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Old 04-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Winnebago Dealer Support

We're in Forest City in the Winnebago RV 'Park' and are enjoying all the new friends we've met here at the Service Center. In discussions with other owners, a common issue seems to be dealer support. Either an unwillingness to perform work on coaches they did not sell, or poor quality work.

I can attest to both, selling dealer's service department was poorly maintained and the work performed by the 'shop foreman' was shade-tree quality. Example, leaking front compartment -- fix, drill several 'drain holes' to allow the water to drain!

I've requested a meeting with someone in Winnebago that is in a position to effect improvements in the dealer customer service area. Anyone like to chime in with their experiences?
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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Thoughout the years I have tried to avoid vehicle dealers mostly due to cost and occasionally due to the possibility of poor workmanship. For my coach I have had to use only my local Winnebago dealer. All told, that experience has been above average. I have treated the service manager as I would like to be treated and he has responded positively. That has been the case when I had a coach I bought elsewhere and now one that I bought at his dealership. I will say that because of buying a coach from this dealer I now get front of the line privileges. I have never used those privileges but it is nice to know that if I really need to get something fixed now, I can. His techs are very knowledgeable and they do great work. Finally, I recently had an HWH control box replaced by this dealership. HWH paid for the box and the service manager did not charge me for the installation and adjustment. However, all of that being said, you never know what kind of work you are going to get on that first visit to a dealership. If it is good, you will return. If it is bad, you will not. The only thing you can do is to talk to the dealership management and to contact Winnebago and I don't know if that helps. I still think it is a good idea to find an independent repair shop and form a relationship with them. It never hurts to have options.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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About 6-8 weeks ago, I had my 2008 Destination in for flaking paint in the front passenger compartment. I was going to fix it myself, as I had done to the driver side for a little flaking, but decided, since it was in the shop to see if it was covered under warranty. It was, and it was repaired by the dealer, whom I purchased the coach from. After another 3 week trip, I noticed some flaking around the rear side cooler, and upon inspection and a little rubbing, the paint peeled off all around the frame of the compartment and over into the electrical compartment. Pictures were sent to Winnebago and the told the dealer that they should have caught it the first time. That is really not an option as a wire brush would have had to be used in all areas, and if not flaking/peeling, would have scratched the existing paint job. Anyhow, my dealer said that "they would cover the warranty work." Since they were going to pick that up, I decided to give them a little extra work that was not covered under warranty.

It is really nice that this dealer, Holiday World or Houston (South) not only has nice salespeople, that you only deal with once every many several years, but a service department that will step up when the need is there. I'm not entirely satisfied with the timeliness of repairs, but the quality of work, and the friendliness of the personnel in the service department has been a big plus. I believe that there should be more "training" for the service personnel at the Winnebago plant, or in large metropolitan areas so that the analysis of what has to be done can be minimized, and the work performed to be done by well qualified technicians.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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So far we've only taken ours to the dealer where we bought it. I don't have any complaints. They've taken care of any problems quickly with no questions.

We had a mobile tech do some work done on our previous coach. He did a very good job and his prices were very reasonable.

We haven't run into any horror stories with either.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for your timely post and offer for input. Having purchased two Winnies over the years (last one in 06) from Farber RV in Columbus, Oh. I am hoping you can share this with someone their who can help many of us in this area. Farber RV was an Itasca dealer for many years and suddenly closed up this past fall leaving a town of 1.4mil. without any Winny or Itasca dealer. The closest dealer is two hours away from me. I am saddened by Farber's closing as they took very good care of me and others that I am famaliar with. My question to Winnie executives is, in a town with 1.4mil and no dealer (hard to believe) are there any plans for a new dealer? I am not alone as there are many Winnie owners in this area. Thanks for posting this and good luck. Look forward to your reply.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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Winnebago Dealer Support

Purchased our 2008 Sightseer from an excellent dealer in CT however, we live on Long Island NY. The local Winny dealer, Continental, handled mainly custom rigs (command center etc) but has provided excellent service our rig saving us a long and expensive trip to CT .
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun time View Post
Thanks for your timely post and offer for input. Having purchased two Winnies over the years (last one in 06) from Farber RV in Columbus, Oh. I am hoping you can share this with someone their who can help many of us in this area. Farber RV was an Itasca dealer for many years and suddenly closed up this past fall leaving a town of 1.4mil. without any Winny or Itasca dealer. The closest dealer is two hours away from me. I am saddened by Farber's closing as they took very good care of me and others that I am famaliar with. My question to Winnie executives is, in a town with 1.4mil and no dealer (hard to believe) are there any plans for a new dealer? I am not alone as there are many Winnie owners in this area. Thanks for posting this and good luck. Look forward to your reply.
Ya! What's up with that?

My local dealer, is no longer. Well, they are still there, but not as a Winnebago dealer.

Seems Winnebago, laid some heavy demands on them, as to purchasing commitments, and my dealer told them to take a hike. Not sure who to be upset with just yet, so I am reserving comment on that for now.
...but. the real issue is I dont' have a local Winnebago dealer anymore.

Maybe I'll just buy online from another Winnebago dealer in another state.
Advantage, me, no tax (yet).
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:38 AM   #8
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No support here we have had service/warrenty work in 4 cities with excellent results. We bought MH in NJ. Guess you must hit the bad ones.

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Old 04-19-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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I have been very disappointed in our local Portland dealer's service. They cannot do any repair without calling the factory for directions and even then it can take days and several tries to get it right. I have resolved myself to traveling to the factory to get repairs done right. Even the mobile mechanics are better than my selling dealer at things like hydraulics! The real frosting on the cake is that my dealer is one of the 50 outstanding dealers per Winnebago. Funny!
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #10
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If you mean Portland Oregon, you are correct. The dealers here are useless.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #11
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"You didn't purchase from us" seems to be a common problem.. The vehicle dealer I bought my coach from in 2004 sold out and closed the RV portion 6 months later so I had to look elsewhere. The Winny dealer in Tulsa was the closest but I found out in a hurry how they treated "non purchasers", particularly if is warranty work - "go to the bottom of the appointment list and will only do 3 warranty items at a visit". Took 6 weeks for an appointment, kept the coach for 3 weeks, and only worked on it a total of 4 1/2 hours

The next year I was in Forest City and brought this up to Customer Service. I was told they were quite aware of these situations, and particularlly this dealer in Tulsa, but Winnebago had no control over how their dealers treated customers. To me that is utterly ridiculous but I guess selling units is more important than taking care of current customers.

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Old 04-19-2010, 07:30 PM   #12
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After years of RV'ing we traded up last June, buying an '05 Journey from a pvt party. 1st thing I went to my Thurmont, MD dealer for an oil chg. When I went to pick up the coach at the appointed time, it wasn't ready. I walked back to find the tech gradually adding oil, taking about 10 minutes per quart for it to drain down the tube into the sump. After almost an hour, he was done, and I paid and left. The following morning I left on my first outing. At my 1st fuel stop I noticed the front of the trailer I was towing covered with oil. Upon checking, I found that the Cat C-7 engine in my coach calls for 19 qts. and the dealer put in 25 qts. I was told, "Yea, any more than 19 qts in that engine will just blow out thru the breather and clog the radiator." So I spent about $100- for extra oil and the labor to put it in----that wasn't called for. And another $130- to have the radiator steam cleaned. Later, when told, the service mgr shrugged his shoulders and said nothing. Emails to the owner went unanswered. Needless to say, a dealer who can not properly perform an oil chg. isn't going to get my business for the more complicated work, needed accessories, etc. Why, especially during tight economic times, would a business owner allow this type of thing to happen? And when contacted, issue no response?
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:12 PM   #13
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We take our 2006 Meridian to a Freightliner Service Center when we need service.They have always done a great job, check the whole rig and at times found problems that we didn't know we had.

The only Winnebago problem that we've had was with our EMS. We were all the way across the country in Oregon. Called the closest dealer, they checked our rig the next day, ordered the parts needed, we went back to the campground. A week later they had the parts called us in, then we were on our way again.

Winnebago has treated us great!

We did have a leaking windshield, after checking with this forum I took care of in less time a couple hours. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:30 AM   #14
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I have an 08 Meridian that is still under warranty. In my experience, if you return to the dealer with the same problem multiple times, it may get fixed. I had a rear monitor replaced 4 times. They have repaired the sliding closet door three times. The rear slider only required repair twice. There have been items in work orders that were 'forgotten' and had to be fixed on a second trip.

The dealer doesn't impress me with their service. Once the factory warranty is up, I have a place that I have a lot more faith in.
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