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Old 06-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #1
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Warranty Work: Does it Exist?

I've posted this issue on a FB Winnebago Aspect & Itasca Cambria page as well. I purchased a new 2019 Cambria 27K three weeks ago in another state and drove back to SW Florida the next day. During my PDI, I missed the fact that that my rear hatch door is misaligned and will not close/lock properly. My bad. Now however, I have gone to all three local Winnebago dealers listed on the WI website for service. The largest simply said "we are not accepting any warranty work at this time". The next one informed me that they "are not accepting any Winnebago warranty work, and are returning units already in the shop to be repaired". The third takes my contact info and doesn't return my calls. A call to the WI 800 service number gets me no resolution other than "we're sorry, but we can't make independent dealers accept work". So my question (finally) is there something larger going on here? I realize it's a busy time for dealers but for all three to refuse me really makes me wonder?? (Please don't tell me to go to Forest City. A 1600 mile trip is not doable right now.)
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:00 AM   #2
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It’s a sad situation but that’s the industry. Did you try to schedule something immediately or in the “near” future? You may have to consider going back to the dealer you bought it at if you want it done before the slow season.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:43 PM   #3
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Try calling WBGO again and see if they will authorize you to work with an independent RV repair person. I've heard that when a dealer refuses to do warranty work that they will let you hire an independent repair specialist.

You may have to pay upfront and get reimbursed, but I have heard of WBGO working directly with the repair person, too.

It is a shame that Winnebago's dealership agreement doesn't REQUIRE that dealers accept warranty claims. It's no help to you or anyone, but it's the same with other brands of RVs, as well.

After purchasing 5 RVs in 17 years we've gotten to the place where we spend the first 4 or 5 days after purchasing in the retailers lot or as near as possible. So, that things missed during a PDI get addressed right then. After that we either fix things ourselves, work with the 3rd party supplier directly or make an appointment for work at the factory 6 months down the road "just in case."

With our current RV we have done all of the above. We purchased our RV 1000 miles from our home. But there was a campground across the highway from our selling dealer. We spent 4-days there. We found 3 major issues and had those fixed before leaving the area.

On the way home a major component failed. We called the manufacturer directly and had the unit sent to our home and I installed it.

Then, just to be safe, I made an appointment at Forest City for 8 months in the future. Sure enough by the time that date rolled around we had a list of 7 things that needed fixed. And the date I reserved for service was purposefully when I expected that we'd be on a trip closer to Iowa.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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It is unfortunate that Winnebago (I'm sure other manufacturers also) build these units seemingly without any real care for quality. They take your money and let you out the door without much of a quality inspection - they count on the dealers to do that.


Since the dealers are in business to make money they don't do much of inspection or prep that cuts into profit


So, your on your own to figure it all out. I have had many issues due to quality that if they had lemon laws I would probably have been able to get a new rig.


Some ongoing issues after 3 years is still the crap material they use on all of the furniture and front seats wearing through two times, first was replaced fully under warranty the last... not! (3 year warranty, missed it by 10 days when I called they supplied some new material and I had to pay labor for instillation... their above and beyond help). Now the paint on my front bumper is peeling - sorry 1 year warranty on that. What was I thinking!



I also purchased my rv about 1200 miles from home. As Creative stated above I make an appointment at the dealer (or factory) 6-8 months out and have yet to show up without a list of things needing attention. I do what I can myself and the rest I pay for.


I figure a few thousand a year to keep the whole thing looking and running well.


As far as dealers taking warranty work I was always under the impression that they had to accept anyone no matter where they purchased their units. Perhaps with all of the quality (or lack of) problems Winnebago is having maybe the dealers are getting tired of fixing the problems for whatever flat rate the factory will pay, and we don't know how fast or slow they are at paying for the warranty work.



Winnebago stock is down 12% this year, they have a sell rating on the stock, profit and profit margin is less than in the past. The stock price is expected to go lower about 5% in the next 12 months. I guess perhaps their lack of quality is eating into their bottom line.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #5
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OP Update:
I have been in contact with the third dealer listed on the WI service webpage and have an appointment. Kudos to La Mesa RV Fort Myers, FL for taking my call.

While I can understand a dealership prioritizing their own customers over others, it's still hard to accept complete refusal.

Just to be clear, this isn't my first rodeo. I've been through pop ups, fifth wheels, class A and now class C. It's too soon for me to make any determination of Winnebago materials or build quality and that was never the intent of my original post. Many of the components in all of these units are the same, and whether northern Indiana, Red Bay, AL, or Forest City, IA, the folks that put them together are all good people. So my frustration with the service policies of a few dealers should not be construed as a condemnation of the product or the industry.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:17 PM   #6
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Warr on 2015, sometimes.

We have a 2015 Itasca Suncruiser and still have problems that are not fixed. Our enter door does not shut and you have to dead bolt it to stop it from popping open, This is an adjustment not covered under warr. We have spent over $500.00 trying to get it fixed, the last time was a factory and after spending more money we got 10 miles before to popped open.This is just one of many problems they refuse to work on. Next step small claims court for counter to repair.
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:32 PM   #7
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I have seen and heard lots of folks complaining that dealers refuse to do warranty work. All different brands. My dealer told me up front if I bought from someone else, we would not be a priority for repairs but rigs bought from them get moved to the front. So far he has stuck to his word. All minor things. This week the auto level system went bonkers. I am across the state from my regular dealer but called him and had them try some stuff. No go. The error code I am getting is not in the manuals or their repair guides. They said call Winnebago. I did and they were no help, said to call Lippert. I did and they were less help. I told them I want it fixed and he referred me to a dealer in the same state but too far away and I pointed this out. He said to call them and get a mobile repair guy that is Lippert certified so I did. Only issue now is, I don't quite know how to proceed. The tech said he will charge me a service call fee and bill Lippert for the repair. Not sure is he is supposed to bill Lippert or Winnebago. I have calls in to both for their guidance. I am scheduled about 4 months out to take it in for a repair for a final check before the warranty expires. After that I will just pay for it or do it myself.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:19 PM   #8
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Even your home dealer is prone to do a slam bam job.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:43 PM   #9
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Video re: RV warranty service

This video has had over a half million views:

"Don't Buy An RV! - Lehto's Law Ep. 45":
https://youtu.be/IP_u2JR51_Y

This is the follow-up:

"What You Need to Know Before You Buy an RV - Lehto's Law Ep. 3.19"
https://youtu.be/TYIuCaWP_TU

Anyone considering buying an RV should watch those two videos. They're each about 18 min long and will potentially save a lot of heartache and aggravation.

Lehto explains that the title, "Don't Buy an RV" is tongue-in-cheek. He knows people will buy RVs, he's just trying to make sure they are fully informed and realistic about what to expect.

One key take-away is that because lemon laws do not apply, the warranty is essentially worthless.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:52 PM   #10
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The selling dealership couldn’t fix squat! If I had had the time, I would have gone to the factory, but was in the process of moving.
When I got to Albuquerque, I found a dealership that would do the warranty work. Our 2016 Forza was in the shop from July 2017 until December 2017. Got almost everything fixed.
I busy replacing the defective ceiling led fixtures, at least they’re sending me the parts for free.
All of what I have had wrong was factory caused and QA would have got it before it left the factory!
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:34 PM   #11
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Im so sorry you are having problems with you Itasca. We have a 2015 Suncruiser as well. We bought it ised and love it. We bought ours about 125 miles from home so if we had problems we wouldnt have far to take it. We LOVED our dealership. Even though it wasnt under warranty we found a couple things after we got it home and they fixed them free of charge. I went to call them after our winter in FL to make an appt to get a couple things looked at and to our dismay they had gone out of business. I am so bummed. May I ask you if you have the stackabke washer and dryer and if so how loud is your dryer? We have a Splendide and it is so loud you can hardly have a conversation or watch TV when its running. Depending on whichlforum I read, one says there is nothing wrong and another says its a bad bearing in the motor. It is supposedly an easy fix. Hope you get your issues resolved soon so you can enjoy your coach
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:15 AM   #12
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When it comes to warranty work WI has no control over dealers and for that matter they also have no control over Ford truck dealers. We have the largest Ford Truck dealer in the state and they refuse to work on the Winnebago Ford chassis period!
Yet WI selling dealers will lie to your face when you ask them about warranty repair or repair in general.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:18 AM   #13
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Short answer, no unless you go to Iowa.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:48 AM   #14
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I had the same problem with my Winnebago View and General RV. They flat out told me they would not do any warranty work on units not sold by them. I would never buy anything from General RV for that very reason. The dealers that sell the various units are telling a lie when they tell you about how the warranty works
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:02 AM   #15
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OP Update:
I have been in contact with the third dealer listed on the WI service webpage and have an appointment. Kudos to La Mesa RV Fort Myers, FL for taking my call.


I would track the repair closely and make sure it's done to your satisfaction. La Mesa has a much better sales reputation than it does for service. This shop might be ok but the one out here in Dixon, Ca. took $2400.00 for a slide repair that didn't work. We ended up going to Junction City where they did a great job. Good luck in the future- like many others, I've taught myself how to repair most things and saved a lot!
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:37 AM   #16
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I have a 2015 Winnebago Itasca Viva I purchased new from a dealer near Orlando, FL which is about 3 and a half hours from my home. I have been lucky enough to find a Camping World within 30 miles of my home that will service it for me. I have to wait in line for service as they give priority to those who purchased from them, which is completely understandable. Last year I had an oil and filter change without a problem, but then this year I was told they couldn't change the oil filter due to new rules for either this dealership, or corporate. They were willing to change the oil as long as they didn't replace the filter. The explanation was vague but included a comment that there was an issue that arose from changing filters. Not sure if it was because of the model I own, or if it was because of a problem in general with changing filters on RV's purchased elsewhere. I'm confused as to why this is an issue. I guess I'll have to learn how to change my own oil and filter.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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Salespeople can legally lie to customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExBuckeye View Post
When it comes to warranty work WI has no control over dealers and for that matter they also have no control over Ford truck dealers. We have the largest Ford Truck dealer in the state and they refuse to work on the Winnebago Ford chassis period!
Yet WI selling dealers will lie to your face when you ask them about warranty repair or repair in general.
The guy who made the 2 videos I linked to above, Steve Lehto, is an attorney in Michigan. He specializes in consumer protection law.

In another video (about car buying) he explains why salespeople can get away with lying. There is a clause on the purchase agreement that says, essentially, that the salesperson is not authorized by the dealership to make any claims whatsoever about the vehicles. By signing, the customer acknowledges that any statements made by the salesman are not binding.

Of course, buying an RV is even riskier than buying a car, because almost all states have no "lemon law" that covers RVs. No matter how many repeat problems an RV has, no matter how much time it spends in the shop, the mfr does not have to buy it back.

The bottom line is that all RVs -- new and used -- should be inspected by an independent professional, and the buyer should be capable of doing at least some repairs.

We bought our 2009 View used in 2012 and have been relatively lucky so far. It has never been to a dealer -- Winnebago or independent.

That said, there have been numerous repairs and mods. My wife and I are lucky in that we both have at least some ability to do the required repairs and maintenance. I am an electromechanical technician, and she has complimentary innate skills so that between the two of us, we can fix most problems that crop up.

From what I gather from belonging to various RV groups for 10 years, many owners do not fit that profile. A sizable number are engineers who are more capable than I am, but many are retired professionals from other fields who understandably do not feel comfortable replacing an A/C unit or battery combiner relay, or repairing a fridge (etc, etc).

Those in the latter group should probably think long and hard before buying an RV. If they still want to go ahead with the purchase, they must have a) a dealer that has a solid long-term reputation for taking care of their customers -- not making them wait weeks or months for warranty repairs (or non-warranty repairs for that matter), and/or b) an independent RV repair technician.

Oh -- and a LOT of money budgeted for repairs at $140+ per hour.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I have a 2015 Winnebago Itasca Viva I purchased new from a dealer near Orlando, FL which is about 3 and a half hours from my home. I have been lucky enough to find a Camping World within 30 miles of my home that will service it for me. I have to wait in line for service as they give priority to those who purchased from them, which is completely understandable. Last year I had an oil and filter change without a problem, but then this year I was told they couldn't change the oil filter due to new rules for either this dealership, or corporate. They were willing to change the oil as long as they didn't replace the filter. The explanation was vague but included a comment that there was an issue that arose from changing filters. Not sure if it was because of the model I own, or if it was because of a problem in general with changing filters on RV's purchased elsewhere. I'm confused as to why this is an issue. I guess I'll have to learn how to change my own oil and filter.

Any suggestions?
Offhand, that sounds really bizarre.

It sounds like to this point you've had good luck with that particular Camping World, but as you may know, CW in general does not exactly have a stellar reputation.

Essentially ANY repair shop should be able to change the oil and filter.

Even if their service bays cannot accommodate an RV, they can do it outside (if they want to).

Then again depending on how much an oil and filter change typically costs, you may want to do it yourself, as you mentioned.

From what I've read, an oil and filter change for our View (Sprinter chassis) can cost anywhere from over $200 to $300 (or more). We get the proper (extra-special, MB-certified, magical) oil on sale for $5-$6 per qt and the equally special OE filter cartridges for about $9 each.

The Sprinter takes about 12.5 qts of oil, so the total cost is about $80. That's a savings of about $150 bucks. Not to mention the hassle (in our case anyway) of making sure the View is road ready and getting it out of the garage (it's a tight fit). For others it might mean going to wherever their rig is stored. Then driving to the shop, and hopefully not getting stuck in traffic or waiting because the shop is running late.

Of course, YMMV. An oil change for your chassis is probably much less expensive, and the difference in cost between DIY and what a shop charges may be negligible.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunvale1 View Post
I had the same problem with my Winnebago View and General RV. They flat out told me they would not do any warranty work on units not sold by them. I would never buy anything from General RV for that very reason. The dealers that sell the various units are telling a lie when they tell you about how the warranty works
It seems almost all dealers operate this way, or at a minimum, warranty work for rigs bought elsewhere is the absolute lowest priority.

What I don't understand is why RV mfrs put up with this short-sighted behavior. It has gotten to the point where it's common knowledge -- even among people who do not own RVs -- that it is next to impossible to get warranty work (unless one is willing to wait months and/or go to the factory).

That has GOT to cut into sales. Who wants to spend $150,000 or more (MUCH more) on an RV only to have a bunch of problems -- problems that should have been caught at the factory -- and then not be able to get them fixed in a timely manner?!

The RV industry is strange. As another View owner puts it, "They are stuck in the 1950s". That certainly true in some ways, but in other ways it's even worse.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:21 PM   #20
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We had a very good buying experience with General in Canton, Oh, but I have not had to have warranty work done and my year is up anyway. All RV dealers say they will not fix if you didn't buy from them. That's the way the auto industry used to be. When the foreign imports started kicking Detroits butt back in the 70's they were forced to change. If we get enough foreign RV makers starting to build and sell thei RVs here it might force our manufacturers to do a better job!
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