...
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:40 AM   #4
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Here's my take on the dealer performing s quality.

You are about to have dozens of thousands of dollars leave your wallet for an RV. If a dealer is too disinterested or too inept to demonstrate how everything works and where everything is located -- close your wallet and find another dealer. He just demonstrated the quality of the follow-up warranty and service he'll provide you.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:45 AM   #5
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THOR #2601
When a dealer is disinterested or too inept to show you how everything works on an RV, show you where everything is located, and inspect the integrity of the factory's build with you about to part with dozens of thousands of dollars -- he just demonstrated to you the quality and timeliness of the follow-on service you will receive. Close your wallet and find a more dedicated dealer. Remember -- who's the customer??
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:02 AM   #6
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Can someone tell me the purpose of "low point drains"? I've not looked for mine because I can't think why I'd ever need them? Thank you.
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Can someone tell me the purpose of "low point drains"? I've not looked for mine because I can't think why I'd ever need them? Thank you.
They are used to drain your lines and winterize your RV.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:57 AM   #8
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There is also one on the fresh water tank to allow you to drain it. There will also be one on the cold water line and also one on the hot water line.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH
Can someone tell me the purpose of "low point drains"? I've not looked for mine because I can't think why I'd ever need them? Thank you.
The idea is that: Since they are the lowest point of the plumbing system you should be able to open them and completely drain all of the water out. With no water coming out you can be reasonably assured that the water is gone (or if you have pink stuff coming out--and out of all the faucets--you figure that the system is completely winterized).
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Old 06-05-2017, 12:03 PM   #10
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Ok. Thank you. I think though that if you've got your pink stuff at your faucets the lines also will be full of it and thus safe from freezing. I do drain my fresh water tank after each trip and perhaps should apply the same reasoning to the lines.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:40 PM   #11
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THOR #1150
Don't take just Ed's list from here, also take his Axis/Vegas owners manual: Link to Ed Felker's Vegas/Axis Manual
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:43 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=TurnerFam;70741]good advice, especially for first time owners of any type of rv, but I bet that you'll find that the reality is that most of the sales people and 'PDI' employees don't actually use 'this' rv in the real world and probably can only tell you how things are 'supposed' to work, or how things might be 'designed' to work, but nothing more. They are in the business to sale an rv and get to the next customer, but whether they give you everything you actually 'need' when you make your first, second, and even third trip is unlikely.


And this is why this forum is so valuable. Between the good people here, blogs, and a lot of YouTube hours, I probably know more about the 24.1 than most salespersons - and that is without walking in one yet. I will take Ed’s list, add it to my growing one, and use it as a guide when we go to look at rigs; and it will be my checklist if/when (likely more when than if) we are ready to buy. If a salesperson cannot answer a question or operate a feature, we are patient (er, stubborn) enough to wait for him/her to learn, and demonstrate. No showie, no buyie. LOL.

Also learning from others’ experience here, we will do a thorough check of a target unit before any offer is made, and the offer will be with a list of fixes needed, if any. And we will check the unit again on the day of sale BEFORE we accept delivery. If they can’t be bothered to address issues before the warranty clock is ticking, we will walk away (we have quite a few Thor dealers within 100 miles here in the northeast). Cautionary tales have taught me to be become educated on the product, and smart enough to walk away if needed. Or to just walk away from a dealership that feels pushy or unwilling to spend the time on us.

With just 12 months for most warranty claims, and 6+/- months of winter here, that leaves little time to find and address problems.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:30 PM   #13
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Smile PDI extras

Such good lists! And what most "customers" as Us don't understand is that we are the third party consumer...... the dealer is the inventory holding customer and therefore should inspect and operate his inventory from whatever Name Rv or trailer Manufacturer he is selling. Seems no Salesman nor Services Manager ever meet! When we did our PDI we requested a service manager to be in attendance for specifics of components since that is what fails. Slides, controllers, connections, awnings, tanks, water pump, toilets, inverter, etc. we did the quality inspection part for dirt, debri, cracks, screws, cabinets and mirrors. We acted especially naive about "this particular unit" and kept him busy and engaged actually doing the hook ups and steps to work things. He rarely stumbled and we have been happy happy with our purchase- we even rode with him to the station to fill up fir our full tank of diesel before we signed the last papers!
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:39 PM   #14
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sfmurph,

The above suggestions are outstanding, my only 2 additions would be:
1) To have the Dealership check the charging status on the house batteries before you sign on the dotted line. I found out the batteries could be damaged by poor charging, improper maintenance and abuse prior to my purchasing the unit AND that should the batteries die a "sulfate death" the dealer blames the battery company, the battery company blames the maker of the charger, and the maker of the charger blames the battery maker and the dealer...and then the owner buys the new batteries.
2) VIDEO TAPE your PDI with all your questions and their replies on tape...that which needs to be repaired will be easier to remember and much easier to prove what the Salesman promised.

Doc
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:08 PM   #15
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When I did my PDI back in Aug 2015 at General RV in Tampa, the PDI was not conducted by the sales staff. Another individual from the Service Dept conducted the PDI with me. He was very knowledgeable of Thor products (particularly Vegas & Axis). We did the obligatory PDI of fit & finish & cosmetics -- but we spent 4 hours with the systems operation portion of the PDI. He showed me where "everything" was located (all switches, low point drains, hot water by pass, fuses, CBs, connections, etc.). We then operated systems on battery, generator, and shore power. He checked charging level coming from converter & engine alternator. He demonstrated the proper way to extend & retract, lower & raise the slide & bunk to prevent the Schwintek synchronous motors from getting out of sync. We swiveled the sewer connection & connected and drained black and gray tanks. He removed drawers to show me the dealer had cleaned out construction debris during the dealer's "Make Ready" inspection. The PDI was probably as in depth and comprehensive as a PDI should be.

Perhaps this was an exception to what we often hear on this forum of what PDIs were like for many owners. But a dealership whose focus is SERVICE rather than just SALES would go to this extreme. You only get one chance at a first impression for a new customer. My dealership certainly wanted to make a sale -- but he was also interested in my continuing to come to him for after sales (and beyond warranty period) service. He also wanted to ensure I'd be back if I wanted to trade up. And he was clearly interested in my word of mouth endorsement to others.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #16
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As usual Ed your advise is good and the questions you listed excellent.

The problem is based on my observations not many of these sales people would be capable of answering many of those questions with more than a good guess.

We purchased from a good dealer and the two salesmen we worked with had a pretty good "general" knowledge of the rv that they sold us. However they could never answer the majority of those technical questions properly ( facts not opinion or one fits all answers ) unless you gave them the list a couple of days before. Perhaps that would be the way to handle it , submit the list a couple of days prior to delivery so that they could do some homework.

I questioned one of the dealer techs and a salesman about Qam tuners and the Seiki tv sets , they had no clue what I was talking about.
That was one of many questions that I asked that were answered with either blank stares , very broad and general answers or in a couple of cases wrong answers.
I don't really blame them and in reality feel it is my job to do my due diligence regarding the product before I buy. They have several product lines to deal with and really can't know all of the answers.
But with that said if I am dropping $70k on their desk then I should expect that they will make a call to the factory and get me answers to any question that I may ask.
Research and forums like this one with folks like you that go that extra mile and produce a spectacular owners manual make the learning curve much easier for folks like me.

Pete
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:42 PM   #17
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We are learning from the King & Queen Felker!
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