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Old 12-09-2015, 01:59 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37ND
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #3357
"Challenger or Lemon-ger?"

Hello fellow Thor customers.

Season one with our new 2015 Challenger 37ND has come to a close, with the coach bundled up for the winter and with hopes of a better second season.

Can anyone relate to our 'challenges' with the Challenger that we experienced in our inaugural year?

We took delivery in June and save for four outings (including a 1500 miler to Virginia and around), the coach has seen more of our dealership than campgrounds.

Aside from little delivery issues (mismatched pillow, chairs, etc...) here is a list of the shortcomings we have experienced.

- poor handling (upgraded to a Blue Ox 'TigerTrak' and 'TruCenter' - night and day in the handling department
-continuously running converter that turned out to be defective factory coach batteries
-luggage doors that open on their own, usually on the highway
-cracked and faded vinyl dash
-broken windshield washer pump
-defective 'brake boost' mechanism
-hood latches that didn't line up and the hood popped open while driving
-spider crack in the front cap fibreglass on the corners
-a most annoying squeak in the driving compartment that has yet to be rectified

My dealer has been more than accommodating and thorough in their attempts to address these issues, but with each turn of the key we think, "ok, what next!?"

As I read somewhere in a previous post, the only that works on an RV is the owner.

Here's hoping I'm the only one and all your travels are safe and worry-free, but sadly, I suspect I am not alone.

I'd welcome any similar stories, fixes and inspiration.
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Michigan
Posts: 8,129
THOR #1150
You are not alone (and Thor isn't the only one with quality issues).
  • Poor handling: The first thing any Motorhome owner should do is get an alignment
  • broken windshield washer pump: Thor had a bad run of these (I had to replace mine), although I thought the run was only with the Axis/Vegas line. Perhaps there are more..
  • cracked & faded dash: How long was your coach sitting on the dealers lot?
  • bad coach batteries: Were they Harris batteries?
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37ND
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #3357
So I'm not alone (I never really thought I was).

My dash issue was in the corners against the windshield, and I suspect the fabric was pulled too tight. Interestingly, the new dash panel is designed differently and looks like it will no longer be an issue.

As for the batteries, I don't recall the brand but it wasn't a familiar brand, dealer said they were having problems with all of them, I'm now running Interstate (so far, so good).

Thanks for checking back
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:45 PM   #4
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Brand: Entegra
Model: Entegra Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 3,363
THOR #1469
Greetings from a fellow 37ND owner. I took delivery of my 2015 on February 3.

My issues to date:

Fire Extinguisher recall. Extinguisher was replaced by Kidde under the recall.

Slide jammed half way out on the shake down cruise. Thor reimbursed me for mobile support and sent me the bulb seal they forgot to install.

Axxerra radio intermittently loses power. Will be addressed at warranty visit in January.

Pantry Drawer latch not holding the panty closed when making sharp left turns. I installed an additional 10 pound catch and will see if that corrects the problem on my trip this week. I also plan to have the dealer show me how to remove this drawer during my visit in January.

Inner dome on shower skylight coming loose (double stick tape not holding). Will be addressed during the warranty visit in January.

Minor intermittent water leak around the bathroom emergency escape window. Will be addressed during warranty support visit in January.

I have not had any issues with drivability, batteries, wipers or wiper pump.

The biggest problem I have right now is finding a good RV body shop that can repair some damage to my rear cap and outdoor kitchen hatch cover. A delivery driver hit the corner of my rear cap while turning their truck around in the driveway. My cousin owns a body shop in Canada so I may take a trip north in the summer.

As I discussed with Thor warranty support, none of my issues are severe enough to remove the coach from service and were deferred until my visit to the dealer in January. If necessary, the dealer can have my coach from mid January until the end of February for repairs.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:25 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
Similar to those others here - we've had some issues. This is our second new Class A gasser and we had similar with the first a Georgetown. But we got smarter and Thor Warranty has been solidly with us to help. The Georgetown dealer service support was pathetic - nonexistent.

Had the issue with the windshield washer - was replaced.
Had problem with pantry latch - service installed a J-latch (fixed).
Had a problem with leveler pump - replaced very expeditiously.
Worst thing that happened - front driver side, fixed window blew out. Entire window assembly was replaced. This one troubled us - not sure why it happened but Thor absolutely stood behind it.

Still have a problem with floor squeak. Headed into Thor factory service to have this one fixed in the last month of our warranty. Will probably require the slide to be pulled.

From our total experience and research - first year with a new coach is a bear. For us, we really enjoy our coach and Thor has been excellent support to alleviate issue - way better than Forest River that were MIA. Have thought that the next time probably would be 1-2 year old unit but we are bothered about not having that first year warranty.

For us the bang for buck has been great.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:27 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37ND
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #3357
Fellow 'Challenger' members, what is everyone towing?

I am presently researching a new flat-four towed dinghy vehicle to tow behind the Challenger 37ND. Our first year saw us with our new 2015 Ford Explorer - a comfortable full time drive for me but tipping the weight limit behind the RV.

Hard to find something light that is capable of handling a kayak and a couple of mt bike that is also comfortable.

Would be interested in your thoughts

Bart
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
Thor qa

We bought our Windsport new in October. It has been in the RV repair shop or the Ford dealer ever since. A word of warning to everyone, get your coach's alignment checked! I took mine in, and the whole front end was shot! 4K miles, and it needed all new king pins. Got it back today, and it drives no better! Wont track straight! Going back to Ford. Also, they didn't center the steering wheel.

When I started it up at the dealer, the auto level beeped, and the read out said "return to dealer for service". They were supposed to be fixed at the last 3 week service visit. Guess not. They have never worked, not once.

When we first got the coach, the roof was leaking so badly I was concerned about mold growth. THOR assisted me in getting it into a repair facility without a wait to have that looked into. Supposedly they fixed it, but we cant tell, its been an another shop ever since!

Worst mistake of our lives buying a THOR motorhome. We are hoping that things will eventually get better, or at least, quit getting worse!
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:55 AM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,304
THOR #2601
By the time you've been an owner for a year, you'll be a certified RV technician. When we bought ours after fully retiring I thought we'd be spending all our free time camping in it. I'm in it a lot but mostly tinkering, fixing,adjusting, and spending a lot of time cursing.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:12 AM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
RV Repair

Bevedfelker;

I don't really mind doing the work, but I cannot do chassis repairs, alignments, nor can I repair things under warranty, without the parts. I also cannot abate mold growth from leaking roofs and channels, in a new coach directly from the manufacturer.

Again, if my BMW, which didn't cost even half of what I spent on this motor home, was this unreliable, I have to believe BMW would buy it back. As it is, get a free loaner vehicle, all repairs and maintenance included, and polite, quick service, none of which have I received from THOR.

RVing is growing in popularity. I don't believe many new,or future owners, think that becoming a mechanic came along with their purchase. I know I didn't. As soon as I pass the minimum number of days in the shop for my states Lemon Law, I am filing. I don't see how I can lose.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
winder1 - yep with cost of fuel going down - lots of folks are moving to RVs. There are alternatives to being your own handyman but most aren't very good. Most involve finding a reputable dealer that can do the work. We have been fortunate to have a great service department but it is 180 miles from our fixed home. When we are in our wheeled home the first line of defense is me. When I am traveling 1000 miles averaging 55-60 mph, stuff simple comes loose. I carry a fairly good toolkit that has evolved as we've traveled.

So when something needs fixing I can wait for the service department to do the work for me or I can do myself - now.

We've had friends that enjoy our traveling style but they have seen this necessary handyman act and decided it simply is for them.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:44 PM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37ND
State: Ontario
Posts: 17
THOR #3357
Ahh, what we put up to answer the call of the open road. In reading your problem with your jacks, I to had the same warning message come on my Lippert control panel. A post I saw somewhere suggested pushing the 'enter' and 'retract' button at the same time, message cleared, problem solved.
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:27 PM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
Lippert

If life were so simple. Lippert has many different control panels and software packages, and the resets seem to be different on every single one. What works for one system may not work for another.

Unless you have the same control module and exact same software, it doesn't work.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:00 PM   #13
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Brand: Entegra
Model: Entegra Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 3,363
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by winder1 View Post
If life were so simple. Lippert has many different control panels and software packages, and the resets seem to be different on every single one. What works for one system may not work for another.

Unless you have the same control module and exact same software, it doesn't work.
Have you tried calling Lippert and asking them about your system. Thor did provide their number in the warranty section of the owners manual.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:36 PM   #14
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
Auto Level

It would be nice to have the coach in my possession long enough to do anything with it, including use it to camp. It is waiting to be towed to a Ford dealer to fix the F 53 chassis fix, that was done by the last Ford dealer. The last "fix" left it un drivable, after 3 weeks in their shop. The entire front end went out, at 4K miles, and all of the king pins needed to be replaced. After I picked it up to drive it home, it was MUCH WORSE than before!

That is when I found out the Ford dealer, who had insisted over the phone that they worked on F 53's all of the time, sent the work out to 2 different shops! All are pointing the finger at the other!

When thats done, its back to the THOR authorized dealer for the third attempt to fix the auto leveler, which has never worked, along with the generator that works once in awhile, (5th try).

Have owned it 2 months and used it 0 times, other than taking it from repair shop to repair shop.

I have no way of knowing what they may have fixed on the list from the last time I put it in, because I have never used it, ever, at all. I do know the radio wasn't fixed, because it has never worked as well, and still doesn't.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:27 AM   #15
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Washington
Posts: 221
THOR #2123
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSarge View Post
I am presently researching a new flat-four towed dinghy vehicle to tow behind the Challenger 37ND. Our first year saw us with our new 2015 Ford Explorer - a comfortable full time drive for me but tipping the weight limit behind the RV.

Hard to find something light that is capable of handling a kayak and a couple of mt bike that is also comfortable.

Would be interested in your thoughts

Bart
Possibly a Suzuki Grand Vitara?
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:37 PM   #16
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
THOR #2005
Suzuki Grand Vitara?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine By Choice View Post
Possibly a Suzuki Grand Vitara?
Hello!

Doing a search of the Thor forums I came across you short post from last year that referenced a Suzuki Grand Vitara as a possible toad. It was the only post I could find that referenced a Vitara.

Do you or have you towed one? We just bought an "elderly" model - 2004 - that is in great condition and were curious about any others' experience towing this cute little SUV. We bought it strictly for towing, but will probably use it around town a bit, too.

The previous (original) owner included ALL the service records for the car so it was well maintained with no big repairs or problems in the 12 years they owned it.

It has the tow plate in the front, so our next step is to find a good tow bar so we can get it hooked up and try it out.

Eileen in AZ
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:26 PM   #17
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Washington
Posts: 221
THOR #2123
Yes, we towed it for a couple years. Great rig and EASY to hookup. Put the transfer case in neutral, turn the key so the steering wheel is free and you are off.

We gave it to our son as they were expecting a baby & needed a family car. I am thinking of looking for a used one to tow from time to time.

Good luck! And you will not regret it if you purchase one.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:34 PM   #18
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
THOR #2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine By Choice View Post
Yes, we towed it for a couple years. Great rig and EASY to hookup. Put the transfer case in neutral, turn the key so the steering wheel is free and you are off.

We gave it to our son as they were expecting a baby & needed a family car. I am thinking of looking for a used one to tow from time to time.

Good luck! And you will not regret it if you purchase one.
Thank you so much for your reply! Happy to know you had a great experience with your Vitara, and that it proved to be road worthy.

Could I ask you one more question? It applies to the 200/55 concept.

The owners manual stays we should stop every 200 miles and start of the car and rev it up a few minutes. And also, it says to keep the towing speed down to 55 MPH.

Some friends who are RV "experts" say we don't have to worry about those things. Do you have any opinions?

We're excited to add our "new" little vehicle to our collection and look forward to getting it on the road soon. It has a lot of life left in it.

Eileen in AZ
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:47 PM   #19
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Washington
Posts: 221
THOR #2123
Eileen,
We would normally stop for fuel, rest breaks, etc and I would start it. Did not rev it, just let it idle for a few minutes.
I didn't worry about speed, as my normal high end was at 50-60. Used freeways only when absolutely necessary as we like the secondary roads for more scenic trips.
BTW our son gave the Grand Vitara to our grandson after they bought a new SUV. It now has 207,000+ miles! Has replaced breaks, rebuilt the transmission and normal maintenance. Needless to say it has served the family well!
Keith
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:42 PM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: Arizona
Posts: 237
THOR #2005
Keith,

Once again, thanks for the great information! The stops make sense. We figured every 2 - 3 hours would make a good schedule for leg stretching, snack time and engine starting.

That's great that your little Vitara is still chugging along - and still in the family!

I do appreciate all the helpful info on the Suzuki. I think we made a good choice for our first toad!

Eileen in AZ
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