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Old 03-12-2014, 05:50 AM   #1
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Fresh water tank size error

When looking for our next 5th wheel, one of the important items for us was the size of the fresh water tank. Our last unit had a 60 gallon tank and it was sort of limiting for some of the places we stayed.

One of the attractive features of the new Winnebago Destination 36Rl was that it was advertised as having a 108 gallon water tank. After recently taking delivery of it and having time to continue to walk the unit, I noticed the weight sticker indicated a full water load adding 465 pounds of weight......my sad meter immediately pegged as I realized this indicated an approximate 56 gallon tank and NOT the 108 that is advertised by Winnebago and on my window sticker of the RV.

I spoke with Winnebago and they used my VIN to confirm that I do have a 56 gallon tank in this unit. Now I am not sure what my options will even be. I am trying to find out whether I can have a larger tank installed or not.

Has anyone else ever experienced this type of situation? If so, was there any remedy? I realize this will only impact us when traveling to locations that do not have full hook-ups, but it was one of our high priority items for this purchase due to our past experiences.....despite how nice everything else is on this unit, I am really beginning to regret the purchase of this 5th wheel.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:00 AM   #2
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Return it and demand your money back due to false advertising regarding the size of the fresh water tank which was your deciding factor to purchase that specific unit originally.

If they resist contact your state attorney general and talk to them.

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Old 03-12-2014, 06:06 AM   #3
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Attempting to return the unit to the dealer is what my wife wants to do. Believe me, I am definitely disappointed in how this entire event has turned out, but I hope that a retro-fit of the tank is possible. If not, I will likely lean towards a return of the unit.....has anyone ever gone through that process? I would think it is rare for a consumer to be able to return a unit for a full refund, but I do believe this is a basic breach of contract and false advertising.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:41 AM   #4
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If you take a few mins. and look at the tank mounting, you will probably find that removing the tank would be a nightmare, let alone fitting a tank twice it's size back in . Get after the dealer and the company ASAP, the longer the unit is in your possession the harder this will become.
Second thing to consider, will the units CCC, leave you any room to carry equipment if your carrying twice the weight in water.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:53 AM   #5
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Remember the disclaimer in the bottom of the last page of every brochure, it clearly states "subject to bla bla bla". That is their out. So, basically you are screwed. Now if the build sheet says 100 gallon and it is not on there that is a different story. But since the factory has already told you 50, they have redesigned things for the smaller tank size, I assume for chassis loading problems when adding a thousand pounds of water.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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Agree, check your build sheet. Did the dealer know that the tank size was a make or break requirement? How long have you owned it for? Was the tank size requirement listed on your contract (it would have to be in order to constitute a breach).
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
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WOW that's is a shame :(
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
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Those are super nice RVs. I've always added extra water to all mine. You have to check corner weight and total weights first. I always add an extra 40 gallons for dry camping. Your local rv repair place would be happy to do it. Maybe Winnebago would pay for it. If not there are water bladders for trucks that fold up when not in use.
Good luck
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input Donn and marcham.....I agree with you about all companies trying to always provide an out for themselves. Concerning the "build sheet", that is of no consequence to me.....I did not custom order this unit. I bought it from a dealer and the only paperwork that was available was the window sticker on the unit that indicated capacities of the unit....which indicated the 108 gallon. I did ask ask about the water capacity right front and it was verbally confirmed that, per the window sticker, it was a 108 gallon tank just like Winnebago states on their website as well.

The paperwork that comes in the RV has Zero information pertaining to tank capacities...nothing in the owners manual from Winnebago or anywhere else. The first time I ever heard of a "build sheet" was when I contacted W to verify what my RV had in it after I got suspicious. The head of warranty told me, per my VIN and the subsequently pulled build sheet, I had a 56 gallon tank.

So to infer that since it was on their internal build sheet, I am "screwed" is not an accurate assessment of the situation at all in my opinion. All of the information I had available to me as a consumer indicated a 108 gallon capacity and that was one of my key requirements for my next 5th wheel purchase. To find out after the fact that I have been mislead is definitely inexcusable......and to try and hide behind some obscure "build sheet" that was never shown to me....or to try and act like I should have a written contract indicating my water tank size is absurd. I have bought many RV's and I have never had a "written contract" detailing every aspect of the unit......your contract, unless you are custom ordering, is merely your agreement to purchase contract that your sales rep writes up when you are making an offer on the rig.

Now, if I had custom ordered this rig and did not mention or tend to this issue, that would be a different story. But given that I took them at their word and the fact that the tank capacity was on the window sticker AND on the Winnebago site under the specifications tab for the Destination 36RL, I believe I have pretty good grounds for a complaint.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:12 PM   #10
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What is the capacity of the black and grey water tanks? Did they down size them also? Spec sheet shows only 33 gallons for black and 66 for grey.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:40 AM   #11
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Based on your representation of the facts, I'd say you have a good case against the dealer, since he materially misrepresented the goods he sold you.

Here's what I'd do. I'd show up when they're not busy (1st thing in the morning for most), drop off the trailer with a letter for the sales manager stating your case, copy of the manufacturer specs, copy of the window decal and in your words the conversation you had with the sales rep. Give him a week to decide to refund or make it right. Let him deal with the manufacturer, don't get in between them. If you have a lawyer you work with regularly, I'd pay the $100 for him to write the letter.

Remember that being friendly and polite will get you further than being confrontational.

Good luck, I hope you get what you wanted and paid good money for.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:00 AM   #12
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John, I asked Winnebago to confirm my black/gray tank sizes and they have not responded to that part of my inquiry.

Concerning the dealer and whether they misrepresented this product or not, I do not think that it is the case. I believe they received this unit from Winnebago believing it had the 108 gallon capacity. The sales rep from the dealer called me last night and assured me Winnebago was going to make this right...I have no idea what that will turn out to mean to them though.

I would be happy if they could retrofit the unit (giving the ability of the frame to handle the additional 500 pounds of water weight) if its design allows the fitment of a 108 gallon cell.

I took delivery of this unit 24 Feb....it was dropped off to storage and has never been used or had anything put inside it yet luckily. I know I need to find resolution to this pretty quick or I am going to end up being stuck with it. The entire situation just really makes us sick as we really had big plans to travel extensively with this rig. We had the generator added as well since our mindset was that we would have enough water capacity and the generator to allow us to stay in places for several days without hook-ups. I am hoping for a "fix" to be possible.

I agree with you marcham about using a lawyer to write up a letter concerning this. I hope to have a good idea by end of day this Friday as to what the solution is going to be from Winnebago and my dealership....will keep you folks posted.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #13
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Maybe I missed it. Have you contacted the dealership yet? Are you a repeat customer at that dealership or have used their service department in the past?

Before drafting letters from lawyers and demanding a refund (which is not going to happen without a legal fight), I personally would speak with the sales manager. Explain the situation and your need for a larger fresh water tank. Indicate this was one of the reasons for purchasing the new 5th Wheel. Show him the documentation you have and ask how he is going to rectify the issue. Let him provide you with some solutions. If he tells you to pound sand (which he won't), then you can get nasty with the lawyer.

Bottom line - The dealership is going to want to work out this issue. Give them the opportunity to do so. It's all in the approach!

Good luck
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:05 PM   #14
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Rossi.....yes, I have been in very close contact with my dealership....I will not give an update to this whole deal here below.......

This entire event has been one heck of a ride. First, I will say this. My dealership was always in a supportive position from the beginning. Secondly, after my initial contact with Winnebago went "cold" for a couple days. Then they contacted me and were definitely committed to ensuring I had the correct tank as advertised for this coach.

To make a long story short, the original 2 units that were produced last year for the unveiling at one of the dealer shows DID in fact have 56 gallon tanks as that was what W planned to do. The feedback from dealers at the show was a consistent and resounding message that a 56 gallon tank on a unit like this was unacceptable.

Winnebago then went back and did some adjustments to accommodate the larger water cell. However, good old inter-departmental communication did not take place (as it does not in a lot of companies) and the weight stickers did NOT get updated. Remember, it was this weight sticker that set off my alarm after I took delivery of the unit. Secondly, the infamous build sheet also was not updated and errantly showed the 56 gallon number. Thirdly, when they initially got back from that dealer meeting, they did not have the new 100 gallon tanks in, so they decided to pair two 56 gallon tanks together for their current production run. They produced 22 units like this and then started using the new 100 gallon cells when they came into inventory at the plant.

Now, here is the fun part...due to this entire event, W has decided to retrofit those 22 units that have the two 56 gallon tanks tethered together. They are going to remove them and replace them with the single 100 gallon cell. How that concerns me is that they initially thought I had the 56 gallon tank and then thought that I had the double tank configuration....until today....now they identified my unit as being number 35 of the produced units and they feel certain that I have the correct 100 gallon tank but that the incorrect weight sticker was still placed inside the unit.

So, the bottom line is that only the first 2 units were produced with the 56 gallon tank. The next 22 units had the two 56 gallon tanks installed, and all units since then were getting the correct 100 gallon tank put in them. This entire event is wrapped around a complete lack of comm between all of the departments and key paperwork documents were never updated properly to reflect what was actually going on. I have had a couple of really good honest conversations with W here lately over this whole deal and I feel a ton better about it all. Weather permitting, I am going to do a fill test this weekend to verify the water volume of my unit. The good old mathematical formula of psi, hose diameter and length and time to calculate gallon count......I will also time a 5 gallon water fill and then compare that as well. I anticipate proper verification of the 100 gallon tank size.

So, bottom line is this......I am really happy with how Winnebago handled this....and yes, I was very professional and polite in all of my communication with both Winnebago and my dealership as they were with me as well.....happy camping to all and hoping that anyone out there currently dealing with tough issues on their units have the same good fortune as I have had on this deal!!
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