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Old 07-30-2016, 07:13 PM   #1
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Fit, finish, craftsmanship

Okay, so this is my first thread on this forum and I don't want it to sound like I am just complaining...but I am sure it will...because I really am...

Anyway..

I have found many of the same issues with my Freedom Elite 23H that the typical RV'r has, I am sure...black and grey levels, leaky dump caps, yada yada yada...

As I have gone in and made minor changes by adding a converter, subwoofer (to replace the anemic rear speakers), fixing the rear camera so it turns off (it was wired always on), changed out the TV receptacle because a screw was through the hot thereby energizing the center screw (!), etc.

I have found that fit and finish is...challenged...in many aspects. Every panel I remove, every trim I try to put back into place I find piles of sawdust, metal shavings, wood chunks, extra wire chunks, bags of screws, loose hot wires (12V...so far), stripped screws, extra holes, stressed wire looms, and a really poor attempt at grounding and bonding between the chassis and the house.

The really poor grounding and bonding in the electrical system has resulted in electrolysis damage, bad house battery charging, poor generator power quality, and buzzing in the sound system.

Overall I am not impressed at all with the craftsmanship. When I started googling around, I was totally surprised to see that Thor was the lead brand for many different lines of RV's.

Has anybody else experienced any of these issues or feel the same way?
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cuba_pete
Has anybody else experienced any of these issues or feel the same way?
Pretty much all of us in some form or another. Some are more vocal than others, though.

Some units are "better built" than others but they all have the scraps lying around. As an example: Axis units have the option for an external TV. Our unit doesn't have it though, but one day when I was looking behind a kitchen drawer I found the 120V outlet for an external TV just lying on the floor--all wired up--sitting in all the sawdust. LOL I still may mount that somewhere so we have an extra outlet (You know make lemonade from lemons.)
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:10 PM   #3
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Cuba,

Okay, nothing is perfect.
As I look behind walls and stuff in my Vegas I have adopted a "Hansel and Gretel" approach to things, the stuff they leave behind is a bread crumb trail back to where I want to be.

Always an adventure and a chance to improve on what I found. Hey, I have now wired my front two TV's thru a mini fanless computer, a Blue-ray and a doggle so now I can watch a movie on the inside or outside TV or have wireless bluetooth computer monitors off of either of the TV's. Originally, I was just trying to figure out why the Dash Radio's DVD would not play on the TV's in the main room or outside (that reason: the RCA cables were not run to the TV's).

Please remember, not all things end up as they started out. Do you know that the original 1964 1/2 Mustang came a 6 cylinder engine, also with a bench front seat and a little 260 V8 as the option? Took some owners and requests for the bucket seats and the 289 and then 289 hi-proformance setup. Now, well you can spend more on a Maxed out Mustang than on a Vegas 24.1.

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Old 07-30-2016, 09:26 PM   #4
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Wow, we have had some "issues" with our 2016 Ace 29.3 but no, no sawdust behind drawers, a total of three loose screws, most found laying on the little carpet there is, one behind a bedroom drawer, the other on the carpet next to the bed. The other screw was rolling around next to the slide and I heard it and found it right away. They were small and not easy to see. So far I have not found wires hanging where they were not supposed to be etc. Yes, a few issues and Thor has been very good about getting them fixed, but nothing you describe. Fit and finish has been quite good.

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Old 07-30-2016, 09:35 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear Pete, we where lucky we have had very minor things wrong. I did just go around and check screws but we have 15000 miles on our RV and some do loosen up through travel. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:18 PM   #6
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So far the build on my 2015 Vegas 24.1 seems pretty solid. My dealer (General RV of Tampa) went way beyond what most dealers do.

Before we scheduled my PDI that dealer told me they wanted a week to complete their "make ready" inspection. During g that inspection they removed all the drawers and vacuumed out all the construction debris. They also checked to be sure all the drawer slides had the proper number of screws. They checked all the trim to make sure it was right. They removed the mattresses and vacuumed all the debris out from the areas under the mattresses to include around the fresh water tank and water pump. They checked all the systems operation on battery and shore power. They even washed and waxed it.

During the PDI (that took 4 hours) we found 3 minor problems they fixed on the spot. My experience has been much better than many you read of on this forum. Having an outstanding dealer is an extremely important part of that experience. I am amazed when I read of people accepting RVs with dozens of problems, systems that don't work, and units that were dirty inside and out.
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bevedfelker View Post
So far the build on my 2015 Vegas 24.1 seems pretty solid. My dealer (General RV of Tampa) went way beyond what most dealers do.

Before we scheduled my PDI that dealer told me they wanted a week to complete their "make ready" inspection. During g that inspection they removed all the drawers and vacuumed out all the construction debris. They also checked to be sure all the drawer slides had the proper number of screws. They checked all the trim to make sure it was right. They removed the mattresses and vacuumed all the debris out from the areas under the mattresses to include around the fresh water tank and water pump. They checked all the systems operation on battery and shore power. They even washed and waxed it.

During the PDI (that took 4 hours) we found 3 minor problems they fixed on the spot. My experience has been much better than many you read of on this forum. Having an outstanding dealer is an extremely important part of that experience. I am amazed when I read of people accepting RVs with dozens of problems, systems that don't work, and units that were dirty inside and out.
Wow! I would seem your dealer went the extra mile!
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:09 PM   #8
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When we get home this fall one of the things I will be doing is pull all access panels and drawers. I'll get a hundred pounds of saw dust with the shop vac.
Then I'll go through all the wiring connections and stuff.

For build quality the best we have bought was the 1989 Mallard class C and the 2011 Trailmanor. The trailmanor did require a bit of rewiring but it came with a full set of loop wiring diagrams. TM has since gone down hill.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:12 PM   #9
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Agree with bevedfelker- My dealer, "Carpenters" in Pensacola did much of the same preparation, inside and out. Also my neighbor and I did a thorough PDI, and still found several items, and of course there were things that popped up later. All were taken care of to my satisfaction. In the 1st year, my RV stayed overnight at the dealer on 4 occasions for a total of 7 days. I've not had a trip cancelled or even delayed for repairs in 12500 miles.

Stories here of an RV sitting at the dealer for month's awaiting parts almost all fall to a large corporate dealership. That's inexcusable.

Overall fit and finish were good. Of course there were missing screws, a poorly designed furnace door, loose cable connections etc. But I agree, a lot of the "luck" with a new RV starts with the dealership...
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:41 PM   #10
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Purchased a new trailer from LaMesa RV in Tuscon. During the walk through, I noticed a blown fuse. Instead of fixing the problem, the mechanic came out and put in a larger fuse. Of coarse it didn't fix the problem. That circuit blows every time I tow the trailer. Still have not figured the problem out yet.
On the trip home, the cabinet door on the end of the center island fell off. It had been installed with 1/4 inch screws. I replaced them with 3/4" screws, problem fixed.
Behind the range there is a flat panel that has 3 small slots and 3 larger slots to hold knives. When I tried dropping in some knives, they were hitting something. I removed the screws holding that panel in place to find that the rubber propane hose that feeds the range was attached to the back wall behind the range directly below the knife slots. I removed the clamps holding the rubber hose in place and relocated it away from the area that the knife blades are in.
On our first trip with friends, we went to set up the bed that uses the dining table. Found out the bed rails were too far apart to hold the table top up. When I got home, I removed all the screws holding the right hand side seat base in place and moved it in about an inch so it would hold the tabled top in place.
My wife is short, about 5' tall. The mirror/medicine cabinet in the bathroom was mounted all the way up tight to the ceiling. My wife couldn't even see her head. I lowered it about 8" so now it is usable to both of us.
The skylight blind above the kitchen kept falling down because the screws holding the blind in place kept pulling out because the screws were only into a thin piece of plastic. I removed the entire skylight and replaced the screws with machine screws and nuts. Another problem fixed.
The sensors in the holding tanks don't work. The tanks can be empty but the control panel will show the tanks full or partially full. They can be full and the panel lights will show them empty. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for how the lights show what level the tanks are. They are completely useless.
The shower leaked on the sides and around the door. I used a silicone seal on all of the seams in the shower and fixed the leaking. There was no silicone seal on most of the seams in the shower.
We've had multiple pieces of trim fall off and some other minor issues that I've fixed. Overall we are pretty disappointed with the workmanship of this trailer. Fortunately I'm very handy and can fix just about anything otherwise this trailer would have been sitting at a shop somewhere having warranty work done more then it would have been available for us to use. American pride in workmanship is nonexistent with this factory.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:22 AM   #11
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Wow, Amre2me2...your laundry list...especially the gas hose...you got me beat by a mile!

I expected some things to be not quite right, but I got more than I expected.

I am glad I found this forum...at least to commiserate with others who have the same experiences.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
When we get home this fall one of the things I will be doing is pull all access panels and drawers. I'll get a hundred pounds of saw dust with the shop vac.
Then I'll go through all the wiring connections and stuff.

For build quality the best we have bought was the 1989 Mallard class C and the 2011 Trailmanor. The trailmanor did require a bit of rewiring but it came with a full set of loop wiring diagrams. TM has since gone down hill.
Does anybody have info on wiring diagrams for motorhomes? (One for mine would be great!).

...or is this something that is left up to the owners?

Has anybody received/purchased one from the manufacturer for their rig?
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuba_pete
Does anybody have info on wiring diagrams for motorhomes? (One for mine would be great!).
Click on the "Customer Care" link on the left side of this page: https://thormotorcoach.com/contact/

Fill in the information about your coach and ask for the wiring diagrams (both 12V, and 110V), waste water diagrams, and fresh water plumbing diagrams. Thor will send them to you free (at least they have for many of us, not sure if any Freedom Elite owners have asked for diagrams yet).
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Old 12-08-2016, 12:01 AM   #14
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Model: ACE EVO 30.3
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Found some Quality Control issues

Just took delivery of our 2017 ACE 30.3 two weeks ago. I have spent several days going over our new MH. Crawling underneath, inside all compartments, cupboards, drawers etc. I had a small tool pouch with me, electrical tape, wire wrap, silicone spray, zip ties and the normal hand tools. During my thorough inspection of the rig I did find a lot of small nuisance repairs, the results sloppy workmanship, or lack of quality control inspections? Sensor wires pinched underneath the fresh water tank and support frame, electrical connections not sealed or taped properly. Wires hanging down in compartments. Globs of foam sealant laying in the compartment etc.
The good news is that I didn't find any major problems and all of the systems work just fine. No plumbling leaks or electrical problems.
The chassis looks rock solid with no issues found. The cabinets seem to be very well made for an RV. The exterior is beautiful with no flaws!
Our initial drive from the dealership to home was 170 miles and the MH drove very nice, however I will be adding a safety steer system very soon.
We have several trips coming up real soon, so hopefully my attention to the small flaws and thorough inspection will head off any major issues while on the road?
Our previous MH, although smaller had many of the same nuisance issues over the years. That helped know what to look for on our new unit.

Steven B
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Stevenb2560 View Post
Just took delivery of our 2017 ACE 30.3 two weeks ago. I have spent several days going over our new MH. Crawling underneath, inside all compartments, cupboards, drawers etc. I had a small tool pouch with me, electrical tape, wire wrap, silicone spray, zip ties and the normal hand tools. During my thorough inspection of the rig I did find a lot of small nuisance repairs, the results sloppy workmanship, or lack of quality control inspections? Sensor wires pinched underneath the fresh water tank and support frame, electrical connections not sealed or taped properly. Wires hanging down in compartments. Globs of foam sealant laying in the compartment etc.
The good news is that I didn't find any major problems and all of the systems work just fine. No plumbling leaks or electrical problems.
The chassis looks rock solid with no issues found. The cabinets seem to be very well made for an RV. The exterior is beautiful with no flaws!
Our initial drive from the dealership to home was 170 miles and the MH drove very nice, however I will be adding a safety steer system very soon.
We have several trips coming up real soon, so hopefully my attention to the small flaws and thorough inspection will head off any major issues while on the road?
Our previous MH, although smaller had many of the same nuisance issues over the years. That helped know what to look for on our new unit.

Steven B
Steven, as soon as I began reading your post I automatically knew that this was not your first time taking delivery of an RV. This is exactly what every owner of a new RV should do before extended use. If a new owner does not have the time or skill level, then they should hire someone to do exactly what you did. Not only would they get to know their coach better but they would head off many repair issues and possibly prevent multiple trips back to a dealer. Good post!
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:39 PM   #16
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Thanks Joe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
Steven, as soon as I began reading your post I automatically knew that this was not your first time taking delivery of an RV. This is exactly what every owner of a new RV should do before extended use. If a new owner does not have the time or skill level, then they should hire someone to do exactly what you did. Not only would they get to know their coach better but they would head off many repair issues and possibly prevent multiple trips back to a dealer. Good post!
I'm on my 6th RV, 1 truck camper(used), 3 travel trailers (new) and 2 Motorhomes one used and the current new Thor. I guess you learn over the years what to look for

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Old 12-08-2016, 09:32 PM   #17
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Fit, finish and craftsmanship

We bought a new Thor 31S four months ago and a pages of problems with the coach. We went to the factory and they fixed only two of the most minor problems, ignored the others and basically told us to pound sand.

We were there two days waiting for the service we did not receive. While there we toured the factory and surprise surprise surprise - there is no evidence of quality control. Small wonder that everyone has problems.

I was advised today by our local dealer that they are no longer a Thor dealer. Apparently they came to this decision 2 months ago based on their experience with Thor's service and warranty departments. According to a representative of the store, "they were tired of dealing with delays in obtaining parts, having to make repairs to Thor coaches before they could be but on the sales floor, Thor’s reimbursement practices, and losing money on the process."


Guess we will be looking for another dealer for warranty work.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:28 AM   #18
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I apologize that this lengthy, but it is worth the read, and it is spot on. It’s time we did something about quality control industry wide. We spend thousands of dollars on RVs that spend too much time in the shop, have too many problems when delivered, have old technology, and we, as owners become quality control for the manufactures.
This is from RV D@ily Report, a free on line publication every RV owner should read.


Opinion: That’s just what happens with an RV
September 22, 2016 in Exclusive and Breaking News, LetsRV, Opinion, RV Industry News 70 Comments
[IMG]file:///C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\c lip_image001.jpg[/IMG]
By Joanne Lewandowski
In the past year and a half since my husband and I have become full-time RVers, I have heard that phrase too many times to even count. To me, it is the stuff of nightmares. It represents all the time our rig(s) have spent “in the shop” either at our dealers in Illinois or in other states.
That sentiment brings to mind all the events and places we missed, the time and money spent redoing reservations/schedules over and over due to those “just take it to the shop” issues.
But, it is the RV community’s general complacency and acceptance of that phrase as gospel which causes me to have stomach pains. Perhaps being a young adult during the late 1960s and early 1970s causes me to feel the need to PROTEST, to start a movement, to do something. Hence, this article.
A year ago last May, my husband and I began our official retirement plan which is to travel and see our grand country. We sold the house and most of our belongings, bought a diesel truck and a 40-foot fifth wheel. After planning for five years, going through the pain of choosing just the right rig for us in our golden years, studying hard, talking to everyone who would listen, attending a rally and reading many blogs — we were ready.
We set out with confidence, hopes were high and “adventure” was our motto. Then, reality hit.
Our rig was slowly, but surely, falling apart in front of our eyes. The closet pole crumbled, a cupboard door fell off and was crushed by a slide. We didn’t hear that accident because the slides were squealing like pigs at the county fair. Those also needed work.
We ended up replacing all the screws in all the cupboard doors as they were put on with screws that were way too short to do the job. The electrical system had GFI issues, etc. etc. We used five tubes of caulk sealing various leaks and potential leaks.
The coup de gras was the floor beginning to sink. It was like walking on a sponge in the kitchen/living room area, the area where we spent most of our indoor time. All of this and more within 12 months.
We returned after a year of travel to our old stomping grounds to see our kids and our first grandson, and to put the rig in the shop due to the floor problem, along with a multitude of other smaller complaints. We were “lucky” to get a service appointment for the time we needed it, even though we called three months in advance.
We were also fortunate have our children around to house us and our two dogs as the floor was going to take at least a week to repair.
While at the dealership, waiting to talk to the service rep, we wandered over and looked at the new models in the showroom. A salesman quickly started a conversation with us about why we were there. After the short version of our tale of woe, that our new rig was falling apart, the conversation took a different turn.
The sales pitch for a newer rig included info about a new manufacturer that had come into the arena a few years ago and their wonderful inspection plans and construction. We were told that the “light weight” units are not for full-time use because they cannot stand up to the road time.
Needless to say, after looking at more rigs, doing more research, talking to more fellow RVers, we ordered a new one — the second RV in 18 months! Also, sad to say, within the first month, we had our brand new, “superior quality” rig at the shop twice, for days, and also had a technician come to us to fix our refrigerator, for the third time the minute we left the area.
Issues included a light switch connected to nothing, a shower that was not caulked and flooded our main bath, a refrigerator that repeatedly coded an error message, the washer/dryer combo with faulty wiring and a cable port incorrectly installed.
All these problems despite the fantastic inspections done, and the $900 dealer prep fee. What is the lesson we learned? “Well, that’s just what happens with RVs.”
As we talked with fellow RVers, in person and online, their response to our troubles was universal. After dealing repeatedly with our dealer’s service shop manager, the customer service people at both manufacturers, and hearing them all echo that same “lesson,” I am almost speechless.
I must also admit, their sympathy and condolences only angered me. Each person we spoke with followed up the sympathy with a great big helping of their horror stories — lousy tires that blew on the expressway, water filling their basement due to a poor connection, axle issues, tile peeling off, etc., etc., etc. Why???
Why is that just the way it is? I find it unbelievable, that across the board, everyone we have talked to expressed that sentiment in some form or another. It did not matter if they traveled a couple of weekends a year in their pop up, or were full-timers like us.
I heard no difference from the owner of a Phaeton motorcoach to us with our “starter” rig or to a neighbor with a Casita. I find it amazing. All the shoulder shrugging, all the half smiles, and all the nods of understanding — but no anger, no outrage.
And, I ask them all the same question, “If this was your car, would you feel the same way? If all your vehicles had half the issues you related that your RV does, what would you do? Would you be so accepting? Why is this different?”
Most RV manufacturers are very quick to advertise their inspection guidelines, to allow tours of the factory, to send reps to RV shows to tout their models, but, typically very slow to help with problems.
Dealers do not often want to fix your rig if you bought it some other place, especially if it is warranty work, in our experience. Manufacturers are hesitant to OK repairs done by a technician who comes to you at the park. In the end, the manufacturer asks that you bring it back to the dealer, the dealer tells you to take it back to the shop and there you are waiting with no rig.
Time in the shop means time out of your rig. If you full-time, that is a whole other ball game. We have yet to find a service center with loaners!
There are many problems when you full time and your rig is in the shop. One, you have no home, two, all of your food in the refrigerator and freezer needs to be dealt with, pets have to be taken into consideration, not all hotels allow animals.
If you live in a state where your camping months are few, this can greatly effect your RVing experience. If you make plans in advance and, then, your rig is suddenly shop bound, your whole vacation may be destroyed. If you plan to meet others, or travel for a family event, those shop-worthy repairs have a huge impact on your plans.
Yet, RVers still quietly accept the status quo. Why?
I am convinced, that as you read this, if you are an RVer, you can relate to my aggravation. I am hoping that some of you out there, on the road, in the campgrounds across the USA and talking in blogs on the Internet will follow my lead and become less accepting and more vocal about our needs and wants as a consumer.
Write a letter, call the manufacturer’s sales rep and complain loudly. Do not take accept the excuse “this the way it has to be with an RV.” Let’s start a movement and talk it up!
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Old 12-09-2016, 01:10 PM   #19
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Even though I suspect what happen to moingtara is not the "norm", it probably does happen too often.


We also sold our home several years ago, did tons of research, purchased our first RV, and set out to see the country full time. My 1-ton diesel truck was purchased new a year before the big adventure. However, after much research there was no way we were going to purchase a new 5th wheel. We wanted a 2 or 3 year old 38' to 40' that had all the bugs worked out. We found one and it was repair free for us. Even after trading it in for a new fiver there were no nightmares. I always do regular preventive maintenance, like checking lug nuts, torque suspension bolts, grease bearings, inspect water fittings, lubricate everything.......on and on. In 3 years of full time travel we never had to leave an RV at a dealership overnight.


There are tons of RVers out there that enjoy worry free camping. I'm not sure there are enough folks out there upset enough to start a "movement" or start demonstrating in front of Thor's corporate HQ.
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Old 12-09-2016, 01:28 PM   #20
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Model: Hurricane 29D
State: Florida
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You a perfectly correct with your opinion. And let me tell you those issues you listed were also present when my motorhome was new! Over the years I have worked them away (mostly). Now that my motorhome is 14 years old, I have a rather reliable unit, and can be pretty sure that I can finish a longer trip without experiencing major problems. It helps that my son is a certified master mechanic working for the largest Ford dealer in the state, and goes through all the chassis related issues several times a year with a fine toothed comb.
My motorhome is now at a quality point that it should have had on the day of delivery! I do not want to buy a new unit, because with almost 74 years of age, I do not feel like fixing it for another 14 years to get a reliable motorhome.
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