Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Brands and Products > Thor Motor Coach | Class A, Class B+ & Class C Motorhomes
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-16-2016, 09:06 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
PDI checklist, buying local vs out of state

I am looking at moving up to a Thor Miramar 33.5 from a class B.

I see so many service/warranty horror stories here! Yikes.

1. Has anyone here put together a super detailed PDI check list for a new owner to run through? If so care to share?

2. I am torn between from buying from a local dealer and paying more vs one of the super stores. I get the feeling that the dealers are equally ambivalent and you still have to fight with Thor regardless, so why not pay a cheaper price up front? I personally don't trust any dealer to do a decent PDI.

3. Any thoughts on lemon law protection when buying out of state? Dont some states also require that you are a resident of that state?

Thanks in advance for your help.
__________________

__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
Bigfoot - first off IMO if you are this apprehensive about your move up - quite honestly you may want to wait. Just my two cents. From my experience the first year of ownership you are gonna have to work out the kinks (issues) in you coach. From my experience again, the issue is NOT Thor but poor dealer service. The forums are alive with people talking about issues that Thor won't do this or Thor won't do that. That is what gets related to the owners from the dealer. Not saying that dealers misrepresent Thor's responses but Thor has never once failed to address any issue I've had. That is Zero, Zippo, Nadda. Morale to the story - call warranty factory service directly. I've dealt almost exclusively with Tom Overton. Always gets back with me.

With your concerns I'd also recommend you find a Thor authorized servicing dealer within a 100-150 mile radius that will work on your unit BEFORE you buy. You will have issues in the first year and nothing more frustrating than getting the run around right up front. IRV2 is another good site that help you narrow down your service search.

There are lots of PDIs that can be used. I'd get one, then go to your nearest dealer and ask questions based on the PDI like "Where is this found?, how do I turn on the water heater, how do I empty the holding tanks, how do I put in fresh water, how do I plug my unit in to shore power, how does the generator work, how do the levelers work, etc". Tell the sales person your really new and want to understand so you can compare models. The first thing you'll find out is that in general sales folks tell you a lot of stuff but most won't understand how the unit works. Again that is in IMO. Continue that at least 3 times or until you feel comfortable.

Relative to price - careful. The only price you really are interested in "how much to drive away with the coach?". Anything other than that number is interesting but irrelevant. Then find the lowest price. In my experience, buying local only guarantees you'll have a shorter drive home. It would be great to have a low price and service, but the odds are against it.

Now the absolute truth from us - we love our Challenger. We had lots of service work done the first year but have gotten to a great place with our coach. Feature for feature,$ for $ - tough to beat the Challenger.

Hope this epistle is helpful.
__________________

__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
Thanks, all good advice.

I am not *that* apprehensive. I had a boat for 7 years which I just sold so I know how this stuff goes. I accept there will be issues and I am also happy to fix them myself which I've done on my current rig (Sportsmobile) and on our boat (34ft Rinker). My big worry is thinks like leaks, roof issues, slide issues, that kind of stuff which are well beyond me. If a water pump fails or a wire is loose it is not the end of the world.

Also my question on PDIs was about on delivery day. I want to spend a good long time checking everything out before I drive away. They don't even have to be there, I will just want to check every single thing out. But be nice to have a starting point, someone mentioned filling holding tanks to check for leaks, I would never have thought of that.
__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 11:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 25.2
State: Oregon
Posts: 902
THOR #2271
Bigfoot - As a previous boat owner myself, you will do just fine.
Remember the 3 rules of sailing:
  1. You can't breathe water
  2. You can't sail directly into the wind
  3. Everything else is just sonmeone's opinion.
See Rule 3.

Applies with an RV too. The only difference here is documentation. What Thor hath ommitted, Ed's manual hath documented.
__________________
Added: HWH Kick-Down Leveler; RoadMaster Anti-sway bars; Tornado Rotary Tank Rinser; Accede Backup Sensor Kit; cylinder locks (w/one combo lock); custom sink cover; Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX front radio; Pioneer MVH-X5560BT rear radio; Oxygenics Shower head; ScanGuage II; Blue Ox Tow Bar w/RVi Brake 2; Winegard Rayzar Automatic TV antenna; Trimark Steel door lock; Dometic 310 toilet; whatever is next.
gbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 11:13 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrown View Post

Applies with an RV too. The only difference here is documentation. What Thor hath ommitted, Ed's manual hath documented.
Link? I searched for Eds manual and came up empty. Thx.
__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2016, 11:22 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 25.2
State: Oregon
Posts: 902
THOR #2271
Send bevedfelker a private message with your email. He will send you the manual.
__________________
Added: HWH Kick-Down Leveler; RoadMaster Anti-sway bars; Tornado Rotary Tank Rinser; Accede Backup Sensor Kit; cylinder locks (w/one combo lock); custom sink cover; Pioneer AVH-4100 NEX front radio; Pioneer MVH-X5560BT rear radio; Oxygenics Shower head; ScanGuage II; Blue Ox Tow Bar w/RVi Brake 2; Winegard Rayzar Automatic TV antenna; Trimark Steel door lock; Dometic 310 toilet; whatever is next.
gbrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 12:22 AM   #7
vkb
Senior Member
 
vkb's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1 KC's Big Box
State: Kansas
Posts: 1,994
THOR #3510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
Link? I searched for Eds manual and came up empty. Thx.
Bigfoot ! Remember...this forum is full of people searching for a solution to a problem...we have all been there and appreciate the help from others.
However...considering how many thousands of RV's sold each year..that have no problems or the owners do not find this forum...we all are probably in the minority. We have become a community of campers helping campers.
So...with that said...feel free to ask questions...do not hesitate ...
someone out here will have the answer !!

Have FUN !
by the way...we were boat owners in our previous life, too :0)
__________________
Ron & Kay n KC too !
2016 Axis 24.1 E-450 6 spd.
'KC's Big Box'
Jeep Wrangler TJ
or 6x10 enclosed motorcycle trailer
vkb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 12:29 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
Bigfoot - as you already understand - a good PDI is essential. Knowing what some of the issues are and how the moving parts operate will make the PDI much more useful. I wasn't trying to lecture - rather simply offer the knowledge "knots" I gained from bumping into issues. Trim and loose stuff is easy enough to fix but levelers, slides, AGS systems, generators, house batteries, electric bunk beds, residential refers, etc have a bit more of a learning curve. Thus my suggestion of spending some time looking with a sales person. The folks over at IRV2 Thor owner forum "Challenger Owners Unite" is a good read.

Again and gbrown pointed out it is just sonmeone's opinion.
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 01:11 AM   #9
Member
 
TerryJames's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Axis 25.2 E-450
State: Texas
Posts: 90
THOR #4181
Hi Bigfoot,
Suggest you think about spending the $200.00 to $300.00 get a professional inspector ... just like you would if you were buying a house. And have that done a week or so before your owners PDI.
Here's a link for the folks we used in Texas. I'm not suggesting you use them. Just and example. I fact they'll sell you there PDI with instructions. So I'm guessing you can find similar in your area or in the area that you are buying and get a PDI from them or get them to do the inspection.
RVSurvey RV Inspection
__________________
2017 Axis 25.2 on E-450
Sugar Land, (Houston) Texas
http://www.pinnacleresults.com/
TerryJames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 01:31 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Brand: Crossroads
State: Wisconsin
Posts: 651
THOR #124
If you follow this one, you won't get into trouble after the fact.

Doug's RV Checklist Page
__________________
Lloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 06:53 AM   #11
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
Thanks again for the help, great links and great advice.

I'm stopping in at one of the dealers again tomorrow on the way home, will try and spend a lot of time going over each of the systems to familiarize myself. Also maybe look for potential trouble spots as future reference.

I started out looking at the Forest River FR3 (a friend has one) but then started looking for something with a little more equipment and nicer trim.

One more question: how do I figure out if the rig can be manouvered onto my RV pad? My pad happens to be exactly the size of the 33.5, but there is a bit of a roof overhang sticking out, and the entrance is a little narrow, and it also requires backing up the driveway and then jockeying into position a bit. I mean, the dealer's not going to lend me one to try out and park at my house.... the rig will physically fit there, but I am not sure how easily it can be put in position. (I've backed a 16ft car trailer and my van in there, total length 34ft, no issues)
__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 11:39 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
bigben's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
Too funny Bigfoot. One of the reasons we have Class A is to not backup a jointed unit. The funny part is if you can back that combo in, after a few tries, the coach will be a snap.
__________________
US Army Retired - Loving The Road Trip
Challenger 37TB
bigben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 11:44 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
dstankov's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Entegra Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 3,363
THOR #1469
Bigfoot, welcome to the forum

Dealer - Whether you buy local or non-local is a personal decision. I have bought my last 2 rigs from local dealers and have not regretted doing so. The dealer from which I bought the Challenger is, IMO, outstanding. They have a separate service center to take care of owners during the first 90 days of ownership and then they transfer you over to the service department which again is a top notch operation.

RV Pad - When I was looking at the Challenger I took it on an extended test drive. Part of the test drive was to an empty parking lot where I maneuvered it around curbs, lights etc. I did this going forward and backing so I got a feel for how the coach rode and handled. Due to the 252 inch wheelbase I did widen my driveway. I also had gravel put in halfway from the road to the house to serve as my turn around point so I don't have to back in off the road.

The forgotten mod - the driveway

Thor Quality - other than a couple of issues I have not had any problems with my coach. My biggest issues were a missing bulb seal resulted in a slide motor coming unplugged during the shakedown cruise for which Thor reimbursed for a mobile tech and my Axxerra radio continuing to loose power. The radio issue appears to now be fixed after the second replacement and the last replacement was done by Thor after the warranty expired. My local dealer stepped up to the plate on this radio issue.

Thor Forums - View Single Post - Another trip comes to a close

Also, my prior Class C was a Forest River and I will tell you that I had more contact with Thor in the first 3 weeks of ownership than I had with Forest River in over three years. For the most part Thor has provided everything I have asked for to include plumbing, structural and electrical diagrams. These are things I never received from FR.

Bottom Line - we love the Challenger and we are happy with our decision to purchase local (80 miles from the house) and are happy with the dealer's service department.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
Chester, VA
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
FMCA - F432054
dstankov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
Well if you think about it, you can bend an articulated rig/trailer around obstacles where a coach is a fixed object.

I'll have to post pictures of our driveway and RV pad. It was only ever intended for the Sportsmobile and a small trailer.

This "neck" which is off the asphalt turnaround and has a slight hill/rocks on one side, and the house and roof overhang on the other may be an issue. If the coach wheels go up on the hill, it will want to tilt the coach towards the house/roof. But thinking about it I can maybe remove a few feet of rock and get the landscapers to chew a bit of the hill away to give me a flatter, wider entry.

I didn't even think about how I would turn it around, but fortunately I share a driveway with my neighbor, and at the Y is usually where I turn around my rig and where delivery trucks do the same. Maybe I will measure it all out and can lay out a course of cones at the dealers to try and simulate it? Over-analyze much?!!!

Now that you mention the Challenger, is there an easy way to compare the features of each model of the Thor coaches? The "What RV fits you" isn't detailed enough for me, I'd like to see which ones have outside kitchens, which models have which chassis/engine, which type of dinette, number of bathrooms, bed size, bed count etc. Is there a big table like that somewhere?

As an example, I like the Miramar 34.1 with the 1.5 bathrooms, but it only has a queen bed, we need a king. How do I find if that floorplan exists and in which model coach?

(edit) ok I just discovered the "refine" option on the LH side, which helps a bit, but because it filters things out it makes it hard for you to view what the tradeoffs are (eg if I have a bath and a half I can't have this type of dinette etc)

Sorry for drifting off topic but I am sure everyone goes through this when trying to pick their first big coach!
__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 02:48 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Washington
Posts: 14
THOR #5146
More questions:

One big tradeoff to make in price/model is whether you get full body paint or not.

Living in the northwest where stuff gets covered with green stuff (mold, pollen) having a surface that is resistant to that and cleans up well seems important. Is there something I'm missing? It sure looks nice too....

My RV pad slopes slightly, in my case the rear would probably be higher. I know I can't open slides (and probably wouldn't want to) without using the jacks, any issues with storing on a sloped surface? (issues with fridge, tanks, rain/leaks, ???)

Another option is to run the jacks up. Also, is there a time limit for being on jacks? Issues with longer term storage on jacks? The surface is "grasscrete" so I may need to put some wooden pads down to even out the surface.
__________________
Bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 05:03 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
dstankov's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Entegra Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 3,363
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
More questions:

One big tradeoff to make in price/model is whether you get full body paint or not.

Living in the northwest where stuff gets covered with green stuff (mold, pollen) having a surface that is resistant to that and cleans up well seems important. Is there something I'm missing? It sure looks nice too....

My RV pad slopes slightly, in my case the rear would probably be higher. I know I can't open slides (and probably wouldn't want to) without using the jacks, any issues with storing on a sloped surface? (issues with fridge, tanks, rain/leaks, ???)

Another option is to run the jacks up. Also, is there a time limit for being on jacks? Issues with longer term storage on jacks? The surface is "grasscrete" so I may need to put some wooden pads down to even out the surface.
FBP - my prior coach did not have FBP while the current coach does. Keep it waxed and it is much easier to keep clean. Also, if the coach will be a trade in going down the road you do loose value if FBP is an option that was not selected.

When in storage the coach not being level is not an issue unless you want to run the fridge for cool down prior to a trip. My coach sits in my driveway level (using jacks) and has done so for a month or month and a half at a time. I will periodically go out and lower and raise the coach to exercise the jacks and to keep seals lubed. I exercise the jacks about once every 10 - 14 days. During the winter I will bring in the slides and lower the coach primarily to keep the weight of snow off the slide toppers.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
Chester, VA
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
FMCA - F432054
dstankov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 06:11 PM   #17
vkb
Senior Member
 
vkb's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1 KC's Big Box
State: Kansas
Posts: 1,994
THOR #3510
We agree with Dave ... we have a sloped driveway..having backed into the driveway, Ron raises the front of the Axis. In doing so, he can keep the slides operational, on occasion, while parked and we can turn on the refrigerator before leaving for a trip.
__________________
Ron & Kay n KC too !
2016 Axis 24.1 E-450 6 spd.
'KC's Big Box'
Jeep Wrangler TJ
or 6x10 enclosed motorcycle trailer
vkb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 07:13 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
bevedfelker's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,304
THOR #2601
Bigfoot -- here is a link to my manual: https://1drv.ms/w/s!AiYx6DLSeiiP53x246awlGrg8B-I

The manual is based on my 2015 Vegas 24.1. A Miramar has several things that my Vegas doesn't -- inverter, multiple slides, icemaker in refrig. etc. The manual has a Vegas/Axis specific PDI checklist but you are going to have to augment it.

I'd be sure that everything operates on shore power, generator, and battery. I'd also be sure that the house batteries charge while on shore or generator power -- also that the house batteries charge from alternator when driving down the road. Also check to be sure that when the house batteries are disconnected there is no parasitic load that will drain the batteries while you are in the STORE mode. Make sure the water system operates off the water pump when on battery power. Check to be sure all drawer slides have been installed correctly.
__________________
Ed & Bev Felker
Retired USAF Col and retired Nurse
Traveling with Lily & Bella ('Teddy Bear' breed)
2015 Vegas 24.1 (E-350)
bevedfelker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 08:09 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
State: Alabama
Posts: 2
THOR #4030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
I am looking at moving up to a Thor Miramar 33.5 from a class B.

I see so many service/warranty horror stories here! Yikes.

1. Has anyone here put together a super detailed PDI check list for a new owner to run through? If so care to share?

2. I am torn between from buying from a local dealer and paying more vs one of the super stores. I get the feeling that the dealers are equally ambivalent and you still have to fight with Thor regardless, so why not pay a cheaper price up front? I personally don't trust any dealer to do a decent PDI.

3. Any thoughts on lemon law protection when buying out of state? Dont some states also require that you are a resident of that state?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Please see attached,

Best Regards,

Nick
Attached Files
File Type: pdf RV_PDI-3.pdf (128.3 KB, 44 views)
__________________
critter210 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2016, 08:50 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,877
THOR #908
I had put together a checklist based on several I found online
most i find personally to be to full of extraneous info. and clutter.

Honestly I think so much of it comes down to what tools you have and your knowledge and comfort level....

I showed up with full set of tools, including a battery load tester and hygrometer (which i was unable to use since they had the MH plugged in and charging when i arrived and i was unable to measure the battery in a rested state)
I also had an outlet load tester (suretest), multimeter, mirror, and hand tools.

Basically, I think the best approach is to check every system and ever component systematically. Plumbing.... check it all before getting distracted with something else.... and so on.
check every door, every hinge, every drawer, operate every switch.
test the water system using the onboard pump, check it using a connected hose. Fill the tanks up FULL and drain them. Crawl under through and over everything.
Take pictures and take notes.

They had two or three sets of folks cycle through doing PDI's in the time it took me to do mine.
I did not let them rush me.

If I had it to do over again,
i would set it up for an early morning start time, so I had all day to do it and to get little things fixed prior to signing the papers
I would ask them to not plug in the coach the night before so I could check the batteries with a hygrometer and load tester
I would set it up for early in the week, on a weekday, not saturday... as in Monday AM, just in case you need to call the factory, or get their shop folks to do some work.
Plan to stay the first night on their property if possible, or nearby if not.
Have a standing appointment for the following day in their maintenance shop to address anything else you find that night.
oh, and Get the VIN before hand, so that you can search online for recalls before your PDI.
__________________

__________________
blw2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 07:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×