The unit that we bought in September was one shipped in from another one of the dealer's locations (General RV, Wayland MI - shipped from White Lake, MI via Chicago, IL because of a paperwork issue). The purchase and sale went through pretty well, though we were rushed through our inspection of the unit as well as the paperwork. Being new to the purchase of a RV I didn't know any better and should have spent an entire day reviewing every aspect of the coach.
Shortly after purchase, we moved it to our condo and loaded our entire house into the rig. After that, the issues started. Here's a link to some of our photos of the problems we've had: https://goo.gl/photos/8GBrit2V6PrtZ4c86
tl;dr (too long, didn't read)
We bought a coach in September, had it in and out of the shop for over two months when we were planning on living in it, and had nothing but issues. We drove to Florida, had more issues and finally back up to Wakarusa, Indiana to deal with Thor directly. Nobody here has owned up the problems in their RV's and we still don't have a resolution on this. We'd like them to replace our unit or buy it back since it's been out of service for more than 30 days.
We realized there'd be a few issues, but were not expecting a water leak in our slide that saturated the entire slide, mold in our bedroom, basement doors falling off and a crazy step that extended/closed while driving. We also realize that there are problems here with the dealer as well as the manufacturer. The dealer has owned up to their end so far, but Thor still built a bad coach that we paid 6 figures for.
We're currently in their parking lot (as I write this) and have been here for a week with no resolution other than the warranty-related repairs. Hopefully we'll be able to talk to someone tomorrow about this, but then I've been saying that for the last week.
We purchased our unit in mid-September, after looking in-person at over 50 RV's from multiple dealers across the state of Michigan. We decided on General RV despite countless negative reviews because Craig R. represented the best your company had to offer, and was always there to help us find the perfect rig for us, not just any one they had available. I can appreciate that level of candor and as such, I respected Craig for doing his job diligently and efficiently, and as such regard him as a person I'd like to do business with. After we found the type of unit we wanted, we narrowed down floor plans, made several trips to the factory in Indiana, and finally put our money down on the unit that we considered the perfect one for us.
I am a software designer and my wife is a natural resource manager, so we bought our RV to live in and travel round the US for the next year or two. The Miramar fit our needs quite well, and was easy to work into our budget. Unfortunately, we didn't expect the volume of issues we found after purchasing.
We quickly found a large list of things that needed to be repaired on our unit. Since we purchased the unit from the General RV in Wayland, MI location, we set up a service appointment there to get those issues fixed. This service appointment took all day, but only resulted in a couple items being fixed and the rest submitted to Thor for approval. Communication and explanation of the process to "rv newbies" such as ourselves was very poor. We were notified that we would get approval by Thor likely in less than 4-5 business days.
A few more days passed and we received no communication from the service department. I called and was informed that we were "still waiting" and after pressing the fact that we lived in our RV and can't stick around waiting, were told that the parts may not be in for a "few weeks". For the time being, I parked the rig at a state park on the west side of Michigan
Our list of issues at this time included:
- Shower floor unsupported and leaking when taking a shower
- Switches on dash broken
- Leveling controller panel not seated properly in frame, unit not self-leveling
- Fog light had condensation inside it
- Screws on exterior rusty when sold to us
- Concerns with the quality of the inspection and what else was missed
This appointment took place on October 27th. On October 31st we pulled our unit out of the park and transferred our warranty requests to Mt. Clemens, MI for continued repairs since we would be in that area from November 1-December 31, 2015.
After arriving at the Mt. Clemens location for our service appointment, the service writer found that the paperwork sent over from the location we bought the unit from did not fully detail the issues that we reported, and though parts were authorized, no parts were actually "ordered". She promised us that she would "make it right", "communicate regularly", and that this location would take good care of us and our unit. We did a walk-through of the unit with our full list of issues at that time:
- Awning leaks water right above door
- Condensation in drivers side fog light
- Weather Strip mis-painted and fell off
- Can we get touch-up paint? There are chips, etc, not fixed on our original walkthrough
- Auto-leveling panel popped out of case
- Switches to right of steering wheel not snapped in place
- Bunk is lowering crooked
- Top center drawer slide in bedroom broken/loose
- Bedroom TV cabinet opens while driving, not secured properly
- Screen frame broken
- Shower pulls down from side of shower
- Shower appears to not be fully supported near drain
- Shower leaks
- Panel loose on front of sink in half bath
- Wallpaper rippled on right side of window (water damage?)
- Glue residue on wallpaper on right wall next to window
- Screw on right side of window comes out rusty (more water damage)
- Table does not fit in between seats, can't use as "bed"
- Dark streak in corner
- Light cover missing from light in electric bay, drivers side
We added issues to the list such as glue on the slide wall, damage to the floor, the bunk above the cab not lowering level, etc. Our appointment was at 1:00pm EST on November 4, 2015. We were told at this time that we would likely hear back from Thor with approval by November 11th and that General RV would let us know when we'd be moving forward. I was informed that I should leave the unit at General RV so that when they get approval they can get moving and start fixing our unit. The second week of November we went down to retrieve some things from our RV (winter coats, since it was getting cold out) and found that they put our unit into store mode, defrosting our entire fridge and causing us to lose most of the stuff in our fridge. After bringing this up with our service writer, we were informed in a very condescending way that "we should have known to empty the fridge", even though we explained that we currently live full time in our RV and said so on many occasions. We also inquired about our tanks (black/gray/fresh water) that were not emptied since we had just driven it over and were told that "we don't regularly empty tanks but I'll see what I can do" from the service writer.
What was not disclosed to us at that time is that their warranty service department was weeks/months behind
on submitting the warranty requests to the manufacturers. Unknown to us, none of our paperwork was ever submitted, and despite several calls that week, we received no new information. I was told by our service writer that her District Manager put in place a rule that warranty repairs were to be submitted in the order that they were received, with no exceptions. After asking for her District Manager's information to call and try and get an 'exception', the service writer tried to deflect me to her boss. After our discussion was over, I was hung up on and not put in touch with her boss as promised.
On November 16th, I finally called Thor directly to see what the problem was, only finding out then that they still had not submitted the paperwork and that this absolutely, positively should not happen. I explained the situation and John Mullins in their Warranty/Customer Service department called them directly to inform them that advanced approval would be given and that he would personally make sure things to approved immediately. Sure enough, our rig was in the next day for assessment and for the work to be quoted out to Thor for repair.
I was contacted by Mt. Clemens later that week to find out that the small screw I pulled out of the wall completely rusty lead them to find out that the entire slide was saturated with water and began to mold. There was damage to the fascia, style board, and wallpaper throughout the slide, leading to the need for a complete repair/replacement. They told me not to worry and they could fix it right away, they'd just have to submit more photos to Thor to get it approved. At this point, I asked for the service writer to send the photos submitted to Thor to me for my records, a task she still has yet to do.
After not hearing anything from General RV again until the following week, I reached out to John from Thor and received the following reply after a brief conversation:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John S. Mullins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM
Subject: RE: test
To: Bob Orchard <email@example.com>
They have done both pre-auth completely wrong . I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus. I am working with them to get this done.
---------- End ----------
The service department requested a block of hours, twice (on November 18th and 20th), without being specific on how the hours would need to be used to fix/repair our rig. As such, they blamed Thor for wanting too much information, and Thor told me they filled out the paperwork wrong.
The service writer called me on Wednesday, November 25th and explained that General RV finally submitted the correct paperwork, but would not have an answer from Thor since Thor closed for a half day on Wednesday and did not re-open until Monday the 30th for Thanksgiving. I explained that I was looking forward to showing family our RV and was met with a dispassionate "You wouldn't have gotten your unit back anyway because of the leak we found".
I finally got in touch with the Service Manager (Devon) for that location who apologized and accepted responsibility for the extended delays and issues with getting our unit serviced/repaired. I explained to him a few points in that phone call:
- Communication is paramount in a good customer relationship
- Those that live in their rigs full time should not have to wait in the same line as the seasonal RVers that don't care if they get their unit back before Spring
- Our stay in town is time-sensitive
At this point, we've been trying to get our unit repaired for 35 days.
November 30, 2015
I received a call from the service writer at 4:45pm stating that the warranty work was approved, but when they went to put the parts order in, several key components were backordered at the Manufacturer between 7-14 days plus the time to ship to General RV. I inquired about taking the unit back so we could have something to live in (instead of sleeping on couches/etc with family) while we waited, a question that was pretty much ignored and talked over.
At this point, I asked about our tanks, since we wouldn't be able to empty them ourselves, and found out that service writer still hadn't done anything about them. Our unit has been sitting out in the freezing temperatures for weeks, and has not been cared for by General RV. The service writer asked if we wanted the unit winterized, but that didn't make sense since I asked about taking it back for a couple weeks so we could live in it. I was then informed that they weren't planning on doing any of the work to our unit until "all the parts" were delivered and they couldn't give us a unit that was partially reassembled since they still haven't done anything.
It wasn't until the second week in December that we got our unit back from those repairs, and though we were able to live in the unit for a few weeks through Christmas, we ran into more issues on our way out of town.
After we got our unit back from the dealer, I started replacing all the shelving in our cabinets, because Thor uses a substandard support and poorly fitted shelves throughout their units:
On January 8th, we brought our unit back in for service to hopefully finish up the remaining issues we had with the unit. Those included:
- Replacing the broken sink panel
- Re-gluing the linoleum that was detaching from the floor by the doghouse
- Fix drawer alignment in kitchen that was causing the drawer not to close
- Fix the dinette alignment because it caused a gap on the wall and it to rub against the counter behind couch
- Overhead bunk getting stuck when lowering/raising it
- Couch support straps broken
- Loose captains chairs (driver and passengers)
- Reported creaking/rubbing sound coming from the front drivers-side suspension.
- Front passenger side desk was installed incorrectly, causing broken plastic
Of those, only the sink, linoleum and drawers were fixed. The straps had to be ordered in and we didn't have time before we went to Florida.
On January 14th, the day the we were to depart from Michigan to Florida, our furnace completely quit. We placed a call to Thor's owner service line and the tech couldn't tell us where the fuse for the furnace was so we could check that it was getting power. We were told that it was likely a blown control board for the furnace and not a power issue, and that we were to bring it in for service to General RV. We dropped it off in the morning and they found it to be related to an unmarked fuse in the fuse panel, and that after swapping it out (and labeling it for us) that we were good to go. This cost of a half day and we left for Grand Rapids, MI on our way to Florida.
The day after, as we were set to depart from Grand Rapids, we found our cupboards above our shelves had detached from the wall and ceiling, dragging the ceiling panels down with them. We happened to be near the dealer that we bought the unit from and though we got the unit to them, they decided we need a new cabinet and wouldn't help secure the cabinet for our trip south. We contacted the General RV dealer on the east side of Michigan and they sent a tech to meet us on the way to help secure it for the drive down to prevent further damage.
As we made it south, and the storm front came across and chased us down through Nashville, TN, we found out that our wet bay froze overnight, locking up all of our water supply. The wet bay was supposed to be heated, and I found out that they only run a 2" vent to the wet bay, not enough to actually heat it to prevent freezing. In addition, we found that our automatic generator start was not functioning at all, and our batteries would drain on an overnight on the way south.
After arriving in Orlando, Florida, we found that our leveling system started making horrible noises when the jacks were retracted, much more than what a hydraulic system should make. Meanwhile, the sound from the jacks got worse and we finally got ahold of Thor to get them to do something about it. It was recommended that we bring our unit back up to Wakarusa, Indiana for service so they could repair all of our issues, do a preventative check on the rest of the systems, and would cover our cost for gasoline to make the drive up. In addition, they would set up an appointment for us to talk to someone regarding our issues and remediation. In this case, we wanted them to replace our unit with a non-lemon unit.
The day before we went to leave for Indiana, the rear bay door's lower hinge and screws detached and the door fell sideways, causing it to slide underneath the door forward it and caused quite a bit of damage to the door and the one in front of it. In addition, we found mold at the head of our bed from poor insulation and moisture from the slide the bed was on. That right there was the final straw in this unit. We were done, we wanted it replaced. Mold isn't something you want to mess with and we most certainly didn't want to have to deal with it in a RV.
When we started up our coach to depart, our steps started extending and retracting (https://goo.gl/photos/Qn3UHZV43h3f1HHy7
) and as you can see in the video here, happened while we were driving the unit. We placed a call to Thor directly and after exhausting all the options from them, I managed to short out our steps, get them to retract, and disconnect the power to them. As we later found out, they poorly manufactured the connection of the step to the sensor and it was missing it's wire caps, causing a short in the electrical system.
The drive north was uneventful, but we had an appointment for February 8th and made our way north.
February 8, 2016
When we arrived, we were passed right into warranty service and found that no meetings were set up for us to meet with Thor. Our list was comprised of roughly 25-30 items to address, and work began right away. We spent most of the day at their now-vacant customer lounge (a room with a fridge, couch and chairs from old RV's). Because we had our cats, we were able to keep them in there until arrangements were made for a hotel.
Tuesday, February 9th
- Meeting with Tom Hake and John V, arrive at 11:00am, they're 45 minutes late to the meeting
- Meeting lasts an hour and a half, John V. to make calls to get me meetings w/ decision makers
- Email sent inquiring about meeting w/ decision makers
Wednesday, February 10th
- Email from Bob P., said him and John V just met up and that Tom Hake was making arrangements for us to meet with people and see a new coach to potentially replace our unit with.
- Walkthrough of our coach to find out what was done vs. what not done
Thursday, February 11
- Toured Outlaw 37RB w/ Tom Hake
- Told Andrew V. will call me back now that he's in town
- Told that John from Marketing would call us
Friday, February 12
- Initial hotel reservations expired, had to check out and head to Thor for more information
- Waited in Customer Lounge for hotel arrangements
- Moved to Staybridge Inn in Elkhart, IN
Monday, February 15
- No word from Thor, hotel reservations end at 11am, had to extend checkout until 1pm while we wait for a phone call from Thor
- 11am - call from John H telling me to sit tight, apologizes for wait, tells me marketing will be in touch and that I'm to receive a call from someone else that can help make these decisions
- 12:55pm - received a call from Jason in Marketing and had a discussion about partnering up with Thor to make this a positive experience. I was informed that there might be something Thor can do and that he'll get back to me with specifics
- 1:30pm - went back to Thor to wait while our coach was "being finished"
- 3:00pm - unit finally finished for walkthrough, though we found that there were items on the list not completed. After completing the walkthrough, we moved the unit out into their parking lot to overnight and wait for someone that can make decisions at Thor to contact us
- 3:40pm - after parking the unit, we discovered that our water pump failed (in the wet bay). Thor was supposed to check all components and it appears they never checked our water pump (making me wonder what else was missed). They repaired the water pump in their parking lot and a huge thanks to those that stayed after close to help us out.
Tuesday, February 16
We were informed that our new desk piece had come in and that we were to drive it over to have it installed. When retracting our jacks, our rear jacks errored out and stopped a few inches off the ground. No literature was available online or in the owners manual for the leveling system on the "retract timeout" issue, and Thor's techs came out to look at it. Apparently you can just hold "Enter"+"Retract" to reset the error and force the jacks to retract manually.
Our coach was then in the shop all morning until around lunch for the desk and some damage they caused while repairing a few things next to our door. We went to Elkhart and Thor's headquarters to try to talk to someone, but they have a security guard at their front gate that won't allow you in to their headquarters unless you have an appointment set up in advance.
We finally got ahold of Jason from their marketing team and were allowed access, but only after about 15 minutes of waiting in the guard shack and getting back into our car.
At this point, we've still not been able to talk to anyone about replacing our coach and had been passed around like a soccer ball down the line. We figured we'd hopefully talk to John (Jason's boss) and get somewhere, but he wasn't available at all.
We still haven't heard from sales, or anyone that can make the decision for us, so we're stuck sitting in Thor's parking lot waiting for a resolution.