We hope the New Year brings an RV into your life that fulfills your dream.
Check Recall First
I know, you are so excited about getting on the road that it is hard to wait before plunking down a huge amount of cash (or credit) on an RV. You have been planning this adventure for years and now the time has come.
As someone who cares about your RV lifestyle, I am asking you to please take the time to do recall research on the model of your choice. If you think you can get lucky without spending this research time, buy an RV that was made before 2001 (look for Beaver, Country Coach, Foretravel, Newmar brands). After 2001, all bets are off.
If your favorite model did not make a recall list, then move to the next step…hire an RV inspector (or local RV repairperson) to thoroughly check it out. If you buy new, this is doubly important.
Visit NRVIA.com (National Recreational Vehicle Inspectors Assoc.) and use their search field to find an inspector in your area. If not a certified inspector, hire a mobile repairperson to conduct a thorough check. Download a check list here.
Inspect a Brand New RV?
Keep reading for the answer to “why should I spend the money to check out a brand new RV.”
Quality Control went out the window as manufacturers focused on getting their RVs to the dealer lots. With so few manufacturers left in the market, greed overcame strategy and common sense.
Before you buy an RV, check this government safety website for the latest information on RV Manufacturer recalls.
You can also search for recalls by VIN. While on the RV dealer’s lot, write down the VIN for the model you are thinking of buying. [The search results lists the chassis that matches the VIN, not the manufacturer’s brand or model, example: Chev, Ford, Mercedes.]
The following is a list of recent RV ladder recalls compiled by the U.S National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA). This is a small example of what is happening in the RV manufacturing industy. Even the small details can turn into big deals as you can see below:
Keystone RV Co. – recalling 6,252 2015-2016 Keystone Carbon, Fuzion, Impact, Raptor, and Dutchmen Voltage toy hauler fifth-wheels.
Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC – recalling 2,045 2015-2016 Cyclone travel trailers.
DRV Suites (DRV) – recalling 15 2015-2016 Full House trailers, models JX450, LX450, LX455 and TX500.
Cruiser RV – recalling 499 2015-2016 Stryker toy hauler trailers manufactured June 12, 2014, to Aug. 27, 2015.
KZRV L.P. – recalling 318 2015 Venom, Inferno, Sportsmen, Sportster, MXT and SportTrek trailers.
Keystone RV Co. – recalling 127 2017 Cougar fifth-wheel trailers, models 246RLSWE, 268RLSWE, 279RKSWE, 281RDIWE, 283RETWE and 284RDBWE.
Entegra Coach – recalling 177 2017 Aspire, Anthem, Cornerstone, and Insignia motorhomes.
For details on each of the 2016 recalls, visit http://www.rvbusiness.com/2016/12/nhtsa-rv-firms-recall-units-for-faulty-ladders/
Here is a recall that could be deadly:
“Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling 307 certain model year 2016-2017 Dutch Star and Ventana motorhomes manufactured Jan. 22 to Nov. 7 equipped with Cummins ISL engines.
These vehicles, built on a Freightliner chassis, have a power steering hose that may be routed incorrectly, and, as a result, the hose may rub against the power stud on the starter motor, possibly causing electrical arcing and a power steering fluid leak.
Electrical arcing in the presence of leaking power steering fluid can increase the risk of a fire.
According to the number of recall-related stories appearing in RV Daily Report, there were: 148 in 2016 through Nov. 21; 123 in 2015; and 71 in 2014.
So, yes, to answer the question, there have been significantly more recalls issued in 2016 than in any other year since we’ve been publishing the notices. The number is already 20 percent more this year than the second-highest total in 2015 — and it will only go up in the countdown to the end of December.”
For the biggest culprits, read the rest of the story.
Greg Gerber (RV Daily Report) sums it up: “So, do recalls accurately reflect the serious problem the RV industry has with product quality? I would argue that yes it does. A cursory glance at RV-related forums and social media posts will confirm that Forest River, `the quiet company,’ has a huge problem with its reputation for producing poor-quality RVs–and the company has issued more recalls than any other manufacturer.
Yet, today we published the October RV shipment report that showed the industry is on target for its seventh consecutive yearly increase in total RVs made and the best year in 40 years. Despite the well-documented problems, unsuspecting consumers are still buying new RVs in record numbers. So why change?
Like Brian Wilkins, the outgoing chairman of the RV Dealers Association, noted so eloquently in his final presentation to members, `When are we going to change because it is the right thing to do?’”
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Many of my readers report that their new RV spent a whole season in the shop. Some report that their lemon cannot be fixed. Trying to sue a manufacturer that is failing can be a lost cause. With a little diligence, you can bypass this trap and make your own decision about when and where to drop out of your dream.