If you didn’t already know, the quality of new RVs is nothing like the quality you’d get when buying a new car. The recreational vehicle industry seems to have a much lower standard for their vehicles when sold!
We knew this going in… Buy a used RV and have most of the bugs worked out but then you have to deal with the wear and tear of the used vehicle. Buy a new one and there’s little to no wear or tear. I say “little” because our brand new RV came with 1600 miles – they drove it from Indiana to New Mexico. Suffice to say, we also had our share of “new RV problems”. Thankfully, our problems were very minimal as compared to some stories I’ve heard.
- Right rear bay door misaligned
- Fuel Cap Warning light while driving
- Motor frame below motor rusty
- Left bumper support not attached to frame
- Sirius/XM antenna not working
- Rain spout joints leaking
- Water hose opening missing in wet bay
- Navigator desk doesn’t stay locked in – opens while driving
- Slideout cover flaps
- Commode water seal doesn’t hold water
Theoretically, we could have had the dealership repair all of these items under warranty. But, as most blogs I’ve read indicate, dealership service centers are notoriously bad for doing this type of work. They likely get no money out of it – so why bother! My little bit of an attempt to have the first item on my list repaired under warranty upholds this thought. The dealership basically ignores you until you start making noise. That’s not my style.
So, I started doing the repairs myself:
- Right rear bay door misaligned – the dealership couldn’t fix this (not sure they really tried). Basically, I just had to reposition a small part and the door is much better.
- Fuel Cap Warning light while driving – there is supposed to be a continuous vent line from the top of the fuel tank to just inside the gas cap to help with filling the tank with fuel. When the cap is on tight – the tank and lines should be pressure tight. When not… you get the warning light. Turns out that in our RV, a rubber tube that is part of the vent was too short (see circled area in picture below) so there gas tank was continuously vented to atmosphere. All I had to do was replace the rubber hose.
- Motor frame below motor rusty – the rusted areas were around the welds on the frame. Apparently someone forgot to go back and prime/paint the area after the welding was complete. A coat of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer took care of those spots. I bought a 32 oz. can; only needed about 8 oz.!
- Left bumper support not attached to frame – the right side bumper is attached to the frame via bolt threads welded to the frame. So the bumper is bolted to the frame. On the left side, no threads were welded to the frame. This left the bumper support just flopping around. I wired it to the frame which seems to be enough.
- Sirius/XM antenna not working – turns out “Sirius/XM ready” doesn’t really mean that it’s ready. It means you can hook up a tuner to the radio and then make it ready! If I want satellite radio, I have to buy a tuner.
- Rain spout joints leaking – the joints of an RV rain gutter leak just like the joints of a house’s gutter. A little bit of silicone caulk worked to fix that.
- Water hose opening missing in wet bay – the water hose to provide potable water has no easy access from the water bay to water spigot except through the same hole that the sewer hose goes. That’s kinda icky… so I’ll be drilling a hole just for the water hose.
- Navigator desk doesn’t stay locked in – a cool feature is a desk that slides out in front of the navigator’s chair allowing that person to use a computer. Unfortunately it doesn’t stay in while driving down the road (when not in use). To fix that will just take a stronger magnet. Pretty easy fix.
- Slideout cover flaps – across the tops of the slideouts are awnings to help prevent water from getting into the RV. Unfortunately, the long slideout awning flaps in the wind. Using six pipe insulation foams (think pool noodles), I’ve made a pyramid that pushes up on the awning to help minimize the flappage; but it doesn’t quite stop the rain water from pooling on top.
- Commode water seal doesn’t hold water – the ickiest saved for last – our RV has a bath and a half. The waste from both commodes go into the same black water tank. The system that makes it all work is a vacuum system like the toilets on a cruise ship or airplane. The sewer piping is basically maintained at a vacuum. If the commode seals leak, then the vacuum can’t be maintained and the vacuum pump runs frequently. Very annoying while trying to sleep. I tried a variety of easy fixes all of which failed. Ultimately, I had to tear the commode apart and clean the seals. So far, this is working.
All of these repairs have (or will) cost a total of about $20! Had I tried to get the dealership to deal with these, it likely would have cost me nothing! Nothing that is except the $150 worth of gas to get the RV back to the dealership and the month or more of time while it was in the shop! I think the twenty bucks is well worth it!