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Old 11-07-2015, 02:17 PM   #1
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State: California
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Intrested in 2016 Axis

Hello, My wife and I have enjoyed our 76 GMC for over 25 years. It's time for something a little larger (slide out) and more comfortable, but no longer than 27 ft. I look forward to all the systems working most of the time.
Every six weeks or so we spend a week or ten days living in our grandchildren's driveway.
I've read Ed Felkers user's guide, how great is that?
Prices seem to be higher in California, I may fly to pick one up. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:46 PM   #2
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Model: Axis 25.1
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Hey Dave, we are also looking at the Axis and are looking out of state. When you do all the research and settle on the exact make and model, trim color, etc, we've found that what we want is hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

The hot topic right now is whether or not all of the problems that come along with owning an RV are worth it, and in particular to this forum, is Thor guilty of worse than industry standard quality control. Being newcomers, it's seems very difficult to get our arms around this issue.

I would love to start a thread with the title "People Who Love Their Thor RV Chime In!" and see the response. Does the negative stuff get an unbalanced "air time" on these forums, or does it accurately reflect the experiences one should expect owning an RV?

Good luck with your purchase, I think we're taking the plunge....
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV1863
I would love to start a thread with the title "People Who Love Their Thor RV Chime In!" and see the response.
There already is a thread like that:
Is anyone happy?

I think the Axis/Vegas units have been lucky in that they haven't suffered the worst of Thor quality (setting aside the one unit whose rear axle locked up and the E350 shifter cable problem).

We have 9000 miles on ours and have had it almost two years now (wow). So far the only major issue is/was the shifter cable problem (but since you both are purchasing new you can have the dealer inspect that before driving it out the door).
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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Model: Axis 24.2
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FWIW... we're nearing our first year and are very happy with a rig that hasn't needed warrantee work (so far). Forums tend to be weighted toward issues and for those that experience them a great place to get help with resolution.

Traveling to get a better deal does carry some risk but could be worth it. My advice is: Factor in cost scenarios for pickup such as a place to stay for a couple days if PDI reveals items to fix prior to taking ownership. Be careful with potential add-on fees! Get true out the door prices for cost comparison in determining if the $'s saved is worth it.

Have fun with the RV shopping!
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:11 PM   #5
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Model: 2015 Vegas 24.1
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Dave: We love our 2015 Vegas 24.1. It's the perfect size for my wife & I and the 15 lb. dog. We've put almost 4,000 miles on it since we picked it up and have thoroughly enjoyed it. We have had no problems with any systems and find the fit and finish to be very good.

My first advice to you is to thoroughly research your dealer's SERVICE reputation. There are lots of dealer's who might give you a good price deal -- but you don't want to deal with a dealer where it takes 3 or 4 trips to get the same problem adequately repaired. Also, it your dealer is hundreds of miles away that's a long wag to go to get warranty service -- especially if they don't get the repair right. There are several threads on the forum of owners having expended hundreds of miles to get simple problems fixed. Additionally, our dealer did an extensive preparation prior to our arrival for the PDI. Any fit and finish problem they found they had repaired before our arrival. They had even pulled out all the drawers and vacuumed up all the left over sawdust, screws, bits & pieces, including under the both bed platforms.

We had a great PDI with our dealer (General RV of Tampa) and only found 4 minor problems that were fixed on the spot. Our PDI took about 3 hours and the dealer explained everything and ensured all the systems were working properly. They had washed and waxed the unit before the PDI. They also Rain-Xed the windshield. The coach had a full tank of gas and the propane tank was full. When we checked out the system operations, they checked the refrig on AC and gas. They ensured the heater lit and blew hot air (even though it was 87 degrees the day we did the PDI. They operated the sink, shower, outside shower and vanity on both water pump and park water. They also ensured the systems operated off shore power, battery, and the generator.

I had negotiated an out-the-door price. When we finished the PDI and went in to sign the paperwork there were no price surprises. The price list had the discounted base price, document fee ($299), state tax, FL license/title/plate fee.

I chose General RV over several other large RV dealerships in the Tampa area (Camping World, Lazydays) because they are the largest family owned dealership in the US. They have about 15 locations (several in Michigan). But again, I chose them because of the high grades I found in owner reviews regarding their service.

One unique feature they have is a drive-up, first-come-first-serve service line. If you need an oil change or have warranty work that won't need parts if you get there before they open they can take you in and have you out in less than 2 hours. I'm going over Monday morning for two warrantee items (broken drawer catch and bottom rivet in the engine cover hinge is sheared) and also generator oil change. I had already talked to them and they said they can fix it right away in the drive in line. I've seen some threads in the forum with owners having to wait weeks if not months to get some pretty simple and minor repairs.

This wound up longer than I had intended. Good luck -- and remember dealer service needs to be a really high priority on your list.



Ed
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
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Dave - I have to echo Ed's response. I have put close to 3,000 miles on our 2016 Vegas and could not be happier. As with any RV, (this is our 4th) having the ability to tinker and make minor adjustments along the way is helpful, but you don't have to be a master mechanic.
90% of the items I read about on the forums seem to have been addressed by Thor on the 2016. For example, they used to put a sticker next to the driver advising the need of an alignment after purchase. Ours did not have that sticker, nor did it need an alignment. We drove it from Colorado to California and back. It tracked and handled beautifully the entire trip.
People seem to gravitate toward the forums when they are upset and want the rest of the world to know how awful things are, or are looking for solutions to their issues.
As to looking out of state, we didn't know any better and just drove over to the closest CW (Golden, CO). Turns out they were great. I would go back there without question to buy another.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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Thanks John
I just talked to Chad at Total Value. I learned that not all 2016 are on 2016 chassis. The 2016 chassis has a 6 speed trans. Anyone know anything about the newer trans?
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:34 PM   #8
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Dave - That is correct. Our 2016 is built on a 2015 chassis. Our chassis was built in March 2016 but the motorhome was built in June. We bought it in July. I think Thor changed shortly after from the E350 to the E450 chassis.
I don't know enough about the transmission differences to be of any help on the six speed. But we have had no trouble at all with the old version. It climbs the Rocky Mountains like a billy goat.
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:20 PM   #9
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Dave,
We have 2016 Challenger and couldn't be happier. There were a few minor issues that were corrected immediately. This is our 4th motorhome, all different brands. They all had issues along the way, that's just the way it is when you own an RV, for the most part they are minor issues.
Thor offers a lot of nice floor plans, perks and nice features for the money. Also, their customer service and warranty departments have been super great!

Please view the Thread - Is anyone happy?
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:29 AM   #10
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Oops! Wrong year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S View Post
Our chassis was built in March 2016 but the motorhome was built in June.
OOPS! Our chassis was built in March 2015 - not 2016.
Old age = confusion!


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Old 11-08-2015, 12:52 PM   #11
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Dave and RV1863-
Welcome to the forum! The search feature will give you lots of scary thoughts, it's a fact that forums always draw out unhappy campers. You may be one of the lucky ones that needs little or no warranty work.

We have a 2016 Vegas with E350 chassis, and have had minimal issues in 5000 miles and about 60 nights. Couldn't be happier. We bought in Ohio, due to a better deal than the dealer closest to the factory, and much better than the local dealers. Deliver cost to Florida is around 2Gs! Probably more to CA. Pays to shop around. The Ohio dealer was great, and a call to Thor will give you warranty servicing dealers in whatever area you are, traveling or home.

We had a problem with the dash air in Iowa. The first dealer I called said they could work us in in 4 weeks, the next one said, bring it in. Back on the road in a half hour, turned out to be a loose wire.

Our furnace started itself somewhere in Wisconsin. Rather than call Thor, I called Atwood from the number in the owners pack. They diagnosed a bad circuit board, overnighted it to our next stop, and told me to unplug the bad one. Simple to swap out, problem solved!

Seems C W service varies widely. I heard a new negative report just yesterday from a friend.

If you are looking for a Vegas or Axis, you'll find that the units in inventory are often 2015's, or have the E350 chassis, and yet they want the same price as a unit you order in the color you want. You will be smart to get a fresh coach, as they don't wait for model year changes to make improvements.

There are few option choices, and the dealers usually just load them up. I saw a great show price from General RV, (mentioned above), but it left off the options that the show model had. Gotta watch stuff like that. We ordered ours about 8 weeks ahead of the date we wanted to pick it up. We stayed the first night at the dealer. Had there been issues, we would have stayed longer.

The answer to whether owning an RV is worth the problems depends on the owner. Some folks love to tinker, some never owned a wrench. Some love adventure and exploration, some want maid service and room service. I have friends who sold their new RV after one trip, others traded in a new coach, and friends new to RVing who are having a ball.

As to the question about Thor quality, we found the Vegas/Axis to be a good value. Problems with refrigerator, water heater, furnace and A/C, water pump, drive train, tires, batteries, affect all brands regardless of price points. All warrantied by their manufacturer, not Thor.

Good luck with your decisions!
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #12
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Mr Sunshine and others, thank you for the commentary, the information available on this forum has been invaluable. After seeing Ed's comments we looked into General RV and found a coach that we like. We spoke with a salesmen from General RV and he echoed the same thing - that for warranty work any local Thor dealer should be able to provide service so it's not like we would have to take the coach back to location where we bought it for that.

As far as service goes, at the end of the day, we live where we live, can't help that. We either have a location that provides decent service near us or we don't. We'll go with the obvious at first (CW in Golden) and if we have a bad experience we'll move on to someone else (if there is someone else...we all have our limitations right? I'm not going to drive 200 miles for service when I can drive 15, even if the service is frustrating). It won't sway us into not joining the RV community. We rented a class C on a 4,000 mile trip this summer and loved it.

Hopefully, we'll be able to report back in a few weeks that we've officially taken the plunge. Thanks again to everyone on this forum and to Ed for his user's guide, what a great resource.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #13
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Thanks Mr. Sunshine good information
Buying the coach near the Thor makes senses to me. Also I would like to put the miles on the coach instead of so unknown transport driver.
I wonder if Thor offers factory tours?
Thanks again Dave
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave de Graffenreid
I wonder if Thor offers factory tours?
Yes:
https://thormotorcoach.com/Motorhome...er-Plant-Tours
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:29 AM   #15
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We did the factory tour in Elkhart, at that time it was Wednesday afternoons only. All employees were gone, and a district sales rep did our tour. He answered all our questions, and didn't rush us out. We had a lot of questions. We have toured other RV factories, so knew what to expect. We were impressed with the tour and the plant overall. We recommend that tour to anyone with an interest in Vegas/Axis. There was a thread on this forum in June, something like, "Toured the Vegas./Axis plant today" where I went into a bit more detail.
There is a Thor factory video at this link: This video is NOT the Vegas factory, but the processes are similar. Sidewalls and cabinets are made at other plants, and the Vegas/Axis factory is really just an assembly and finish line.
We felt the same about doing our own delivery. The goal of the delivery person is to get that coach to the dealer asap. I don't remember ever passing a new coach in transit, but have been passed by many. I couldn't find any special break in for the Ford chassis, but I like that we drove all the miles except for the first couple hundred.
PS. Hope your C W in Golden is one of the good ones!
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:46 PM   #16
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Dave and RV1863,

Doc here. We just went over 3000 miles on our 2016 Vegas 24.1 (E350 series) on our weekend trip to Cherokee NC...a flawless trip.

Getting to say that took a little help from Camping World, Ford, and Thor Warranties to work thru some problems and warts. We had problems with some cosmetic details during the PDI, needed front-end alignment, the Transmission Cable vs Exhaust system (mentioned above and in various threads this forum), a Safety Recall for the AC/Heater control (threads this forum) and my "Sulfated Dead House Batteries" (threads this forum...still working with Thor on this one).

My advice: Check house batteries and if Harris request swap out for something else, have the Transmission Cable checked, be sure your 2016 is not on the Safety Recall for the AC/Heater be patient, travel on and post what you learn and where you visit!!

Doc
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:50 AM   #17
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Thanks Doc, appreciate the advice.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:54 AM   #18
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Hay guys, I'm excited. I will inspect my new coach Wednesday next week in Elkhart In.
I'll tour the factory late afternoon and if all goes well, be on the road to California Thursday. I know to check the Transmission cable, Safety recall for the AC/Heater,(where do I find that information?) Mud Flap, Harris Batteries, (Are there lots of problems with them?)
Of course I will go through Ed F. check list.
I registered with the forum on my desk to and can't seem to log in on my lap top. Do I need to reregister on each devise?
Thanks Dave
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:27 AM   #19
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How exciting!! Have a great trip!

Be sure to check the side view cameras. Ours were reversed!! Run the cab air. We had no coolant. Don't forget the front running lights on the roof. Ours were not sealed well from the factory. Also need to check all sealant on roof. We had some gaps!

Our awning power wiring cable was not secured under the coach. It lay on the drive shaft and that eventually wore through some of the wires in the cable. We didn't know it until the awning quit working on our first trip.

Be sure to open up your couch, if yours has one. Ours had a tear which you couldn't see until it was open. We got a new couch!

Check all your tire valve extensions. There have been a bunch of duds, including Thor replacements, that couldn't read pressures or add air. Ours were replaced at a truck center under warranty.

Hope you enjoy yours as much as we do ours!!
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:44 AM   #20
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It's going to be a LONG week! Congrats and hope you have a fun road trip back home!
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