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Old 05-06-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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Exclamation Windshield wiper saga, complicated by dealership dishonesty

First of all, I want to issue kudos to Winnebago parts department (1-800-933-7742) on their friendly, helpful, and prompt service! I wish I'd phoned them FIRST...

Our sad story begins with a cross-country, via the southernmost route, trip In our '06 Sightseer from west to east and back again. On the way back west two weeks ago, we hit a torrential rain storm in San Antonio, TX. Our windshield wipers quit while we were zipping down I-10 West. HORRORS (and no RainX on our windshields, unfortunately)! After pulling off the freeway, we found we could shake the wiper arms and get some operation back into the wipers for a short period of time at the slowest intermittent speed. We tried getting service on this problem from San Antonio west (and north) but no one works on wiper motors, etc. at any place we went (Ford dealerships since we have the Ford chassis, RV repair shops, dealerships). Even with new, shorter wiper blades (purchased in Stockton, TX) we were having trouble with periodic shutdowns of the wiper action. The worst event we encountered was the raging snow storm in southeast Oregon...try driving without wipers in a blinding snowstorm. [Yes, we finally found a place to pull off the highway and spend the night.]

After arriving back home in the Portland, OR area, we proceeded to solve this dangerous and vexing problem. I called our local dealership and was told (1) Winnebago was all out of these wiper motors and didn't know when they would get any more, and (2) a dealership in North Carolina was the only place that had a replacement wiper motor for a mere $178 plus shipping (probably another $20). We had our defective motor checked by three auto electric shops. We were told three different things (but combining the info, we arrived at the source of the problem): the motor ran perfectly when power was applied to it, there was a huge voltage drop when the motor was running while hooked to the wiper arms, and within the motor is the intermittent switch, which is where our problem lies (NOT the motor itself). This is why our shaking of the wipers got the arms moving again when the internal intermittent switch hung up periodically. AH! So, now we know that we DO need to replace the wiper motor...

But, wait, there's more... On a whim, I found and called the Winnebago number for parts. What did I find out? That (1) Winnebago has a large supply of these wiper motors, (2) the wiper motors have been modified (guess that tells us other people had similar problems with the original motors), and (3) a replacement motor runs $73 (a vast difference than the dealership's $178!). Of course, I ordered one and it was shipped the same day it was ordered.

So, our local dealership (Olinger Travel Homes, Hillsboro, OR) fed us a big story about no wiper motors being available from Winnebago and tried to cheat us royally on the price of a replacement motor. This is, by the way, the third time we have had "issues" with Olinger Travel Homes. In conclusion: I warn you, my fellow Winne owners, to beware of dealerships' parts departments...and do the research yourselves via calling Winnebago directly!

Hope this is good information for any and all of you. I would love to hear of other stories concerning defective wiper motors and any "hairy" tales related to them.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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Did you tell Winnebago about your experience with your dealer? They would probably like to know because I doubt they endorse that type of business practice when their name is affiliated to that dealership!
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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I can tell you that myself and many others here can highly recommend Lichtsinn Motors in Forest City, IA for any and all Winnebago parts. They are one mile from the Winnebago factory and you just will not find better help than you can get from David or Lonnie in their parts department. Fair pricing and quick shipping. And, they are a sponsor of this great forum.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
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Actually you didn't order from Winnebago's parts department at 800-933-7742, you ordered from Mobility RV in Hanlontown, IA. It is about 20 miles east of Forest City at the intersection of I-35. Winnebago doesn't sell direct to motor home owners. Mobility is a good place to order from, I have several times. This post is just to clear up any confusion some one may have if they were to call Winnebago's parts department, that only sells to dealers. you can buy from the Winnebago parts department when you are in Forest City and they give a 10% WIT Club discount.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:31 AM   #5
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Please, please, please let Winnebago know about this dealership. Dan Harper the WIT Western Area Rep might be able to help with getting the word up the chain.

Also please post on www.rvservicereviews.com. We need to start looking out for each other.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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Strong words - Dishonest

Based on the facts this was a poor choice of words.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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I agree with Tom and Cheryl's reply about rvservicereviews.com. Please post your problem there to help others. Unfortunately, Olinger sells Winnebago products and therefore is a fair-haired child with the factory. They are on Winnebago's top 50 list of dealers. We have complained about their service quality to the factory with no real change being noticed. My practice now is to use mobile RV mechanics for light service and go to the factory for the big stuff. I use Lichtsinn Motors for all parts. They are great!
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:30 AM   #8
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To rream: Yes, the term "dishonest" is a strong word indeed! Given that I have experienced NO, or certainly VERY LOW, integrity three times fairly recently from this dealership's sales, service, and--now--the parts departments, I could only come up with "dishonest" as a word that best reflects my view of how I have been treated via Olinger's latest effort to "ding" me, the customer. In short, I am "short" when referring to this dealership...and I believe in going directly to the crux of subject rather than tap-dancing around it! Sorry if you are/were offended over my choice of words...

To the other respondents in this thread: thank you for your honest comments and suggestions. I believe that the post from Doug Sage says it best: Olingers is one of Winnebago's fair-haired dealers and my complaint would not do any good in improving Olinger's performance. My best choice, if I choose to follow through with it, is to contact Olinger's general manager and delineate my recent, three bad experiences with his/her company's treatment of a customer. Thanks again for your responses, fellow Winne owners!
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
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Good Morning everyone,
I am very sorry for any issues this customer has had and would like to take a moment to clear up any issues of dishonesty you may have. We are a family business and have been in the community for 38 years, you dont stay in business this long being "dishonest" I encourage anyone to call me direct if they have any questions on this issue or any other issue. We strive on taking care of all our customers and treat all of them as family. As far as this part, the customer did not call Winniebago, they did call an aftermaket source, and it may be a good way to go; we are researching there business right now to give our customers more options then OEM parts.

Again very sorry for any delay or inconvenience this customer may have had.

Kindest regards,
Tony Schilling
Director of Parts and Service
Olinger Travel Homes- Hillsboro
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:39 PM   #10
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Wink

hummm....
Interesting reply from the dealer. Didn't really dispute the charge but did apologize and sounds like it will be looked into. I would think that would result in some better service in the future. What it really shows me though is that these forums are read by alot more folks then we might expect! That in itself shows what a great resource we have here!

Now I've found it true that most any part or service purchased from a dealer is a bit more then you can expect if you 'shop' the need. I've done it (shopped) myself and will do it in the future. BUT I've also found that the specific knowledge a dealer might have on their products is often worth the extra.

Course, that's just my .02 worth.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:27 AM   #11
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I have to agree with mikenmo, dealer parts do seem to have a steep mark-up and you can often find parts cheaper by shopping the internet. A reasonable mark-up is expected, they do have to stay in business, and Winnebago Dealers like most major auto dealers will go for OEM Parts over aftermarket or refurbished parts unless the customer specifically asks for something other than OEM. It's also good to see these folks do read and respond to these forums too!

I recently obtained estimates for having a Blue Ox base plate and Even Brake 2nd vehicle kit installed on our 2nd vehicle. The estimate from the Winnebago dealer was the highest with the parts being about $100.00 more than I could get them my self from the internet! Luckily, I found two local RV service centers who are willing to install the parts if I purchase them, and I only pay the labor, which saves me a good bit of money. The Winnebago dealer would not install the parts if I purchased them, which is fine by me, that is their choice, I'll just bring my business elsewhere.

Thank you MaverickBBD for the link to RVServiceReviews.com! I have bookmarked this page!
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:24 AM   #12
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Mr. Shilling:

My understanding is that Olinger was bought by Freedom Roads which is owned by Affinity Group. How does that make you a "family business"?
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #13
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What everyone should know when you post a question on irv2 your question will be posted on Google for the world to see.
Thats one reason we have gained new members recently that never heard of us.
Dealers, Mfg's and who ever can get direct access to this forum and not by accident as before.
Enjoy the forum everyone.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #14
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Well, it has been a week and we have not heard back from Tony Schilling at Olinger. Either he has not checked back or he doesn't want to admit that he lied about being a family owned business. This is not a confidence builder for me.

By the way, here is the link to one story announcing the sale to Freedom Roads:
http://www.allbusiness.com/automotiv...5473602-1.html
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #15
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Thanks, Doug Sage, for your continuing the discussion on the customer service issues with Olinger Travel Homes (Portland, OR metro area). I was not aware...and I live in the Hillsboro area...that Olinger had sold out 4 years ago! I knew that they had joined up with Camping World on the east side (Portland-Troutdale facility) but was not aware the ownership had changed. This fully explains why we started seeing a dramatic change from good-to-poor service in all areas (sales, service, and parts) at Olinger's, starting in late 2006. Up to that point, we had had terrific service from this RV company. Since 2006, our relationship with Olinger has deteriorated to the point now where we will NEVER go there again. We deal locally with Camping World but only with the facility south of us in Wilsonville, OR, that is independently run by Camping World (i.e. not affiliated with an RV dealership).

I still feel that Olinger parts department's providing me with the "incorrect information" (I'll be diplomatic here at this point) per the windshield wiper motor situation was (and still "is") inexcusable, particularly since it involved an inflated price for what they deemed as the only-one-in-the-country replacement motor. I was corrected per the source of the replacement part by one forum member but I did pull up the online parts service contact via the official Winnebago website. It just happened to be Mobility RV, which I was not aware of at the time I contacted them and ordered the replacement motor. Mobility RV came through, shipping the new motor the same day I ordered it...and we now have a new, operational wiper system on our Sightseer.

Thanks to all of you forum members who were supportive and informative on this issue. I love this forum!
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:25 PM   #16
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Mr. Sage,
You are correct we have been purchased by a large company , however here at this dealereship almost all of the employees are here and have been here for 10 to 18 years and we are all run this business as if it was our own and treat all customers fairly and honest. The reality is family or not we do our best to take care of every customer and if we "did not care" I would not be on this forum.

Im sorry for the delay as i was on vacation with family in sunny California.

Thank you,
Tony Schilling
Olinger Travel Homes
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:28 PM   #17
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Wiper solution

I may have missed something, You stated in the original note that you do not need to replace the wiper motor since the problem lies with the switch. But then you ordered a new wiper motor??? Please clarify as I have the same issue. Thank You , Steve
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sfrank962 View Post
I may have missed something, You stated in the original note that you do not need to replace the wiper motor since the problem lies with the switch. But then you ordered a new wiper motor??? Please clarify as I have the same issue. Thank You , Steve
You missed something.

quoting "and within the motor is the intermittent switch, which is where our problem lies (NOT the motor itself). "

The intermittent switch is part of the motor assembly.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:57 AM   #19
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The dealer pricing is why we avoid dealers if at all possible. Our dealer charges $155/hour, the local mechanic that works on RVs charges us $85/hour.

Early in our owning the MH we blew the 125A fuse for the levelers, had it replaced under warranty. Wanted to buy another fuse, $12 from dealer. Looked at the fuse and it came from NAPA. We wrote down the numbers, went to NAPA and bought it for $4.

On top of all this they wanted us to leave the MH for 3-4 days(75 mile drive each way). Supposedly we had priority since we bought the MH from them. We pushed back, took 15 minutes to replace the fuse.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:21 AM   #20
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My jacks stopped working while we were traveling. Coach Net found an RV repairman and sent him to make repairs. He checked my jacks and he could not find the fault. He put in two hours of his time. He departed saying that he would call the manufacturer for help. That night I discovered a broken connection in the control board. I e-mailed him to let him get a control panel so that he could get paid but the panels were being re-engineered and none were available.

Even though he did not find my problem I thought that he should get paid for his time. He refused and said the did not find my problem. I have never had a dealer not charge me for diagnostics. JD
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