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Old 10-30-2016, 09:53 PM   #1
Joy
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #5828
General complaints about quality control.. Need advise

Hubby and I are in the market to buy a new motorhome .. and are seriously interested in the Thor Outlaw toyhauler .. After doing some research about other customer complaints, I have now come to an impasse and need some advise from owners.

The complaints I've read painted a picture of Thor being of very low quality, resulting in numerous failures, and broken components AND very poor service ... Which has completely deflated my excitement after FINALLY finding a coach that hubby and I can both agree on.

I would love to hear your comments about experiences in terms of overall quality of the Thor coaches.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
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Model: Axis 24.1
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THOR #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy
The complaints I've read painted a picture of Thor being of very low quality, resulting in numerous failures, and broken components AND very poor service ... Which has completely deflated my excitement after FINALLY finding a coach that hubby and I can both agree on.
As I said in your other thread: Find a good dealer. The whole "very poor service" is all on the dealer and not on Thor.

That should be task #1: Find a good dealer you're willing to work with, and willing to work with you (in many instances of people complaining about waiting forever for parts can also be blamed on the dealer for not properly getting the parts from Thor).

In addition: Contact Thor directly with many of your questions, either call or e-mail them. You'll probably find what many of us here have found when contacting them: They are happy to work with you.

Not really trying to paint an over-rosey picture here (as it probably sounds that way) there are warts in there but with the right dealer and good communications with Thor you can get them out without too much trouble.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:13 PM   #3
Joy
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THOR #5828
Thank you for your response, and yes, I agree dealers are not the same as the manufacturer ... but, the posts I've read kind of lean towards a consensus of poor quality in terms of the manufacture of the units .. admittedly a large portion of issues that 'should have been' caught on the predelivery inspections, I understand THAT can happen at anytime with any manufacturer and it should reflect on the dealer not the manufacturer .. but still a lot of issues that arise only while in use, is what I am primarily concerned about. Ranging from components like fridges, airconditioners, to door mechanisms and cabinet fit and finish.

Here is an example:

"Oh my I think I should have read the reviews before buying.We just bought the Thor Ace Sept.
2016 the 2017 model. I agree that there were lots of cosmetic problems . The shower door magnetic strip fell out , trim in the cabinets was not glued , a burner on the stove was not in place, the curtains for the bunk beds were not put on correctly, the front night privacy curtains operate horribly I am sure the longer we have it the longer the list will become . Very poor quality for what these things cost."
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:48 PM   #4
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THOR #4425
"dealer and factory insiders refer to a "list of 40'-As in, on any full size motorhome, there is on average a list of 40 things needing dealer repair or factory refit, 40 issues expected to be found by the new coach buyers, AFTER dealer prep and delivery.

I think all buyers expect some things not to perfect - but I don't think most buyers understand that the warranty period isn't just to fix things that break right away, it is actually built into the RV industry as the way the factories use dealerships to "finish the bus," using the owners as the actual inspection team of consequence."
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:55 PM   #5
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All manufacture's have poor QC. Its just the reality of the rv business. Get one that best fits your needs and start with the list.

What I can say is I called thor directly and they have a tech support line to answer questions. Very helpful and I think they are there 24/7 but I could be wrong.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:52 PM   #6
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Im an owner of a 2015 ACE29.3.....this is our 5th and final RV. We have came from tent to pop ups to tag along to fifth wheels and now our Thor. Each has had ther problems but as others have said your dealer means everything. I have did some minor repairs on my Thor but im very pleased with this RV
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:53 PM   #7
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I echo Jamie's comments about finding a good dealer. Ours took a week doing "buyer prep" before we went to do the PDI when we bought our 2015 Vegas 24.1 last August. They used this time to correct all those things that Thor either did wrong or left undone. The dealer had a long list of the fit and finish adjustments they made before I got there for the PDI. The PDI result was 3 minor discrepancies they corrected on the spot.

Reading through many of the threads here you will find owners who had their RV at the dealer for months waiting on parts or scheduled maintenance. I know there is one owner who had no access to their RV for at least 9 months. The longest I have ever waited for my dealer to get the part and complete the maintenance was 8 days (7 days waiting for the part to arrive from Thor and 1 day for dealer maintenance). My dealer never has me drop off the Vegas while they wait for the parts to arrive.

Also my dealer accepts my word when I describe a problem. If they can't replicate the problem I had, they perform the maintenance on what they believe was the most probable cause. I described a problem I was having with my microwave power dropping out. They could not duplicate the problem but they replaced the microwave anyway. No more microwave problem.

And like Jamie sad, I've had great support from Thor. I asked for and received 20 separate PDF files from Thor of various construction drawings, schematics, and plumbing layouts. They usually sent the files by email to me within 3 days of my requests. I have spoken to Thor Customer Service several times just asking how something worked or how something was wired and they were more than glad to spend the time discussing it with me. I had a stress crack appear in my windshield with the Vegas just sitting parked (nothing hit the windshield). The dealer sent Thor a picture of the crack and within 15 minutes they called the dealer and said it indeed was a stress crack and they would ship a new windshield under warranty the following day. They got the windshield in 6 days and the dealer called me the day after they got the glass and scheduled the replacement for the following day.

I had compiled an Owner's Manual for the Vegas/Axis to supplement Thor's generic Owners' Manual. I sent Thor Customer Service a copy of the manual I developed and they reviewed it and provided feedback to me on a few things that I had missed. They were very appreciative of my efforts and were glad I was sharing it with other Vegas/Axis owners. I was very surprised that Thor had such a positive response. Thus far that manual has been downloaded by almost 500 owners.

So my experience with Thor has been very good. I would not hesitate to buy another Thor product. But again, having a great dealer is the key to minimizing warranty issue frustration.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:00 AM   #8
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IMHO there is no such thing as a trouble free MH. Look at reviews from other manufacturers, they all say the same thing, reports of problem after problem. Thor is maybe a little better than some, but, as many have said, find a good dealer who has service to back up the sale! Unless you're willing to spend 2 million on a coach problems are a fact of the industry as a whole.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy View Post
Hubby and I are in the market to buy a new motorhome .. and are seriously interested in the Thor Outlaw toyhauler .. After doing some research about other customer complaints, I have now come to an impasse and need some advise from owners.

The complaints I've read painted a picture of Thor being of very low quality, resulting in numerous failures, and broken components AND very poor service ... Which has completely deflated my excitement after FINALLY finding a coach that hubby and I can both agree on.

I would love to hear your comments about experiences in terms of overall quality of the Thor coaches.
If I recall correctly, the Thor Outlaw was one of the coach's being produced at the factory we toured a few months ago in northern Indiana. We had just bought our Challenger and wanted to see where and how they were made.

I am a big fan of buying RV's a year or two old, but there are not that many Outlaws out there so that could be hard to do. I can only say that based on our tour Thor has scaled back on how many MH's they are doing in that factory because they wanted better quality control. I don't recall the exact numbers but they are producing about half of what that factory could be doing at the present time.

I have only contacted Thor customer service twice and that was to request drawings for my coach. Both times they were very helpful and sent me everything I needed immediately.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:54 PM   #10
Joy
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I know all too well that there is no such thing as 'trouble free' .. We are experienced in RV'ing. Have had one in the past, and are just now looking to buy a newer one. What I am astonished at is the number of very serious complaints about fit and finish in terms of quality control. Windows leaking, roofing problems, components not installed properly, septic tank plumbing not being installed properly .. the list is endless. THESE are not just shipping issues .. nor are they issues just overlooked at the pre-inspection of the dealers. THESE are factory mistakes and ommisions. THAT is what concerns me. We have been looking for a toyhauler unit for some time now and the Thor has a floor plan we really like. I am hoping to find some inspirational words from someone .. anyone on why the Thor would be a good choice.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:48 PM   #11
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All I can say is we bought our second Thor MH in June, had the first one over four years, would buy another one if the need arose.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy View Post
... I am hoping to find some inspirational words from someone .. anyone on why the Thor would be a good choice.
We purchased our Challenger almost 2 years ago. With the exception of the AV system I went through the coach pretty well during the PDI and found a couple of items the dealer had to correct before I would accept delivery of the coach. My prior coach was a Forest River Class C. From a price point the Thor was cheaper than the other Class A coaches we looked at. Some of the materials used are of a slightly lower grade than the higher priced coaches but the workmanship was about the same.

Customer Service and warranty support from Thor is hands down far superior to that which I received from Forest River. I talked to Thor numerous times during my first year of ownership. During the years of ownership of the FR I never talked to them and they never returned a voice or email mail message.

With my FR dealer it took 2 trips for any issues. The first trip to correct the issue and the second to fix what they broke while fixing the first issue. My current dealer is far superior in their work and professionalism.

Is a Thor a good choice for you? Only you can answer that question after performing your due diligence in the selection process. Not only must you determine which RV is a fit for you but you must also determine if the dealer is worth a nickle or dime.

Something to keep in mid is that motor home components and systems are manufactured by a few companies for use by multiple RV manufacturers. For example most RV refrigerators are manufactured by Dometic or Norcold. If the model fridge has an issue that issue will be across multiple RV brands. The Lippert step recall was an interesting one. In the Family Motor Coaching Magazine there is a recall corner where FMCA will post recall notices supplied by manufacturers. Thor had the recall published before anyone and in some cases 2 or 3 months before other manufacturers.

Did I answer your question or concern; I hope not. I can only tell you my experience and that we are extremely happy with our selection of the Thor Challenger for our class A coach.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:26 PM   #13
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Model: 37GT
State: Florida
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THOR #5246
Joy, let me repeat part of my post:


"I am a big fan of buying RV's a year or two old, but there are not that many Outlaws out there so that could be hard to do. I can only say that based on our tour Thor has scaled back on how many MH's they are doing in that factory because they wanted better quality control. I don't recall the exact numbers but they are producing about half of what that factory could be doing at the present time."


If you go to Thor's website you can get the factory address up by Elkart where the Outlaw's are made. I know you are a long ways off, but before you spend that kind of money you probably need to satisfy yourself of these quality issues. As I stated they have scaled back their production numbers, at least on the Outlaws, Challengers, and Tuscany lines, to better control quality. These three are made at the same factory and from what we observed impressed us.


Again, good luck with your search and decision.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:59 PM   #14
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THOR #4486
Tips for newbies

1. Find a good dealer (check their reviews on-line)
2. Use the new coach for at least two nights in the dealers lot (with permission, of course) or find a nearby campground. This way you can take it right back to them to fix what issues you've identified so far. Let the dealer know you are doing this so they can be on standby to repair.
3. Use the coach as much as possible the first year so whatever issues do come up they can be addressed under warranty.
4. Get a good customer service contact at Thor, their phone number/ext and their email address. Keep them posted on your issues. If they do not respond in a timely matter, find another contact. Most CS reps at Thor are good to deal with.
5. Learn all you can about the workings of your new coach. Some little things that come you might want to repair yourself to avoid the inconvenience of taking it in for service unless it can wait and be addressed with multiple things that need repair.
6. Stay connected to this forum. You will see things mentioned here specifically about your coach that you might want to go back to Thor with questions. This could result in Thor or your dealer fixing or correctly something you didn't know was broke or not right.
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:17 AM   #15
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Model: Hurricane 29m
State: Louisiana
Posts: 41
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Just purchased a thor hurricane 29m 2017, 2nd class a other winnebago 29 ft sightseerer... All seem to have some degree of troubles,But purchase from a place that let you stay overnight and try everything out.you need at lease 2 people .craw on the floor, open ever draw,cabinets, windows,..Drive it at 65 mph and see how noise level is.. looking for air leaks and squeaks..A real dealer ship will allow u to do it all before u sign for it..Don't leave till u r happy...It work for me..Mine had one lose wire,the connector was not plugged in.. I fixed it in dealers park...
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:38 PM   #16
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Hi Joy

I will tell you about our experience with the 2016 outlaw 38re...the floor plan with large bedroom that replaced garage. We had several issues with the coach and traded it in after 8 months of ownership.
Initial quality problems

1. They forgot to put in the cable line to plug into park cable.... They did this under warranty but it never worked
2. Problems with large slide immediately after ownership . 2 months in shop..the motors were replaced with larger ones....our sales guy said the motors were not powerful enough to pull the large slide and all new ones have larger motors
3. Leaking from refrigerator line
4. Sofa very uncomfortable... felt like sitting on metal bar
5. Lot of play in steering... added the safe t steer aftermarket which helped, but in windy conditions was an effort to keep it going in a straight line
6. Slide began making banging sound going down road
7. Leaking water from roof where antenna control located
8 The Biggest issue and the reason we traded it in.... this particular model is very heavy and in my opinion should not be built on the Ford chassis . The engine would scream just going up a small hill...it was rated with 8k towing capacity and I cannot imagine pulling anything with it.
There are different opinions on this site, but I for one will not purchase another Thor product
In the 8 months we owned it with it setting at shop for 2 of those.
We lost 25k in trading it but we felt it was worth it in the long run . The lack of drive quality combined with the poor craftsmanship... We decided to cut our losses now and get something better, as the outlaw will just continue to depreciate We got a larger loan and upgraded to a DP. Remember we did not need the toy hauler design of the other outlaw floor plans. If this is a must there are not many options out there.....
If you do not need the garage space I would recommend looking at diesel options . For 2017 there are some coaches that are close in price point such as the Fleetwood pace arrow
Good luck
Craig
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:54 PM   #17
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Model: Hurricane 29D
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If you would have done your homework prior to purchasing this motorhome, you would have saved yourself the 25k loss.
The technical data for the Ford chassis can be found very easily, and the weight of this motorhome is also a known fact. A little math would have shown you that the chassis was at it's limit. The "screaming" of the engine is part of it's design, it is designed to be a high reving engine. It is very powerful, but it makes it's power by means of higher RPM.
Your new DP may be as noisy (it is a fact that diesel engines are way noisier than gas engines), but you don't hear it that well because it sits way in the back underneath your bed. The DP's have their own problems, which are cooling problems, and extremely high maintenance and repair costs (I can tell you something about these costs, I own a truck with a 7.3 liter diesel engine).

But again, if you would have done your homework......
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:35 AM   #18
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You can do all sorts of homework, but with the general lack of interest in any Quality, you have to decide up front if you are willing to live with THOR over the long term. You might fall on the low end of defects or the high. I say this because, based on the numerous listing on this forum, it's a crap shoot. If this is homework, so be it. People that come here to gain information on THOR products and issues, should be ahead on the experience curve.

As far as Diesels. Modern diesel engines are surprisingly quiet. But on the typical Diesel the engine compartment is better insulated. Most people would never buy a Diesel vehicle, if it was worse than a gasser. I've owned, and still own, a number of diesels and they were all at least as quiet, in the passenger compartment, as a comparable gas engined vehicle. Especially true, if the gas engine is a high revving, screamer. Add to that the typical torque output and fuel economy improvements of a diesel.

My F350 pulling a 5th wheel was definitely quieter, especially in the mountains, than my 1994 Fleetwood Class C with a 460. And at minimum with a 2 mpg fuel economy improvement. The Sprinter, it's at least 3' shorter than the Fleetwood Class C, is again about 2 mpg better than my F350. But I haven't had the Sprinter in the mountains, yet. But I am anticipating the mpg to improve somewhat as it "breaks in".

But that's all personal preference.

With the weight capacities, I agree that that needs to be understood by the buyer ahead of time. After all, the manufacturer and the dealership are trying to make a sale, and can't be counted on to inform the buyer about such "minor" issues.

My Diesels, past and present : 1997 VW Passat TDI, 2005 Ford F350 and our new 2015 Siesta Sprinter (surprisingly quiet in passenger compartment without any user added insulation. Insulation is completely lacking in the coach to chassis interface between the front 2 seats and the living area. I plan on doing some insulation in future. Mainly for thermal reasons.)

People should try to find a dealer that is willing to advocate for you, instead of for the dealerships profits. Easy to say but not as easy to accomplish.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:55 PM   #19
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THOR #2121
Buyers shouldn't be blamed for all poor quality; whether related to design, engineering, or manufacture. There is too much that can't be tested or checked in advance before purchasing an RV. And that assumes buyers would have the right skills to know what to look for in the first place.

Should buyers have to know enough about all phases of RV design to know in advance that what they are buying is inherently flawed? That seems unreasonable.

"Let the buyer beware" can only address reasonable and foreseeable risks that a product may fail to meet expectations or have defects -- beyond minor problems that can be corrected under warranty.

There doesn't seem to be a simple solution to "quality" issues in general. Without more regulations (which few want) RV manufacturers will continue to manufacture what sells fastest and makes most profit.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:18 PM   #20
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And that is, what it is! The RV industry has about the same quality level the US auto industry had in the 60s/70s and early 80s. But that knowledge can be gained through doing ones homework. And part of the complains up above are not a problem of the coach maker, but of the chassis that the coaches are build on, again, proper homework will indicate this, too.

And If you have diesel's that were designed from the beginning for passenger vehicles (Passat and Sprinter - which started out as an engine for the E Class of Mercedes), you have a different noise level than with diesel engines that were designed to operate in construction equipment like they are used in motorhomes. My dad used to have a Mercedes 220 diesel in the early 60's, and one hardly could hear it inside the vehicle. But even with your F350 it is different, because the engine is pretty far in front of you, and separated from you by a well insulated bulk head, while you sit in the F53 right next to it, separated from it by a fiberglass dog house. I would not want to have the International Navistar diesel of my F350 working next to me!
There is a reason that Ford does not put diesel engines in the F53 chassis (one can get them with the F550 chassis), because, besides of the extra cost, the noise level would be almost unbearable.
Diesel puller motorhomes were produced for a relatively short time, and hey diapered from the market again.

And you are correct, part of the problem are the dealers/dealer salespersons, who seem not to care about the satisfaction of the customers but rather about a quick sale. this can be because most sales persons will not see the buyer again for another sales, and they can care less if the buyer is happy or not, they do not need to build up customer loyalty!

And again, that is the reason why a customer has to do his or her homework, because that is the only way to get a somewhat OK product that costs a lot of money.
When I bought my motorhome, I was shopping around, reading , etc. for almost two years. and I had already RV experience with travel trailers for almost 15 years prior to this.
I was lucky and have a pretty good Thor product (but still with all the shortcomings of the F53 chassis), and I am modifying it and working on it until it is the way I like it. I have no intention to trade it in for a newer one, because the chassis has not changed and I can remodel the interior in any way I like! I have a good product now and it would be silly to give it up (I have now 68,000 miles on the clock, and my son sees commercial trucks with the same engine/transmission coming into their shop that have well over 350,000 miles on). I'd rather invest my money into improving what I have.
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