RV Daily Report to Turn Off the Lights
The RV Daily Report is closing down its eZine, this time permanently. June 21st marks a sad day for RV enthusiasts. We count on Greg Gerber to keep us updated about the latest shenanigans the RV industry is pulling or planning. How are we going to stay current on the RV industry’s current plans to remove RV Lemon Laws from all 48 states? Who is going to speak up for us now!
The RV Daily Report also echoes the latest recalls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov) to help us make better choices when we buy new RVs. Notifications about new RV parks opening across the country, opinions from RVers out there telling it like it is, the list is long.
Mr. Gerber has many reasons for shutting down this great resource. I mention only one here that resonates with me.
“I’m also cognizant of the fact that some firms are afraid to be seen associating with RV Daily Report. I do tend to stir the pot and we do tend to post stories that no other industry publications will touch.
That makes us a lightning rod for powerful companies and powerful people. And some CEOs simply don’t like journalism. They only want to see happy news.
One of the big players in the industry once asked me if I had ever considered how my coverage of hot-button issues would impact my ability to bring in advertising to sustain my business.
I did, and yet I made a conscious decision to do what was right and not turn a blind eye to the plight of people who saved their entire lives to buy an RV only to be left making payments on a piece of equipment that could not be used, nor could it be fixed in a timely manner.
A large swath of the RV industry is okay with that scenario. I’m not.”
Florida Lemon Law
My take on Florida’s lemon law: Rescue the dealers that sell the RVs. Put all repair responsibilities on the manufacturer(s). Dealers can continue to slide by the truth and tell the customer whatever seems appropriate without penalties. Buyers beware!
Will this force manufacturers to put quality before quantity? It is certainly going to educate the consumer (if they pay attention). Can you imagine trying to get repairs done from, say, 4 manufacturers at the same time?
For example, Lippert® supplied the axle that cracked, Dometic® manufactured the refrigerator, Suburban® made the water heater, Coleman® supplied the compressor for the air conditioner, but Dinosaur Electronics make the control board. Wow! Most consumers would just give up and limp along or sell the RV at a loss to an uninformed fellow traveler.
Pre-purchase inspections should become standard practice with consumers. (More info on RV Inspections.)
The RV Daily Report was instrumental in educating the customer to the problems facing them in the current marketplace. New RV sales are down 30%. The manufacturers stock has dropped in value. More consumer websites are documenting their issues with new RVs.
The average consumer now knows to get a pre-purchase inspection even when purchasing new. With RV dealers facing the same reputation as used car salespeople, this lemon law should help lift them up (see Dealer Requirements).
Summary of the Florida Lemon Law
- Information on how and where to file a claim with the RV Mediation/Arbitration Program (These documents are produced by the manufacturer and provided to the customer by the dealer.)
- Dealers must obtain the signature of the customer acknowledging receipt of the consumer guide. This form must be kept by the dealer for three (3) years.
- Service agents that perform any examination or repair under the manufacturer’s warranty must provide the consumer with a written, legible repair order each time the vehicle is brought to the shop.
- According to a representative of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the written repair order must be fully itemized, it must include test drive mileage, the diagnosis made, the work performed, a general description of the problem or defect, and the parts and labors, along with dates, must be identified. If any labor was performed by a subcontractor, that must be documented.
- Dealers cannot refuse to give consumers written repair orders. Both dealer and customer must complete the retail disclosure form.
The Lemon Law:
- Does not cover flooring, plumbing system and fixtures, roof air conditioner, furnace, generator, electrical systems other than automotive circuits, the side entrance door, exterior components and windows other than the windshield and driver and front passenger windows. (This is not a complete list.)
- Covers the first 24 months from the date of delivery.
- Repair of defective components should be sought from the service agent who is authorized to perform the repair by the manufacturer that warrants the component, not the dealer who sold it.
- If the recreation vehicle has been subjected to at least three repair attempts for the same defect (that is not a defective living facility component [not covered]), for 15 or more days, then, written notification must be sent to each manufacturer (not the dealer) which may provide warranty coverage of the defects. If the consumer is not certain which manufacturer’s warranty covers the complaint, it is better to send the notification to all potentially responsible manufacturers.
Florida Attorney General’s website:
Florida RV Trade Association:
Read the RV Industry Association’s explanation why they are working to eliminate current RV Lemon Laws in the states that have them.
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Would you like to understand more about your RV? Some questions answered in “Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers:”
- How does the refrigerator work and why does it need to be level when in use?
- How do hydraulic levelers work and why do they need maintenance?
- I need to flush the hot water heater, what is the best procedure?
- What is the best practice to keep the septic system working properly?
- What is an inverter and why do I need one?
- What is involved in roof maintenance?
- Why do I need to check the batteries every three months?
- How do I keep the generator working properly?